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Old 03-14-2006, 03:43 PM   #1
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Replacing Instrument Cluster

I have a 2000 Boxster, and looking at replacing the entire gauge cluster. Does anyone know if I buy a used one, will the mileage automatically match my car when I plug it in? Also, will a the 5 face gauge cluster from a 996 fit on a 986?

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Old 03-14-2006, 04:33 PM   #2
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I believe I can be of help to you on this issue. It was my first repair on my 1997 box.

1) Yes. You can buy a used BOXSTER cluster. Just make sure you get the part number for it and call your dealer to insure it will work for your model year.

2) No. It does not "find" your mileage and display it. You'll have to send the speedo to Palo Alto Speedometer (out in CA) to have them reprogram it to your car's mileage. Dealers cannot do this last I checked.

3) I don't think a 5 gauge cluster will work "plug and play" because there doesn't appear to be any wiring for the additional gauges (see my web site for a shot of the backside of a cluster). The other problem you face with a 5 gauge cluster is the cluster dash would have to be swapped out as well. That's gonna be price prohibitive just to get a couple of gauges.

The upside is that if you are patient, you can find a used cluster for your 2.7 with white gauge faces. I see them on Ebay from time to time and they sell for $400 or so. New from the dealership is $1200 or more... depending on the gauge face color.

If you like, you can call Sunset Porsche in Oregon and ask the price for a new cluster... they'll be the cheapest in the nation. Then, you can take the new, unprogrammed cluster (0 miles on it) to your local stealership or an independent mechanic with a PST tool and he'll program it for you and plug in your current mileage.

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-14-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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That is so strange that I need to have it programmed to my mileage, so then what is stopping someone from lowering the mileage on a car when they want to sell it? Just seems awfully strange. Thank you very much for the info, do you recall how much they charge to set the mileage correctly?

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Old 03-14-2006, 07:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tifosi00
That is so strange that I need to have it programmed to my mileage, so then what is stopping someone from lowering the mileage on a car when they want to sell it? Just seems awfully strange. Thank you very much for the info, do you recall how much they charge to set the mileage correctly?

Thanks!
Hi,

What keeps someone from altering the Mileage is the code used to program it. Not that anything is impossible, but it's a lot tougher than simply spinning the Wheels with a Dental Pick on a Mechanical Odo. BTW, a Dealer with a PST2 can reset the mileage, but they don't advertise it, and only a Dealer version of the software can do it (I think they have to Dial-in to Porsche Central with it), not an Indy with the PST2...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 03-14-2006, 07:49 PM   #5
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you can get a 996 5 gauge cluster from RUF with their trademark green backlighting. a bargain for only $2500!
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Old 03-14-2006, 08:31 PM   #6
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haha, yeah thats quite a bargain. I found a 5 gauge cluster for sale for cheap, but I am not sure if I could get it to fit, or if the plugs in the back would fit.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:21 AM   #7
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Concerning the mileage reset, Jim, you're technically right as usual. However, I have some contrary personal experience with this issue.

When I had my cluster put in and programmed at the dealer, the mechanic who was assigned to my car came out to talk to me in the empty waiting room. He quietly asked me point blank, "What mileage do you want me to put on the odometer? The old cluster has 84k on it. What do YOU want the new cluster to read?"

Yeah, I know what he was asking was oh-so-illegal and I had a good answer for him. I told him that while I had a brand new engine, the rest of the car had 84k on it and I told him to put the exact original mileage on the new odometer. How else would I be able to gauge the need to replace wearing or worn parts if I had no idea of the true mileage?

Now dialing in the mileage at a dealership can only be done on a new, unprogrammed cluster. Used clusters cannot be changed by a dealership. I also don't think one could easily find a Porsche technician at a dealership to do this because it is illegal, he'd lose his job and the dealership would be fined... the authorities frown on this sort of thing for all the right reasons. I think my mechanic just decided to be my buddy and offer to do me a "favor" which I didn't take him up on. It would have been a very bad thing to do as you'll read below.

Odometer rollbacks can be done however, and done quite easily on a newer Porsche. If you sent a used (or new) speedo cluster to Palo Alto and told them to program it with x miles on it, they would do it with a signature of release from you. This releases them from legal problems and puts it all on you.

Of course, doing this creates all sorts of problems. One would have to self-maintain the car or use an independent mechanic who didn't keep track of the mileage of the car when repairs and maintenance were done. The paper trail would be incriminating. And of course, dealer visits are completely out of the question! You'd have to put the same number of miles on the odometer that you took off before you could take it to a reputable shop. Ugh.

This might be why most owners--the ones with enough brains to play out future ownership hassles--don't do rollbacks.
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Old 03-15-2006, 06:01 AM   #8
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@RandallNeighbour:

Hi,

I like your stuff - very moral in keeping the same mileage. Odometer tampering is widespread, even a Dealers do it.

It's often easy to spot or suspect though. A Car has many signs of the mileage it has accumulated besides the Odo Readout. Tire Wear, Dirt, Oil Leaks, Interior Wear, CarFax Service records are some of the ways you can spot it.

You should suspect every Odo reading and with experience, you only use it to confirm the mileage the rest of the Car is telling you. Don't rely on the Odo alone.

Afterall, it's really the rest of the Car which you're buying and will be driving, if it doesn't measure-up, regardless of what the Odo is telling you, pass on it. In our Mass Produced society, there's bound to be another example just around the corner...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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