997, Boxster, & Cayman Radio Installation

About this Article

This installation guide has been written assuming that you have basic tools and mechanical abilities but have no prior experience installing audio equipment. This article includes a lot of information that covers a variety of radio kits that we offer. Not all information presented here will apply to your particular vehicle/radio. If you have any questions or see something that should be added to this article, feel free to give us  a call. Installation technical support is included with all of our products. 1(800) 892-6430 

Tools required 

  • Digital Multimeter. If you do not already own one of these, they can be found for as little as $20 at your local electronics store.

  • Pliers

  • Wire Crimpers
  • Hook Tool

  • 5mm Hex Wrench (L shaped).

  • Torx (Star) set

  • Philips screwdriver

  • Angle Driver for Philips . These can be found at your local hardware store for about $20. 

Note: All circuits should be tested with a digital multimeter to verify identity before connection. Do not make any connection to the vehicle without testing properly. Damage may result. If in any doubt, consult with a qualified professional. 

Avoid Fault Codes

Fault codes can easily be avoided by simply not putting the key in the ignition while components are unplugged from the car. It is a good idea to disconnect the negative battery terminal before starting to work. If you have power seats, it is a good idea to motor them to the rear most position and roll your power windows down as well. This way you will have room to  work and will not inadvertently lock the keys in the car. Do this before disconnecting the battery. With the battery disconnected you will not have to worry about setting airbag codes or body control module codes. There are times during the installation when you will need to test circuits and will need to temporarily reconnect the battery. Make sure that all Porsche items (seats, door panels, etc.) are connected before reconnecting the battery. Though air bag codes generally require a trip to the dealer to turn off, no damage occurs. The body control modules in these vehicles are very smart. It is entirely possible that you will see some indicators in the instrument cluster after you have finished the installation and reconnected the battery. But don't worry. The car will re-calibrate and clear all non airbag related codes on it's own as soon as it has been driven a very short distance (only a matter of feet). 

Removing the Factory Radio

There is a single Torx screw hidden in the carpeted side panels on either side of the console under the dash area that needs to be removed in order to remove the small carpeted panels.

drivers side of center console

Remove the Torx screw

small carpeted panel removed

Once this panel has been removed you will have access to the two Torx screws that hold the console side panels on. If you have a Bose equipped Cayman or 911 Cabriolet, you will need to remove the subwoofer on the passengers side of the console before the two console side covers will be accessible.

If your vehicle does not have the passenger side subwoofer you cam skip the following sequence and jump right to "Remove the Console Side Covers" below.

Passenger Side Subwoofer Subwoofer Removal

Bose Subwoofer

Remove the plastic center cover from the air vent. It simply pulls off.

 Remove the center panel

This will expose a single Torx screw.

retaining screw

Pull the plastic cover off and unplug the power port.

Now remove the large Torx screw that fastens the subwoofer to the console.

Pull rearwards on the subwoofer enclosure. The whole assembly will now be free. Unplug the subwoofer harness and remove from the vehicle. 

Subwoofer Harness Note for Bose Equipped Vehicles

Bose equipped vehicles have a subwoofer with an internal amplifier. This amplifier can be made to work with your new aftermarket radio's subwoofer output (RCA) by adding an optional signal harness. This harness will send both audio signal as well as a turn on trigger signal to the subwoofers internal amplifier.

Optional Subwoofer Retention Harness

The subwoofer will operate as the manufacture intended even without this special harness, though the subwoofer level control on your new radio will not effect the subwoofer output. The advantage of using the optional subwoofer harness is that you will now have independant control of the subwoofer output relitave to the main volume. You can use this feature to make your audio system sound more or less aggressive. 

Connecting the Optional Subwoofer Retention Harness

Note: the connections described bellow show how the connections are made directly at the subwoofer in a Cabriolet or Cayman with the subwoofer on the passenger side of the console. However the same wires can also be found at the main amplifier in the trunk of '05-'08 vehicles and at the main amplifier under the passengers side seat in '09-''12 vehicles. The subwoofer signal travels from the main amplifier out to the subwoofer. Not from the radio to the subwoofer. The only reason why you would want to make these connections directly at the subwoofer in a Cayman or Cabriolet is because the subwoofer has to be pulled out to gain access to the radio anyway. In a 911 coupe it makes sense to make these connections at the main amplifier in stead of at the subwoofer because the subwoofer is located all of the way at the rear of the car. 

The harness has RCAs and a bullet connector on one end. This end will connect to your new radio. Connect the RCAs to the subwoofer outputs. Connect the Blue wire with the bullet connector to your radios Blue/White remote output wire.

