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Old 10-27-2018, 11:02 AM   #1
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986 Hard Top owners

For guys with hardtops, how does it change the driving experience? After having the Box for years, I like the cabin sound of the 996 coupe better. I feel with the rag, I hear more stuff going on and being the paranoid type, I might be better served with a hardtop. I was planning on selling the 986 (actually posted last night) to get a coupe but suddenly it's a family heirloom, who'd a thought? I got an earful. I love the Box but I just like the peacefulness of the coupe.
I recently drove a 996 and I just loved the cabin noise on the highway, it was definitely more peaceful, more GT than sportscar.
I guess my question is, will the hardtop bring me the cockpit sound of the 996 or am I dreaming? I know the motor is still right there but what about the other sounds that come with a rag vs a coupe. Help please.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:19 AM   #2
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Iíve been a passenger in a hardtop equipped 986 and yes, it is a quieter, less ďconvertible with the roof upď experience.
Much less wind and road noise with a hardtop on; I figure itíll be exactly what youíre looking for.
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:11 PM   #3
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I was fortunate that mine came with the car when I bought it. Factory option 550 at $2,295. I really enjoy the car with the hardtop on. Looks different, definitely quieter and warmer. Which is not usually an issue for us. My wife and I can put/take it on and off fairly quickly. I have a rolling cart with cover I bought on line +/-$80 that stores it vertically. The best of both worlds.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:23 PM   #4
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Like rexcramer said, its quieter, warmer and gives the car a different look. It makes driving in wet and cool weather a much more comfortable experience. Sound wise, it's different, less wind noise as you would expect and I find the engine sound more muted, but very nice to hear. However my hearing is really poor from too many rock concerts in the 70's...

The large rear window in the hardtop give good rear visibility, much better than you have when the soft top is up.
I doubt you would regret adding a hardtop.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:30 PM   #5
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I leave mine on 90% of the time. I actually haven't take mine off for over a year right now, and probably wont take it it off again until next April. It's a lot quieter, and I like the way it looks, plus it has better rear visibility and a defroster. I would say the noise level of the 986 hardtop is similar to a small sedan, there is still some road noise and you can hear the engine, but less so than with the soft top. With the soft top I normally have the volume of my Becker CDR220 at 18-20, with the hardtop I am normally around 8-10.

I did add a front and mid strut brace which I think helps with any creaking when going over uneven surfaces. I have a lot of hardtop info on my website under info>accessories.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:15 PM   #6
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The rear view is much larger than the clothe top on my 01 and the car is definitely quieter. It does feel like my friends 911. I bought the hard top recently since my top started to leak this year. So the purchase was more for a temporary fix for my leaky clothe top that I plan on replacing some time soon. Iím sure you wonít regret getting one and find the quiet interior is a positive difference.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:17 PM   #7
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No experience with Box top. Do owners experience any squeaks etc? I bought a 99 BMW M Roadster a few years back that came with a hardtop. It wasn't needed here in FL so I took it off shortly after driving the car from Atlanta home. The top made lots of noises and didn't seal all that well in a big rain. I didn't mess with it that much so I'm sure some attention to the fit, along with lubrication of the tops seals would have helped.

I no longer have the car as I sold it to a neighbor a few years ago.
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Old 10-27-2018, 07:11 PM   #8
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The few times it has been in the rain, I have not had any issues with leaks. SoCal doesn't get a lot of rain. The worst was a Palm Desert dump while on the freeway. And I have not experienced any squeaks or rattles. The three mounting points seem very strong and secure. And I always clean and condition the seals as I am putting it on or taking it off. I had forgotten about the rear defroster feature, it works very well also. The only possible negative is the defroster wire plug connection is very close quarters to connect.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:18 AM   #9
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Any thoughts on the impact on a soft window when it's stored down for long periods of time?
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:41 AM   #10
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I haven't had any issues with the soft top window being folded for long periods, but I put a large piece of fleece in the window when it is folded so it can't rub against itself.
It can squeak, but it can also be adjusted, strut braces help if you have a lot of uneven roads in your area.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:18 AM   #11
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The large rear window and defroster are a big plus for rear visibility and cold conditions. There are two small caps that fit onto the hardtop front guide pins, if you leave them off you will get rattles. The caps are easy to lose when removing or installing the top, but replacements are available. As others have said the three top latches are adjustable and hold tightly.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:57 AM   #12
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I wound up leaving the hard top on my 01S most of the time, partly b/c without a garage & hard top lift its size (not wt) makes it a 2 person job to safely take on and off. And yes it is just one more minor PIA to deal with whenever accessing the engine for service.

