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Ceejay59

Clamshell/convertible top repair

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Looking at my earlier pic at full size the wires are blue and gray. So it appears to be the microswitch you thought it might be. Where is the female side of this connector located?

Thanks

C

CeeJay:

The female side of that connector is located inside that semi-cylindrical carpeted plastic panel under the B-Pillar, where it also houses the seat belt roller. It originates in the wiring harness branch that is at the base of that plastic panel, just above the door sill and connects to your dangling wire about half-way up the roll bar frame member. I would be surprised if you found it still there in your 2000.

Most likely, the top is an earlier top or the factory left that microswitch attached after they made the switch-over to the B Version transmissions and set-up in late 1999-early 2000.

Regards, Maurice.

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.....

1) The clamshell closes tight on the open top but the "Open Top" light never goes out and the motor doesn't shut off.

Ceejay:

Since you have the B Version transmissions, you can disconnect the black pushrods (at the V-lever) and disconnect the front pushrods (by removing the 10mm bolt after marking the position of the two halves of the pushrod).

You can then operate the switch to keep the motor spinning through its full cycle to see if the light goes out at a point a little further than where the top would be completely open (if the top was still connected at the pushrods).

Since you said that the top does not seem to open completely and sit properly in the cut-out for the latch, it may just be that the top has not completed its cycle.

Make absolutely sure that the V-levers are not installed upside down, and also make sure that you fasten the dangling part of the pushrod when you are operating the switch so that the pushrod does not dig into the foam drain trays.

Let us know if the light goes out...

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks Maurice,

I'll try your suggestion.

I did operate the transmissions in both directions without the top attached prior to full re-assembly. I found that the motor stopped in one direction but not the other. I didn't take the time to try to figure out which way the motors were going (open or close) but in one direction I was able to turn the transmissions a full 360 degrees. At that time I decided to install the top and try to figure it out after. I wasn't looking at the light when I did this experiment so I can't say if it went out or not, but I suspect it didn't.

The car was purchased used from a dealer so I don't know if we'll be able to know if the top was original or not.

I'll keep you posted but it may be a couple weeks till I can get to it again. Thanks for your continued support.

C

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With Maurice's excellent advice last fall I was able to get my friends' 2000 Boxster S top operational albeit with a couple unresolved issues. The Dash Light never turned off with the top in the closed position and the motor never stopped running after arriving at the closed position. But my friend was very pleased to have it operational after some years thinking it was going to cost $9000 to get it working again so she wanted to enjoy the remaining good weather days and deal with the remaining issues this spring.

At the end of the season, after she opened and closed the top multiple times, we opened the convertible top, put the hardtop on, and tucked it away for the winter. When the weather finally got nice enough we pulled her out took the hardtop off and tried to close the ragtop. Nothing happens in either direction now. The dash light remains on but there is absolutely no indication that the motor is turning on. No movement whatsoever in either direction and no noises that would indicate the motor is at least attempting to turn the transmissions.

My first wild guess would be the double relay but I'd rather not attempt anything based on wild guesses.

Maurice? Are you still offering your expert advice on such matters? Anyone else?

Thanks

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After rereading my post I must clarify my statement that the motor never stopped running after reaching the closed position. What I meant was that it didn't automatically shut off. Releasing the dash switch that operates the top did cause the motor to stop running.

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With Maurice's excellent advice last fall I was able to get my friends' 2000 Boxster S top operational albeit with a couple unresolved issues. The Dash Light never turned off with the top in the closed position and the motor never stopped running after arriving at the closed position. But my friend was very pleased to have it operational after some years thinking it was going to cost $9000 to get it working again so she wanted to enjoy the remaining good weather days and deal with the remaining issues this spring.

At the end of the season, after she opened and closed the top multiple times, we opened the convertible top, put the hardtop on, and tucked it away for the winter. When the weather finally got nice enough we pulled her out took the hardtop off and tried to close the ragtop. Nothing happens in either direction now. The dash light remains on but there is absolutely no indication that the motor is turning on. No movement whatsoever in either direction and no noises that would indicate the motor is at least attempting to turn the transmissions.

