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Old 06-13-2018, 09:00 PM   #1
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Plastic window questions

I'm in the market for a Boxster and have found several 02's that I like. My issue with those years is the plastic window. I have read you have to be careful not to put the top down below curtain temperatures. I live in PA so I'm curious what issues I may run into early Spring and Fall. Will the top be usable in the cooler months, do I need to 'chop' the window? I would love to hear people's experiences.


ps. I would like to put a 03/04 top but I will not have the budget for that immediately.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:50 PM   #2
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The porsche manual states not to lower in temps less than 0 degree centagrade it is. You could have a top changed to an aftermarket glass window, or do the later year conversion that has a glass window.

I live in a climate where in the am morning is 15 or less in the spring since the car is in the garage ambient around 18 or so I just open it and go.

Some other guys in colder climate can chime in with better info for you.
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Last edited by Cunningr; 06-14-2018 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Verified operating temp correcting
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:26 PM   #3
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If you buy, condition it like you would any other vinyl. Make sure it’s clean. The Novus 2 products are amazing and work really, really, well to restore and keep the window looking good. Works on headlights too... regarding the “chop” you would need to start to open the top and see how the window responds, they have a tendency to buckle in weird ways so a little assist goes a long way to keeping them fresh. I have an 02 and mine looks like new. I don’t lower my top when it is cold (55deg or less), and if I am putting it in service mode in the winter, (I live in CO) I warm it first with a hair dryer. No big deal. A couple of things to keep in mind with “upgrading” to glass... the surface is smaller, so less visibility in an already very limited visibility scenario. Also, the glass windowed tops don’t as work well in service mode... things to consider.

Last edited by Geof3; 06-14-2018 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:49 AM   #4
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I had to have mine replaced I live in RI $450. There are DIY on how to replace if you need to. I bought a kit to clean and moisten the rear plastic window. I apply each spring. I usually put the top down in the spring and put speedster humps on and don't put the top up till the fall when I put it away for the winter.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:49 AM   #5
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I live in a climate that swings from subzero winters to near 100 summers. My car is garage stored from Oct-Apr(ish). I've never opened the top below 60 (if I need a jacket, why put the top down?) and in the summer I always do the "chop"...I just don't like the pinching look of the plastic folding if I don't. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but the nice smooth fold just seems better than the "ewww..." pinch-fold.

BTW, my car is an 01 with a original near perfect window. With some care, I hope it's good for another 18 years. If it does start to look ugly, I would probably go with the newer glass indow top, FWIW.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:21 AM   #6
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+1 on Chop to keep folds under control. I don't open under 60 unless I can get it in the sun a while before I open. Mine is in excellent condition, better then my top. I don't treat, just wipe with damp towel to get dust, dirt off
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geof3 View Post
... I donít lower my top when it is cold (55deg or less), and if I am putting it in service mode in the winter, (I live in CO) I warm it first with a hair dryer....
+1

The 2001 owners manual says that "...below 0 degrees C. The rear window can break."

I cracked the window on a near perfect top by opening it on a sunny morning with a temp that was probably just below 50 F. I saw that it had a slight 'bad' crease starting, so I stopped and went to do the chop. Suddenly the slight crease became a 8" crack. That car (1999) has an aftermarket glass window top now.
I still have a 1999 with a plastic window and will not lower the top below 55 deg F.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:47 AM   #8
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I live in Lancashire in England in the UK. Not know for its overly sunny weather so that, coupled with the fact that I hate having to get out and do the whole boxster chop thing means I only put my roof down about 5 or 6 times a year when i take it to local car show.

In my eyes the Boxster is quite rare in the fact it looks great with the roof up too. Unlike some convertibles where the roof looks like a tramps hat.

If I fitted the top from a facelift 986 with the glass screen would I use the roof more...... nah lol.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:04 AM   #9
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I dont chop i just use it, probably needs a chop sometime fust for good measure! Lol
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:01 PM   #10
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Lots depends on where the car resides 90% of the time. Garage both at home and work or always out in the sun baking the oils out of the plastic. I do recommend the Novus products but would be using the #1 polish to restore the oils while if the plastic was old, yellow and gritty I'd be starting with #3 and then using #2 and finally #1. Do the inside of the window too. A good task for a contortionist.

They all get old. And the older the more brittle. A set of how to do it yourself articles re top replacement or even window replacement is here.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:31 PM   #11
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I always chop the top, I see no reason to unnecessarily add extra stress to the plastic window. I also recommend you avoid putting the top up or down below 70į F, unless the car has been in the sun and the plastic is flexible. If it's a real issue, you can always retrofit a glass window onto older style top frames, but the rear window will be narrower.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:50 PM   #12
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What do you guys with hard tops do in cold weather?
I just bought my car in May, and I've had the hard top off because I had to fix an SAI issue. I was planning on leaving the hard top off through the summer because it's niiiice in the evenings with the top down but I was planning on putting it back on in the fall for the colder weather.
So when the weather gets cold, will it damage the plastic window to leave the soft top folded with the hard top on?
My car is garaged 90% of the time, btw.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Era Vulgaris View Post
What do you guys with hard tops do in cold weather? ...
So when the weather gets cold, will it damage the plastic window to leave the soft top folded with the hard top on? ...
The two cars that I bought with hard tops, both had soft tops in excellent condition. I think it is actually better for the top to keep it down (stowed).
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:18 PM   #14
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I spent the money and bought a used 03 top with the glass window. Love the glass, hate how hard it is to put in any sort of service position. It was a grand, cloth in good shape, and already framed up.

I know, not what you wanted to know. I suppose if you have any question about whether it's warm enough put on the heat and get the interior hot. Then get out and feel the window, and then go ahead and put the top down.

And it won't hurt the top or plastic window to leave them stowed. I probably wouldn't be real comfortable putting the top up in cold weather.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:32 PM   #15
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I havent put my hardtop back on it since i brought it home on the car. Mostly cause i have no help to put it on. My new plan is on the car in the fall through winter. I following NewArts idea of using a kayak hoist to raise it and lower onto the car, and storage over the summer. $30 for the pulley system. Have not gotten it mounted yet, but I am getting quotes to enclose my underground parking spot and including getting that mounted.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:38 PM   #16
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Do the inside of the window too. A good task for a contortionist.
NO doubt about that Mike!
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:12 PM   #17
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NO doubt about that Mike!
Agreed! I have one spot I missed on mine on the inside.
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