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Jsonorous

03/04 top conversion problem

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I recently found a take off '03 top for my '99 2.5 Boxster (US). The top is in like new condition and it also came with the new transmissions (left and right), motor and cabling. He did not send mounting studs or the b type relay. Thanks to Maurice's very thorough instructions on Mike Focke's website, I was able to change the top without much problem. I did leave the A type transmission intact since I didn't have all the parts and it was working well before the swap. I did put the B pillar micro switch in the new frame and the other switch remained on top of the motor.

After I completed the installation, I put the top up. At the very end of the cycle (I'm used to the motor running for a second or two, shutting off and dash light going out) it started to hesitate, it seemed like it went father than it usually does. The clam shell looks like it closed a little bit father than it usually does. The top seems to be locked in the closed position. When I hit the convertible top switch, I hear the motor briefly and quietly engage but there is no movement. I haven't played with it much in fear of the motor burning out.

I did neglect to put the tension ropes back on before I closed the top. The windows operate as normal when opening and closing the doors. The windows also go down their 2-4" when the top latch is opened. I just can't get the top to go down.

Any ideas on how to proceed from here? Anything obvious that I might have missed?

Thanks a lot for you help!

-Jason Orris

'99 2.5 Boxster (arctic silver/boxster red, 52K, US)

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I recently found a take off '03 top for my '99 2.5 Boxster (US). The top is in like new condition and it also came with the new transmissions (left and right), motor and cabling. He did not send mounting studs or the b type relay. Thanks to Maurice's very thorough instructions on Mike Focke's website, I was able to change the top without much problem. I did leave the A type transmission intact since I didn't have all the parts and it was working well before the swap. I did put the B pillar micro switch in the new frame and the other switch remained on top of the motor.

After I completed the installation, I put the top up. At the very end of the cycle (I'm used to the motor running for a second or two, shutting off and dash light going out) it started to hesitate, it seemed like it went father than it usually does. The clam shell looks like it closed a little bit father than it usually does. The top seems to be locked in the closed position. When I hit the convertible top switch, I hear the motor briefly and quietly engage but there is no movement. I haven't played with it much in fear of the motor burning out.

I did neglect to put the tension ropes back on before I closed the top. The windows operate as normal when opening and closing the doors. The windows also go down their 2-4" when the top latch is opened. I just can't get the top to go down.

Any ideas on how to proceed from here? Anything obvious that I might have missed?

Thanks a lot for you help!

-Jason Orris

'99 2.5 Boxster (arctic silver/boxster red, 52K, US)

Jason:

Two possibilities:

1. Without the tension ropes installed, there is a possibility that the B-Pillar part of the frame ended up slightly out of position with respect to it tripping the B-pillar microswitch (because the rear main bow was not being held back and pulled down) as the leading edge of the top was finding its way to the top of the windshield frame.

2. Double check between the two different frame arrangements (3 bow top on original, 4 bow top on '03/'04 tops) whether the position of the B-pillar is different between the two tops insofar as the spot where the little silver lever of the B-pillar microswitch makes contact and is tripped by that part of the frame.

It only takes a VERY SMALL difference to throw off the timing with respect to the tripping of the B-pillar microswitch so as to cause the motor to keep running or to not run long enough to turn off the light on the dashboard and simultaneously cut power to the motor through the double relay. You may be able to temporarily (until you decide to take the leap and install the B Version transmissions and associated parts) compensate for any difference in the positions by slightly bending the silver lever on the B-Pillar microswitch such that it is depressed or released earlier (or later) in the cycle.

Note that near the end of the cycle, if you manually manipulate the B-pillar microswitch, you can cause the electric motor to reverse direction.

I think the easiest (and safest) way to proceed from your current starting point (top completely closed) is to reach in and manually pull out the cables from the sides of the electric motor and use the cordless drill (LOWEST torque setting) to move the top (alternating on each side for a few seconds) so that you have better access to the "works".

One more note: it's possible for the V-levers, if they over-rotate (which may be your current situation), can sort of get "locked up" because the equivalent of being "tied up in knots like a pretzel" occurs. So again, if you rotate them manually with the drill in the correct direction you may "unlock" them.

