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Old 06-20-2013, 07:12 AM   #1
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Convertible top now kaput

Pulling into work today, I put the top up. It started to climb up slowly as it usually does, and then a few inches away from the closing position, I hear the little electric motors give out. Pressing the button again gives a little "grrr" but then eventually silence.

I then tried to move the top manually, heard a very loud "CLICK", and then was able to use the electric motors to SLOWLY close the top completely.

It now will not open. Pressing the button only causes the little electric motors to spin over and and die from exhaustion.

My sensors are all fine.

Will a new GAHH top replace the motors too?

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Old 06-20-2013, 07:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crono0001 View Post
Pulling into work today, I put the top up. It started to climb up slowly as it usually does, and then a few inches away from the closing position, I hear the little electric motors give out. Pressing the button again gives a little "grrr" but then eventually silence.

I then tried to move the top manually, heard a very loud "CLICK", and then was able to use the electric motors to SLOWLY close the top completely.

It now will not open. Pressing the button only causes the little electric motors to spin over and and die from exhaustion.

My sensors are all fine.

Will a new GAHH top replace the motors too?
GAHH top replaces only fabric top and materials. http://www.gahh.com/
No motors, you will have to source the top motor unit independently. First look up how to manual crank it open, see whats jamming it or could be the motor is gone. Remove, bench test it, if no good, check Ebay for used parts or order a new unit.

best
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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Most likely, your drive cables have streched or broke and are not engaging the transmissions correctly. Luckily, the drive cables are not very expensive and are easy to replace. Mike Fokke's site has a lot of great info on convertible top problems.

I the mean time, reach back between your seats and disconnect the vinyal canopy below the rear window. With the canopy out of the way, you can access your top motor. The motor will have a plastic cover over it that you can remove. You will see a drive cable coming out of each side of the motor. There is a metal slide clip that holds each cable in place. Remove the clips and pull each of the cables out.

With your top unlatched at the windshield, connect a cordless drill to one of the cables as SLOWLY operate the drill to see if your top starts to move. If it moves, you can use the drill on each cable, a little at a time, to open the top and clamshell to the service positon, or open all the way. Once the top is in at least the service position, use a pry bar (see owners manual) to pop the top actuation rod on each side of the top. This will allow you to manually open/close your top while you determine the exact cause of your top issues.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:29 PM   #4
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I think a lot of problems are created by not greasing the slides at the sides of the car. Proactive maintenance there can reduce the chances of binding and damaging motors/transmissions.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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I think a lot of problems are created by not greasing the slides at the sides of the car. Proactive maintenance there can reduce the chances of binding and damaging motors/transmissions.
Something I have never done.

Noted. I will let you know the verdict when I get time this weekend.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clickman View Post
I think a lot of problems are created by not greasing the slides at the sides of the car. Proactive maintenance there can reduce the chances of binding and damaging motors/transmissions.
Can you elaborate re the "slides"....
I don't think I have ever seen anything regarding greasing on the Boxster top mechanism.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #7
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Can you elaborate re the "slides"....
I don't think I have ever seen anything regarding greasing on the Boxster top mechanism.
+1 as this is news to me too
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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I believe he's referring to the clamshell slides.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I think a lot of problems are created by not greasing the slides at the sides of the car. Proactive maintenance there can reduce the chances of binding and damaging motors/transmissions.
I absoluitely agree - amazing how many folks dont do or know about this tip!
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:00 AM   #10
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Here's the reference thread. Unfortunately the pics seem to no longer be there. So I took one myself.

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/19797-top-body-structural-damage.html

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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Thanks clickman - I wonder if this lack of lubrication is the reason my top is a little slower than I remember!! I thought it was our cooler winter weather causing it to be a little sluggish.
I'll check mine out tomorrow and lube up the slide / ball with some lithium grease.
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Last edited by Steve Tinker; 06-21-2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:50 AM   #12
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A quick update....

Cleaned out the slides today and regreased with lithium grease (actually my motorcycle's synthetic chain lube). There was remnants of the (original ??) grease in the tracks, but its now clean and super slick.

Thanks clicky - you learn something new on this forum every day......
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:12 AM   #13
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Another item on my to do list, thanks!
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:16 AM   #14
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Had time today to look. Didn't notice it, but the slide/rail on the drivers side is bent. The peg came off... The motor is getting caught because of that.

This sounds like it's going to be an expensive fix.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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the auto top is cool and all, but I found that I had to get out of the car regardless when putting the top down so as to properly fold the rear window. removing mechanisms, transmissions and motor reduce complexity and weight up high, and you can actually get the roof up and down faster by hand. old-school roadster style.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:14 AM   #16
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removing mechanisms, transmissions and motor reduce complexity and weight up high, and you can actually get the roof up and down faster by hand. old-school roadster style.
This is just terrible advice, my friend.
If your trunk mechanism fails, would you just weld it shut? If a headlight burns out, do you just cover it in vinyl wrap? Yikes...

No offense, but I prefer to fix things correctly rather than slap some duct tape on it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:59 AM   #17
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actually, the go fast guys do remove the trunk mechanisms and use pins instead. safer. lighter. ditto headlights (unless you need them to be street-legal).

if cost is a concern, if performance is a concern, removing the electric top mechanism is a valid option that provides quantifiable benefits. not terrible advice, not good advice, just advice; what does green calipers accomplish?
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:01 PM   #18
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Getting personal, eh? That's real big of you
Changing the color of something has nothing to do with fixing mechanical issues correctly. That's called personalization, and has nothing to do with the mechanical systems of the car. Not that the OP asked about performance or cost issues, but I'm really sure that removing the top mechanisms will be worth the benefit in performance.

I've got this bad habit of fixing things right and suggesting that others do the same. I'm weird like that

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Last edited by particlewave; 06-25-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:25 PM   #19
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Sorry, couldn't resist!

I greased the slides today, really a job done in minutes, and low and behold the top works smoother now. I bet this was never done since the car was new......

Great tip!

Later,
Andy
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:16 PM   #20
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The top motor weighs about 2 or 3 lbs. transmissions about the same each. Drive cables, about a pound total. Lets call it 7 lbs total. As 14.7 lbs of weight reduction equals 1 hp, I'd put this right up with desnorkling the car.
I'll keep my power top but take a big cr-p before my next ride and get the same (actually better!) result..

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