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junielomo

My roof won't go down

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Since it was the first sunny day for months yesterday, I decided to drop the roof and blow a few cobwebs away. I pressed the big button on the roof to release the catch, pressed the switch....nothing. Repeated the procedure, and the roof didn't budge, but the clamshell went up and down to the accompaniment of much clanking and groaning (but hasn't moved since!). On the way home, with everything apparently back in place, a warning light came on the say that my roof was not in the stop position. When I got home, I locked the car with the intention of looking things over today, but when I pressed the bleeper to lock up, I heard the lttle beep that usually means you have left a door open. Checked everything shut and went home.

Today, I went to open the car and the battery was flat as a pancake. A neighbour came over to tell me my alarm had been going off for hours last night (which presumably accounted for the flat battery).

Does anyone have any bright ideas how I should proceed with this, bearing in mind the nearest specialist or OPC is 80 miles away...

I think that the ball joint has probably broken, but does anyone know how to open the clamshell to check this when the roof won't power back to reach the "service position". I have found the seat well awash with water, so it looks as if the foam has been punctured too...

And it won't stop raining!

Edited by junielomo

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I am afraid that I have no advice on moving the top back manually but I did have the occasion to change both levers to which the ball joints are attached. I was able to reach in with the top in the service position and remove the old levers then pop the new ones in place. If you are certain that the balls are broken, perhaps you might force the roof back. Oh, the reason that mine broke is that one of my neighbors thought that he was doing me a favor while I was recuperating from surgery. He started my Boxster then decided to relax to some tunes with the top down. Unfortunately he was not aware that the top was electric so he popped the release, grabbed the front of the top and pushed mightily. It went down. Once the levers are snapped off (the plastic ball ends) the top acts like a manual top (sort of).

Good luck and make sure that you purchase the correct levers for your model (986 or 987). They ran me about $80 apiece.

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Since it was the first sunny day for months yesterday, I decided to drop the roof and blow a few cobwebs away. I pressed the big button on the roof to release the catch, pressed the switch....nothing. Repeated the procedure, and the roof didn't budge, but the clamshell went up and down to the accompaniment of much clanking and groaning (but hasn't moved since!). On the way home, with everything apparently back in place, a warning light came on the say that my roof was not in the stop position. When I got home, I locked the car with the intention of looking things over today, but when I pressed the bleeper to lock up, I heard the lttle beep that usually means you have left a door open. Checked everything shut and went home.

Today, I went to open the car and the battery was flat as a pancake. A neighbour came over to tell me my alarm had been going off for hours last night (which presumably accounted for the flat battery).

Does anyone have any bright ideas how I should proceed with this, bearing in mind the nearest specialist or OPC is 80 miles away...

I think that the ball joint has probably broken, but does anyone know how to open the clamshell to check this when the roof won't power back to reach the "service position". I have found the seat well awash with water, so it looks as if the foam has been punctured too...

And it won't stop raining!

Junie:

You have a couple of different issues here, the worst of which is the water intrusion problem.

From what you have described, my guess is that both of your plastic ball cups have either popped off or broken apart at the front pusrods...by continuing to operate the top mechanism, the then dangling pushrods (which are attached on the opposite end to the front of the V-levers) promptly dug into the foam drain trays... thereby ripping or tearing a hole into them ... thereby allowing rain water to intrude into the cabin's floorpan...whereupon the water finds its way under the seats...which then will promptly fry your central alarm computer.

Since you said " OPC", I'm assuming you are in the UK, so I'm not sure whether your Boxster has a central alarm computer. On U.S. cars it's under the driver's side (left side) seat.

If you get to the central alarm computer early enough, you can take it apart and dry it and thereby save about $1k to $2K. You can rinse it with a contact cleaner and dry it before the contacts start corroding.

Since it's a good bet that your plastic ball cups have broken up or popped off, the canvas part of the top can be operated manually (after you have moved the clamshell up and back to the 45 degree position).

To move the clamshell manually, you must disconnect the black "hydraulic" pushrods, as follows:

First, unlatch the latch of the convertible top at the top center of the windshield frame.

To get the top to open manually, you must disconnect the white (or red if yours are original and have never been replaced) plastic cups at the base of the B-Pillar and the black hydraulic pushrods where they connect to the V-levers). (Since your ball cups are not connected, skip this step).

