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pros and cons of a used hard top?


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there is a used hard top in my area for sale locally. was from a non-wrecked 2002 boxster and I have a 1997.

What issues will there be related to fitting the first model year?

Adjusting windows for "good fit"? If so will I have to re adjust from winter to summer each season or is the quality/fit very good?

Any other comments of those who bought hard tops NOT with their orginal car purchase would be appricated.

EDIT: OK I did find more posts when I searched "smarter". So I did find this great post on install: http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?s...&hl=hardtop

But I am curious if anyone out there is disappointed in their hard top after tweaking it.

Shawn

Edited by rsfeller
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i have a top from a 2001 on my 97. just picked it up about a month ago.

the fit is great, it took a little adjusting, but overall i love the look. i think it makes the car look like a completely different car. and the rear window is HUGE and CLEAR! i'm not used to it! :)

some issues may be that if the hardtop was used a lot by the previous owner, it may have 'settled' a bit and grown to the shape of its previous position. if this is the case, initially your top may have a larger gap somewhere, but if you use it enough with the heat/cold cycles your car goes thru, it should conform to your car nicely with some time and use. either way, the top will fit perfectly enough for you to buy and use it.

the other issue you may have is that the hardtop's paint is 5 years newer than your car's, so there may be a slight mismatch, with the top being a bit darker (and less scratched, dinged, etc.) than your car. the difference will be invisible to everyone except you and other enthusiast boxster owners. ;)

you will also need a set of spinlocks. the 97's did not come with them. buy them from Suncoast Porsche, they are the lowest price i've seen at ~$50 for the set (L+R). one dealer wanted $150 for them - "haha - ok i'll call you back."

installing them is relatively easy, but is a PITA. and i would NOT drive the car with the top without spinlocks.

my windows fit without any tweaking. perfect. and the interior is SO much quieter now. you don't realize how loud it is with the conv top until you have the hardtop.

if the hardtop is already your color and the price is right, i highly recommend it!

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i have a top from a 2001 on my 97. just picked it up about a month ago.

the fit is great, it took a little adjusting, but overall i love the look. i think it makes the car look like a completely different car. and the rear window is HUGE and CLEAR! i'm not used to it! :)

some issues may be that if the hardtop was used a lot by the previous owner, it may have 'settled' a bit and grown to the shape of its previous position. if this is the case, initially your top may have a larger gap somewhere, but if you use it enough with the heat/cold cycles your car goes thru, it should conform to your car nicely with some time and use. either way, the top will fit perfectly enough for you to buy and use it.

the other issue you may have is that the hardtop's paint is 5 years newer than your car's, so there may be a slight mismatch, with the top being a bit darker (and less scratched, dinged, etc.) than your car. the difference will be invisible to everyone except you and other enthusiast boxster owners. ;)

you will also need a set of spinlocks. the 97's did not come with them. buy them from Suncoast Porsche, they are the lowest price i've seen at ~$50 for the set (L+R). one dealer wanted $150 for them - "haha - ok i'll call you back."

installing them is relatively easy, but is a PITA. and i would NOT drive the car with the top without spinlocks.

my windows fit without any tweaking. perfect. and the interior is SO much quieter now. you don't realize how loud it is with the conv top until you have the hardtop.

if the hardtop is already your color and the price is right, i highly recommend it!

Good info. You bring up a good point on giving it time to "settle" to a new car. Even adjusting the side allen bolts a couple times over time may help the fit conform with temp changes and adjusting to the new ride.

The top is a different color (silver) and our car is black. If we decide to buy it we were going to drive it for the first winter and then let our oppinion of the mismatch sink in. There is a guy in Columbus with yellow boxster with a black hard top and it works for that car and color combo. Of course us getting this and painting it is based on the price we haggle!

So you live in NH how much do you drive your car in the winter? Got snow tires? This is our 3rd car but my wife's Saab is going on 12 years (220K miles) and starting to give us headaches so we want to make sure the Porsche could suit us for a couple days in the winter if needed.

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So you live in NH how much do you drive your car in the winter? Got snow tires? This is our 3rd car but my wife's Saab is going on 12 years (220K miles) and starting to give us headaches so we want to make sure the Porsche could suit us for a couple days in the winter if needed.

i usually don't drive the car in the winter. i don't have snow tires.

i have had to drive the car with all-season tires in the winter in an emergency, and it would have been better to stay home. all-seasons are not that good in the snow/ice, actual performance summer tires would be much worse. but i do know plenty of people with winter tire packages that drive their boxsters all winter long. winter tires make the difference.

as far as the hardtop, i personally wouldn't like the black/silver, but hey - try it out, maybe you'll like it. and if not, you can always get it painted. ;)

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I think a silver top on a black car would look good.

With good winter tires, Boxsters make adequate winter drivers. The biggest issue I would see is with the relatively low ground clearance.

