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Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/16/21 7:24 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD (Forum Supporter) :

That sounds vuagly familiar.  I did try it in N, but I didn't slam it back and forth a few times.  I'll try it when this work meeting is done!

mdshaw Reader
3/16/21 9:51 a.m.

There are more of us following along. I for one read the Porsche stories when I think I might want one. Then I realize I really like my Honda, Acura & MR2 reliability, simplicity & cheap ownership. 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/22/21 9:22 a.m.

Progress is (sort of) being made.

So first on the to do list was the no start issue.  I'd already changed the switch as mentioned above.  AAZCD had mentioned the shifter not engaging park correctly.  I"d already tried moving the shifter for and after many times with no joy.  Next I started stripping out the center consol again to get access to the whole shifter assembly.  About that time Jeff (Gearheadotaku) arrived.  We checked everything over, it all looked good.  I removed the whole shifter assembly and couldn't find anything wrong.  I even pinned out  the connector shown here .  This is a pic that AAZCD posted a  few years ago when I had another no start issue.    Anyway, the top two pins on this connector are for the micro switch you see touching the shifter.  That's to tell the car when it's in manual mode.  The lower two pins are for some kind of solenoid that is in the base of the shifter and appear to be permanently closed.  Not finding anything we re-assembled the shifter assembly and connected up the shifter cable, to the aft, and the interlock cable that goes forward.  We checked battery voltage, the brake light switch.  All OK.  

Next Jeff had brought his generic OBD II Code reader so we plugged that in.  We knew it wasn't going to be able to do much, as it doesn't have the Porsche Durametric software, or whatever it's called.  So we plugged it in, and all it read was low coolant.  No surprise, that had been triggered when I was still filling and bleeding the system.  I suggested we try clearing the codes anyway.  And that's when things got interesting.  After clearing the codes and unplugging, the car fired right up, ran for a couple of seconds and stopped.  Jeff thought that may be the anti theft system, so I tried my other key and still no start.  Then we plugged the scanner back in, and it fired right up and stayed running.  Unplug it, nothing.  Rinse repeat.  Then I had an idea.  I've got a couple of those $10 Bluetooth OBD II readers, so I plugged on in.  Didn't even bother trying to read anything, I'm not sure it still works and I don't have the software on my phone since my old phone exited stage left at 85mph after I left it on the roof of my Volvo back on new years eve.  Anyway, you guessed it, it fired right up.  Basically as soon as something is plugged into the OBDII Port the car will run fin, unplug it and we're back to no start.  

So thinking time was getting on I decided to look at the top mechanism next.  If you recall, doing some work previously Tom and Jeff had spotted a destroyed bushing in the top mechanism.  In the process of replacing those I discovered that on the left side a ball stud was missing.  Part 33 below.

Stuck Convertible Top - Manual operation... - 986 Forum - for Porsche  Boxster & Cayman Owners


So I'd got two new ones of those and we set about fitting the missing one.  Nope.  First off, I moved the top up and down through it's range while Jeff looked through the gap, and at no point could he see any good access.  In the end we settled on a position where the ball stud was in it's rear most position then I reached forward from the back and felt with my fingers, without being able to see it.  In the end I could pop the ball stud in the hole and that's when we realized that it's meant to have a nut on the back (I had assumed it screwed in).  So I need to get the nut to put on the back side.  When I do I have no idea how I'm going to do it up as I can just get two fingers holding the ball stud in there, I have no idea how I'm getting to get a nut on the back at the same time, let alone a wrench to tighten it up.

Finally let's get onto the flashing light that indicates the trans temp sensor is faulty.  Medium length story short, Jeff brought a print out of the factory diagnosis procedure, all we had time before beer and Jeff needing to leave, was to jack the car up and measure the output of the sensor from the plug on the outside of the trans.  The good news is that it measures out fine, so inside the trans we are good.  Maybe I didn't need to change the harness after all, but I now have the peace of mind of a new harness and sensor, rather than 100K miles and 20 years of heat aging and vibration.

