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Old 04-11-2005, 08:37 AM   #1
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Convertible top hack (lower top while moving)

Did the 'driving while lowering the convertible top' hack this weekend. Someone else posted it here and it was indeed a five minute job. Pull out the convertible top switch next to the fuse box (the big white block) and locate the #18 pin. It says #18 Tach with all the other codes for the other numbers. I used a set of pliers to break off the pin completely. Plugged it back in and fired up the boxster.
Works fine, you just need to have the emergency break up at least one click so that the brake light comes on your dash. I was travelling about 25mph while the top was lowering. My plastic window has started to fold precisely without having to do the chop so its been a perfect hack.
BUT...
When I raise the top the windows don't automaitcally lower that little bit so that you can engage and lock the the top. I have to first lower each side window and then raise the top. I didn't notice if the windows still also lower that little bit when the doors are opened.
It seems more useful to be able to lower the top while moving than having the windows come down atomatically to close up the top. If you don't like this hack you can always get a new fuse block for $40.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:42 PM   #2
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I guess I am wondering why you would want to operate the top while moving. Should you be driving?

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Old 04-11-2005, 01:04 PM   #3
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well let's say it starts raining you could have the top up by the time you pull over to the shoulder. What if you can't pull over right away and man its really coming down?(happened to me once in my miata and that was a manual top. Or how about if you decide to lower the top at a red light and and the light changes green before your finished lowering and your holding up traffic just so that guy in the Porsche can get a tan!?

I'm curious to hear from the people who paid $200 for this aftermarket option.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:15 PM   #4
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when I first purchased my boxster, I was actually soo close to purchasing one of those after market parts that would allow you to operate the top while driving....

I forgot the name of the company, but they were in germany and had 2 types, one that would allow you to operate it up till 15 mph and one 25 mph...

however after seom serious consideration, and my frustration with the "boxster chop" I found that this device would only be useful in putting the top up, not putting the top down as I would still have to get out of the car, sooo....i decided against it...

plus the product was about 300 dollars...yikes!!!!
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:50 PM   #5
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I have a 99' Boxster and I did the same hack. However, my windows do automatically go down a little bit so that I can latch the top when i raise it (they also go down the little bit when i lower it). Perhaps a difference from different model years...

I looked into one of those other non-hacked system. The feature i would like to have is 1 touch top up or 1 touch top down, instead of holding the button.

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Old 04-11-2005, 04:18 PM   #6
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Rain, rain, hmmmm. what is that again??

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Old 04-12-2005, 07:33 AM   #7
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hey perfectlap,
i have a 2000 box and it works fine. (i originally posted the hack)
i also know that it is not recommended at any speed faster than 25mph but i think that is still too fast. i would say 15 mph should be max.
i hardly ever used it on mine but the weather in southern CA is so beautiful now days, i am using it at least 2x a day. right brucelee???
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:22 AM   #8
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do your windows still come down that little bit automatically when you push the top up button so that you can lock the top?
Or do you have to lower the windows yourself?
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:50 AM   #9
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it comes down when the botton is pushed, other words, it works the same as before.
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Old 04-12-2005, 11:52 AM   #10
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The german one is called smarttop

Taping over pin18 with some thin scotchtape has the same effect - you can remove the tape when the vehicle goes to service if you so desire.
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Old 04-12-2005, 03:44 PM   #11
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I guess you don't use the felt pad when you lower the top in the cars with plastic windows
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:15 PM   #12
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Smile Smarttop arrived today and is installed

I received my Smarttop for my 2001 Box and installed it in about 5 seconds. Works as advertised and I am delighted with it! The full stop, pull brake, mash the button while the top opens/closes is not such a big deal, but it was annoying. My initial impressions are that I can get going quicker just like a real car without having to fiddle around with it.
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:21 AM   #13
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I love my SmartTop, I think it is quite expensive at $200 but makes the roof easier and just an all round nicer experience. The one exception would be the people doing the chop, I have glass so that isn't relevant to me.

One-touch is how it should be, I know it doesn't make a big time difference, it's just "right". As I pull in to park I tapthe button once and the roof is reay to latch when I am at a standstill.

More importantly, for me, I have a tip and rarely use the hand brake, as such that need was always a pain. I set of a couple off times with it still engaged!

Probably the best point for me is putting the roof up while moving. Let me stress that wouldb more accurate to say while not at a complete stop, in park with the hand brake on". I left work the other day and it was warm but gloomy, I'll be on a highway ging slow for half an hour so ordinarilly would not have been able to stop and put the roof up, now, in 15mph Boston traffic, I can with one click.

Now, as for those hacks, I was tempted but decided not to as it removes the speed restriction completely and could be dangerous. Bending/ breaking / taping pin 18 removes the speed check completely, your roof will work at any speed. There is also another pin that you can ground to remove the hand brake check if you're interested.

I kow both work well and many swer by them, I just wouldn't want to risk someone pushing the hood up button at 65mph. I suppose keeping the hand brake check in place would prevent this, but that was one of the main things I wanted to avoid needing to do.

I have no affiliation with any of these solutions, just passing on my experiences.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:47 AM   #14
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I just wrapped tape around the #18pin in the top relay. I was a little leary of breaking the pin. It went in perfectly and works pretty good. Its not to practical most of the time but sure does help when your driving and it starts raining. I wish i had the one button hack done.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:00 AM   #15
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The only hard part about the SmartTop is handing over the $200, other than that it couldn't be easier. You pull out the relay, put the replacement one in and you're done. No wires, no switches, no messing, just money.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:24 AM   #16
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Thumbs up

Just found this hack, took 2 Minutes and it seems to work perfectly...

Placed tape over pin 18 and no issues. The windows go down as they should.

P Lap - did you ever resolve that issue?
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:10 AM   #17
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Once I get my top replaced with a glass window top, and it works well, I'd love to get one of the SmartTop things... I'd like to be able to click the button once while I'm pulling into a parking spot, and be able to reach up and latch the top by the time I've set the parking brake.

Be wary of messing up the 'relay' unit. It's more than a relay, and the part costs $108 new. Not TOO expensive, but not TOO cheap either.

Maybe I'll try the tape over the pin and see what it does.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:46 AM   #18
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This mod is too easy not to do it...pulling out the relay and putting it back in could not have been easier.

Has anyone heard of someone damaging the relay in this way?

...anyway the real function of this hack (for the non-rear glass owners in the crowd) comes into play when you need to quickly put the top up while in transit. You can now do it without stopping.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:48 AM   #19
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Mine works same way as when I'm stopped. Window comes down a bit.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:48 AM   #20
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The top going up/down while moving is standard on the 987 and I have NEVER used this feature. Think its interesting that so many people are doing 'hacks' to make that work. How often does it rain and you don't have time to raise the top at a stop light etc.... and the speedlimit is sufficient for closing the top while moving. Hasn't happened to me yet.
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