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New GAAH Top Some Issues


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I just had a new GAAH A5 top installed and went from the plastic to the glass window. I let the top sit closed for several days and when I did open it the minute I released the top from the locking mechanism it sprung back several inches which it never did with the OEM top. While lowering it I heard a loud pop from the passenger side but the top appeared to go down evenly and rest properly in place as did the clamshell. Later when I closed it there were several loud popping noises from both sides and the top stopped again about two inches from the lock. I was able to push and pull the top to a point where I could latch it but it is under some pressure in that position. The top looks perfect in the closed position with no wrinkles or creases. I haven't lowered it again and am wondering if anyone has any ideas about what might be popping and why the top won't close into the locking mechanism like before.

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I just had a new GAAH A5 top installed and went from the plastic to the glass window. I let the top sit closed for several days and when I did open it the minute I released the top from the locking mechanism it sprung back several inches which it never did with the OEM top. While lowering it I heard a loud pop from the passenger side but the top appeared to go down evenly and rest properly in place as did the clamshell. Later when I closed it there were several loud popping noises from both sides and the top stopped again about two inches from the lock. I was able to push and pull the top to a point where I could latch it but it is under some pressure in that position. The top looks perfect in the closed position with no wrinkles or creases. I haven't lowered it again and am wondering if anyone has any ideas about what might be popping and why the top won't close into the locking mechanism like before.

The top has to have some time to stretch, preferably in the closed position baking in the sun. That should get better over time.

The first popping you heard may be one of your plastic ball cups when it broke apart or popped off its steel ball under the base of the B Pillar. The top will still operate with one of the ball cups broken, although one side will lag slightly behind on the way up and lurch forward on the way down. If one of your ball cups is broken, be careful that you don't get the then-dangling front pushrod to dig into the foam drain tray as the top is going up and down. That will result in water in the cabin and a possible frying of your central alarm control unit (under the seat).

Figuring out what caused the other popping noises depends on what year Boxster you have and whether you have the "A Version" or "B Version" transmissions.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir
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Thanks for the reply Maurice I should have put the year down it's a '99 Boxster. What would cause a plastic ball cup to break and if I replace both of them is there an upgraded version or am I looking at the possibility of them breaking again unless I make other changes to the mechanism? Would installing the new (B?) transmissions solve the issue or do I also need to upgrade the motor?

Thanks again.

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Thanks for the reply Maurice I should have put the year down it's a '99 Boxster. What would cause a plastic ball cup to break and if I replace both of them is there an upgraded version or am I looking at the possibility of them breaking again unless I make other changes to the mechanism? Would installing the new (B?) transmissions solve the issue or do I also need to upgrade the motor?

Thanks again.

Ron:

Your '99 originally came with the "A Version" transmissions, and although they usually function perfectly fine, they tend to be somewhat more troublesome than the "B Version" transmissions.

The A Version transmissions have a half-moon gear inside, as opposed to a 360 degree gear inside the B Version transmissions. The electric motors are the same, even though the part number changed around 2004. The half-moon gear, if it goes past the 50th tooth can make a loud popping sound as the black "hydraulic" pushrods pull the V-levers back. That may have been the second popping noises you heard. Take a look at this link to get familiar with the various parts and their names, and to identify the different versions of the transmissions: http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/installinga'03-'04glasstopandframeona'97

In particular, look at page 10 of the Part I PDF, and various pages of the Part II PDF.

If your plastic ball cups are red, they tend to get more brittle with age and exposure to the elements. They were later replaced by white ones which hold up better. The ball cups either crack with age, a binding mechanism, or one that is not well lubricated. To make sure that your convertible top frame is operating smoothly, disconnect the two plastic ball cups and put the canvas top through a couple of cycles by moving it manually. You should be able to move it with just your pinky.

Also check that the channels in which the clamshell support arms slide back and forth are well lubricated. You can use white lithium grease or Krytox as a lubricant.

Porsche only sells the plastic ball cups as part of a complete front pushrod assembly, but there is a guy in the Netherlands who has had the ball cups manufactured.

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks again Maurice that is a wealth of information. Fortunately (or unfortunately) we have entered our rainy season here so the new top will stay up for a while and earn its keep doing what it was intended. It will also give it time to stretch and for me to absorb all the material on Mike's PDF files.

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Thanks again Maurice that is a wealth of information. Fortunately (or unfortunately) we have entered our rainy season here so the new top will stay up for a while and earn its keep doing what it was intended. It will also give it time to stretch and for me to absorb all the material on Mike's PDF files.

Just make sure to double and triple check that your foam drain trains have not gotten ripped or torn in case one of your front pushrods was dangling. Also make sure that the drain holes are clear of any leaves or debris. There are two sets of drain holes: one is in the foam drain tray directly below the V-levers, the other is at the very front inside corner of the metal channel into which the front pointed ends of the clamshell rest when the clamshell is down.

If any one of those get clogged, you run the risk of getting water into the cabin and then frying the immobilizer under the driver's seat.

Regards, Maurice.

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Maurice I had to drive around in a pretty heavy rain most of the day yesterday and no leaks and no water in the carpet behind the seats. I had my Boxster in for new plugs yesterday and after talking to the shop owner I've decided to leave the top up for several weeks then take it in to them and let them check out the mechanics to see if any damage was done. Thanks again for all your help I understand the top mechanism much more than before.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, as a follow up I had the top mechanism looked at today and the passenger side "B" pillar was indeed broken and the other one was on its way so I'm having both replaced, with some missing grommets, for $280 at my local shop. Looking at what is involved, in the 101 Boxster Projects book, I think that is a reasonable cost for parts and labor. My initial cost for the top was $329 plus $400 to install. Given the top, from GAAH is $959 and everyone else wanted $800 to install I'm still well below what it could have cost. Hopefully I won't have to replace transmissions as that will be pricey. I do still need the cable to hook up the defroster but I'm having a hard time forking out the $159 GAAH wants for it.

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