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Old 12-31-2021, 02:57 PM   #1
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Convertible top does not close tight enough

Hello,

On my '99 Boxster the previous owner replaced the original top with one that has a glass window, and it appears it wasn't adjusted correctly. When closed, the top seems to not meet the windshield frame tight enough because it rattles a lot and there's a significant amount of wind noise on the high way.

Here's a photo of the gap and a video showing how much I can move it around.







I released the top from the transmission (red ball joint) to close the top manually in the event the pushrod was preventing the top's forward motion, but the fit is no better.

What should I look at next? Also, before latching how close should the top be to the windshield frame?

Thank you all for your help!

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Old 12-31-2021, 03:20 PM   #2
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you need to adjust the arms. put it in service mode and loosen the bolt for the arms (think it's a 10mm) then move the arms slightly back or forward, then tighten nut and close top. Might take a few tries to get it right.

The arms are slotted. Its the arm that has the plastic ball joint on them (the one that breaks at times)
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Old 01-04-2022, 07:23 AM   #3
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Try the above, most likely will do the trick. If not, another thing to consider is the prev owner prob just replaced the top with a new top on the frame (upgrade with glass window). I did the same on my car and its just 3 bolts on each side to get the entire top off. You do have to be careful how you align those bolts before tightening (there is some play/adjustment) as you can have the top sit too far backwards or forwards. Maybe thats what happened here, he didn't push it forward enough before tightening. Its fairly easy to disconnect the arms, loosen the 3 bolts on each side, mode the top forwards and tighten.
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Old 01-04-2022, 09:56 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Even with the arms disconnected, i.e. the top in manual mode, the top didn't meet the windshield frame well. Should it be able to without pressure from the top mechanism?

CrisZenithBlue, in the file the PO gave me is a receipt from Sierra Auto Tops, so I think the car has the original frame.
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Old 01-05-2022, 09:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 986lp View Post
Thanks guys. Even with the arms disconnected, i.e. the top in manual mode, the top didn't meet the windshield frame well. Should it be able to without pressure from the top mechanism?

CrisZenithBlue, in the file the PO gave me is a receipt from Sierra Auto Tops, so I think the car has the original frame.
Yeah, if the fabric was replaced they dont need to take the frame out. Maybe still worth a look at the 3 bolts on each side, i can't quite remember if you can see markings of where the bolts sat before to see if it was ever touched but it would only take a minute by lifting the back/glass end up as if you were to put it in service mode.

could there be an issue with the hook latch? when a new top is put on the material is tigher and it's normally a bit harder to close the center latch until it stretches, which could take a while. I am not aware of the hook latch being a common fail but in my mind, once the hook is in, the top should be pulled in to the frame. From your video it looks like even with the latch closed you can still move the top around. how is the latch to close, is it tight or very loose?

Also, i believe even in manual mode without any of the arms or the balljoints connected you top should sit properly and stretch between the front latch being closed and the 2 cables in the back.
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Old 01-06-2022, 07:24 PM   #6
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A related issue, how did you release the red ball joint. When I got my car, the red cap was shattered and the ball it snapped onto was missing. I have replacement parts but can't figure our how to get my hand in there. What's the secret?
many thanks
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Old 01-07-2022, 05:19 AM   #7
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A related issue, how did you release the red ball joint. When I got my car, the red cap was shattered and the ball it snapped onto was missing. I have replacement parts but can't figure our how to get my hand in there. What's the secret?
many thanks
do it with the top down if possible, it's much much easier. most of the times i was able to pop the ball in the join by hand, if it wasnt i would normally use the "shiv", the aluminum tool that comes with the Porsche toolkit or anything longer like a pry bar and i'd push the ball join onto the ball with some leverage against the chassis while being careful not to scratch. keep in mind thaf if those parts were busted something must have been wrong with the top mechanism to put strain on them so some investigation is needed. once back in operate slowly and look and listen for trouble.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:08 AM   #8
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Vetman, what I did was stick a flathead screwdriver in the gap between the arm and ball joint and twist to pop it off. To get them back on, I did use a prying action with the tool provided in the toolkit.

CrisZenithBlue, I discovered that the brass retaining nuts in the windshield header split causing the latch holder to tilt slightly to the back when under tension. I stuck some rivet nuts up there and now the top closes properly. But it's really tight. I know those brass retaining nuts are known to be weak, I do think the tightness of the top caused them to fail.

I'm hesitant to start adjusting for fear that I mess up a top that essentially works. What makes me nervous is that my top operates slower than the 12 seconds people cite and the motor right before finishing dropping or raising the top makes this straining noise for 2 seconds that's worrisome.

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