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Old 05-06-2010, 03:49 AM   #1
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986 roof stuck open.

Hi can anyone help? The roof on my 1998 boxster is stuck open, does anyone know how to manualy put the roof back up? Also there is a red elbow bracket broken off does any know the name of this so i can order one?

Thanks

Greeny
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeny
Hi can anyone help? The roof on my 1998 boxster is stuck open, does anyone know how to manualy put the roof back up? Also there is a red elbow bracket broken off does any know the name of this so i can order one?

Thanks

Greeny
Greeny:

If the plastic ball cup on one of your front pushrods is broken, you can pop off the plastic ball cup on the other side of the car and the canvas roof will then be capable of operating manually, assuming that the clamshell can still be operated with the electric motor, via the transmissions and V-levers.

If that is not the case, to operate the top manually, you will also have to disconnect the black "hydraulic pushrods" from the other side of the V-levers.

If you want to try to get the top working electrically again, post more specifics and how and when the roof got stuck and in what position, previous symptoms, etc., and we might be able to figure it out without the need for a dealer $$$ visit.

The fact that you still have red plastic ball cups on your '98 means that they are original. There is an "improved" version of the ball cups, made of stronger and less brittle plastic which is not as susceptible to breaking with age.

Porsche only sells the complete pushrod assembly (not the plastic ball cup by itself). The part number for a 986 is 986.561.279.02.

If you want to buy just the plastic ball cups, there is a guy in the Netherlands who has had them manufactured. Send me a PM and I'll give you the info.

Make sure that you verify that your foam drain tray has not gotten ripped or torn by the broken, dangling pushrod. If there is a tear or rip, you run the risk of getting water intrusion into the cabin, where it will promptly fry your central alarm computer (which is under the seat). Since you are in Wales, that may be more a risk than someone in Arizona!

Regards, Maurice.

Last edited by schoir; 05-06-2010 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:48 AM   #3
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Regarding the cause...don't know if this is it or not, but mine stopped working at one point shortly after buying the car (it's a 2001). There's a switch (or whatever) in the hand brake that has to be activated (by engaging the brake) before the roof mechanism will do it's thing. Sometimes it goes bad, and the roof transport won't operate. (Basically, the car "thinks" the car may be moving, so it refuses to open/close the roof.)

I can't give you any other details---I had a CPO warranty, so I didn't even try to fix it. Just took it into the dealership.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:04 AM   #4
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This happened to me just last night. You can tell if it's a bad handbrake switch by seeing if the parking brake light comes on on the dash. No light = switch not operating.

I was able to make it work just by quickly raising and lowering the handle with the release button depressed.

Good luck.

Art
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:14 AM   #5
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Best bet it to do what these guys said and determine if it's a mechanical or electrical problem. I couldn't get mine up one day when it looked like it was going to rain because the hand brake switch is sort of touchy. I used Pedro's guide and changed the relay around so that it goes up regardless of speed or parking brake position. It's actually fairly nice, I can put the top up now while I'm waiting in line at a toll booth (been caught there twice now!) or put it up/down as I'm puttering in and out of the parking lot.
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:00 AM   #6
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Exclamation Same problem

My roof went down fine but upon trying to raise it on one side tries to move! I can hear the motor trying but as i say only on one side!

Help
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:13 AM   #7
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Common first posts, and both common problems, Welcome to the forums
Polly, one of the two cables (one on each side) that drives the top mechanism has broken. The same advise Maurice provided for Greeny can apply to your situation:
Quote:
Originally Posted by schoir
If the plastic ball cup on one of your front pushrods is broken, you can pop off the plastic ball cup on the other side of the car and the canvas roof will then be capable of operating manually, assuming that the clamshell can still be operated with the electric motor, via the transmissions and V-levers.

If that is not the case, to operate the top manually, you will also have to disconnect the black "hydraulic pushrods" from the other side of the V-levers.
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Orlando - 99 BMW M Coupe (autocross toy), '11 Mazdaspeed 3 (dog hauler), '99 10AE Miata (the new daily driver)
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polly
My roof went down fine but upon trying to raise it on one side tries to move! I can hear the motor trying but as i say only on one side!

Help
Polly:

As Kabel says, one of your drive cables is not driving the transmission (and corresponding V-lever) on that side.

You didn't state the year of your Boxster, but the problem you describe is fairly common with 1997 to 1999 Boxsters...those with the smooth-sided black vinyl sheaths that cover the inner (speedometer-type) drive cables.

