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Cabriolet Top Operation


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Loren,

I have an '03 Cab and I can put the top up while moving. The other day I was in traffic and for the hell of it I pressed the button (no parking brake) and to my surprise the top started lowering. I was going no more than 5 mph. I did it again today; however, when I started going a little too fast (maybe 10 mph), a warning message came up in the display that I was exceeding the limits of the cabriolet top - so I slowed down and it worked fine. Is the top supposed to do this?

Eric

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I've yet to confirm this in the MY03 schematics (since they are not published yet) but a number of owners have mentioned that this works. I did find this obscure comment in the MY03 Owners Manual:

"The convertible top may only be actuated during driving on even surfaces and at wind speeds of less than 50 mph (80 km/h)."

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  • 1 year later...
I've yet to confirm this in the MY03 schematics (since they are not published yet) but a number of owners have mentioned that this works. I did find this obscure comment in the MY03 Owners Manual:

"The convertible top may only be actuated during driving on even surfaces and at wind speeds of less than 50 mph (80 km/h)."

Here is how it works: if you open/close the top while in motion, a warning message appears, but the mechanism continues operating up to a speed of 29 mph. As soon as you exceed that speed, it stops working, but resumes as you slow down. In my opinion, this is one of the most useful upgrades for convertibles ever.

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I asked Gay the other day when this feature started as he has a 2002 996 cab because I could not remember if it was model year 2002 or 2003.  It is 2003.

But now there is SmartTop for the 996.

I hope we can help a little on this topic. Porsche recently changed the main roof control module on the 996 Cabs. It used to be like on Boxsters, that you had to stop and pull the handbrake but since they changed the mechanics a little on the roof of the newer 996's they officially "allow" you to operate while driving at slow speeds. They started doing that around MY 2003 but there are older models around with that feature: They can flash reprogram the roof control module with a new firmware! We have had reports from some drivers of older models that they had their module reprogrammed to be able to open the roof. The big problem here is, that the new software (therefore on ALL new models and on the reprogrammed ones) has a major "bug" which is supposed to be a feature: The windows won't close anymore with the original key remote !!! We found that Porsche for some obvious sueing crazyness in the US has disabled this feature so you have to decide between two catches. Either not being able to operate the roof while in motion or (having your roof unit reprogrammed by porsche) not have the windows close anymore with the remote !

This is where we thought we can help out with the smartTOP 996. It either gives you one-touch roof operation while driving with no need to stop (old firmware in the control unit) or gives you one-touch operation and additionally re-enables the window close feature (new firmware in the control unit).

We checked all safety features and found that Porsche even has sensor windows which immediately go down again if they are obstructed.

As a little extra "kick" it enables the two rear windows when the roof is fully open, so you can drive with roof open but all 4 windows closed :-)

Edited by wilhelmy-it
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My dealer tried to flash a MY99 and said the computer doesn't offer this option to flash it. They will try a MY02 and let me know if that's possible. They didn't want to try my car for some reason. I'll keep you guys posted on whether I am able to get the control module flashed.

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My dealer tried to flash a MY99 and said the computer doesn't offer this option to flash it.  They will try a MY02 and let me know if that's possible.  They didn't want to try my car for some reason.  I'll keep you guys posted on whether I am able to get the control module flashed.

Please be aware that IF the original roof control gets updated by flashing the new software, the roof will operate in pure manual mode only (have to keep button pressed) and you will LOSE the closing-the-windows function of your remote control!!! As far as we know, they take a lot of money for the upgrade and it only helps partially. It is much better to stick with the "old" software and upgrade with a smartTOP 996a, that will give you full one-touch operation while driving, keeps your windows untouched but gives you even more comfort by enabling the rear windows when the roof is open.

Furthermore, some of the older original roof units seem to be non-upgradeable, there is some luck involved in having one of the upgradeable ones. Exchanging the control unit will cost about $500, which is almost double the price then just adding a smartTOP and getting the full comfort solution. And you can do it yourself on a lazy sunday afternoon B)

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