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Convertible Top Drive Operating Link


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2003 Boxster S 3.2L Manual

Several months ago I changed my air filter on my boxster. I accessed the engine compartment the usual way, and used the strap to hold up the top while I was in the engine compartment. Changed the filter and buttoned everything up.

Afterward, I noticed my convertible top was a little mis-aligned; when I closed it, the drivers side didn't close all the way, leaving about a 2 inch gap. I thought maybe I had twisted or bent something while using the strap to hold the top up, as it did take some effort to put the strap in place. Messed around with it but couldn't see anything obvious. It didn't seem to be a big deal, as I could just reach up and pull it down with my left hand while latching with my right. Been like this several months now, and I put the top up/down half a dozen times a week, no problems.

I recently got out the Bentley and decided to take a closer look to see if I could find anything, it was kinda nagging at me. Long story short, the "Convertible Top Drive Operating Link (red-tipped)" (Bentley name) was not even attached on the driver's side! The ball pin (part 986 561 879 00) and nut were gone. I found the nut down below near the drain hole. Apparently the ball pin fell thru the drain hole and tube and is long gone. I assume the nut was loose when I changed the air filter, and the stress of using the strap to hold open the top made the nut pop off the pin. The solution is simple; I just need to order a ball pin and install. But I have two questions:

1) Bentley refers to the operating link as "red-tipped". Mine's not - it's white. Am I messed up here, or did they change the color?

2) Have I done any permanent damage to anything? If I have, what is the most likely part to be damaged?

Thanks

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Hey, too bad your not able to access it to retrieve the part, i had to replace the whole rod with the socket, which is white now, they did infact change the colour of it, no sure how long ago it was. But all the sockets that fit over the ball are now white, mine was red aswell, the passenger side is still red. But if yours is white, it probablly means it was replaced before, I would look into this a little further something tells me it's not screwing in properly. Check the condition of the threads see if the prvious owner, or place that repaired it didn't strip the threads. Let me know how it goes. Hope this is the answer you were looking for.

2003 Boxster S 3.2L Manual

Several months ago I changed my air filter on my boxster. I accessed the engine compartment the usual way, and used the strap to hold up the top while I was in the engine compartment. Changed the filter and buttoned everything up.

Afterward, I noticed my convertible top was a little mis-aligned; when I closed it, the drivers side didn't close all the way, leaving about a 2 inch gap. I thought maybe I had twisted or bent something while using the strap to hold the top up, as it did take some effort to put the strap in place. Messed around with it but couldn't see anything obvious. It didn't seem to be a big deal, as I could just reach up and pull it down with my left hand while latching with my right. Been like this several months now, and I put the top up/down half a dozen times a week, no problems.

I recently got out the Bentley and decided to take a closer look to see if I could find anything, it was kinda nagging at me. Long story short, the "Convertible Top Drive Operating Link (red-tipped)" (Bentley name) was not even attached on the driver's side! The ball pin (part 986 561 879 00) and nut were gone. I found the nut down below near the drain hole. Apparently the ball pin fell thru the drain hole and tube and is long gone. I assume the nut was loose when I changed the air filter, and the stress of using the strap to hold open the top made the nut pop off the pin. The solution is simple; I just need to order a ball pin and install. But I have two questions:

1) Bentley refers to the operating link as "red-tipped". Mine's not - it's white. Am I messed up here, or did they change the color?

2) Have I done any permanent damage to anything? If I have, what is the most likely part to be damaged?

Thanks

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Thanks 97-boxster. Good point on the threads - I did check the nut and they are fine, I'll check in other spots as well tomorrow. The tips on both sides of the car on mine are white - maybe they changed to white with later model years? Or perhaps both of mine have been changed.

Any other parts that might have been stressed by having the operating link unhooked for several months?

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Thanks 97-boxster. Good point on the threads - I did check the nut and they are fine, I'll check in other spots as well tomorrow. The tips on both sides of the car on mine are white - maybe they changed to white with later model years? Or perhaps both of mine have been changed.

Any other parts that might have been stressed by having the operating link unhooked for several months?

Caution - shameless self promotion coming ! :D

I recently stripped my '04 986S as it is in fab now getting a race cage installed. As such, I removed all the convertible top stuff. If the part you need is on the car side, I probably have it and will let you have mucho cheap!!

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ericinboca, thanks, but I'll just pick one up at the local Porsche dealer, mostly because it's convenient.

Hey all you guys down in the US, don't complain about costs - the renntech.org price finder gives me a price quote of $8 US, and my friendly local Canadian Porsche dealer wants $20 CAN. Even with the exchange rate it's a major rip-off. A clutch kit for my boxster - $1000 CAN from local dealer, $318 US for a Sachs clutch kit from the US. This is why I mail order most of my parts from the US. Three cheers for the US !!!