My first wild guess would be the double relay but I'd rather not attempt anything based on wild guesses.

Maurice? Are you still offering your expert advice on such matters? Anyone else?

Thanks

Ceejay:

There are a number of inputs required to allow power to flow to the electric motor, so you have to eliminate the possible causes (of no power) one at a time.

Since the car was stored, the easiest items to check are the two fuses:

Fuse B6 supplies power to the convertible top double relay.

Fuse D3 supplies power to the convertible top electric motor.

Then make sure to double check that the parking brake is pulled up and, more importantly, that the emergency brake idiot light is lit up on the dashboard. No light, no power to the electric motor.

Next check the 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 allows power to flow to the convertible top double relay. That one looks like two parallel strips.

It's possible that the latter switch is faulty, even though it may appear to be intact when you visually inspect it, and sometimes even when you test it with a multimeter. Specifically, take a close look at the solder joints where the leads attach to the plug. This can be hard to detect, so check it with a magnifying glass for hairline cracks in the solder joint and for corrosion. If necessary, heat up the connections with a soldering iron and flow a tiny bit of solder onto the suspect joint(s).

The remaining possibility is that the electric motor has developed one or more "dead spots", which sometimes happens in routine operation, and sometimes happens when the car has been sitting idle. You can easily remove the connector to the motor and try to power it with a 12V battery connection.

Also, remove the double relay and tap it sharply on the ground as that sometimes will "revive" it. Then clean off the male spades of the relay of any corrosion, no matter how slight. If you can get some emery cloth (fine grit), you can also insert it into the female receptacles on the relay tray (where the double relay normally plugs in) with the help of a thin, flat stick and clean off any possible corrosion.

As to the issue of the "convertible top open" idiot light not going out at the end of the cycle, that is very unusual in a "B Version" transmission set up, which is the one you should have in the 2000. It is more likely that you are not holding the button down long enough to get the light off. The quandary is that if there is something wrong with the system, it could keep rotating the V-levers and explode the plastic ball cups, or worse.

In the B Version set up, you can disconnect the plastic ball cups and the black "hydraulic" pushrods and then keep the button depressed to see if the light goes off with a continued holding down of the button. If you do that,, you will not risk damaging the plastic ball cups, but you must then "resynch" the V-levers.

To confirm that you have the B Version setup, verify that the double relay has a black square on the top surface (as opposed to a black triangle), You should also not have the black lever microswitch mounted on top of the electric motor.

Here is a photo of where that double relay is located and what it looks like:

post-6627-0-39457000-1306474034_thumb.jp

You can also see the top right corner of the fuse tray to help you locate B6 and D3.

IIRC, there was some question as to which version of the transmissions and set up you had in that car.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir

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Maurice,

Thanks for the continued help. I hope you had a nice winter. Chicagoland was a long and blustery winter with more snow than I've seen since moving here from VT is '98.

Anyway, I did check the fuses right off and didn't see any issues. I'll recheck the specific fuses you detailed only because I was relying on the index that was under the fuse box cover. In all likelihood, I checked them already but who knows. The car was purchased used and you never know if manuals and such things are the originals.

I also made sure the brake was pulled up all the way but didn't know to check if the idiot light was on. I'll be troubleshooting further this weekend.

The windows dropped when the hardtop was unlatched so I'm assuming that microswitch works. I haven't inspected either and didn't notice they were there. That'll be on the checklist for Sunday.

I was reading one of the other threads about top issues and saw the advice to pull the double relay (we confirmed it was the "B" version last fall) and give it a good tap. Also on the checklist.

I did rotate the transmissions without the push rods attached last year prior to hooking everything up. The transmissions rotated a full 360 degrees in one direction without shutting off. My friend was so happy to have the ragtop operational again that she just released the switch when the top was closed desiring to have the air in her hair again and putting off resolution of the issue until another time. She hadn't been able to drive the car with the top down for 3-4 years because the clamshell was not hooked up. Anyway, if I can get the top operational again I'll troubleshoot the shutting off of the motor further.

