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Mikerivera101

Porsche top Removal - Top Jammed

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Hello,

I removed my top, and was replacing it with a new black top (versus grey). When I took off the old top, I pushed the button until the roof piece went all the way down. Now the roof piece is jammed, and will not move when I push the button. Instead I hear a deep clanking noise on each side, presumably from the transmissions for the top. Does anyone know how to fix this?

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Hello,

I removed my top, and was replacing it with a new black top (versus grey). When I took off the old top, I pushed the button until the roof piece went all the way down. Now the roof piece is jammed, and will not move when I push the button. Instead I hear a deep clanking noise on each side, presumably from the transmissions for the top. Does anyone know how to fix this?

Mike:

What year is your Boxster? What do you mean by "roof piece" and how is it jammed? In what position? When you push the button, do you hear a rythmic, heavy clicking noise (i.e., a loud, heavy click, then quiet for one second, then another click, etc...

Did you install or partially install the new convertible top canvas yet or is it just the frame mechanism that is now exposed?

Regards, Maurice.

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Hello,

I removed my top, and was replacing it with a new black top (versus grey). When I took off the old top, I pushed the button until the roof piece went all the way down. Now the roof piece is jammed, and will not move when I push the button. Instead I hear a deep clanking noise on each side, presumably from the transmissions for the top. Does anyone know how to fix this?

Mike:

What year is your Boxster? What do you mean by "roof piece" and how is it jammed? In what position? When you push the button, do you hear a rythmic, heavy clicking noise (i.e., a loud, heavy click, then quiet for one second, then another click, etc...

Did you install or partially install the new convertible top canvas yet or is it just the frame mechanism that is now exposed?

Regards, Maurice.

Hi Maurice,

I removed the entire convertable top mechanism/frame and subsequently closed the convertible top lid with the frame removed. The lid will no longer lift and makes the "heavy clicking noise" exactly as you describe it. It is a 1999, and the lid is stuck in the down position, as if the Convertible top was down (if there was a convertible in there, which there is not).

Edited by Mikerivera101

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Hello,

I removed my top, and was replacing it with a new black top (versus grey). When I took off the old top, I pushed the button until the roof piece went all the way down. Now the roof piece is jammed, and will not move when I push the button. Instead I hear a deep clanking noise on each side, presumably from the transmissions for the top. Does anyone know how to fix this?

Mike:

What year is your Boxster? What do you mean by "roof piece" and how is it jammed? In what position? When you push the button, do you hear a rythmic, heavy clicking noise (i.e., a loud, heavy click, then quiet for one second, then another click, etc...

Did you install or partially install the new convertible top canvas yet or is it just the frame mechanism that is now exposed?

Regards, Maurice.

Hi Maurice,

I removed the entire convertable top mechanism/frame and subsequently closed the convertible top lid with the frame removed. The lid will no longer lift and makes the "heavy clicking noise" exactly as you describe it. It is a 1999, and the lid is stuck in the down position, as if the Convertible top was down (if there was a convertible in there, which there is not).

Mike:

It sounds like your half-moon gears inside the convertible top transmissions have gone past the last of their 50 teeth. The reason you hear the heavy clicking is because once the half-moon gear goes past its last tooth, it is pulled back by the black hydraulic pushrods which connect the V-levers to the clamshell.

The conventional approach would be to lever the black hydraulic pushrods off the steel balls that are screwed onto one end of the V-levers and that will allow you to operate the clamshell manually. Once you put the clamshell in its maximum up and back position (45 degree angle), you can then unclip the drive cables from where they are inserted into each side of the convertible top electric motor (located in the convertible top well, just forward of the third brake light) and then spin the cables in the opposite direction with an electric drill so that the V-levers go back to their correct position of rotation (i.e., so that they don't go past the last of the 50 teeth).

If you have trouble disconnecting the pushrods from the V-levers (they are difficult to separate because they are under pressure as they are pulling on the V-levers in that position) you can try an unconventional approach. That approach involves removing the carpet-covered plastic trim piece that is below the B-pillar so as to gain easy access to the B-pillar microswitch. Once you can access the microswitch, you can pull (or push) its small silver metal arm so as to activate (or release) its tiny switch while you press the dashboard switch either in the up or down direction. That can reverse the direction of rotation of the V-levers and that will then raise the clamshell.

