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Lots Of Top Questions, Is This The Right Top?


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I have a '98 986 Boxster with a very cracked vinyl window top. I am considering replacing it myself, because the labor seems to be quite expensive, and I don't really trust anyone else to do this (except for a porsche dealership.) Although, I am really in the dark about replacement tops, I have heard tons about GAHH and Robbins tops, but I was wondering if some things I am finding on eBay are comparable, or the same. I found this (link) on eBay, and it says it is German A5, and is Ultramaxx glass, which sounds exactly like GAHH's site. Are these comparable? Also, from the looks of the size of the window, how does it fold into the clamshell? Should I stay away from eBay for my top and pay roughly twice the price for a GAHH or Robbins top? Or are these just as good or the same? Also, I have seen some replacement tops that look like they have half-height glass windows that would fold just fine, but these bigger windows I don't understand.

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Kojiro,

I recently purchased the same top from the same seller on EBay. It is a GAHH top and comes in a brand new GAHH box. I contacted the seller prior to purchasing and he confirmed it was a GAHH top. He said he sells both the GAHH and Robbins top and can deliver both, although at different prices. He's been in the business of selling tops for 35 years, and he sells more GAHH tops than the Robbins tops. He says both are equivalent in quality but because GAHH is a smaller company, they can offer a comparable at a price slightly cheaper than the Robbins top. FWIW, I was originally going to get a Robbins top, but because of the information he provided, I decided to switch to getting a GAHH top. I haven't regretted it at all.

I am in the process of installing the top myself. It is definitely not a project for the timid, but I am getting through it and I consider myself quite handy. The GAHH top appears to be very high quality in terms of build and fit, and I'm looking forward to have a nice, new top on my Boxster.

I definitely recommend buying through this seller. He was very helpful.

Hope that helps.

Eric

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I have a '98 986 Boxster with a very cracked vinyl window top. I am considering replacing it myself, because the labor seems to be quite expensive, and I don't really trust anyone else to do this (except for a porsche dealership.) Although, I am really in the dark about replacement tops, I have heard tons about GAHH and Robbins tops, but I was wondering if some things I am finding on eBay are comparable, or the same. I found this (link) on eBay, and it says it is German A5, and is Ultramaxx glass, which sounds exactly like GAHH's site. Are these comparable? Also, from the looks of the size of the window, how does it fold into the clamshell? Should I stay away from eBay for my top and pay roughly twice the price for a GAHH or Robbins top? Or are these just as good or the same? Also, I have seen some replacement tops that look like they have half-height glass windows that would fold just fine, but these bigger windows I don't understand.

FWIW, Porsche dealerships usually do not install replacement canvas for the tops themselves. They generally farm it out to a local installer who is familiar with or specializes in these top installations.

If you are patient, fairly handy, and can follow detailed instructions, you can DIY but it does take some time and effort.

Take a look at this step by step DIY to understand what you might be up against: http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/replacingthetop-adiy

If you decide to DIY, it can be very rewarding.

Regards, Maurice.

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Hi all;

I ordered my 2000 Boxster S new in 2000 and I plan to keep her unti I die. (I've held an unbroken string of Porsches going back to 1976, so this is not an idle boast.) :-)

Anway, seriously, virtually the only thing I dislike on the whole car is the plastic rear window and, despite great care I will eventually need to replace that. The plastic is not yellowing or cracking, but it is getting harder over time and it's starting to kink when I put the top down despite my efforts to be gentle. The prices on these replacement tops seem pretty reasonable so I might go ahead and get it over with, even though my top is still in great shape overall.

Can anyone answer Kojiro's questions about the glass window?

"...from the looks of the size of the window, how does it fold into the clamshell? I have seen some replacement tops that look like they have half-height glass windows that would fold just fine, but these bigger windows I don't understand."