Also, the wiring portion of the conversion for the '97's to '99 is time consuming and somewhat tedious, but the results with the new transmissions, etc., are worth their weight in gold IMO. If you can, get the rest of the parts you need and go for it. I'd be happy to assist further if you run into roadblocks.

Let us know what you discover when you inspect the frames, etc...

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir
  • Upvote 2

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Thanks Maurice!

I did find the page on Mike's site where you talk about using the drill on low torque to gradually open the top, http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/top-half-closed. My guess is that I did go too far and the cables pretzelized (tangled). The clamshell ends (nearest the door) are down 2-3 millimeters lower than they are normally, it almost looks like the whole mechanism cranked up as far as it would go and seized. The motor does seem to respond as there is a slight dimming of the lights when it is engaged.

Luckily the car is drivable for the short term, and I can admire the glass window top until Saturday when I'll have a chance to use the drill method to open up the works. I'll report back with my findings. I'm grateful for the help!

Jason

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I was able to get the clam shell up in service mode using the drill method. I hooked everything back up, moved the top about half way down and then decided to try the "up" or closed position again. The same thing happened, I tried to catch the motor before it went too far, but once it gets to a point it will not respond. I am going to use the drill method again and this time try adjusting the 3 mounting screws on the base of the frame, it does seem like the new frame is just a little bit farther back than the old frame.

I did try to see if I could get the top light on the dashboard to turn off by triggering both switches at different times, and I couldn't get the dashboard light to go off. Which switch turns off the dashboard light?

My question is: which switch controls when the motor will stop running (old style A transmission), the b pillar switch or the switch on the motor under the clam shell? Any other ideas why the assembly seems to be going too far?

Thanks,

Jason

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I used the drill method one more time to open the clam shell to service mode. I then loosened the 3 bolts and closed the top (latched it tight), I then tightened the 3 bolts. This time I did try to lower the top to down position, it was a tight fit but it did close after a little bit of back and forth with the dash switch. I tried to close the top again and catch it before the mechanism seized, but no luck. I was trying to watch the clam shell close and stop right at that moment, when I did get to that point, the top lurched back just a little bit (1" or so) and the motor stopped working again.

I'm guessing at this point that the top itself needs further adjustment and I can't seem to figure out how the b pillar switch is supposed to do anything. The switch doesn't seem to bump (activate) into any part of the frame going up or down, I'm not understanding how it works.

The good news is that when I was digging around the hardware that came with the top (the car was turned into a spec racer right off the showroom floor and all of the convertible parts were removed), I did find 5 of the mounting studs that I need for the new B style transmissions, so I only need one. I'm still hoping to make it work with the old motor and transmission, but I will probably order the missing mounting stud and since I need a new relay, I'm probably going to buy the Smarttop relay that opens and closes the top with a single touch (I've already done the mod on the relay so I can open and close the car while moving under 25 mph).

Jason

Edited by Jsonorous

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I used the drill method one more time to open the clam shell to service mode. I then loosened the 3 bolts and closed the top (latched it tight), I then tightened the 3 bolts. This time I did try to lower the top to down position, it was a tight fit but it did close after a little bit of back and forth with the dash switch. I tried to close the top again and catch it before the mechanism seized, but no luck. I was trying to watch the clam shell close and stop right at that moment, when I did get to that point, the top lurched back just a little bit (1" or so) and the motor stopped working again.

I'm guessing at this point that the top itself needs further adjustment and I can't seem to figure out how the b pillar switch is supposed to do anything. The switch doesn't seem to bump (activate) into any part of the frame going up or down, I'm not understanding how it works.

The good news is that when I was digging around the hardware that came with the top (the car was turned into a spec racer right off the showroom floor and all of the convertible parts were removed), I did find 5 of the mounting studs that I need for the new B style transmissions, so I only need one. I'm still hoping to make it work with the old motor and transmission, but I will probably order the missing mounting stud and since I need a new relay, I'm probably going to buy the Smarttop relay that opens and closes the top with a single touch (I've already done the mod on the relay so I can open and close the car while moving under 25 mph).

