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Old 04-04-2017, 05:45 AM   #1
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Boxster Soft top replacement recommendations?

Hi All

I am looking to replace the soft top on 97/8 986. The plastic has cracked and is no longer translucent.

It makes sense to me to replace with a glass insert as well.

I am looking for recommendations on where to purchase and what brand to replace it with. Also what I need to watch out for eg what material brand, sound proofing and especially proper fit.

Whilst looking for a good deal , I am not looking for the cheapest as I would hate to have wind/water/noise issues. Also are any better than others to install.

So far I have had a look on ebay EZ ON Porsche 986 Boxster 97-02 Convertible Soft Top & Glass Window Black Cloth | eBay
and Pelican parts.

Will need to ship Australia.

Regards

Bruce

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Old 04-04-2017, 08:40 AM   #2
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You have a few options:

Can go OEM-style replacement canvas and keep the plastic window - IMO this looks the best on the early roof.

Can get the GAHH roof canvas w/ small glass window - some owners say it can be a little tricky getting it in service position, but doable.

Can get an entire '03-04 roof w/ larger glass window - has an extra bow, cinch to get into service position.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
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We have plastic and glass window tops with different options available here: 1997 Porsche Boxster Base Convertible - Convertible Tops. Let me know if you have any questions about our tops as I'd be more than happy to help assist you.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:22 AM   #4
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The easiest option is to buy a complete second hand top & frame, either with a glass or plastic window. It's just 3 bolts either side, lift it out, bolt the new one in. If you go with the glass it's a bit more work (& expense) as you also have to upgrade the transmission gears and the relay, but still all pretty easy and doable in a day DIY with a mate to help. Another nice thing with a newer top is you also get the inner liner which looks nice and cuts down noise, and the top still folds up into service position with no issues. I recently did this on my 97, cost me about $1400AU all in. You might want to try contacting DasWrecker in SA or your local wreckers and see what they have.

The more complex option is to remove the existing top and replace the canvas with one like the ebay link you posted. Again can go plastic or glass and various qualities of canvas depending on how much you want to pay. See e.g Convertible Top Fabrics | EZY Fit Soft Tops for an overview of each type. There's a few different manufacturers of these, a bit of searching on here will get you some info. I've not done this but it does look a lot more complex and time consuming, didn't really fancy it myself, there's a few youtube videos of this process if you search around. There's a guy in Sydney on Gumtree that supplies these for about $900AU and fits them for about $700AU, I'd guess you'd be looking at around that if you paid someone for a pro job.

Last edited by oldskool73; 04-04-2017 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserion View Post
You have a few options:

Can go OEM-style replacement canvas and keep the plastic window - IMO this looks the best on the early roof.

Can get the GAHH roof canvas w/ small glass window - some owners say it can be a little tricky getting it in service position, but doable.

Can get an entire '03-04 roof w/ larger glass window - has an extra bow, cinch to get into service position.
Chris, thank you

I didnt know you could fit an 03-04, good info especially re glass (and thanks for explaining the glass issue)

Bruce
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:36 PM   #6
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Thanks Oldskool, nice to have an Australian perspective and local leads


Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskool73 View Post
The easiest option is to buy a complete second hand top & frame, either with a glass or plastic window. It's just 3 bolts either side, lift it out, bolt the new one in. If you go with the glass it's a bit more work (& expense) as you also have to upgrade the transmission gears and the relay, but still all pretty easy and doable in a day DIY with a mate to help. Another nice thing with a newer top is you also get the inner liner which looks nice and cuts down noise, and the top still folds up into service position with no issues. I recently did this on my 97, cost me about $1400AU all in. You might want to try contacting DasWrecker in SA or your local wreckers and see what they have.

The more complex option is to remove the existing top and replace the canvas with one like the ebay link you posted. Again can go plastic or glass and various qualities of canvas depending on how much you want to pay. See e.g Convertible Top Fabrics | EZY Fit Soft Tops for an overview of each type. There's a few different manufacturers of these, a bit of searching on here will get you some info. I've not done this but it does look a lot more complex and time consuming, didn't really fancy it myself, there's a few youtube videos of this process if you search around. There's a guy in Sydney on Gumtree that supplies these for about $900AU and fits them for about $700AU, I'd guess you'd be looking at around that if you paid someone for a pro job.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:44 PM   #7
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I bought my replacement top from Auto Tops Direct. Super fast service, and it fits like a glove. I had a local auto upholstery shop install it for me. Very satisfied. Compare their prices before you buy anything.

https://www.autotopsdirect.com/Porsche-Boxster-Convertible-Tops-s/29.htm

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Old 04-10-2017, 10:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DaveNW View Post
I bought my replacement top from Auto Tops Direct. Super fast service, and it fits like a glove. I had a local auto upholstery shop install it for me. Very satisfied. Compare their prices before you buy anything.

https://www.autotopsdirect.com/Porsche-Boxster-Convertible-Tops-s/29.htm

Dave
Did you get the regular or the acoustic material for extra $80 and if so do you notice it being quieter than the old top?

