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I had a new Robbin's top put on my '99 996 Cab a couple of weeks ago. Looks great. We got some sun this week, so I went to lower the roof and hit two problems:

1) The top cover won't shut completely when trying to put the roof down. It closes completely on the passenger side, but not at the back and the right where it sits about an inch high after the complete cycle.

2) When putting the roof back up again the wires at the edge of the roof close *outside* the plastic arms above the window, not in the groove in those arms. See pictures.

I took it back to the recommended soft top installer and he couldn't see anything binding preventing it closing. I've also looked at both sides and they look to be identical. So it is unclear why one side closes when the other doesn't. However, the roof when folded down is clearly a little (1/4"-1/2") high on the drivers (non-closing) side before the lid comes in to push it down and closed.

Any ideas?

Dammad.

post-12541-0-56062700-1318279864_thumb.jpost-12541-0-37447700-1318279875_thumb.j

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I don't know what to do, but I would have the person who installed the top call Robbins and ask for help. I had a similar problem years ago when I had a GAHH top installed on my Boxster. It had something to do with making adjustments to a wire that runs the length of the top. Once he knew what the problem was it was an easy fix.

Eric

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There must exist an elastic band at the bottom of the top layer, between the inner layers of the fabric, across the width of the convertible top, which pull both outer edges to the middle. Weird that they have not noticed that when removing the old convertible top.

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I don't know what to do, but I would have the person who installed the top call Robbins and ask for help. I had a similar problem years ago when I had a GAHH top installed on my Boxster. It had something to do with making adjustments to a wire that runs the length of the top. Once he knew what the problem was it was an easy fix.

Eric

Good suggestion. I checked and it looks like the wires are 1/2" too long.

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There must exist an elastic band at the bottom of the top layer, between the inner layers of the fabric, across the width of the convertible top, which pull both outer edges to the middle. Weird that they have not noticed that when removing the old convertible top.

There is an elastic band that does across the width of the top, but it is not tense and does not appear to go around anything. Should the elastic go over some of the arms to stretch it to pull the sides in. I've looked at my manual and cant' see mention of the elastic across the roof, but the manual is not very clear in general.

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There must exist an elastic band at the bottom of the top layer, between the inner layers of the fabric, across the width of the convertible top, which pull both outer edges to the middle. Weird that they have not noticed that when removing the old convertible top.

There is an elastic band that does across the width of the top, but it is not tense and does not appear to go around anything. Should the elastic go over some of the arms to stretch it to pull the sides in. I've looked at my manual and cant' see mention of the elastic across the roof, but the manual is not very clear in general.

If the convertible top canvas on your 996 is of similar design and construction to that of the later 986's and of the 987's, there are three areas for you to investigate:

1. The "fold-placer" as Porsche calls it. It looks like a shoestring at the left and right edges of the center of the top and has a little bit of an effect in keeping the sides of the top from going out too far. Its main function, however, is to pull in (towards the interior of the cabin) the section of the canvas under which it runs so that the convertible top canvas folds in properly. Think of it as an automated substitute for a "karate chop" in that section of the top when it is opening, so that it finds its proper place by folding along that line (from left to right). This is often seen as a "shoestring" which sticks out of the sides of the top above the middle of the window frame because it tears away from its center band (which is a large elastic band that runs under the canvas). Then there is another "shoestring" attached to the opposite end, and that one can be seen at the opposite end.

2. The velcro-loop straps (two on each side of the convertible top canvas) that are wrapped around on one of the black tubes that make up a part of the convertible top frame mechanism, just aft of where the rear vertical edge of the window would be if it were all the way up. Make sure they are both wrapped around the metal tube and that they are not ripped away from where they are stitched in.

3. There is a triangular "anchor" made of black vinyl fabric material attached to the edge of the canvas near the rear of the base of the B-Pillar frame member (the B-Pillar terminates at its base just aft of the uppermost rear corner of the door, close to where it meets the top of the rear quarter panel). You have to operate the top so that the leading edge is about 18 to 22 inches from the top horizontal part of the windshield frame.