Jason

Jason:

Sorry, I tried to post yesterday from my sister's Ipad and I could not write text into the Reply box on RennTech. Some kind of iPad peculiarity...

Anyway, from your updated description, I am fairly convinced that your problem lies in the fact that the B-Pillar microswitch is not being activated (closed and opened) properly by the new 4 bow frame arrangement of the glass windowed OEM top. The fact that you were able to operate the top with the drill in sequence on each side means that your cables, transmissions, V-levers, and pushrods are in good working order.

To answer one of your questions, there is no "switch" that turns off the dashboard "Top Open" light. Rather, it is turned off (and in turn, power is cut to the electric motor) by a sequence of switches and relays being tripped. The black lever microswitch (on top of the electric motor on '97's to '99's) gets pressed down by the clamshell after the B-pillar microswitch is pressed or released (depending on which cycle---open or close) and the double relay provides what Porsche calls an "after-running time" , after which the light is turned off. The after-running time lasts a little more than one second. When the light is turned off, electricity to the motor is cut off and the transmissions stop being turned by the V-levers, which are now stopped, and the black "hydraulic" pushrods are exerting a high degree of pulling pressure on the clamshell, to keep it tight.

Try your experiment again, but this time, when you get to the point where the leading edge of the top reaches the windshield, manually (with a little string) activate the B-Pillar microswitch and see if that reverses the spinning direction of the electric motor when you depress the switch. You will have to remove the half-cylindrical plastic, carpet-covered, panel that covers the B-pillar microswitch to gain good access to that switch.

If you can, post a couple of photos of the area of the B-pillar microswitch and its contact on the back of the B-pillar frame when the top is completely closed and when it's completely open. I think that is where the problem lies.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir
  • Upvote 1

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I had an A HA moment today as I was working on the glass window '03 top and frame that I have put on my '99 Boxster. I have read as much as I can about the subject, and I thought it was possible to use the older "A" style transmission, but I don't believe that you can use the 03/04 glass windowed top on a 97-99 car with the older transmission. The problem lies with the micro switch in the b pillar. I couldn't understand how it worked because I was looking at it on the new 4 bow frame, nothing touches the switch itself. I pulled the old frame out and looked where the b pillar switch was located, there is a bar that actually hits the switch (it is labeled 986 561 347 00 MOM) and it is absent in the 4 bow ( OEM 03/04 glass window top and frame). Nothing in the new style frame touches the b pillar micro switch.

From what I have found installing a 03/04 frame and top, it will not work on a 97-99 car without installing the newer "B" style transmission.

Here are some photos:

This is a photo of the new frame with the top up, nothing touches the switch

post-36683-072066400 1281928574_thumb.jp

This is the bar that triggers the switch in the 3 bow frame (photo is upside down from the first photo)

post-36683-036160400 1281928532_thumb.jp

This is a side view of the bar, part number 986 561 347 00 MOM

post-36683-064661700 1281928487_thumb.jp

(I did just see your reply Maurice, you are correct! Thanks for sticking with me. I am going to order the rest of the parts I need to do the full conversion tomorrow. I kind of looked at this as a puzzle or a mystery, which made it fun, not maddening. Without your instructions I would never have gotten this far and I wouldn't have been able to diagnose what the problem was)

Edited by Jsonorous

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I had an A HA moment today as I was working on the glass window '03 top and frame that I have put on my '99 Boxster. I have read as much as I can about the subject, and I thought it was possible to use the older "A" style transmission, but I don't believe that you can use the 03/04 glass windowed top on a 97-99 car with the older transmission. The problem lies with the micro switch in the b pillar. I couldn't understand how it worked because I was looking at it on the new 4 bow frame, nothing touches the switch itself. I pulled the old frame out and looked where the b pillar switch was located, there is a bar that actually hits the switch (it is labeled 986 561 347 00 MOM) and it is absent in the 4 bow ( OEM 03/04 glass window top and frame). Nothing in the new style frame touches the b pillar micro switch.

From what I have found installing a 03/04 frame and top, it will not work on a 97-99 car without installing the newer "B" style transmission.

