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Kojiro

Clamshell stuck after top replacement!

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So just recently I replaced my entire top myself with a GAHH glass window top on my 98 Boxster. It looked and worked great. Although, because of how tight the top was, I had left it closed for about a week, only putting it down and up once or twice. Of the two times that I did put it down and back up it was still really tight, but more importantly, I only did it a little at a time, and made sure that everything was falling into place perfectly. The only parts that didn't work perfectly and guide themselves were the cables on either side that are sewn into the canvas, they kept ending up outside the frame when it folds open, instead of inside, I guess the elastic wasn't pulling them towards the center hard enough. So I would pop them over just before they got too tight and everything else would work fine. Well today I put my top down as I left work, and when I got home, I put it back up, all the way, and forgot about the cables. They were outside, and tight, but I figured I could just reverse the top a bit, pop them around and close it fully again. However, when I tried to open the top, the clamshell would make a noise like it was revving (for a second) but couldn't go anywhere, and wouldn't move. I also noticed that the cabrio dash light was lit, even though the clamshell was fully close. So no matter how many times I tried to open it, it wouldn't and it's not a matter of being only partially closed, as when I press down the other direction to try and fully close it again, it makes the same noise for only a second, and doesn't move. So now my top is stuck mostly closed, but with the cables taut outside the frame, and the clamshell stuck! I don't know what to do, so i parked it in my garage until I can get a response from here as to what to do. I don't even know how to manually open the clamshell to try and move the top back to a point that I can reverse the cable issue and close it normally. Please help!!! helpsmilie.gif

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Hi,

If you crawl between the roll bars, open up the vinyl apron in the back, you'll see the motor in the center under the clamshell. There are two brass clips that pull up on either side, these hold the cables into the motor, I used a screwdriver to pry them out. Remove both of these clips and pull the cables out. With a cordless drill, low torque, stick the ends of the cable in the drill and slowly turn until the top moves or you hear a snap, if you hear the snap, reverse the drill, you are going the wrong way. The top and clamshell should slowly open up. Reverse the direction of the drill and repeat with the other side, slowly bring each side up (or down) until you can get at things.

I've had to do this repeatedly in the last couple of weeks, it works great.

Here is a link to Maurice's detailed description of the process, http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/top-half-closed.

Good Luck,

Jason

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Hi,

If you crawl between the roll bars, open up the vinyl apron in the back, you'll see the motor in the center under the clamshell. There are two brass clips that pull up on either side, these hold the cables into the motor, I used a screwdriver to pry them out. Remove both of these clips and pull the cables out. With a cordless drill, low torque, stick the ends of the cable in the drill and slowly turn until the top moves or you hear a snap, if you hear the snap, reverse the drill, you are going the wrong way. The top and clamshell should slowly open up. Reverse the direction of the drill and repeat with the other side, slowly bring each side up (or down) until you can get at things.

I've had to do this repeatedly in the last couple of weeks, it works great.

Here is a link to Maurice's detailed description of the process, http://sites.google....op-half-closed.

Good Luck,

Jason

I am going to try this first thing tomorrow morning, thanks!

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Okay, so this morning I started on fixing it, first thing I noticed was that the vinyl sheaths for the cables on the passenger and driver sides were different, the passenger side is the "cross hatched" style (which is newer from what I have read) and the drivers side is the smooth style. So I removed the driver's side cable first, on a hunch, and then, on the same hunch, decided to try the motor with only the passenger side connected. It worked just like normal (but only moved the passenger's side of the clamshell.) So, I am a bit hesitant to take a drill to the cable and force it open on the driver's side. could this be a different issue? Or is it what it would seem like, and the driver's side cable needs to be replaced? Should I proceed with using a drill to open the driver's side, since obviously the top motor can't get past something on that side? Also, not sure if it has to do with the same issue, but my top would always close a bit short on the driver's side (when it worked) and the clamshell would stick up a bit, but I could just press on it and it would sit in place. What should I do? I don't want to break anything if at all possible!

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Okay, so this morning I started on fixing it, first thing I noticed was that the vinyl sheaths for the cables on the passenger and driver sides were different, the passenger side is the "cross hatched" style (which is newer from what I have read) and the drivers side is the smooth style. So I removed the driver's side cable first, on a hunch, and then, on the same hunch, decided to try the motor with only the passenger side connected. It worked just like normal (but only moved the passenger's side of the clamshell.) So, I am a bit hesitant to take a drill to the cable and force it open on the driver's side. could this be a different issue? Or is it what it would seem like, and the driver's side cable needs to be replaced? Should I proceed with using a drill to open the driver's side, since obviously the top motor can't get past something on that side? Also, not sure if it has to do with the same issue, but my top would always close a bit short on the driver's side (when it worked) and the clamshell would stick up a bit, but I could just press on it and it would sit in place. What should I do? I don't want to break anything if at all possible!

Kojiro:

If you are not the original owner of the car, someone has probably replaced just the passenger side cable with the newer, more robust cross-hatched cable. I'm guessing that the extra tension caused by the side tension cables being outside the guide channels may have caused your original, driver's side cable to "go over the edge" . If so, that extra little bit of retraction caused it to pull back sufficiently from the drive spindle of the electric motor so as to stop it from being driven...

