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Old 03-17-2007, 02:47 PM   #1
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Top acting funny, what to check?

Here's what happened:

Today when leaving a parts store, I decided to drop the top, since it was shaping up to be an OK day. I lowered the top about 1/3 of the way, and did the chop...

and then...

... the top wouldn't move. I made sure the parking brake was set, and the idiot light was ON. Check. Try the top switch both ways... no movement, no noises!

I shut off the engine, removed the key, then started up again, and the top went down.

Drove over to my parent's house, since I needed to borrow the garage for something. Went to put the top up, and it would not respond to the switch! Checked the parking brake was set, and the light was on. Shut off the engine, removed the key, then tried again, and nothing.

I checked the fuse panel, and the fuse for the top control was fine. Reseated it. Then I decided to try resetting it by disconnecting the battery.

After I reconnected the battery, the top came up just like it should!

I then did my things that I needed to do in the garage, and got ready to leave, so I started the engine, and lowered the top. It worked normally. Then I put it up, again normal behavior. Latched it shut, then I opened it, pausing for the 'chop', and it went down normally.

When I got home, it closed about halfway and stopped. Then stuttered a bit when I released the switch and tried it again. I tried putting it down, and it did go all the way back down. Then tried raising it, and it came all the way up like normal.

There were no weird sounds, or pops or anything breaking. It's just acting wierd. Every time, the parking brake was SET, and the light was ON.

(Related, maybe: A few weeks ago, I pulled into a parking lot to drop the top, stopped, lifted the parking brake... but no light! I set and released the brake a few times, and it finally started working, and then the top would respond)

Any suggestions on what I should check? Think it might be an intermittant p-brake switch?
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Old 03-17-2007, 05:48 PM   #2
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Just a shot in the dark, but I think the dash switch may be going out. Pry off the panel with your handy dandy butter knife or paint scraper and pop the switch out of the panel.

Mine worked when I grasped both sides (front and back) and mashed it really tightly. It didn't work though when I just pressed it. $19 later, I was good to go with a new one, and it took all of five minutes to install.

This issue could also be a failing sensor in your handbrake or at the base of the center latch.
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Old 03-17-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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Randall,

The switch makes sense. I could pull it out and test it with a multimeter. I could also bypass it by shorting the wires with jumpers...

The problem definitely seems to be something electrical... something not making good contact.

I'd lean more toward the top switch than the parking brake switch, since the brake dash light has been coming on, and was on solidly when the operation of the top was failing. And the center latch switch seems to be working... if I trip it with my finger, the door windows start raising. Come to think of it, I threw on my Red Clip when I stopped with the top down, and the windows raised then, too.

I'll take any more ideas and try to test what I can during the week. Thx!
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http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

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Old 03-17-2007, 06:17 PM   #4
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how about switching the buttons with the locking button and see if it works
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djomlas
how about switching the buttons with the locking button and see if it works
Could definitely try that.

It's a bugger since the switch is intermittant. If I swap with the lock button and it seems to work, I'll probably just order a switch. Can't hurt anything!
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http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:26 PM   #6
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Any other electrical weirdness going on?

If it is not the top switch.... and you are having some other random strange electrical stuff going on, such as windows not going up completely at times, etc... then consider taking a look at the ignition switch....

Doug S.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougster01
If it is not the top switch.... and you are having some other random strange electrical stuff going on, such as windows not going up completely at times, etc... then consider taking a look at the ignition switch....

Doug S.
01 Boxster
(Guards Red - of course)
Doug, that would be a great suggestion, but the top is the only thing acting weird, other than the p-brake light not wanting to come on that one time. It's worked fine since. (I think I'll probably get at the switch and clean it up. Maybe just replace it if I end up having to replace the top switch)
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1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

"The existence of the flamethrower is evidence that someone, somewhere once said 'I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't want to have to walk over there to do it.'"
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:27 AM   #8
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Hi,

The Switch is the most likely culprit. But, the second most likely would be the Top Relay. The PN# for pre-'03 cars is 986.618.111.02, don't have the PN# handy for post-'02 cars, but it's readily available.

