I haven't been driving a lot this year due to the pandemic, and the Boxster hasn't been getting a lot of mileage. I did a standard oil change using the wooden cribs I built to get the car into the air. No issues, other dropping the oil filter into the oil drain bucket and having to fish it out.
Most of my time was dedicated to two repairs. Recently, my horn started to trigger under braking which indicates that the rubber buffers that support the airbag and trigger the horn are deteriorating. After some dirty looks while braking for people in a crosswalk, it became a priority repair.
You can repair the buffers using black sealant or o-rings but I decided to replace the entire airbag retaining bracket that includes the buffers. (Part Number: 993.347.088.01). It was actually an easier repair than I was expecting, here are the steps:
-Disconnect the battery and block the terminals so they can not touch the battery under any circumstance
-Wait 15 minutes, I waited 30 minutes because the airbag stays powered for a few minutes after the power is disconnected. And you definitely don't want it to go off.
-Insert the key to disable the steering wheel lock, and turn the wheel so that it is 90° from being straight
-I chose to wrap the steering column with a towel to avoid scuffing the trim if my hand slipped when using a screw driver
-Insert a T30 Torx screwdriver (a short bit will not work, you need a few inches of length) into the hole on the back of the steering wheel. It can be tricky to get the steering wheel in the right place to be able to insert the screwdriver and have it catch the screw
-The Torx screws have locktite on them, but per some suggestions online I used vice grips on the screwdriver to get more leverage to "break" the screw free. (hence the protective towel)
-Loosen the screw (it won't come out, it is captive)
-Turn the wheel and repeat, however be ready to catch the airbag as these are the screws that hold it in place
-Once the airbag is free, pull up on the yellow plug inserted into the center of the airbag and the connector will pop out
-Place the airbag somewhere safe and and out of the way with the black/leatherette side facing up
-Pull the ground plug off the left side of the airbag retaining plate
-Remove the four 19mm bolts
-Pull the plate off, and the two capitive T30 torx screws will probably fall out of their grooves
-Replace the T30 screws and line them up with the new airbag retaining plate
-Install the 19mm bolts (hand tight, 4 ft-lbs per the Bentley Manual)
-And reinstall everything in reverse order
My second repair is one you probably won't have to deal with. The door pocket lid on my 986 broke. Most people can probably buy a black replacement new for about $30-40, however I have the leather option which makes ordering a new one $700+.
Because of this, I needed to repair mine, lucky all of the plastic and metal hinge pins where in the door pocket. I was able to repair and reinforce the broken plastic and very carefully reinstall the spring and hinge pins. It's such a tight space I didn't end up taking any photos.
My 986 is now back to 100% (or as close as it can be for a 21 year old car) and ready for winter, with the hardtop installed!
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