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Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
3/29/14 3:25 p.m.

Today, we learned that it is both cheaper to insure and to register a 1997 Porsche Boxster than it is to insure and to register a 2009 Mazda3...

$75 per month for insurance (less than half what it is for the Mazda), and $158 for tags and title.

Things I've learned from a relatively long drive today.
1. It is much quieter on the highway than I expected.
2. The contour of the seat is going to take some getting used to. There is a bit of a lump that rides right where my right shoulder blade usually sits...
3. It sounds SOOO good above 4000 rpm.
4. I have to get back into the habit of doing 'the Porsche wave'. Saw a gorgeous Alpine White 964 Carrera 4 'Turbo Look' today on the road.

Aside from getting it legal with the state, I threw in some LED lights that I had laying around.

Both licence plate lights were burned out, so I threw in some 6 chips.

Before -

After -

Door mounted puddle lights were done at the same time.

Before -

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/29/14 3:29 p.m.
Maroon92 wrote: 2. The contour of the seat is going to take some getting used to. There is a bit of a lump that rides right where my right shoulder blade usually sits...

Does it have the sport seats?

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
3/29/14 4:40 p.m.
Woody wrote:
Maroon92 wrote: 2. The contour of the seat is going to take some getting used to. There is a bit of a lump that rides right where my right shoulder blade usually sits...

Does it have the sport seats?

No, just the standard 996/986 seats. No bolster "wings".

BAMF
BAMF HalfDork
3/30/14 8:48 a.m.
Maroon92 wrote: Today, we learned that it is both cheaper to insure and to register a 1997 Porsche Boxster than it is to insure and to register a 2009 Mazda3...

Hmm… I'll have to break that news to the Mrs.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
3/30/14 8:46 p.m.

The rear brake pads were starting to squeal, and the PO included a new set of rear pads with the purchase. I had the time, so I decided to install them this afternoon.

Afterward, it seemed like a good idea to go for a drive to test them out. It was 44 degrees, but I still had to throw the top down.

It was about a 30 minute drive up to Pyramid Lake, NV. I think it was the first time I'd ever been on a native American reservation. Absolutely beautiful views, so it was a good thing I brought along my camera.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/1/14 11:53 a.m.

I've been working out some plans for the "long term use" of this car, and it's going to have a "Porsche Clubsport" theme. It'll have a bit of suspension work, some wider wheels and sticky tires, and some OEM+ lightweight bits.

I have two ideas that I want to run by the GRM collective, maybe get some feedback on how best to work through them.

Idea #1 - lightweight "bimini" style top. Similar in fashion to the Boxster Spyder from a couple years back.

Back when I was shopping Miatas, I saw the Project-G "G-String" (disregard StanceKORE look, I'm not looking for that), and knew that I wanted one. Obviously nobody makes one for this car, but I'd like to fabricate my own for this car.

Luckily, the car came with a brand new soft top, and the original soft top was in a box in the trunk (The rear window stitching had separated). I can use that original top with some modifications, and pick up a used windshield header latch to accomplish this.

Two things I need to figure out with this project.
1. How best to fabricate the mounting points for the rear tension, and where to place them.
2. How to raise the tops of the roll hoops to increase headroom. As it stands, the factory top sits up about 4 inches above the roll hoop, so using them as the tension points for this bimini-style top would make things a bit more cramped than I'd like. I'd probably still fit, but not as comfortably.

Idea #2 - lightweight auxiliary audio

I'd like to do a radio delete, both for the "oh cool GT3 parts" factor, and the "boy racer" factor. I'll probably be doing a lot of long distance drives in the car, though, and it'd be nice to have some music.

I never listen to the radio, and CD's are a pain to carry around/worry about, so ideally I'd like to move to a purely aux 3.5mm based audio input.

Presumably I could wire the speakers (two door, two in dash) directly to a small amplifier with a 3.5mm jack, and hide the aux input in the center console?

I'd like to keep everything hidden, with the only external control being a rocker switch in the dash panel that controls volume up and down.

What, exactly, would I need to accomplish this? Am I on the right track with my thoughts here?

Firebelly
Firebelly
4/1/14 12:47 p.m.

