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B Pillar Microswitch and Relay


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Hello,

I've gone thru many threads on convertible top problems and still haven't figured out my problem. Hope someone can help. Closest is a post back in Aug by Insite (topic "Wierd Convertible Top Issue"). This describes my problem also. At first the top wouldn't go down. When I finally got the top in the service position and tried actuating the transmissions by the drill method, they wouldn't move. I found that they had overtraveled. I got them working again, but, when everything was hooked up, the switch worked in reverse and wouldn't stop. I over traveled again. I checked the B Pillar microswitch with an ohmmeter. It seems to work ok - makes connection when the button is depressed. I also checked to make sure the brown wire went to ground and it's ok. The other wire, I believe goes to the relay. In a response to Insite's post, 1schoir said that when activating the switch you should hear the clicking of the relay and the motor should reverse. This isn't happening. No reverse and no clicking. Could I have a bad relay? or ????

Thanks in advance for your help!

Tom

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Hello,

I've gone thru many threads on convertible top problems and still haven't figured out my problem. Hope someone can help. Closest is a post back in Aug by Insite (topic "Wierd Convertible Top Issue"). This describes my problem also. At first the top wouldn't go down. When I finally got the top in the service position and tried actuating the transmissions by the drill method, they wouldn't move. I found that they had overtraveled. I got them working again, but, when everything was hooked up, the switch worked in reverse and wouldn't stop. I over traveled again. I checked the B Pillar microswitch with an ohmmeter. It seems to work ok - makes connection when the button is depressed. I also checked to make sure the brown wire went to ground and it's ok. The other wire, I believe goes to the relay. In a response to Insite's post, 1schoir said that when activating the switch you should hear the clicking of the relay and the motor should reverse. This isn't happening. No reverse and no clicking. Could I have a bad relay? or ????

Thanks in advance for your help!

Tom

Tom:

Here is an excerpt from another thread where we dealt with an issue very similar to yours:

"The top only opening and not closing (together with the dash button only spinning the motor in one direction) sounds like a problem with either the B-Pillar microswitch or the Main Relay, or a combination of the two.

Once you have the top in the open position, try this to reverse the direction that the motor spins and the related direction of travel of the V-Levers: Pull off the carpeted plastic panel that covers the seat belt spoon and the B-Pillar microswitch. Then, using either a small hook tool or a small piece of wire that you can wrap around the back of the small metal lever of the microswitch, pull and hold the small metal lever forward (so that it trips the microswitch [you should be able to hear the mair relay click in the driver's side footwell]) and then press the open/close button on the dash. That should reverse the direction of travel of the motor. Keep an eye on the V-lever on the driver's side and note its direction of rotation while the top is traveling down to the open position. When you pull the small metal lever forward and hold it, the V-lever should start to spin in the opposite direction. Believe it or not, you can operate your top that way to its complete open or closed position so that you can function on a temporary basis.

Let us know what results you get with that.

As far as the cost of the convertible top relay goes, it's about $75 from Sunset. The B-pillar microswitch is about $50. (both plus shipping). Let me know if you need part numbers.

As I mentioned in another post, the V-levers are supposed to be completely straight and true. A bend could impact the white plastic cups popping off.

As far as testing the motor wiring, what you described sounds like a properly working motor. With the main relay installed on its receptacles, open the clamshell and pull off the electrical plug that is plugged in to the side of the motor.

Connect the positive lead of your voltmeter ot the black wire and the negative lead to the green wire. Then connect a jumper wire between terminals 2 and 3 at the plug connection. Switch on the ignition and press the "open" button. You should get a reading of about 12 volts (battery voltage).

Now reverse the connections to the green and black wires, with everything else the same. Switch on the ignition and press the "close" button. You should get a reading of about 12 volts again.

You may recognize these two steps as the end of the PDF document you mentioned, and I was able to successfully perform those two tests a while ago on my top.

As to the rest of the tests described in that PDF document, I did not understand the basic concept of how to perform those tests, so perhaps you can educate me on that.

Lastly, as to the initial position of the V-Levers, I mentioned in an earlier post on the predecessor thread, that if you "draw in" extending lines to the marking notches, you will see the correct position of the "V" as it will not then cross "over" the lines formed thereby.

Hope this helps, although I know you also will have to resolve the issue of the orientation of the transmissions in your other thread.

It's amazing how something that appears so simple when everything is working properly can get so complicated when even one of its components gets out of whack, but I guess that's the price we pay for the "automatic" versus manual operation."

Here is the link to the complete thread:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?s...ic=15824&hl

Try some of the suggestions regarding pulling and pushing the V-lever while pressing the up/down button and report back if there is any change.

Also, what year is your Boxster?