In that case, the outer sheath tends to stretch, effectively causing the inner cable to partially 'retract". When that happens, the inner cable on that side is no longer being driven by the electric motor. That means that the V-lever on that side's transmission will not turn and the result can be somewhat catastrophic when the other side starts to move, the clamshell on the driven side starts to go up and promptly gets "tweaked". If you are now aware, the clamshell will end up with a deep crease, front to rear.

The fix is to replace the cable, or to cut the outer black vinyl sheath on that side so that you end up with 3/4 of an inch of the inner cable sticking out (so that it can be inserted back inside the side of the electric motor).

The ferrule on the end of the cable is a little difficult to remove and re-install because of the three barbs that hold it in place, but it's doable.

Start by pulling the upside-down U-shaped clip from the side of the electric motor (just in front of the third brake light in the convertible top well) and pulling out the cable (outboard pull) to examine it. If you find that there is less than 3/4" sticking out, you have found the problem.

If you have trouble sticking the cable back into the side of the electric motor, turn the inner cable by hand by 1/32nd of a turn and try again.

If there is enough sticking out, then most likely that cable has frayed or broken apart inside the outer sheath and must be replaced.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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Red face Cable's

Many thanks for your help with this guys.

I've sussed out its a cable problem and now i know where the motor is and what to look for i will investigate furhter.
i was wondering if anyone had any cable fitting guides?
oh and your right its a 97 986 in primrose yellow!
Thanks guys, look foward to any help and advice,
Polly
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polly
Many thanks for your help with this guys.

I've sussed out its a cable problem and now i know where the motor is and what to look for i will investigate furhter.
i was wondering if anyone had any cable fitting guides?
oh and your right its a 97 986 in primrose yellow!
Thanks guys, look foward to any help and advice,
Polly
Polly:

If you still have the original "A Version" transmissions (those with the half-moon gear inside) on your '97, the cable is difficult to remove from the rear of the transmission. The inner drive cable is a very tight press fit in the worm gear, and , while it is possible to get it out, it's not easy. You can try by clamping a vise-grip on the square part of the cable then use a pair of diagonal side cutters against the vise-grip to press against and lever off the worm drive.

The inner cable is shaped on each end with four sides, and in between it's round so that it can spin freely inside the black vinyl sheath. One end of the cable goes into the side of the motor. The other end is connected to a worm gear that is located on the inside the transmission. That worm gear then is connected to and acts on a half moon gear with 50 teeth.

Here is a photo of the innards, courtesy of Tool Pants:



I would first check to see if one or both of the cables are actually driving the V-lever on each side, and whether the only problem is that the outer sheath of the cable has stretched so as to effectively "pull" the inner cable out of its intended spot inside the side of the electric motor.

To do that, once you pull out one of the cables from the side of the motor, insert the inner speedometer-type cable into the chuck of a cordless drill (on its lowest torque setting) and spin it in either direction, while observing whether the V-lever is turning. If the V-lever is not turning, then either the cable is broken or frayed on the inside of the sheath, or the transmission has gone past the 50th tooth of the V-lever.

BEFORE you start spinning the transmission via the cable, be sure to mark the exact position of the V-lever so that you can bring it back to that exact position. This will facilitate the re-synching of the transmissions once you are done.

The drive cable is a very tight press fit in the worm gear but you can get it out. Clamp a vise-grip on the square part of the cable then use side cutters against the vise-grip to lever off the worm drive.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:43 PM   #11
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I think I have this same issue with my 2002. I put the top up but the clamshell would not close completely. I was able to pop off the black pushrods so I could lower the clamshell, but the top won't go up or down (I can't get to the red ones with the top up). I noticed that one of the cables seems to be trying to work (I can feel it trying to move) but the other cable is not doing anything.
Does this sound like the same problem?
How does the repair differ on a 2002?
Any help is appreciated because I am out of town and I don't have my service manual with me.
Thanks!
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN 986
I think I have this same issue with my 2002. I put the top up but the clamshell would not close completely. I was able to pop off the black pushrods so I could lower the clamshell, but the top won't go up or down (I can't get to the red ones with the top up). I noticed that one of the cables seems to be trying to work (I can feel it trying to move) but the other cable is not doing anything.
Does this sound like the same problem?
How does the repair differ on a 2002?
Any help is appreciated because I am out of town and I don't have my service manual with me.
Thanks!

