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[h=2]Wednesday, February 18, 2015[/h] [h=3]Installing A Center Radiator On Your 981 Boxster/Cayman - Part 1: Face/Off - Removing Your Front Bumper[/h]


For most 981 Boxsters and Caymans, the stock cooling system is adequate enough for day to day use with the occasional romp on the loud pedal.

However, if you have a highly modified 981, live in hot climates, or like to take your car out for track days or otherwise extended "fun" driving sessions, you might find your coolant temperatures going up to a level that's too close for comfort.

The stock radiators are two units located on the left and right side of the car, and by adding an additional 3rd radiator to the center of the bumper, you increase your cooling capacity and ability (as well as extra peace of mind in hot weather).

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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]The stock side radiators on the left and right sides of the bumper. Also: rock and twig magnets.[/TD]
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Before you can get to installing a third radiator though, you first have to get that bumper off, which might seem like a painstaking process at first, but as long as you know where everything is, it shouldn't be that difficult. Like many of our installations, having access to a lift is always nice but not necessary, and you might want to have someone to help you when it comes time to actually remove the bumper.

Our Cayman came equipped with Porsche's adaptive cruise control system, which puts a radar sensor in the center of the bumper's center opening, which provides some additional challenges that will be addressed later.
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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]The Eye of Sauron sees all.[/TD]
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The first step (asides from emptying out your frunk), is to remove the four black plastic covers from the front of the car that tidies up the area underneath the hood.

All of the covers are only held in via clips, and can be just pulled off with firm tugs. Take care to only pull straight up though, as it is possible for the clips to fall off or get damaged. We've already shown you how to remove the largest plastic cover that hides the strut towers, battery, etc in the 991 strut tower bar installation entry (it's the same process for the 981), and the other three are also removed via the same method.

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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]After removing the main cover, pull off the covers on the sides, as well as the one near the hood latch.[/TD]
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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]Once the covers are removed, you'll be left with this.[/TD]
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We also opted to remove the headlights. While perhaps not totally necessary to do, we felt that doing so would prevent them from possibly being damaged during the bumper removal process, and it also made removing the sidemarkers much easier to do.
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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]Take the few extra minutes to take these out so they don't get scratched.[/TD]
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Check out our previous blog entry on removing your 981's headlights to get a quick rundown of the process (it's fairly simple, and your car already comes with the tools needed to do it).

With the headlights removed, you can pop the sidemarkers out as well, before moving on to removing the screws that attach the bumper to the car



There are surprisingly not too many screws to deal with (the screws are all either T30 or T25 Torx, as well as two clips), and potentially the most difficult part of the bumper removal process is freeing up the wiring harness in the front of the bumper for the fog lights and parking sensors (if so equipped).

There are three screws located at the top of the bumper, near the hood release latch.


There are two screws located on the trailing edge of the bumper in the fenderwell area. You may have to turn the wheels to either side to get more access to them.




With those two screws removed, you can then remove the screw at the top corner of the bumper that is otherwise hidden by the fender lining.

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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]This screw can only be reached by pulling the lining out of the way.[/TD]
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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]A better view of where the screw is, as seen through the headlight opening.[/TD]
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Going underneath the bumper, there are 9 screws that are readily accessible, so remove those (or 6 screws and 3 bolts if you have our protection bar installed).



With those 9 screws removed, all that's left is to remove the two large clips near the top of the bumper. The clips slide horizontally towards the center of the car. You may need to use a pair of pliers for better grip on the clips.

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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]The tab on the bumper that the clip secures into it's corresponding slot.[/TD]
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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]The slot on the car that the tab fits into.[/TD]
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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]The clip itself.[/TD]
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At this point, all the fasteners attaching the bumper to the car have been removed, and the only things connecting the bumper to the car are the headlight washer hose that is on the driver's side, and the wiring harness that connects to the fog lights and parking sensors (if so equipped) on either side of the bumper.

The front headlight washer is easy to remove from the fitting. To make sure it doesn't get damaged, we suggest removing the retaining clip that holds it on the fitting first before pulling it free (as opposed to just pulling the hose off).

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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]The end of the headlight washer hose. Be careful when removing, as the hose will be full of fluid.[/TD]
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The wiring harness is a little more difficult to deal with, as not only is it connected to the fog lights and sensors, it is also attached via zipties to the bumper, and you only have a small amount of room to work with to detach everything.

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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]Top: our stock harness mount. Not reusable. Bottom: the harness mount we replaced it with. Reusable.[/TD]
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There are a few ways to attack this, and we opted for the two-person method, where one person has the bumper held away from the car while the other person disconnects the connectors. We opted to just cut the zipties that hold the harness in place, as it is easier to just replace them with a different cable strap mount (ours came with non-reusable mounts, and we replaced it with reusable mounts) when the bumper is off.







Once you have the harness completely disconnected, you can now completely remove the bumper from the car and set it aside and get ready to drain the coolant system in preparation for the center radiator installation.
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[TD="class: tr-caption, align: center"]This is what you're left with after the bumper has been removed.[/TD]
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Schnell Autosports at 3:13 PM
 

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Cool write-up! But 100% unnecessary to remove the headlights. I removed my front bumper and put it back on without touching the headlights and can't fathom any reason why you'd need to remove them. It's a major job to pull the bumper though. You can remove all the screws and such with one person, but we had 4 people involved to pull the front bumper off and put it back on. Reason being you don't want it to touch the ground or anything else or scratch anywhere. Plus, you need someone to remove and reattach all the connections as you're holding the bumper in front of the car. You can do it with less people, but it was very efficient and safe doing it with 4 people. One person on each side of the bumper, one person holding the middle and lining it up, and then one person to reconnect all the pieces like the headlight washer hose and cables.
 

