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"Pop" goes the wallet


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First, the salutation....Howdy all! Love the board. Hard to find a question to post as it all appears to have been answered before...

Second, the car and location...2001 Boxster S, 50k (SF Bay Area of California)

Third, the cause: 41 degrees(f) + crik in the neck + 2 seconds on the button too long = opp$

Fourth, the questions:

A. I will be replacing the top with a glass conversion, but am eager to know among whom has had this done, is the Robbins Glass Top as good as the GAHH Glass Top? I see about a three hundred dollar difference.

B. Can the headliner be reused?...It does appear to be in very good shape.

C. Will other parts not be included with a top purchase from either of these places but needed? i.e., cables, straps, foam? (I do see the need for the 3m double stick tape, but I can get that elsewhere.)

D. Although I can find some detailed install instructions for a top here on the board, I am a bit concerned about doing it myself. If I do, would there be someone nearby who has done it or needs to do it to their Boxster for a collaborative effort? If not, how many true hours of labour is needed for a professional installer to do it right?

E. Is the German word for Wheeeeeeeeee! = Zahnrad Sechs! ?

Fifth, Love the Board.

Zodman (aka David)

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First, the salutation....Howdy all! Love the board. Hard to find a question to post as it all appears to have been answered before...

Second, the car and location...2001 Boxster S, 50k (SF Bay Area of California)

Third, the cause: 41 degrees(f) + crik in the neck + 2 seconds on the button too long = opp$

Fourth, the questions:

A. I will be replacing the top with a glass conversion, but am eager to know among whom has had this done, is the Robbins Glass Top as good as the GAHH Glass Top? I see about a three hundred dollar difference.

B. Can the headliner be reused?...It does appear to be in very good shape.

C. Will other parts not be included with a top purchase from either of these places but needed? i.e., cables, straps, foam? (I do see the need for the 3m double stick tape, but I can get that elsewhere.)

D. Although I can find some detailed install instructions for a top here on the board, I am a bit concerned about doing it myself. If I do, would there be someone nearby who has done it or needs to do it to their Boxster for a collaborative effort? If not, how many true hours of labour is needed for a professional installer to do it right?

E. Is the German word for Wheeeeeeeeee! = Zahnrad Sechs! ?

Fifth, Love the Board.

Zodman (aka David)

David:

Not clear on what happened when you held your finger on the button for two seconds too long. Did the white plastic cups on the opposite end of the V-Levers pop or was there some other damage caused?

Didn't your convertible top idiot light (on the dashboard, all the way to the right) not go out and thus the electric motor not turn off?

With respect to your questions:

A. There have been a few recent reports of people posting on this board with problems with the Robbins glass window top installations, where the biggest of the problems seemed to be separation of the glass from the top due to glue failure. Look at this thread for three such recent ones: http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?s...c=17023&hl=

The GAHH tops had many such problems reported when they were first introduced, but since then, GAHH has reportedly fixed the problem. They originally had a similar problem of the glass windows separating. Do a search on here for earlier years and you will find a few threads discussing those problems.

As far as going with a glass window top, nothing beats glass when you compare it to the plastic window. However, there are a couple of shortcomings you should be aware of going in. The glass window is smaller in size than the plastic window. There is also more restricted access to the engine when the top is put into the service position. Another plus for the glass window top is that your Boxster comes pre-wired for the rear defroster grid that is in the glass window. There were some objections to the appearance of the defroster grids on some of the earlier tops, so make sure you check that as well so that you don't get an unpleasant surprise.

B. The headliner can be re-used.

C. You will need to get some additional small parts before you start, so that you don't get delayed during the installation. You will very likely have to get replacement left and right clamping rails (Part numbers 986 561 559 01 and 986 561 560 01) as their small plastic protrusions almost always break off when you try to take them apart. To try to insure that you have the best chance to have the cables tuck into the edges of the where the top meets the top edges of the window frame, you should use updated sliders which have an extra 1 1/2 inch extension on their upper ends (part numbers 986 561 669 03 and 986 561 670 03). Someone recently reported having trouble getting the longer sliders so make sure to double check. Here is a photo of the old sliders with the extension drawn in in red:

post-6627-1198989704_thumb.jpg

Aside from the double sided tape, you will also need black plastic foam strips that go under the aluminum shoulder plates but for which I have not been able to find a part number. For thiese side convertible top foam seals, there is a part number for a kit from a TSB which dealt with rectifying flapping noises between the covertible top and frame. Since that repair involved peeling back the top, they had a kit which consists of a plastic foam mat, a long velcro strip and seals for the convertible top and roof frame. The part number is 000 043 300 45. If it's not prohibitively expensive, it might be a good alternative to making your own foam strips.

