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Old 12-11-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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Snother newbie cracked the plastic window...

Ok. Read the do-not-do list after the fact. Freezing temp, over-enthusiastic to clean up the car, opened the top and crack! Passenger side soft top plastic window is cracked about 3-4 inches in two places. Maybe it was waiting to happen. The top is good and so are the interior liners and mechanism. I really don't want to replace the whole thing. Can I just replace the plastic? I don't mind even going for glass rear window (with defroster). Any one in Long Island does this by any chance? Searched but couldn't find any.

Thanks.

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Old 12-11-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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As far as I know

There is no way to replace the plastic window only (I have the same issue in my car) at least not in a way it will look good. The glass window is a little bit smaller than the plastic one so that is no option at all. I will probably replace the whole top in my car soon, for the one with the glass window.

Going to buy it here:
Boxster Glass Window Upgrades
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:24 PM   #3
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Check with your insurance, and avoid using the words "wear & tear". You were operating the top normally, so simply explain that the window cracked while the top was in motion. There's no guarantee that they'll cover it, but it can't hurt to try.

The short answer about glass is that you can't do it on a plastic-window top. If you look at any aftermarket tops with glass, the window is much shorter in height than the plastic, and this is to allow the top to fold. If the glass were as large as the orignal vinyl window it would either crack from trying to be bent in half or it would rip itself out of the top. The smaller window does take getting used to, but if you're not a tall person it won't be too much of a problem, and it's a non-issue when the top is down.

You can replace your top with one from 2003-2004 Boxster. I'm assuming that your car is older than this since Boxsters were using glass from 2003 onwards. Anyways, in order to use the 03/04 glass window top, it requires replacing the actual frame of the top as well. The vinyl window cars have a 3-rib top frame, while from 2003 onward the cars used a 4-rib frame, and that additional rib is what allows the top to fold properly even with a glass window that is nearly the same size as the old vinyl window. There is more potential work that has to go into this option though, since the top may not cycle properly due to other components from the 3-rib design era.

People have stitched in new windows before and seem to have had some success, either doing it themselves or having a shop do it for them. The cost can vary based on that, and I can't speak on the effectiveness of the job and the watertightness of it. Some shops will refuse to do this without removing the top from the car, which will incur labor charges, and some will refuse to do it at all because they don't believe the top can be re-sealed properly after the new window is stitched in...and some probably just want to make the money from selling you a new top. You could avoid the labor charges by taking the top off and putting it back on yourself, but that's a choice for you to make.

I'm sure others will chime in here with their experiences and advice. I had a similar thing happen to me earlier this year, though the window seemed to simply crack from the temperature drop, and I decided to replace it with a new top with a glass window. The original top wasn't in awful shape, but it was 14 years old and could use a change. You could see if there are any upholstery shops, and automotive ones in particular, in your area (Redan is one here in CT, not sure if they're in NY). Once you get a quote from oneor two of them then you can evaluate what is most cost effective for you.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:15 PM   #4
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Same thing happened to mine last year. I ordered some tinted vinyl online for about $50. I took the canvas off myself and took it to an interior shop who sewed in the window for $100. I put the top back on myself so in all I had $150 in repair
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:31 PM   #5
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Replacing the rear window can easily be done. Whether you have the time, patience and/or inclination to remove the top is up to you (I wouldn't). My last Boxster needed the rear window replaced so I took it to a marine/auto upholstery shop and they had no trouble. Your insurance coverage is about 50/50 some do, some don't.

My cost for a reliable recommended shop was $500. Your cost may vary. Go to a shop recommended to you by the local/state Porsche club or other quality car club.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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Bala - think I was the first guy to talk with you on the forum, do I go to front of line? . Nice in NC this time of year take some vacation, I'll change the seats out, put mine in, help you fix that window, detail the car. I'm a little guy and would fit perfectly in those. So just kidding, good luck with your new find, sounds like you have a nice little extra option on that car.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:29 AM   #7
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Jake,
Is the tinted vinyl the same as the original plastic? Or is it more cloth type? Is there any flapping? Could you also please let me know where you got the tinted vinyl? Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:31 AM   #8
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MileHigh,
Thanks for the input. I have comp with glass but don't want to call the insurance. Just had a rear end collision fix for my other car. I'll have to take the hit on this.

OD,
Thanks your input as well. Appreciate such detailed responses. I was going to go the 03-04 replacement route but the frame requirement put me off. My top is still good. I am looking for a hard top as well. So just want a quick and cheap fix for now.

