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Cabriolet top won't move


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So the passenger side flap on my 99 C2 Cabriolet quit moving, so I put the top in service position and removed the line and the panel behind the backseat to grease the screw drive and see if I could get it working again. Well, with some grease, and a couple twists on the manual crank to break it loose, it started working again. I put the top up and down a couple times, but then it quit. So I cranked it with the manual crank again, greased it again, and tested it again. Well, I watched the flaps go up and down twice, just flipped the cab rocker switch back and forth through that part of the cycle. Then NOTHING.

Now my top is 90 percent of the way down, but when I press the dash switch or try to actuate it with the key in the door, I hear a click, then nothing. I tried disconnecting the battery to reset the computer. I tried starting the car. I tried resetting the parking brake. It just seems dead.

What should I try next? I don't want to manually close the top if I don't have to because in the owner's manual it says you have to have it serviced to get everything re-calibrated.

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When I try to check the convertible module with my PST2, it just says it can't find module. When I connect to the DME, it has no codes.

All the fuses are good.

The top warning light doesn't stay on. It comes on when I start the car and then goes back off like everything is normal.

All I can think of is maybe the relay went bad? Perhaps a sensor somewhere died?

Any ideas?

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Just an update (if anybody cares). After work today I turned on the car, which I'd fitted with the hard top since I wasn't able to get the convertible top latch to unhook. (Don't know what the trick is, but there was no sliding the allen wrench into those holes and turning the gears like it shows in the owner's manual.) Anyway, as soon as I turned the car on, all four windows started erratically rolling themselves down. They'd just go down an inch or two at a time, trading off which one was moving every 30 seconds or so. I kept rolling them all back up, but after 20 minutes, I gave up and just rolled them all down. When I finally stopped, I couldn't get them to roll all of the way back up. They'd go halfway and then roll back down. I finally turned the car off and turned it back to accessory, and they acted normal again.

On my next trip the window gremlins were playing again, but unfortunately when I finally got it into the driveway and started it up with the video camera to send the tape in to Ghost Hunters, it had quit.

Since the convertible control module isn't speaking to my PST2 or my Durametric, and it's the only thing I can think off that would control all four windows, I'm assuming it's gone bad.

I pulled it out, so I don't have to deal with devil windows the rest of the week. I'm going to call the dealership tomorrow to see if they can test just the module. If they can't or if it tests bad, I'll order a new one and see what happens.

post-30731-1247540014_thumb.jpgpost-30731-1247540048_thumb.jpg

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Apparently nobody can diagnose the controller unit out of the car, but I don't have time to put it back in the car until this weekend. I also don't know how they'd diagnose it since I can't get the PST2 or Durametric to connect to it anyway.

I ordered a new convertible top relay from Sunset because it's a cheap swap as a "just to make sure" thing. I also pulled the dash switch to check the wiring, but it all seems to be connected, and the switch itself seems to be working.

The controller unit is $458, so I'm not in a hurry to spend that before I've exhausted all my other troubleshooting options.

Anyone know if there's a way to test each microswitch?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress. I got a salvage convertible top control module from Oklahoma Foreign for $150, and it now speaks with the PST-2. I'm getting error 5 Maximum Time Exceeded (timeout).

The info screen says:

not present

Counter: 53

Convertible top raised

Convertible top compartment lid locked

Right side flap down

Left side flap down

When I try the drive links, I can get every motor to make noise, but nothing ever moves. Likewise, when I try to calibrate, I hear motors turning, but nothing's moving.

Question, does the hydraulic system move the rear cover or does it only move the top itself? Because the rear cover isn't moving at all. If it's on the hydraulic system then maybe I just need to top off my hydraulic fluid. However, if it's not, I'm not sure what to look at next.

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Now that my controller is working, it seems my top latch is not. I've gone through the instructions in the manual over and over trying to manually release it, but I can't get it to budge. I'm thinking there must be some kind of ratchet switch I'm not finding. Does anyone have a photo or exploded view of the top latch?

I'm pretty sure that's what's broken, but it's $450 for just a salvage latch, so I wanted to work through this one first.