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One other question: When I re-assemble this thing, should I use loctite on the nut to keep it from falling off again? There doesn't appear to be any kind of lock washer or anything to keep it from backing off over time. Thanks.

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One other question: When I re-assemble this thing, should I use loctite on the nut to keep it from falling off again? There doesn't appear to be any kind of lock washer or anything to keep it from backing off over time. Thanks.

There should be a fat (thick) washer under the 10 mm nut that holds the two parts of the forward pushrod. Double check your passenger side to verify, as there should be a fat washer on that side as well. There is no need for loctite (although some blue loctite wouldn't hurt), but make sure that you have the new pushrod set at the correct length, or the forward edge of the top will not align correctly and it will be more difficult to engage the two tongues into their respective receptacles on the top horizontal frame of the windshield. You can also make minute adjustments to the length of the pushrod by screwing in or out the plastic ball cup on the end of the threaded rod.

The red plastic ball cups that the Bentley manual refers to were on the earlier Boxsters and they tended to get brittle. The white plastic cups were introduced after 2000 and are much more dependable and longer lasting.

Porsche makes you buy the entire pushrod assembly, but there is a guy overseas who has had just the plastic cups manufactured. If you need his info let me know.

You probably did not cause any damage to the top by operating with just one pushrod, but you probably noticed that the driver's side of the top would lag behind the movement of the right side of the top.

Two cautions:

1. Make sure that you verify that your drain on the driver's side is not clogged with any part that may have fallen in there. If you have a clog and your drains don't work, you will get water intrusion into the passenger compartment. If water starts to get in there and finds its way to the central alarm control unit under the driver's seat, you are looking at a very expensive repair.

2. Also, double check to see whether the part of the pushrod that was dangling from the driver's side V-lever didn't gouge or tear the foam liner as you were operating the top up and down. If there is a tear in the foam liner, that can be another source of trouble for allowing water to get into the cabin.

Feel the carpet under the rear of the driver's seat, at the base of the rear firewall and feel under the carpet to see if the thick foam cushion may have gotten wet. That would be the first sign of trouble.

Regards, Maurice.

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The red plastic ball cups that the Bentley manual refers to were on the earlier Boxsters and they tended to get brittle. The white plastic cups were introduced after 2000 and are much more dependable and longer lasting.

Thanks, that helps.

Porsche makes you buy the entire pushrod assembly, but there is a guy overseas who has had just the plastic cups manufactured. If you need his info let me know.

That's interesting - I asked if I got the nut with the ball pin, and they said no - it was just the pin I am getting. Which means I have to come up with a washer somewhere.....

You probably did not cause any damage to the top by operating with just one pushrod, but you probably noticed that the driver's side of the top would lag behind the movement of the right side of the top.

Excellent, thank you, that is what I was hoping to hear.

1. Make sure that you verify that your drain on the driver's side is not clogged with any part that may have fallen in there. If you have a clog and your drains don't work, you will get water intrusion into the passenger compartment. If water starts to get in there and finds its way to the central alarm control unit under the driver's seat, you are looking at a very expensive repair.

Yes, I kinda wondered about that. I should run a flexible wire or something down the drain tube to make sure it is open.

2. Also, double check to see whether the part of the pushrod that was dangling from the driver's side V-lever didn't gouge or tear the foam liner as you were operating the top up and down. If there is a tear in the foam liner, that can be another source of trouble for allowing water to get into the cabin.

Another good idea, although the only time this car sees any water is when I might get caught in the rain while driving. It's in the garage at home and work. So that means I better check extra carefully for foam tears.

Thanks, Maurice, you've been a big help.

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Part's arrived, see picture below. The silver pin is the part I ordered, and the nut is what I dug out of the top of the drainhole area. Quarter included for perspective. I checked this area again, and there is not a black rubber washer, so I have all the parts I need to do this.

So now the question is: How do I access this area? I've looked in the Bentley manual, but they don't discuss much in the way of dis-assembly. It's in a tough area to get to, so if anyone has any hints about how to get at it, I'm all ears.

post-28829-1248919139_thumb.jpg

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So now the question is: How do I access this area? I've looked in the Bentley manual, but they don't discuss much in the way of dis-assembly. It's in a tough area to get to, so if anyone has any hints about how to get at it, I'm all ears.

Never mind, found the answer to this question here Access to ball pin area

Looks like it might be a bit of a challenge, might consider taking off the top. By the way, thanks to the contributors to this link that warned about overtightening, which could lead to broken parts and huge $$$$ repair bills....

