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Old 03-22-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
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Angry Roof Woes - AGAIN!

The Boxster has been hibernating to avoid the three feet of snow we had this winter, so the arrival of spring is an exiting event. The snow has melted, but sadly, as much as I wished the converitble roof problem would disappear over the winter, it did NOT miraculously repair itself.

The problem I'm having is this: I replaced the roof cables and both linking arms that broke on a hot day last summer. I got it all alligned and the opening cycle, windows and clamshell all work fine. However, the "roof open" light on the dash does not go out, ever, and the convertible top motor does not stop until I lift my finger off it. That is, the sensor does not stop the power automatically as it should when the clamshell is shut. This has caused at least one more plastic lingage to snap! Luckily I had ordered a spare.

I now have to VERY CAREFULLY stop the cylcle by looking over my shoulder to see exactly when the clamshell is shut to avoid breaking any more parts.

Can anybody offer any advice on what I can do to get things back to normal. Could it be a micro-switch problem or a relay problem? Cheers!

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Old 03-23-2008, 01:53 AM   #2
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I've been vexed by the same problem for years. Resigned myself to watching the clamshell shut in the side rear view. Thats when you let the button go.

Both the factory manual and the Bentley manual have diagnosis regimes that involve running around with a volt-meter pushing buttons. Their both pretty arcane, confusing and lengthy so I've never really completed the tests. I have though tested all the switches I know of and they seem fine.

I've posted a similar cryout on several forums and have never gotten satisfaction. So I'm going wish you good luck and follow your thread.

Regards, PK
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:20 AM   #3
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It's an issue with the microswitch most likely. And probably not electrical, but a matter of getting it lined up properly so it will make contact with the retracting top frame and trip at the required point in the operation cycle.

There are 3 microswitches for the convertible top:
  • 1. Microswitch, convertible-top lock
    2. Microswitch, left B-pillar
    3. Microswitch, convertible-top compartment lid

#1 is the switch in the Latch on the windshield header - this one isn't the problem, when it malfunctions, it prevents the motor from starting and the top from opening.

#2 could be the problem - it can get dirt and debris in it preventing it from closing - check to see that it operates freely. Remove any dirt or dust carefully with a pick and some compressed air.

#3 is the most likely to be causing your problems. It is part of the motor bracket. My suspicion is that when replacing the cables, either the connector became loose, or when reinstalled, it was not lined up correctly and the trip arm is not being engaged.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
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You don't say what model year your Boxster is but it sounds like the microswitch on the left B-pillar. When the frame on the left side comes in contact with the microswitch it signals the control unit that the roof is in the closed position and to stop the motor. The microswitch on early cars had a narrow arm on it that would sometimes not be pushed all the way by the top frame. When this happened the motor would overdrive the top and clamshell and things would start to bend and/or break. To remedy this Porsche has a superceded microswitch with an arm that fans out much wider so that it can not be missed by the frame when coming up.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil bastard
...
  • 1. Microswitch, convertible-top lock
    2. Microswitch, left B-pillar
    3. Microswitch, convertible-top compartment lid
Not to hijack here again, but in my case, all my switches work fine. If I disconnect the switches and measure the impedance with a DMM they can indeed be opened and closed.(or, on and off)with the top in the appropriate positions.

“Thegoose” might also consider the dual relay/controller in the drivers wheel-well above fuses(I've checked mine by swapping it out with a known good one).

Regards, PK
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pk2
Not to hijack here again, but in my case, all my switches work fine. If I disconnect the switches and measure the impedance with a DMM they can indeed be opened and closed.(or, on and off)with the top in the appropriate positions.

“Thegoose” might also consider the dual relay/controller in the drivers wheel-well above fuses(I've checked mine by swapping it out with a known good one).

Regards, PK
Good point!

The 'controller' is just a double relay and like any relay, they do wear out.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil bastard
Good point!

The 'controller' is just a double relay and like any relay, they do wear out.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not to start any tit for tat here but the “double relay”, its actually a circuit board with 2 tiny sugar cube sized relays on it, along with a bunch of other electrical components. ( see below, my successful dissection and repair)

One added function I know of is that it actually keeps the top motor running after you let go of the button for a second or so to cinch the top tight.

Regards, PK



P.S Is that your spyder?
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Last edited by pk2; 03-23-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:51 PM   #8
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Good Stuff!

I stand corrected!

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Old 03-23-2008, 11:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil bastard
Good Stuff!

I stand corrected!

Thanks,

I actually took that picture some 10 months ago when I "surgically" repaired the little relays (still working...amazingly). Was so giddy with myself and the results, was going to post a pictorial DIY......

Regards,

PK

P.S. When it's put in other cars, everything with the top (in the other cars) behaves like it should.
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Last edited by pk2; 03-24-2008 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:47 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the tips, plenty food for though! The Boxster is a 98 2.5l Tiptronic. One thing I noticed on the B-pillar is an electrical "socket" outlet point that looks like a place to plug something into. Is this part of the micro-switch mechanism? Did I lose the microswitch? The Bentley manual is not specific on this item in any of the diagrams. I will check for the microswitch again and open up the relays at the weekend and confirm my findings. Cheers!
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoose
...the B-pillar is an electrical "socket" outlet point that looks like a place to plug something into. Is this part of the micro-switch mechanism?
That a plug for a glass rear window with a defroster.

Regards, PK
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:33 PM   #12
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The microswitch for the B-pillar is behind the trim panel that is behind the drivers seat. The trim panel is the one that is curved and goes from the door opening to the firewall in front of the engine. When you pull out your seatbelt it pulls out from behind this panel.

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