The other end of this harness has three wires:

  • Blue - Remote out
  • Red - Audio signal +
  • Brown - Audio signal - 

Factory Subwoofer Harness

The factory subwoofer harness has 5 wires in it. The large gauge Red/Brown wire is 12 votls power. Leave this wire as is. The large Brown wire is 12 ground. Leave this wire as is. The White/Yellow wire is a 12 volt remote turn-on trigger wire. Cut this wire and permanently insulate the side that leads back to the vehicle. Connect the Blue wire from the subwoofer retention harness to this White/Yellow wire leading to the subwoofer. The two remaining wires are Orange and Orange/Brown. These are the audio signal wires. Cut and permanently insulate the side leading back to the vehicle. Connect the Orange/Brown wire (audio -) to the Brown wire of the subwoofer retention harness. Connect the Orange wire (Audio +) to the Red wire on the subwoofer retention harness.

 Remove the Console Side Covers

Remove the two Torx screws at the rear of each panel. Passenger side shown below.

Pull each side cover towards the rear of the car.

On the passenger side the top corner of the panel likes to stay in place. Pull strait out firmly and the panel will release. 

Remove the "Mystery Screw"

On the passenger side of the radio there is a single 7 mm screw that must be loosened before the radio will come out. The screw head is very close to the glovebox. An open ended or ratcheting combination wrench is required to remove. Once removed, this screw is no longer needed and can be left out if you choose. The picture below shows the screw location with the screw removed.

Mystery Screw

Mystery screw

Unlock the Radio 

There are 2 retaining clips on each side of the radio chassis (4 total). These clips are locked or unlocked by rotating a plastic 5 mm Allen on each clip. Use an "L" shaped Allen wrench and turn 1/4 counter clockwise to release each retaining clip. Warning If you turn too far, or the wrong way, you can break the release mechanism. In the event one or more breaks, you can simply use a flat blade screwdriver to push the retaining clip towards the radio to release the radio. 

Release

Pull Radio Out

When pulling the radio out and unplugging everything, be careful not to kink the orange fiber optic cables. Once the radio is out you will see a flat plastic wire retainer that is used to organize the cables behind the radio. Remove this retainer, as it will only get in your way when putting the new radio back in place. Once the plastic retainer is removed, tuck any unused plugs way back and out of the way. You want to make as much room as possible. you will notice that there are two antenna leads. One is Black and one is Yellow. You won't be using the Yellow lead. Separate it from the other wires and permanently tuck it out of the way. 

Harness note for 997.2 & 987.2 vehicles ('09-'12)

In the second generation 911, Cayman, and Boxsters the factory amplifier remote turn-on is outside of the main 16 pin radio harness. This wire must be tapped into on the car side of the harness. The amplifier remote turn-on wire from your new radio is Blue/White and the cars remote turn-on wire is White/Red. It is located in the blue 12 pin plug next to the main radio plug as shown in the picture below. This connection can be made either with the supplied "T tap" connector or this can be soldered. 

997.2 Radio Harness

Make Connections That Are outside of the Radio Cavity 

There are a few connections that need to be made outside of the radio cavity. To simplify installation we have found the easiest and most centralized locations to find these circuits in the vehicle. 

Kenwood

Kenwood radios will require

  • Accessory

  • Illumination. Note: some Kenwood units have an auto dim feature. If this feature is enabled then this connection is not required.

  • Parking Brake

Alpine

Alpine radios will require

  • Accessory

  • Illumination

  • Parking Brake

  • Foot Brake 

Update: Many of the newer Alpine radios no longer require illumination or foot brake connections to be made. If your radio does not have these connections in the wire harness, you can skip these steps.  

Notice that Alpine radios require connection to the vehicles foot brake and that Kenwoods do not. This connection is necessary for Alpine radios. If this connection is not made the radio will not allow several functions to operate properly. 

Alpine Radios have an optional VSS (vehicle Speed Sense) connection. This connection allows the navigation to continue tracking the vehicles location in areas where the GPS will not work (long tunnels). This connection is not required for good performance under normal conditions. 

Note: All circuits should be tested with a digital multimeter to verify identity before connection. Do not make any connection to the vehicle without testing properly. Damage may result. If in any doubt, consult with a qualified professional. 

Remove the climate controls. To do this, simply locate the metal spring loaded tabs on either side of the climate control and press them in with your finger tips while pulling the climate control unit out towards yourself. Unplug and set aside. 

Retaining Tabs

Remove Climate Controls

Tip: cover your center console and shifter with a towel to avoid scratches. 

Location for connections

There are two locations where Accessory, Illumination, & Parking Brake can be found.

Location 1. Under the small panel below the hand brake.

