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Top Dash Light


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I have a 1999 Regular Model Boxster with the Triptronic. When I first bought the car the large, round control rods were missing and the rods that had the red ball joints on them, one of the ball joints was broken. I got all new parts and also found that I had the new style cables for the transmissions. I then went through all the procedures outlined in the Bentley Repair manual. The top worked fine either opening or closing. The dash light did not go out at first then someone told me to keep pressing on the switch until the light goes out and it did. When doing this, the electric top motor started to sound like it was under a lot of strain and you could hear it slowing down and then the light went out but you could tell the top mechanism was under a tremendous amount of strain. Suddenly it started breaking the pot aluminum arms that the large, round pushrods connect to. I have broken 4 of them. Each time I have re-done all the adjustment procedures and tested all the micro-switches. It just seems to me that there is simply too much pressure being put on the motor and mechanism and this is causing the arms to break so that is why I need to know what actually turns the dash light out. When the top is closed the latch micro-switch is closed and so is the b-pillar micro-switch along with the switch on top of the electric motor. When the top is open, the latch switch is open and so is the b-pillar switch so that is why I think the dash light must have something to do with the switch on top of the motor but it checked out ok with a continuity meter and it also will set off the alarm if I open the clamshell when the alarm is set. Then I thought that this switch might have 2 positions - 1 for the alarm and 1 for the dash light. If there is something else that turns the dash light out when the motor undergoes the strain then it must be some electical function in the top control module or something similar otherwise you could just push the switch on top of the motor down and the dash light would go out - to me it just doesn't make sense to have to put the electric motor under such a strain to get the light to go out. So I wish someone who knows about this issue could finally tell me what actually makes the dash light turn off. BTW my car is a 99 Boxster and it doesn' matter if the car is under speed or not as the dash light stays lit up because I am afraid to put the mechanism under such a great strain again just to break another arm (they are expensive). I hope this info will help you diagnose the problem. Thank you very much, Jerry"

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I have a 1999 Regular Model Boxster with the Triptronic. When I first bought the car the large, round control rods were missing and the rods that had the red ball joints on them, one of the ball joints was broken. I got all new parts and also found that I had the new style cables for the transmissions. I then went through all the procedures outlined in the Bentley Repair manual. The top worked fine either opening or closing. The dash light did not go out at first then someone told me to keep pressing on the switch until the light goes out and it did. When doing this, the electric top motor started to sound like it was under a lot of strain and you could hear it slowing down and then the light went out but you could tell the top mechanism was under a tremendous amount of strain. Suddenly it started breaking the pot aluminum arms that the large, round pushrods connect to. I have broken 4 of them. Each time I have re-done all the adjustment procedures and tested all the micro-switches. It just seems to me that there is simply too much pressure being put on the motor and mechanism and this is causing the arms to break so that is why I need to know what actually turns the dash light out. When the top is closed the latch micro-switch is closed and so is the b-pillar micro-switch along with the switch on top of the electric motor. When the top is open, the latch switch is open and so is the b-pillar switch so that is why I think the dash light must have something to do with the switch on top of the motor but it checked out ok with a continuity meter and it also will set off the alarm if I open the clamshell when the alarm is set. Then I thought that this switch might have 2 positions - 1 for the alarm and 1 for the dash light. If there is something else that turns the dash light out when the motor undergoes the strain then it must be some electical function in the top control module or something similar otherwise you could just push the switch on top of the motor down and the dash light would go out - to me it just doesn't make sense to have to put the electric motor under such a strain to get the light to go out. So I wish someone who knows about this issue could finally tell me what actually makes the dash light turn off. BTW my car is a 99 Boxster and it doesn' matter if the car is under speed or not as the dash light stays lit up because I am afraid to put the mechanism under such a great strain again just to break another arm (they are expensive). I hope this info will help you diagnose the problem. Thank you very much, Jerry"

Jerry:

This is an issue which I have never seen explained completely.

The closest I have been able to come is that the dash light is turned off by a combination of the clamshell pressing down on that microswitch lever that is on top of the electric motor along with a time delay that is controlled by the top control module. What makes this a little more confusing is that the later model 986's eliminated that microswitch lever from the top of the motor entirely.

One possible (although not very elegant) solution is to take some 1/4 inch styrofoam blocks and temporarily tape them to the underside of the clamshell where the clamshell meets the microswitch lever. Add 1/4 inch block at a time (stack them up) until you get the desired effect, which should turn off the light a little earlier and stop breaking those expensive aluminum arms. While this may not be a permanently desirable solution, it may guide you in the right direction.

