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Old 09-25-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
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Anyone bought an "ebay" top? Install a DIY?

Gents,
I'm looking to finally break down and replace my vinyl window which is yellowed, covered in clear sealant, tape and all kinds of shame

I've been "holding out" for a hard top for a long time, but I think the cloth top with the upgraded glass window is the best of both worlds and I think I'm sold on that idea.

What I'm wondering is, has anyone here used an "ebay" top, such as: Porsche Boxster 97-02 Convertible Top OEM Material German Cloth Window, Warranty | eBay

Is the installation a DIY project (and by that I mean.. just me... a weekend timeframe (daily driver) and no help around)

And! I notice a lot of them say "headliner not included"... I have a headliner in mine (right? MY '00) and not sure what exactly that should mean to me. Does it not make it waterproof? sound reducing? rigid? confused...

thanks fellas!
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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p.s. Wayne, great to see links again! Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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I've bought several of tops from them; one for the Boxster and and a couple for a prior car. They were high quality and workmanship. I don't imagine the glass window boxster room would be any more or less complicated but yes, it can be done by the average DIYer. They come with thorough directions and color photographs, at least mine did.

Your existing headliner should go back in place and does not effect the function of the roof. I still haven't gotten around to putting mine back though.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:33 AM   #4
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Ahh cool. Dumb question (just to confirm)... i'm not sure how the headliner is actually installed. Is it something that can go on later once I have the top installed and functioning again? I'm just nervous about being able to do this in a weekend by myself since it's my daily.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofidleness View Post
Ahh cool. Dumb question (just to confirm)... i'm not sure how the headliner is actually installed. Is it something that can go on later once I have the top installed and functioning again? I'm just nervous about being able to do this in a weekend by myself since it's my daily.
The headliner is easily removed and reinstalled. I believe it slides into chanels in the bows, if I remember correctly. A couple hooks and snaps in the corners.

You should be able to do the whole thing in a day, though I think my first roof replacement took the whole weekend.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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ah ok. well that's reassuring! are there any "special" tools I'll find myself needing at the last minute, or replacement parts i'll need once I get the old top off?
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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ah ok. well that's reassuring! are there any "special" tools I'll find myself needing at the last minute, or replacement parts i'll need once I get the old top off?
Nothing really special. A very bunt screwdriver helps with tucking. You don't want to use anything with sharp edges or corners. I think I recall using some double sided carpet tape to hold the front edge while stretching it, at least I did on the other car.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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I am about to do this, after having my car checked out from the previous thread:
http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/34147-saint-louis-specific-local-shop-fix-rear-window-replace-top.html

Shop I took it to pointed out all the wear spots on the top and, I have to admit, they did feel pretty thin. He said he wouldn't even bother just stitching the back window up, that the top will need to be replaced in the near future.

ebay user "topsonline.com" sells tops with glass window and defrost (nice feature in the midwest) for $570 shipped
Porsche Boxster & S 97-02 Convertible Top w/Defroster Glass window, 6yr Warranty | eBay

I won't install it myself, but I have a friend who owns his own mechanic shop that I'm sure can do the install in a few hours, so about $1,000 total and I can be done.

Question remains: besides Wret, has anyone else bought a convertible top off of ebay? What were your experiences?
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:18 PM   #9
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I have purchased one of these tops from EBay and installed it myself on a 99 Boxster a couple years ago. It is a high-quality top as good as any you'll find anywhere.

The install is definitely DIY, and like you, I worked on it myself solely during weekends. There are good instructions on the web.

However, this is not an easy install and if you are ready for a challenge and some adventure, then go for it. I consider myself mechanically adept but I am not a professional mechanic or top installer. The two main challenges I found are: (1) you will need to order tools and materials that you probably don't have to properly complete the job; (2) be prepared to _stretch_ the material with all your strength to get the top to be smooth all around. Ultimately, I couldn't do (2) quite well to my standards and ended up paying a professional shop to help me finish this last part.

FWIW, the shop told me I did a pretty good job. They'd seen much worse from other owners, so I feel some amount of consolation. Good luck!
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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I have some limited experience with the Fiat tops. The true question to ask yourself is how fussy am I going to be about the result? If what you hope to achieve is the same look someone who does tops for a living is capable of you are likely going to be disappointed. Putting on a top is one of those jobs where repetative experience is priceless.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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After installing my Miata top myself, I promised myself that I'd never it do again.

I am pretty handy in the garage but this was a real challenge and took me a full 8 hr day. The result was good-to-very-good (but definitely not excellent) and the amount of time that it took me was worth more (to me) than the installation fee.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:14 AM   #12
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Germantops on ebay. Think it cost me around 250 shipped back in Dec. good product, nice quality. As for installation, PIA. Can be done if you are upto it. Make notes as you remove the old one and take lots of pictures. And do not wait too long to install as you will forget what goes where. Read and re-read the install articles a dozen times and understand it before getting started.

Would I do it again? Sure but, hope not.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:15 AM   #13
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I had a GAAH top with glass window installed. Very nice fit. I assume you have an S model because you have the headliner. I had to replace the center plastic because it was split, which is mild common issue with the center piece that is directly over your head and holds the headliner. I suggest visiting a few websites with some great DYI subjects.

mikesporscheboxsterwebpages - mikefocke2

Technolab/PedrosGarage: Porsche PPI, Porsche Service, Performance Parts

Also Mike info on replacing the top:

replacingthetop-adiy - mikefocke2

Good Luck...
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:37 AM   #14
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I did one last year. Material quality is good. Install was ok, but I still have a few wrinkles to work out. I have a 99 base, so I don't have a headliner. Took a weekend.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:30 PM   #15
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slightly off-topic, I had my rear window replaced (plastic) the installer cut out the old and sewed in a new one. It was raining the weekend of the install. By the end of the day I noticed droplets inside dripping from the stitching. Naturally, I'm going to call the installer to inform of them of this issue that I didn't have before the $400 install. But how should this be finised? silicone?
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #16
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Plap, I had that happen on my old top for the exact same reasons. I ended up using a small amount of silicone and it worked great. If it's one of the lower corners it looks better and worked well to put the silicone in the seam where the canvass and window meet and carefully wipe with paper towel. I guess what I'm saying is I avoided putting any silicone on the stitching where you could see it, if you need that try a spray silicone instead.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:25 AM   #17
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I just bought one with a glass rear window from this place for around $450
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

Very nice quality and has rear defrost
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