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eslai

987 stretched top straps

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I'm hoping this is a common issue that has been around "forever" and someone has a solution.

My 2005 987S is having the symptoms described in this thread. When the top is closed, the top doesn't close into the side channels properly. This happens primarily on the right side.

This is happening because the "fold placer" as it has been designated, is all stretched out. Upon further examination, many of the straps on my top are stretched out. Not too surprising--the car was built in 2005 and has 59,000 miles.

This thread has a picture of the exact strap that is causing me grief:

n55wlc.jpg

It's the one labeled "3A".

Tying the strap shorter will not work I suspect, as the elasticity is there for a reason--I expect it would just snap if I tied it, or something else would break.

This strap, from what I can tell, is NOT REPLACEABLE. How the heck could they design a top with a strap like this bonded to it!? Elastic is of COURSE going to wear out! My dealership (Pioneer Porsche, San Diego) has informed me that there is no procedure for repairing this part. They say they might be able to fix it by replacing the strap, but it's not a standard procedure!

Is there any DIY procedure for addressing this? I really don't want to have to buy a new top--the canvas and glass are fine.

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I'm hoping this is a common issue that has been around "forever" and someone has a solution.

My 2005 987S is having the symptoms described in this thread. When the top is closed, the top doesn't close into the side channels properly. This happens primarily on the right side.

This is happening because the "fold placer" as it has been designated, is all stretched out. Upon further examination, many of the straps on my top are stretched out. Not too surprising--the car was built in 2005 and has 59,000 miles.

This thread has a picture of the exact strap that is causing me grief:

n55wlc.jpg

It's the one labeled "3A".

Tying the strap shorter will not work I suspect, as the elasticity is there for a reason--I expect it would just snap if I tied it, or something else would break.

This strap, from what I can tell, is NOT REPLACEABLE. How the heck could they design a top with a strap like this bonded to it!? Elastic is of COURSE going to wear out! My dealership (Pioneer Porsche, San Diego) has informed me that there is no procedure for repairing this part. They say they might be able to fix it by replacing the strap, but it's not a standard procedure!

Is there any DIY procedure for addressing this? I really don't want to have to buy a new top--the canvas and glass are fine.

Eslai:

Take a look at the write-up on Mike Focke's web site. It addresses the various causes of the cables not falling into the guide channels. Although it deals specifically with the 986, it may give you some ideas or clues as to how to deal with your particular problem.

http://mike.focke.googlepages.com/thetop-i...e%26replacement

Let us know if you make any progress.

Regards, Maurice.

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Eslai, just curious, do you move the top up & down a lot (wear and tear)....or is the top down a lot (stress and stretching)? Thanks.

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I live in southern california so the top gets a lot of usage. I imagine it's wear and tear from being stretched out over and over again over the past four years.

The top is up more than down, all things considered, but I do leave it parked with the top down overnight sometimes.

Maurice, thanks, I'll have to spend some time and read that page. I gave it a glance last night though and it seems that the straps aren't quite the same on the 986. The one I'm talking about doesn't look like it could be replaced.

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I live in southern california so the top gets a lot of usage. I imagine it's wear and tear from being stretched out over and over again over the past four years.

The top is up more than down, all things considered, but I do leave it parked with the top down overnight sometimes.

Maurice, thanks, I'll have to spend some time and read that page. I gave it a glance last night though and it seems that the straps aren't quite the same on the 986. The one I'm talking about doesn't look like it could be replaced.

eslai:

The "fold placer" can be replaced with a factory part, or it can be repaired using the method suggested by the write up.

The part 3A in your diagram would have to be custom made by you or an upholsterer. You can go to a craft or fabric store and get that kind of elastic and sew on the plastic part to it, and then hand sew it in around that frame member. Once the old part loses its elasticity, you will not get the same pulling action that is required for the top to be pulled into the right slot.

Regards, Maurice.

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i have the same issue with my 2005 987S. I'm taking it back to the dealer for the 5th time next week. Fortunatly I had the problem while it was under warranty.

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I also live in So Cal and have the same problem. The elastic is overstretched and has no spring left it in at all (either side).

What I'm planning to do, is to remove the screw holding the free end of the elastic (Screw 1 in the diagram) take a piece of 3/4 width industrial elastic which I will stretch out to full length and then cut. Next, I will hand stitch (using two needles and one piece of industrial, polyester thread) one end of the elastic to the trapezoidal material. Finally, I will reattach the screw. It seems like a straight forward procedure and it certainly can't be any worse than what is currently there.

Has anyone else tried a similar procedure?

If not, I'll come back and post the results.

Thanks,

Paul

Now for the update. I planned on replacing the elastic but I did NOT have to. Instead, it is possible to make a quick adjustment and no need to tie things. Below are the steps that I followed:

  1. I put the top halfway up (or down depending upon your level of optimism :lol: )
  2. I removed the two velcro straps on each side which hold the headliner to the frame. This provides more room for access.
  3. I removed the screw and washer (part 1 and 2) using a stub-nose driver with the right star bit. I pulled out the elastic to replace it, but I noticed that it
    • has slots for tightening the elastic and
    • still had some spring left in it. And I decided to see if it would be enough to make it work.

