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O.C. CA. Boxster owners? Need a hand…


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Hi,

I’m looking for someone in Orange County I can swap a part out with for a 1 minuet or so for a quick diagnosis (proces of elimination). My top misbehaves and I believe the problem lies with the tops "double relay".

Ya see the relay is 100 bucks and most places don't like to take electrical parts back and from what I know of my car, chances are only 50/50 that it’s my problem. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve been pretty exhaustive in my attempt to hunt down the problem and it’s pointing to the relay, but my cars weird…posseced.

If you’re a Boxster owner, preferably 1999 or so, and wouldn’t mind letting me plug your “top relay” into my car just long enough to see if my problem goes away (or vice versa, I’ll plug mine into your car, see if it misbehaves), please PM me.

It’s harmless, quick, and worth a good cup of coffee and a scone (or the like) of your choice to me. Plus, I’ll show some great twisties if you like (yes, in O.C.)

Regards, PK

P.S. The swap can in no way harm any of your electronics. In the extremely unlikely event, I’d certainly cover any repair cost.

Edited by pk2
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Hi,

I’m looking for someone in Orange County I can swap a part out with for a 1 minuet or so for a quick diagnosis (proces of elimination). My top misbehaves and I believe the problem lies with the tops "double relay".

Ya see the relay is 100 bucks and most places don't like to take electrical parts back and from what I know of my car, chances are only 50/50 that it’s my problem. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve been pretty exhaustive in my attempt to hunt down the problem and it’s pointing to the relay, but my cars weird…posseced.

If you’re a Boxster owner, preferably 1999 or so, and wouldn’t mind letting me plug your “top relay” into my car just long enough to see if my problem goes away (or vice versa, I’ll plug mine into your car, see if it misbehaves), please PM me.

It’s harmless, quick, and worth a good cup of coffee and a scone (or the like) of your choice to me. Plus, I’ll show some great twisties if you like (yes, in O.C.)

Regards, PK

P.S. The swap can in no way harm any of your electronics. In the extremely unlikely event, I’d certainly cover any repair cost.

PK:

Can't help you with this one because I'm in New York, but I was wondering what your current symptoms are?

Regards, Maurice.

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Hi,

I’m looking for someone in Orange County I can swap a part out with for a 1 minuet or so for a quick diagnosis (proces of elimination). My top misbehaves and I believe the problem lies with the tops "double relay".

Ya see the relay is 100 bucks and most places don't like to take electrical parts back and from what I know of my car, chances are only 50/50 that it’s my problem. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve been pretty exhaustive in my attempt to hunt down the problem and it’s pointing to the relay, but my cars weird…posseced.

If you’re a Boxster owner, preferably 1999 or so, and wouldn’t mind letting me plug your “top relay” into my car just long enough to see if my problem goes away (or vice versa, I’ll plug mine into your car, see if it misbehaves), please PM me.

It’s harmless, quick, and worth a good cup of coffee and a scone (or the like) of your choice to me. Plus, I’ll show some great twisties if you like (yes, in O.C.)

Regards, PK

P.S. The swap can in no way harm any of your electronics. In the extremely unlikely event, I’d certainly cover any repair cost.

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PK:

Can't help you with this one because I'm in New York, but I was wondering what your current symptoms are?

Regards, Maurice.

Hey Maurice,

My problem is that my "top' works but doesn’t stop by itself in either full up and full down positions + the convertible light on the dash never goes out. Have to watch the clamshell shut and let off the button.

As you know, having patiently held my hand through the whole ordeal, a couple weeks ago I went through the whole top mechanism & fixed all kinds of things, tested others. Now that I can finally work it nicely with the switch (with an eye on the clamshell), I’d like it to be “all it can be”.

I am pretty sure I checked the micro-switches with a DMM for continuity and they seemed to be in order. I’ve got a manual supplement describing how to test the input into the “relay/controller” socket. But as usual with these official Porsche manuals are pretty arcane. Haven’t siked myself up to measure every thing.

Regards,

Peter

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PK:

Can't help you with this one because I'm in New York, but I was wondering what your current symptoms are?

Regards, Maurice.

Hey Maurice,

My problem is that my "top' works but doesn’t stop by itself in either full up and full down positions + the convertible light on the dash never goes out. Have to watch the clamshell shut and let off the button.

As you know, having patiently held my hand through the whole ordeal, a couple weeks ago I went through the whole top mechanism & fixed all kinds of things, tested others. Now that I can finally work it nicely with the switch (with an eye on the clamshell), I’d like it to be “all it can be”.

I am pretty sure I checked the micro-switches with a DMM for continuity and they seemed to be in order. I’ve got a manual supplement describing how to test the input into the “relay/controller” socket. But as usual with these official Porsche manuals are pretty arcane. Haven’t siked myself up to measure every thing.

Regards,

Peter

Peter:

We are like two peas in a pod. The warning light staying on is the only part I have not been able to figure out. The top works better than ever (actually when I bought the car it did not work at all), and very smoothly, but I, like you, have to keep an eye on the clamshell.

