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Old 03-17-2019, 04:56 AM   #1
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Should I swap in an 03-04 top?

I just bought an 02 Boxster S.

Vinyl window is cracked & hazy.

I'm content leaving the crack if I can get the window clear.

I tried PlastX, but didn't seem to have much effect. Should I try it a couple more times? Try something else?

If it doesn't work, I want to have a glass rear so I don't have to do the chop.

I'm thinking getting an 03-04 top would be better than the aftermarket / smaller glass. Is there a strong opinion on that here?

And if I go aftermarket, where do I source it from? Local junkyards? internet?
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:13 AM   #2
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I have an 02 s with the same diagnoses. I tried everything to get it cleared up. Next I searched for a used 03-04 in black. My BIL is a regional manager for LKQ. We could not find anything reasonably close. Its not an easy item to ship, and you really don't know what you are getting until you open the box. I went with aftermarket top with the smaller window. I think the smaller window looks way better. Being a former trucker I never use the rear view window just side mirrors. Besides when your driving an S everything is in your rear view just keep looking out front. I think mine was a sierra from auto top direct. I used an installer that was listed on there site. I think I was all in for under 1K. If I had the time I probably would tackle the install myself. As it is I build houses and these days I stay pretty busy. I think its a well made unit. It has the defrost. The canvas is supposed to be factory. It is quieter . I'd buy again.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:06 AM   #3
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I put an 03 top on my 01. Good shape on a frame, so it was easy to swap out. Love the glass, but it doesn't open up very far before it hits the roll bars. So anything other than what's right on the back of the engine requires that one take the top completely off. I suspect that OEM is better quality to begin with and the glass is etched with "Porsche."

Mine was $1000 from 20th street automotive in Phoenix. I went and picked it up. (I live in Tucson.) I got nice replacement carpeting, too. What a massive and horrible job that was to change out. BTW 20th Street Automotive does ship.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:08 AM   #4
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If you can find an 03/04 top in good condition that is the best option. I may be biased because that is the path I chose. However, MrBen makes a good case for an aftermarket top. The newest 03/04 top is now about 15 years old and a lot of people are looking for one.

If you find one in good condition the advantages over an aftermarket top are:
1. Easy installation
2. Better rear vision
3. Easier engine access, and
4. In my case I also added the headliner which was not available in the 2000 base Boxster
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:08 PM   #5
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https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/listsofsources has a list of junk yards specializing in Porsche parts
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to go with the aftermarket top instead of waiting and searching for an 03-04. Anyone have suggested installers in NJ or NYC (reasonable price, good quality)?
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian in Tucson View Post
Love the glass, but it doesn't open up very far before it hits the roll bars. So anything other than what's right on the back of the engine requires that one take the top completely off.
That seems strange to me, wonder if there's an issue with the roof. I can get the glass on my '04 and the '06 up vertical against the roll bar (which was handy when I removed the tint on the '06 yesterday).
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:05 AM   #8
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My 02 S has a glass rear window top.

After owning MANY Miatas with various states of plastic rear windows. The glass rear window is a blessing. May not have as much visibility due to being smaller. But defrost! and it will NEVER get hazy.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:35 PM   #9
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My .02...
Get a new top with a glass window. I'd go aftermarket glass window top as 03-04 tops are all old at this point (as mentioned above).

You can get an installer but this isn't a tough job and now special tools are required if you are a DYI'er.

Access to the top of the motor is a goofy reason not to get the aftermarket top. I accessed the top of my motor on an annual basis to take care of air filter, clean MAF and check PS fluid. If access is required for more extensive work, spend a half hour and remove the entire top and frame (30 minute job each way).
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Old Yesterday, 04:26 AM   #10
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In addition to having a brand new top if you go with an aftermarket replacement with glass window, you will be preserving the original lines of the top. Maybe the grass is always greener, but as the owner of a 2003 facelift model, I think the original model has a better silhouette with its top up and its lines are cleaner with the original bumper covers. I think the original top on the plastic rear window cars has one less bow in it.

Last edited by PaulE; Yesterday at 10:13 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:22 AM   #11
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Could you post an image of this after market top? I haven't seen one that even comes close to looking as good as the original plastic window silhouette. It's perfect for the car all others seem off to me.

Note that the glass window adds weight and can limit engine access.
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 AM   #12
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Is this question for me? To me it appears that every aftermarket glass window top for the pre-2003 plastic rear window cars has the same silhouette. After all, the new top sits on the same bows and frame the plastic window top was on. But I have not paid close enough attention or looked at the two tops side by side. Maybe the smaller glass window changes the back profile a bit from the side. I think the early tops have a better silhouette than 2003 and later cars with the factory glass window, and the ones I have seen with an aftermarket top with glass window still seem to have that look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykay View Post
Could you post an image of this after market top? I haven't seen one that even comes close to looking as good as the original plastic window silhouette. It's perfect for the car all others seem off to me.

Note that the glass window adds weight and can limit engine access.
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Old Yesterday, 03:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulE View Post
Is this question for me? To me it appears that every aftermarket glass window top for the pre-2003 plastic rear window cars has the same silhouette. After all, the new top sits on the same bows and frame the plastic window top was on. But I have not paid close enough attention or looked at the two tops side by side. Maybe the smaller glass window changes the back profile a bit from the side. I think the early tops have a better silhouette than 2003 and later cars with the factory glass window, and the ones I have seen with an aftermarket top with glass window still seem to have that look.
I think so, too.
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Old Yesterday, 03:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Deserion View Post
That seems strange to me, wonder if there's an issue with the roof. I can get the glass on my '04 and the '06 up vertical against the roll bar (which was handy when I removed the tint on the '06 yesterday).
I just went out and checked. Unless I'm doing something totally wrong the roll bars interfere with the window. Hmmm!
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Old Yesterday, 05:12 PM   #15
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For the aftermarket tops, Pelican Parts has a good article from Wayne's book:
https://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/70-BODY-Convertible_Glass_Window/70-BODY-Convertible_Glass_Window.htm

Hundreds of pictures: Pelican Parts Photos - 101 Projects for your Porsche Boxster: Project 70 - Convertible New Top

Mike Focke's page about top replacement: https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/replacingthetop-adiy

I currently have two aftermarket tops, an original plastic, and an '04. The aftermarket glass is harder to access the service position, but does work. I'll have time to get detailed pics or answer any specific issues later this week if you want.

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