Here are some photos:

This is a photo of the new frame with the top up, nothing touches the switch

post-36683-072066400 1281928574_thumb.jp

This is the bar that triggers the switch in the 3 bow frame (photo is upside down from the first photo)

post-36683-036160400 1281928532_thumb.jp

This is a side view of the bar, part number 986 561 347 00 MOM

post-36683-064661700 1281928487_thumb.jp

(I did just see your reply Maurice, you are correct! Thanks for sticking with me. I am going to order the rest of the parts I need to do the full conversion tomorrow. I kind of looked at this as a puzzle or a mystery, which made it fun, not maddening. Without your instructions I would never have gotten this far and I wouldn't have been able to diagnose what the problem was)

Jason:

Glad you were able to conclusively establish the cause of the malfunction, and thanks for sharing the info and the excellent photos with everyone. Definitely the right attitude, looking at this as a puzzle! thumbup.gif

When you get the rest of the parts for the conversion, be sure to source that little connector that plugs into the front of the driver's side transmission (B Version) and get one of those little spades with the locking tab so that you can properly lock it in to the back of the relay tray (see photo in the PDF III of the DIY on Mike Focke's site).

If you get those two little parts, you will circumvent two of the tricky little areas that could cause you a few more hiccups.

Once you complete the installation with all of the new parts, you will still be astounded at how much of an improvement the swap it, especially because there will be "no more chop"!

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks Maurice!

I did stop by the parts department at the Porsche dealership today, they had the mounting stud that I needed (986.561.789.01). They unfortunately did not have either the spade or the three pin connector. Any idea where I can source these parts? For the spade I was thinking of either going to an auto parts store or an electronics supply company, but I can't think of where to get the connector. I did show the parts manager the connector and we went through 3 brief cases full of connectors to no avail. I'm thinking that worse case I will just take the existing connector and splice wires to the transmission (I did check that it will fit in the new B style transmission). Do you know if I just need to solder or crimp the wire in that existing unused hole on the 3 pin connector?

I did order a Smarttop relay today. After ordering it I did notice that the top needs to be in the open position before installing it. Do you know if the old A style relay will work to get the top in the open position so I can install the Smarttop relay, or do I need to order a B style relay, close the top and then install the Smarttop relay?

Best,

Jason

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Thanks Maurice!

I did stop by the parts department at the Porsche dealership today, they had the mounting stud that I needed (986.561.789.01). They unfortunately did not have either the spade or the three pin connector. Any idea where I can source these parts? For the spade I was thinking of either going to an auto parts store or an electronics supply company, but I can't think of where to get the connector. I did show the parts manager the connector and we went through 3 brief cases full of connectors to no avail. I'm thinking that worse case I will just take the existing connector and splice wires to the transmission (I did check that it will fit in the new B style transmission). Do you know if I just need to solder or crimp the wire in that existing unused hole on the 3 pin connector?

I did order a Smarttop relay today. After ordering it I did notice that the top needs to be in the open position before installing it. Do you know if the old A style relay will work to get the top in the open position so I can install the Smarttop relay, or do I need to order a B style relay, close the top and then install the Smarttop relay?

Best,

Jason

Jason:

I would hold off on using the SmartTop relay until you are completely done with the conversion. No need to introduce another level of complexity or potential source for an unknown result.

You should definitely get the B-Version relay, as shown in the DIY.

That little spade is not necessarily a "Porsche only" part, unless you can get one from a tech's bag of surplus relay tray plugs, etc. You should be able to get it from an old-time auto parts store of from an electronics store, just remember to get the type that has that little tab that will lock it in place. The one I used I borrowed from an old BMW wire harness.

The best source for the little connector to the front of the driver's side transmission is from someone who turned their car into a Spec Racer as that part is not available separately from Porsche without the rest of that wiring harness AFAIK. Maybe the guy you bought the parts from can cut it off his car for you, as he definitely will have no use for it. Tell him it will make his car that much lighter! LOL!

Good idea to solder and wrap all of the connections with heat shrink tubing. As far as the one little wire that you would put into that connector that you can borrow from further down that B-Pillar microswitch wire, if I'm not mistaken the empty slot in the borrowed connector will not have a spade in it at all. If it does, see if you can pull out the thin spade and solder it on. If it doesn't have a little spade in there, you'll have to source one and insert it into the correct slot.

