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Old 09-10-2007, 07:08 AM   #1
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Four Questions

I've owned Porsches before ('59 356A and '86 944T), and I've done a fair amount of mechanical work on my cars and motorcycles over the years, but I'm new to Boxsters, having just bought a '99. I haven't yet purchased a service manual.

I've already dealt with soaked carpets from the previous owner's inadequate attention to the drain holes. I removed the seats, propped up the carpet and let it bake in the sun for a few days. In the course of this work and of driving and living with the car, I've found a few other issues on which I need some information. This site has been a useful resource, but I haven't found answers to these issues.

1. Do all batteries require a vent tube connection? While working on the cowl drain on the passenger side, I noticed that the battery vent tube was not connected to the battery; the elbow was just tucked behind the positive terminal. The battery is a sealed type with no apparent opening for the vent tube elbow. I'm familiar with battery vent tubes on batteries which require electrolyte service, but not on sealed batteries. I didn't remove the battery, but there's adequate access all around to determine that there's no vent opening. For now, I've just tucked it back where it was.

2. Should the cockpit air filter under the cowl on the passenger side have a cover? I had the 45,000 service performed when I bought the car, and the shop replaced the filter. When I removed the outer cowl cover to work on the drain, I saw that the filter was exposed. Although the filter housing is up under the metal cowl and protected by the outer cover, and although it appears secure in the lower housing, the clip attached to the lower housing appears to have more clearance than necessary only for the filter. I suspect the shop forgot to reinstall the cover when they replaced the filter.

3. When cornering sharply to the right or on long, fast right-hand sweepers with weight transfer to the left front, even small dips and bumps cause the horn to sound intermittently. What might be causing this? It doesn't happen when cornering to the left with weight transfer to the right front. Under the driver-side cowl, it appears that the horn is mounted above the steering column, with very little clearance. As far as I can tell, they do not make contact, and all of the horn wires and connections appear secure and covered with insulation. Is it possible that flex in the steering column or the cowl might cause the horn housing and the cloumn to make contact in a way which completes the horn circuit? That doesn't seem possible to me. I can see nothing in or around the left front suspension which looks like it could be creating any kind of electrical connection to the horn under compression. The other alternative might be in the steering wheel or between the wheel and the cowl; I haven't taken that apart yet. That will force my hand on the service manual.

4. Moving to the rear of the cockpit, does the curved black plastic cover on the support brace for the rear deck cover (visible between the edge of the fully-retracted top and the edge of the rear deck cover when the top is down) serve any function other than to complete the coverage of the top well when the top is retracted -- for appearance only? It appears that when the top is up, this piece might direct water into the padded catch basin and drain hole for the top. The previous owner had the top replaced after a slashing, and it appears that this piece on the driver's side was omitted. I've ordered the part because I want my car to be complete, but I wonder if any of you know whether it has any function other than aesthetic.

Thanks for whatever information you can offer.

Bob

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Old 09-10-2007, 07:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simbob
I've owned Porsches before ('59 356A and '86 944T), and I've done a fair amount of mechanical work on my cars and motorcycles over the years, but I'm new to Boxsters, having just bought a '99. I haven't yet purchased a service manual.

I've already dealt with soaked carpets from the previous owner's inadequate attention to the drain holes. I removed the seats, propped up the carpet and let it bake in the sun for a few days. In the course of this work and of driving and living with the car, I've found a few other issues on which I need some information. This site has been a useful resource, but I haven't found answers to these issues.

1. Do all batteries require a vent tube connection? While working on the cowl drain on the passenger side, I noticed that the battery vent tube was not connected to the battery; the elbow was just tucked behind the positive terminal. The battery is a sealed type with no apparent opening for the vent tube elbow. I'm familiar with battery vent tubes on batteries which require electrolyte service, but not on sealed batteries. I didn't remove the battery, but there's adequate access all around to determine that there's no vent opening. For now, I've just tucked it back where it was.