Last edited by Bala; 12-12-2011 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:38 AM   #9
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Bala - think I was the first guy to talk with you on the forum, do I go to front of line? . Nice in NC this time of year take some vacation, I'll change the seats out, put mine in, help you fix that window, detail the car. I'm a little guy and would fit perfectly in those. So just kidding, good luck with your new find, sounds like you have a nice little extra option on that car.
I'm not sure how this forum works as far as for sale items are concerned but generally first come first served is what the others do. Let me determine what the appropriate price would be. I did pay more for the things that came with the car. Stay tuned.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:43 AM   #10
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Local upholstery shops around here will replace the vinyl window for $375. Do a search for upholstery/convertible shops in your area.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:55 AM   #11
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replacing just the plastic is an option. when i replaced the top on mine with a GAHH the guy i got to do it - peter serbanica in NJ - noted that the plastic had been restitched. if he hadn't told me i would have never known. i never experienced any issues with flapping or loose plastic. i think the plastic is around $50. i know a few members on here have done the job themselves.

that said, if you want to replace the entire top (canvas + plastic window) i have my old one (black from a 2001) in the closet that i've been trying to get rid of. i'll send it to you (or anyone else who needs it) just pay for shipping.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:17 AM   #12
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My plastic window cracked last year. I took it to an auto and marine upholstery shop and they charged me $300 even+ tax to replace the plastic rear window with a new DOT approved window. It took about 4 hours of labor for them to finish. They had to take the entire top off.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
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My plastic window cracked last year. I took it to an auto and marine upholstery shop and they charged me $300 even+ tax to replace the plastic rear window with a new DOT approved window. It took about 4 hours of labor for them to finish. They had to take the entire top off.
Do you have pics? I wouldn't mind doing a day trip if they really can get it done a day.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:02 PM   #14
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Tonycarreon,
Thanks for the offer but I just pulled the lever on this before I saw your post:

PORSCHE BOXSTER GERMAN TOP GREY STAYFAST CANVAS | eBay

I'm sure someone else will take the offer. Appreciate your generosity.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:02 PM   #15
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Do you have pics? I wouldn't mind doing a day trip if they really can get it done a day.

Here are the pics of the new plastic window. They did a good job. No leaks. One complaint was some sort of sticky residue they left on the inside of the top under the plastic window. Also, you cannot wash the plastic window or open the top in the first 48 hours. They said the sewing job needs to settle in and the plastic needs to stretch in the heat of the sun.

Had it done back in June at a place called Rydon in Philadelphia, PA.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:57 PM   #16
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1. loving all these black boxsters showing up in pics lately.
2. those taillights look darker than just the smoked. special treatmen on the reverse white?
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:43 PM   #17
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Yeah. I tinted the amber red and made the reverse smoked gray. 550 Boxster edition style. $16 in tint. $8 for smoked gray, $8 for Red. On ebay.

I had the tails all red, but it was illegal and did not pass inspection since it makes the reverse light red and is a safety hazard. People would not know I was reversing out of a parking spot, inviting an accident to happen.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:35 PM   #18
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Great writeup Overdrive, I may try the insurance route first and see what happens.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Yeah. I tinted the amber red and made the reverse smoked gray. 550 Boxster edition style. $16 in tint. $8 for smoked gray, $8 for Red. On ebay.

I had the tails all red, but it was illegal and did not pass inspection since it makes the reverse light red and is a safety hazard. People would not know I was reversing out of a parking spot, inviting an accident to happen.

Project...I like the look. Do you remember the Ebay seller?
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:13 AM   #20
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Looks good. How close to the "stock looking" do you think the stitch work was?
Can't beat $300. A few coats of Raggtopp and my canvas looks brand new, seems like a waste to replace the whole thing just to get a new window.
While glass is nice and covenient I think the frame hardware has stretched a bit too much to put new canvas over it, its going to be be a few inches short to be a OEM fit. I went through this hassle with a previous convertible and it was a royal PITA.


Quote:
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Here are the pics of the new plastic window. They did a good job. No leaks. One complaint was some sort of sticky residue they left on the inside of the top under the plastic window. Also, you cannot wash the plastic window or open the top in the first 48 hours. They said the sewing job needs to settle in and the plastic needs to stretch in the heat of the sun.

Had it done back in June at a place called Rydon in Philadelphia, PA.

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