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I tried the methods mentioned in this post Access to ball pin area, but I'm having problems.....you see, my fingers won't bend backwards for some reason. Anyway, mikes_box mentioned pulling the entire top off, said it was easy to do and took an hour. I'm thinking that might be a good option; can someone point me to directions that show how to do this?

Thanks,

Kevin

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I tried the methods mentioned in this post Access to ball pin area, but I'm having problems.....you see, my fingers won't bend backwards for some reason. Anyway, mikes_box mentioned pulling the entire top off, said it was easy to do and took an hour. I'm thinking that might be a good option; can someone point me to directions that show how to do this?

Thanks,

Kevin

Kevin:

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

Go to the subsection entitled "Removing the Top and Frame".

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks to Maurice and Mike for the excellent help throughout all this.....and guess what - IT'S FIXED!!

I read through the directions on removing the top, which didn't seem to bad, then went to the top replacement directions; now that looked like work and I am quite lazy. So I decided to torture my hands and fingers and try it one more time before I dove into top removal. Below is a pictorial on how I attacked it:

Tools used, plus duct tape of course (how did I manage to leave the duct tape out of the picture? It was the key ingredient!)

post-28829-1249090553_thumb.jpg

The first step was to attach duct tape to the nut, as below. Make sure you clean all the tape out of the thread area - push or cut the tape well away from the threads, not as I show it in the picture.

post-28829-1249090564_thumb.jpg

Step two was to duct tape the nut to the fingertip. You could also tape it to a stick, but I wanted to be able to feel when the threads started.

post-28829-1249090576_thumb.jpg

Step three - insert the pin into the bracket with needlenose pliers, here is the pin in place:

post-28829-1249090597_thumb.jpg

Step four - place your fingertip, with the nut taped to it, on the back side of the bracket, see below. Take the needlenose pliers and grasp the ball side of the pin and patiently start screwing it in. It's hard to move it much more than 1/8 turn or so at a time. It took me several tries, but within 10 minutes I had it started. In this picture the threads are engaged and the pin side is snugged up against the bracket. Once it's in place, yank your finger loose and pull the duct tape off. At this stage it's not tight so most of the duct tape should come off.

post-28829-1249090608_thumb.jpg

Then add some loctite and tighten it up. You can also add loctite before you start, but it would get messy. You're supposed to use blue on this size stuff but I had red handy, so that's what went on.

post-28829-1249090638_thumb.jpg

I placed a screwdriver between the nut and the bracket to back up the nut while tightening the pin with needlenose and finishing up with an 11mm spanner. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN or you risk breaking the bracket, which I've heard is crazy expensive. I got it handy tight and then went about a quarter turn.

post-28829-1249090653_thumb.jpg

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Thanks to Maurice and Mike for the excellent help throughout all this.....and guess what - IT'S FIXED!!

I read through the directions on removing the top, which didn't seem to bad, then went to the top replacement directions; now that looked like work and I am quite lazy. So I decided to torture my hands and fingers and try it one more time before I dove into top removal. Below is a pictorial on how I attacked it:

Tools used, plus duct tape of course (how did I manage to leave the duct tape out of the picture? It was the key ingredient!)

post-28829-1249090553_thumb.jpg

The first step was to attach duct tape to the nut, as below. Make sure you clean all the tape out of the thread area - push or cut the tape well away from the threads, not as I show it in the picture.

post-28829-1249090564_thumb.jpg

Step two was to duct tape the nut to the fingertip. You could also tape it to a stick, but I wanted to be able to feel when the threads started.

post-28829-1249090576_thumb.jpg

Step three - insert the pin into the bracket with needlenose pliers, here is the pin in place:

post-28829-1249090597_thumb.jpg

Step four - place your fingertip, with the nut taped to it, on the back side of the bracket, see below. Take the needlenose pliers and grasp the ball side of the pin and patiently start screwing it in. It's hard to move it much more than 1/8 turn or so at a time. It took me several tries, but within 10 minutes I had it started. In this picture the threads are engaged and the pin side is snugged up against the bracket. Once it's in place, yank your finger loose and pull the duct tape off. At this stage it's not tight so most of the duct tape should come off.

post-28829-1249090608_thumb.jpg

Then add some loctite and tighten it up. You can also add loctite before you start, but it would get messy. You're supposed to use blue on this size stuff but I had red handy, so that's what went on.

post-28829-1249090638_thumb.jpg

I placed a screwdriver between the nut and the bracket to back up the nut while tightening the pin with needlenose and finishing up with an 11mm spanner. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN or you risk breaking the bracket, which I've heard is crazy expensive. I got it handy tight and then went about a quarter turn.

post-28829-1249090653_thumb.jpg

Very ingenious! I'm sure this method will help someone else here down the line.

Thanks for the excellent pics and congrats for "sticking" with it (pun intended)! :cheers:

Regards, Maurice.

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