If you use that second approach, you MAY still have to spin the drive cables to get the transmission's half-moon gear back where it belongs.

With either approach, if you spin the drive cables, make sure you rotate the V-levers an equal amount of degrees as they have to remain synchronized.

Also, I am assuming that you have the early (Version A) type of transmissions because your car is a 1999 and because the teeth are skipping. The later (Version "B") transmissions were installed at the middle to end of 1999 and their equivalent of the " B-pillar microswitch" was moved to the right (passenger's) side transmission.

I have previously posted photos of the B-pillar microswitch and how to remove that carpeted plastic trim panel. If you choose to go with that option and have trouble locating those parts, post here and I will look for those.

Regards, Maurice.

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Hello,

I removed my top, and was replacing it with a new black top (versus grey). When I took off the old top, I pushed the button until the roof piece went all the way down. Now the roof piece is jammed, and will not move when I push the button. Instead I hear a deep clanking noise on each side, presumably from the transmissions for the top. Does anyone know how to fix this?

Mike:

What year is your Boxster? What do you mean by "roof piece" and how is it jammed? In what position? When you push the button, do you hear a rythmic, heavy clicking noise (i.e., a loud, heavy click, then quiet for one second, then another click, etc...

Did you install or partially install the new convertible top canvas yet or is it just the frame mechanism that is now exposed?

Regards, Maurice.

Hi Maurice,

I removed the entire convertable top mechanism/frame and subsequently closed the convertible top lid with the frame removed. The lid will no longer lift and makes the "heavy clicking noise" exactly as you describe it. It is a 1999, and the lid is stuck in the down position, as if the Convertible top was down (if there was a convertible in there, which there is not).

Mike:

It sounds like your half-moon gears inside the convertible top transmissions have gone past the last of their 50 teeth. The reason you hear the heavy clicking is because once the half-moon gear goes past its last tooth, it is pulled back by the black hydraulic pushrods which connect the V-levers to the clamshell.

The conventional approach would be to lever the black hydraulic pushrods off the steel balls that are screwed onto one end of the V-levers and that will allow you to operate the clamshell manually. Once you put the clamshell in its maximum up and back position (45 degree angle), you can then unclip the drive cables from where they are inserted into each side of the convertible top electric motor (located in the convertible top well, just forward of the third brake light) and then spin the cables in the opposite direction with an electric drill so that the V-levers go back to their correct position of rotation (i.e., so that they don't go past the last of the 50 teeth).

If you have trouble disconnecting the pushrods from the V-levers (they are difficult to separate because they are under pressure as they are pulling on the V-levers in that position) you can try an unconventional approach. That approach involves removing the carpet-covered plastic trim piece that is below the B-pillar so as to gain easy access to the B-pillar microswitch. Once you can access the microswitch, you can pull (or push) its small silver metal arm so as to activate (or release) its tiny switch while you press the dashboard switch either in the up or down direction. That can reverse the direction of rotation of the V-levers and that will then raise the clamshell.

If you use that second approach, you MAY still have to spin the drive cables to get the transmission's half-moon gear back where it belongs.

With either approach, if you spin the drive cables, make sure you rotate the V-levers an equal amount of degrees as they have to remain synchronized.

Also, I am assuming that you have the early (Version A) type of transmissions because your car is a 1999 and because the teeth are skipping. The later (Version "B") transmissions were installed at the middle to end of 1999 and their equivalent of the " B-pillar microswitch" was moved to the right (passenger's) side transmission.

I have previously posted photos of the B-pillar microswitch and how to remove that carpeted plastic trim panel. If you choose to go with that option and have trouble locating those parts, post here and I will look for those.

Regards, Maurice.

Maurice,

Thanks for the help. I tried the first method and it worked. Thanks again. I owe you.

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Maurice,

Thanks for the help. I tried the first method and it worked. Thanks again. I owe you.