The issue that you are having is probably more related to your transmissions not being synchronized, and that is why the clamshell is not going down completely at the end of one of the cycles.

Your 2002 differs in that it's governed by two different microswitches, which in the 2000 and later Boxsters is located inside the driver's side ("Stehle" brand) transmission.

You have to verify that your inner speedometer-type cable is actually effectively acting on the transmission gear, and that it is not frayed or broken INSIDE the outer sheath. Then you can synch them and you should be okay.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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Driver side transmission not spinning

Hello Maurice,

I was searching to troubleshoot problem with my 2001 stock top and here I am.

How do I troubleshoot the transmission on the driver side that is not spinning?
What are the parts that I need to check and how do I access them?

Any helpful direction is much appreciated.

I don't want to make my first post too long. However, if you need more info, please let me know.

Thank you.

Michael

Last edited by mikehkang; 06-03-2010 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehkang
Hello Maurice,

I was searching to troubleshoot problem with my 2001 stock top and here I am.

How do I troubleshoot the transmission on the driver side that is not spinning?
What are the parts that I need to check and how do I access them?

Any helpful direction is much appreciated.

I don't want to make my first post too long. However, if you need more info, please let me know.

Thank you.

Michael
Maurice has a lot more experience and posts than me, but I can say I just had a similar problem, and it turned out to be a broken cable on the driver side. Luckily nothing else was broken (the arm with the red cup/end was slightly bent, but I straightened it out), so a quick trip to the local dealer for a cable, and the whole thing was fixed for <$40. It was much easier than I expected, and works great again. Just be sure the transmissions are aligned (you can use a drill on the motor end of the cables) before hooking everything up to the transmissions and operating the top again.
Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehkang
Hello Maurice,

I was searching to troubleshoot problem with my 2001 stock top and here I am.

How do I troubleshoot the transmission on the driver side that is not spinning?
What are the parts that I need to check and how do I access them?

Any helpful direction is much appreciated.

I don't want to make my first post too long. However, if you need more info, please let me know.

Thank you.

Michael
Michael:

MN986 is right. It is probably just a problem with your driver's side cable.

The inner, speedometer-type cable is either frayed or broken inside the outer black vinyl sheath.

Disconnect that cable from the left side of the electric motor (in front of the third brake light) and put the square end of the inner cable into a cordless drill set on the LOWEST torque setting and spin the cable with the drill while you observe the V-lever.

If the V-lever is not turning (in either direction), then your drive cable on that side is faulty. It's very unlikely that your transmission or the worm gear that the cable drives has a problem.

To replace the cable, just pull it off the rear of the transmission and push the new one on, then put the other end of the cable back into the side of the electric motor.

If you want to double check it beforehand, put the end of the new inner cable into the drill and try to spin the V-lever. Be sure to note and measure (photo would help too) the position of that V-lever so that you know your starting point.

In any case, you should resync the two transmissions.

Note: To pull the cable off the side of the electric motor, just pull straight up on the upside-down U-clip that holds the cable in place at the side of the electric motor.

Let us know how you make out.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:22 AM   #16
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Thank you - half way there

Hello MN 986 and Maurice,

Thank you for your answers.
You guys gave me the courage to take the car apart!

I have confirmed that the driver side cable is bad. The protruding portion that connects to the motor is broken.

The cable is on its way.

I have a few more questions if you guys don't mind.

- The 19mm bolt that holds the v-lever to the transmission is REALLY stuck. It looks like loctite was used to keep the bolt from coming off.
Q1-3. Does Porsche use loctite at this location? Regardless, should I use loctite when I put it back? I also don't have a torque wrench. Do I need one for this job?

Q4-6. Is there a switch near the motor? I couldn't see one. Otherwise, how does the car know that the top is completely folded and the clamshell closed so to stop the motor? Is it possible that the heavy rain from the days before fried the switch?

Thank you both guys again for the prompt help.

Last edited by mikehkang; 06-04-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:57 PM   #17
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehkang
Hello MN 986 and Maurice,

Thank you for your answers.
You guys gave me the courage to take the car apart!

I have confirmed that the driver side cable is bad. The protruding portion that connects to the motor is broken.

The cable is on its way.

I have a few more questions if you guys don't mind.

- The 19mm bolt that holds the v-lever to the transmission is REALLY stuck. It looks like loctite was used to keep the bolt from coming off.
Q1-3. Does Porsche use loctite at this location? Regardless, should I use loctite when I put it back? I also don't have a torque wrench. Do I need one for this job?

