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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I was driving my 987 Cayman S Saturday night and as I was shifting form second to third my shift cable broke, I knew before hand that this was a common issue on these cars. When it happened I did a search and found plenty of stories of this happening, but no definitive answers, so thats why I am now posting my experience from an objective view point to help anyone else out there.

Symptoms: The car was in second gear and the shifter could freely move forward and backward but not side to side. regardless of clutch position.

Price to fix: around $400 for the cable and 4 hours of labour at $100 an hour. Total bill was just under $800. I'm a DIY person, but I did not want to remove the centre console from my car nor did I want to lower the transmission. Much easier to spend $400 on labour than attempt it myself.

I went with an OEM cable, I briefly looked into the Numeric cable but I heard that it would make the shifter feel quite heavy and I did not want to ruin the feel of my street car.

If you want a short shifter, this is a great opportunity to fit one, as it should only add 0.5 hours to the labour (if not no difference at all).

On a side note, this was the night before Atlanta's Caffeine and Exotics event of which I had a space reserved for my car. I would have gone anyway but the experience of waiting for a tow truck and then getting it towed meant that I didnt get home until 1am, didnt exacly feel like getting up early the next morning. Unfortunetly, my facebook news feed the next morning was filled with photo's of a 918 Spyder that unexpectedly dropped in on the event :wall: hopefully it will show up next month.
 

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We need to start a thread for everyone with a broken shifter cable... to list their car's year and mileage.

If we build a list of how many cars have broken shifter cable maybe we can each present it to Porsche dealers when ours breaks and demand some-kind of good will? Or at least get a running count on how many we've had so far and at what miles?
 

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I went with an OEM cable, I briefly looked into the Numeric cable but I heard that it would make the shifter feel quite heavy and I did not want to ruin the feel of my street car.
Unclear where you heard that. The Numeric cables add a more positive and mechanical feel to the shifter with no added effort/heaviness. The cables CAN transmit a bit more noise inside the cabin if the grommet isn't installed correctly through the firewall. I had a short shifter but went back to standard due to occasional track use. When you're flying through the gears, the added throw in all directions of the stock unit removes doubt which gear you've selected. The short shifter adds heaviness to the feel, especially when the oil in the transmission is cold. They even tell you that in the short-shifter product description on Suncoast.
 

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I'm a DIY person, but I did not want to remove the centre console from my car nor did I want to lower the transmission. Much easier to spend $400 on labour than attempt it myself.

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Why does the transmission need to be lowered?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Markstudy, 2008, 73K miles

Bofus, thats what I was told by the shop who fitted it. they didnt seem to be biased either way though. I have read some P9 threads since then and I have begun to regret my choice to go with OEM,

Trev450, I scrolled through some DIY articles on the subject and one of them mentioned that it might need to be lowered, not disconnected but the engine and tranny mounts lowered. Is that incorrect?
 

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Trev450, I scrolled through some DIY articles on the subject and one of them mentioned that it might need to be lowered, not disconnected but the engine and tranny mounts lowered. Is that incorrect?
I don't know, that's why I was asking.:hilarious:
 

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Just did this job myself. The transmission certainly does not need to be lowered. Access is difficult on the left side of the transmission, but it can be done.
 

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We need to start a thread for everyone with a broken shifter cable... to list their car's year and mileage.

If we build a list of how many cars have broken shifter cable maybe we can each present it to Porsche dealers when ours breaks and demand some-kind of good will? Or at least get a running count on how many we've had so far and at what miles?
Mine broke on Friday, April 3. I was approaching a red light in 3rd gear and pushed in the clutch and pushed the lever to neutral and then let out the clutch at which point the car promptly died because it was still in 3rd gear not neutral. I babied the car to a safe place and used the Porsche Roadside Assistance to have it towed (flatbed) to the dealer for repair. I did not want to tear up the clutch driving it too far. All covered by warranty.

I agree we need a thread to track these.

My data point: 2012 987.2 Cayman S, 26,000 miles, April 3, 2015.