Mike:

No problem. Glad you got it all worked out. That's reward enough.

Regards, Maurice.

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I had the exact same issue as described and solved it with Marice's "method 2", I am EXTREMELY happy and grateful to him for the advice - and from an 11 year old posting!  The plastic window cracked on my new to me just purchased 1998 Boxster.  It was cold (Nov 2019 in WDC area), I didn't focus on the warnings not to lower the top in cold weather, doing "the chop" etc.  So the rear window was cracked and it looked like I could either (1) buy a new top with either a plastic or glass window off Ebay and have it installed on my frame for around $1200 (or do the top install myself which YouTube videos convinced me was going to be a real day at the beach and no fun even in my living room) or (2) buy a whole top with frame and top with either plastic or glass window.  So I managed to buy not one but two tops off Ebay from salvage yards in CA and OK both with glass windows and frames that looked like that on my 1998 (both were around $600 shipped to me, turns out if I could have found one close by I could have saved about $200 shipping but finding them is not easy).  When they arrived it turned out both were from early cars like mine and the glass equipped tops were replacement tops - one a FUYAO which is a brand sold by cabriosupply.com that retails for $799.99 new and the other the well known GAHH top which came with a heavy liner as well, it retails for $926 !!!  Both tops were clean and undamaged, had all the rubber bits, one came with two later type transmissions, cables and motor!  I was very happy, a cornucopia of riches!  Figured I could pick one and sell the other locally or at the Hershey PA annual Porsche swap meet in April 2020 and maybe either fix my old one's torn plastic window at my leisure or keep it as a spare.  So I removed the original top and frame.  Not too difficult even for just myself.  Then (not thinking through things) I lowered the lid down and when it went down it wouldn't come back up, the CLICKING NOISE described above when I pressed the up/down switch in either direction !! Thought I had broke the gears in the transmissions, then after some research I realized I have the early type "type 1" transmissions with the "half moon" gears that don't normally break. Seems the worm ran out of a gear teeth.  Then I had to figure out how to raise the lid back up to install the replacement top, either the FUYAO or the GAHH.  The rods on the triangles on the transmissions that are attached to the lid were really on super tight like described, those pistons pull hard, and tugging with some considerable effort with a big flat steel nail puller didn't budge them.  Then I found this threaded  I researched Marice's "method 2".  First had to find the " B-pillar switch".  I had not noticed any switches when I removed the old top and frame.  I did remember detaching a wire though that was attached after I unbolted the top and that it went into my house attached to the top.  Looking at same on the top in the warmth of my living room I discovered said " B-pillar switch" screwed on the bottom of the top mechanism.  It was held on with one "torx" screw, a tiny one, then it was off and dangling it's connector.  It's a what I would call a momentary contact switch with a longish spring-loaded silver tang that moves up and down to turn off and on.  Around same I used a few twists of a rubber band to hold it closed. As an intuitive attempt I took bondaged switch into my cold garage, hooked the wire back where it had been disconnected at the back left side of the driver's seat, held rubber-banded switch in my lap while I woke my Boxster girl up with the key and pushed the down button for the top (hand brake engaged of course) - wonder of wonders the lid moved up and up just like it was supposed to, no noises from the transmissions  !!!  Joy to the world this holiday season !!!  So I'm a happy camper, ready to get my nephew over to help me put either the FUYAO or the GAHH in and bolt her up !!  Going in the top requires some twisting to get it around the roll bar which can't be done from the middle holding it up even if you are much younger than I am !!!  Now I'll have as good a top as the original but with glass instead of plastic and heated window to boot, all for around $600 !!  I will have learned a heck of a lot about how the top works so if something else happens in the future I'll be ready.  This is why folks love old Porsches !!!  As least why I do !!!  And why I love Renntech and the folks who so generously share their knowledge!  God bless you all this 2019 Christmas Season !!!   Ho ho ho  !!!!

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Very excellent story with a very excellent outcome!

 

Hard to believe that was from more than ten years ago, but thanks for confirming one of the two methods for getting the clamshell up.

 

Good luck with the rest of the install.

 

Regards, Maurice.

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