The fact that disconnecting the Battery had the effect it did leads me to believe it's the relay. This is how faulty relays often manifest themselves. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:52 AM   #9
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Jim,

Where's the relay located? How do I get to it?

Thanks for the information, it could definitely be a weak relay or something wrong with the switch in it not getting tripped correctly.

Does anyone have the part number for the dash switch? I'll probably pop it out tonight when I get home, or one evening this week and try to test it.
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1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

"The existence of the flamethrower is evidence that someone, somewhere once said 'I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't want to have to walk over there to do it.'"
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrayAdjacent
Jim,

Where's the relay located? How do I get to it?

Thanks for the information, it could definitely be a weak relay or something wrong with the switch in it not getting tripped correctly.

Does anyone have the part number for the dash switch? I'll probably pop it out tonight when I get home, or one evening this week and try to test it.

Hi,

The Relay is a double-sized relay and occupies positions # 14 and 15 in the Front Relay Panel located above the left kickpanel - easy to spot because it is the only double-sized relay in the panel. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:02 PM   #11
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Thanks Jim! I'll look into it. I think some auto parts stores have relay testers... maybe I can get it tested? Or maybe I can use my other car's battery in the garage to test it.

I'll probably start with the switch, if it's reliable, then I'll investigate the relay, as it would seem the next most likely component. It definitely behaved like a switch or something that wasn't making contact somewhere in the circuit.

Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out... it was a little intermittant, and sometimes those intermittant things are hard to chase down!
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1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

"The existence of the flamethrower is evidence that someone, somewhere once said 'I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't want to have to walk over there to do it.'"
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Old 03-24-2007, 02:34 PM   #12
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My top is still acting weird, so I checked a few things. Pulled out the dash switch and tested it, seems to be getting connection when either direction is pushed. (verified with ohmmeter). I pulled the 'relay' and took off the cover... well, that sucker is all solid state in there, and it's much more than a relay. I figure it's more like a controller than just a relay.

Stopped by the dealer today and talked with the service writer, and then one of the techs... Definitely sounds like a switch or electrical problem. The tech mentioned a switch on the motor as a possible problem.

I got home and got to thinking... I put the top down and up a few times today before I left to go do errands, and it worked fine. Then when I stopped at a store, the top would not go up... had to mess with it for a few minutes, then finally it decided to go up.

After being home for a while, I decided to put it in service mode to check the motor and see if I could find this switch the tech mentioned. Well, the top didn't want to go down at first.

So I started thinking... Maybe it's heat soak in the motor. It's getting too hot, and won't run. I know that starter motors on old 911s can get temperamental when they get hot, often to the point that they won't respond to the ignition switch at all.

What do you guys think? Since the switches seem to work OK, maybe it's a bum motor?

Has anyone replaced the motor themselves?
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1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

"The existence of the flamethrower is evidence that someone, somewhere once said 'I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't want to have to walk over there to do it.'"
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Old 03-24-2007, 03:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrayAdjacent
My top is still acting weird, so I checked a few things. Pulled out the dash switch and tested it, seems to be getting connection when either direction is pushed. (verified with ohmmeter). I pulled the 'relay' and took off the cover... well, that sucker is all solid state in there, and it's much more than a relay. I figure it's more like a controller than just a relay.

Stopped by the dealer today and talked with the service writer, and then one of the techs... Definitely sounds like a switch or electrical problem. The tech mentioned a switch on the motor as a possible problem.

I got home and got to thinking... I put the top down and up a few times today before I left to go do errands, and it worked fine. Then when I stopped at a store, the top would not go up... had to mess with it for a few minutes, then finally it decided to go up.

After being home for a while, I decided to put it in service mode to check the motor and see if I could find this switch the tech mentioned. Well, the top didn't want to go down at first.

