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Old 08-04-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
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Wrinkles in Top Fabric

I installed an OEM glass-window top from an 04 Boxster on my 2000. I've been gradually adjusting it for several weeks and I have it just about sorted out.

My last issue is the wrinkles in the top behind the windows. My plastic window top had the same problem, as do most of the Boxsters I've seen with a top that is more than a few years old.

Has anyone been able to address this condition? It seems like the material just stretches over time. Maybe there is some way to tighten the fabric.

Overall, I'm very happy with the upgrade. The top seems to have quite a bit of life left and the glass window and headliner make the car feel like it has a higher build quality. I had considered buying an aftermarket glass-window top since I would have had brand new material. However, even if I have to replace the fabric in 4 or 5 years, I think the larger window, easier engine access, and headliner are significant benefits of the OEM configuration when compared to an aftermarket product.



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Old 08-04-2013, 12:07 PM   #2
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Those lines give the top character. At least that's what I tell myself when I look in the mirror.

On the serious side, I believe that they are unavoidable over time if you use the top as it was meant to be used.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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Mine has the same wrinkles, just where the roof folds when it's stowed and nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:24 PM   #4
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What is the best position for the top to be stored in? I wonder if up is stretching it and down is hurting the folded (plastic in my case) window. If it was better part way open, I could cover the interior.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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Garage
Mines the same way. Nothing to worry about. Mitch.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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yeah, deal with it. My 987 is the same way. Cloth is not metal. My solution was to keep the top down as much as possible.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #7
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What is the best position for the top to be stored in? I wonder if up is stretching it and down is hurting the folded (plastic in my case) window. If it was better part way open, I could cover the interior.
It's best to store your car with the top UP, but unlatched if the car is not driven for months on end (like winter storage for example).

What stretches out when the top is left down for long periods of time is the elastic bits that retract parts of the top when it's folded down. I know this because a PO had a hard top on my car for 5 years straight and the factory top is in good shape, but all the elastic is worthless now and I have to put creases in the top where the elastic usually does the job when I lower the top.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:04 PM   #8
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I've done a little more research on this.

A co-worker has a 2004 Boxster with the original factory-installed top that he has not modified in any way. The wrinkles in his top are identical to mine. So, while I am now more confident I installed the top and frame correctly, I am concerned about a part of the frame that appears to be putting pressure on two areas of the fabric when the top is open.

You can see the areas in the first picture of my original post. They are in the middle of the B pillar. One is a small indentation and the other is a small protrusion. They are prominent after I raise the top, but tend to become less noticeable if the top is left up for a period of time. I'm concerned that they may wear through over time, particularly when I put my hard top on for 3 or 4 months.

I looked behind the headliner and saw this part attached to the frame.



(This picture was taken with the headliner gently pulled away from the top looking at what would be the inside of the B pillar in a non-convertible.)

This appears to be causing the potential wear areas. It seems to be designed to hold the bow in front of it in place when the top is down. I'm considering putting some foam padding on the end of it to spread the pressure over a wider area. Before I do that, does anyone see any potential problems this could cause?
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:06 AM   #9
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I'd say your tension cables are toasted. Although they may look in good condition, they are stretched to their max already. Get a new set of cables >$100 and you are done. Many DIY around RE how to change those.

Car looks good btw, either it's brand new kept indoor title or you have some serious detailing skills
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:30 PM   #10
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I'd say your tension cables are toasted. Although they may look in good condition, they are stretched to their max already. Get a new set of cables >$100 and you are done. Many DIY around RE how to change those.

Car looks good btw, either it's brand new kept indoor title or you have some serious detailing skills
By tension cables do you mean these:



I've been adjusting them without effect. I believe I used the cables from my 2000 top when I made the swap because the 2004 top did not have them when the recycling yard shipped the top to me. I could believe that the cables have stretched, but I'd like to be as sure as possible they need to be replaced before I spend the money.

Thanks for the compliment on the car's appearance. I bought it used about 7 years ago and the first owner kept it in the garage and only drove it 30,000 miles. I've put over 50,000 miles on it in the 7 years I've owned. During part of that period, I had to store it outside under a cover. Now I do have a garage.