I'll be back at it on Sunday and will detail my findings. Thanks again for all your great help.

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Maurice,

Thanks for the continued help. I hope you had a nice winter. Chicagoland was a long and blustery winter with more snow than I've seen since moving here from VT is '98.

Anyway, I did check the fuses right off and didn't see any issues. I'll recheck the specific fuses you detailed only because I was relying on the index that was under the fuse box cover. In all likelihood, I checked them already but who knows. The car was purchased used and you never know if manuals and such things are the originals.

I also made sure the brake was pulled up all the way but didn't know to check if the idiot light was on. I'll be troubleshooting further this weekend.

The windows dropped when the hardtop was unlatched so I'm assuming that microswitch works. I haven't inspected either and didn't notice they were there. That'll be on the checklist for Sunday.

I was reading one of the other threads about top issues and saw the advice to pull the double relay (we confirmed it was the "B" version last fall) and give it a good tap. Also on the checklist.

I did rotate the transmissions without the push rods attached last year prior to hooking everything up. The transmissions rotated a full 360 degrees in one direction without shutting off. My friend was so happy to have the ragtop operational again that she just released the switch when the top was closed desiring to have the air in her hair again and putting off resolution of the issue until another time. She hadn't been able to drive the car with the top down for 3-4 years because the clamshell was not hooked up. Anyway, if I can get the top operational again I'll troubleshoot the shutting off of the motor further.

I'll be back at it on Sunday and will detail my findings. Thanks again for all your great help.

Ceejay:

We had the most horrendous, long lasting winter here in NY as well. Glad that it finally appears to be over.

It's very common for the emergency brake microswitch to malfunction and thus not turn on the idiot light on the dashboard. Moving it up and down will sometimes make it work until you can clean the microswitch or replace it. Again, if that light does not come on, there will be no power to the electric motor.

I had forgotten some of the details we discussed last year. If the transmissions can rotate a full 360 degrees without shutting off, then the problem can only lie in one of two places:

The double relay itself or the little switch points inside the "Stehle" brand transmission on the driver's side (even though the workshop manual says the passenger side).

Here is a photo of the little switch points inside the driver's side transmission:

post-6627-0-73612000-1306549680_thumb.jp

Before taking apart the driver's side transmission, it would be easier and more cost effective to try another double relay, either a new one or borrowed from someone else's Boxster which is known to be good.

Getting ready for a trip to the Blue Ridge Boxster Summit, so I may out of the loop for a few days, but I'll check on Sunday night to see if you have made progress.

Regards, Maurice.

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We checked for the e-brake idiot light and found that it doesn't come on. I'm going to see if I can find any pics on these threads showing me where the switch is to try to clean it, wiggle it, and/or jiggle it into action. Sometimes these detailed technical procedures work.

Hope the weather cooperates for the Boxster Summit.

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We checked for the e-brake idiot light and found that it doesn't come on. I'm going to see if I can find any pics on these threads showing me where the switch is to try to clean it, wiggle it, and/or jiggle it into action. Sometimes these detailed technical procedures work.

Hope the weather cooperates for the Boxster Summit.

Ceejay:

Thanks for the good weather wishes!

First double check that the idiot light bulb itself is good by verifying that it lights up when you first turn on the ignition. If it lights briefly before you start the car and does not remain on when you pull up on the handbrake, that is definitely the reason that you are not getting any power to the electric motor.

The microswitch is located below the base of the emergency brake, inside the center console on the driver's side. You can't remove and replace it without removing the center console, but you can blow compressed air at it.

Regards, Maurice.

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Life is good on the farm.

I pulled the handbrake cover from the console hoping to wiggle and jiggle the microswitch back to life. As soon as I pulled the cover I noticed what I thought was loose insulation coming out from under the console. I've seen this before and recognized that mice had taken refuge in the console over the cold Chicago winter while the Boxster was supposed to be comfortably resting.