Location 2 (RECOMMENDED). Behind the center console structure (not inside the radio cavity).

Location 2 Is the Recommended Connection Point

In most cars these connections are most easily made behind the center console structure (location 2). In some vehicles the parking brake wire in particular can be difficult to locate here because it is sometimes bundled with several other circuits. Although in most vehicles this wire is easily accessible. If you have difficulty locating this wire, an extension has been included in your kit that will allow you to make this connection at the location under the hand brake.

The optional extension is colored as follows.

Green = Parking Brake

Instructions for making connections under hand brake (Location 1).

Remove the small panel below the emergency brake. A hook tool makes this easy. The panel lifts up from the rear. 

Under this panel you will find a wire harness that has three of the circuits that you will need to tap into. A hook tool comes in very handy to pull the wires up to a point where the can be accessed (don't force them). 

Key-In Accessory

This circuit will supply 12 volts when the key is placed in the ignition switch. This wire is Orange in color. There should be only one of these located under the hand brake lever. Once identified, test to verify that this is indeed the correct wire. 

To test this circuit, ground the negative side of your multimeter and probe wire with the positive side of your meter. This wire should not show 12 volts with the key out of the ignition switch. 

Once you have positively identified the correct wire, use the supplied wire tap to make your connection. 

Illumination

This circuit will supply 12 volts only when the parking lights are turned on. The wire is Grey with a Red stripe. There are two wires in this area of the car that are the same size and color. Only one is the correct wire. Test to verify. Ground the negative side of your meter and probe the suspected wire with the positive lead of your meter. Turn headlights on and off to verify operation. 

Once you have positively identified the correct wire, use the supplied wire tap to make your connection. 

Parking Brake

This circuit will supply a connection to ground when the vehicles parking brake is engaged. The wire color is Yellow. It is paired with a Grey/Brown wire and is located just rear of the other two connections that you just made for accessory and illumination. 

Once you have positively identified the correct wire, use the supplied wire tap to make your connection. 

That is all of the connections that need to be hardwired to the vehicle. All other connections are plug and play with the supplied harnesses. 

Foot Brake (Alpine Only)

Alpine radios require connection to the vehicles foot brake in order to establish that the car is parked and not in motion. This circuit will supply the radio with 12 volts when the vehicles brake pedal is pressed. The wire color is Black with a Yellow stripe. Note: this wire will only show 12 volts when the ignition is on. The wire can be found directly at the brake pedal switch. 

Location for Making Connections Behind Console Structure (Location 2).

Once the side panels of the console have been removed you can see a black connector located behind the HVAC controls. This connector contains both Acessory (Orange) and Illumination (Grey/Red) circuits. The plug is in a hard to reach spot. To make things easier, remove the HVAC controls by pushing in on the metal side tabs and then pulling the control box out from the front. Unplug and set aside.

Release the black plug from it's mounting bracket by turning it counter clockwise and pulling it off of the bracket. Once off of the bracket, unplug the two sides of the harness. This is most easily done by putting one hand through the HVAC opening and grabbing the other side of the plug through the side opening.

As you can see below. The plug is visible through the HVAC opening.

Once the plug has been disconnected, you can pull it out of the left hand side of the console. This will give you much better access to the circuits in this plug.

Hand Brake Connection

On the left hand side of the console you can also access the hand brake wire on most cars. This will be a yellow wire that will show continuity with vehicle ground when the parking brake is engaged. Test before connecting. Note; on some cars this wire is not easily accessible at this location. In other cars this wire is very easily found here. For the not so easy vehicles the connection should be made below the hand brake. 

Note: on some vehicles the Yellow hand brake wire will have a colored stripe. To confirm the hand brake wire color, pull the access plate below the hand brake lever and check the actual wire color visually. 

Installing the Bluetooth Microphone 

The best placement for the microphone is either next to the rear view mirror (coupe only) or to the left of the radio. We like the position to the left of the radio best. It is much less prone to picking up wind and AC noise than other locations. The small accent panel to the left of the radio can be pried out and the microphone can be attached to it. 

Mic Location

Pry out the accent panel

On the back side of the panel you will find small posts. One of these can be trimmed off if it is making the panel sit unevenly with the microphone clip in place.

Back of the panel

Microphone in place

 GPS Antenna & Satellite Radio Antenna

The best location for the satellite antennas to be mounted is under the plastic cowling located between the windshield and the trunk. Ideally the antennas should have a clear view of the sky with no metal obstructions. Plastic and glass do not pose a problem.