BTW, you mentioned the factory manual. I read that you have the supplement describing how to test the input into the "relay/controller" socket. I could not figure out those procedures at all (i.e, where to connect each voltmeter lead, did the whole relay panel have to come out first, etc.). I did figure out and was able to test the last few steps that involve the wires from the motor, and I got the values that are indicated... so that is eliminated as a possible source of this remaining problem.

If you look at the Bentley manual, they have reproduced another part of that supplement, which spell out which circuit is supposed to read "open" or "closed" with all of the varying permutations of top up/top down/clamshell up/clamshell down/in between, etc. Maybe with your superior electrical knowledge (mine is not far away from nil), you can figure something out that way.

If it will help you, I replaced my top relay (control module in the kick panel) and it did not solve the problem. I'm still working on it and trying to get a solution from my contacts, but still no luck. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

If you have any (really simple) instructions on how to do the above two tests, let me know as I would like to try them.

Regards, Maurice.

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Peter:

We are like two peas in a pod. The warning light staying on is the only part I have not been able to figure out. The top works better than ever (actually when I bought the car it did not work at all), and very smoothly, but I, like you, have to keep an eye on the clamshell.

BTW, you mentioned the factory manual. I read that you have the supplement describing how to test the input into the "relay/controller" socket. I could not figure out those procedures at all (i.e, where to connect each voltmeter lead, did the whole relay panel have to come out first, etc.). I did figure out and was able to test the last few steps that involve the wires from the motor, and I got the values that are indicated... so that is eliminated as a possible source of this remaining problem.

If you look at the Bentley manual, they have reproduced another part of that supplement, which spell out which circuit is supposed to read "open" or "closed" with all of the varying permutations of top up/top down/clamshell up/clamshell down/in between, etc. Maybe with your superior electrical knowledge (mine is not far away from nil), you can figure something out that way.

If it will help you, I replaced my top relay (control module in the kick panel) and it did not solve the problem. I'm still working on it and trying to get a solution from my contacts, but still no luck. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

If you have any (really simple) instructions on how to do the above two tests, let me know as I would like to try them.

Regards, Maurice.

Hey Marice,

Sounds like your Bentley manual has the same info as mine. Probably just in plain English.

I read that you have the supplement describing how to test the input into the "relay/controller" socket. I could not figure out those procedures at all (i.e, where to connect each voltmeter lead, did the whole relay panel have to come out first, etc.).

This I don’t know, I haven’t tried it yet, I to was sort of befuddled by the manual... wasn’t particularly inspiring. As to taking the whole panel out, were as easy as the rear relay panel, I wouldn’t hesitate, but I doubt it is. You out be able to wiggle your v-meter probes in there. Or buy some alligator clips that fit the ends of your meter and stick a piece of wire or something on them to better angle them in.

My supplement is out there on the net somewhere. I forgot where I found it but would be happy to email it if you want, bout a 3.5 page pdf.

That’s a little gratifying for me in that with the same problem, a new relat didn’t solve the problem. I was afraid I’ have to buy on and not be able to return it…electrical (were you able to return yours?…no questions?

The “relay” has a fair amount of circuitry which is strange to me in that aside from the “ease down” aspect (when the clam shell trips the back micro-switch, the light goes out but the motor continues for a second or so to snug it in the shell in place). The rest could all be accomplished by electro-mechanical means (I.E. regular old relays).

Do anyway there’s a guy in LA who makes it down my way every once and awhile, seems keen on helping me out by swapping relay/controller with his, for a minuet to see if that solves my problem. But, in that you’ve got the same problem with no change with a new relay/controller, that could mean our problems are in the wiring/switch loop. This I might be able to hunt down…weird though

I’ll psyche my self up to attack that relay socket and let you know what I find out

Regards, Peter

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Peter:

We are like two peas in a pod. The warning light staying on is the only part I have not been able to figure out. The top works better than ever (actually when I bought the car it did not work at all), and very smoothly, but I, like you, have to keep an eye on the clamshell.

BTW, you mentioned the factory manual. I read that you have the supplement describing how to test the input into the "relay/controller" socket. I could not figure out those procedures at all (i.e, where to connect each voltmeter lead, did the whole relay panel have to come out first, etc.). I did figure out and was able to test the last few steps that involve the wires from the motor, and I got the values that are indicated... so that is eliminated as a possible source of this remaining problem.

If you look at the Bentley manual, they have reproduced another part of that supplement, which spell out which circuit is supposed to read "open" or "closed" with all of the varying permutations of top up/top down/clamshell up/clamshell down/in between, etc. Maybe with your superior electrical knowledge (mine is not far away from nil), you can figure something out that way.

If it will help you, I replaced my top relay (control module in the kick panel) and it did not solve the problem. I'm still working on it and trying to get a solution from my contacts, but still no luck. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

If you have any (really simple) instructions on how to do the above two tests, let me know as I would like to try them.