I had previously googled "Boxster Console Dissassembly Instructions" and found such on a different site. My keyword search on this site failed to find anything so if anyone would like to see the instructions I found let me know and I'll forward the pdf. They were actually part of a larger installation of a short throw shifter but they served my purpose very nicely.

Anyway, I decided that I had to take the console off to clean up the wintering freeloaders' mess and while so doing see if I could get the handbrake microswitch working again. The little pains had chewed through one of the wires to the switch so I spliced in a quick patch and the top is functional again! YEAH!

1schoir, you've been a great help. Twice you've listed the troubleshooting steps in such a way that I don't feel overwhelmed with something I wouldn't have considered attempting otherwise. I'm definitely a DIY'r but this is a different scope of work than I'm used to. If you're ever in Chicagoland I'd like to buy you an adult beverage of your choice and put a couple steaks on the grill.

I've still got to work out the issue of the motor not stopping when the top reaches fully closed or open, but it's functional and we know when to take our finger off the activating switch. It may have to wait till fall because the car is just too fun to drive topless! Without having to worry about getting caught in the rain, we're in good shape.

If anyone has any suggestions on making the car rodent proof we'd like to hear those too.

Thanks again.

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Life is good on the farm.

I pulled the handbrake cover from the console hoping to wiggle and jiggle the microswitch back to life. As soon as I pulled the cover I noticed what I thought was loose insulation coming out from under the console. I've seen this before and recognized that mice had taken refuge in the console over the cold Chicago winter while the Boxster was supposed to be comfortably resting.

I had previously googled "Boxster Console Dissassembly Instructions" and found such on a different site. My keyword search on this site failed to find anything so if anyone would like to see the instructions I found let me know and I'll forward the pdf. They were actually part of a larger installation of a short throw shifter but they served my purpose very nicely.

Anyway, I decided that I had to take the console off to clean up the wintering freeloaders' mess and while so doing see if I could get the handbrake microswitch working again. The little pains had chewed through one of the wires to the switch so I spliced in a quick patch and the top is functional again! YEAH!

1schoir, you've been a great help. Twice you've listed the troubleshooting steps in such a way that I don't feel overwhelmed with something I wouldn't have considered attempting otherwise. I'm definitely a DIY'r but this is a different scope of work than I'm used to. If you're ever in Chicagoland I'd like to buy you an adult beverage of your choice and put a couple steaks on the grill.

I've still got to work out the issue of the motor not stopping when the top reaches fully closed or open, but it's functional and we know when to take our finger off the activating switch. It may have to wait till fall because the car is just too fun to drive topless! Without having to worry about getting caught in the rain, we're in good shape.

If anyone has any suggestions on making the car rodent proof we'd like to hear those too.

Thanks again.

Great work finding out the cause of the problem. No mice around here, but I have read that they like the taste of something that is used to cover the electrical wires on German cars. Something like starch that is used on the insulating cover of the electrical wires.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad I was able to help and enjoy the top down driving while the weather lasts! I'll take you up on that beer or two if we cross paths. The same offer applies to you if you ever come out to Long Island.

Regards, Maurice.

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I second the comments that Maurice has been a great help. I was able to diagnose my problem to a broken tip on one of the cables that caused the red ball joint to break thus warning me there was a serious problem before I completely ruined the clamshell. As it is, I think I may be able to repair it and at worst case I have found a replacement at a salvage yard.

I may still need some help on where to position the V levers since I had to take those off to release the torque.

