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Top Issues - Removal - Broken Part - Foam - Snapped Cable?


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Hello all,

I started the top removal process to see if I could access and remove a broken part to repair or replace it.

Thread about broken part:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21585

I also need to add some form of sealant to the foam that leaks a bit with heavy rains, I have located where it leaks and it's under the metal top brackets, so by removing the top, I figure I would access the entire foam area to seal it properly with some black silicone or similar.

Problem #1: Top Removal, won't come off.

Following Maurice's superb easy to follow steps from previous threads, I did the steps to be able to remove the top in one piece.

The top won't "unstick", I tried prying the foam apart with plastic as well as possible, no go.

The brackets do move a bit when I move the entire assembly back and forth (carefully),

but no matter how hard I try to pull back or up, it just won't pop off, nor can it slide backwards any distance at all.

All 3 big bolts and phillips screw removed, bolt on control arm removed and red ball joint popped off (and defroster connector)

I'm hesitant to try a pry bar anywhere for now, any advice on leverage or what's needed to pop it off appreciated.

Problem #2:

I figured I would use the power to close the clamshell. (with top partially up, stupid move I guess).

After taping the loose control arm ends to the V piece so they would not dangle, I pushed the close button, the clamshell closed, but the motor didn't stop, and I heard a few popping/cracking sounds. Click Click Click. Tried the button to open back up/raise clamshell, didn't work. Clamshell does not move, and click click click (more like a hard snapping click)

The clamshell control arm mini shock absorbers (sorry for non technical terms) were pumping a bit then clicking back.

I pried off/removed the black ball joints to enable manual release of the clamshell. They come off with a sharp pop, therefore the ball joints were under a bit of pressure...

Now when I power, the motor turns freely, non stop, but the V's don't turn.

Manual operation of the Clamsheel fine, I greased the tracks, open and closes freely

Did I perhaps snap both cables, or connections, or something else?

With the clamshell ball joints disconnected, should the V's be turning when the motor is activated?

They don't.

Any help with both problems, very appreciated.

#1- Can't pop off the top assembly

#2- Did I snap or break anything, how to diagnose.

I have ordered 2 new plastic caps to replace the red ones, and once I have removed the broken cast aluminum part, will repair or replace that. Part #13 in this diagram I believe.

boxsterpart13.jpg

Mistakes I made others can learn from:

- The old red ball joints are brittle indeed, sure enough, I cracked one. Ordered 2 replacements ones from eBay.

- I didn't pay careful enough attention to the control arm that was dangling when I was moving the top back and forth to pry it lose..sure enough, it gouged the foam a bit.

Thanks for any help!

Tony

Edited by Charlestonboxster
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Hello all,

I started the top removal process to see if I could access and remove a broken part to repair or replace it.

Thread about broken part:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21585

I also need to add some form of sealant to the foam that leaks a bit with heavy rains, I have located where it leaks and it's under the metal top brackets, so by removing the top, I figure I would access the entire foam area to seal it properly with some black silicone or similar.

Problem #1: Top Removal, won't come off.

Following Maurice's superb easy to follow steps from previous threads, I did the steps to be able to remove the top in one piece.

The top won't "unstick", I tried prying the foam apart with plastic as well as possible, no go.

The brackets do move a bit when I move the entire assembly back and forth (carefully),

but no matter how hard I try to pull back or up, it just won't pop off, nor can it slide backwards any distance at all.

All 3 big bolts and phillips screw removed, bolt on control arm removed and red ball joint popped off (and defroster connector)

I'm hesitant to try a pry bar anywhere for now, any advice on leverage or what's needed to pop it off appreciated.

Problem #2:

I figured I would use the power to close the clamshell. (with top partially up, stupid move I guess).

After taping the loose control arm ends to the V piece so they would not dangle, I pushed the close button, the clamshell closed, but the motor didn't stop, and I heard a few popping/cracking sounds. Click Click Click. Tried the button to open back up/raise clamshell, didn't work. Clamshell does not move, and click click click (more like a hard snapping click)

The clamshell control arm mini shock absorbers (sorry for non technical terms) were pumping a bit then clicking back.