Good Luck,

Graeme

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having just bought an arctic silver top for my plain black car, I didn't like the combination, arctic silver was just too light

so I had it painted for at a good local shop and it came out great

at first it creaked like crazy, over every bump, and if I dropped the drivers window when I was moving it wouldn't re-seat, now it's quiet and there's no gaps at all in the windows, they definitely do settle a bit :)

I also drive my car year round with snows in Mass and it's great, the only problem like Graeme said, is clearance, if there's more than 4 inches on the ground it starts to plow

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having just bought an arctic silver top for my plain black car, I didn't like the combination, arctic silver was just too light

so I had it painted for at a good local shop and it came out great

at first it creaked like crazy, over every bump, and if I dropped the drivers window when I was moving it wouldn't re-seat, now it's quiet and there's no gaps at all in the windows, they definitely do settle a bit :)

I also drive my car year round with snows in Mass and it's great, the only problem like Graeme said, is clearance, if there's more than 4 inches on the ground it starts to plow

Did you have to take it apart for the paint job or did they do a great job with it in one piece?

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Did you have to take it apart for the paint job or did they do a great job with it in one piece?

they took apart everything except for the rear window, the two funny strips on the roof were removed completely, every rubber gasket was removed

they masked the rubber around the window back so far that I can't see silver if I peel it back

each piece was baked separately and then reinstalled

it was pricey though, $615 after tax, had I wanted them to remove the rear window and reinstall it they'd have charged another $300

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When I picked up my used hard top at the beginning of July, I had a very difficult time attaching it to the car. The seller and I tried three times before we fitted it correctly. (I have to admit I was becoming worried about it because I was 300 miles from home on a rainy night.)

I left on vacation two days after returning from my hardtop retrieval mission, so the top stayed on the car for about three weeks before I removed it for the remainder of the summer. When I reinstalled the top two nights ago (the temperature here is dropping into the thirties at night) it fit on very easily. Part of the improvement may be attributable to expeience, but I think the top might also have adapted to the shape of my car during the time it spent attached in the warm summer weather.

My recommendation is that if you can get the top on the car, wait to adjust it until it has had a chance to settle.post-9357-1162524958_thumb.jpg

I agree that a silver hard top on a black car would not be as attractive as an all black car. A black top on a silver car might work OK since it would be similar in appearance to a black soft top on the same car. Overall I think the matching hard top contributes to the feeling of having two cars and I think it would justify the cost of a repaint.

Edited by KevinH90
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the other issue you may have is that the hardtop's paint is 5 years newer than your car's, so there may be a slight mismatch, with the top being a bit darker (and less scratched, dinged, etc.) than your car. the difference will be invisible to everyone except you and other enthusiast boxster owners. ;)

Hi Chris, I have the same mismatch problem. A 2003 top on a 1997 car, both artic silver. The top is darker, maybe with a yellow tinge almost. The body looks bleached in comparison. As you say though, I suspect only owners or buyers would notice!

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I bought a hard top from ebay, as the windows fitted absolutely perfectly to the soft top, I adjusted the window seals on the hard top to the windows, not the other way round. My car is Meridian Silver (try getting one in that colour...) so had it painted. I've had it painted twice now and it still looks wrong. All cars I've seen in Meridian have a very slight pinky/purple hue to them in sunlight and I just can't get this on the top. Perhaps its because the spray shops use computer mixed colours rather than genuine paints from Porsche(?)

Incidentally, the top was originally Speed Yellow - I must say this definitely doesn't go with Meridian! :rolleyes: I had to transport the top 100 miles home - it wouldn't fit in the back of my Audi so I had to drive my Boxster down and back with the yellow top on. It was done under the cover of darkness...

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  • 1 month later...

Could you describe how you adjusted the hardtop seals to better fit the windows? I've heard some talk about inserting a small rubber tube into the seal-- but no additional details were provided. Any details would be greatly appreciated as I have some wind noise with my hardtop on right now. Thanks!

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I bought a hard top from ebay, as the windows fitted absolutely perfectly to the soft top, I adjusted the window seals on the hard top to the windows, not the other way round. My car is Meridian Silver (try getting one in that colour...) so had it painted. I've had it painted twice now and it still looks wrong. All cars I've seen in Meridian have a very slight pinky/purple hue to them in sunlight and I just can't get this on the top. Perhaps its because the spray shops use computer mixed colours rather than genuine paints from Porsche(?)

Incidentally, the top was originally Speed Yellow - I must say this definitely doesn't go with Meridian! :rolleyes: I had to transport the top 100 miles home - it wouldn't fit in the back of my Audi so I had to drive my Boxster down and back with the yellow top on. It was done under the cover of darkness...

You have likely hit the nail on the head about the paint, When a body shop matches paint they do so using the formula or a colour analyzer that reads the colour in an artificial light. The

slight pinky/purple hue to them in sunlight
you mention is a result of materials added to the paint (usually mica flakes) that reflect rainbow like colours that paint without it cannot do.

A couple of years ago I had my RX-7 painted, it is Brave Blue Mica, depending on how the sun hits it varies from straight blue through royal blue to almost a blue magenta. Just before it was to painted I asked various shops, those that were completely honest told me that they could only get close, best off painting the entire car, others said no problem! :huh:

Every paint manufacturer has different paint compositions, not to mention the different types of paint, acrylic, enamel or lacquer etc, a perfect match will only come from using the exact same paint applied under the same atmospheric conditions (temperature and humidity), close can be achieved by a good shop that really knows their stuff. In the end, that's why quotes for a job can vary...

BTW, when I was looking for a shop, I had one even tell me 'you are too picky, we don't think we could make you happy', at least they were honest! :cheers:

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