So I started thinking... Maybe it's heat soak in the motor. It's getting too hot, and won't run. I know that starter motors on old 911s can get temperamental when they get hot, often to the point that they won't respond to the ignition switch at all.

What do you guys think? Since the switches seem to work OK, maybe it's a bum motor?

Has anyone replaced the motor themselves?
Hi,

I don't think it's a Heat Soak issue at all. The Top Motor runs in 20 sec. intervals and then not again for sometimes hours or days.

There are a number of micro-switches in the 'B' Pillars and such which are much more likely to be the culprits, even corroded connectors is more likely than a tempermental motor. These micro-switches are, by their very nature, not the most robust components in the car. It the Motor is faulty, it is most likely so simply quit working than to operate intermittently. Good Luck!...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:11 PM   #14
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Think the Bentley manual will illustrate where those switches are? I don't have one yet, but I'm thinkin about ordering one soon.
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1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

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Old 03-24-2007, 04:22 PM   #15
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I just went out and messed with it...

It wasn't responding to the switch at all, I did hear a little 'plunk' once... But then, I released the parking brake, and set it again, and THEN the top started working!


Could it be a bum switch there, even if the p-brake idiot light comes on? I'm thinking maybe so... it seems that just now, the thing that I did that seemed to get it to work was releasing and setting the brake again. hmm.....
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1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

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Old 03-24-2007, 04:47 PM   #16
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when i bought my car the top didnt work at all (got a grand off for that as part of the deal) but it ended up being this: a connector on the front, by the mirror, was kinda loose, so sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldnt, kinda pretty much after i latch it up the pulling force of the latch would move it around and it wouldnt work.
maybe give those 2 connectors a shot, unplug them and plug them back in and see if it works

good luck, and please do let us know what the problem ends up being.
also, theres a whole forum on top acting up on renntech, give that a shot too
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Old 03-24-2007, 05:27 PM   #17
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Hi,

With all the switches that have to work in combination in order for the Top to operate, there's no reason to dismiss the possibility that it may be a couple of switches in combination which are causing the problem. The most notorious of these is the micro-switch in the Latch, followed by the P-brake switch (although if you're getting the dash light, it's working, the Top Relay uses the same circuit, so it's also getting the signal), and lastly the 'B' pillar switch. Stick a Pencil or Chopstick or something small in the Latch Reciever and make sure the switch moves freely. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 03-24-2007, 05:43 PM   #18
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Well, it seems the center latch switch works fine... I can jam my finger in there, and the windows react every time... true that the p-brake dash light is coming on, but it's the only thing I changed earlier when I was testing. One moment the top wasn't reacting, then I released and reset the brake, and the top was working again.

I think I will at least get in there and clean it sometime... then see about the 'b-pillar' switches. When I got the top down (and went to pick up some din-din), I could hear something on the driver's side that sounded like a micro switch being actuated and released a few times. Nothing was moving at the time, and the top was completely down...

It could definitely be a combination of things, and I'm more inclined to thing something is loose or dirty. I troubleshoot and fix things for a living, so I'm applying methodology to the process that I've used for years.

If I am able to determine anything, or if any procedure appears to work, I'll update this thread.

I won't have time to poke around on it much for a couple weeks... I work every day starting tomorrow until Thursday when I'll be driving to Phoenix. Grandmother passed away, so I'll be going to the memorial with family. When I get back, I'll do more investigating and troubleshooting.
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http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

"The existence of the flamethrower is evidence that someone, somewhere once said 'I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't want to have to walk over there to do it.'"
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djomlas View Post
when i bought my car the top didnt work at all (got a grand off for that as part of the deal) but it ended up being this: a connector on the front, by the mirror, was kinda loose, so sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldnt, kinda pretty much after i latch it up the pulling force of the latch would move it around and it wouldnt work.
maybe give those 2 connectors a shot, unplug them and plug them back in and see if it works

good luck, and please do let us know what the problem ends up being.
also, theres a whole forum on top acting up on renntech, give that a shot too
Does any of you know what he means with a connector on the front, by the mirror, ?
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