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Swapped a top, make the problems stop!

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Hello all,

I have a 99 Boxster that had the stock convertible top on it. It was in decent shape but the rear plastic window was starting to get foggy around the edges.

I ran across a great deal on a nice top, on its frame, with a glass rear window. I had a mechanic friend help me swap it over onto my car. We used some great instructions I got online, including some stuff from Maurice on this site (thanks Maurice!). We removed the 6 bolts, popped the (red) plastic sockets off of the ball ends and installed the "new" top in its place. We popped the sockets on the pushrods back onto the balls and it worked fine. I did notice that the rear section of the top was just a little loose, so adjusted the "bolt heads" near the rear (miniature) ball joints/cables by first marking them, then counter-clockwise a couple turns. That seemed to firm up the fabric a little.

The problem I'm having is that when I lower the top, the latch hook lightly contacts the top of the clear windscreen when it comes down. When the top fully retracts, you can hear a "clunk" where the latch is "latched" as the top fully seats. When I go to put the top up, it comes up with the latch "latched". If I don't stop and I latch it, the top extends a bit past the windshield frame, with the hook retracted, and I'm sure if I kept pressing the extend button, it would jam the top against the windshield frame.

Further, once the top is latched closed, the passenger side window contacts the top slightly when I close the door (even though the window comes down slightly when the door handle is opened, as it should). Once closed, when I open the door, and the window comes down slightly, it still pulls against the top when I open the door. The driver's door does the same, to a lesser extent.

The only thing I've tried, based on what I've read online, is to loosen all 6 bolts, have someone pull the top rearward and, with rearward pressure, tighten a bolt on each side. The thinking was the top needs to come rearward a bit. It didn't seem to help.

When I put the new top on, I did not adjust the plastic ball joints on the push rods at all. I did buy a new set of the ball joints from a guy on EBay, but he suggested I not use them unless one was broken (they were not) and let it settle in before I think about replacing them. I'm thankful I didn't mess with those. I haven't turned either....no idea which way I would turn them anyway.

Clearly this thing is out of adjustment. My wife is now giving me the "why did you mess with it?" look.

Any help would be appreciated. Maurice? Are you out there?

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Most guys doing this swap have that little problem with the latch just touching the top of the plexiglass windscreen and the solution is the one that you tried.


I suggest you try it again a couple of times to see if you get any improvement.  Make sure you are pulling back (and slightly up) with a lot of force and that you don't release the pressure until you are certain that it will not move forward again by properly tightening up the one rearmost bolt.  It helps if you have one or two other guys (maybe your wife can help  :eek: ) pulling back while you tighten the bolt.


If that doesn't work, you will have to slightly elongate the three holes on each side by using a dremel with a carbide bit on the forward part of each of the three holes.


As for the window issue, there are three adjustments that can be done to the final position of the window, two of which can be done without removing the door panel.  Fortunately, the vertical (height) adjustment can be done without removing the door panel, with access to a torx screw through one of the holes on the underside of the door.  I wrote this up a few years ago here.  If I can find the thread, I'll post a link to it.  If neither of us can find it, I'll look for my photos and post is again.


One question:


Since yours is a '99, you should have the "A Version" convertible top double relay, and since you didn't mention swapping relays, etc., I'm assuming that your new glass-windowed top is on an OEM three-bow frame, with GAHH or Robbins covering.  Or, have you done the complete electrical conversion to the "B Version" setup found in the 2000 to 2004 Boxsters?


Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir

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Hey Maurice,

THANK YOU for responding.

Honestly, I don't know anything about the different tops or relays. I'm not sure who made the top (with window) that I purchased. The window does have defrost, with the red lines.

When we did the swap, the new top did not have a switch/wire to connect to the little harness behind the driver's seat---it had been removed. We just removed the microswitch (one screw) and transferred it to the new top. The car had a "socket" in the area near the outboard side of the driver's roll bar to plug the rear defroster harness into (I had researched and found that all Boxsters are wired for defrost).

The top does have three bows, just like my original. It did come off a 2000 model, however.

I took it to my mechanic buddy yesterday and it looks like he got it rigged up much better. He found that the top was extended too far forward, thus the hook touching the wind screen lightly and retracting when the top fully seats down. Now when putting the top back up, the hook remains extended, as it should be. I don't fully understand how he fixed it, but he said he did loosen up all 6 mounting bolts again, re-tightened them, then he adjusted one side by a bolt in the area of the push rod (with the plastic ball on the end). He said he didn't have to screw/unscrew the plastic ball end on the rod but rather adjusted a "bolt" in the area instead. That straightened up the top a lot, he said. He did adjust the window up-stop position and also there is a bolt/nut on each side of the top, where it hinges in the middle....he loosened a lock nut and then, by adjusting the nut itself, it changes how the top folds/extends such that it is straight. It's buried just under the hinge area and can be seen when the top is about 2/3 to 3/4 folded down.

That probably doesn't make a ton of sense, as I wasn't there when he rigged it up.

Thanks for the great advice!


Edited by Daveinater

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It makes perfect sense.  Take a look at the article entitled "Replacing the Top and Frame" in Mike Focke's Boxster pages, here:



That will explain the difference between the "A Version" and the "B Version" convertible top systems and the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of top.


You will also see there that the OEM glass tops have a slightly larger rear glass window than the aftermarket tops and they also have "PORSCHE" printed near the bottom edge of the glass in large letters.  That can help in identifying them.


The bolt that he adjusted in one of the pushrods is used to make grosser adjustments than screwing in or unscrewing the plastic ball cup provides.  The overall length of the pushrod affects the extended length of the top when it almost reaches the top of the windshield.


Since yours is a '99, it is a good thing that you ended up with an aftermarket top on a three-bow frame as going over to the other system takes a lot more work and electrical wiring.


Glad you got it all sorted out.


Regards, Maurice.

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