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Old 07-28-2017, 09:24 AM   #1
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Hardtop quandary, yes quandary

I've been planning on ordering a Z-top for the winter. Since it just around the corner I was just about ready and I've found another top that interests me. They both have good points, a just a few bad.
The Z-Art top:

since most are familiar with this top not going to post anymore pics.

The good: Looks really cool. Looks like it comes with wiring. Can get it shipped directly to paint shop for trimming and painting.

The bad: Never seen inside pics, oddly enough they don't show any?? Installation a 2 person job, which means Id have to call son for help, for me at least. Have to remove trunk lid, clamshell. Not a really hard job but not one you'd want to do very much. So once installed it on until spring, probably.

The other top:





Figure they are the same approx. price.

The good: Don't have to remove clam shell, trunk lid. Supposedly 1 person can install it. Indian summer comes along I can just take it off. It comes with headliner, the Z its $250 to $300 extra? Installs just like the factory top.

The bad: doesn't look quite as cool. Say they only ships to Indy 70 miles away from me. Takes 2 weeks to get.

Ztop owners, others opinions?
Thank you.


Last edited by JBauer; 07-30-2017 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:33 PM   #2
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Greetings from Hoosierland... I did a fairly impressive pirouette through an intersection on 31 during an ice storm several years back. Nothing hurt or damaged, but scared the bejesus outta me.

My question is... Do you HAVE to drive your Boxster during the winter, or are you just choosing to do so? The Boxster is designed to be an all season vehicle, but as much as we love them (if we were all really honest), there are better options. For example, you CAN drive a nail with a screwdriver, but a hammer is a better tool for the job. If I were considering your quandary, I might start to think about the cost of prepping your Boxster for winter driving (hard top, snow tires, etc.) and start weighing that against another car for winter.

Besides, winters here in Indiana mean either -20 or 70... And on the nice days the Boxster will be there just waiting for you to play.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:35 PM   #3
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That second top is interesting. The first picture of the second top shows the center 3rd brake light which I interpret to mean the rear trunk can still be opened. But it also looks like that car is a 987. Then the last picture of that second top shows the back edge of the top covering the third brake light and the front edge of the rear trunk deck, and they've added a rear spoiler with an integrated 3rd brake light. And that car is a 986. So I'd want to be sure the rear trunk is still functional on a 986 with that second top.

As for whether installing any hard top is a one or two person job, I am of the opinion that it is always a 2 person job. That is the way I always install and remove my factory hard top. We do it by hand, as opposed to a hoist, but I would still be leery of doing it solo even with a hoist because I would hate to miss the spinlocks and have the pointy ends ding or scratch my car!
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:01 PM   #4
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Probably not the answer you're looking for but for what you want to use the top for (winter) I would recommend just getting a used OEM hardtop. Color wouldn't even have to match (black or grey would probably look ok on your red car, for instance).

Reason I say this is because not only would you save yourself a ton of time and money, but I would be leery of running an aftermarket top in the winter. Who knows how well its going to hold up to snow and ice? Is it going to fit and seal like OEM? In any case, I'd feel much better winter driving my car with a relatively cheap used top than one I just spent a ton of money on by the time its painted.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:04 PM   #5
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That second top is interesting. The first picture of the second top shows the center 3rd brake light which I interpret to mean the rear trunk can still be opened. But it also looks like that car is a 987. Then the last picture of that second top shows the back edge of the top covering the third brake light and the front edge of the rear trunk deck, and they've added a rear spoiler with an integrated 3rd brake light. And that car is a 986. So I'd want to be sure the rear trunk is still functional on a 986 with that second top.

As for whether installing any hard top is a one or two person job, I am of the opinion that it is always a 2 person job. That is the way I always install and remove my factory hard top. We do it by hand, as opposed to a hoist, but I would still be leery of doing it solo even with a hoist because I would hate to miss the spinlocks and have the pointy ends ding or scratch my car!
Good eyes!
It still uses factory trunk brake light so that pic with it in the spoiler is something I need to ask about.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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Probably not the answer you're looking for but for what you want to use the top for (winter) I would recommend just getting a used OEM hardtop. Color wouldn't even have to match (black or grey would probably look ok on your red car, for instance).

Reason I say this is because not only would you save yourself a ton of time and money, but I would be leery of running an aftermarket top in the winter. Who knows how well its going to hold up to snow and ice? Is it going to fit and seal like OEM? In any case, I'd feel much better winter driving my car with a relatively cheap used top than one I just spent a ton of money on by the time its painted.
I wont drive it in the snow/Ice just on cold days. I don't like the looks of the factory top (no offense to anyone here that has one ) just my opinion

Makes a beautiful car look like a turtle
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MWS View Post
Greetings from Hoosierland... I did a fairly impressive pirouette through an intersection on 31 during an ice storm several years back. Nothing hurt or damaged, but scared the bejesus outta me.