[*] I replaced the screw and washer to hold the elastic but I inserted the screw into the elastic two notches up from the original position making it tighter.

[*] I replaced the velcro.

[*] Viola. It works perfectly.

After all was said and done, the procedure took less than 30 minutes.

Paul

Edited by pnerger@yahoo.com

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I also live in So Cal and have the same problem. The elastic is overstretched and has no spring left it in at all (either side).

What I'm planning to do, is to remove the screw holding the free end of the elastic (Screw 1 in the diagram) take a piece of 3/4 width industrial elastic which I will stretch out to full length and then cut. Next, I will hand stitch (using two needles and one piece of industrial, polyester thread) one end of the elastic to the trapezoidal material. Finally, I will reattach the screw. It seems like a straight forward procedure and it certainly can't be any worse than what is currently there.

Has anyone else tried a similar procedure?

If not, I'll come back and post the results.

Thanks,

Paul

Paul:

The method that you mention should definitely solve the problem.

Good luck!

Regards, Maurice.

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I also live in So Cal and have the same problem. The elastic is overstretched and has no spring left it in at all (either side).

What I'm planning to do, is to remove the screw holding the free end of the elastic (Screw 1 in the diagram) take a piece of 3/4 width industrial elastic which I will stretch out to full length and then cut. Next, I will hand stitch (using two needles and one piece of industrial, polyester thread) one end of the elastic to the trapezoidal material. Finally, I will reattach the screw. It seems like a straight forward procedure and it certainly can't be any worse than what is currently there.

Has anyone else tried a similar procedure?

If not, I'll come back and post the results.

Thanks,

Paul

Paul:

The method that you mention should definitely solve the problem.

Good luck!

Regards, Maurice.

My dealer used the same method in solving the problem as well. However, do note that I have to readjust again after 3 months due to the strap is losing its remaining elasticity faster. Also, be careful when you tighten the screw as I could imagine they can be easily stripped.

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I also live in So Cal and have the same problem. The elastic is overstretched and has no spring left it in at all (either side).

What I'm planning to do, is to remove the screw holding the free end of the elastic (Screw 1 in the diagram) take a piece of 3/4 width industrial elastic which I will stretch out to full length and then cut. Next, I will hand stitch (using two needles and one piece of industrial, polyester thread) one end of the elastic to the trapezoidal material. Finally, I will reattach the screw. It seems like a straight forward procedure and it certainly can't be any worse than what is currently there.

Has anyone else tried a similar procedure?

If not, I'll come back and post the results.

Thanks,

Paul

Now for the update. I planned on replacing the elastic but I did NOT have to. Instead, it is possible to make a quick adjustment and no need to tie things. Below are the steps that I followed:

  1. I put the top halfway up (or down depending upon your level of optimism :lol: )
  2. I removed the two velcro straps on each side which hold the headliner to the frame. This provides more room for access.
  3. I removed the screw and washer (part 1 and 2) using a stub-nose driver with the right star bit. I pulled out the elastic to replace it, but I noticed that it
    • has slots for tightening the elastic and
    • still had some spring left in it. And I decided to see if it would be enough to make it work.

I replaced the screw and washer to hold the elastic but I inserted the screw into the elastic two notches up from the original position making it tighter.

<li> I replaced the velcro.

<li> Viola. It works perfectly.

After all was said and done, the procedure took less than 30 minutes.

Paul

Well, my solution worked for awhile but the elastic was just too stretched to work for any length of time. So I went back to my original idea which seems to be working also.

  1. I put the top halfway up (or down depending upon your level of optimism :lol: )
  2. I removed the two velcro straps on each side which hold the headliner to the frame. This provides more room for access.
  3. I removed the screw and washer (part 1 and 2) using a stub-nose driver with the right star bit and a stub nose screwdriver.
  4. I pulled out the tab with the old, stretched out elastic. On the top-half (the side that was not stretched out), I counted down and there were 4 slots in the elastic and it was about 2 inches to where the original screw was holding the elastic to the frame. On the lower side, there were 5 slots in the elastic.
  5. I cut 5 inches of 3/4 inch, braided, industrial elastic (cost $0.84 for 1meter at Joanne's frabric).
  6. I cut off the old elastic from the canvas tab (I did not both to remove the old stitching but cut it clean on the edge of the trapazoid).
  7. Using a canvas needle and heavy duty polyester thread, I sewed the new elastic onto the remnants of the old elastic.
  8. I then used a small knife to run a small slit along the new elastic that was 2 inches from the non-canvas end.
  9. I replaced the screw to anchor the elastic.
  10. Operated the top. And it works fine once again.