I also have a question of my own:

The "S" top is MUCH quieter, more refined and generally a good upgrade from my '97, non-S Boxster due to the nice headliner. The headliner situation in these replacement tops is not clear to me. It seems as though these companies sell the headliner FABRIC, but not a fabricated LINER, per se. I assume that I could use my existing liner, but that seems kind of like swapping a clutch and using the same old throwout bearing. Is there a nice aftermarket headliner that's made for the Boxster S, or am I on my own?Thanks for the info, as always. There Is No Substitute for you guys! :-)

Rob Rambo

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Hi all;

I ordered my 2000 Boxster S new in 2000 and I plan to keep her unti I die. (I've held an unbroken string of Porsches going back to 1976, so this is not an idle boast.) :-)

Anway, seriously, virtually the only thing I dislike on the whole car is the plastic rear window and, despite great care I will eventually need to replace that. The plastic is not yellowing or cracking, but it is getting harder over time and it's starting to kink when I put the top down despite my efforts to be gentle. The prices on these replacement tops seem pretty reasonable so I might go ahead and get it over with, even though my top is still in great shape overall.

Can anyone answer Kojiro's questions about the glass window?

"...from the looks of the size of the window, how does it fold into the clamshell? I have seen some replacement tops that look like they have half-height glass windows that would fold just fine, but these bigger windows I don't understand."

I also have a question of my own:

The "S" top is MUCH quieter, more refined and generally a good upgrade from my '97, non-S Boxster due to the nice headliner. The headliner situation in these replacement tops is not clear to me. It seems as though these companies sell the headliner FABRIC, but not a fabricated LINER, per se. I assume that I could use my existing liner, but that seems kind of like swapping a clutch and using the same old throwout bearing. Is there a nice aftermarket headliner that's made for the Boxster S, or am I on my own?Thanks for the info, as always. There Is No Substitute for you guys! :-)

Rob Rambo

Rob:

The only way the "bigger" window fits is because it is installed on a 4 bow frame assembly, as found in the 2003 and 2004 986's. The retrofitted GAHH glass window canvas tops onto 3 bow frame assemblies have to have a small size in height so as to be able to "tuck in" behind the roll bar. The difficulty with these windows, aside from their somewhat small size is that an installation of that particular top will further restrict access to the engine.

Not sure about the GAHH headliner situation. If your headliner is in good shape, it can certainly be re-used on a replacement top. It doesn't pose the same risk as a worn throwout bearing. If it passes the appearance test, it's good!

Regards, Maurice.

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Kojiro,

I recently purchased the same top from the same seller on EBay. It is a GAHH top and comes in a brand new GAHH box. I contacted the seller prior to purchasing and he confirmed it was a GAHH top. He said he sells both the GAHH and Robbins top and can deliver both, although at different prices. He's been in the business of selling tops for 35 years, and he sells more GAHH tops than the Robbins tops. He says both are equivalent in quality but because GAHH is a smaller company, they can offer a comparable at a price slightly cheaper than the Robbins top. FWIW, I was originally going to get a Robbins top, but because of the information he provided, I decided to switch to getting a GAHH top. I haven't regretted it at all.

I am in the process of installing the top myself. It is definitely not a project for the timid, but I am getting through it and I consider myself quite handy. The GAHH top appears to be very high quality in terms of build and fit, and I'm looking forward to have a nice, new top on my Boxster.

I definitely recommend buying through this seller. He was very helpful.

Hope that helps.

Eric

Thank you so much, that is exactly what I wanted to hear!

The only way the "bigger" window fits is because it is installed on a 4 bow frame assembly, as found in the 2003 and 2004 986's. The retrofitted GAHH glass window canvas tops onto 3 bow frame assemblies have to have a small size in height so as to be able to "tuck in" behind the roll bar. The difficulty with these windows, aside from their somewhat small size is that an installation of that particular top will further restrict access to the engine.

So I'd have to change the frame on my '98 as well as the top? If so, then I might settle with a half-size window. How bad is the access to the engine compartment with the smaller windowed ones?

Also, I really do plan on DIY-ing it. Like I said, I don't trust anyone else to do it, I just need to find some time.

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