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Old 07-08-2009, 09:15 AM   #1
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Plastic Window Cracked - cheap fixes?

This morning, headed to work and the weather was nice, and I wanted to drop the top. I opened the top, started opening it, and I normally stop it about 1/2 way to get out and "chop" my plastic window to fold it nicely...

before I even got to 1/2 way, I hear a "pop/crack" sound. I get out and look at the window and see that it has cracked. The edge portion, millimeters from the seam/stitching on the border of hte window cracked - it's not that visible as it's only about 2" long, it's parallel to the seam, and immediately next to the seam...so it's somewhat hidden...but I know it's only a matter of time until it spreads and becomes an eyesore.

My top was replaced a couple years ago, so the canvass portion is perfect. I really don't want to go spend a couple grand for a new top just to fix the plastic window.

Years ago I owned a Miata that also had a plastic rear window that did the same thing and a local upholstery shop was able to remove my plastic window and stitch a new one in for like $250. it looked OEM. I'd much rather suffer with another plastic window if I can replace it this cheap vs buying a whole new top for several thousand.

anyone successfully do that on the boxsters?

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Old 07-08-2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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Been there, did the fix myself with a kit. It is a lot of work, much more than I had anticipated. I would recommend you find a shop willing to stitch in a new window with the canvas still on the frame. The entire convertible top (canvas & frame) is surprisingly easy to remove. Most shops want to remove the canvas from the frame, that is where it gets expensive.

See also:
DYI rear plastic window.

Cracked Plastic

Replacing plastic back window '01 Boxster's Top

If your on Renntech I sort-of took over another thread about a top, there are a couple pics there as well as some discussion of the process:
http://www.renntech.org/forums/inde...287&#entry94287

I used a clear silicone caulking as a temp fix till it got too bad and ghetto looking.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:03 PM   #3
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UPDATE-

I called a local upholstery shop that has been in San Diego for years and years - they quoted me $275 to restitch the plastic window. they said they can get me tinted plastic for another $30 but they have to special order it as they don't normally stock that... so $300. they said it takes less than a day.

they said they do NOT take the top off the frame. they remove the top from the car and do it while it's on the frame.

they said they can upgrade to a glass top window - I dind't ask if it was GAAH or some other brand - but the cost to convert to an all new top with glass - $1425. that is a total cost including labor.

so essentially i'm looking at an extra $1000 to go to glass. i'm almost tempted to go to glass b/c I HATE the chop. I would LOVE to be able to jump in the car, fire it up, drive off, and then just put my top down as I'm cruising at 5-10mph... I've got that fuse hack so I can raise/lower the top while rolling after just clicking the ebrake up one little click..but I NEVER do it to lower the top b/c I can't properly fold the window..I do it all the time when raising the top and it's soooo convenient.

decisions decisions...

Last edited by 23109VC; 07-08-2009 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:23 PM   #4
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Try a marine canvass shop, some are even mobile and tow their equipment. They are used to working with what they call glass (the clear plastic) and mating it with canvass in just about every way one can imagine.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:59 PM   #5
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I just posted this in another thread.

I installed the GAHH top with the acoustic material and glass rear window. Its a HUGE improvement. Well worth the money. You can actually see out the back. But the biggest surprise is how quiet the car is with the acoustic material. Its so quiet that now I can hear all the rattles that I never heard before.
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Last edited by fatmike; 07-08-2009 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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what did you pay for your top and what did you pay for install? or did you DIY??

can you see any major difference in the top vs your OEM top or is it something "invisible" that you can't see from inside the car looking up at the top while closed??

my canvass top was replced a couple years ago by the dealer under warranty by the former owner. why they didn't covert to a glass 03-04 top I don't know - maybe the part was more mney, maye the warranty wouldn't do it..i dunno... but my canvass is VERY clean. It would be hard to justify going to glass for all the expense JUST to get glass... although believe me, I want to...