2. Should the cockpit air filter under the cowl on the passenger side have a cover? I had the 45,000 service performed when I bought the car, and the shop replaced the filter. When I removed the outer cowl cover to work on the drain, I saw that the filter was exposed. Although the filter housing is up under the metal cowl and protected by the outer cover, and although it appears secure in the lower housing, the clip attached to the lower housing appears to have more clearance than necessary only for the filter. I suspect the shop forgot to reinstall the cover when they replaced the filter.

3. When cornering sharply to the right or on long, fast right-hand sweepers with weight transfer to the left front, even small dips and bumps cause the horn to sound intermittently. What might be causing this? It doesn't happen when cornering to the left with weight transfer to the right front. Under the driver-side cowl, it appears that the horn is mounted above the steering column, with very little clearance. As far as I can tell, they do not make contact, and all of the horn wires and connections appear secure and covered with insulation. Is it possible that flex in the steering column or the cowl might cause the horn housing and the cloumn to make contact in a way which completes the horn circuit? That doesn't seem possible to me. I can see nothing in or around the left front suspension which looks like it could be creating any kind of electrical connection to the horn under compression. The other alternative might be in the steering wheel or between the wheel and the cowl; I haven't taken that apart yet. That will force my hand on the service manual.

4. Moving to the rear of the cockpit, does the curved black plastic cover on the support brace for the rear deck cover (visible between the edge of the fully-retracted top and the edge of the rear deck cover when the top is down) serve any function other than to complete the coverage of the top well when the top is retracted -- for appearance only? It appears that when the top is up, this piece might direct water into the padded catch basin and drain hole for the top. The previous owner had the top replaced after a slashing, and it appears that this piece on the driver's side was omitted. I've ordered the part because I want my car to be complete, but I wonder if any of you know whether it has any function other than aesthetic.

Thanks for whatever information you can offer.

Bob
1) Nope. New sealed, low or no maintenance batteries do not have vents.

2) I'm not sure. I do know when you remove the plastic cowling cover the filter is exposed. It most certainly does not have another cover, but it may have a frame that helps hold it down. I've never replaced mine, but will check it this week and let you know.

3) My best guess is the horn relay. The steering wheel horn button just energizes a relay. That relay, in turn sends power to the horns. Maybe it's internal spring is weak and under certain g-loads allows the contacts to touch.

4) I think it is aesthetic, but let me look at my car and get back to you...

BTW, welcome back to the Porsche family.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
2) I'm not sure. I do know when you remove the plastic cowling cover the filter is exposed. It most certainly does not have another cover, but it may have a frame that helps hold it down. I've never replaced mine, but will check it this week and let you know.
Yeah, the cabin filter is pretty much exposed underneath the plastic cowling cover. It doesn't exactly look right, seems like it should need a cover and it doesn't fit in there very tight, but that's simply how it is...

Kirk
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #4
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Hi,

#1 - If the battery is sealed, you do not need the vent tube. It's purpose is to prevent buildup of the explosive gas.

#2 - The cabin air filter has a cover, once removed, the filter is just lying there.

#3 - You have the 4-spoke steering wheel. A retaining Frame (PN# 993.347.088.01) underneath the airbag contains 4 rubber bushings which float the assembly over the Horn Contacts. These bushings tear with time and then the slightest jostle, weight transfer from barking, etc. cause the contacts to close and the horn to sound. Replacment bracket is under $50 and an easy fix.

#4 - Yes, it does serve to direct any water to the drains.

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:40 AM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks for all of your replies.

Bob
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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Bob, you can use a piece of garden hose to fix the worn grommets on the horn pad... or just upgrade to a 3 spoke wheel and make your car look instantly younger by five years.

That's what I did.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:09 PM   #7
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The three spoke wheel looks great. My 01 has a three spoke, but with the silver crest. I don't think it's original, but I sure do like it!

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