SA said this is a weak point on purpose to protect other components from whatever - like a mechanical fuse. I don't buy that explanation.
 

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^^^^ At least you have a back-up Porsche, and a 911 at that ^^^ :)
 

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My cable broke/came loose this morning. I had new OEM cables installed a little over two years ago by the dealer along with a SSK (Porsche) after the cables coming loose several times at the transmission. I knew immediately what had happened when the lever shifted from 3-4 too easily, but to my surprise the cable ends were still attached at the transmission. This means the cable has come loose at the shift lever end, requiring removal of the console. I'm probably going to install an Agency Power (no affiliation) cable end to hopefully fix this problem. I've removed the console twice before but I almost think I'd rather remove the trans again instead. I just replaced the clutch so I know how to do the transmission R&R. I cannot in any way see how my new clutch installation could have cause the cable to come loose at the shifter though.
 

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sorry if its not my place to chime in since i own a tip but i would recommend gathering data for class action. even if it fails or deemed "wear and tear item", let it be known as it is extremely dangerous while driving. in my lifetime in owning many different sportscars and bikes, i have never had a shifter cable break or replaced. thats with well over 150-200k miles on the clock minus the bikes of course. porsche needs to own up with many quality and quirky issues for charging a premium for these cars - IMS, AOS, water pump, visors, cupholders, interior peeling etc. i understand that these are not older cars as it kills me sometimes to read up on some of the user stories. i feel the your pain especially what parts and labor costs nowadays.
 

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I'm really not happy with the OEM parts. This is my second set of OEM cables, four years old last August, and the break occurred where they almost always do, where the left cable rod attaches to the cable at the transmission end. It looks too small to handle the strain over time, and I don't abuse my car, never "speed shift" or dump the clutch, gave that up around age 19 or so.
 

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I've just been 'cabled' .. sure is a deflating experience. I'm now sitting here reading about the large group that I'm now a member of and wondering which stack of hundreds I really don't need.

'grrrr'
 

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You have two basic choices, either replace with stock cables or go with Numeric. I had two sets of stock cables on my '06, and at 84,000 miles the second set broke, so i went with Numeric, and I'm happy I did. The stock design on the 987.1 is bad, routes the cable in such a way that the end WILL break at some point, probably depending on the number of shifts it makes. It has happened so many times to the same cable breaking at the same spot that there is no doubt as to what happens.

Numeric cables don't cost much more than OEM, and have a lifetime guarantee, which OEM do not. My second set was installed with a two year warranty and broke after about 3 years. OTOH, if you don't plan to keep the car that long and don't drive it a lot, plus you don't care what happens to it after you divest yourself of it, then by all means replace with stock cables, they PROBABLY won't break while you have the car.
 

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I've been driving fast cars including Lotus, Ferrari, Lamborghini etc since i got my driving license over 45 years ago and i've never had loss of gear change on any car, let alone a high performance car.

For me, there is enough people complaining of broken cables to indicate that there might be an issue in the cable design and Porsche should be looking into it (if they aren't already).

I've spoken to various OPC mechanics during services and i get the impression this is not an uncommon fault. The last thing anyone one wants is for a cable to go whilst overtaking. The prospect of no 'drive' whilst in the wrong lane overtaking with a closing speed of 140mph with oncoming traffic gives me more than enough pause for thought!

I personally want to have confidence in my Porsche so that i can enjoy the driving experience - i don't want that niggle in the back of my mind that i might get a failure at any time even on a low mileage vehicle. I would be interested to hear what the official line is in Germany.

I know there are some who have the view that this is 'whining' or 'if you don't like it buy something else'. I don't share that view. This is a safety item just as important as brakes and i don't want the responsibility for killing either myself or someone else for the sake of a few dollars worth of cable. The response 'if you don't like it buy something else' doesn't work for me - i could be in 'something else' coming in the opposite direction to someone driving their Porsche with this problem.

