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Convertible Top issue

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My top works fine and the windows drop when I unlatch it. However, the indicator light for the top does not light up when it is in the process of opening or closing. The bulb is not burned out because it does light when I turn the key in the ignition.

Also, previously I had to hold the button in as the top would sound like it was "grinding" to a open or closed position (to fully open or fully close) and turn the light off. Now it seems like a lot less effort to completely close or open the top making me wonder if it is fully closed or opened.

Any thoughts?

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The car is a 99. Why? The reason I ask "why" is because it appears that when the mechanic (non-Porsche) replaced my damaged instrument cluster he put in a 97 or 98 cluster. Instead of a triangle with the exclamation point for the Traction Control Information light (goes on when system has to work), I have a circle with bars on the inside, but just on the left inside of the circle.

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The top icon is in the far right position no matter what year. The part numbers on the current part list are the same for a 1997-1999 clusters.

Need more info. The part number of the cluster that was put in and its history. Do you have traction control? When you turn the key on there is a bulb check. A picture of that will be nice.

I cannot figure out a noise over the internet, but there is a "grinding" noise as the top reaches its open or close limit due to the mechanical transmissions driven by an electrical motor and cables. No sound like that on a 996 as it is hydraulic.


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My instrument cluster looks like the top one, except the "TC OFF" bulb does not light up, so I guess I have to replace that bulb.

FYI, before replacement, I had the bottom one.

Regardless, what would cause the convertible top bulb not to light when the top is in the process of opening or closing? It lights when I turn the key for the bulb check.

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I asked Peter and told him you were sure it was not the light bulb.

He said to check the top relay/control unit. The control unit is also the thing that keeps the motor running a few seconds when it is down and you are still holding the switch in the down position. The lack of the "grinding noise" and no light may both be related to a defective control unit.

This is a guess since you have not provided info on your replacement cluster.

Find a 1997-1999 Boxster friend and swap units and see if that is the fix. Do not try any other year as it will not work.


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Sorry, I thought by pointing out which picture matched my lights would be enough.

I pulled it off, the part number appears to be 986 641 103 00

That number is then followed by a 70c

There is also a "VDO" number which is 110.008.721/001

On the bottom there is another sticker with a bar code and a VDO number that is 110.902.273/001

It was purchased as a refurbished part. Not sure where from because my mechanic did it.

I don't believe its the light because it does light up when you do a bulb check.

I did some testing with the microswitch in the middle underneath the convertible top compartment lid. When I had the top partially open and attempted to arm the alarm, the car beeped. However, if I held down this microswitch and tried again, the car did not beep, so I believe that one works.

I have not been able to find the microswitch on the B-pillar behind the driver. It appears this has some affect on the system. Do you or Peter think this could be part of the problem or do you still think its the relay.

Regarding the relay, since I live in MT, there isn't really anyone else around to swap that relay with... I think a new one is about $60 which isn't much. I tried to remove it from my car, but it would not come out easy. Do they just pull out or is there a tab to push to release them.

Thanks again for all your help!

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The part number you gave is several years old and not current. 70C is the color black code and VDO is the company that makes the cluster. So I have been told. VDO does not sell parts for our electronic instrument clusters and Porsche does not sell refurbished units.

Still do not know why your cluster was replaced. I guess you may have traction control.

The top relay just pulls out.

For any other electrical problems take it back to your mechanic. If the mechanic does not have the PST2 or cannot figure it out then you have to go to..............a Porsche dealer.

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