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks Maurice, I think I have it. I took out the relay and tapped it a couple times like you mention in several previous posts, then put it back in with a few wiggles to ensure connections. When I activate the b pillar microswitch, I now hear the clicking at the relay. And the motor reverses. Sort of odd that you need to cycle the switch / relay to make it reverse since there's an up and down button?? But, anyhow, it looks like the relay started sticking after sitting idle for the last 3 months or so.

In the process, I broke one of the red sockets. Do you recommend replacing with the aluminum style that I've seen on ebay or would you stick with original? Once I get the part, I can then put everything back together and keep my fingers crossed.

On this note, it seems that the measurement from the black ball on the transmission arm to the top of the weatherstripping (7 11/16) shouldn't be that critical. Just that both sides be identical. Once the arms are attached at all points, the clamshell and roof mechanism will be in correct relationship to each other. Then the switches take care of the rest. Is this correct?

Thanks again for your help!

Tom

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Thanks Maurice, I think I have it. I took out the relay and tapped it a couple times like you mention in several previous posts, then put it back in with a few wiggles to ensure connections. When I activate the b pillar microswitch, I now hear the clicking at the relay. And the motor reverses. Sort of odd that you need to cycle the switch / relay to make it reverse since there's an up and down button?? But, anyhow, it looks like the relay started sticking after sitting idle for the last 3 months or so.

In the process, I broke one of the red sockets. Do you recommend replacing with the aluminum style that I've seen on ebay or would you stick with original? Once I get the part, I can then put everything back together and keep my fingers crossed.

On this note, it seems that the measurement from the black ball on the transmission arm to the top of the weatherstripping (7 11/16) shouldn't be that critical. Just that both sides be identical. Once the arms are attached at all points, the clamshell and roof mechanism will be in correct relationship to each other. Then the switches take care of the rest. Is this correct?

Thanks again for your help!

Tom

Tom:

Surface corrosion will cause the relay to not function correctly. Be vigilant though because the same problem may occur again. If there is a next time, you could take the cover off the relay and spray it with a product sold by Radio Shack that cleans the connections and then protects them from further corrosion. It's called "DeOx-it".

If you haven't operated the electric portion of the top with one of the plastic balls broken or disconnected, you don't have to resynch the top. If you have, you are correct in assuming that you can get everything lined up by using the side that did not break as a guide to line up the other side.

I would not recommend using the aluminum style ball cups, for the simple reason thaf if something goes wrong with the operation of the top you will end up breaking MUCH more expensive parts.

If you want a source for buying just the ball cups, let me know and I'll PM you the info.

Regards, Maurice.

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Hello Maurice,

I will definitely take your advice on both counts. I'll stop at Radio Shack on the way home from work tonight. Also, yes, please let me know a source for the ball cups. If they have the rubber grommets that go on the other end, I'll get those too. You can either post or send me email direct at ah571006@verizon.net

Thank you very much - you've been very helpful.

Tom

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Hello Maurice,

I will definitely take your advice on both counts. I'll stop at Radio Shack on the way home from work tonight. Also, yes, please let me know a source for the ball cups. If they have the rubber grommets that go on the other end, I'll get those too. You can either post or send me email direct at ah571006@verizon.net

Thank you very much - you've been very helpful.

Tom

Tom:

You are most welcome! I've sent you an e-mail with the info you need for the plastic ball cups.

Regards, Maurice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Maurice,

Thanks for the reference on the replacement sockets. He was very good to work with and they worked out great! I'm still not positive I'm completely out of the woods yet, though. I'm waiting on the rubber grommets that go on the opposite end of the same arms. I hope they'll be here in the next couple of days. Then I'll put everything back together and keep my fingers crossed that all the timing and switches work right. One other question: I see that the holes in the bushings that the bolts go thru on the end of the rod that connects to the transmission arm are offset. What is the reason for this? Or, does the bolt not tighten all the way down to lock the bushing? I did see that it was loctited. Should this bushing be free to rotate, or, should it be clamped tight in a certain orientation? I do have a Bentley manual, but, it says nothing about this.

Thanks again for your help,

Tom

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Hello Maurice,

Thanks for the reference on the replacement sockets. He was very good to work with and they worked out great! I'm still not positive I'm completely out of the woods yet, though. I'm waiting on the rubber grommets that go on the opposite end of the same arms. I hope they'll be here in the next couple of days. Then I'll put everything back together and keep my fingers crossed that all the timing and switches work right. One other question: I see that the holes in the bushings that the bolts go thru on the end of the rod that connects to the transmission arm are offset. What is the reason for this? Or, does the bolt not tighten all the way down to lock the bushing? I did see that it was loctited. Should this bushing be free to rotate, or, should it be clamped tight in a certain orientation? I do have a Bentley manual, but, it says nothing about this.