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Put the car on a lift, remove the front wheels and then inner wheel well liners and the connectors are just plug and play. You don't need to remove the headlights and you can reach the washer hose quick release coupling from the wheel well area as well.
t
 

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Put the car on a lift, remove the front wheels and then inner wheel well liners and the connectors are just plug and play. You don't need to remove the headlights and you can reach the washer hose quick release coupling from the wheel well area as well.
t
Good point! We weren't using a lift when we did mine though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
in the blog.. we said that it was not necessary to remove the headlight..but we just want to be cautious.. just in case..its in our blog ..the complete one...

Lemon
 

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Lemon,

Can you give me part numbers on L and R "closed" radiator ducts? I'm doing cayman-to-boxster bumper swap and need those.
 

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Anyone have any photos of the front of the car with bumper cover off? Just looking for a reference photo, thank you!
I think I can help with that request. :) During my front parking camera install the bumper came off to facilitate drilling the hole, at that time I did some preventative maintenance to clean the condensers and center radiator (a splash of paint too!). BTW, this is after only one year on the road! :eek:

So here is a before and after... Once on the lift I can get the bumper cover off in about 45 minutes, best car accessory I have ever bought!


 

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It's kinda beautiful even with bumper off!
 
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Three quick questions. No photo of the 2 'large clips' on top of the bumper. Where exactly are they? Second: What kind of connectors do sensors have, and how many? And third: No tabs anywhere on the bumper, correct? Hope so;). Just want to evaluate if this could be a 1-person job (other than maybe a 2nd holding the bumper to disconnect sensors) with the front tires on Rhino ramps. With Zunsport grilles, the inside of the radiators already looks filthy, and only have 6K+ miles. Might have to do that to clean all that crap off. Or remove the grilles, with the risk of messing them up. Thx.
 

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Thanks Westcoaster, that's exactly what I was looking for! The two clips closest to the light on the inside of the bumper closest to frunk), are they difficult to RE-insert? I've seen advice from people about pulling it out with a wire hangar, just curious about the re-connection difficulty. Thanks again. PS - I have the same color on my 991, great color!
 

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Three quick questions. No photo of the 2 'large clips' on top of the bumper. Where exactly are they? Second: What kind of connectors do sensors have, and how many? And third: No tabs anywhere on the bumper, correct? Hope so;). Just want to evaluate if this could be a 1-person job (other than maybe a 2nd holding the bumper to disconnect sensors) with the front tires on Rhino ramps. With Zunsport grilles, the inside of the radiators already looks filthy, and only have 6K+ miles. Might have to do that to clean all that crap off. Or remove the grilles, with the risk of messing them up. Thx.
1) Look at the headlights, slightly towards center you will see where the tabs and clips are located, when the trim around the hood release of removed you will see the clips, they pull off towards the center of the car.

2) there are connectors for the running lights in the bumper, connectors for the side markers (standard catch/release system) and a hose for the headlight washer if you have them, these are disconnected before you remove the bumper cover.

3) no other 'tab's that have to opened , there are alignment tabs and flaps, but other then the clips at the headlights the bumper is held on with screws.

So the front bumper can be removed by one person, but I always have the wife help put it back on, you have align it to slide it back into place below the headlights and near the side marker lights, when holding the cover at the center these are almost out of view, safer with two sets of hands.
 

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there are alignment tabs and flaps, but other then the clips at the headlights the bumper is held on with screws
Okay, but the tabs are not the kind on most cars, where you need to pull them until a sickening noise is heard, many times breaking the thin plastic on the female side. The ones on our cars just slide in and out with no 'hooks', correct? Just wanted to make sure. He he. Yeah, I have the useless headlight washers and parking sensors. I'd like not having to remove the front wheels to put the car on ramps, but would like to access the quick release for the washers, to avoid having to pull a hose and possibly cause damage. Can it be done that way if headlights are removed? It's so easy I wouldn't mind at all. Plus if it allows me to remove parking sensor connectors even better. And just needing the wife/daughter for alignment is great news. Thanks a lot for all your help brother; greatly appreciated.
 

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Okay, but the tabs are not the kind on most cars, where you need to pull them until a sickening noise is heard, many times breaking the thin plastic on the female side. The ones on our cars just slide in and out with no 'hooks', correct? Just wanted to make sure. He he. Yeah, I have the useless headlight washers and parking sensors. I'd like not having to remove the front wheels to put the car on ramps, but would like to access the quick release for the washers, to avoid having to pull a hose and possibly cause damage. Can it be done that way if headlights are removed? It's so easy I wouldn't mind at all. Plus if it allows me to remove parking sensor connectors even better. And just needing the wife/daughter for alignment is great news. Thanks a lot for all your help brother; greatly appreciated.
Glad to be able to help with my experiences... As for the tabs that break things, happy to say, not holding the bumper on but as you likely know, there are lots in the interior of these cars! Ask me how I know this... :(

Yes, once the side marker lights are out, the metal tab connectors are the front of the fender are removed, the washer hose disconnected, the running light connector is disconnected (possibly the parking sensor as well, as mine does not have these) and all of the screws are out (top, bottom and sides)... the bumper just slides off.

As for you desire to not have the wheels off etc, I am not sure that you could do it this way, and removing the lights will not provide any access to the headlight washer hose as it is found behind the drivers side front inner fender liner, and to get that off the wheels need to be off unless you want to spend triple the time trying to remove the screws to get the liners off that attach it to the front bumper cover. Lemons procedure is a good guide from what I can see.
 
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