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Old 01-19-2016, 05:10 PM   #1
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Replacement Gauge Cluster

Hi all. I need to replace the gauge cluster in my 2003 Boxster S and would like to know if there is a difference between P/N 986 641 213 02FHB which is now in my car and P/N 986 641 213 03FHB which I have found available for sale. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:54 PM   #2
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You may have a match. If I am interpreting the part numbers correctly, one appears to be from a 2002 model and the other from a 2003. Those are both the "new" style Boxster clusters. It's odd that the one currently in your 2003 is designated as the 2002 model cluster. Maybe they still had some 2002 clusters in inventory when they built your car.

Check out this thread: Instrument Cluster - Porsche Babblers and this auction: Porsche OEM Gauge Cluster 10K miles! 986 Boxster S Speedo PN: 986 641 213 02 FHB

The auction listing indicates that the two numbers are interchangeable, but that seems to be less than a guarantee.

The challenge that you will have is that you need to put your VIN and mileage into the gauge cluster. If the VIN is not correct, the stock head unit will be locked out. (The VIN may not be an issue if you don't have the stock head unit anymore.)

Several companies (Palo Alto Speedometer and Hollywood Speedometer) can program the cluster for you or you can do it yourself with the right equipment: http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/43017-carrera-gauge-swap.html I can e-mail programming instructions to you if you need them. Just send me a PM with your e-mail address.

Why do you need to replace your cluster?
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Last edited by KevinH1990; 01-19-2016 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
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For what it is worth, my '03 S has/had the same 986 641 213 02FHB as yours. The 03 FHB should be fine. With the '03s and '04s with the MOST bus radios, earlier cluster firmware versions won't work right as they don't have the provision for the radio communication. From experience, I know the radio will work with a different cluster until you disconnect the battery or radio. Then it will go into protection mode and be locked out.

I have repaired quite a few of the late 986/996 clusters. While they look similar to the early clusters, the hardware and firmware are totally different. There are actually two EEPROMs in these clusters, and you cannot read them directly as the data on them is encrypted and is keyed to the processor. These can only be read and written through the K line.

As for replacement, if it cannot be repaired (I haven't seen one yet that couldn't be), it would be easiest if it were "cloned". Whoever does that will need both of the clusters at the same time.
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:00 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.

My current gauge cluster will periodically freeze all gauge needles and all displays will will go blank except the odometer and trip meter (both are still adding miles). A few seconds later or after a tap on the gauge cluster, operation will return to normal.

The replacement cluster has almost exactly the same mileage as my car but I am still using my stock head unit for now. My plans are to replace the head unit with a double din GPS unit in the future so maybe this swap will just kick my radio replacement into high gear. Repairing my current cluster would be my preference with replacement as a backup plan.

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:59 AM   #5
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Ok, so after removing the cluster to get the part number, cleaning the contacts and reinstalling the cluster, the problem is gone. As an engineer, one would expect me to know to clean and re-tighten the contacts before replacing parts, lol.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:20 AM   #6
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