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Now that my controller is working, it seems my top latch is not. I've gone through the instructions in the manual over and over trying to manually release it, but I can't get it to budge. I'm thinking there must be some kind of ratchet switch I'm not finding. Does anyone have a photo or exploded view of the top latch?

I'm pretty sure that's what's broken, but it's $450 for just a salvage latch, so I wanted to work through this one first.

Good luck with the troubleshooting, I have a similiar problem. When I manually opened the top using the emergency handle and now my top's cover wont open. Someone said the top must not be calibrated.

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I found this warning note at the end of the "Emergency operation of the convertible top" section of the owner's manual:

"Danger of damage at the convertible top.

After emergency operation, do not operate

the convertible top with the rocker switch or

door lock.

Drive slowly to an authorized Porsche dealer

in order to have the fault remedied."

Not owning a Cabriolet, I would guess that the system does have to be "calibrated".

Bill

Oops, just saw your DIY post. Sorry.

Edited by whall
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I pulled the latch off last night and worked it over. The ratcheting lever seemed to be stuck. Got it working again and reinstalled. That's a relief. However, it didn't solve my timeout error. Now I seem to be getting motor noise on all my drive links except for when I try to open the rear deck cover. It just makes a click. If it stops raining this weekend I'm going to track down that motor and see if I can't revive it. Otherwise it looks like that's my problem.

With the functioning latch I can now manually close the convertible top, so that's progress.

Unfortunately last night I also broke some kind of plastic ring that has wires running to it in the little hole on the driver side where the hardtop pin seats. I'm guessing the wire to it is for the rear defroster or speakers - but I'll tackle that issue after the top works again.

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The hydraulics only move the top. The lid is driven by an electric motor and a worm gears. Either way there is a special procedure for after the top has been emergency operated. If I remember correctly you need to set the potentiometer for the top lid motor to a certain value and then do a convertible top calibration. Unfortunately I don't remember what the value is but I think its 6.3k ohms. Also you have to make sure the gold allen screw is in the correct position or otherwise the lid wont move.

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The hydraulics only move the top. The lid is driven by an electric motor and a worm gears. Either way there is a special procedure for after the top has been emergency operated. If I remember correctly you need to set the potentiometer for the top lid motor to a certain value and then do a convertible top calibration. Unfortunately I don't remember what the value is but I think its 6.3k ohms. Also you have to make sure the gold allen screw is in the correct position or otherwise the lid wont move.

Thanx for that information. I was thinking the worst like the hydraulics went out. My top moves, but since the lid wont open/close then the whole process is out of whack. I dont have any of the equipment to do the work myself, so I will have to take it to the shop to get it checked out. Thanx again. Would you happen to know how much it will be? Thanx.

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The hydraulics only move the top. The lid is driven by an electric motor and a worm gears. Either way there is a special procedure for after the top has been emergency operated. If I remember correctly you need to set the potentiometer for the top lid motor to a certain value and then do a convertible top calibration. Unfortunately I don't remember what the value is but I think its 6.3k ohms. Also you have to make sure the gold allen screw is in the correct position or otherwise the lid wont move.

How do I set the potentiometer? From what I understood, I could just plug in the PST-2 and choose to calibrate the top no matter which position things were in. Anyone know?

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post-30731-1249523083_thumb.jpg

Ok, got the top working again tonight. The allen screw on the left is the one that pressurizes the pistons for the top. Make sure it's righty tighty all the way or the top isn't going to move.

The allen screw in the black cone on the right has to do with the rear deck cover. Apparently, it can't be screwed too tight or that thing won't move, which was my problem. I'd unscrewed it thinking it was the one to manually release the top when my control unit died, but then realized it was the wrong screw and screwed it back in too tight. Tonight I loosened it up and suddenly the deck lid came back to life.

Once the deck lid came back to life, the PST-2 calibrated everything no problem, and I'm back in business.

So life is a lot better tonight since all in all, I correctly diagnosed the bad control unit, replaced it for $150, and then (eventually) got the top working again. However, I could kick myself for not paying more attention when I was screwing and unscrewing things in the first place since troubleshooting my own mistakes are what's taken me a month to figure out.

Thankfully, I didn't break anything else except that wiring attachment in the hardtop mounting hole, but I'll start a new thread for that. I'm not tackling it tonight.

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