To those saying get a top off an 03/04, I've had my name and phone # on record with various Boxster breakers for six months with zero luck on finding an 03/04 used top with glass window in good condition to buy.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNW View Post
I bought my replacement top from Auto Tops Direct. Super fast service, and it fits like a glove. I had a local auto upholstery shop install it for me. Very satisfied. Compare their prices before you buy anything.

https://www.autotopsdirect.com/Porsche-Boxster-Convertible-Tops-s/29.htm

Dave
I bought mine here also, it was the lowest price I could find at that time, in July 2015. I bought the German A5 material with the plastic window. I installed it myself and it was a lot of work and I have a few wrinkles in it. I saved the labor though which was quite a bit. The top is made by Sierra and it seems like a decent quality material. I've read the GAHH tops are probably the best. I called a local installer and that's all that he uses but he wanted I think around $1,200. at the time for one with a glass window. This is the one I bought.
https://www.autotopsdirect.com/1997-2002-Porsche-Boxster-Convertible-Top-p/10-07-box-013.htm
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Last edited by joecal; 04-10-2017 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Thompson View Post
Did you get the regular or the acoustic material for extra $80 and if so do you notice it being quieter than the old top?

To those saying get a top off an 03/04, I've had my name and phone # on record with various Boxster breakers for six months with zero luck on finding an 03/04 used top with glass window in good condition to buy.

I don't recall buying anything extra - I wanted as OEM as I could find, so probably not. I did go with the glass rear window, because I didn't want to have to replace another cracked plastic back window. Where I live in Washington state, things tend to get brittle. I felt the glass window would last for a long time. (Bonus: The rear window defroster is plug and play for the heated outside mirrors.) The top has been on the car several years, and looks like new. I'd absolutely buy the same thing again. It has a head liner, (wasn't that standard for an S?) and I don't notice any excess noise. But to be fair, I don't usually drive with the top up - I like the top down whenever I can.

Dave
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Last edited by DaveNW; 04-10-2017 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:50 PM   #11
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I presume you know of Forums - PFA where you might find other sources or recommendations.

To understand the complexity of a top replacement or repair, you might want to sample these articles written by someone who has done or helped on dozens of repairs, swaps and replacements.

If I were doing a cost no object, the '03-04 swap would be the one.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:05 AM   #12
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If I were doing a cost no object, the '03-04 swap would be the one.
It is by far the easiest and best option. Not really sure it's the most expensive, as I found my '04 top for $800 from a guy converting his car to a spec racer and then sold my '01 top (in great condition) for $400.

Just have to be patient and search for deals. I did this right when the craze to make the swap was getting started, so that may have a lot to do with the deal I got. Folks didn't know the market at the time.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:20 PM   #13
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I cannot tell you all how timely this post is. I live on the Space Coast in Florida, so I constantly open and close my top. 2000 Boxster S w/53K on the odometer. Original everything, including the opaque plastic rear window, which by the way after raising and securing today at lunch I found a 3-4 inch rip in the seam dead center top of the plastic. So naturally I need a new top as I this is my DD and I do use the top. My jeep buddy tells me welcome to the topless club, but unfortunately my baby isn't built for the rain we get.

with that info I am looking at buying the glass defroster window top with a local installer. I really don't want to screw this up.
Cheers for the info and I will fill you in on what I purchase and share pics as more info helps us all.

Thom
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:37 PM   #14
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Dumb question: when you're talking about the top, you mean the frame too? I thought the 04 swap has an extra rib versus the 2002 and older ... ?
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:29 PM   #15
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Dumb question: when you're talking about the top, you mean the frame too? I thought the 04 swap has an extra rib versus the 2002 and older ... ?
03/04 OEM top has 4 ribs due to the glass window, 2000/2002 cars are basically plug and play, 6 bolts and done. for 97/99 cars you will also need to replace the top transmissions, top relay and perform some simple re-wiring. one of the best mods I did.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:23 AM   #16
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I see. But when you see tops for sale, they're not including the frame? Is there a retailer from whom you can purchase the top and frame set?
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:47 AM   #17
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JoCal.......just sent you a private message.......
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:33 PM   #18
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I see. But when you see tops for sale, they're not including the frame? Is there a retailer from whom you can purchase the top and frame set?
Top and frame only from the dealer, to get the 03/04 top assembly, you are looking for a used one. I was lucky to find one at the Hershey PA Porsche parts swap, which is this weekend. To find a used one in Canada, they come up rarely. I still have my old 3 bow top with a plastic window that I took off, if you are interested in having an aftermarket top installed off the car.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:57 PM   #19
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I looked for an 03-04 four bow glass top for a loooong time and finally gave up. They're rare and snapped up the second they become available for obvious reasons.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Toppy986 View Post
Top and frame only from the dealer, to get the 03/04 top assembly, you are looking for a used one. I was lucky to find one at the Hershey PA Porsche parts swap, which is this weekend. To find a used one in Canada, they come up rarely. I still have my old 3 bow top with a plastic window that I took off, if you are interested in having an aftermarket top installed off the car.
As of today there are none available in Canada. I have a request in to a re-cycler`s website.
I`ve started to get quotes installed.
$1750 for plastic + HST ( Robbins )
$22 - 2500. for glass.+ HST ( Hartz )

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