At the very least, Porsche should comment on this potential problem considering the number of posts about this on various Porsche forums. I would like to think that Porsche care enough about their customers (and reputation) that they can come clean if they have a problem without having to resort to legal action, as others have suggested. They must know how many replacement cables they have sold worldwide and while this may not include those replaced with aftermarket cables, at least it would be a start in getting a feel for how big a problem this is.
 

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Some good points raised here and not without justification. And while I'm in agreeance that Porsche should acknowledge this as an ongoing issue, I fear they will treat it with the same level of disregard that they have for water pump failures, d chunks, etc, etc.
 

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Yes, no difference from the IMS failures, except that a class action lawsuit finally brought some relief for at least some owners. I think Porsche considers the cables a "wear item."
 

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I've been driving fast cars including Lotus, Ferrari, Lamborghini etc since i got my driving license over 45 years ago and i've never had loss of gear change on any car, let alone a high performance car.

For me, there is enough people complaining of broken cables to indicate that there might be an issue in the cable design and Porsche should be looking into it (if they aren't already).

I've spoken to various OPC mechanics during services and i get the impression this is not an uncommon fault. The last thing anyone one wants is for a cable to go whilst overtaking. The prospect of no 'drive' whilst in the wrong lane overtaking with a closing speed of 140mph with oncoming traffic gives me more than enough pause for thought!

I personally want to have confidence in my Porsche so that i can enjoy the driving experience - i don't want that niggle in the back of my mind that i might get a failure at any time even on a low mileage vehicle. I would be interested to hear what the official line is in Germany.

I know there are some who have the view that this is 'whining' or 'if you don't like it buy something else'. I don't share that view. This is a safety item just as important as brakes and i don't want the responsibility for killing either myself or someone else for the sake of a few dollars worth of cable. The response 'if you don't like it buy something else' doesn't work for me - i could be in 'something else' coming in the opposite direction to someone driving their Porsche with this problem.

At the very least, Porsche should comment on this potential problem considering the number of posts about this on various Porsche forums. I would like to think that Porsche care enough about their customers (and reputation) that they can come clean if they have a problem without having to resort to legal action, as others have suggested. They must know how many replacement cables they have sold worldwide and while this may not include those replaced with aftermarket cables, at least it would be a start in getting a feel for how big a problem this is.
There has not been any activity in this thread for quite a while - maybe that means the issue is resolved for most (as in they have already done the replacement). I have a 2011 Cayman base with 31K miles on it and the cable snapped on July 27, 2018. I just removed the console to prep for the replacement which I'm not looking forward to doing but that's how it goes. I have owned a Lotus in the past and never had the feeling that car was going to leave me stranded but I don't have that confidence in the Porsche even though I meticulously maintain the car. Something always seems to need repair and I don't track the car. The cable seems under-designed, the actual cable is very small and apparently is subjected to harsh bends that cause the wear. Mine did not break at either end, it broke about a foot from the transmission.
 

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Most, like mine, break right at the connector on the transmission. It is a known problem but Porsche has refused, AFAIK, to make good on any repairs out of warranty. They have supposedly made an improved cable, and I verified that the ones on my 981 are different from the 987, I haven't seen any 981 breakages yet either. I paid the dealer to replace the first broken one with an identical set, mostly out of ignorance, but the second break prompted me to replace with Numeric cables. It wasn't that bad a swap, and I had just replaced the clutch a couple of weeks before the break, which really irked me but running them over the engine was no big deal, I did it all solo but having a helper would definitely speed things up. I guess a class action lawsuit would be the only way to get relief, and with the 987's seven years out of production I'm guessing that isn't going to happen now. I wish it would, I have documentation for both repairs and could recoup a lot of money.
 

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Are you going with OEM cables or Numerics? I did the Numerics install on my 2009 myself. The job isn't really that hard. As everyone will tell you, the hardest part is getting the rear left connection done. The trick is getting the cable routed correctly over the engine and connected to the transmission bracket. I did this from above (but tightened with the special wrench from below). Make sure you get the special wrench if you go this way. It makes life much simpler. Let me know if you have any problems.
 
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