$300 vs $1500..... arrgghhhh...

i'm about to buy another car too...my current DD took a crap and I had to sell it. I'm back in the maket for antoher car AND found out my work is cutting pay for 7-10% due to the "economic crisis"....so shelling out "extra" money might not fly well with my CFO / wifey.

honestly... for a car i only drive on weekens...I honestly coudl live with a new plastic top - as long as it turns out nice. but glass would be nice!
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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ANSWERS BELOW:


Quote:
Originally Posted by 23109VC
what did you pay for your top and what did you pay for install? or did you DIY??

TOP AND INSTALL WAS ROUGHLY $1400. $800(ish) for the top and $600(ish) for the install. Ballpark pricing. I only did it a month ago, but I actually forgot what I paid already...I am getting old.

-------------------

can you see any major difference in the top vs your OEM top or is it something "invisible" that you can't see from inside the car looking up at the top while closed??

YES BIG DIFFERENCES. The new top has "acoustic" material. Its quiet. Really quiet. Its as quiet or maybe more quiet than my hardtop. Seriously big difference. Also, you can easily see out the back window. Finally, I like the convenience of not having to think about doing the chop.

---------------------


my canvass top was replced a couple years ago by the dealer under warranty by the former owner. why they didn't covert to a glass 03-04 top I don't know - maybe the part was more mney, maye the warranty wouldn't do it..i dunno... but my canvass is VERY clean. It would be hard to justify going to glass for all the expense JUST to get glass... although believe me, I want to...


YOU WILL REPLACE THE PLASTIC AGAIN IN A FEW YEARS...

--------------------



$300 vs $1500..... arrgghhhh...

PLASTIC ISN"T $300. ITS A HUGE JOB TO SEW IT IN. GONNA PAY $600 OR MORE TO INSTALL IT. YOUR REALLY COMPARING $900(ish) plastic to $1400 Glass with acoustic material.

-----------------

i'm about to buy another car too...my current DD took a crap and I had to sell it. I'm back in the maket for antoher car AND found out my work is cutting pay for 7-10% due to the "economic crisis"....so shelling out "extra" money might not fly well with my CFO / wifey.

BUMMER ON THE WORK THING. BUT, BUY HER SOME FLOWERS OR SOMETHING.

------------

honestly... for a car i only drive on weekens...I honestly coudl live with a new plastic top - as long as it turns out nice. but glass would be nice!
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:33 AM   #8
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...hhmmm.. Or, you can source an OEM factory glass top and frame from a 2003 or 2004 model yr. Boxster, and just unbolt your old top and bolt on your new one. Found one for $750...

Factory part, built in strap that holds the glass window completely out of the way when you put the top in service position (no limited access to the engine like the GAHH top), and a larger glass window due to the 4th rib in the newer top frame design...


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Old 07-09-2009, 05:30 AM   #9
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Cheapo Fix

Clear Duct Tape!



This chicken is a duck
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:28 AM   #10
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I had a new window stitched in my '99. Overall, I am pleased with the results. However, they didn't put in a tinted window and the clear plastic looks
kind of strange at first glance. It really isn't that bad looking, but that's just a heads up. My top spends most of it's time in the down position so I'm not too worried about it. The cost of stitching in a new plastic window was much less than a new top and given the great condition of my canvas this seemed like the best option.

Hope you get it fixed with good results.

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:00 AM   #11
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I replaced mine with a GAHH top due to a small tear just like yours. I really didn't want to spend the money at the time, but looking back, it's definitely the best money I've spent on the car... one the most aesthetically pleasing upgrades these cars can get IMO. If you upgrade to a GAHH top, you'll be amazed at the difference when you view your car from the rear with the top up. I've had mine for over a year, and it still catches my eye when I walk past it. I also upgraded the tail-lights this week, and with the 2 upgrades, it seriously looks like a new car.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:15 PM   #12
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Smoked strataglass

I had mine done with smoked strataglass on my black boxster. I like it a lot better than than the green tint. It is for marine use and a little thinner than the auto vinyl. It also takes some special care because it is coated - but if the canvas is good this is the way to go.

A couple of things I learned:
- not a diy, no way can you hand sew like a pro with the proper equipment
mine was double stiched all the way around
- they prefer to take the canvas off the frame to sew it - it is very important to get it tight
- expect to pay $300-400 to get it sewn in
- I like the smoked glass - very nice with a black top
- if your canvas is worn - forget the above and get a new top!

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