So now I have a drivable car, if I ignore the flashing light, that will start if I have an OBD II Dongle attached for now apparent reason and a top that needs to be operated very carefully as only one side is powered!!!

To hell with it.  I'm calling it good enough to plate and insure it while I keep working on it.

I'd like to put out a huge thank you to AAZCD for his (hopefully continuing) advice, as well as Tom Spangler for his help on a couple of occasions.  My biggest thank you has to go to Jeff though, he's come over on many occasions and is always happy with advice, time and sourcing parts.  Thank you Jeff and the whole GRM community.  


Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
3/23/21 7:56 p.m.

Thanks for the beer and friendship! smiley

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/24/21 6:31 p.m.

So, I Put some miles on it today.  I had to go an pick up four 25Kg sacks of plastic pellets and deliver to the tool maker/molders.  What better car for four big sacks than a Boxster?  Three in the frunk (just) and one in the trunk.  No problem!

Anyway, I got to do 30+ miles.  Man what a joy it is to drive the car again.  Best of all I noticed half way there that the flashing light in D, indicating the temp sensor issue, was now solid.  IT also indicated the gear the car was in again, and also showed the correct gear when I was shifting manually.  Awesome, it's fixed!  Except by the time I got home I had the issue again.  So it's intermediate.  I wonder if there's a lose connection somewhere?

I also tried pulling out my OBD dongle.  If I turned the car off but didn't remove the key I can restart the car, but as soon as I removed and tried re-starting it's a no go again.  SO I still have a dongle just sitting in the port doing nothing.

Obviously I need to get this thing hooked up to a Durametric reader.  Anyone got suggestions of a reasonably priced one so I can compare the cost of buying one vs just paying a shop to hook me up, read and clear codes correctly?


Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/25/21 6:47 a.m.

Your "car won't start without something plugged into the OBD port" thing was driving me nuts, so I did some googling and found this: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicAdvice/comments/8scbe8/car_doesnt_start_unless_something_is_plugged_into/

TL;DR, it could be a bad ground for the PCM. When you plug a reader into the port, it grounds the PCM through one of the pins. When the connector isn't there, the ground goes away. Might help narrow down your search and avoid the need for a Durametric?

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/25/21 7:49 a.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

Good find, that makes sense. Here's where the ground point is for the engine and transmission module, mounted on the trunk firewall:

It could be causing the problem with the transmission harness as well. Note, this is a manual transmission car in the pic with no TCU.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/25/21 9:04 a.m.

Damn, thank the FSM.  I love the internet and GRM.  I'll go and check this, this evening.  I bet it is the trans issue too.  The next item on the diagnosis list that Jeff brought over for the trans temp sensor was to start pinning out the control module in the trunk.  We'd got as far as wondering if they meant the frunk or trunk when we decided beer was more enticing than more wrenching.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
3/25/21 10:22 a.m.

I'm betting it's in the back.

CAinCA Reader
3/25/21 4:32 p.m.

I love that I'm not the only one that will obsess over a problem that someone else is having because "I know I read a fix for this somewhere". 


Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/29/21 3:47 p.m.

Quick update.  Nope, the grounds in the trunk were perfect.  I still removed them, added dielectric grease, and torqued them down again.  No change.  I'll be driving and it will temporarily fix itself for a while, then go back to flashing again.

Didn't get much chance to work on it this weekend as I was working on the youngest's 07 Volvo and doing yard work.  I'm going to put it up on a hoist to poke around underneath and check all the harness connections. 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/1/21 11:44 a.m.

