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Porsche Child Seat Installation

Pelican Technical Article:

Porsche Child Seat Installation


1 hr






Torx socket set

Applicable Models:

Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)

Parts Required:

Air bag deactivation bar

Hot Tip:

If you're planning on installing the on-board computer, have the dealer activate that at the same time

Performance Gain:

Ability to take your driver-in-training along

Complementary Modification:

Add on-board computer
101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster. The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

One of the first projects I performed on my Boxster was the installation of the Porsche factory airbag deactivation bar, so that I could take my 3-year old son along for rides. If you're not familiar with the process of preparing the car so that you can disable the airbag, it can be very confusing. In reality, it's very easy to do, as I explain here.

The "deactivation bar" is nothing more than a metal bar that holds a buckle attached to the bottom of the passenger seat (PN: 996-803-083-02). The kit from Porsche comes complete with the bar/buckle assembly, and two longer bolts that replace the existing bolts which fasten the passenger seat to the chassis. This new buckle contains an electrical switch that connects to a plug under the passenger seat. All of the Porsche factory child seats have a seat belt receptacle that plugs into this buckle. When this belt is plugged in, the electrical switch is activated, and it tells the airbag computer to shut off the air bag in the car.

Installation is a snap. Simply remove the two Torx bolts that hold the seat to the chassis, slide in the bar, and then install the new bolts to reattach the bar and seat assembly. Refer to Photo 2 for the proper orientation of the buckle (it is possible to install it upside down). Plug in the connector to the empty connection under the seat. The last step is that you need to have the "Child seat occupancy" turned on by using the factory Porsche System Tester 2 (PST2), which you can typically only find at the Porsche dealers. Some dealers will charge for performing this task, others will do it for free. It takes about five minutes total to set.

The problem with this airbag deactivation system is that it only works with Porsche factory child seats, as they are the only ones that come with the special buckle attached. For my own application, I did not use a Porsche factory seat, but instead used a different seat, and attached the buckle from a factory seat to the bottom of my seat. I got this buckle from an old factory seat that a friend of mine had that was too big for my 3-year old. In the same manner as the factory seat, I attach and plug in the buckle when I install the child seat into the car. I then confirm that the airbag is disabled by checking the light on the dash (see Figure 1). I have not been able to locate this buckle or receptacle separately, but the TRW part numbers are: 33000311 35 06 / 99680328302 for the buckle, and 56030A (part number on metal) / 7670842 (part number on plastic).  See also the Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) on this installation here.

Airbags are life-saving devices, however they can be deadly to small children. Regardless of how you install your child seat into the car, exercise extreme caution and always check that the airbag is disabled (via the blinking lamp on the dash: see Figure 2) prior to driving the car. For more information see also Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 15/98 6923 Porsche Child Restraint System - Installation (dated 3-7-2000).

For 2005 and later cars, Porsche used a similar, but slightly more complicated system. Dubbed the "Child Seat Fastener System", the kit includes fastening loops and lower anchorage points for mounting between the seat surface and backrest, as well as a key switch for deactivation of the passenger side air bag (PN: 997-044-800-15). Starting with 2006, the Boxster seats have a "weight sensing" system that is supposed to turn off the airbag if there isn't an adult sitting in the seat. But, these can be less-than-reliable when the weight of a car seat is added into the equation: I recommend installing the air bag deactivation key switch. See the website for more information and installation instructions.

This photo shows the Porsche airbag deactivation bar.
Figure 1

This photo shows the Porsche airbag deactivation bar. This part is simply a metal bar with a seat belt receptacle attached. Porsche branded child seats come with a buckle attached to the front of the seat (upper right inset). This buckle piece (yellow arrow) mates with the receptacle attached to the bar (red arrow) and activates an electrical switch that turns off the airbag. The electrical connector (blue arrow) needs to be mated with an open connector that is located beneath the passenger seat. When the buckle is plugged in, the airbag lamp on the dashboard will blink repeatedly for 10 seconds or 60 seconds (cars manufactured after 03/31/1999) to inform you that the passenger side airbag is properly disabled.

