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Old 05-08-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
98 Boxster 5Spd Mt 2.5
 
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clamshell is stuck

My clamshell is stuck and I can't get it open. I have a 98 Boxster and I want to put my top down already. Any ideas?

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
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are you sure it is stuck?
is it getting power?
is it damaged/pinned?
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:27 AM   #3
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What actually happens when you hit the button for the top? Do you have your handbrake engaged and is the handbrake light showing on the dash? Faulty handbrake switches are one of the most common causes of this problem.

If the light isn't on the dash, trying banging the handbrake lever up and down a few times to see if it will jar loose and come on. Failing that, pop the ashtray out of your centre console and try working the switch by hand. If the light is on but it still won't work, then we will have to look elsewhere to determine the cause.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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Mark might be on to something here. Batman, aren't you also posting a thread about your handbrake??
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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my parking brake is fine, I fixed it but my clamshell is stuck. Its getting power but it seems like its pinned or something. I can hear the dammed thing clicking but does not budge. What I really want to do is convert it to a manual clamshell. Less maintenance, you know? Thanks everybody for your help!
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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Try "helping"it - get someone to press the button while you gently pry it up with your fingers. Might be enough to overcome the stickage and then you can get in there to fix it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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Cool

I'll try but that doesn't seem to work sometimes. I'm heading over to my mechanic today and I'll ask him what he can do to manually convert it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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Why not fix it? There's nothing like stopping at a light and dropping the top.
Having to get out and go through a process to put the top down seems kind of lame

JMO
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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There's a couple of other people here that have gone manual. If you do a search on the forum you'll find some good info. Might want to tackle it yourself.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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Red face

because I figured it would be cheaper to maintain and I believe the sliding tracks for the clamshell might be damaged anyways. And besides, I've dropped the top at a stoplight...only to get honked at cuss the light turned green and my top was still dropping!
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:16 PM   #11
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You don't do "the chop"? That plastic window won't last long.....
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
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I usually chop
I have only put the top down on the road a couple times. I've put it up while on the road many times, though, thanks to the "operable top while in motion" hack(never at more than 10-15mph, of course...usually stopped).


Last edited by particlewave; 05-09-2013 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:09 PM   #13
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Actually, my window is glass What is "chopping"?
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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"Chopping" or pushing the vinyl window when dropping the top so that it folds in half nicely. Otherwise, it wants to kink vertically in the middle, causing a weakened crease and eventually a tear.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:59 AM   #15
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I have a CHOP STICK. 16 inch wood dowel with a 6 inch padded piece of wood at the end like a "T" Can chop at lights with out leaving my seat. Lays flat on passenger side floor.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:33 AM   #16
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My top is currently manual, and not by choice. I broke it a while back, and when it finally came time to get at the engine for some maintenance, the shop had to dismantle the hardware for the top and clamshell so they could access the engine bay. I just had them leave it that way and plan to fix it myself because it's simply too expensive between parts and labor to have them do it.

I'd really recommend against the manual thing. My clamshell rattles upon hitting the slightest road imperfections since it's no longer really connected to anything that used to hold it rigid, and it doesn't actually sit flush when you put the top down. The motorized setup gives that extra press to ensure the top is fully collapsed and that the clamshell sits flush with the rest of the bodywork. When I fold the top manually, the clamshell rests slightly but noticeably above the line with the trunk lid, and as such it doesn't fully press down the lever with the microswitch that tells the car the top is either full up or full down. If I hit a bump or anything else caused the clamshell to move, the windows would drop while I was driving. I could press down on the thing all I want, but the top just won't let the clamshell sit flush. I've since tied down the lever for the switch, but overall it is more trouble than it's worth, and the rattling bugs the hell out of me. I'll be looking to fix it this summer so I can go back to having a quieter drive.

When it comes to putting the top down/up on the road, if you know your local area well then you'll know which lights will give you enough time to do it normally. I find it's not much of a hassle to either find a spot to pull over and do it or just pull into an establishment for the 30 seconds it will take to park, drop/raise, and get back out into traffic again. Keeps me from bugging anyone if the light changes and I can't move yet.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:06 PM   #17
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Cool

Hi Batman,

I had the exact same problem occur not too long ago. So I feel you frustration. You can hear the convertible motor getting power, but its stuck. This occurred for me cause the two convertible transmissions got out of sync some how and cause them to jam. There is a solution.

Step 1: From inside the car, you have to remove the clips that attach the rams/shocks to the clam shell. Use long needle nose pliers to get them off. I found it easiest to reach them by removing the wind blocker from the roll bar and reach over the engine compartment.

Step 2: Once the two retaining clips are removed, you will be able to manually lift the clam shell. Then you can proceed.

Step 3: If you plan on continuing to use the electric motor, be sure you sync them before you put it all back together. I found it easiest to leave one of the transmission cables attached to the electric motor and the other I removed from the motor and attached to a drill. I then measured the distance from one of the two alignment pins on the back of the clam shell to the top of the hole where it gets seated. Then use the drill to adjust the other cable to either raise or lower the other side of the clam shell until the measurements are the same for both sides. The manuals I've read say to measure from the top of the trunk seal to the transmission leaver, but I found this method much more reliable. Once equal, insert the transmission cable back in the electric motor.

Step 4: Reattach the shocks to the clam shell. You should be able to reuse the clips you removed in step 1.

Step 5: The arms that connect the conv transmission levers to the convertible top can be adjusted as well. I suggest you slightly loosen the nut that is used to adjust their length. Then once you have the entire conv assembly put back together, close the convertible top completely and latch it down. With it latched down, reach inside the car through the roll bar and feel for the 10mm nut. I found it easiest to do this by standing outside the car and reach back with your arm through the roll bar. For example, for the right side of the car, I used my left hand to reach back. Tighten each one while the top is latched close. This will set the length of the arms correctly.

Now both transmissions are synced and the length of the levers are set correctly.

I know this would be easier with pics, but I didn't take any when I did this project.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #18
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Thanks drbodzin! I will try that today when I get a chance and when it cools down Lol.
I dont know if i want the clamshell attached to the motor just yet. I wanna be able to have it manual without sacrificing the automated procedures
Thanks again buddy!
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:14 PM   #19
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Here is my post on why I converted to a manual top and you do NOT have to live with clam shell rattle once the job is done as there are alternatives...(see in my thread).

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/43235-why-i-converted-manual-top.html
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #20
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Thanks everybody for all help! I finally got my clamshell loose and I converted it to manual but left the mechanism intact. At least I have the option to fix it and revert it back to to way it was.

Thanks again everybody, you've been most helpful!

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