Put a few miles on it over the last few days.  Noticed yesterday that once nice and warm, if I floored it away from a light or something then it would hold 1st gear, not shift up, hit the rev limiter, stutter then the light would stop flashing and everything would be normal.  It would then stay normal until I cycled the ignition then I'd have to do the same thing again.  That lead me to think that it may be a loose connection.  So today I brought it to the office, just so I could put it on the hoist to change the oil, it had cheap mineral oil in from when I was diagnosing things last year and I'd dropped the pan.  On the freeway once warm I floored it, it kicked down from 5th to 4th, hesitated and then the light went solid and everything was perfect.  No way is it G force induced then.  A 2.5L Boxster with an auto is not a fast car by any means!  So at lunch time I put the car on the hoist and changed the oil.  Unfortunately I'd forgotten the rear under tray blocks access to the side of the trans so I couldn't check the connectors, I just didn't have time to pull it.  But as I say I don't think it's a connector.

I really think I need to get this thing plugged into a Durometric reader.  

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/4/21 8:23 a.m.

So, people may or may not have seen my other thread about giving up on wrenching.  So I'm going to end up taking the Boxster somewhere to be sorted, probably Steve's European in Waterford unless someone has other suggestions for Metro Detroit. The final decider before I take it up there is should I buy the Durametric and try some more diagnosis before paying them to do it?  That way I could also clear the air bag light that's on.  Quick recap of current post trans rebuild issues:

  • Car will not start unless something, anything is plugged into the OBD II port, currently there's an old Bluetooth dongles plugged in there that I don't even know if it works
  • The 'D' light flashes on and off all the time, which according to the internet etc. means the internal trans sensor is busted.  It's not, I replaced it after the trans was in and having issues.
  • The torque convertor spends more time slipping than locking up.  Sometimes you can accelerate gently and it will act fine.  A few seconds later you try and accelerate and all you get is the revs flaring up and the car slowing down.
  • Sometimes you will accelerate, it will start to slip then BANG, the TC will lock up and everything works perfectly for a while.  It might be perfect for 30 seconds before slipping, or it may stay good for five mins.

This is never going to be a forever car, but it may get replaced with another Porsche in a couple of years.  I just need to get it fixed.


AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/4/21 8:32 a.m.

I can say good things about Munk's Motors in Waterford/Pontiac.

also, I hate intermittent issues. Got comprehensive insurance?

docwyte PowerDork
8/4/21 8:35 a.m.

OMG, do NOT take it to Munk's!  Those guys totally F'ed up the PPI on my 944 Turbo.  I gave them a list of things to check, all of which they claimed to have done, only to have everything single item be bad when I finally got the car.  They also couldn't figure out how to do a leak down test.

The car they said passed with flying colors showed up with a blown motor.  Seriously, take the car to Jiffy Lube before those jokers.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/4/21 9:13 a.m.

We should start a club for Boxster owners with weird, inconsistent transmission issues.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/4/21 10:43 a.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

Dude, we've been each other's support group through Fiestas, Contours and Boxsters. Why do you think Amy says we have such a bromance going!  If we stop getting the same cars what's our excuse?

Javelin MegaDork
2/10/22 5:59 p.m.

I don't know how I haven't commented in here yet, placeholding so I can catch up on reading and help diagnosis.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/11/22 9:48 a.m.
Javelin said:
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
Javelin wrote: You may send your royalty check to: Javelin House with all the cars WA State
Hey, your're reposting my pic so you send the royalty check to me!




From February 28th, 2011.

So, about that check...

Seriously though, good buy on the Boxster and I'm following with baited breath as I really want to do one of these next instead of yet another Miata.

Jav, you've been here before back on page 1!!!!


Javelin MegaDork
2/11/22 2:32 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

Lol, well that's embarrassing! In my defense, I am easily distracted SQUIRREL

Javelin MegaDork
2/11/22 2:37 p.m.
Javelin said:

In reply to Adrian_Thompson:

Javelin almost always wins. My 944 was Zermatt Silver, it looked a little gold in certain light, but not all the time. One of the silvers used in the 986/996 generation is very close. I do miss the 944, but not enough to buy another (944). I'd like to try a different flavor of Porsche, most likely early Boxster. I've autocrossed a couple of 951's and a 914 and driven a 911 and a Boxster. Secretly though I want to find a late 928 to really screw with people.