Take a look at the inner speedometer-type cable inside the plastic sheath on the driver's side. If there is less than 3/4 of an inch sticking out, you have to cut back the vinyl sheathing to expose more of the inner cable or you have to replace the cable. Do a search here and you will see photos of the drive cables and how much they should extend, etc...

If you turn the inner cable with the drill, as long as it's on the LOWEST TORQUE SETTING, you can't do any further damage, following Jason's instructions on the direction of travel.

If the V-lever does not turn on that side when you spin the cable with the drill, then either the inner cable is broken or frayed, or the worm gear at the end of the cable is not being driven or there is a similar problem inside that side's transmission.

Once you get the top moving again, you should repair the cause of the cables falling outside the guide channels ASAP:

http://sites.google....e%26replacement

From your description of the way your top would close before (i.e., a little short on one side AND the clamshell not closing completely on one side), it sounds like the two transmissions may not be completely synchronized. You can make that adjustment with the drill method as well. Just stand behind the car and operate the top until the clamshell's lower edge (viewed from the rear) is easily measurable to the top of the front of the trunk lid, from side to side. Operate the drill on one side until the measurements match exactly and then reconnect both drive cables to the electric motor.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir

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Okay, so I got to the cables, detached the driver's side cable, and pulled it to where I could attach a drill to it. Sidenote: I think the drivers side had been shortened already, but from the middle. it had a section that had a larger piece of tubing around it ziptied on both ends (I am assuming the previous owner cut a section out, and then secured it together.) And then the problem arose that I don't have a drill that isn't super powerful. My only drill is a corded drill, and has a LOT of torque, so I was very hesitant to use it after reading all of the all caps instructions saying to use the lowest torque setting. Well, first I used a mirror and flashlight to view the direction of rotation of the inside of the motor for the top. It moves very fast, but when it slows down you can see the rotation. After figuring that out, I replicated it (carefully) with the drill, I heard two popping noises, got scared, and stopped. Then, after not knowing what to do as the nearest cordless drill that I could use was across town, and would not be available until the next day, I decided to try just putting the cable back in and trying it again. I slipped the cable in without the clip, and pushed it all the way in. I put the key in, hit the open button, and it worked, perfectly! cheers.gif

I am assuming that the problem was the tension of the top because of the hopped cables on the sliding clamps and rails (or somewhere over there) that caused the speedometer type drive cable to slip out a bit. You were right Maurice, thanks! Once I hopped the cables back over the frame, and put the clip on the drive cable, I closed it all the way, opened it, and closed it again, just to be safe. It all kept working, so I guess it's fixed, for now, although I will probably replace that driver's side drive cable with the new one soon, just to be 100% safe. Would anyone happen to know the part number for that cable? And since I have a working top now, is it still hard to install? Or will the ability to move the clamshell and top make it easy? (Keep in mind, I replaced my Top, AOS, etc. all myself.)

Edited by Kojiro

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Okay, so I got to the cables, detached the driver's side cable, and pulled it to where I could attach a drill to it. Sidenote: I think the drivers side had been shortened already, but from the middle. it had a section that had a larger piece of tubing around it ziptied on both ends (I am assuming the previous owner cut a section out, and then secured it together.) And then the problem arose that I don't have a drill that isn't super powerful. My only drill is a corded drill, and has a LOT of torque, so I was very hesitant to use it after reading all of the all caps instructions saying to use the lowest torque setting. Well, first I used a mirror and flashlight to view the direction of rotation of the inside of the motor for the top. It moves very fast, but when it slows down you can see the rotation. After figuring that out, I replicated it (carefully) with the drill, I heard two popping noises, got scared, and stopped. Then, after not knowing what to do as the nearest cordless drill that I could use was across town, and would not be available until the next day, I decided to try just putting the cable back in and trying it again. I slipped the cable in without the clip, and pushed it all the way in. I put the key in, hit the open button, and it worked, perfectly! cheers.gif

I am assuming that the problem was the tension of the top because of the hopped cables on the sliding clamps and rails (or somewhere over there) that caused the speedometer type drive cable to slip out a bit. You were right Maurice, thanks! Once I hopped the cables back over the frame, and put the clip on the drive cable, I closed it all the way, opened it, and closed it again, just to be safe. It all kept working, so I guess it's fixed, for now, although I will probably replace that driver's side drive cable with the new one soon, just to be 100% safe. Would anyone happen to know the part number for that cable? And since I have a working top now, is it still hard to install? Or will the ability to move the clamshell and top make it easy? (Keep in mind, I replaced my Top, AOS, etc. all myself.)

Kojiro:

Good work! clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif

The part number for the drive cable is 986.561.717.03.

Now that your top is working, you can put it in the service position and get good access to the cable/motor/transmission.

Be sure to do the repair for getting the tension cables to fall into the guide rails so that you don't end up stressing the mechanism again. The link is in the preceding post.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir

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