Hey Maroon92.
Are you going to leave the regular soft top in when using the bimini top? If so you could make a lightweight bar that mounts in the holes where the hard top mounts go. I've looked into making a higher roll bar for my '98 and the limiting factor is the space you have if keeping the factory soft top. So it would have to be removable if you wanted the soft top to stay and work. Another thing you need to look at is the immobility computer that sits under the drivers seat. If it gets wet, the car won't start, and it's somewhere around $3K to replace. You can relocate it under the dash with only a little wire work.

As for the speakers, is your head unit the base model, or the high end one? Base models had the same head units as the VWs of the time and are easy to splice into behind the dash. The high end units have a special cable that goes to an amp and is a little more involved to tie into. Easiest thing with the high end is pull everything out and just run new wires to the speakers. Otherwise you can put a small amp under the dash and tie into the existing lines pretty easy. I had the base model unit and replaced it with a an aftermarket one, wasn't too hard.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/1/14 12:57 p.m.
Firebelly wrote: Hey Maroon92. Are you going to leave the regular soft top in when using the bimini top? If so you could make a lightweight bar that mounts in the holes where the hard top mounts go. I've looked into making a higher roll bar for my '98 and the limiting factor is the space you have if keeping the factory soft top. So it would have to be removable if you wanted the soft top to stay and work. Another thing you need to look at is the immobility computer that sits under the drivers seat. If it gets wet, the car won't start, and it's somewhere around $3K to replace. You can relocate it under the dash with only a little wire work. As for the speakers, is your head unit the base model, or the high end one? Base models had the same head units as the VWs of the time and are easy to splice into behind the dash. The high end units have a special cable that goes to an amp and is a little more involved to tie into. Easiest thing with the high end is pull everything out and just run new wires to the speakers. Otherwise you can put a small amp under the dash and tie into the existing lines pretty easy. I had the base model unit and replaced it with a an aftermarket one, wasn't too hard.

If I were to complete the top the way I want to, I would probably remove the regular top for the summer and reinstall for winter. I'll have to look at the hardtop mounting points to see what that would do for angle.

As for the interior getting wet, it doesn't rain much out here, and I have a garage where it would be parked when not in use. I'll look into relocating that box, though, just in case.

My stereo is the Becker CDR-210, which I've heard is a major pain to try to DIY. I would probably pull all of the factory components and start from scratch.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/2/14 10:10 a.m.

Did this last night. Picked up two 12" X 48" sheets for 11 dollars, so I had plenty to work with.

Took me a while to get the technique down, but I think it turned out alright. It'll protect my newly polished headlamps, and I think it doesn't look too bad.

EvanB
EvanB PowerDork
4/2/14 10:18 a.m.

For my Miata I used one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2CH-500W-POWER-MOTORCYCLE-AUDIO-CAR-ATV-SCOOTER-GOLF-CART-AMPLIFIER-MP3-AMP-RED-/271102462479?pt=Car_Amplifiers&hash=item3f1ef74a0f

Wired directly to the speakers. I just set the volume on the amp as high as it would go before distorting then controlled volume with my ipod.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/2/14 1:42 p.m.
EvanB wrote: For my Miata I used one of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2CH-500W-POWER-MOTORCYCLE-AUDIO-CAR-ATV-SCOOTER-GOLF-CART-AMPLIFIER-MP3-AMP-RED-/271102462479?pt=Car_Amplifiers&hash=item3f1ef74a0f Wired directly to the speakers. I just set the volume on the amp as high as it would go before distorting then controlled volume with my ipod.

That's not bad. You can only run two speakers from a two-channel, correct? That would certainly aid in weight savings if I could delete two speakers...

EvanB
EvanB PowerDork
4/2/14 1:43 p.m.

I only ran two speakers, not sure if it could do more.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim PowerDork
4/2/14 1:44 p.m.

Just a thought - I know you want to delete the center console so this might not fly - but there isn't much weight difference between a half decent amp and a cheapish "digital media receiver". I don't like fiddling with phones etc while driving and much prefer to drive the playback device via a one of those.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/2/14 2:23 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: Just a thought - I know you want to delete the center console so this might not fly - but there isn't much weight difference between a half decent amp and a cheapish "digital media receiver". I don't like fiddling with phones etc while driving and much prefer to drive the playback device via a one of those.