Dear past Javelin. Because of threads like this you totally bought a 986S and tracked the heck out of it. Then you bought a 944 S2 and drove it cross country for your honeymoon. Then you bought a Cayenne S because why not at this point.

Dear future Javelin, insert laughing here when it's like 7 Porsches.

VolvoHeretic New Reader
2/11/22 11:43 p.m.

Adrian, I just finished reading this entire thread after finding it yesterday. It was well written and very interesting if not a bit sad and I have to hand it to you for continuously plugging away at a very frustrating project. You should title it "My Life, Chapter 21" or whatever.  My hats off to you for a thorough documentation of life with a Porsche.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/18/22 4:11 p.m.

OK, so no work, but I'm finally following through on my intention to release the moths from my wallet and pay someone with a brain and tools to fix this.  I'm planning on taking it to a well respected garage that has all the correct diagnostic equipment, including the full durametric.  They seem to attract technicians who are tired of of how they are treated at (new car) dealerships, and can pick good people.  I had a couple of grand of service and maintenance done there on my daughters Volvo and was very happy.

I'm thinking of printing out a brief description of work to date and leaving it with the service writer and/or a copy on the seat for the tech.  Below is what I'm thinking of giving them.  My question for the hive is; Is this a good idea, or will they just roll their eyes and toss it out?  If it's a good idea, is this enough, or should I go into more detail and steps?  I tried to keep it super short as I have a bad habit of going on and on, and didn't want to bore them to the point of tossing it in the bin again?


Died June 2019 when I was out of work.  Sat after some initial diagnosis until spring 2020.  Trans pulled and rebuilt by local guy who does rebuilds for Fred Lavery.

  • Engine was left in.  being auto it needed everything on the top of the engine removed as I needed to remove the starter motor (under intake and all plumbing) to get to the torque convertor bolts.  Replaced Air Oil Separator and some of the plastic piping on top of the engine, including the oil fill, vacuum reservoir (#16 on pic on next page) and all small diameter vacuum lines
  • Two cans of ‘Kooler Klean’ run through the trans cooler.
  • Lot’s of issues with vacuum system as the Auto has an extra vacuum circuit for the trans cooler valve.  Eventually sorted using the diagram below.



  • At some point I accidentally connected both the ground strap and Positive battery cable to the starter solenoid002E


Engine running and car was / is semi drivable but getting worse.

  • Initially when I first got it back together and running again I had the following symptoms.
    • Car would not start unless something is plugged into the OBD II dongle slot.  Anything will work as long as it’s plugged in (currently a nonfunctioning blue tooth dongle) 
    • With the engine running, in park, the trans indicator lights for '4' and 'P' are flashing alternately. 
    • I could put it in Drive (interestingly did not need to press the brake so the interlock wasn’t working) it would engage, and you could drive it.
  • Research indicated the 4-P flashing was normally the internal trans temp sensor was faulty.
  • Dropped the pan and replaced the temp sensor and harness (it appeared to be original) but no change.
  • Car was drivable but would slip occasionally and/or feel like it was in neutral but was basically drivable.
  • I did notice that sometimes when driving the trans would slip, then change hard and suddenly everything operated properly, no flashing lights, and the ability to use the manual mode up/down switches on the steering wheel. Until the ignition was cycled again, then it was back to flashing P-4 and acting up.
  • Lot’s of tracing, checking, looking at grounds, going over everything, plugging in various code readers, including professional ones, but not a Porsche Duramtric.
  • Barely used last year, maybe 150 miles of short hops and diagnostic drives
  • It’s now worse, torque convertor slipping, and won’t shift out of second.


I’m almost sure it’s either a connector, one of the many modules, or the sensor on the shifter attachment to the trans.


Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/18/22 4:38 p.m.

Well bugger, just called to book it in, and they don't have a durametric after all.  This was Curt's on 11 mile in Berkley.  Back to looking for someone in the SE Michigan area who can diagnose Porsche's and has a decent reputation

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/18/22 9:04 p.m.

Have you called Steve's in Waterford yet? I liked how they treated me when I took my E30 up there.

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