Thanks

Gary

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Hey guys n gals, The P.O. of my '97 Boxster FUBAR'd the Top Linkage V-Arm arrangement. And a few other things but I'm not working on those today. Both Top Push Rods were bent beyond repair, One had a shattered Ball Joint, the other broke off the push rod at the Ball Joint. Could someone PLEASE Post a Photo of the Linkage Arrangement & V-Arm in the Service Position, R & L Sides.  I highly suspect he had the V-Arms in upside down or swapped around, I'm not sure. One was even bent. I've replaced the Push Rods & Bushings, Rail Slides and everything that wasn't broken. It's a '97 with the Original All Metal Transmissions. Unfortunately, all the articles regarding Top Transmissions & repairs are Later Models. The Gears are A-Ok. Thanks in Advance :-)

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  I believe that I may have the photograph(s) that you are looking for but I have to find the old thumb drive where I had originally been storing them before discarding the excess files.  When I get back to my office I will search and post what I find.

 

Just to verify, by "Original All Metal Transmissions", you are referring to the "A Version" transmissions that used the original B-Pillar microswitch as a method to sense the position of the descending convertible top frame member (and, at the same time had the smooth surfaced drive cables (i.e., NOT the cross-hatched, less prone-to-stretch cables).

 

Regardless, I will post photos ASAP.

 

Regards, Maurice.

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Maurice,

Thank you!  Yes, It's an early model "A Version".  The version with the Main Gear that's toothed for @ 270º rather than 360º. I opened one of the transmissions and it was all metal gears, in good condition. I went ahead and cleaned & lubricated them. The Cables themselves are crosshatched, the sheathing smooth. They're both engaged fine.

 

Thanks,

Jay

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Posted (edited)

Sorry for the delay, but the Virus has made things upside down everywhere around New York.  Hope it's not too bad in Cleveland.:)  

 

I think I found some initial pics that can help you get started in solving the problem with your top...

 

Here is a series of photos on my '97 Boxster when it still had the original "A Version", all metal housing transmissions.  

 

I think that if you put your clamshell manually to this exact position, and then duplicate the position of the V-levers and other parts, you will have an excellent starting point.

 

Forgot to mention what the red arrow and the yellow arrow are pointing to in the last photo posted(367.38 kB)..Red is pointing to the "fat washer" under the 10mm bolt which in turn holds down the small flat bushing/sleeve (Yellow arrow pointing to joint) that keeps the overall length of the pushrod in its set position.  Of course that has a major effect on the position/attitude that the leading edge of the convertible top will have when it is in its pre-latching (or immediately post-latching) position.  A relatively tiny difference in overall length will also have a relatively drastic effect on whether that "final" position ends up correctly aligned or whether the leading edge of the top goes past its forwardmost position and then starts to retract...then making it impossible to latch the top securely.  To achieve a finer adjustment, don't loosen the 10mm with fat washer, use each 360 degree turn or rotation of the plastic ball cup on the forward end of the pushrod to change the overall length of the pushrod.

 

Let me know if that works, otherwise I can look for some more.

 

Regards, Maurice.

01 BOXSTER Convertible Top Drive 066.jpg

01 BOXSTER Convertible Top Drive 067.jpg

01 BOXSTER Convertible Top Drive 069.jpg

01 BOXSTER Convertible Top Drive 070.jpg

01 BOXSTER Convertible Top Drive 019.jpg

01 BOXSTER Convertible Top Drive 267.JPG

Edited by 1schoir
explaining the significance of the red and yellow arrows in the 367.38 kB photo.
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Posted (edited)

Maurice,

The photos are exactly what I needed. My eternal gratitude for posting them. I'm sure it'll assist others with this finicky set up. The virus has definitely changed things around here. Ohio locked down relatively early. However, the weather's been Ohio like most of the time. relatively cold & wet and forecasts of snow this weekend. Yes, snow in May in N.E. Ohio isn't unusual. Thank You for posting the photos. They're a GREAT help. 🙂

 

UPDATE: May 23, 2020

Finally it stopped snowing & raining in Ohio. Got a good day to monkey wrench around. Maurice, I owe you a couple Adult Beverages. The Photos of the linkages in the Service position worked 100% PERFECT. I replaced the V-Arms, one was bent, both top Push Rods, they were bent 90º.  Top goes up & Down, Fully with no issues, problems or misalignments.  THANK YOU!!!

Edited by JPSummers
UPDATE

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