Thanks again for your help,

Tom

Tom:

Yes, Martijn is terrific to deal with, and it's a great way to get around the ridiculous Porsche policy of forcing you to buy a complete new assembly when 95% of the time the rest of it does not have to be replaced.

IIRC, the bushing does get locked down but it does move in the offset hole with the rubber bushing regulating its movement in the hole. The rubber bushing stops metal to metal contact (and the noise that would make). I would start by replicating the position of the bushing that was already positioned in the old pushrod. I know that there is more than one version of the offset bushing.

The most important part of this assembly is the overall length of the pushrod, as the length of the two pushrods (left and right side) control how the front edge of the convertible top mates up with the top edge of the windshield frame and how the two tongues on the front edge fall into the two receptacles on the top edge of the windshield frame. It can be a little tricky because it's not a linear relationship. In other words, if you keep making one side longer and longer in increments, at some point the front of the convertible top will start to behave as if you have just made that pushrod shorter.

In some instances, the length of the pushrods will also affect whether the top's latch clears the windstop.

I'll be doing some work on my Box this weekend and I'll take a look at the area of the brass bushing to see if it refreshes my recollection.

Whatever you run into we'll be able to overcome until it's just right, so don't worry. ;)

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir
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Hello Maurice,

Got the rubber bushing in and put everything together this evening. When I tightened down the allen bolt against the brass bushing, I didn't pay any attention to the orientation of the bushing offset. The bushing won't turn when the screw is tight. Is this normal? The only thing I can figure is that it's a fine adjustment for the rod length rather than adjusting with the 10mm bolt.

When I tried opening and closing the top, it didn't start out very well. When the clamshell closed and I kept the button depressed waiting for the motor to stop, the clamshell started opening again. I partially lowered the top again and tried closing. When the clamshell was partway down, I set the switch lever on the motor down. The motor stopped as I assume it should have. I tried closing completely again and the clamshell closed and motor shut off as it should have. Were the switches just not synchronized or ????.

At any rate, I cycled several times and it seems to be working as it should! The only thing I see amiss now is the very front edge of the clamshell at the door is rubbing against the trim. I'm not sure if it was like this before, but, I doubt it because neither the trim nor the clamshell paint is scraped. But, I'm sure it will be if I let it go. Is there an adjustment to move the clamshell back a couple mm's? It doesn't seem like an adj of the transmission timing would cause this.

I see the light!!! You've been a great help,

Thanks,

Tom

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Hello Maurice,

Got the rubber bushing in and put everything together this evening. When I tightened down the allen bolt against the brass bushing, I didn't pay any attention to the orientation of the bushing offset. The bushing won't turn when the screw is tight. Is this normal? The only thing I can figure is that it's a fine adjustment for the rod length rather than adjusting with the 10mm bolt.

When I tried opening and closing the top, it didn't start out very well. When the clamshell closed and I kept the button depressed waiting for the motor to stop, the clamshell started opening again. I partially lowered the top again and tried closing. When the clamshell was partway down, I set the switch lever on the motor down. The motor stopped as I assume it should have. I tried closing completely again and the clamshell closed and motor shut off as it should have. Were the switches just not synchronized or ????.

At any rate, I cycled several times and it seems to be working as it should! The only thing I see amiss now is the very front edge of the clamshell at the door is rubbing against the trim. I'm not sure if it was like this before, but, I doubt it because neither the trim nor the clamshell paint is scraped. But, I'm sure it will be if I let it go. Is there an adjustment to move the clamshell back a couple mm's? It doesn't seem like an adj of the transmission timing would cause this.

I see the light!!! You've been a great help,

Thanks,

Tom

Tom:

Glad I am able to help.

The bushing does not turn once it's tightened in place.

The transmission timing adjustment has no effect on the fore and aft final position of the clamshell.

There is an adjustment that can be done on the position of the clamshell. Put the clamshell in the rearmost position (45 degree angle) and take a look underneath. You will see the bolts that attach the clamshell to the (body colored) arms that support it. You can loosen those and shift the clamshell a few mm's.

Before you loosen anything, mark the position where the arm(s) contact the underside of the clamshell with a white marker or some masking tape, so that you can keep track of your starting point. Be patient and work with a very tiny adjustment at a time, as a small adjustment moves the clamshell by more than you would think.

If the clamshell is not level with either the rear lid or with the quarter panel where it meets the doors, there are two other adjustments you can do to get it perfectly flush. Let me know, or post a photo to show what has to be adjusted.

Keep up the good work.

Regards, Maurice.

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