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I know there has been some discussion on the convertible top malfunction. Before I go to the dealer, some question for any of you who can shed a light on other threads.

The car is a 99 996. The top works intermittently from either the key or the rocker switch. Can operate up or down, can't find a pattern to it.

Changed the hand brake switch - worked once then stuck down. I know if I wait until tomorrow, it will work. Sometimes after a few hours of rest, like over night, it will work. This started yesterday, before that no issues.

There are no "groaning" issues, hydraulic reservoir issues. When it works, it works fine. When not, the "click-clack" sound described many times followed by the blinking light.

Any thoughts or checks before going to the dealer for the big bucks? Thank you all.

Izzy

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Also removed the relay, tapped them on the floor, top worked once.

Sometimes on the "down cycle" the windows start to come down, then nothing.

Can it be the latch switch? Easy checking on it?

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My dash button stopped working today. When I arrived at work with the roof down nothing happened - no dash light from handbrake with flashing cab light when the button is pressed. The door key works so no doubt it is the microswitch on the handbrake.

The question to the group is will the SmartTOP work with the microswitch broken? I might just buy/install the SmartTOP and leave the handbrake switch broken (saw the ealier posts, looks like a $10 part and a hour's work).

Mark

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Got it, I think. The top was up, but not fully locked. So here is the solution. You may want to see TSB 6141, which I was in the process of doing. Figure 3 shows to insert an allen key and turn the screw 3 revolutions anticlockwise.

post-4600-1123459424.png

The way I fixed my top was, with the top up, squeeze into the same spot as TSB 6141 calls for, remove the plastic plugs, use a mirror and flaslight to find the screwhead with an allen wrench. Then turn the screw CLOCKWISE.

Repeat for each side one revolution at a time, and tried closing the top. At 3 revolutions, situation resolved.

With top open, added another 1/2 revolution clockwise and tested top. Works perfectly now.

Of course, it will wait until another rainy day to stop working on the down position, but for now, it is back to normal. I am thinking this quick check should be added to any other top operation malfunction, since there are no costs and it can save you all some time. Thank you

Izzy

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  • 2 weeks later...

And it rained, and it did not worked. The top continues to operate intermittently. If I "fiddle" with the microswitches shown above, I can eventually get it to work every other time.

So I decided to blame it on demonic possesion, and take it to the dealer for a full exorcism. As soon as I find out what they tell me, I will try to talk to the mechanic for details and post it here for anyone else who needs it. Sometimes, the dealer is the only option....... I will be selling some securities this week to cover the costs.

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  • 1 month later...

The convertible top starting acting up again, intermittently not coming up or not completing the closing operation. Same symptoms I had before and have seen others describe as well. So I follow another link describing the hydraulic fluid reservoir location:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?s...&hl=convertible

Removed the 5 mm Allen bolt and used a syringe (from drugstore, used for measuring children's medicine) and a short hose.

I added hydraulic fluid. If you do it at night, place a powerfull flashlight on the driver side of the translucent pump reservoir. The fluid is golden color, and you can see how high it is. I added 2.5 teaspoons of, here is the heretic comment, so stop reading if you are a purist, John Deer Transmission and hydraulic fluid, HY Gard, used in JD low viscocity hydraulic systems.

After putting everything back together, I open and close the top several times (about 10), the previous hesitation is gone. It is perfectly operational now.

I know it is not the pure Porsche fluid, but I got tire of going to the dealer for the same thing. My background is mechanical engineering, postgraduate work in particle pinning mechanics. Not rheology or chemistry. But I did a lot of work in fluid dynamics, a lot of viscous system calculations both theoretical and application based. I had to try this, I can't imagine the JD oil "attacking" the Porsche fittings and seals in revenge, causing major hemorrage of the top system. We'll see soon enough. If this works, and the $2.99 quart of JD hydro fluid is as good as the $25 Porsche, will let you know. Otherwise, back to the dealer with the "I don't know what happened" face.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there.

I'm new to the forum. I have a '99 996 Cabriolet that up until this point has served me quite well. This past weekend the top stopped working and I'm wondering if the problem is similar to what you'd experienced.

First, my parking brake is engaged and my engine compartment lid is fully closed/latched. I made sure of this, several times.

Ok, I put the top down and had a grand ride. I arrived at my destination and tried to put the top up. The instrument panel "top" light blinks and nothing happens... Luckily, the weather was nice so I didn't mind too much keeping the top down. The following day the same thing - when pressed, the instrument panel "top" light blinks and nothing happens.

Yesterday, I followed the instructions in the manual to put the top up and here I am. Is this what you (Izzy) faced?

Thx in advance.

Tom

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Tom,

That is exactly what I experienced, to the letter. The fix I described worked perfectly so far. I may have to add a little more hydraulic, as it hesitates once in 20 cycles. But nothing like it used to, which again is exactly as you described.

The John Deer fluid seems to be working fine so far, and the Children's medicine syringe with the little hose trick made it easy to fill the reservoir. It was a pain to get the screw back in, otherwise, and easy fix.

