986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners

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-   -   convertible top latch (http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/2419-convertible-top-latch.html)

aKiNa2 04-03-2005 04:18 AM

convertible top latch
 
I'm just curious, does the latch that inserts itself into the whole with the sensor fit directly in it. On my top I don't think it pushes the sensor in the whole way, what about other?

I find sometimes it doesn't think the top is fully closed and I have to unclip the hood and press in the sensor so it lets the windows go fully up

RandallNeighbour 04-04-2005 11:18 AM

While it could be a faulty switch inside that hole, it's more likely to be an issue with the hook and you!

Before you latch it shut with one hand, use the other to insure the hook is fully over the hole so it doesn't catch the edge, but go in as far as it can.

This is a common problem with my Boxster... the top is old and it doesn't want to close completely on its own. I guess that's why the hand pulls were put on both sides of the hook mechanism.

aKiNa2 04-05-2005 07:57 AM

definately the switch now the top won't open nemore
takin it back to get it fixed under warranty
this a common problem?

AndyDickens 01-14-2006 03:01 AM

I have a 1998 Boxster. Today, as I was showing the car to a prospective buyer (I am upgrading to a 996 Cabriolet), the catch mechanism with the interior courtesy light just fell out and dangled from a cable. The captive nuts inside the windscreen surround seemed to have just split and the 2 bolts holding the part in place fell out. I cannot see how to rectify this easily, as the captive bolts seem to need replacing and this looks quite tricky. Any suggestions / links to assist would be appreciated.

MNBoxster 01-14-2006 07:41 AM

Hi,

Another wonderful design problem from Porsche. The Center Latch Mechanism, and Sunvisors are attached to the Windshield Header with Brass Nuts which live inside the Windshield Header and are NOT accessible. The Screws however which attach to them are Steel (which is considerably harder than Brass) and often these are overtightened or simply overstressed by Top and consequently, these Brass Nuts will either Split or Strip.

The ONLY fix is to Drill-Out the old Brass Nuts carefully with a 1/4in. Drill Bit (I say carefully because the Drill will want to Grab and you must take care not to drill through the Header on the other side).

Then, you need to install some SS Steel 1/4 in. NUTSERTS , sometimes called RivetNuts see: http://www.hansonrivet.com/w64.htm . A Nutserts is essentially a POP Rivet with a Threaded Barrel. They make a very solid permanent repair.

The SS Nutserts will cost you about $0.50@. The Downside is that you'll need a special Tool to install them and this Tool cost me $80 to install 6 Nutserts!! see: http://www.hansonrivet.com/w69.htm Don't panic, after using mine, I sold it on eBay for $85 in 1 day!

Anyway, after drilling out the old Nut(s) (might as well do them all while you're at it), you screw the Nutsert onto the installation tool - like a Large Pop Rivet Gun, insert the Nutsert into the slot in the Windshield Header and then squeeze the Nutsert Gun (make sure to eat your Wheaties if you are using Steel Nutserts) to collapse the Nutsert into the Windshield Header, just like installing a POP Rivet.

The OEM Torx Screw is Metric, so you'll need to find Metric Nutserts, or replace the Screws as well. This is what I did and I found the SAE equivalent of the OEM Screws at a local Hardware Store with the same Torx Head as the OEM Screws.

The Fix is permanent, especially if you used the SS Steel Nutserts. Takes about 20 min. to drill out the 6 old ones and install the New Nutserts. Good Luck!...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

98Boxster98 04-03-2006 12:28 PM

While searching for the source of my intermittent top operation, I discovered why my roof latch moves as free as it does; only one screw is holding it in place. I will now have the pleasure of working with 'nutserts'. I found a lower cost tool to attempt this fix. It cost me $30 for the tool, package of 12 inserts and assorted sales tax. Here is the link:

Surebonder Threaded Insert Tool

MNBoxster - does it look like I have the right tool and inserts? I don't know if I'll be able to make $5 making the repair as you did.

MNBoxster 04-03-2006 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 98Boxster98
While searching for the source of my intermittent top operation, I discovered why my roof latch moves as free as it does; only one screw is holding it in place. I will now have the pleasure of working with 'nutserts'. I found a lower cost tool to attempt this fix. It cost me $30 for the tool, package of 12 inserts and assorted sales tax. Here is the link:

Surebonder Threaded Insert Tool

MNBoxster - does it look like I have the right tool and inserts? I don't know if I'll be able to make $5 making the repair as you did.

Hi,

The Tool should work just fine, just make sure you have the proper size Mandrel for the inserts you're using. I'm not sure about your rivnuts though. These look to be the type which compression fits around the opening, maybe they'll work, but they differ from the ones I used. Also, make sure you have matching screws to use in them, the OEMs are Metric, so if you don't have metric rivnuts, they will need to be replaced.

Take care when drilling out the old ones as they are Brass and the Drill will grab and want to wander. Keep a firm grip on the Drill and it's helpful to mark them for depth using masking tape on the Bit at the depth you want. The old ones may also simply shatter (a couple of mine did) and then you'll need a needle-nose pliers to retrieve the pieces. It might be a good idea to sacrifice one of the inserts if you've not used them before. Get a scrap of metal and drill an appropriate hole in it and then install a spare rivnut into it. This will familiarize you with the procedure so you're not practicing on your Car. Good Luck! It's really pretty easy...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

98Boxster98 04-03-2006 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MNBoxster
Hi,

Get a scrap of metal and drill an appropriate hole in it and then install a spare rivnut into it. This will familiarize you with the procedure so you're not practicing on your Car.

