Last year we introduced you to our newest project car, called simply "Project Boxster Clubsport". In that first installment we found the right car, we purchased it for a song, and since then we've been slowly removing weight from it and installing a few upgrades. So far, we're really happy with what the Boxster has become, but things came to a halt recently and sent us back to the drawing board. It's an excellent Porsche, and we aim to make it just a little bit more excellent with each improvement.
Before we get started we would need to thank Michelin. As many of you know, Michelin is a long-time sponsor of FLATSIXES.com. Recently, they have generously offered to sponsor Project Boxster Clubsport as part of their involvement with our site. Please consider checking out what Michelin has to offer by clicking their banners on this page. Without Michelin's support, and others like them, this site really wouldn't be possible.
Part 15 - Installing A "Non-Smoker Kit"
This is a very simple modification that can be done to any 986 or 996 generation Boxster or 911, and while it only takes a few minutes to accomplish, it is one of the most worthwhile modifications you can do for comparably little money. The ashtray in most early watercoolers often goes unused for the life of the car, as smoking is rapidly on the decline worldwide, and yet they still always end up with broken hinges and don't sit centered anymore, as was the case with ours. Instead of replacing the ashtray with another ashtray that would go unused and eventually break, we decided to do the permanent fix and install the Non-Smoker package that Porsche offered. The parts are all Genuine Porsche and can be purchased quickly and easily from any dealership or Porsche parts house (part numbers listed below).
Step 1 - Remove The Ashtray
As you can see, our old ashtray was broken, and unfortunately it has been like this for years. It's finally time to do something about it. Begin by lifting the old ashtray unit up and out of the console. It was always removable for easy cleaning, so just lift up and it comes right out.
Step 2 - Remove The Surround
Once the ashtray is out, you'll see two small torx bit expansion screws below that hold the surround into the console. The screws may be slightly tricky to get out, as they are made of plastic and may have become stripped over the years. If this is the case, try prying upward on the expansion screw with a small flathead screwdriver to create pressure on the threads. Once these screws are removed, the surround should lift up and out of the console opening. The window switches and seat heater switches (if so equipped) are press fit into the reverse side of the surround, and you may need that same flathead screwdriver to help pry them out. In our early Boxster with very few options, there are switch blank plates that pry out the same way (shown below).
Step 3 - Installation
At this point you'll simply reinstall the switches or blanking plates into the new surround, and insert it into the console opening.
It's probably a good idea to get new expansion screws, because they're only a few dollars, and install those in the holes in the bottom of the unit. Don't tighten them too much, or you'll have that stripped plastic screw problem again for the next time. After that, you simply slide the little rubber mat down into the recess, and you're ready to roll.
This project only took about five minutes, and was well worth it. This new piece in the console makes the car look much better finished, and relieves me of a broken piece that I can now stop fretting about. I'm not a smoker, and I've never needed an ashtray. This little cubby hole is perfect for my cell phone, or my wallet, or even the change from my drive-thru morning coffee. Enjoy!
Non-Smoker Kit Installation Costs
Console Shelf (Black/Grey Textured 996-552-096-00-B12) - $23.00 (New - Stoddard.com)
Rubber Pad Insert (996-552-596-00) - $9.00 (New - Stoddard.com)
Expanding Plastic Screw (999-591-941-40) - $1.00 each (New - Stoddard.com)
Total Cost - $34.00
In case you need them, extra button blanks are 996-552-425-00-a01.
The console shelf is also available in the following colors:
Metal Grey - 996-552-096-01-c02
Granite Grey - 996-552-096-01-d05
Gloss Black - 996-552-096-01-a03