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Old 09-18-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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Something broke when I tried to put the top down. What happened?

I have a 2007 Boxster I bought new. The other day I was putting down the top and flipped open the latch and the top began to open but caught on the tip of the latch and I heard a loud "SNAP" coming from behind me and the top stopped moving although the top cover continued to cycle. What happened? Can I fix it ( I am not very mechanical oriented) and if not how much would the dealer charge me to fix it.

PS. I am able to raise and lower the top manually so there is no emergency.

Thanks

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Old 09-19-2010, 12:52 AM   #2
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You might have snapped/broken the plastic ball caps that are at the ends of the lever arm rods... Those are designed as a weak point to be the first to go if there is something wrong during the top up/down process...

Take a look at this link I found for you...

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?/topic/20109-broken-boxster-987-roof/

Hope this helps...
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:55 AM   #3
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I forgot to add, in response to your other questions... It's a fairly simple fix (assuming this was the problem)... I have no idea what the dealership would charge you to fix it, but the dealership rates are usually pretty expensive, regardless of how easy things are.

You could get some replacement ball caps and replace them yourself fairly easily.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavlono
I have a 2007 Boxster I bought new. The other day I was putting down the top and flipped open the latch and the top began to open but caught on the tip of the latch and I heard a loud "SNAP" coming from behind me and the top stopped moving although the top cover continued to cycle. What happened? Can I fix it ( I am not very mechanical oriented) and if not how much would the dealer charge me to fix it.

PS. I am able to raise and lower the top manually so there is no emergency.

Thanks
Chaudanova is right on the money.

Your white (in your case) plastic ball cups have both broken apart. If only the ball cup on one side had broken, the canvas part of the top would continue to operate, although it would lurch slightly, with one side leading or trailing the other, depending on which cycle it was on (open or close).

The front pushrods onto which those plastic ball cups are screwed on drives the canvas covered frame part of the convertible top and the black "hydraulic" pushrods drive the clamshell, both being driven by the V-Levers.

Porsche only sells the front pushrods as a complete assembly (with the plastic ball cups attached), but they are available from an independent seller who has had them manufactured in Europe.

Be careful if you have been operating your clamshell with the electric button as the now-dangling front pushrods can dig into the foam drain trays and tear them. You will then get water intrusion into the cabin when you wash the car or when it rains, where the water will then promptly head for the central alarm computer under the driver's seat.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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Thanks go much guys. This information is invaluable and exactly what i need. i will let you know what happens.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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I found and removed the two broken plastic balls sockets today. It was easy and should be easy to replace. Where can i buy them from the guy you say has them made in Europe? Are they exactly alike. I notice that these are double walled which looks like they are made to be the weak link in the system so they break before anything else does.
Thanks again for your help.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:42 AM   #7
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Check with a salvage yard that deals in Porsche's or try EBay. I always keep an extra set on hand since I snapped two sets already.

Yes they are the weak link for a reason, better changing the arms out than bending the convertible mechanism or damaging the motor.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavlono
I found and removed the two broken plastic balls sockets today. It was easy and should be easy to replace. Where can i buy them from the guy you say has them made in Europe? Are they exactly alike. I notice that these are double walled which looks like they are made to be the weak link in the system so they break before anything else does.
Thanks again for your help.
Kavlono:

PM Sent with info.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by schoir
Kavlono:

PM Sent with info.

Regards, Maurice.
Kavlono, Maurice's recommendation worked out brilliantly for me, and should for you as well.

Thanks again Maurice!
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:00 PM   #10
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Kavlono, Maurice's recommendation worked out brilliantly for me, and should for you as well.

Thanks again Maurice!
Glad it worked out!

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #11
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Go here and get the one's that are all metal: http://www.klaindustries.net/
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:26 AM   #12
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Go here and get the one's that are all metal: http://www.klaindustries.net/
Interesting.

This company says "There have been instances of this piece breaking possibly causing some major damage to the tonneau cover. I've heard reports of up to $2000 damage."

Others have said that they're plastic for a reason - as a cheap break point in case of an issue.

$70 seems like cheap insurance if I have a chance of a $2000 problem.

Maurice, would you opine, please...
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Last edited by clickman; 09-23-2010 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:28 AM   #13
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Go here and get the one's that are all metal: http://www.klaindustries.net/
I believe the consensus is that these metal ones are not recommended. The plastic ones are designed to be a weak point, and to break when there is some sort of an obstruction or problem. The plastic is cheap and easy to replace (relatively speaking), versus everything else down the line that could break instead, when there is an error in opening/closing the top.
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Some stuff for sale: M030 S 24mm front sway bar, M030 base 19.6mm rear sway bar, 996 GT3 OEM Porsche Motorsport front strut mounts monoball "camber plates"

WTB: looking for some 5-7mm spacers with extended bolts
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by clickman
Interesting.

This company says "There have been instances of this piece breaking possibly causing some major damage to the tonneau cover. I've heard reports of up to $2000 damage."

Others have said that they're plastic for a reason - as a cheap break point in case of an issue.

$70 seems like cheap insurance if I have a chance of a $2000 problem.