When I opened up and looked at the old elastic, it was in pretty bad shape. Literally no spring left in the lower half. The upper half was still 3/4 inch wide, but the lower half had been stretched so much that it was half the width. I'm told that the spring strength of elastic is determined by its width and certainly the 3/4 inch elastic has so much more spring in it than the old stretched out elastic. Hopefully this fix will last a year or two.

>>>>>>>>>

Just an update after a couple of months of the fix. Working perfectly!

Edited by pnerger@yahoo.com

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I too had this problem in which the elastic was frayed and stretched where it meets the fabric as pictured. It was a little frustrating as the dealer had not encountered this problem or fix..i emailed this link to them.

In short, I put a few temporary stables to shorten the slack in the elastic..the top is closing properly in the channel now. I plan to take it to an convertible top upholstery shop where they should be able to put a few stitches in the elastic.

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I also live in So Cal and have the same problem. The elastic is overstretched and has no spring left it in at all (either side).

What I'm planning to do, is to remove the screw holding the free end of the elastic (Screw 1 in the diagram) take a piece of 3/4 width industrial elastic which I will stretch out to full length and then cut. Next, I will hand stitch (using two needles and one piece of industrial, polyester thread) one end of the elastic to the trapezoidal material. Finally, I will reattach the screw. It seems like a straight forward procedure and it certainly can't be any worse than what is currently there.

Has anyone else tried a similar procedure?

If not, I'll come back and post the results.

Thanks,

Paul

Now for the update. I planned on replacing the elastic but I did NOT have to. Instead, it is possible to make a quick adjustment and no need to tie things. Below are the steps that I followed:

  1. I put the top halfway up (or down depending upon your level of optimism :lol: )
  2. I removed the two velcro straps on each side which hold the headliner to the frame. This provides more room for access.
  3. I removed the screw and washer (part 1 and 2) using a stub-nose driver with the right star bit. I pulled out the elastic to replace it, but I noticed that it
    • has slots for tightening the elastic and
    • still had some spring left in it. And I decided to see if it would be enough to make it work.

I replaced the screw and washer to hold the elastic but I inserted the screw into the elastic two notches up from the original position making it tighter.

<li> I replaced the velcro.

<li> Viola. It works perfectly.

After all was said and done, the procedure took less than 30 minutes.

Paul

Well, my solution worked for awhile but the elastic was just too stretched to work for any length of time. So I went back to my original idea which seems to be working also.

  1. I put the top halfway up (or down depending upon your level of optimism :lol: )
  2. I removed the two velcro straps on each side which hold the headliner to the frame. This provides more room for access.
  3. I removed the screw and washer (part 1 and 2) using a stub-nose driver with the right star bit and a stub nose screwdriver.
  4. I pulled out the tab with the old, stretched out elastic. On the top-half (the side that was not stretched out), I counted down and there were 4 slots in the elastic and it was about 2 inches to where the original screw was holding the elastic to the frame. On the lower side, there were 5 slots in the elastic.
  5. I cut 5 inches of 3/4 inch, braided, industrial elastic (cost $0.84 for 1meter at Joanne's frabric).
  6. I cut off the old elastic from the canvas tab (I did not both to remove the old stitching but cut it clean on the edge of the trapazoid).
  7. Using a canvas needle and heavy duty polyester thread, I sewed the new elastic onto the remnants of the old elastic.
  8. I then used a small knife to run a small slit along the new elastic that was 2 inches from the non-canvas end.
  9. I replaced the screw to anchor the elastic.
  10. Operated the top. And it works fine once again.

When I opened up and looked at the old elastic, it was in pretty bad shape. Literally no spring left in the lower half. The upper half was still 3/4 inch wide, but the lower half had been stretched so much that it was half the width. I'm told that the spring strength of elastic is determined by its width and certainly the 3/4 inch elastic has so much more spring in it than the old stretched out elastic. Hopefully this fix will last a year or two.

>>>>>>>>>

Just an update after a couple of months of the fix. Working perfectly!

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Sorry to bump, but thanks for this tip! I sewed new elastic on to the canvas and it worked great! $5 parts, and my labor is cheap.

Carl

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This worked well for me as well, I followed pnerger's instructions and the tops works perfectly now.

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I only replaced the passenger side elastic band, and 3 months later the driver's side was having the same problem. If you do this fix, go ahead and replace both sides while you are at it. The nice thing is three months later, the original fix is still working.

Edited by eiblanco

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I know it;s an old thread, but I want to try the same fix, but not sure specifically what kind of screwdriver I need, and how to you get that screw out. My hand barely fit in there and there is not enough room for a screwdriver. Even with the velcro straps off.

 

Thanks in advance

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Got it fixed. I bought one of these screwdrivers at Lowes. I did not cut and replace the fabric. I just moved the screw on 3A two holes down and 3B one hole down. We'll see how long it is going to hold. If it breaks, I'll do permanent fix from this tutorial. But now at least I know that I can fix it myself.

 

820909603597.jpg

Edited by 220volt

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