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Right side of clamshell doesn't lock in completely when closed.


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Hello all,

I've got a strange issue with my convertible top. Recently the cables which drive the top snapped and were replaced by my mechanic. However when I got the car back I noticed that there was a bit of a rattle on the right hand side (RHD drive car) behind me every time I drove over bumpy surfaces (ie cobblestones).

On closer inspection I noticed that the clam shell on the right side of the car while seems to have fully closed, hasn't really closed completely by only about a few millimetres. I can lean on it and notice there's a lot of give compared to the left side which doesn't move in the slightest. If I open up the rear boot I can lift it up and down slightly. Whereas on the left hand side, it doesn't budge.

I've taken it back to my Porsche mechanic and he sorta adjusted the rubber stopper so that it was a little higher and also replaced one of the arms which was bent. This reduced the rattling from the clamshell when the top was up however when the top is down there's much more give and the rattling occurs.

My mechanic has had another look at it and has mentioned that the right side is out of alignment because several parts may be slightly bent. This may be due to something that had happened when the top had originally broken down due to one of the cables snapping. I had inadvertantly tried raising the top where one side would raise and the other didn't. I may have caused the damage and misalignment then.

He's managed to remove most of the ability of the clamshell to wiggle when the top is down and also make it even when closed, however when it is up, the right side still has a bit of play. I have adjusted the hexagonal stopper on the right hand side so that the clamshell pretty much lowers to the same level on the right to match the left however you can still wiggle it once it is down.

Therefore I don't think it's an alignment issue but another part which holds the clamshell rigid with the seals when it is closed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as the rattling is driving me nuts!

Btw, I've got an '03 Boxster.

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From your detailed description, it sounds like your transmissions are not properly synchronized. As a result, the black "hydraulic" pushrod on that side (which actually has a very large spring inside) is not pulling down hard enough to apply enough pressure to keep the clamshell "locked" down tight.

The large hexagonal nuts that you mention are mostly for getting the correct height for the rear of the clamshell when it is closed and to guide the two protruding long guide pins on the underside of the clamshell.

You have to adjust the pressure that is being applied to the body-colored support arms by the black "hydraulic" pushrod on the side that is loose.

To adjust, first take note of the exact position of rotation of the V-lever on the "good" side when the clamshell is in the 45 degree furthest back position. Then, pull out the drive cable from the side of the electric motor on the "bad" side and put the inner steel cable into the chuck of a cordless drill. Spin the cable (in the LOWEST torque setting) long enough to get the EXACT same position of rotation on the V-lever on that side and then put the drive cable back into the side of the electric motor and reinstall the upside-down U-clip to lock it in place.

If you have done it correctly, the V-lever on the "bad" side will have rotated a few degrees more, and that will cause that end of the V-lever to pull a little harder on the large spring inside the black "hydraulic" pushrod. When there is the correct tension, you should not be able to pull up the clamshell by hand once it's in the closed position.

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks Maurice, it definitely seems like there's some sort of issue with the amount of pressure holding the clamshell down. I'll give it a go and provide an update.

Edited by style007
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Just an update on what's happened. After raising the clamshell in the service position I noticed that the v levers were pretty much in the same position on both sides. I did notice however that the clamshell wasn't horizontally aligned. I then manually lowered the "bad" side so that it matched the "good" side in alignment. I then lowered the clamshell down and the "bad" side seemed to sit much tighter down but still not as tight as the "good" side. This was when the roof was up.

Next I lowered the roof fully and noticed that the bad side was much looser now. My mechanic had made the bad side much tighter when he fixed it last. I think he may have lost sight of trying to make the bad side tight when the roof is up in his efforts to make it tight when the roof was down. So now in the roof down position the clamshell was loose on the bad side. I then went to realign the clamshell horizontally again. This had the effect of making the clamshell fit tighter but again it wasn't as tight as the good side. I also noticed this had also caused some adverse effects in that when I raised the roof up completely the clamshell sort of jerked forward a bit on it's tracks as it was lowering (at roughly the 45 degree angle) and when it mated with the seals it didn't do so in a smooth lowering moting but like a smack into the seals.

I was a bit concerned about the odd motion of the clamshell so I undid my last alignment of the clamshell (raising from the top down position). After doing that, the prior issues of the clamshell slamming and jerking when it was closing when the roof was being raised disappeared. So now when the roof is up the bad side of the clamshell fits more tightly but there's still some minor give and whe the roof is down the case is the same.

I think my mechanic may have been right when he said that some of the internal components on the right side of the clamshell have been slightly bent so therefore unless they get replaced, the bad side won't be as rigid as the good when closed. My other thoughts may be that I may have to loosen the v lever and align the clamshell manually as at the moment the v levers are in alignment but the clamshell is a little lopsided.

Any more suggestions would be most appreciated.

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