Maurice, would you opine, please...
Norm:

You don't have to spend $70 because you can buy just the plastic ball cups from the guy in the Netherlands.

They are indeed plastic for a reason. The biggest concern with using the aluminum or metal ball cups that someone has had manufactured is because of the FORCE of that little electric motor. If there is a top malfunction, the plastic ball cups are designed to give way before any further damage is caused. The $2,000 quote is on the lower end of the cost of possible damage if one of the lugs at the base of each B-pillar (onto which a steel ball is mounted to accept the plastic ball cup) breaks. The convertible top frame is made of magnesium and the individual parts are astronomical.

In addition, if only one side lets go and you are not paying attention, you run the risk of tweaking the clamshell and that's not a cheap fix either once it gets really tweaked.

If you want to get an idea of the force of that electric motor, consider that there are instances where the V-lever is bent at a right angle. If you examine the thickness and ribbed design of the V-lever, you will be amazed that anything connected with the top can bend it.

Stick with the plastic ball cups, whether you buy the complete pushrod assembly from Porsche or get just the cups by themselves.

Regards, Maurice.

Last edited by schoir; 09-23-2010 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:07 PM   #15
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Thanks, Maurice.

Just to make sure we're on the same wavelength, the maker of the steel ball cups is saying $2000 damage because of the plastic cups breaking. Ergo his justification for the steel cups.

But I hear you; I won't be installing them.

And BTW, thanks for your excellent contributions to the forum (and others) on the subject of the convertible tops. Knock on wood mine's been fine so far, but I know the day will come, and having all of this ref info available as well as you to ask questions of makes me feel a lot more warm and fuzzy.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:33 PM   #16
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Thanks, Maurice.

Just to make sure we're on the same wavelength, the maker of the steel ball cups is saying $2000 damage because of the plastic cups breaking. Ergo his justification for the steel cups.

But I hear you; I won't be installing them.

And BTW, thanks for your excellent contributions to the forum (and others) on the subject of the convertible tops. Knock on wood mine's been fine so far, but I know the day will come, and having all of this ref info available as well as you to ask questions of makes me feel a lot more warm and fuzzy.
Norm:

We are on the same wavelength... but I haven't been able to come up with a scenario that would justify that claim (about the damage to the "tonneau cover" a/k/a clamshell) because if only one ball cup were to break during either the close or the open cycle, the top would still usually operate...almost normally. The only noticeable difference would be that one side of the canvas top would either lag behind or lurch forward, depending on whether you are in the process of opening or closing the top. If both ball cups broke, the canvas portion of the top would no longer be driven, but the clamshell would continue to operate (because the black "hydraulic" pushrods are separate components and would not be affected).

I guess if the top was closed, and you were in the middle stage of opening the top and both ball cups broke at that moment, the continuing clamshell would close on top of the still not completely closed top and, if the top did not "collapse" into the closed position, the clamshell might get bent around the canvas' frame. Never heard of it happening, probably because there is not much tension on the ball cups at that stage, but I suppose it's theoretically possible.

The severe tweaking of the clamshell usually occurs only as a result of either a broken/frayed drive cable on one side, or a malfunctioning transmission or V-lever, when there is continued operation of the motor which is then only driving one side.

A more realistic possibility of causing damage after a plastic ball cup breaks is that caused by the newly dangling remnant of the pushrod digging into the foam drain tray as the V-lever continues to turn. The foam drain tray gets torn or ripped and, if not repaired promptly, that can result in water intrusion into the cabin...where it will quickly fry the central alarm computer under the driver's seat.

Thanks for the kudos. I get a lot of help from these forums (fora?) as well and I'm glad to be able to contribute.

Regards, Maurice.

Last edited by schoir; 09-23-2010 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:07 AM   #17
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I could not wait to get the parts from overseas so I went to the dealer and bought the two assemblies which cost $70 each or $140 total. I unscrewed the white plastic end caps from the parts and put them on my car. Then hooked to the corresponding balls and, whalla!, the top works perfectly now. Even though it cost me $140 I think of all the money I saved by not having the dealer put on the whole assembly.
Thanks to everyone for their help. I could not have done it without you.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:16 AM   #18
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Success! Glad it worked out for you!
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Some stuff for sale: M030 S 24mm front sway bar, M030 base 19.6mm rear sway bar, 996 GT3 OEM Porsche Motorsport front strut mounts monoball "camber plates"

WTB: looking for some 5-7mm spacers with extended bolts
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavlono
I could not wait to get the parts from overseas so I went to the dealer and bought the two assemblies which cost $70 each or $140 total. I unscrewed the white plastic end caps from the parts and put them on my car. Then hooked to the corresponding balls and, whalla!, the top works perfectly now. Even though it cost me $140 I think of all the money I saved by not having the dealer put on the whole assembly.
Thanks to everyone for their help. I could not have done it without you.
Congrats! Give yourself a pat on the back...you've just become a little more "mechanically oriented" and now have one area of your Boxster that you will be less apprehensive about in the future. Adds to the enjoyment, IMO.

Good work!

Regards, Maurice.

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