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Old 09-04-2015, 07:41 AM   #1
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Glass window retrofit top for early 986?

Anyone know anything about these tops for the earlier 986s but fitted with a glass window?

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=271303439737&globalID=EBAY-US

I've got to get my horrible window replaced, but the top is getting a few wear spots too. Looking at this as a possibility since the shops I'm asking are wanting $600+ just to replace the plastic window alone. Opinions?
Thanks!



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Old 09-04-2015, 07:52 AM   #2
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My original 1997 top had a replacement window sewn into it when I bought the car back in 2004. Never really looked good and the top had a hole in it right in the middle.

When I had the chance to do some parts swapping with Woody for a new glass retrofit top like the one you're looking at but on a top frame, I jumped at the chance. No more boxster top chop for Randall!!!!!

It's significantly quieter as well, and cooler. My head doesn't feel like it's in an oven being so close to the black fabric on a hot Houston summer day. Of course, mine has a headliner in it as well and that's gotta help a lot all the way around.

I highly recommend doing this swap... not sure if you're up for doing the work yourself or not, but it's evidently time consuming but not hard if you go slow and pay attention to detail.

The only downside is that the engine access is really diminished by the top not coming up into the full service position like the plastic window version. But how often do you get into the engine compartment? Once a year to change out the oil filter and check the power steering fluid level?

Go for it. It's hands down one of the best mods I've made on my car, and it made the car look a lot newer too!
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:11 AM   #3
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Best mod I ever did to the Boxster. I had the Gahh glass window top professionally installed and the total was about $1500. I would gladly do it again and in hindsight would have done it right away instead of waiting 7 years with that crappy plastic window.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys!
I believe this is the way I'm going to go.
I'd like to try to tackle it myself, but I usually lack the time to do such a project. I'm going to call around to find a good place to install it and then place the order.
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Old 09-05-2015, 02:32 AM   #5
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Ditto.My original 2000 model top looks pretty good since it spends most of its life under the hardtop but the cloudy plastic,probably beyond polishing out, and the one inch crack at the twelve o'clock position,is getting old to see.
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Old 09-05-2015, 03:24 AM   #6
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When I got my 02 S this was the first convertible I have ever owned. It had previously had a new vinyl rear window installed. I really had no complaints but reading on this forum the glowing reports of the glass window I started to keep my eye on local for sale ads. Then one day there was a CL ad for a 986 being parted out. It had an aftermarket top with glass rear window. Seller said it was in excellent condition. A quick drive confirmed the condition and I picked it up for $400.00 !!! That was for a complete top mounted on the frame. Now I had to install it. My car was at a local body shop getting the GT3 front bumper and GT3 TEK rear valence painted. I happened to ask the owner of the shop if he swapped out tops and what did he charge ? As it happened he was selling his Boxster that was in mint condition except it had recently had the vinyl rear window crack. He had buyers lined up so he offered to swap my vinyl window top for my recently purchased glass window top for no charge ! It was a win/win for both. I got the glass window top installed on my car, he got a good top with a clear soft vinyl window so he could sell the car and he gave me his old top so I have a spare frame if ever needed. I love the glass windowed top, no more Boxster chop and rear vision is crystal clear as it should be. Yes the glass window is smaller but rear visibility is limited side to side because of the seat backs so I really didn't notice. I highly recommend the swap.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:30 AM   #7
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I just installed a new top with the plastic window, in hindsight I probably should have went for the glass window top. The install is time consuming and I ended up with a few wrinkles but it still turn out very nice and I think I can get rid of the wrinkles. I had a local shop quote me $1,800. for a Gahh glass window top, that's the brand he preferred. I had another shop quote me $750.00 just for the labor installing my top, so I saved myself that cost. I bought a German cloth Sierra top from Auto Tops Direct for around $389.00. Make sure to ask the shop you're calling for an estimate if they'll install a top that you purchase, some may not.