I will take some pics this weekend if I top off the reservoir.

Izzy

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  • 4 weeks later...

Good-day Izzy-

It sure seems that our car's are sisters....as they keep having the same issues. :help:

My top is now acting up and stalling in either direction. The motor is running, but sounds "louder", so I am thinking that this may be due to low hydraulic fluid as you mentioned in the post. This weekend, I plan to try out your method. I have a few questions...

First, my stereo takes up the backseat area and is a pain to remove. It sounds like you are able to access the reservoir from the rear area (where the floded top sits). Is this correct? I do not need to remove the panel just behind the rear seats?? This would be great news!

Second, Is this on the drivers side, or passenger side? Are there "fill lines"??

Third, fluid -- any ol' hydraulic fluid will work you think?

Fourth, ever take any more pic's??

As always, thanks!!!!

-Tim

Edited by tsweat
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Good-day Izzy-

It sure seems that our car's are sisters....as they keep having the same issues. :help:

My top is now acting up and stalling in either direction. The motor is running, but sounds "louder", so I am thinking that this may be due to low hydraulic fluid as you mentioned in the post. This weekend, I plan to try out your method. I have a few questions...

First, my stereo takes up the backseat area and is a pain to remove. It sounds like you are able to access the reservoir from the rear area (where the floded top sits). Is this correct? I do not need to remove the panel just behind the rear seats?? This would be great news!

Second, Is this on the drivers side, or passenger side? Are there "fill lines"??

Third, fluid -- any ol' hydraulic fluid will work you think?

Fourth, ever take any more pic's??

As always, thanks!!!!

-Tim

Tim,

You are in luck, here is the step by step write up with pictures in the DIY section:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=6967

The reservoir is accessed through the area where the top folds, and there are no fill lines. But you can get yourself set up with $2 and a CVS drugstore nearby.

I used John Deere fluid, not Porsche. It has been a couple of months of trouble free running, so my decision so far so good.

As a mechanical engineer involved in design, I have a hard time thinking that a fluid was created just for this hydraulic system. The engineers would have been fired if they did that, in my experience.

The pics and write up are pretty cool, but let me know if you need more, I took more pics.

It does sound like the fluid problem, the way you describe it.

Izzy

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Took my car to the dealer for 30k service and the roof started working again (park light ok) and the dealer reported no issues. However 2 months later the roof has locked in the down position. No handbrake light with flashing dash light. This time however the door key does not operate the roof, so now I am thinking could be the same as Izzy's thread.

However with a completely inoperable top how do I open the panel it to access the reservoir? Does the allen key method previously described (one turn each side) open the panel?

Thanks,

Mark

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I know there has been some discussion on the convertible top malfunction. Before I go to the dealer, some question for any of you who can shed a light on other threads.

The car is a 99 996. The top works intermittently from either the key or the rocker switch. Can operate up or down, can't find a pattern to it.

Changed the hand brake switch - worked once then stuck down. I know if I wait until tomorrow, it will work. Sometimes after a few hours of rest, like over night, it will work. This started yesterday, before that no issues.

There are no "groaning" issues, hydraulic reservoir issues. When it works, it works fine. When not, the "click-clack" sound described many times followed by the blinking light.

Any thoughts or checks before going to the dealer for the big bucks? Thank you all.

Izzy

Izzy,

The November 05 issue of 'The NOR'EASTER' mag ( NE Chapter of PCA) mentions that the Engine Compartment lid has a sensor and if the the lid is out of alignment or not fully seated, it causes the top to not work intermittently. No details on the write up but I'd thought I'd mention it if you haven't already checked this.

Bob

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Took my car to the dealer for 30k service and the roof started working again (park light ok) and the dealer reported no issues. However 2 months later the roof has locked in the down position. No handbrake light with flashing dash light. This time however the door key does not operate the roof, so now I am thinking could be the same as Izzy's thread.

However with a completely inoperable top how do I open the panel it to access the reservoir? Does the allen key method previously described (one turn each side) open the panel?

Thanks,

Mark

Mark,

If I read correctly, you have no parking (hand) brake light? That could be the handbrake switch. Otherwise, I would advise on the fluid fill, which was the same symptoms. Follow the link above and will take you to a step by step.

Make sure the fuse is good, the engine lid is fully closed, get the easy stuff out of the way first.

To get your top to move up, follow the emergency procedure in the owners manual. I recall you have to remove the back seat panel cover (no biggie, two phillips screws). There you will find an Allen wrench. Insert the wrench into the nut as shown in the manual, and give it a 1/2 or full turn in the direction shown. What it does is start the process so the hydraulic system does not have to overcome the fully closed postion. Then use the dash switch to continue the process the rest of the way.

That procedure got me out of trouble a few times until I discovered the reservoir and how easy it was to fill up.

If you don't have the owners manual, let me know. I can get to it later tonight.

Izzy

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