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Broken roof!


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Hi there. I have a 1997 Boxster (I'm in the UK) with roof problems. I tried to open the roof this weekend (the sun comes out in England occasionally! :D ) and it refused. The windows dropped ok but pressing the button just made a clanking sound at the back. I took it to Porsche for a brief inspection and they suggested it had come off the gears.

I stripped it all down and found the the inside of the transmission had come off the teeth. Upoin inspection nothing at all seemed broke. No teeth damaged, no cables broke, stretched or without enough square end! I put it all back together with the cogs realigned (Discussed this with Porsche mechanic) and tried again. Too my surprise the roof went down and came back up again but at maximum load when it was just finishing the closing the clunking started and nothing...I stripped it down and it had come off the gears again. I took the parts stripped to the Porsche guy and he didn't see anything wrong with them, he thinks that mayge the motor isn't getting the signal that the load has completed but has never known a problem with the motors in 7 years of working with Porsche's - any ideas?

(I stripped it again and retried-same problem and still no apparent damage)

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That is a strange one. Unless you have a bad transmission I do not see how it can come off gear without breaking or bending parts. I wonder if you could have the V lever 180 degrees off.

If you had broken parts I would say the switch with the lever that sticks out is bad. This is the switch that makes contact with the bottom of the clamshell. That switch tells the motor the top is down and turns off the motor.

Maybe someone else will have a better answer.

post-4-1106167763_thumb.jpg

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Same stuff I ran into when I assembled my top for the first time. Your gears are off 180.

To fix it, just connect one side. Press the down button, take not of the direction of the movement, CW/CCW. Keep pressing the button until the teeth falls into the notch. Now, twist the V lever towards the opposite direction. If it was CW, going down, twist it CCW. Then press the Up button once to get the teeth to grab the gear again. All your future adjustment to this side must be in this direction of the top up motion.

Do the same thing on the other side.

The gears can only move one way. Don't ask me why... I don't understand it myself.

Now, reassemble the whole thing with the top in the down position. It should work.

That is a strange one.  Unless you have a bad transmission I do not see how it can come off gear without breaking or bending parts.  I wonder if you could have the V lever 180 degrees off.

If you had broken parts I would say the switch with the lever that sticks out is bad.  This is the switch that makes contact with the bottom of the clamshell.  That switch tells the motor the top is down and turns off the motor.

Maybe someone else will have a better answer.

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There was a change to the transmissions and flex shafts in '98. The best thing to do is the change things out. I'm sure there is a tech pub on the change. It was covered in the elctronic manual I have for the Boxster. The change involves replacing the transmissions, mounts for the transmissions and the flex shafts. I think Porsche only sells the new flex shafts as replacements. The parts cost about 1K$'s US.

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The change, according to the shop manual, happened on May 5, 1999.

Mark and I have taken a few of the old style transmissions apart and they were in fine condition, and the top worked when the car was put back together.

Full retail on the new style transmissions and cables is about $1,000. That is what a dealer would do. We try to avoid that and get good parts back into working condition.

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Thanks for the replies guys, I gave it another try last night and still no joy!

There are some broken bits but the Porsche guy had never seen it break before!

post-4168-1106209137_thumb.jpg

post-4168-1106209179_thumb.jpg

post-4168-1106209199_thumb.jpg

These bits live on the near side just behind the passenger where the roof pivots. I replaced all this (tricky job) but still not working. As you can see from the pics the guide rail had snapped and the bar was bent. Don't know how this happened, heard no noises last time I used it.

Anyway, I am suspecting that the motor switch thing isn't kicking in to tell the roof to stop. I put it all together and got the roof down but when I put it up again its looks like it is up but the light doesn't go out and then it pops of the gear again. It has to be some sensor not stopping the motor as mechanically it all looks fine.

Your point about the 180 thing, I have reset both transmissions by opening them up and lining up the marks on the outside of the casing-is this as good as doing the winding method you talked of? I suspect this is how they are realigned as Porsche checked them and they look ok. On problem I do have though is when I put it all back together and try the roof the clamshell isn't fully down it stays open a couple of inches-is this correct? I am retesting it all with the top in the fully up position, should I have the top manually folded down and start from there?

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I have fixed it! I replaced the motor at the back and the other microswitch on the passenger side. I found a really good Porsche parts place called Porsche Apart (UK) who supplied the motor for £50! I suspect that either the switch on the motor or on the side was faulty.

Thanks for your assistance though.

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