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Old 10-05-2014, 08:15 PM   #1
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Time for a new rear window - and recommendations for the Phoenix area?

It's that time. I need to replace the clear vinyl window that cracked on both sides where it folds. The top is in otherwise good shape. Any recommendations for someone in the Phoenix area? Thanks.

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Old 10-06-2014, 09:16 AM   #2
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Generally it is more feasible to replace the whole top than to have the window alone replaced. Window replacement will almost cost the same as a new top. The benefit is you can replace it with a glass windowed top. My stitching eroded on my otherwise perfect top a few weeks ago. I should have the S back this week with it's new glass windowed top. I'll post pics and a review when I get it back.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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PO paid $800 for a very good job to replace the rear window on mine....if you are getting a top done for that little, it is not with German canvas.....
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ebell914 View Post
PO paid $800 for a very good job to replace the rear window on mine....if you are getting a top done for that little, it is not with German canvas.....
At $800 just to do the rear window window it does not seem worth it. I'm open to options but need to talk to someone locally that I can trust and is knowledgable. Doing a quick search for tops gives me a price of $600 to $950. What is it going to cost to install?

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Old 10-06-2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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Dealer quoted me $2600 for the complete job with a non-OEM, but German made canvas top. Not sure on the breakdown, but I would think that is your upper limit.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #6
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$800 for rear window replacement seems high. I had mine replaced (plastic) this past April for $500 at an upholstery shop in Cincinnati.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:44 PM   #7
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Seems really high to me too.
I replaced my whole top for 700$ CAD, and I've seen a few people trying to sell other complete tops for around the same price.

Replacing a whole top is a fairly simple operation that doesn't take long.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:01 PM   #8
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$800 for a window? No way. You can buy a really nice cloth top/glass window for ~$500. A good shop should get you in and out in a day.

I did my first top this summer. Removal took me 4 hours, bagging and taking pics. Install took me about 12 very cautious hours.

Second top this summer took 1 hour for removal and 6 for install. Top looks great!
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:58 AM   #9
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I recently replaced the top on mine. The rear window had already been replaced once and the second one was splitting at the seams.

I got my replacement from AutoTopsDirect (ATP) for $659 which had the glass window and was made with the German A5B/DS Acoustic Canvas. It also included the wiring harness for the defrost. The same top from GAHH is $925 and all my research indicated they were exactly the same tops coming from the same factory.

I didn't feel brave enough to replace it myself. I found a local guy here in Ottawa that did the job for $630. It was in and out in a day. He had done other Boxsters and the local Porsche dealership here refers work to him. He had plenty of spare parts as apparently the factory roof replacements ship with various caps and screws that the aftermarket ones don't.

I'm very happy with it and it's nice to not have to worry about the plastic window cracking or clouding again and its nice to see clearly out the back. The glass window is smaller but its more than big enough for all practical purposes.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:31 AM   #10
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I paid $400 and I would not do it again even for that price. My canvas was spotless when the window cracked so it seemed like a waste to just chuck the top.
But save your money and do it right with a glass replacement.
The person stitching in the new top has to nail it, it's very easy to end up with a weird crease since the canvas is already stretched a certain way. I had one and below the bottom of the window and the installer said "that's actually not so bad compared to others." On the drive home it was raining and I was seeing droplets forming all along the bottom stitching. When the old plastic is cut out they take with it the factory sealing along the border and just stitch right through the replacement plastic. And The stitching was not dead straight like the factory is capable of with their expensive machinery. If you have an eye for detail you notice it right away. Really this plastic was not meant to be replaced. Plus there were all sorts of adhesives on the inside that start to come loose so I had to get out the rubber cement and silicone.

Anything more than $400 is just money that could have spent on new canvas and a heated window.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for everyone's feedback. I will likily go with a new top.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:28 PM   #12
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I have to say, the original top is pretty too quality, new one is like $4k... Whoever my PO got to do the window on mine - did an awesome job...it looks factory fresh! It better, since he paid so much.