Keep in mind that if you do go the borrowed connector route, you have to be very careful (check and double check your work) with the routing of the wires. Another poster who went that route had a great deal of trouble getting those wires straight, so be forewarned.

Regards, Maurice.

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I'm slowly gathering everything I need for the full conversion. It looks like the only tricky piece is going to be that 3 wire connector to the transmission for the microswitches. I'll be calling the fellow I got the top from as well as dismantlers, I'm sure with a little determination I'll be able to source it. This whole project has been an exercise of determination and patience, I do see the end in sight at this point.

I needed someone to slow me down and suggest I finish the project with the OEM B style relay before I install the smart top, thanks. One more variable isn't going to help matters. I was able to source a relay at a reasonable cost (around $40 shipped). The Smarttop relay has been something I've been intrigued by since I first saw it.

I'll report back as things progress.

Thanks!

Jason

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I'm slowly gathering everything I need for the full conversion. It looks like the only tricky piece is going to be that 3 wire connector to the transmission for the microswitches. I'll be calling the fellow I got the top from as well as dismantlers, I'm sure with a little determination I'll be able to source it. This whole project has been an exercise of determination and patience, I do see the end in sight at this point.

I needed someone to slow me down and suggest I finish the project with the OEM B style relay before I install the smart top, thanks. One more variable isn't going to help matters. I was able to source a relay at a reasonable cost (around $40 shipped). The Smarttop relay has been something I've been intrigued by since I first saw it.

I'll report back as things progress.

Thanks!

Jason

Jason:

I found an extra one of those little female spades with the locking tab from an old BMW harness in my garage... PM me your address and I'll mail it to you.

Regards, Maurice.

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It's working! I was able to put the '03 top on and do the "B" style conversion along with the electrical modifications! It was not without some difficulty...

I had to buy the 3 pin connector from a dismantler, it took a week to receive the part. When I did receive the box from the dismantler, I was disappointed to see that they sent me the connector that goes on the motor (larger 4 pin). After I sent them photos of the part and where it is on the driver's side transmission, they sent me the right 3 pin connector with about a foot of wire. This set me back a full week but luckily the top was closed so I could drive the car.

This weekend I started the project, I had gathered all the parts I needed. I first tried to change out the new "B" style transmissions with the new top in the car, it became apparent that I needed to remove the top again. No problem, I removed the top.

I removed the old transmission and the old shorter "A" style mounting studs. When I was installing the new "B" style mounting studs, I broke one of the bolts off in the socket. At first I wasn't sure what I was going to do, I considered just going with two bolts. I googled "broken screw" and I found out about screw extractors, off to Home Depot I went. I bought a drill bit and a screw extractor, and without too much hassle I got the end of the bolt out of the body of the car. Luckily, my Porsche dealership had an extra mounting stud that I picked up the next morning.

post-36683-050170000 1283124679_thumb.jp

I finished the drivers side transmission installation and moved on the the passengers side, when installing the transmission and torquing the bolt to 16 lb/ft that attaches the transmission to the stud, I broke another stud. This time it wasn't broken off in the body of the car like last time so it was easier to get out. The dealership was closed at this point, so I ended up using one of the "A" style mounting studs and adding seven 1/4" washers to make it the size of the "B" style studs - it worked. I guess I'm trying to caution anyone from being too rough on the mounting studs, they are somewhat fragile.

I am a recording engineer by trade, so the wiring was pretty easy. The only anomaly I found from Maurice's excellent instructions was that I only had one brown with grey stripe wire going to 19 on the relay, it worked fine. (this is on the rear of the relay tray)

After putting everything together including the new B relay with a square instead of a triangle, the time of reckoning had come. I got everything ready, the top moved back about 6 inches and froze, I couldn't get it to move at all! After some deep breaths, I got back at it. It worked for a little bit, so I knew that the wiring job was probably good. I had purchased to Smarttop relay, so I thought I would give that a try - it worked! The used relay I had bought from Oklahoma Foreign was broken! I did have to take the relay tray out again and snip the brown wire with blue stripe (pin 14 on the relay) from the rear of the tray to get the idiot light to work properly.