Disconnecting the white (or red) plastic cups will allow you to operate the convertible top manually.

Disconnecting the black hydraulic pushrods will allow you to operate the clamshell manually.

Here is a diagram of the mechanism, which should help you orient yourself as to what you are looking for (click on the diagram for a better look):

post-6627-0-91882500-1299126787_thumb.jp

The V-lever is part #6, the black hydraulic pushrod is part #12, and the white (or red) plastic cup is located on the forward end of part #3. Part #14 is the clamshell, and Part #1 is the canvas top.

To have a better chance to see the parts that must be disconnected, you will have to pull aside the (vinyl) rain curtain. That curtain is loosely held in place by yet another cable that is located at the rearmost corners of the (carpet-covered) engine compartment lid (on the car body, not on the lid). That cable is held on to a small metal ball and you must pry it apart from that metal ball.

Here is a photo of the flexible cable that leads to the metal ball (hidden under the metal cup at the bottom of the cable) at the side of the curtain:

post-6627-0-90648100-1299127641_thumb.jp

That particular connection is easy to separate, unlike the black hydraulic pushrod.

Once you have the curtain's cable separated, you may also have to remove the black plastic cosmetic covers that are simply clipped onto the arms that support the clamshell (those arms are part #10 in the diagram, and extend from where it is numbered all the way to the front towards part #3 in the diagram).

Then you will have to reach between the roll bar hoops, or possibly reach through them, to get at the connection of the "hydraulic" push rod to the V-lever. That connection is a real bear, so you will have to apply a great deal of pressure to separate it. Be careful not to hurt yourself there, but you just have to get the connection apart, again with the red plastic capped tool in the tool kit, a fat screwdriver or, preferably an angled screwdriver-type pry bar. I have also had success using a non-automotive tool called a cat's claw, which is usually used to pull nails.

If you cannot separate the black pushrods at their ball cup end, follow the pushrods to their opposite end, where they terminate in a small perpendicular rod that is routed through the body-colored clamshell support arm. At that point, on the inboard side of the support arm, you will see a small clip that you can push off before you can push the small rod outboard so as to detach the black pushrod from the support arm.

Once you have the black hydraulic pushrods disconnected you will be able to manually operate the clamshell, just like the disconnected canvas top.

Once you have the various parts disconnected, DO NOT press the dashboard switch without CAREFULLY marking (and photographing) the position of the V-levers relative to the sides of the body that they are mounted on. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult to re-sychronize the V-levers (part # 6 in diagram).

Also, be very careful if you decide to operate your top manually because the push rod arms (part #3 ins dagram) that are normally connected to the steel balls at the base of the B-pillars will be dangling from the V-levers. When they are dangling and you move the convertible top V-levers, those push rod arms can dig into the foam liner and tear it, which will cause leaks into the cabin later on. Those push rod arms can also dig in and prevent the V-levers from turning. (This advice may be too late in your case, but it bears repeating so that you can be aware of the consequences).

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks Maurice for your detailed reply! Yes, I am in the UK.

Here is a footnote to the saga...

It started with windows steaming up, then a roof that refused to go down. It seems that when one of the roof plastic knuckle joints snap (check under the clamshell for white fragments!), the free lever gouges through a drip tray, which allows water to flood into the passenger compartment, behind (in my case) the passenger seat. The thick insulation hold enormous amounts of water (I took out four soaking large bath towels and it is still saturated!). The problem is that the control module sits in a nicely recessed hole (yes, a well!) on the floor under the seat. A triumph of design...

I managed to get to Devon to the specialists with, at various times, the clamshell doing a little up and down dance, the windows dropping down halfway (not fun in mid-winter!), the reversing lights permanently on and the spoiler jammed up, not to mentions a whole catalogue of warning lights cycling through.

Crispin (at Oak Tree Garage) showed me a 986 with exactly the same problem. Another thing he mentioned was that sometimes the sealing on door panels can be a problem too, so if your has been opened up at any time, it may be worth a look too.

The car has been in the shop for over a week now...

The moral of this story seems to be "never disregard steamed-up windows in a Boxster"! There's wet getting in somewhere...

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