Published in the January 2017 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”

Ⓒ2016 Technolab /

Even though the early 986 Boxsters (‘97 - ‘04) shared up to 60% of its parts with the Carrera 996 (‘99 - ‘04) there were a few obvious missing pieces in the Boxster (and then Cayman) that the Carrera had.

Aside from the bigger and more powerful engine, the instrument cluster from the Carrera was abridged and offered in the Boxster and then in the Cayman (’06+).

As you can see in the image, the 996 (top) and 986 (bottom) instrument clusters are identical in physical size and appearance but the 996 has 2 additional gauges, one at each end, where the 986 has a blank space.

They both share the tachometer (RPM counter) in the center, to its left is the speedometer and to its right, a combo gauge which shows coolant temperature and gas level.

What the 986 is missing is a volt-meter gauge (extreme left) and an oil pressure gauge (extreme right).  Both gauges are very important, especially for a sport car driver who wants to be informed of his engine’s status.

If you have a first or second generation Boxster or Cayman which is missing these gauges there is good news!  You can easily add them to your car while maintaining a “factory” look.

Use one of the empty cubby spaces in your upper center console to install up to 3 gauges side-by-side.

Since my car’s main gauges have white faces and black bezels I matched the look to the new ones I installed in the center console.

In my particular case, because I track my car regularly, I opted for an oil temperature gauge (center) and 2 oil pressure gauges, one on each side.  The left one is for the engine’s operating oil pressure, the right one is for the Accusump’s operating pressure.

But you may be asking, what about the volt gauge?

I had taken care of that one a long time ago by adding a digital volt-meter on my fusebox cover, which I can see through the steering wheel.

Some of the gauges are very easy to install and require no drilling or tapping, such as voltage and oil pressure.

For the voltage, two wires (red and black) connect to the 12 volt outlet’s red and black wires.

For the oil pressure, Porsche provided a port right on the engine, where you remove a factory plug and replace with an adapter where the temperature sensor screws into.  One side of the sensor goes to ground and just one wire goes to the gauge in the dash. 

Depending on your needs, there are many gauges that can be installed, such as: Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, Coolant Temp, Transmission Temp, Voltage, Stoichiometric Point, Vacuum Boost, Nitrous Pressure, Exhaust Gas Temp, etc.  They can have white, black or silver face with a black, aluminum or chrome bezel.

If you’d like a digital volt meter, like mine, it’s also just 2 wires (ground and positive)  It’s that simple, so go on and gauge it!

For more information on gauges and more, please visit my website:  


Happy Porsche'ing,