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Old 05-03-2017, 10:21 AM   #1
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Tonneau Cover Installed

After the sale of my Boxster fell through last year & I decided to keep it I also elected to do some mods I had been thinking of. I upgraded the rear speakers to 3 1/2 inch ones and had the roll bar powder coated in Guards Red. I had considered getting a tonneau cover for it back in 2001 when I bought the car but backed out when I learned you had to drill into the dash and body. I think my desire for a tonneau cover came from my youth when I had one on my 1972 MGB while in college.

I recently bought one from an eBay auction for $231.01 delivered. It was brand new with all the installation paperwork, templates and parts. This is a tad below the going price for a new unused cover. I dug deep into the internet and learned everything I could about them and the installation. I think deep down I knew installing it was beyond my abilities, but I still had hope that once I had it in hand I could figure it out. Wrong. I could see that if you screwed up one mounting point that the cover would not fit correctly. It seems that this is a common theme on the different posting I found on the net. That and the thought of drilling holes into the dash or body were a deal breaker for most folks.

My first stop was at the local Porsche dealer. The SA told me that he has never seen a Boxster with one installed and that his service department has never installed one. But, for $189 an hour they would give it a go. And, he had no idea how long it would take, but I should plan on four to six hours of labor; $756 to $1,134. At that point I was thinking I made a mistake and I should sell it and cut my losses. But, at the recommendation of the Porsche SA, I stopped by the local upholstery shop, Conejo Upholstery, where I met the owner, Alan Whey. He has owned and operated the shop for 40 years. You could tell by talking to him and looking at his shop he knows what he is doing. He had never installed one but had no doubt he could do it. I made an appointment to have him install the tonneau cover. His rates were $96 an hour and he figured two to four hours; $192 to $384.

When I picked up the Boxster the bill was $300. He did a first-class job. Interestingly, he said that he found that the template for the tenax fasteners under the side mirrors were off by over two inches. Fortunately, he caught this before he drilled the holes. I verified this when I got home by laying the template on the car. It was in fact 2+ inches off.

Overall, I am pleased with the results. The cover is made out of the exact same material the convertible top is made of. The seams are well sewed and the zipper is heavy duty. The fit is perfect. Because the cover has been folded up for the past 19 years there are some deep creases that will come out over time and it will lay flatter. Of the three fasteners on the dash only one had to be drilled in. The other two used the existing holes on the dash speakers. The ones under the mirrors and the ones one the rear clam shell are there, but not overly cosmetically distracting. There are also fasteners installed on the rear seats to assist in the storage of the cover. The cover came with tenax caps to cover the studs when the tonneau cover is not installed. IMHO, it looks better without the caps. They are larger and stand out more. I drove the Boxster on the freeway with the passenger half of the cover fitted. At 80 MPH, there was no flapping or excess buffering of the cover. There is an elastic strap that hooks the passenger side to the bottom of the dash to help with its stability. I am guessing that after the newness wears off I’ll leave the passenger side up and the driver’s side stored behind the seat. The top stay down 99 per cent of the time so this works for me. I also believe that it will take some time to figure out exactly what position to put the seats in to best fit the top. You put the seats forward and recline the backs. You can also fold the Velcro back under the roll bar to install the screens in the roll bars. The center wind deflector can’t be installed with the cover on.

So, there you have it.





















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Last edited by Chuck W.; 05-04-2017 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:22 AM   #2
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:56 AM   #3
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Very nice. I had tonneau covers on both my 1960 Austin Healey Sprite and my subsequent 1960 Austin Healey 3000 and remember them fondly. Much easier to use the tonneau on those cars than to erect the top and side curtains, which were the automotive equivalent of Civil War era Army tent! Your installer did a great job, and you made a great call by going to him instead of letting the dealer experiment at your cost!
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:04 PM   #4
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Stylish! And a nice installation, too. Thumbs up!

Dave
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:59 PM   #5
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Now you've really jumped the shark!
I could not have done this to a car as nice as yours, but it looks good, appears well done (factory), and should work well in your climate. Kudos!
Just curious - what happens if it is rained on with the closed tonneau cover in place? Safe, or mad scramble to put top up?
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:04 PM   #6
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I like the look of it. I too am curious about rain, but this would be great for being able to leave the top down while running some quick trips. I may have to keep this in mind for the future.

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Old 05-03-2017, 03:46 PM   #7
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Beautiful install and great write up, Chuck. This is not for me in New England, but I can live vicariously through you charging down some beautiful Cali roads and looking sharp and stylish.


