This article covers the installation of the rear stereo speaker kit in the Boxster with the storage compartment over the engine cover. The speakers, two on each side, fit in place of the tiny "storage" cubbyholes at each end of the storage compartment. I find the middle compartment with the sliding doors useful (this middle part is retained), but I never used the cubbyholes-they were just inconvenient for me to reach.
These additional speakers will greatly improve the stereo imaging of your Boxster's sound system. The enhanced sound will be comparable to the far expensive Digital Sound Processing option, at a much lower cost.
If your Boxster doesn't have the storage compartment, you will also need the following parts to install the speakers:
|986 551 223 00 EMY||Storage compartment with black carpet|
|986 551 427 00 01C||Rose|
|986 551 429 00 01C||Catch (2 required)|
|986 551 543 00 01C||Washer (2 required)|
The Porsche part number for the kit is PNA 986 KIT. It can be installed in Boxsters with either the base radio system with dashboard speakers only (option code M441), or with the "Hi-Fidelity" system with dashboard and door speakers (option code M490). The addition of rear speakers will enhance stereo imaging and will add the fader function to the radio.
The kit is shipped with rudimentary instructions, but we will go through the entire procedure with pictures to ensure the owner of a correct installation. Some of the information in this article is taken from the Porsche Boxster Technical Information Bulletin 0001 9142, copyright 2000 Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
The kit contains two sets of two speakers each, with mounts and pre-wired harness, speaker grilles, wiring cable and plug to extend the speaker harness to the radio, and all necessary clips, screws, and ties (Figure 1). Note that the set of radio removal keys must be ordered separately.
This article shows the installation of the kit in Bob Tindel's 2001 Boxster, with the factory "Hi-Fidelity" sound system (option code M490), which is based on the Becker CDR 220 head unit. Your Boxster may differ slightly.
You will need a Torx #20 screwdriver for this installation. A Dremel tool or die grinder with a cut-off wheel is helpful to cut the glue holding the front of the storage bins to the storage compartment, and a hot glue gun is useful to glue the new speaker grilles firmly in place. Alternately, epoxy glue can be used.
Removal of the Storage Compartment
The first step in this installation is to remove the storage compartment. Make sure the car is parked where you have plenty of working room and good lighting. Open the top partway, to the point that the metal "clamshell" soft top cover is at its maximum opening (Figure 2).
Disengage the lower ball end of the soft top tension cable on each side of the car (Figure 3). Next, disengage the rear lower top shroud from its clips, one on each side (Figure 4). Pull up the rear of the convertible top until it is about vertical. Remove the storage compartment by rotating the turn-lock on each side one-quarter turn clockwise and lifting it slightly. The entire compartment can now be removed to the rear.
Removing the Bins from the Storage Compartment
Remove the three Torx screws from each bin (Figure 5). Save these screws, as they will be reused to mount the speakers. Using a Dremel or die grinder with a cut-off wheel, cut loose the epoxy around the lower edge of each bin (Figure 6). Be careful not to cut through the face of the storage compartment. Use a knife to remove any remaining epoxy, especially from around the side tabs. Once the glue is cut completely free, depress the side tabs, and carefully remove the storage bins out of the storage compartment (Figure 7). Work carefully, as the material in this part of the storage compartment is thin and easily cracked. Using the Dremel tool or die grinder and a small sanding drum, remove any remaining glue from the storage compartment (Figure 8). This is the most tedious and time-consuming part of this job, so when you get it done, the rest is easy.
Installing the Speaker Grilles
Snap the speaker grilles into place (Figure 9), making sure that the top edge of the grille is seated into the groove (Figure 10) in the storage compartment. When the grille is correctly installed, it will appear flush with the opening in the storage compartment. Glue the bottom edge of the speaker grilles with the hot glue gun or epoxy (Figure 11). Also, glue the side tabs to make sure that they are secure. The gluing makes the installation rattle-free, and ensures that the grilles won't pop out.
Installing the Speakers
Install the speakers into the storage compartment housing, using the six Torx screws removed earlier, and the two additional screws supplied in the kit (Figure 12). The speakers and the speaker wiring harness must be oriented so the harness cable exits on the right side of the storage compartment (Figure 13). Secure the wiring harness along the rear of the storage compartment, using the clips supplied . These clips are easier to install if they are put onto the wire, and then pushed into place on the storage compartment (Figure 14and Figure 15). There are nine clips to be installed, three across the back of the storage compartment, and three on each side. The wire fits neatly into the gallery provided for it at the rear of the storage compartment, and the clips keep it there, so it doesn't get snagged by anything. After the glue dries, reinstall the storage compartment in the car, making sure that the plug for the speaker harness is left accessible. Here is what the finished storage compartment looks like (Figure 16and Figure 17).
