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OMG, what have I done to the convertible


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Hey,

I took the top off this weekend to replace the plastic window on my 99 boxster. Due to the nice weather temptation, I attempted to lower the convertible wing back to its bay, so then I can drive it around a bit. Boy, was that a stupid idea. After lower the piece back to it's convertible bay without the canvas top, I am not able to raise it again, and the covertible operation light stays on the dash on matter what I do.

So anyone know how I can raise the piece, and put it to service mode again, I would like to be able to drive the boxster in more than 1 weather condition. :(

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i believe i'm asking the same question as RFM above, but when you say you removed the canvas, did you remove *just* the canvas, or did you remove the metal FRAME with the canvas still on it?

what is the present condition of the conv top? did you put a new canvas on/put a new plastic window in and put the canvas back on the frame? it sounds like the top is 'down' at the moment.

there is a basic checklist that you can do:

- when you pull the emergency brake, does the BRAKE dash light illuminate? if the BRAKE light does light up, then your handbrake microswitch is ok. if it doesn't light up, that explains why the top is not moving. a replacement microswitch costs about $5 and is a very common problem.

- since your top is 'down', put the windows all the way up then turn the key to the off position. with your finger, press the 'button' where the conv top latch latches when you are closing the top (so the car thinks that the top is closed). holding this button in, turn the key to the 'acc' position so that the dash lights are on. release the button. do the windows drop a few inches? if the windows do drop, your top latch microswitch is ok. if not, you'll need a new microswitch.

if both of these tests are positive, your top should work when you press the conv top button. if the top still doesn't work, you can move the clamshell manually by following the instructions below.

take a look at this picture. (don't pay any attention to the arrows/lines). see the black canister with the white sticker on it? that is what moves the clamshell up and down. you need to pop this off of the V-lever that it is attached to. it is a ball/socket connection. you can just pry it off with a screwdriver. do this on both sides and your clamshell will be able to move freely.

1947_porsche_cars.jpg

please respond with results from the tests above and as much detail as you can. ;)

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I have some updates, thanks to RFM and Chris_in_H. See answers inline, and updates follow.

i believe i'm asking the same question as RFM above, but when you say you removed the canvas, did you remove *just* the canvas, or did you remove the metal FRAME with the canvas still on it? I removed the FRAME with canvas on it.[/color]

what is the present condition of the conv top? did you put a new canvas on/put a new plastic window in and put the canvas back on the frame? it sounds like the top is 'down' at the moment. No I didn't put the frame back. Yes the clamshell is currently down, that's where the problem is. Clamshell seems to stuck in down position.[/color]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caliconsinkota/2454053974/

there is a basic checklist that you can do:

- when you pull the emergency brake, does the BRAKE dash light illuminate? if the BRAKE light does light up, then your handbrake microswitch is ok. if it doesn't light up, that explains why the top is not moving. a replacement microswitch costs about $5 and is a very common problem.

Yes, the BRAKE light does go on/off.[/color]

- since your top is 'down', put the windows all the way up then turn the key to the off position. with your finger, press the 'button' where the conv top latch latches when you are closing the top (so the car thinks that the top is closed). holding this button in, turn the key to the 'acc' position so that the dash lights are on. release the button. do the windows drop a few inches? if the windows do drop, your top latch microswitch is ok. if not, you'll need a new microswitch.well, I can't. The reason is the window will only go up to the position as if the convertible top is being operated, it stops at about 1inch from all the way up. I can lower it, and raise it again to the same 1inch from 'all-the-way-up' position.[/color]

if both of these tests are positive, your top should work when you press the conv top button. if the top still doesn't work, you can move the clamshell manually by following the instructions below.when I press the button, I can hear the cranking, but nothing moves.[/color]

take a look at this picture. (don't pay any attention to the arrows/lines). see the black canister with the white sticker on it? that is what moves the clamshell up and down. you need to pop this off of the V-lever that it is attached to. it is a ball/socket connection. you can just pry it off with a screwdriver. do this on both sides and your clamshell will be able to move freely.Yes, I was able to remove the canister off, but it was a lot of harder than 'just pop it off the V-lever'. I had to remove the clamp at other end first, which is attached to the clamshell arm. (that was hard). see following pic[/color]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caliconsinkota/2454071930/

Here is my update, I hope this will help with people in the future regarding works on their convertibles.

After the basic checklist, made sure all the switches are OK. I start going mad on myself, taking parts off. I have taken some pictures to show the details to get to the actual rotating piece.

It seems like the spinning wheel is not a complete circle, I guess by lowering the clamshell without the top in place, the wheel over spun, and unlatched.

Here is the picture, where the wheel with teeth seem out of place.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caliconsinkota/2453228567/

Here is another picture, with I matched up the teeth to the spindle ( under the black plastic piece).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caliconsinkota/2454074350/

As you can see, if you just keep on rotating the wheel, it can be unlatched from either direction. I guess Porsche did this to prevent wheels from over turning, and crush the convertible top.

Now I have a couple questions

1. since I need to do this on both sides. how do I make sure I match up the teeth correctly. I don't want to end up with one side is higher than the other.

2. Just for my information, Does anyone know in the 2nd picture, where it shows a black cable housing, connects to a black plastic piece. Can someone explain to me what's the mechnism spins the wheel. Is there a cable inside the housing, which pull and push? Or is it a little motor in there, which can spin clock and counterclockwise? I would guess it has to be a motor inside, but why such a big honking cable, not just the wires to carry enough current to spin the motor.

3. Anyone has done this before, any words of wisdom about putting everying back, and hope it work.

So at this time, I still can't raise/lower the clamshell with convertible button, I hope all these findings will help me to put it together the root casue to fix the problem, which started with just a little crack in the plastic window. Speaking of the plastic window, I have to give it to a local shop to stitch in the plastics, it was taking me too long to sew it by hand. Zeintop seems to be a really good upgrade now. :)

Edited by liuyu79
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