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Old 11-20-2020, 03:14 PM   #1
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986 1999 Aftermarket top

Dear All,

My rear plastic window is broken and water gets inside the car when it rains, so I should address this issue at some point. Looks like there are at least two options to go with: glass window, or plastic, like the original. I`d prefer getting the aftermarket top with glass rear window, which of course, is more pricey, ~$500, over the plastic, ~$350. Here are the links for both. Have you upgraded to either of these tops? Please let me now if you guys have any insight on these two choices, or about something else that I didn`t think about. Thanks!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Porsche-Boxster-Convertible-Soft-Top-Replacement-With-Plastic-Window-1997-2002/251279247137?fits=Model%3ABoxster&hash=item3a81690721:g:NBYAAOxywCJRZQ~H
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Porsche-Boxster-Convertible-Top-97-02-in-Black-Stayfast-Cloth-with-Glass-Window/331533464510?fits=Model%3ABoxster&hash=item4d30ef33be:g:GuIAAOSwKEFbs~pg

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Old 11-20-2020, 08:27 PM   #2
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I purchased a new glass top from auto tops direct I believe was the supplier. I bought the better one for the sound reduction. I used an installer they recommended. I am very pleased with the results. It is quieter. I think the car looks much better with the smaller glass window. I do not have less engine access some talk about. I did end up rebuilding the transmissions and realigning the top mechanism. It was just another maintenance item as far as I am concerned. I would certainly do it again no regrets
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:36 PM   #3
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Itís also personal preference. I think the glass window on the 3-bow roof looks a bit out of place, though if you like it go for it. Admittedly Iím spoiled by the 4-bow factory glass roof.
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:51 PM   #4
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Some insights here. https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/thetop-itsmaintaince%26replacement

And in the meantime someone recommended crystal clear gorilla tape which is transparent. $5 from Walmart.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:25 PM   #5
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I just installed the Autotops Direct top with the glass window on my 2001. I installed it myself with no problems. It was quite easy actually. It looks great and is top quality. The visibility is quite reduced over the old plastic one but I have not noticed much in the way of reduced engine access. Maybe a little. The four bow top glass window is larger but all in all I would do it again.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:35 AM   #6
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Thanks Guys, for all the useful info. I`m leaning towards the glass window, I don`t mind the limited visibility, I usually use the side mirrors when reversing anyway. Probably I`ll wait with this investment until spring though. First, what I`d like to try, is to buy similar vinyl material and stitch it in place the old one. The rest of the top is in perfect condition. It`s a lot of stitches, and it may end up being a complete waste of time, but I thought I`d give it a shot.

I found this on ebay for cheap:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Clear-Plastic-Vinyl-Upholstery-Boat-Auto-Window-40-GAUGE-54-Width-BTF/331956509141?hash=item4d4a2659d5:g:OjsAAOSwpDdVU5Y G
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:12 AM   #7
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Are these tops better than the stock S tops? How much does the glass weigh?

Is there a vinyl window option?
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Old 11-22-2020, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykay View Post
Are these tops better than the stock S tops? How much does the glass weigh?

Is there a vinyl window option?
Most aftermarket tops with vinyl windows I`ve come across are meant to replace the factory top for early Boxsters from 97 to 99. My understanding is they are not compatible with newer models. I`m not sure what the difference is though.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:14 PM   #9
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I see so to get an S spec top with better sound insulation one is stuck with glass? I say stuck because the weight and perhaps looks. I think the original 3 now top shape with the vinyl window is the best looking out of them all...
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Last edited by jaykay; 11-22-2020 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:18 PM   #10
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JayKay, I can comment on the S top, since I have an S. The part of the top over the driver's head is actually rigid and insulated, so on a hot day it allows the AC to actually cool the interior. I can't say that is true for any British ragtop I've ever owned. Also, the rigidity keeps noise down if you're driving on the highway, without drumming like even a tightly stretched ragtop on an MG or a Triumph. The rear part of the top is not rigid, as would be expected, since it has to fold and collapse as the top goes down. The glass rear window is surprisingly small, much smaller than the plastic window on earlier Boxsters, but the electric defroster is useful here in Oregon in the fall. Because I have a long torso, I can't see the horizon out of the rear-view mirror with the soft top up without scrunching down in the seat to peek under the top of the window opening. The top is fully lined, which also cuts down a little on wind noise, and perhaps on radiated warmth when driving with the top up on a 100į day with the AC on. All in all, the top on my Boxster S is by far the best convertible top I've had on any of the sports cars I've owned over the past three decades.