Regards, Maurice.

Hey Marice,

Sounds like your Bentley manual has the same info as mine. Probably just in plain English.

I read that you have the supplement describing how to test the input into the "relay/controller" socket. I could not figure out those procedures at all (i.e, where to connect each voltmeter lead, did the whole relay panel have to come out first, etc.).

This I don’t know, I haven’t tried it yet, I to was sort of befuddled by the manual... wasn’t particularly inspiring. As to taking the whole panel out, were as easy as the rear relay panel, I wouldn’t hesitate, but I doubt it is. You out be able to wiggle your v-meter probes in there. Or buy some alligator clips that fit the ends of your meter and stick a piece of wire or something on them to better angle them in.

My supplement is out there on the net somewhere. I forgot where I found it but would be happy to email it if you want, bout a 3.5 page pdf.

That’s a little gratifying for me in that with the same problem, a new relat didn’t solve the problem. I was afraid I’ have to buy on and not be able to return it…electrical (were you able to return yours?…no questions?

The “relay” has a fair amount of circuitry which is strange to me in that aside from the “ease down” aspect (when the clam shell trips the back micro-switch, the light goes out but the motor continues for a second or so to snug it in the shell in place). The rest could all be accomplished by electro-mechanical means (I.E. regular old relays).

Do anyway there’s a guy in LA who makes it down my way every once and awhile, seems keen on helping me out by swapping relay/controller with his, for a minuet to see if that solves my problem. But, in that you’ve got the same problem with no change with a new relay/controller, that could mean our problems are in the wiring/switch loop. This I might be able to hunt down…weird though

I’ll psyche my self up to attack that relay socket and let you know what I find out

Regards, Peter

Peter:

My friend has a body shop and a customer brought in his Boxster (MY97) for some body repair and mentioned that he had "accidentally" run over his top relay while trying to figure something out. So, when my friend ordered a brand new relay for that car, we tried it out in my car after trying it out in his car. His car: fine... My car: NG, same as before. We went back and forth more than a few times just to make sure, even tried my old relay on his car, and that worked fine as well(but only on his car). Asked my friend if we could just swap cars (same colors, Ocean Blue Metallic) after he finished the paint repair, but he wouldn't go that far. Oh well! LOL.

As for the manual and the supplements, thanks for the offer, but I have hard copies of both. Like I said they didn't do me much good except for verifying the last three steps that involve the wiring to the motor, and that was okay.

I tried sticking in paper clips and even some special Radio Shack connectors into the relay terminals, but I still couldn't make heads or tails as to what kind of reading to get or which voltmeter lead to put where, etc...

The "ease-down" aspect may indeed be the key. One of my friends suggested putting a foam pad or a spring under the clamshell where it will come into contact with the black plastic crooked arm microswitch sooner to see if, when it gets tripped sooner, it might turn the warning light off. Kinda makes sense, but then, how does that affect the turning off of the warning light on the return trip when the clamshell opens to allow the top to come up on its way to closing at the windshield?

Hmmm... I suppose it may be possible that if it goes off on the way down as the clamshell is closing, we may get a different result on the warning light when it starts out as "off" when the clamshell opens again to allow the top to go up towards closing at the windshield... I will try that and see what happens.

Let me know what you think and keep me posted. I'll do the same.

Regards, Maurice.

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Peter:

My friend has a body shop and a customer brought in his Boxster (MY97) for some body repair and mentioned that he had "accidentally" run over his top relay while trying to figure something out. So, when my friend ordered a brand new relay for that car, we tried it out in my car after trying it out in his car. His car: fine... My car: NG, same as before. We went back and forth more than a few times just to make sure, even tried my old relay on his car, and that worked fine as well(but only on his car). Asked my friend if we could just swap cars (same colors, Ocean Blue Metallic) after he finished the paint repair, but he wouldn't go that far. Oh well! LOL.

As for the manual and the supplements, thanks for the offer, but I have hard copies of both. Like I said they didn't do me much good except for verifying the last three steps ...Let me know what you think and keep me posted. I'll do the same.

Regards, Maurice.

Hey Maurice,

Peas in a pod indeed (LOL) my new best buddy dropped by from LA with his Boxster with a working relay today...guess what...It didn't work any better in my car than mine did (and my relay in his car worked fine).

Believe or not, I’m sort of relieved in that the problem must be in the wire and switches, much more fathomable for me. Probably won’t get to it for a few days, but when I hunt it down maybe it will be the same problem your having.

As to tripping the switch earlier with a foam pad or something, be an interesting little experiment. Since that switch should be tripped by the clam shell either with the top in full up or full down…might explain something. I'll have to look at my wiring diagrams and see if that switch somehow works in conjunction with b pillar switch

I thought I had checked that switch on my car and I'm pretty sure the shell trips my switch…but it’s definitely worth revisiting.

Regards, PK

Edited by pk2
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