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Old 03-05-2009, 03:00 AM   #1
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top/body structural damage

Last night I visited a shop that's prepping Boxsters for spec racing, and the owner shared a very disturbing bit of info. On a car that had been stripped bare, he pointed out the spot where the convertible top "boomerangs" mount to the body. On one side, there were cracks in the metal running from bolt hole to bolt hole. The weight/force of the top was literally ripping the body apart. On the other side of the car, he showed me the beginnings of the situation: the spot welds holding an inner and outer body panel together were pulling through towards the outside of the car. The body does not look structurally sound enough to withstand the repeated forces of the top opening and closing. He told me he had seen the same pattern on more than 20 Boxsters. Ouch!

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Old 11-06-2009, 08:52 AM   #2
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Body Damage Convertible Top

I have a local shop in Alabama and we have seen a fair amount of this in the early boxsters. I have been trying to find some one that makes a reinforcement panel that can be tacked in.

Casey
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:05 AM   #3
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Do you have a picture of this area where the damage is occuring? I'm trying to visualize this. Are you talking about the area where the top frame bolts to the car?
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Last edited by Boxtaboy; 11-06-2009 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porscheminitech
I have a local shop in Alabama and we have seen a fair amount of this in the early boxsters. I have been trying to find some one that makes a reinforcement panel that can be tacked in.

Casey
Is this something that has been addressed by Porsche in later years and if so, what years are they?
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.fro
Last night I visited a shop that's prepping Boxsters for spec racing, and the owner shared a very disturbing bit of info. On a car that had been stripped bare, he pointed out the spot where the convertible top "boomerangs" mount to the body. On one side, there were cracks in the metal running from bolt hole to bolt hole. The weight/force of the top was literally ripping the body apart. On the other side of the car, he showed me the beginnings of the situation: the spot welds holding an inner and outer body panel together were pulling through towards the outside of the car. The body does not look structurally sound enough to withstand the repeated forces of the top opening and closing. He told me he had seen the same pattern on more than 20 Boxsters. Ouch!
IMO, if a top is properly maintained and the mechanism is lubricated, along with replacing the various "plastic/teflon" bushings in the operating arms, including the "boomerangs" of the clamshell, there is relatively little stress on the body.

It's only when the top has not been periodically checked and maintained for proper, smooth operation that one might run into the problems described.
The top itself is not heavy, and if it's operating properly, you can literally open and close it and the clamshell with your pinky (after disconnecting the four pushrods).

The electric motor generates a lot of torque, enough to tweak and bend the clamshell if one of the drive cables break and you continue to operate the top. So, you have to be aware of the operation of the top and to check it occasionally.

Lubricating the small square black plastic receptacles that slide back and forth in the channels alongside the rear quarter panel goes a long way to preventing damage. Those parts can be located by following the "boomerang" body-colored arm that supports the clamshell at each side. The arm has a steel ball that presses into the receptacles, which in turn slide back and forth in the channel.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:36 AM   #6
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Pictures please for both the stress faults, and, where to lube.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
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And what kind of lube would also be good to know!
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by turbo23dog
Pictures please for both the stress faults, and, where to lube.
Turbo:

Here are two photos of the rail that should be lubed thoroughly.

The first photo shows the rear part of the rail, just below the rubber weatherstrip, along with the black plastic receptacle (slider) that sits just behind the lower end of the body-colored "boomerang" arm. On the other side of that 13mm (12?) nut that has the slotted treaded stud through it for lateral adjustment, sits the steel ball that is pressed into the slider. You cannot see that steel ball in this photo, but it looks similar to the one at the end of the V-lever (Disregard the notations in this photo, it was part of a write-up I did on installing a glass-windowed OEM soft top).

The second photo shows the front part of the rail, just to the left of the white plastic ball cup.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by yimmy149
And what kind of lube would also be good to know!
Yimmy:

I use white lithium grease, from a tube. The aerosol version is not thick enough. You can see it clearly in the photos I attached.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:55 AM   #10
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Wink Ah...part of that how to maintain the top article

Now if we had it posted.....

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