So after a number of obstacles, I was able to get the top to work. I don't know if I would have taken the job on if I knew that it was going to be this laborious, but I am very pleased with the new top with glass rear window, new transmission and the Smarttop relay.

SIncere thanks to Maurice for the well written instruction and the coaching/help along the journey!

Here is my car with the new top. (Mississippi river in the background)

post-36683-004491900 1283125597_thumb.jp

...

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One addendum... after multiple adjustments, I can't get the latch on the front of the top to easily "grab" the center section of the windshield. All I had to do on the old top was pull the handle down and the hook grabbed the frame tight and closed tight. The new top is just shy of grabbing (1-3 millimeters), so if I push the hook into the hole on the windshield it will grab, but it slips out if I just try to close the handle.

Any ideas on this fine adjustment?

Thanks,

Jason

Edited by Jsonorous

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Jason:

WAY TO GO! clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif

I know it's a lot of work getting at the back of the relay tray and doing all the wiring required for a complete conversion for the early Boxsters, but you will think that it was well worth it after you operate the top a few times without having to get out to do "the chop". Not having to worry about the window cracking when it starts to get cold in Minneapolis, when the air is crisp and you want to take your top down, is just icing on the cake.

Thanks for the notes on your installation. I will update the write up with some of the things that you encountered, including that one instead of two brown/gray wires in some models.

As far as the latch not lining up properly, it's a matter of first checking that the frame itself is not pulled too far back. The latch on the front of the top should JUST BARELY clear the plexiglass windstop, and at the same time, the joint on the frame above the middle of each window should be fully extended and completely lined up, top to bottom on each side of the joint.

Once you have that established, you can make fine adjustments to the way the leading edge of the top lines up with the top horizontal part of the windshield frame by turning each plastic ball cup by one turn at a time until you get it just right. IIRC, turning each one counterclockwise (thereby making the overall length of the pushrod longer) will position the leading edge of the top on that side a little further forward. To make more drastic adjustments, just loosen the 10mm bolt with fat washer on the pushrod and separate the two pieces of the pushrod by a notch or two before re-tightening the 10mm bolt. Go easy with these adjustments, and be sure to mark your starting points so that you have them as a reference. Be aware that the lengthening/shortening of the pushrods does not result in a strict linear progression...at some tipping point, it starts to go the other way.

Thanks also for that nice photo of your Boxster by the Mississippi.

Again, excellent work!

Regards, Maurice.

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I am so close!!!

The adjustment of the plastic ball joints worked well - the latch grabs correctly. I turned them 2 times first, it was still just a little shy. I then turned them two more times, for a total of 4 turns, and the latch grabbed perfectly but the windows didn't drop the 2-4" like they should as the top went up or down. Ugh, nothing good comes easy, or something like that right? I turned the plastic balls back one turn, so they are now three full turns. The latch still grabs well, but no window drop.

I wiggled the top relay and the blue relay next to it, it started to work again. Any idea what was happening?

The latch still just taps the windstop on the way down. I did pop off the plastic balls, loosen the three screws that hold the fame and pull it as far back as I could get it to go by myself. I'm guessing it needs to move back just a little more.

I don't know what I am going to do with myself when I have this perfect, and it is going to be perfect! I'll probably find some more trouble, I mean mods/hacks I can do...

Thanks,

Jason

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I am so close!!!

The adjustment of the plastic ball joints worked well - the latch grabs correctly. I turned them 2 times first, it was still just a little shy. I then turned them two more times, for a total of 4 turns, and the latch grabbed perfectly but the windows didn't drop the 2-4" like they should as the top went up or down. Ugh, nothing good comes easy, or something like that right? I turned the plastic balls back one turn, so they are now three full turns. The latch still grabs well, but no window drop.

I wiggled the top relay and the blue relay next to it, it started to work again. Any idea what was happening?

The latch still just taps the windstop on the way down. I did pop off the plastic balls, loosen the three screws that hold the fame and pull it as far back as I could get it to go by myself. I'm guessing it needs to move back just a little more.

I don't know what I am going to do with myself when I have this perfect, and it is going to be perfect! I'll probably find some more trouble, I mean mods/hacks I can do...