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Old 05-03-2017, 05:19 PM   #8
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When the top is down, is that when you have the greatest tension on the cables, or is it when the top is up?
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenLinkage View Post
I could not have done this to a car as nice as yours, but it looks good, appears well done (factory), and should work well in your climate. Kudos!
Just curious - what happens if it is rained on with the closed tonneau cover in place? Safe, or mad scramble to put top up?
Thanks and I understand what you are saying. If it wasn't a "Porsche Tequipment Genuine Accessory" I would never have done it. But, since it is and had an Option Code (X68) with a price of $1262 (dealer cost was $760); "Convertible (tonneau cover) in color of roof" I was good with it. The addition of the installation of the tenax are so small it didn't concern me.

As far as the cover protecting the interior of the car from rain.... no way. The center zipper is heavy duty but is just a zipper without a Velcro flap to prevent rain from entering the car. I put a flashlight under the cover and it's beam was visible thought the zipper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex.rhodes View Post
I like the look of it. .. but this would be great for being able to leave the top down while running some quick trips. I may have to keep this in mind for the future.
Unfortunately, no. If I was driving with the passenger side secured and wanted to put the driver's side up I have to put the seat all the way forward and the back rest all the way back. Then secure the two front tenax fasteners and zip the center and side zippers. If the seats were manual it would go pretty quick. The power seats are pretty slow! When I go anywhere that the Boxster is parked for more than ten minutes I throw the cover on it. I can do that in 20 seconds!

This is nice and I enjoy not having the passenger seat bake in the sun while I drive.... but it is far from practical or necessary. It is kind of like the powder coated roll bar. I just wanted it!
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Last edited by Chuck W.; 05-03-2017 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:12 AM   #10
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Thanks for posting this. The plastic window on my '01 S is gone but after researching all my options, I just bought a tonneau in the same price range as yours. My car is more of a rat rod so I'm not afraid to drill and experiment with it. I'm thinking of just skipping the top and use only the tonneau so your pix and commentary will be helpful.
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:09 AM   #11
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I like it. It is such a rare option that it gives your car some additional exclusivity.

I am a fan of tonneaus. I had a tonneau cover on my 94 Miata. It complemented the cars 1960's British sports car vibe. On the Miata, there was no need to drill to install the fasteners. The tonneau used the same fasteners as the boot and the holes for the additional fasteners were pre-drilled and covered.

In the Miata, the tonneau was more convenient than installing and removing the boot every time I raised and lowered the top. The Boxster top, especially with a glass window, is so quick and easy to put up or down that there is less practical benefit.

I can testify that the zipper on tonneaus is not water proof.
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:50 AM   #12
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While not 'waterproof' they will keep the interior dry from a sprinkle, keep prying eyes out and debris (leaves, bird droppings etc.). Cold weather top down driving is nice with the passenger side up, and the heat on

My experience is with an MGB but it looks great! I love the roll bar detail (red) BTW!!
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Old 05-04-2017, 05:51 AM   #13
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I bought my Boxster (used) and it came with a tonneau cover which was never used by the previous original owner. I put it on once just to see how it fits and to determine IF I liked it or not. The fit is great and I liked the look but practically speaking, here in Chicago the weather just isn't conducive to using it. (the original owner lived in Texas) Since my car only sees the sun and I never drive it in the winter I'll keep the tonneau cover in my basement and in its original box for the "next" owner.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:16 PM   #14
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I was the next highest bidder on that auction

Looks nice - enjoy!
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:10 AM   #15
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It looks very nice, that was a good idea leaving it to the professionals to install it. I had one on a 74 Triumph TR6 I had back in 1976 that was a factory item. I liked it the look of it when I did use it.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:20 AM   #16
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Tonneau cover for sale

Hi all,

I bought a 2001 Boxster S last fall in Montreal. It came with a black tonneau cover that is virtually immaculate. I have no use for it so I'm looking to sell it. I do not have photos of it on the car but I did find someone else on this forum who appears to have the same one. P2150969_zpsa7qgkd8j.jpg Photo by cwampler | Photobucket

It is clearly of very high quality. It comes with instructions and the pins it snaps on to. Keep in mind that in order to install it you will have to drill holes in your vehicle's sheet metal. If interested in purchasing, e-mail me at finn.obrien@ns.sympatico.ca

Thanks, Finn
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:54 PM   #17
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I'd love to find an aftermarket source for a tonneau cover in blue to match my top. Any sources out there? $700 at Suncoast is a bit rich.

thanks in advance!

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