A "center console delete" sounds a bit different from what it actually is.

The 996 GT3 RS removed the lower section of dash where the center console meets it. As seen below.

There is a "kit" offered by a number of aftermarket suppliers, which uses the GT3 pieces to "delete" that piece, which frees up a lot of leg space.

I'd be keeping the "center console" plastic piece that houses the shifter, the little storage box, and the e-brake handle.

As a bonus, the upper shelf in that top picture is the same piece that the RS used to "delete" the radio, so you can slot that shelf into the radio section of the dash, and it looks 100% factory.

To your point, however, I don't ever really "fiddle" with my media devices while driving anyhow. Usually I'll stick an ipod on random, or my cell phone on pandora when I'm driving.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/3/14 9:34 p.m.

Another epiphany I had while driving today. In comparison with the 944 that this replaces, the Boxster is more of a "sit ON" car, and the 944 is a "sit IN" car. The seating position is much higher and more upright, and the Boxster has a lower belt-line. Interesting.

Lame cell-camera grab to show the yellow in daylight. I think it turned out pretty good.

I was skeptical of the yellow looking okay on red, but I don't hate it.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/4/14 3:05 p.m.
EvanB wrote: I only ran two speakers, not sure if it could do more.

I decided to take the plunge and ordered one of those amps today. I also ordered some nice new 4" speakers for the dash, too. If I'm going to only have two speakers, I'd better have something better than the factory paper cone crap. Got a pair of Fosgates on sale.

I hope I can make this work. I've never been great with electrical stuff...

EvanB
EvanB PowerDork
4/4/14 3:20 p.m.

When you install it there is a wire for 12v power and a switched wire. I just ran them together so it was always on when the key was on, you could run the switched wire to a toggle if you want the ability to turn it off.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/4/14 3:32 p.m.
EvanB wrote: When you install it there is a wire for 12v power and a switched wire. I just ran them together so it was always on when the key was on, you could run the switched wire to a toggle if you want the ability to turn it off.

Did you wire it into the power wire for the head unit?

Did you use the original speaker wires, or did you run all new cables to the speakers?

EvanB
EvanB PowerDork
4/4/14 3:46 p.m.

I used the original speaker wires and connected them to the amp pigtail. I just ran the power and the on/off switch wire to the switched 12v wire from the head unit since it doesn't need constant 12v to retain settings/memory.

That is basically it, I just ran the input cord out under the dash and plugged directly into it.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/6/14 6:17 p.m.

Friday night I completed a "Center Console Delete" in the same vein as the one posted above. One catch, mine didn't cost 160 dollars, I did it for 1/10th what the factory pieces cost.

I built this using the original carpeted side pieces, the original hardware, a sheet of coroplast, some black felt, spray glue, and four m6 "J" speed nuts, plus a 5 dollar Porsche plastic cover.

It took some trial and error, but I made a thing.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/6/14 6:27 p.m.

We took the car for a long drive to San Francisco on Saturday, and came home via I-49 and I-50. Those are some fun roads, and Placerville is a neat place.

We averaged 22.95 mpg over the last two tanks, including those spirited drives through the mountains.

Great car. Loving it more every day!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim PowerDork
4/6/14 7:33 p.m.

If you're coming back from the Bay area and have some time, try taking CA88 over Carson Pass. It's a bit of a detour as you live in Reno, but IMHO it's worth it. My absolute favourite way to cross the Sierra from the Bay Area is CA4, but that's an even bigger detour and you have to bring a lot of time, provided the pass is even open.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
4/7/14 10:33 a.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: If you're coming back from the Bay area and have some time, try taking CA88 over Carson Pass. It's a bit of a detour as you live in Reno, but IMHO it's worth it. My absolute favourite way to cross the Sierra from the Bay Area is CA4, but that's an even bigger detour and you have to bring a lot of time, provided the pass is even open.

88 does look like a lot of fun! I may have to do that one just because!

bgkast
bgkast Dork
4/7/14 12:26 p.m.

Man that thing looks sharp! Keep up the good work, I will be watching your bikini top build with interest, I plan to make something similar for the Midlana eventually.

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 Reader
4/8/14 1:41 p.m.

The car looks good. The more trouble free miles you get, the more I think I could justify buying a Boxster later on..

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