Installing the Wiring Harness to the Radio
In this next step, we will secure the radio harness to the roll bar, route the harness to the front of the car following the vehicle wiring harness, and connect the radio harness to the radio.
Begin by removing the right side rear panel, which covers the seatbelt retractor and roll bar mounting. Loosen the retaining screw with an 8mm wrench, but do not remove it (Figure 18). Remove the Phillips-head screw about halfway down the carpeted portion of the rear side panel, behind the passenger seat back (Figure 19). If you have a black interior, this screw is hard to see J. The panel can now be lifted out (Figure 20).
Insert the white plastic radio harness clip into the rectangular hole in the roll bar cross-brace, and rotate it 90 degrees to lock it into place (Figure 21). This clip will retain the rear end of the radio harness plug.
Remove the rubber insert from the passenger door sill storage tray and take out the two #20 Torx screws from the bottom of the tray (Figure 22). If you haven't disconnected the battery yet, now is the time to do it-the sensors for the side impact air bags are in the door sill. Work your fingers under the storage tray, and snap it out. It is held in place by four plastic clips, so it takes a good tug to get it out (Figure 23).
Remove the passenger side lower dash cover (Figure 24). It is held in place by two large plastic screws. Peel back the carpet along the top of the right bulkhead and front of the passenger side footwell. This part of the carpet is just glued in place with rubber cement.
Insert the two radio removal keys into the radio. The key slots are at the bottom corner of the radio on each side. The keys are marked to show how they should be inserted (Figure 25). The radio is a bit difficult to pull out, so you may want to insert screwdrivers to pull with-just be careful not to scratch anything with the screwdrivers tips (Figure 26). On second thought, a shop rag inserted in the hole each key would be safer to pull the radio out. After the radio is removed, push in on the blue radio lock tabs and withdraw the radio removal keys (Figure 27).
Now you are ready to run the radio cable from the rear of the car. Put a piece of shrink tubing on the loose ends, or tape them up to keep them from getting tangled while you push the wire through (Figure 28). Click the black connector into the white plastic harness clip on the roll bar cross-brace, and route the cable around the roll bar so it cannot become entangled with the seat belt retractor. Connect the speaker wiring harness plug to the radio harness connector. This connector allows easy removal of the storage compartment and speakers for access to the top of the engine.
Insert the cable into the rear end of the passenger door sill, and push it forward until you can reach it at the other end. Then pull it through, route it under the dash, and out through the radio opening. You can get better access for routing the cable by snapping off the carpeted trim piece on the passenger's side of the console (Figure 29).
If you have the CDR-220 radio head, assemble the speaker wires to the brown plug provided in the kit according to the directions. Both of the speaker ground wires are black, so you will need to determine which wires go together. You can do this with any small DC battery, such as a AA. Touch the green/black wire to one terminal of the battery, and the other terminal to one of the black ground wires. If it is the correct ground wire for that speaker, you will hear a "pop" or clicking noise from the speaker. Your correctly assembled plug should look like this (Figure 30). Note which end of the plug the locking clip is on to get the wires in the right places. If you are connecting to a different head unit, such as the basic radio, the brown plug will already be in place. In that case, just connect the wires as shown in the directions included with the kit.
Connect the brown plug to the middle socket in the back of the radio (Figure 31). Slide the radio back into place until the locks click, while gently pulling the cables back through the dash. If there is resistance, check to make sure that none of the cables are interfering, and adjust them out of they way.
Reconnect the battery and reset the radio code. Test the radio for correct functioning. You should now be able to fade and balance all of the speakers. If all is correct, replace all of the trim pieces, and reconnect the soft top tension cables and rear lower shroud clips.
This is a nice, inexpensive modification that makes driving the Boxster more enjoyable, especially with the top open. Enjoy your Porsche!
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Here are the pages from the original PCNA installation bulletin:
Steve Lee added:
On the Boxster rear speaker kit (PNA-986-kit), the speaker grill was an EXTREMELY tight fit into the little cubby hole spaces. I had to actually sand down the corners of the cubbyholes front panel (not the grill) for the grill to fit in there with reasonable force. Before the sanding, I could not get the grills to fit, even with very excessive force. I understand that you did not make this part and Porsche made this part. That's why this is just a comment and not a complaint. The rest of the installation went without a hitch. However, running the speaker wires through the passenger door sill was much more difficult than what Bob Tindel made it sound in his technical article. Nevertheless, Bob's technical article was true to word and the pictures were very helpful. The instructions that came with the part from Porsche is nearly useless if you are not a Porsche technician.
Thanks for excellent customer service (I called my order in instead of using online ordering) and price. I will surely buy from you when the need rises.
Wayne's response: We have recently found out that Porsche changed the speaker kit configuration to require a bit of modifying of the rear speaker housing in order to make a smooth fit into this housing.