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Old 01-03-2010, 10:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: washington
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convertible top rear window questions

As seems to be pretty common, my plastic rear window in my boxster had cracked really bad and I want to replace it.

A new top isn't in the cards, money wise, right now.

Anyone in the portland/vancouver area on here recommend any marine canvas shops or convertible top repair shops in the area that can replace the plastic rear window.

I would like to upgrade to the glass rear window but understand I would need to get a new top and the current one is in good shape, minus the window.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:06 AM   #2
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my top recently cracked, but it was a very minor crack right near the edge of the window...I managed to fix mine with adhesive sealant... so far so good...

but before I went "el cheapo" route, I looked into new tops, windows, etc.

I'm in So cal - and found a nice auto upholstery shop that did convertible tops..they would install new tops, redo plastic windows etc. They did the top on my Miata about a decade ago and sewed in a new plastic window..they are still in b usiness... they did quality work on the Miata..and they quoted me $350 to sew in a new plastic window.

you can't sew in glass - the shape/size/location of our plastic window prohibits it. You'd have to get a whole new top to go glass. Either the aftermarket tops, or get a salvaged top from a newer 986 with glass...all those routes are fairly $$$.

If your canvass is good - it's cheapest to sew in new plastic. You could redo the plastic window three times and still not spend as much as a new top.... when the plastic is new/clean/clear it looks nice. take good care of the new one and it will probably last you years and years.

find an auto upholstery shop that does convertibles. I can't suggest one as I'm not in your area - but I'm sure you can find one, I would expect to pay under $500. the shop that I contacted was a long standing well respected reputable place that has been in business for 25 years + and they only wanted $350-375 IIRC. It was NOT over $400. I've heard of shops trying to get $500-600 for a window... which I think is way high...

good luck.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:35 AM   #3
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
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I must comment here, Im in Chicago and my window cracked.... well split right down the middle from top to bottom!

I found three good shops to do the work. The shop I chose to do the work quoted me $300 to do it, 3 hours of labor at $100 an hour. That was just the labor, not the replacement window which they wanted another $100 for.

HERES HOW YOU SAVE MONEY

1. Buy the replacement window online. there are many readily available on ebay for 50-70 bucks.

2. And this is the big one.... the top must be taken off the car for them to cut out and sew in the new window... this shop specialized in convertible tops so they quoted 2 of the 3 hours for the top removal..... if you have a second car available and can leave the box incapacitated for a day or two, I suggest you deinstall the top yourself and reinstall it when the window is replaced, sure it will take you 5-6 hours of your own time, but if money is a problem... that would save you at least $200.


My total came out $70 for new window from ebay and only $100 for the new window installed because I chose to remove the top myself and just bring in the new window with the top off for a grand total of $170.

$170+5 hours of my time VS $370

The choice is yours, I wish you the best of luck.

PS- Besides marina shops... search for Customization shops or Restoration shops in your area, they normally are smaller shops, but they have much much more experience in repairing the convertible tops.


Adam
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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Had my rear window replaced for $500 here in NJ. Pricey but worth it. I'm pleased with the result.

If you're going with a new top, absolutely go with the glass window; I would have. If your top's in otherwise good shape, replacing the plastic window is, like everyone else has said, a far less expensive alternative. My original window lasted 7 years. The replacement will probably outlast the rest of the car and at the very least my projected ownership tenure. $1500-$2000 or $300-$500, a very easy choice. Consider how long you expect to keep the car.

If you go the window replacement route, I'm not so sure I'd try to save $30-$50 on a $100 (retail) by buying one on eBay or anywhere else online. If you have a problem the last thing you want is the installer pointing to the crappy rear window you supplied and made him use. If you've got the skills and time, doing the top removal and reinstallation yourself sounds worthwhile and a potentially big money saver. The bulk of the costs are labor, not materials.
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