New England Boxster TechFest: Winter 2006
8:45 - 9:15 Registration, seating, greetings:
The Bentley and RainyDayMagazine folks got there around 8 AM and had things all set by the time people started showing up around 9. Imagine having a garage and a lift like this at your disposal :-) Just think of the hacks one can do to the Boxster!!!
9:15 - 10:30 Service and maintenance:
The first thing some of us learned was a jacking point in the back of the Boxster... a triangular bracket directly behind the muffler.
Soheil Zendeh and Charles Burke took the lead and gave us an overview tour of the underside of the Boxster. They would take all the body panels off later for a more detail tour.
Soheil pointed out the locations of most of the major components. They lowered the Boxster and showed how to get at the engine.
A little bit of work later and the engine was exposed. They found the power steering fluid and the coolant were both a little low... fortunately they had the proper fluids on hand and were able to top them off.:-)
The Bentley guys also removed the panel behind the seats and showed where the main belt which threaded it way around the various pulleys in the engine.
After the tour of the engine, they removed the panels under the Boxster and gave a more detailed tour of the undercarriage.
It was definitely interesting to get a close-up guided tour of the all the major systems of the Boxster from the folks that had take one apart :-)
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee break
During the break, one of the attendee (Jon) shared with us his trick of getting oil moving around the engine after storing it for the Winter without actually starting the car.
10:45 - 11:45 Brake pad replacement:
The Bentley folks also gave a demonstration on replacing both the brake pads and the rotors.
One of the great trick was using a coat hanger to hang the caliper on the spring when removed from the brake assembly. It was not recommended to just let the caliper hang by the hydralic cable!
Here was one of the new Zimmerman rotors from Pelican Parts being installed. It was a little strange to realize that the rotor was held in place by only two screws... and the five wheel bolts :-)
Once the new pads and rotors have been installed, the new brake sensors were inserted, and the rest of the brake system reassembled. The Bentley folks replaced both left and right rotors/pads in less than an hour. We'll saved the rear for the RainyDayGarage folks for the Spring.
11:45 - 12:30 Transmission removal and RMS replacement:
Soheil Zendeh gave us a great Tech Talk on the steps involved in removing the transmission and replacing the Rear Main Seal.
It was pretty amazing just how much of the Boxster's structural components had to be removed to get at the transmission! This is definitely NOT a job we would attempt ourselves.
It was also interesting to hear the discussions from various owners on their experiences with RMS leaks and the theories on the cause. One thing we learned from the talk was that the seal was only spec'ed to be replaced twice per engine. Most agreed that eventually this part will leak due to a structural design flaw in how the manual transmission was supported (or lack there of) in the Boxster.
12:30 - 1:00 Carputer /iPod Drive and Play installation:
Wan Chi Lau from RainyDayMagazine gave a brief talk on Harman Kardon's Drive+Play iPod controller.
As explained in the presentation, one of the main benefits of the Drive+Play was the separation of display and the controller... allowing for the best placement of each component based on the user's preference.
Wan assembled one out of the box showing folks how easy it was to put one together. They were also able to see one installed in the Boxster.
Folks were able to take a close-up look of the unit and see first hand the quality of the components.
1:00 - 2:00 Lunch, raffle, book sales, social hour:
We realized it was 1PM and we were HUNGRY. We pulled ourselves away from the garage and helped ourselves to some great pizza. It was a fantastic gathering and we really enjoyed meeting all the wonderful New England RainyDayMagazine and PPBB folks!
Coffee, breakfast foods and lunch provided courtesy of Bentley Publishers.