Thanks,

Jason

Jason:

Sounds like you are "almost there"!

If the windows don't drop the 4 inches when the latch is released, it's either a malfunctioning relay (or one not making a full connection) or one of the two microswitches inside the latch assembly receptacle (the plunger-type one). The blue relay is unrelated to the top. It would be a good idea to remove the double relay and clean the spades with some fine emery cloth in case the relay is not making a solid connection with the relay tray.

There are two microswitches in the latch receptacle assembly. There is one on the left side of the assembly (has a large plunger that juts out when the latch is open). That one controls the 4" window drop that occurs immediately when you pull down the latch to open the top. There is another one on the right side of the assembly, and that is the one that activates the convertible top double relay.

In the plunger-type microswitch, the plastic in the mechanism sometimes bends or warps and then the switch will only work when it is pushed in farther. You can test whether this has happened to your particular switch by putting something in between the latch and the switch (like a small rectangle of cardboard) and see if the problem goes away. That little piece of cardboard will have the effect of depressing the switch a little further and make it work.

BE VERY CAREFUL with the SmartTop operation of the top until you get the latch to completely clear the plexiglas windstop...Since the SmartTop runs the top through its entire cycle with just one touch of the switch, if the latch gets pushed up on the way down and you don't notice it, when the leading edge of the top gets to the windshield frame as it is closing completely, the latch will already have been closed and you risk destroying both plastic ball cups or worse.

As for the other problem...there are ALWAYS more mods to be done! LOL!

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir

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The adjustment of the plastic ball joints worked well - the latch grabs correctly. I turned them 2 times first, it was still just a little shy. I then turned them two more times, for a total of 4 turns, and the latch grabbed perfectly but the windows didn't drop the 2-4" like they should as the top went up or down. Ugh, nothing good comes easy, or something like that right? I turned the plastic balls back one turn, so they are now three full turns. The latch still grabs well, but no window drop.

Hi. I believe I was the first to do this conversion on a pre-2000. Found out, like you did, I could not use the old B-pillar setup and pretty much went through what you did - so I totally feel you. :) Just wanted to add that I used a SmartTop relay as well, and had to cut an extra wire that Maurice did not need to touche. I believe the symptoms I had was that the windows did not drop. Maurice documented this in his excellent writeup, so check if that could be what is causing this.

ps! I did not have to adjust anything other than pulling the frame a bit more forward, so you might want to try to rotate the plastic balls to their original position and try to get it as close as you can by adjusting the frame itself before playing with the plastic balls.

Atle

99 Boxster 2.5 w/every mod worth doing. ;)

Edited by atta

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Got it!

The top goes up and down perfectly, the latch is just missing the windscreen. I pulled the fame back as far as it would go and pulled up just a little, this allowed enough clearance for the latch to clear the windscreen and lay properly in center of the storage box. (on top of the storage box). I also gave the plastic balls one more turn (so the arm is longer) and that puts the top in the perfect position to latch effortlessly. The windows seal well when they are up all the way.

The Smarttop relay is really the icing on the cake. It is a treat to use the one touch feature for opening and closing the top. I have been carefully watching the process and I am now confident that everything is aligned and functioning properly. I do think I am going to remove the Smarttop relay when I put the hard top on this winter.

Thanks again to Maurice for the assistance!

Best,

Jason

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Got it!

The top goes up and down perfectly, the latch is just missing the windscreen. I pulled the fame back as far as it would go and pulled up just a little, this allowed enough clearance for the latch to clear the windscreen and lay properly in center of the storage box. (on top of the storage box). I also gave the plastic balls one more turn (so the arm is longer) and that puts the top in the perfect position to latch effortlessly. The windows seal well when they are up all the way.

The Smarttop relay is really the icing on the cake. It is a treat to use the one touch feature for opening and closing the top. I have been carefully watching the process and I am now confident that everything is aligned and functioning properly. I do think I am going to remove the Smarttop relay when I put the hard top on this winter.

Thanks again to Maurice for the assistance!

Best,

Jason

Jason:

Very glad to hear it!!!

Enjoy!

Regards, Maurice.

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