My question is... Do you HAVE to drive your Boxster during the winter, or are you just choosing to do so? The Boxster is designed to be an all season vehicle, but as much as we love them (if we were all really honest), there are better options. For example, you CAN drive a nail with a screwdriver, but a hammer is a better tool for the job. If I were considering your quandary, I might start to think about the cost of prepping your Boxster for winter driving (hard top, snow tires, etc.) and start weighing that against another car for winter.

Besides, winters here in Indiana mean either -20 or 70... And on the nice days the Boxster will be there just waiting for you to play.
No I have other cars but you know Indiana. Lots of nice days that it is cold. Indian summer, I wont drive it in snow/ice.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:18 PM   #8
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Good eyes!
It still uses factory trunk brake light so that pic with it in the spoiler is something I need to ask about.
that's an aerokit rear trunk lid, hence no third brake light. there's lots of other shots of the dmoris top on 986 w third brake light (heck, just search this site for dmoris).
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:26 PM   #9
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that's an aerokit rear trunk lid, hence no third brake light. there's lots of other shots of the dmoris top on 986 w third brake light (heck, just search this site for dmoris).
I know where the site is and I've talked to them. They say it uses the factory brake light. I'm just unfamiliar with the aerokit deck lid.That answers my question. Thanks.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:41 PM   #10
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D-Morris Top seems more like a "2nd best solution" than a proper design.
What the heck were they thinking integrating such a rear window like that.
Cool idea, but why why why...
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:12 PM   #11
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#2 looks weird...quite ugly.

It's my understanding that the Z-top is unfinished on the inside. Bran could probably answer that. Even so, it looks 1000x better.
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:14 PM   #12
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D-Morris Top seems more like a "2nd best solution" than a proper design.
What the heck were they thinking integrating such a rear window like that.
Cool idea, but why why why...
You have a Ztop don't you? Are you happy with it? If you do, Im Curious about the interior on one.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:30 PM   #13
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i have an original z-top and the interior is finished, looks fine, and is similar to the dmoris top as shown. it had a headliner (a piece of foam wrapped in fabric and epoxied into a similarly-shaped indent in the roof) which i removed to same several ounces of weight. can't comment on the level of finish in the new units; different vendor, made in china, etc.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:51 PM   #14
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Well, I would say the interior look is defined be the money you want to invest.
Design wise the Z-Art interior looks pretty good almost OEM.
Mine is also seal gray inside, and a little alcantera "could" be the icing on the cake.
I will post a few pics on the seal grey thread soon.
Recommendation: If you find someone, who will prepare/install a Z-Top for a reasonable price...DO IT.
If you have a "challenge accepted" attitude, it can be a manageable DIY project.
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Old 07-28-2017, 04:59 PM   #15
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I never knew there was a different trunk lid for the aerokit, thanks for that. I like the look of the D-Morris, but I got a great deal on an OEM hardtop in my car's color.
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:06 PM   #16
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Well, I would say the interior look is defined be the money you want to invest.
Design wise the Z-Art interior looks pretty good almost OEM.
Mine is also seal gray inside, and a little alcantera "could" be the icing on the cake.
I will post a few pics on the seal grey thread soon.
Recommendation: If you find someone, who will prepare/install a Z-Top for a reasonable price...DO IT.
If you have a "challenge accepted" attitude, it can be a manageable DIY project.
Thanks for the info. Looking forward to seeing those pics. The interior on the Morris top looks pretty nice but Ive have nothing to compare it to. That and the ease of install,removal time.that drew me to the Morris. Morris top is actually higher priced and has to be shipped from France. The Z Art distributor is about a 4 he drive from me. I wanted to do their drive in install for $350 that's on their website but aren't doing it at this time. What's a reasonable price in your opinion?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:46 AM   #17
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Wow...kind of difficult to take interior shots of a glossy surface in bad light conditions.


I might consider a bit of gray alcantara as a headliner (square area only).
The plan is to show exterior color where possible on the inside, just like old school 550s. Yeah ... I have a masterplan
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JBauer View Post
Thanks for the info. Looking forward to seeing those pics. The interior on the Morris top looks pretty nice but Ive have nothing to compare it to. That and the ease of install,removal time.that drew me to the Morris. Morris top is actually higher priced and has to be shipped from France. The Z Art distributor is about a 4 he drive from me. I wanted to do their drive in install for $350 that's on their website but aren't doing it at this time. What's a reasonable price in your opinion?

Thanks again.
Well...I would say 300-400$ is a reasonable price (it should include everything needed for the installation, like "super glue", oem hinges, screws, etc.)
It will take a few man hours labor costs...so...350$ is fair in my eyes.
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:29 AM   #19
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Well...I would say 300-400$ is a reasonable price (it should include everything needed for the installation, like "super glue", oem hinges, screws, etc.)
It will take a few man hours labor costs...so...350$ is fair in my eyes.
Thanks for the pics !!

The hinges and mounting equipment is that bad???
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:37 AM   #20
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Thanks for the pics !!

The hinges and mounting equipment is that bad???
They are not included.
You need spin-locks = best to get new OEM
You need hinges/screws = best to get new OEM
You need special glue for the sealings = What to get? Well, I used Teroson

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