Let us know if you have any success.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir
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I have a 1999 Regular Model Boxster with the Triptronic. When I first bought the car the large, round control rods were missing and the rods that had the red ball joints on them, one of the ball joints was broken. I got all new parts and also found that I had the new style cables for the transmissions. I then went through all the procedures outlined in the Bentley Repair manual. The top worked fine either opening or closing. The dash light did not go out at first then someone told me to keep pressing on the switch until the light goes out and it did. When doing this, the electric top motor started to sound like it was under a lot of strain and you could hear it slowing down and then the light went out but you could tell the top mechanism was under a tremendous amount of strain. Suddenly it started breaking the pot aluminum arms that the large, round pushrods connect to. I have broken 4 of them. Each time I have re-done all the adjustment procedures and tested all the micro-switches. It just seems to me that there is simply too much pressure being put on the motor and mechanism and this is causing the arms to break so that is why I need to know what actually turns the dash light out. When the top is closed the latch micro-switch is closed and so is the b-pillar micro-switch along with the switch on top of the electric motor. When the top is open, the latch switch is open and so is the b-pillar switch so that is why I think the dash light must have something to do with the switch on top of the motor but it checked out ok with a continuity meter and it also will set off the alarm if I open the clamshell when the alarm is set. Then I thought that this switch might have 2 positions - 1 for the alarm and 1 for the dash light. If there is something else that turns the dash light out when the motor undergoes the strain then it must be some electical function in the top control module or something similar otherwise you could just push the switch on top of the motor down and the dash light would go out - to me it just doesn't make sense to have to put the electric motor under such a strain to get the light to go out. So I wish someone who knows about this issue could finally tell me what actually makes the dash light turn off. BTW my car is a 99 Boxster and it doesn' matter if the car is under speed or not as the dash light stays lit up because I am afraid to put the mechanism under such a great strain again just to break another arm (they are expensive). I hope this info will help you diagnose the problem. Thank you very much, Jerry"

Jerry:

This is an issue which I have never seen explained completely.

The closest I have been able to come is that the dash light is turned off by a combination of the clamshell pressing down on that microswitch lever that is on top of the electric motor along with a time delay that is controlled by the top control module. What makes this a little more confusing is that the later model 986's eliminated that microswitch lever from the top of the motor entirely.

One possible (although not very elegant) solution is to take some 1/4 inch styrofoam blocks and temporarily tape them to the underside of the clamshell where the clamshell meets the microswitch lever. Add 1/4 inch block at a time (stack them up) until you get the desired effect, which should turn off the light a little earlier and stop breaking those expensive aluminum arms. While this may not be a permanently desirable solution, it may guide you in the right direction.

Let us know if you have any success.

Regards, Maurice.

Dear Sir, I have tried this method but the dash light still stays on. There must be something in the Top Control Module that can "sense" when the electric motor goes under the strain and then signals the light to go out. I have tried taking the module out, cleaning the contacts, Tapping on the module, etc with no results. Do you happen to know if the large round control rods are supposed to "expand" under pressure? I have put mine in a vise and pulled on them but could not get them to move. I am going to try a friend's control module to see if that works, but this whole thing just doesn't make sense. It should just have a switch that will signal when the top is properly opened or closed and I am going to figure it out somehow. Until then, I have just dis-connected the large rods and open the clamshell by hand and then use the motor to open or close the top which works fine. Maybe someone has a rational explanation about the dash light issue. Thank you very much for your advice, Jerry

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Dear Sir, I have tried this method but the dash light still stays on. There must be something in the Top Control Module that can "sense" when the electric motor goes under the strain and then signals the light to go out. I have tried taking the module out, cleaning the contacts, Tapping on the module, etc with no results. Do you happen to know if the large round control rods are supposed to "expand" under pressure? I have put mine in a vise and pulled on them but could not get them to move. I am going to try a friend's control module to see if that works, but this whole thing just doesn't make sense. It should just have a switch that will signal when the top is properly opened or closed and I am going to figure it out somehow. Until then, I have just dis-connected the large rods and open the clamshell by hand and then use the motor to open or close the top which works fine. Maybe someone has a rational explanation about the dash light issue. Thank you very much for your advice, Jerry

Jerry:

Even though you haven't been able to get the "hydraulic" pushrods to move in your vise, they definitely move.

However, the length of the movement is fairly small and the large springs that are inside these pushrods are very very strong. When the clamshell closes, the last thing that happens is that the clamshell arms pulls on these pushrods and the clamshell is then under a great deal of pressure from the pull of these pushrods. That is what stops the clamshell from flopping around when you are driving around.

There is something referred to as an "after-running time" in the factory manual, where it discusses the operation of the top control module. That module is like a small computer and is fairly complex. I think trying your friend's control module is a good idea. It might help you isolate the problem.

Regards, Maurice.

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