There was a little squeak, readily addressed with gummiphledge on the seals. It is quieter than the soft top but seems not as quiet as a coupe. And the difference with the soft top was less dramatic than I expected, perhaps b/c the double layer softop is pretty quiet for a convertible.

The hardtop has other advantages. Namely it is easier to clean than the soft top, and does't collect fur from every neighborhood cat that comes within 10 feet or heaven forbid decided to sleep on it.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:46 PM   #13
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I leave my hard top on probably 90% of the time. The only time it really comes off is if I have to do some work in the engine bay.
I think the car looks better, is nicer to drive in, and rear visibility is better with the hardtop. Also, my hard top is dark grey and my car is silver, so it gives the car a cool vintage two-tone look for me, like a 356 notchback.
And the best part really is that you don't have to worry about the rear drains (and all the associated worries of the immobilizer getting wet) with the hard top on if you get caught in a rainstorm, as the water just takes the drain path down the trunk body seams.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:05 PM   #14
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Just put my hardtop on, getting ready for daily driving through winter again.

Spring to fall I drive top down unless it’s raining, that’s what the Boxster is all about to me. But last winter I discovered that Boxster can be very reliable and fun driving on dedicated snow tires through Michigan winter, even with my lowered suspension, and the hardtop is critical for warm and more protected feel, and defroster is very handy! No way I use the ice scraper over my soft top with plastic window.

Yes, cabin is much quieter, but with 987 aluminum engine cover with no carpet on top, I hear just right amount of engine noise, 996 throttle body taking breath and slightly muted PSE exhaust. I lubed weatherstrip so not much rattle, hope it stays this way through winter at -20F.

This time I took soft top out to repair plastic window, so not much additional weight to drag around... it feels great and almost driving a different car, possibly similar to something called Cayman?
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Last edited by Boxstard; 10-28-2018 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxstard View Post
Just put my hardtop on, getting ready for daily driving through winter again.

Spring to fall I drive top down unless itís raining, thatís what the Boxster is all about to me. But last winter I discovered that Boxster can be very reliable and fun driving on dedicated snow tires through Michigan winter, even with my lowered suspension, and the hardtop is critical for warm and more protected feel, and defroster is very handy! No way I use the ice scraper over my soft top with plastic window.

Yes, cabin is much quieter, but with 987 aluminum engine cover with no carpet on top, I hear just right amount of engine noise, 996 throttle body taking breath and slightly muted PSE exhaust. I lubed weatherstrip so not much rattle, hope it stays this way through winter at -20F.

This time I took soft top out to repair plastic window, so not much additional weight to drag around... it feels great and almost driving a different car, possibly similar to something called Cayman?
Boxstard, what type of lube do you use on the seals. I am getting some rattle on my top, which has just been purchased. Lmk please.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:43 AM   #16
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I use Gummi Pfledge.
I would remove the top, and place it on a stand or upside on a thick blanket. Then clean the seals with water (you could add some car wash if you wanted too) and use cheap towels because they will turn black. Then apply the Gummi Pfledge, and when you are done clean the applicator tip. I would then let it sit for about an hour before reinstalling the top. Gummi Pfledge is the best thing you can use on rubber in my opinion, it can actually help the seals plump back up.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:55 PM   #17
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TY Rick, I will pick up a bottle and try it out.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:02 PM   #18
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Buy one if you don’t have one it’s great to have the option. The only down side is sometimes the windows don’t align quite right and you have increased wind noise but this is an easy fix. As other have said it’s a very quick swap to put on or take off. I’ve had my boxster since June and kind of like the hard top look and drive noise. I picked my boxster up in LA and bought a hardtop for the 1300 mile drive home and am thankful for it.
Shaw
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
I use Gummi Pfledge.
You beat me to say that!!!
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:22 PM   #20
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Gummi Pfledge is the best. I use it on all the seal including the hardtop.
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