I pried off/removed the black ball joints to enable manual release of the clamshell. They come off with a sharp pop, therefore the ball joints were under a bit of pressure...

Now when I power, the motor turns freely, non stop, but the V's don't turn.

Manual operation of the Clamsheel fine, I greased the tracks, open and closes freely

Did I perhaps snap both cables, or connections, or something else?

With the clamshell ball joints disconnected, should the V's be turning when the motor is activated?

They don't.

Any help with both problems, very appreciated.

#1- Can't pop off the top assembly

#2- Did I snap or break anything, how to diagnose.

I have ordered 2 new plastic caps to replace the red ones, and once I have removed the broken cast aluminum part, will repair or replace that. Part #13 in this diagram I believe.

boxsterpart13.jpg

Mistakes I made others can learn from:

- The old red ball joints are brittle indeed, sure enough, I cracked one. Ordered 2 replacements ones from eBay.

- I didn't pay careful enough attention to the control arm that was dangling when I was moving the top back and forth to pry it lose..sure enough, it gouged the foam a bit.

Thanks for any help!

Tony

Tony:

Don't worry too much about the gouged foam liner. If the tear is not too bad, you can use some black silicone adhesive sealant to make it waterproof again. Otherwise, if you feel up to spending the $$, once you get the complete top and frame assembly off, it's a simple matter to replace the foam drain tray.

The "snapping" click that you hear is the half moon gear going past its fiftieth (last) tooth and then being pulled back sharply by the force of the black hydraulic pushrod.

The first place to start to get at the root cause of your problem with the operation of the top is by verifying whether your inner (speedometer-type) metal cables are intact.

To do that, you have to pull each one out in turn from where it is inserted into the side of the electric motor. First pull the upside down U-shaped clip straight up from where it is located right next to the side of the electric motor. Then pull the outer cable sheath in the outboard direction, away from the side of the motor. Initially inspect whether you have 3/4 of an inch of the inner metal cable sticking out of the end of the sheath. If you don't, that's the reason that the V-lever on that side is not turning.

If you have the 3/4" sticking out, grab the end of the inner metal cable with a pair of pliers and pull on it to see if has perhaps broken or frayed inside the sheath. If it is broken, you will have a section of the cable that pulls out. If it is frayed, you will see that it may have partially unravelled (unwound) itself.

To double check, hook up a cordless drill to the speedometer cable ON LOW TORQUE SETTING and spin the cable to see if that side's V-lever spins.

If it doesn't spin, the cable has either broken or is frayed inside or there is a problem with the worm gear that turns the half-moon gear.

Try the above first and then report back.

On a side note, operating the B-pillar microswitch manually will usually reverse the direction of travel of the V-levers.

Regards, Maurice.

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Monsieur Maurice,

thank you thank you for the diagnosis, will go through it tomorrow and report back.

Any thoughts on why the assembly is so hard to pull out?

Thanks,

Tony

Tony:

Some Boxsters only have one phillips screw (on each side) in addition to the three large bolts. Others have more than one.

Take a good look (maybe with a small inspection mirror placed down under where the frame assembly is attached on each side) and make sure there isn't another phillips screw holding it in place.

If you are absolutely sure that there are no more phillips screws still fastened under there, then try giving the frame assembly in the same area a couple of sharp blows WITH A RUBBER MALLET. It's possible that the parts have sort of fused or slightly corroded themselves together. That sometimes happens when dissimilar metals stay in contact. Keep in mind though that some of those surrounding parts might be a little delicate and are definitely very expensive.

Keep us posted.

Regards, Maurice.

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Monsieur Maurice,

thank you thank you for the diagnosis, will go through it tomorrow and report back.

Any thoughts on why the assembly is so hard to pull out?

Thanks,

Tony

Tony:

Some Boxsters only have one phillips screw (on each side) in addition to the three large bolts. Others have more than one.

Take a good look (maybe with a small inspection mirror placed down under where the frame assembly is attached on each side) and make sure there isn't another phillips screw holding it in place.