This photo shows the airbag deactivation bar installed in the passenger seat.
Figure 2

This photo shows the airbag deactivation bar installed in the passenger seat. Note the direction of the plastic clips on the buckle (green arrow). New, longer mounting screws for the seats come with the bar kit, as the bar is attached to the top of the seat mount (blue arrows). The electrical connection for the airbag is located under the seat (lower right photo).

Shown here is the Porsche factory System Tester 2.
Figure 3

Shown here is the Porsche factory System Tester 2. This computer needs to be plugged into your car to turn on the "Child seat occupancy" setting in the airbag computer of the Boxster. I'm not sure why this wasn't turned on by default, but most dealers will perform this 5-minute task for free or for a nominal charge.

Comments and Suggestions:
Steve Comments: I have a problem with my parking sensors, they are being overridden by the saet belt warning buzzer. When I select reverse the seat belt warning sounds and the parking sensors do noy work. Can you suggest a reason/cure?
Regards, Steve
June 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What kind of vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
SU986sECE Comments: I found a dog leash that clips into a normal seat belt works just fine if modified with a dremel to look like the buckle in figure 1. Mine is used with a booster seat so the buckle does not see any loads, just tell computer the child seat is installed.
May 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your tip and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Carlos Comments: Question: I'm going to try and build a switch that emulates the Porsche airbag deactivation bar as I will occasionally need to pick up my grandson from day care in my 986 and that part is out of production.

In another thread IN Pelican was nice enough to publish a wiring diagram of how the device works. I plan to build it with a switch instead of the buckle.

Does Pelican sell the plug that fits into the socket for the child seat connection under the seat, or can you provide a part#?
April 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check with Pelican Parts via phone. I don't know much about this one.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Carlos Comments: I believe these parts are out of production, and in any case even if you could find a used seat it would be a decade old.

Have you looked at a device sold on eBay that is a toggle switch that plugs into the outlet under the seat? It seems to emulate the operation of the Porsche seat once the system is programmed.

I'm wondering if a Porsche dealer would activate it?

October 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any experience with that part. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
bobatious Comments: I investigated and answered my question above, about Durametric software and coding for child seat on 986: unfortunately no version of Durametric can do this for the early Boxster. Does not matter whether "Enthusiast" or "Professional" version is used.

Measuring the resistance of the connector of my child seat adapter with seat-belt tab out and in, respectively, yields roughly 2.2 kOhms and 220 ohms, respectively. This suggests why a code is necessary, to enable or disable sensitivity to this change, as opposed to making the not-buckled state be the same as no connection at all. If the latter were true, no coding would be needed.

For what its worth, PCIS terminology for this coding is property "Child Seat Occupancy" where possible values are "Not Active" or "Active".
March 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
bobatious Comments: Would be useful to add reference to how to activate/disactive the child seat occupancy with Durametric software also.
March 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback, I will see if I can have that info added. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MPAF1000 Comments: How do I make an import 996 cab legal in NSW? I need to fit the necessary child seat holding kit for it. Do the UK cars have the loops or bolts needed to fix a child seat or is there anywhere I can buy them? Any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
April 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know. I would check with your local motor vehicle registry. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
walt2810 Comments: There is one on the for sale, also check craiglist in Los Angeles - saw one for sale recently. good luck
September 21, 2011
danrowland Comments: I need to find a used baby seat for 2 to 6 year olds
August 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yup, Porsche doesn't make these anymore. I would check eBay, or simply put a WANTED ad in our classifieds section of the Pelican Parts Forums. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
leeclanual Comments: Can someone give me the part number for the two bolts that are used to hold the deactivation bar in place?
June 16, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The part number for the 1997-04 Boxster and 98-2005 996 is 999-073-023-08, and it's an M10x35 Torx bolt. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 1/17/2018 02:13:35 AM