One thing about the glass window- it is tiny and has much less visibility.
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Old 10-08-2014, 05:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebell914 View Post
One thing about the glass window- it is tiny and has much less visibility.
I actually feel I have a much better visibility with the glass window as I can see through it, compared to the plastic one that gets cloudy in no time.
And when looking at the car from the outside I like it better too
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:05 PM   #14
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Just got a quote from this place called the Top Shop hear in Phoenix. For a new vinyl window they want $450. They would completely remove my top to put in a new window and reinstall it. For a new glass window top with german material they want $1,350. This seems a bit much since they are doing the same work in removing and installing the top plus a little more time to work the new top into place. I can get the top for about $650 so they are basically charging $700 for a day of labor.

Since I have a hardtop I am leaning towards the vinyl top. When it's hot as hell the hartop is on and when it nice (now until late May next year) the top is always down. Not having to do the Boxster chop would be nice just not sure $900 nice.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:13 PM   #15
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for the extra $900 the car looks $20,000 newer.

Plastic window has excellent visibility but it dates the car instantly.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:47 PM   #16
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for the extra $900 the car looks $20,000 newer.

Plastic window has excellent visibility but it dates the car instantly.
Good arguement for spending the extra $900. If it's top up weather the hardtop goes on. What is interesting is with the hardtop on the positive comments I get from people on the car easily triples compared to when the top is down. I doubt that a glass window is going to elicit the same type of response. I'd rather spend the dollars (unfortunately I'm not Mr. Moneybags) on interior upgrades or respraying the front bumper to get rid of paint chips.
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:33 PM   #17
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This is my experience in the 13 Boxsters I've bought for my salvage yard.
1 I bought didn't come with the top
6 of them still had the original plastic window and all of the windows were either cracked or ripped.
4 of them had the window replaced and all of them you could tell from a mile away. Usually the stitching was off and looked like they were drunk when they were doing it. Not only was the stitching bad, but the thread they used fades quickly. Another problem with the replaced ones was the plastic would be slightly warped or wrinkled even when the top was fully stretched out. I will say that none of them leaked at least.
1 had the window replaced and it was done very professionally. Perfect stitching and the window looked clean and flat. The only problem was the thread they used faded, but because their stitching was so nice it didn't really matter. When I bought the car it came with receipts and I want to say they spent $400-500 to have it replaced.
1 had the complete canvas top replaced with an after market glass window top. I was able to track down the previous owner and he told me he paid $400-500 for the new canvas top off some Ebay company and then brought it down to the local upholstery shop and had it put on his frame for $200. The finished product looked great and the canvas looked and felt of good quality. From what I've seen, the after market glass windows are even smaller than the factory glass windows.

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Old 10-10-2014, 03:00 PM   #18
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Good arguement for spending the extra $900. If it's top up weather the hardtop goes on. What is interesting is with the hardtop on the positive comments I get from people on the car easily triples compared to when the top is down. I doubt that a glass window is going to elicit the same type of response. I'd rather spend the dollars (unfortunately I'm not Mr. Moneybags) on interior upgrades or respraying the front bumper to get rid of paint chips.
well that's another good reason to go with a new top (with the glass). You may be doing this all over again once something other than the plastic window starts to let go. For instance the canvas on my top right below the plastic window started to fray very quickly after it was re-installed and I suspect it contributed to some wiring under/behind the seat getting water-damaged requiring about $1K in shop time to figure out and repair..
Cosmetic stuff in the interior is nice but the you need a top that's going to keep the interior well guarded.
I would shop around for a better quote. Check Rennlist or Flat6 forums for installers.
$1350 (labor and new top) if I'm reading correctly, seems to be about the right ball park. Under $1200 is considered low. Over $1400 seems steep.

p.s.
I would get that front bumper painted before doing the top. I had a previous car where I did the reverse and noticed that the threading on the replacement top looked a little weird after being in the bake oven.
But you have a hardtop so maybe moot.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:45 PM   #19
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Thanks Perfectlap.

I'm going to shop around on getting a new top installed and see if I can get the cost down a bit. After reading about itsnotanova's experience with sloppy vinyl windows installs I might just bite the bullet and go with a new top. A sloppy install would irritate the hell out of me long after I've forgotten how much I saved.

The bumper resprayed and baking would be done with the bumper removed.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:32 PM   #20
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Just found an installer that will do the labor for $475 and put in top of the line GAHH top for $695. Total $1,170. This is the route I'm going and expect the car per Perfectlap to look $20,000 newer. Plus no more Boxster chop!
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