Satellite Antenna Mount

We offer a premium satellite antenna mount that gets installed under the windshield wiper cowling. This plastic panel bridges the gap between the windshield and the hood. In this location the antenna is not visible from the outside of the vehicle and is not subjected to the elements. There is a flat area of steel next to the cabin filter in the battery compartment where the antenna mount can be installed. Click here to read the full set of instructions for our Premium Satellite Antenna Mount. 

Satellite Antenna Connections

Extra wire length in the satellite antennas is to be expected. It is important not to coil these cables in a circular pattern. Doing so will cause poor or no performance. Instead you can tightly bundle the cables in a back and forth pattern as pictured below. 

back and forth pattern

About The Sirius Satellite Tuner Box

If you have purchased a Sirius Satellite tuner, the tuner box can be located behind the climate control unit. Plug the satellite antenna into the tuner box and secure with a zip tie. Wrap a long zip tie around the tuner box lengthwise so that the zip tie puts tension on the antenna lead going into the tuner. Sirius has all tuner boxes manufactured by a single company. These tuner boxes are known to have a problem with poor connection to the antenna unless tension is applied directly to the connector. The tuner box has a circular multi pin connector that plugs into the back of the radio.  

Route All Cables and Connections

At this point you will be organizing all of the cables and connections in the radio cavity so that when you go to plug everything into the radio, everything will fit nicely. It is best if you arrange each connection so that they are all an equal length and long enough to reach about 6 inches or so outside of the radio cavity. 

To help keep the interior surfaces from becoming scuffed by the radio chassis, it is a good idea to get a towel to cover the center console, shifter, etc. I personally tuck part of the towel into the radio cavity and keep it there right up until I actually put the radio in the cavity permanently.  

If you ordered your radio kit with a pre-wired harness, the harness will be lengthened so that the radio plugs can be tucked far back in the radio cavity while you hold the radio outside of the radio cavity once it is time to plug everything into the back of the radio. It is easiest if you remove the factory wire management clip. This is a wide flat plastic part that is used to keep the factory cables in order. This organizer gets in the way of the new radio. Simply unclip it from the wire harness and set it aside. 

AM/FM Antenna Conection

You will find two antenna connections on the factory radio. One is black and the other is yellow. You will be using the black one. The yellow connection will not be used. You can tuck this cable away. 

USB Connection(s)

Your radio will come with either one or two USB cables that can be used to connect external devices such as an iPod or smart phone. These cables can be routed to a number of convenient locations. Common locations include the glove box and the pocket below the radio, in front of the shifter. If routing to the pocket in front of the shifter, remove the rubber lining from the pocket. You will find several holes in the back of the pocket. One of these holes will have to be enlarged in order to pass the USB through. Warning! There are several factory wire harnesses located directly behind the pocket. Be very careful not to damage these wire harnesses. The rubber liner can be put back into the pocket after you have routed the cable. 

If you are installing a Kenwood radio with two USB cables, be sure to take note which one is labeled for iPod/iPhone use. It is marked on the end of the cable. 

Putting It All Together

Assemble the dash kit side brackets as shown in the picture below. The right angle stops should be flush with the front of the radio chassis (not the face).

Radio Stops

Insert the mounting cage into the radio cavity. Use the mounting cage that came with the dash kit instead of the mounting cage that came with your radio. 

Radio Cage

The plastic spacers that are mounted to the cage that came with your dash kit will keep the radio secured in the perfect position. 

 No fasteners are required to keep the mounting cage in position. Next in the installation when the trim bezel is put in place, it will hold the mounting cage in place. 

Dash trim closeup

When putting the bezel in place it is very important to make sure that the four plastic tabs are placed above and below the steel mounting cage before pushing the bezel in place. The bezel is a very tight fit. 

Once the bezel is in place check to make sure that it is centered around the radio face plate and that the radio side brackets are adjusted so that the radio face plate protrudes through the bezel an appropriate amount. Now is a good time to test that the face plate of the radio motorizes down and clears the bezel on all sides (if you have a radio with a motorized face plate). 

Bottom screw

On the bottom side of the bezel is a single mounting screw. Install this screw to lock the bezel in place.

Angle driver

An angle driver attachment on a hand screwdriver or power drill makes quick work of this job. An angle attachment like the one pictured above can be found at most any harware store for around $20. 

Economy Kit Instructions

If you opted for the economy dash kit instead of the premium option, make sure that you trim the two plastic tabs off of the mounting kit before installing. With these two tabs clipped off, the kit will be very difficult to remove once clicked into the vehicle. If these two tabs are not first removed, the mounting kit will be nearly impossible to remove from the vehicle!

Trim these tabs

Relevant Links

Amplifier Installation for C2 Vehicles

Amplifier installation for C4 Vehicles

Speaker Installation for 997 & 987

HUR Installation 

Backup Camera Installation