James Mcgrath Minneapolis, USA
As I write this month’s column, my 996 is on the back of a flatbed truck on its way to Porsche Minneapolis. My replacement transmission arrived over the New Year, but it took a little longer to source a replacement engine. The ‘new’ 3.6-litre flat six 996.2 engine arrived just a few days ago though and so now the car is off to get its guts replaced. But this story is for another day because it’s still in the making.
Keeping me busy this month has been another mod though, as the days and hours inched further forward to the delivery of my replacement engine. Like in my 991 where I went for red, in my 996 I’ve been adding several blue accents to tie in with its new exterior colour. Last month’s column previewed my new blue seat belts that pop nicely against the black interior and so this month it’s a matching blue tach face for the instrument cluster.
This job was fun from end to end. I used the factory black tach face to design this blue replica. The faces for the 996 and 986 models are a lot easier to replicate than the more intricate versions made for the 991, 981, 718 and so on. The surface area is smaller, the font is slightly bigger and there are only one or two translucent icons in the middle of the face as opposed to the selection box variety in the newer instrument clusters. You pop off two trim pieces, remove a couple of screws and then pry off the unit after unplugging several wires.
Once you’ve managed to get the instrument cluster off the dash, it’s simply a case of removing another couple of screws and fasteners around the rear of the unit and then you have direct access to the gauge faces.
Overall, the job is easier than the 991 or 718 due to the instrument cluster’s position ‘on’ top of the dashboard as opposed to integrated ‘in’ the dashboard. For anyone wanting to do something similar, you can find the DIY installation video on my Youtube channel. Overall, I would give it a 6/10 on the difficulty scale. But enough with the window dressing… on to the engine. I can’t wait to get this baby back on the road!