Good luck,
Scott
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:23 PM   #11
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When I purchased mine a couple years ago I seem to recall the plastic window version was available for my 2002s. For me the glass was a better option. No chop, has defrost, looks better IMO. My old top was in pretty good shape other than the plastic window. My car came from south Florida and had spent too much time in the Florida sun. I found some utube videos describing sewing in a new window. End of the day I just spent the thousand dollars and had the new top installed. I figure Iíll get a good portion of that back if and when I sell the car
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:07 AM   #12
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I had a soft top with a glass rear window installed on my -99. I don't mind the reduced visibility, since I use my outer rear view mirrors as well. No regrets!
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:13 PM   #13
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Glass top was one of the best mods I did to my 2000S. I did the glass top on my 3 bow frame. Visibility and engine access were non issues for my. I loved being able to put the top down without worrying about messing up my rear window.
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeoboxter View Post
... Probably I`ll wait with this investment until spring though. First, what I`d like to try, is to buy similar vinyl material and stitch it in place the old one. The rest of the top is in perfect condition. It`s a lot of stitches, and it may end up being a complete waste of time, but I thought I`d give it a shot.
...
I replaced the window on my car. Instead of removing the original stitches I cut out the old window leaving about 1 inch of plastic all the way around then attached the new plastic to that. You might be able to glue it on (that didn't work for me). I ended up using pop rivets and stitching. I then covered the stitching with foam insulation tape. I put lots of caulking between the 2 plastic layers and then over the stitches. If you are interested I can give more details on how I did it (and how I would do it differently if I were to start over). I wish I had pulled the plastic tighter because there are a lot of ripples, but it is a big improvement and cost about $60.

See post #8 or this thread
https://rennlist.com/forums/boxster-and-boxster-s-986-forum/1099769-getting-the-maintenance-up-to-date-on-my-new-2000-boxster.html
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:58 PM   #15
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Is autotops the preferred vendor these days? I seem to recall Gahh and Robins(...not sure if spelt those correctly) being ones to go with.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:39 AM   #16
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My car’s previous owner had a new window sewn in by a canvas sail shop.
10 years later, it’s still clear and tight.
He said it cost him about $100, but I have no idea if he took the top off, or what.
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The only good commie is a dead commie.
Glad you're back from your hiatus, and not the least bit radicalized!
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:29 PM   #18
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most shops won't sew a new window in for a price that makes more sense than replacing the top. Autotopsdirect sells the best tops, Ive compared several and they are FAR superior. You can install the top yourself or find someone competent to do it for you, with the autotops acoustic top. Its nice.

my advice on installation is start at the front with the aluminum bolsters and gluing to the front bow because pulling the new top into the rear channel is much easier and you dont have glue to work around and with. Its easy to get glue on the top during this step and this can be a real mess.
The videos show installing the back first and that makes it harder to get the front pulled, etc.

Another comment is the glass back...at first seems like a good idea, right? If you access the engine to do any work go with the plastic because the top gets completely out of the way. If this isn't a concern, then the glass back is nice except for rear visibility. The glass back is definitely a hurdle if you are back there for things like the AOS, waterpump, cleaning etc.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:53 PM   #19
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Piper - I have you blocked, numbnuts. I already told you that. Quit talking to yourself.
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Last edited by particlewave; 11-28-2020 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 11-28-2020, 02:59 PM   #20
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Piper - I have you blocked, numbnuts. I already told you that. Quit talking to yourself.
..Yet somehow you still reply.

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Last edited by piper6909; 11-28-2020 at 03:02 PM.
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