If you are absolutely sure that there are no more phillips screws still fastened under there, then try giving the frame assembly in the same area a couple of sharp blows WITH A RUBBER MALLET. It's possible that the parts have sort of fused or slightly corroded themselves together. That sometimes happens when dissimilar metals stay in contact. Keep in mind though that some of those surrounding parts might be a little delicate and are definitely very expensive.

Keep us posted.

Regards, Maurice.

Update:

Thank you, there was indeed another screw, a second one, about a few inches ahead of the first, pretty easy to see had I looked more closely, thanks for the tip, I looked and found!

Top very-very easily popped right out after I removed that screw, now I will

- seal the foam with silicone

- try to dissablme part of the top assembly to remove and replace/repair the cracked part

- Diagnose the new problem

Will keep the thread updated, thanks for checking in Maurice!

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Update:

Thank you, there was indeed another screw, a second one, about a few inches ahead of the first, pretty easy to see had I looked more closely, thanks for the tip, I looked and found!

Top very-very easily popped right out after I removed that screw, now I will

- seal the foam with silicone

- try to dissablme part of the top assembly to remove and replace/repair the cracked part

- Diagnose the new problem

Will keep the thread updated, thanks for checking in Maurice!

Tony:

Excellent work!

You might want to take a look at the steps for stripping out and reinstalling the top on Mike Focke's site. If you need additional photos for some of the steps there, let me know and I'll dig some up.

Regards, Maurice.

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Ok,

Once top removed and upside down, taking apart the pieces to access the broken part was pretty straightforward,

fortunately I did not have to remove any rubber parts or canvas.

1- Rather then replace the part that cracked in two, ($217+) I decided to try 2part JBweld, and it bonded very nicely.

Pulled on it rather hard held strong, plus the way the tension happens on that part, I believe it's not that high, so the weld should work.

(Will report back if it does not)

Put it back together, all told, 1 hour tops

2- Siliconed many areas of the foam.

Time to test for water leaks, and diagnose the skipping cable problem.

Question: What is the purpose of the "microswitch"? Is it a backup to the normal open/close switch?

Thanks,

Tony

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Uh, before anyone tries JBweld on this type of part, as soon as I tried to lift the top to put it back on temporarily,

the "weld" failed.

Guess this 2 part cold weld material does not work well for this, I am still not sure if it is aluminum or magnesium.

Guys at Sunset don't know. Think it's alu, but tool pants think it might be mag.

I am somewhat broke (not cheap, broke:) and trying to save on the cost of the part, if it's aluminum, local welder should be able to weld it easily, but if it's magnesium, the 4 welders I have called all won't touch it.

Back to the drawing board.

I think I will bring the part to the welder, ugh...car is my daily/only driver.

Edited by Charlestonboxster
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Take a knife and shave some filings from the part. Take filings and make a pile and try to light it with a cigarette lighter.

If it is in fact Magnesium it will catch fire and burn hot and white! Aluminum will only get hot but won't burn. I am guessing

the part to be aluminum. Magnesium is only really used in applications where weight is a major concern. As in the new

laptop computers for example.

Good job on the repairs, I for one am watching this thread with great interest. Plenty to learn about the Boxster. :renntech:

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Ok,

Once top removed and upside down, taking apart the pieces to access the broken part was pretty straightforward,

fortunately I did not have to remove any rubber parts or canvas.

1- Rather then replace the part that cracked in two, ($217+) I decided to try 2part JBweld, and it bonded very nicely.

Pulled on it rather hard held strong, plus the way the tension happens on that part, I believe it's not that high, so the weld should work.

(Will report back if it does not)

Put it back together, all told, 1 hour tops

2- Siliconed many areas of the foam.

Time to test for water leaks, and diagnose the skipping cable problem.

Question: What is the purpose of the "microswitch"? Is it a backup to the normal open/close switch?

Thanks,

Tony

Tony:

I'm not sure whether it's magnesium or aluminum? I do know that all of those parts are expensive.

Could you post a photo of the broken part?

If you are referring to the "B Pillar Microswitch", it tells the relay when the top (or more accurately, part of the the frame assembly) has reached a certain point, just before "complete close".

Regards, Maurice.

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