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Old 09-05-2015, 07:47 AM   #8
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I found an 04 top and frame for my 2000 Boxster. It was a double upgrade because it also had the headliner. Unfortunately the the OEM glass window tops were only made in 03 and 04 so they are difficult to find. I think it took me about a year to find mine. I think I paid $1100 which is pricey, but since I was able to install it with the help of a friend and I was able to sell my top and frame for $500 I think it was a cost-effective upgrade. I had to help the buyer of my top install it.

The only downside is that the top fabric is now 10-years old and I will need to replace it soon at additional expense.
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:17 AM   #9
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In this case, the above top is supposed to fit the 1997-2002 top frame without modification. I'm curious of the quality and fit of it over a factory Porsche top.
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:21 AM   #10
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The problem some folks have reported with the aftermarket tops is that it restricts access to the engine compartment. I've also seen remarks about the window being smaller than on the OEM tops with a 4-bow frame. Here's a good discussion: https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/installinga%2703-%2704glasstopandframeona%2797
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:30 AM   #11
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I understand, although being able to see out the back at all will be a huge improvement.
Since the vinyl window that came with the new top on my weekender Boxster two years ago is already showing signs of becoming cloudy and scuffed, even though it's always garaged and rarely used, I've decided to go this route in the daily driver.
I actually found an upholstery shop nearby that specializes in Porsche convertible tops. They've done this conversion many times apparently and have their own source for the conversion glass window tops with a lifetime warranty on the glass.
The whole job was quoted at $1,400.
I don't think I can do much better so I made an appointment.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Retroman1969 View Post
I understand, although being able to see out the back at all will be a huge improvement.
Since the vinyl window that came with the new top on my weekender Boxster two years ago is already showing signs of becoming cloudy and scuffed, even though it's always garaged and rarely used, I've decided to go this route in the daily driver.
I actually found an upholstery shop nearby that specializes in Porsche convertible tops. They've done this conversion many times apparently and have their own source for the conversion glass window tops with a lifetime warranty on the glass.
The whole job was quoted at $1,400.
I don't think I can do much better so I made an appointment.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
That sounds like a fair price, I was quoted $1,800. for a GAHH top with the glass window, or $750.00 labor to install the top I bought. I did it myself and it turn out okay except for a few wrinkles that I may take care of at some point. In hindsight I should have went with a glass one.
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:55 PM   #13
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Just did this myself, posted a few weeks ago that Auto Tops Direct/GAAH/Sierra Tops whatever they call themselves on eBay had the German Acoustic cloth with the glass window for $510.

Another $20 for double sided 3M tape, and a leather punch tool. Plus an hour a night for a week poking around in the garage. Came out really good.

Less visibility? Yes, but like you I had a hazed top that nothing could get anywhere close to clear, and the window had a tear/tape on it. But, the cloth was in great shape, felt bad taking it off. When I took it off all the double sided tape on it had mostly given way already, it was time to go.

I like to sit higher, and I am short at 5'8". With the window and where I sit, I do have some cutoff further down the road due to the angle. But the A5 acoustic cloth *seems* quieter than my stock top.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:29 PM   #14
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I had thought seriously about changing it myself but in the end just don't have the time or confidence to attack it.
It will be 3 weeks before they can get to it, but the top has been ordered.
I'm looking forward to being able to wash the car without fear and navigate parking lots and on-ramps without having to cross my fingers. Not to mention no more embarrassment about how the car looks from the back.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:38 PM   #15
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Not to mention no more embarrassment about how the car looks from the back.
The plastic window was out of place in a car that is as expensive as a Boxster when it was new.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:53 PM   #16
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I can't argue there.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:28 PM   #17
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The problem some folks have reported with the aftermarket tops is that it restricts access to the engine compartment. I've also seen remarks about the window being smaller than on the OEM tops with a 4-bow frame. Here's a good discussion: https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/installinga%2703-%2704glasstopandframeona%2797
Certainly true.

I installed top with glass last year. I can see where it can retrict access to the top of the motor. My .02 is this;

How often do you access the top of your motor? I figure once a year (avg. 8K miles/year) to clean MAF and air filter.

If I needed full access to top of motor for bigger job, I'd remove top/frame assembly as it only takes about half hour to do so.

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