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Add Another Broken Top To The List!

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My fiance took the car (2001 Boxster) shopping with her mother a few days before our wedding (9/18) and called me hysterical that the top was broken :oops:.

I can't blame her, it probably would have broken on me sooner than later. We are back from the honeymoon and now it's time to deal with fixing it.

Anyways, the top will not go down, it is stuck in the closed position. It appears that the issue is with the right side since the left side will attempt to open. In my heated frustration upon returning home I made the mistake of trying twice to open the top and inspect under the clamshell, I can only hope that I have not tweaked it.

Some questions:

1) I read that Mark was going to develop a DVD, is that available now? If so, where and how much?

2) I am in Los Angeles, is there anyone local that has some experience with this repair? If not then I'd even be willing to drive to the Bay Area to get some help since I don't have a lot of time to fiddle with this.

3) I read that the parts can be ordered from a place in Oregon, can someone provide me with a URL, phone number or address to contact them?


Edited by mforester
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2001 is not suppose to have problems like 1997-1999. Do you have a warranty left?

If one side is moving then you need to put the top in the service position to see why the other side does not move. It could be the cable, plastic joint, top transmission, or something else. We had a report on this board from a 2001 owner from the UK and one of the two cables broke, and this is rare on any year.

There are instructions on this board and in your owners manual on how to disconnect the red plastic joints and the metal joints for the clamshell - it is going to be a bit harder for you because the top is in the closed position. Then you can operate the top manually and get it into the service position. If the plastic joint is broken on the side that does not work then you found the problem, then you need to figure out why.

If the joint is not broken then when the top is in the service position disconnect the drive cable from the motor for the side that does not work and operate the cable with a drill that can go forward and reverse. Watch the V-lever on the transmission to see of it moves. If it does not move then your cable is broken or disconnected from the transmission, or you have a bad transmission.

All of the above is an educated guess as I cannot see your car. But if you get the top in the service position we can walk you through. In the meantime do not touch the top switch because all you will do is cause more damage. If the clamshell got tweaked then it is easy to twist it back into shape - there is a picture of Mark and I doing just that in the top section of this board.

I make the DVDs with the help from a lot of local owners. There is no DVD for top fixes yet, but it is on the list. Jeff

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This is the door panel removal tool I use to separate the 4 joints, and it sounds like James has the same kind of tool. Funny, but I bought it years before I owned a Boxster. Mark likes to use the pry lever in the tool kit.

Like James said, you are working by feel to release the joints from the clamshell if your top is stucked in the closed position. And it takes some force to separate those joints.


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I've got the same problem with my top - it is stuck in the closed position and only one side of the clamshell will open. I will hopefully open it up this weekend.

So I've owned this car since March (an '00 Boxster with 11K miles when purchased), and already I've replaced the MAF sensor, the coolant leaks, and the top broke. Should I trade this thing in?!?

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Well after a bunch of research on this forum, I think I know how to fix this problem. :clapping: I've got the top into the service position and all of the ball joints disconnected. The plastic sheath of the transmission cable has expanded causing one side of the top not to move (even though it appears I have the 'newer' cables 986-561-717-02).

The only real damage done appears to be a bent V-joint, which I will attempt to reshape. Also the clamshell looks tweaked, but that doesn't sound like a big deal to bend back. Should I be replacing the arms with the red joints while I have it apart?

Thanks to everyone who gave input on this problem. Peace.

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