Porsche 996 Carpet Replacement

Keeping mind my past experience with a carpet swap in a BMW E30 some years ago, I finally found a good replacement for the carpet in the 996 and, uttering those infamous words “how hard could it be”, set off to do the carpet swap last weekend.  If you’re curious how much of your interior you have to remove to do this swap, here’s your answer: almost all of it.

Pelican parts has an excellent DIY write-up which I won’t duplicate here, but do have a couple of helpful pointers for those who endeavor to follow.  Here are the key lessons learned from my experience:

  1. Just cut. Follow the Pelican Parts top tip and just cut the new one in half down the middle (under the center console.) I didn’t do that, and it would have made it a whole lot easier to maneuver into position in the passenger footwell.  You might have to use some extra contact cement along the center tunnel since the two halves aren’t held together any more, but it is totally worth it in reduced aggravation. And you won’t have to remove the shifter cables from the shifter or the e-brake handle mechanism from the tunnel.
  2. Give yourself the weekend. The two hour estimate is off by a factor of 5 (maybe 10.) It took me 2 hours just to remove the accelerator pedal (and I’ve done that before.)
  3. Bend don’t remove side panels. To release the rear corner of the carpet on each side, you have to remove the rear-seat side panels from their lower catches.  You don’t need to remove the entire panel, just carefully bend the panel as you pull up and you can free it from the slots in the carpet and have enough room to maneuver the new one into place when the time comes.
  4. Frustration ahead.  The accelerator pedal can be a bear to remove and reinstall. To remove, take out the set screw, pull forward by the top (what looks like an old cell phone antenna housing) to release the top catch, then slide up to release the cleat. Expect buckets of frustration when you try to put it back.  It’s easier to do if you do put it back before you reinstall the seats.
  5. Don’t turn the key. Once you disconnect the electrical connections to the seats, you will get an airbag light if you turn the key to the on position (to roll down a window, for example). If you have a reset tool like the Schwaben Professional Scanner (with the right Porsche software module from Foxwell) you can reset it yourself. Otherwise you’re heading to the Dealer and pleading for them not to charge you for the reset.

The photo above will help you visualize what’s going on with the accelerator pedal module. When you remove it, you pull out to release the round peg, then pull up to release the square-ish cleat. To install, slide the cleat in first, then push down and forward to lock the peg. Secure with the screw. Or better yet, upgrade the whole thing to a fully adjustable throttle assembly (though that probably means cutting your new carpet….)

You also learn interesting things by tearing apart your interior, like how unnecessarily complex the center console design really is or that there is in fact a coin tray in the console box (which you have to remove by carefully prying the top to get to one of the screws).

 

Hand Brake Handle DIY

Sometimes a part comes along that you just want to have. The CravenSpeed Hand Brake Handle is one of those. It won’t make you any faster; it won’t save any weight; you don’t NEED it. But once you pick one up, you will WANT it. Installation takes about 10 minutes using common hand tools. Installation is very easy:

  • Set the parking brake, and use a pry tool to remove the end cap. (You can use a screw-driver but you risk scratching the cap. If you never plan to re-use it, go ahead, otherwise, get a pry tool.)
  • Push in on the back of the brake boot to free the frame from the console, and then pull the boot over the handle to expose the zip-tie. Cut the zip-tie and remove the boot.
  • Use a screw-driver to pry the tab and remove the old handle.
  • Fit the new handle with the set-holes facing up. Insert and tighten the set-screws with the included 1/16 inch hex key.
  • Put the boot back on and use the included zip-tie to attach it to the handle. Trim the excess of the zip-tie.
  • Pull the boot back over the handle and set the frame back into the console. Set the front first, then pinch the back until it slides into place.
  • Slip the three rubber grip rings into place.
  • Sit back, grab a cold brew, and enjoy. You’re handy now!

Stock HandlePry carefullyCut Zip TiePry hereSet ScrewsZip tie bootAll done

Porsche Front Bumper Mesh DIY

As we’ve shown on this site before, the front mounted radiators of the 996 collect all kinds of debris over time. We bought this kit from Rennline many months ago, but never got around to putting it on. Since we had the bumper cover off this weekend for some other work, we thought we’d try it out (and clean out the debris again).
Remove the bumper cover
The install process is fairly easy. The hardest part is getting to all of the appropriate screws to remove the bumper cover. Put your car on jack stands and remove the front wheels. Start by removing the screws under the cover-plate for the trunk release. Pop out the side-markers and remove the two screws there. Pop the two closest quick-releases to the side markers, and remove the screw that mounts up into the side-marker. Shift to the bottom of the bumper cover. Remove the five torx screws. The cover should slide forward and off of the bumper.
Inside of bumper cover
We’ll be working from the back side of the bumper cover to install the grilles. We don’t have a third radiator in the middle of our bumper. There’s a blanking plate that covers this space. You could remove the plate to add a grille, but we just skipped that step. The grill is included in the kit.
Fit the grilles
Fit the grilles and bend them to conform to the shape of the openings. Use the screws included to the kit to attach the grilles, taking care not to screw anywhere that would be visible from the front. Because the grilles fit between the black housing and the rubber radiator ducts, it takes some finesse to get the bumper cover back in place when finished, just be patient and work both sides evenly.
finished grille
When finished, it’s a very clean look. But would I still buy the kit today if I had a choice? Probably not.Finished Grilles
These grilles are pricey for what you get. If I were doing it again, I would just buy some Gutter Guard at home depot and some short, sell tapping screws. When you buy this kit, you’re really just buying time. How much time would it take you to figure out the right shape, bend and cut the raw material, then figure out where best to attach it. The shape isn’t that complex and the grilles are sandwiched between the bumper cover and radiator housings anyway so they don’t need to be that secure. Save your money and try it the Home Depot way first. If you fail, you’re only out $5. If you succeed, you just saved $270.

MINI Scoop Grille DIY

Here’s another easy DIY brought to you by Home Depot Racing. If you notice that you’re picking up a lot of debris (klag, cigarette butts, rocks, etc.) then you might want to consider adding a grille between the scoop and the air duct plate that attaches to the underside of the bonnet. That’s the easy way: Just remove your scoop, trace the opening on cardboard, cut the grille to be just a bit larger, and then trap it between the back of the scoop and the forward edge of the air duct. But if you’ve removed the air duct, then it’s just a bit more complicated. But I’m ahead of myself. Start at the beginning.
Make template
Go to Home Depot, and get some Gutter Guard material, and a set of heavy-duty wire cutters or tin snips. You’ll also need some cardboard to make a template and some masking tape to transfer the template to the gutter guard material. If you still have the stock air duct on the underside of you bonnet, follow the instructions above. If you have removed the air duct, you’ll need a different method to attach the grille. For this you’ll need some stainless steel fine wire, an electric drill, and a small drill bit.
tie it off
For this method, you want to cut the grille from the raw stock to be about 1/4 of an inch larger than the cardboard cutout you made so you can bend the material around the back edges of the scoop and have enough material to catch with the wire. Drill 8-10 holes at various locations on the scoop about 1/8 of an inch from the back edge. Cut a 4 inch piece of stainless steel wire for each hole. Carefully feed the wire through each hole and loop through the grille, twisting until tight. Bend the excess wire out of the way.
finished grille
You can still see the stainless steel wire twists from the front. I though about painting them flat black, but they really aren’t that noticeable, and besides, if I can see them, then they’re still there.