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Roof mechanism broke, advice needed!

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The roof mechanism recently broke on my 2007 Boxster, the white plastic connectors that fit onto the roof ball joints snapped. I have 2 new arms with plastic cups ready to fit.

The roof is broke in the closed position and the roof down button has no effect. Having read through the various threads on here I have popped the metal ball joints off the other side of the mechanism and can now open the clamshell manually.

Having read that care should be taken not to misalign the mechanism, I am looking for advice on the procedure to change the new ball cups. The mechanism will need rotating in order to get the new cups to join to the ball joint and obviously with the clamshell opened manually the metal cups will no longer reach the other end ball joint.

Hopefully once I get this fixed I can look into why the spoiler decided to fully extend and not retract with the dash button!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, having reconnected the battery and manually half put the roof down, the roof motor under the clamshell decided to run, the roof and clamshell arms on both sides were already disconnected so no harm was done, both sides seems to turn fine and look to be aligned the same.

I disconnected the battery and checked the rear control unit under the passenger seat (UK car), looks like moisture had got into it, with corrosion over the circuit board. I've now got a new control unit and with the roof manually put half down reconnected the white plastic ball joints and the metal ones attached to the clam shell.

With the battery reconnected the roof does not move, the motor does not turn when the button is pressed. I've checked all the fuses and they look fine, the rear spoiler is still up and does not go down with the button, although the rear spoiler error has now gone from the dash display since replacing the rear control unit.

Any advice on what to check next would be appreciated.


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Considering that there was moisture and corrosion in the immobilizer under your seat, that was most likely the source of your original problem with the roof mechanism.

Now that you have replaced it, presumably with a good, new unit, you have to eliminate possible causes for not getting power to the roof's electric motor.

There are a few possible causes that remain after looking at the symptoms that you describe.

1. Is your brake "idiot light" illuminated on the dashboard when you pull up on the handbrake? If not, no power will flow to the motor.

2. Double check the two fuses specific to the top mechanism: B6 (power to the convertible top double relay) and D3 (power to the convertible top electric motor). Test the fuses with a multimeter (not just visually) and clean off the receptacles into which they are inserted.

3. Are your windows dropping down the 4 inches when you pull on and open the convertible top latch? If not, one of the two microswitches inside the convertible top latch assembly is faulty.

4. Take out your double relay and clean the metal spades of any corrosion, and also give the relay a couple of sharp raps on the floor (that will sometimes revive a dead relay). Also pull off and press back in the double relay as that sometimes cleans off some of light corrosion that might have built up on the relay tray's receptacles for the double relay spades.

5. You may also have just a dead spot on the armature of the convertible top electric motor. Clean the connections to the motor and give it a couple of taps with a small hammer (that will sometimes revive it).

Regards, Maurice.

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I think the 987 might be a bit different to the 986, I have read that they moved the alarm ecu from under the seat and that the rear control unit sits there now. I have bought a new rear control unit. I was told that no extra coding would be required on this unit and it was plug and play.

The windows do lower when the doors are opened.

As I have to manually push back roof so that the new joints can be re-attached under the clam-shell I can't say if the windows would lower on releasing the roof latch with the roof levers all hooked up. I have tried releasing it with both pairs of ball joints disconnected and nothing happens, the windows don't drop and the rear motor does not run when pressing the button. Although the motor did run run seemingling at random before I disconnected the battery and installing the new rear control unit. As nothing else had changed I presume that the motor and mechanism should be fine?

I did check all the fuses and they are fine, also removed and reinstalled the relays in the boot.

The boot now opens fine since putting the new control unit in, it wouldn't open at all previously, with the door side button or the fob.

There only appears to be one switch in the front roof release, I'm not sure if the 986 is the same, the roof can be lowered up to 30mph or so on the 987.

Looks like I may need to get a couple of working relays to double check there's no issues with these.

Edited by RJ2013
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AFAIK, the rear control unit and the front luggage compartment control unit don't have any effect on the operation of the convertible top. The entire operation is controlled by the double relay that sits in the relay tray in the driver's side kick panel, above the fuse panel.

On U.S. cars, that relay tray is on the left side. Not sure about which side it's located on in U.K. cars, but it should be above the fuse tray.

Your windows should be dropping down the 4 inches when you pull the latch open, regardless of whether the plastic ball joints or the rear "hydraulic" push rods are connected.

If your windows are not dropping, the convertible top latch microswitch is faulty. It's the same part number for 986's after 2000 and for all 987's, part number 986 613 299 00. Remove the unit and you may find it's actually composed of two microswitches, a plunger-type microswitch and a parallel strips microswitch. Regardless of what you find in there (let us know), if that unit is faulty, it will not allow power to flow to the electric motor.

On the subject of the electric motor, some of these have had dead spots on occasion and that results in intermittent operation. Remove the connectors from the motor and apply 12 volts directly to it to see if it spins freely.

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks Maurice, I'll check the switch out and see if the motor drives from a 12v feed. I presume it won't make much difference to the roof opening/losing alignment if I drive the arms around roughly 1 complete revolution?

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The alignment is not difficult to adjust when you get to that point, but turning the V-levers one complete revolution will not do any harm.

The only caution is to make sure that the now-dangling pushrods do not dig into the foam drain trays or get jammed and damaged. It you rip or get a tear in the foam drain trays, you will get water inside the cabin and it will immediately seek electronic components on the floor pan!

Regards, Maurice.

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