The car's build date was 9-11-99, so it will be celebrating its 14th birthday in less than a week. I gave it a good waxing with with my Porter Cable random orbit polisher for the occasion.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KevinH1990 View Post
I'd like to be as sure as possible they need to be replaced before I spend the money.
Fair enough

RE confirmation, yes those are the tension cables. However I can't confirm on your roof issue. I reccently had the same problem and new cables did a perfet job for mine - one was snapped in my case and the roof looked exactly as yours (side wrinkles). I'm guessing that if you adjust your cables and nothing move then most likely they are at their MAX (toasted) or one end is snapped off already.

First thing I'd do is ensure that he canvas didn't unglue between the window and the clam. Most of the tension is building there first. It would unglue at that place before anywhere else. double-check!

That top needs fixing for sure. I second other members saying its No big deal at this stage, but what it is going to look in 12 months...hmmmm, dunno. You are right to be concerned. A rag top with wrinkles flapping in the wind at 70mph doesn't look 2cool :/

Luck with the research and fix, let us know how you are doing

Nice car indeed, bit jealous in all honesty
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:09 PM   #12
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I had some time to look at the car tonight. The tension cables are not visibly damaged. The only way to tell whether they are stretched is to remove them and compare them to a new cable.

I can tighten the cables. However that will loosen the fit between the gasket at the bottom of the rear bow and the clam shell when the top in the "up" or "closed" position. The fit between the gasket and the clam shell on my car is not quite as tight as the one on my co-workers 04, so I'm hesitant to make it any looser as that could lead to water intrusion.

I'm beginning to think the problem may be inherent to the 03/04 OEM tops. Porsche changed the design from a 3 bow top with a plastic window and no headliner (as in the 97 to 00 cars) to a 4 bow top with a glass window and headliner. (The 01 and 02 cars as well as the 00 S models had a headliner and plastic window.) This new configuration had to fit into the space originally designed or a less bulky mechanism.

I'm still open to suggestions. Maybe a car interior shop can somehow tighten the fabric.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:24 AM   #13
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You've already spotted where is the indentation and the protrusion. I have plenty confidence a car interior guy familiar with soft tops will be able to make sense out of this info and tell you where it is, or not, pulling right.

Hope you are not confirming that the design of the 986 roof is different by the years. That'd be a sad news. Many guys have changed their top and surely skipped this detail (I never heard or read myself).

Regluing the roof is no use but I could be completely wrong. Like you said, with proper paddings and materials this could be accomplished but can't be a permanent fix.

Job for the "pro roof guy" I'm seeing it coming for you :/
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:27 AM   #14
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Hope you are not confirming that the design of the 986 roof is different by the years. That'd be a sad news. Many guys have changed their top and surely skipped this detail (I never heard or read myself).

/
The top designs on the 986 evolved over the years. While the different designs are compatible (allowing the 03/04 tops to be installed in earlier cars) I suspect that there were certain compromises in the design of the 03/04 tops . This allowed Porsche to offer a glass-window top without redesigning the entire car. When they had a "clean sheet of paper" to start from for the 981, they developed a substantially different design.

Thanks again for your input. I'll update this post if I find a solution.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:32 AM   #15
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The top designs on the 986 evolved over the years. While the different designs are compatible (allowing the 03/04 tops to be installed in earlier cars) I suspect that there were certain compromises in the design of the 03/04 tops . This allowed Porsche to offer a glass-window top without redesigning the entire car. When they had a "clean sheet of paper" to start from for the 981, they developed a substantially different design.

Thanks again for your input. I'll update this post if I find a solution.
Did you find the solution to your top wrinkles? what was the problem?
I have same problems on both sides on my convertible top and I've owned my car for like 5 months and used my convertible top often. Both sides where the wrinkles are and top corner of the back glass the top fabric is frayed and it's getting pretty bad. Worried pretty soon it will wear through.
Here are photos of the top frayed.

Also I found a strap on the left side when I put the top to service mode-not atatched. Any one have any idea where this strap attach to on the convertible top?







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Old 09-26-2017, 08:03 PM   #16
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The strap is to hold the top out of the way when you have it in service position, you run it up to the front of the top and hook the loop over the protrusion that fits into the windscreen when it's closed.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:48 AM   #17
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The strap is to hold the top out of the way when you have it in service position, you run it up to the front of the top and hook the loop over the protrusion that fits into the windscreen when it's closed.
Thanks....
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