D. If you have some mechanical ability, some artistic ability, and a lot of patience, you can put the top on yourself. A professional can do the install in about 4 to six hours. The first time I did my top, it took me more than one day, but I ran into a couple of roadblocks that involved the factory replacement top, not an aftermarket top. Again, nothing that could not be overcome with persistence. It is a very rewarding DIY project.

I don't know if you have already found this DIY, but if you haven't, definitely look over the instructions at this link: http://mike.focke.googlepages.com/replacingthetop-adiy

Lots of good photos and instructions. Mike Focke also recently added to the DIY by including a page on Robbins Top replacement.

E. Don't know the German word for Wheeeeeeeee!

I'm located in Long Island, New York, so I can't help you personally, but I'd be glad to answer any questions you may come up with.

Also, please report back with any new part numbers you may discover for the ones I listed.

Good Luck!

Regards, Maurice.

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Maurice,

the new sliders i ordered were the 03 version, on the label on the bag they were 03 but the actual sliders were moulded with an 02 code and were identical to my original 00 sliders.

The Centre checked with Porsche UK and all the bags are marked 03 but contain 02 sliders.

After reading this post I phoned them and they are going to contact Germany to get a check on the real version.

Jim Boyle

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Maurice,

the new sliders i ordered were the 03 version, on the label on the bag they were 03 but the actual sliders were moulded with an 02 code and were identical to my original 00 sliders.

The Centre checked with Porsche UK and all the bags are marked 03 but contain 02 sliders.

After reading this post I phoned them and they are going to contact Germany to get a check on the real version.

Jim Boyle

Jim:

Thanks for the update. Keep us posted.

Regards, Maurice.

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David:

Not clear on what happened when you held your finger on the button for two seconds too long. Did the white plastic cups on the opposite end of the V-Levers pop or was there some other damage caused?

Didn't your convertible top idiot light (on the dashboard, all the way to the right) not go out and thus the electric motor not turn off?

Thanks for the info Maurice, that will be helpful...

As to what "popped", it was just the plastic window. I usually open it up a bit and then step out of the car to make sure it will fold down properly, but I was in discomfort with my neck and I thought I had a little more room before I step out and make sure it folds down properly...obviously, it was too much.

I had planned on getting a glass window conversion at some point, just not this soon. For right now, I have the window taped up inside and out at the crack point with several layers of clear packing tape. It's holding up pretty good for now.

I made sure the drains were all working and of course, I don't want any moisture getting into and under the seats as I hadn't had time to seal the box underneath the drivers seat yet.

As for E. It was a sad attempt at humour... Zahnrad Sechs = Sixth Gear

Though I'm not sure if thats the exact translation.

I probably will get the GAHH top, I just need to decide if it's a project I want to do, as it might take me a bit longer if I tackle it.

Thanks again for your help.

If anyone else is in the Bay Area and needs to do the same to theirs I would be glad to help just to see it done.

David

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  • 3 weeks later...
I'd be very hesitant about attempting this job myself, it is a bit of an art and the installer who did mine said he had done about 10 before he was 'any good at it'. If you get it wrong it might look aweful. But good luck if you decide to give it a go!

Anyone with a fair amount of mechanical ability and a LOT of patience, with the willingness and ability to pay attention to detail, can install the top themselves by following the detailed instructions that have now been developed and posted on Mike Focke's website. The instructions are at this link:

http://mike.focke.googlepages.com/replacingthetop-adiy

I installed a new top this past summer, with the help of my girlfriend, and I added some paragraphs and photos to the DIY. The installation came out perfect, and, as I said, it just takes a lot of patience and not giving in to the temptation of cutting corners.

Regards, Maurice

Edited by 1schoir
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  • 1 month later...

Follow-up...

I haven't ordered the top yet, nor found anyone wanting help with theirs for a combined effort/learning experience, but the desire to do it as a DIY project is still there. Just waiting for the right time.

Wouldn't mind making it a video project either if it pans out in that direction for the benefit of others later on.

BTW-the tape has held up pretty good despite the few rain storms I've run across. I also added some silicone at the bottom corner of the rip as an added measure inside and out. Inside is still nice and dry.

I've got a few other questions I'll post to the board a little later on in the proper category, but for now, thanks again for the comments.

david

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