Then, look to the rear of the B-Pillar, under or in between the roof liner and the canvas top fabric. You should see the triangular shaped vinyl fabric, with an elastic band attached to it by means of two sets of stitches. That black elastic band should have eyelets or buttonholes along its middle. There should be a T15 torx small screw with washer screwed through one of those buttonholes and into a hole in one of the black metal frame members at the rear (sides) of the convertible top frame.

Check to see whether that elastic is actually fastened (maybe the installer forgot to re-install it) by means of that T15 torx screw, and/or whether the buttonhole through which it is fastened leaves that elastic band with too much slack. If the latter is the case, fasten it to another buttonhole further towards the front of that elastic strap (i.e., away from the tip of the triangle where the strap is stitched onto the triangle). That will provide more elastic tension on the sides of the top because it will pull on the vinyl-covered cables, and those cables will in turn be pulled in properly behind the edges of the convertible top edge.

Here is a photo of what you are looking for, taken after the T15 screw has been removed and the flap pulled outboard to get a good look at it:

post-6627-0-35164900-1318559640_thumb.jp

If you look closely at the photo, you can see the "indent" in the elastic where the screw and its washer had been pressing the elastic against the metal frame to which it had been fastened. If there is still elasticity in the black band, just try the next hole, thereby effectively making the strap shorter and thus increasing the pull of the strap on the edge of the canvas top.

If there is no elasticity left in that black band, it must be replaced, preferably with a 2" wide elastic band, available from fabric or craft stores.

Let us know if it is indeed the same design as that of a 987. The photo is from a 2007 Boxster.

Regards, Maurice.

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I took it back to the shop and asked them to call Robbins to work it out. They managed to get the roof lid to close (loose bolt on that side), but the roof wire coming outside the window surround they could not fix. They 'claim' that ".. do a lot of porsches and it is common. The roof material just gets a memory of the right place to go over time..". From what I've read this is rubbish so I'm picking up the car to fix it myself. I'll look at the elastic as mentioned above and get some more pointers.

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Went back to the shop to find things even worse!

1) the top now opens very slowly and takes a long time to start lifting the top when closing. Sometimes it even stops and needs me to press the button again.

2) The bolt that fixes the top lid on the drivers slide was coming loose.

I saw none of these problems before I got the top replaced! Any ideas for what is causing the system to struggle to open and close the top??

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Wow, sorry to hear this. I am looking to replace my top soon so please let the rest of us know which shop this is so we do not go there!

I have the same issue with that wire by the way on my 2001 996 Cab. Just seems like a cosmetic issue on mine since the top works fine. Also do not know if this top is original or not. Please let us know how it goes on any repair you end up doing, some of us might need to do the same thing on ours. ;)

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BTW. Open your top half way and check to see if all the screws are there to attach the fabric to the back most arm. On mine there are 4 holes but only 2 have screws in them. Might be the reason.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good news to close this thread. I decided to contact Robbins to find out what was wrong with the top. I got a response back very quickly from their CEO who arranged to get a few more pics and talk to me on the phone. When I spoke to him, he had already determined that the top was a GAHH top and that this issue was a known installation problem. Interestingly these days GAHH and Robbins are owned by the same company. He set me up with a technical contact and armed with the information I got the installer to fix the issues without any problems.

I'd like to say that Robbins/GAHH customer support is AWESOME. They were so helpful and I had the CEO for contact. Amazing! If only more companies were that way.

The basic upshot of the misalignment with the window frame is that the GAHH top has a sprung material strip across the inside of the top that pulls the fabric inwards to ensure alignment at closing. If this is not installed correctly (caught, removed, etc.) then you get this problem. My installer had missed this causing the problems.

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  • 8 years later...

I’ve sold that car so can’t look but inside the top there’s a spring/elastic arrangement that has to be hooked on each side. I’ll dig back in my photos to see if I have a picture.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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