Q4-6. Is there a switch near the motor? I couldn't see one. Otherwise, how does the car know that the top is completely folded and the clamshell closed so to stop the motor? Is it possible that the heavy rain from the days before fried the switch?

Thank you both guys again for the prompt help.
Mike:

Kudos for trying to tackle it. You should be able to do this repair without too much trouble.

The 19mm bolt that holds the v-lever to the transmission is REALLY stuck. It looks like loctite was used to keep the bolt from coming off.
Q1-3. Does Porsche use loctite at this location? Regardless, should I use loctite when I put it back?


Porsche does use loctite on that 19mm bolt, and you should use it as well. That V-lever is under a LOT of pressure at certain points of its travel. You can use blue Loctite and it will be fine. (From the write-up on Mike Focke's Website: Coat the ends of the threads on the 19mm bolt with Loctite Blue, install and tighten the bolt to 59 ft/lbs) This, and further instructions are found on the Part II PDF, at page 30, paragraph 22 of the DIY, here: http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/installinga'03-'04glasstopandframeona'97

Q4-6. Is there a switch near the motor? I couldn't see one. Otherwise, how does the car know that the top is completely folded and the clamshell closed so to stop the motor? Is it possible that the heavy rain from the days before fried the switch?

The only switch near the motor (only on 97 to 99 Boxsters), is the black lever microswitch which is located and mounted directly on top of the electric motor.

That black lever microswitch is how the car "knows" that the clamshell is closed, as that switch sends a signal to the convertible top double relay, which then initiates an "after-running time" of fractions of a second...which then cuts power to the motor and turns off the "top open" idiot light on the dash.

Heavy rain usually does not affect that switch or the motor...However, check under and behind your driver's seat to verify that the rain water has not found its way to the central alarm computer under that seat.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:45 AM   #18
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Convertible top working again!

Gentlemen,

I am here to report to you that the top is up, a pun(?), and running again.
Thanks to Maurice and MN 986 and the other silent well wishers, I have completed my first significant repair.

I do have one more question regarding the clamshell.
During the PPI back in Dec 2009, it was noted that the pointed part of the clamshell, the driver side, was misaligned - the pointed part used to go down about 1/2 inch more than it should when the top was fully opened or closed.

As a by product of the repair, the alignment is much better but still not perfect.
Is there a way to adjust the fit/alignment as this pointed parted of the clamshell when the top is fully opened or closed?

Again thank you everyone for help.

Michael
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:29 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=mikehkang]Gentlemen,

.....
I do have one more question regarding the clamshell.
During the PPI back in Dec 2009, it was noted that the pointed part of the clamshell, the driver side, was misaligned - the pointed part used to go down about 1/2 inch more than it should when the top was fully opened or closed.

As a by product of the repair, the alignment is much better but still not perfect.
Is there a way to adjust the fit/alignment as this pointed parted of the clamshell when the top is fully opened or closed?
....

Michael:

Great work, and way to jump in there!

The height at which the tips of the clamshell sits when completely open or closed can be adjusted.

Put the clamshell in the rearmost (45 degrees) position and take a look at the area against and just outboard of the large gasket that surrounds the convertible top well, just aft of where the rear of the door meets the quarter panel.

You should see a small, rectangular black plastic part that sits there and that has a small wing that tucks under the gasket so as to remain put. That black plastic contraption consists of two parts sandwiched on each other. Pulling the two apart lowers the level at which that tip of the clamshell ends up, pushing the two together raises that tip of the clamshell.

In your case, since it's the driver's side that ends up a little lower than it should, first check to make sure that the little part is actually there. Then, check the passenger's side for comparison and you should then be able to make the adjustment.

Not a great photo (only one I could find now), but here's what it looks like at the bottom edge of the photo, near the right corner:



There is one more adjusting mechanism that affects the level at which the clamshell sits, but try this one first and let us know how it works out.

Keep up the good work!

Regards, Maurice.

Last edited by schoir; 06-11-2010 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:51 AM   #20
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Nothing there

Hello Maurice,

Have I circled the correct part?
I don't have that part. There is nothing but rubber there, no plastic, in my car.

It is not that bad now. That is, compare to how it was BEFORE, it looks fine I guess.

What is the another method of adjustment?

Thank you.

Michael
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