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Good idea, Jim - practice first. Sometimes it the easy stuff that trips me up. That's for the posting and advice.

98Boxster98 04-03-2006 04:58 PM

Just some details from the Insert Tool packaging on how it works and how to use it.

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/4...details1ma.jpg

http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/350...nstruct1cu.jpg

98Boxster98 04-03-2006 09:24 PM

Well, the bad news is I broke the Surebonder tool. While my ability to break the tool handle stokes my fragile male ego, ultimately, I concede that this is an indication of poor manufacturing as I am sure I am not the hand wrestling champion in my weight class.

The good news is that I was able to replace the two original brass parts on the roof latch with the threaded inserts. I went for a test drive with the top up and magically, most of my "dash" and wind noises have been greatly reduced. I am really quite amazed at how much one screw made a difference. I don't know if this fixes my intermittent problem with my top operation but I'll just have to wait and see.

Some things I learned while doing this:

1. Cover the interior of your car with a tarp. Brass filings will be everywhere to mar your finish and possibly cause electrical problems in an already flaky grounded Boxster. Have your Shop Vac handy.

2. The broken brass nut was a pain to remove. It had broken into three large pieces which wouldn't fit through the hole. I was able to remove them by wedging the hole so a piece wouldn't move and using a small drill bit in a thin area to break the piece into smaller pieces.

3. The screw I used is 1/4 x 20 x 1, black finish, flat head, socket cap, allen instead of torx. It's not the original metric part but it's pretty close. I guess technically my Boxster is now a renegade hybrid since I used english measure parts. ;)

4. It's not a bad idea to do the preventative maintenance by removing the good brass captive nuts. I had an easier time with the good one because the drill didn't walk. The trick I used was to use progressively larger drill bits. I started with a 1/4" bit, 3/8" and lastly the recommended 25/64". I used needle nose pliers to clean up as best as possible.

5. Use masking tape to mark depth as MNBoxster (Jim) recommends.

6. Wear safety glasses.

7. I used my 18V battery powered drill.

I will return my broken Surebonder tool tomorrow and get a replacement. I might pick up an extra since my experience to date shows that the tool is only good for two inserts.

98Boxster98 04-04-2006 10:00 PM

I broke the second Surebonder tool so I can't recommend it. It failed the same way - the handle broke at where it meets the mandrel. So next when I have time, I will try out the Marson 39200 Threadsert tool. Below are some examples of nutserts/rivet nuts available from Grainger.

98Boxster98 04-04-2006 10:02 PM

Here is the Marson tool available from Grainger (4/6/2006 -I've since learned that the 1/4-20 mandrel does not come with 39200 model, contrary to the catalog description. I ordered one online from a company called Brady Tools)

MNBoxster 04-05-2006 06:41 AM

Hi,

Good Job! See, it wasn't impossible at all!

Too bad about the first Tool. I bought the Marson Tool and it worked just fine for all 6 Rivnuts (I replaced them all while I was In There.

Sorry I didn't think to mention laying a Tarp to catch the Brass shavings, I remember vacuuming them up for months - good tip though.

Sounds like you had some trouble with the shattered Brass Nut, mine broke in convenient pieces, but you worked it all out!

I'm glad you took the time to post the pics and share your experience. It is such a poorly designed fastening system (using a Soft-Metal captive Nut to hold a highly tensioned Steel Screw - it's bound to fail with time), that for Porsche, it surprises me.

I'm sure that other Boxster Owners will encounter the same failure and maybe your experience will encourage some to perform the correction themselves. IMSM, the Dealer wanted $225 to perform the fix using the exact same technique and equipment - they turn that Marson Tool into a Profit Center! This is not something you need to pay a Dealer for!...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

98Boxster98 04-05-2006 10:35 PM

Thanks for the compliment, Jim, but it wouldn't have been possible without your post. Of course, I'm going to distort the facts now and tell everyone that the Lotus Esprit mechanics/drivers and the jet fighter crowd really likes my work. ;)

I had never have heard as such a fastener/tool before stumbling upon your post. I thought it important to give as much information since I found by personal experience, you can't go into the big box home improvement stores (Home Depot, Lowes) and find the tool and fasteners. Also, for less accomplished mechanics as myself, you can't get enough details before embarking on an anxiety-filled DIY (Zen and the Art of Boxster Maintenance.)

I, too, am disappointed on the use of steel screw and brass nuts at such a crucial location. Again, I am amazed at the difference one screw at the roof latch makes.

With this project I also learned something about the past of my Boxster. When I removed the roof latch there was an empty screw hole but no screw. I thought perhaps it had fallen out at one point, knocking the IR lens and dropped to the floorboard. Wait, what's with the abundance of wire nuts and 18 gauge wire doing up in here in the roof latch? Hmm, suction cups marks on the windshield when I bought the car. Maybe, somebody powered the radar detector from the roof latch area, splicing with household electrical wiring parts. I wonder ...


Quote:

Originally Posted by MNBoxster
Hi,

Good Job! See, it wasn't impossible at all!

Too bad about the first Tool. I bought the Marson Tool and it worked just fine for all 6 Rivnuts (I replaced them all while I was In There.

Sorry I didn't think to mention laying a Tarp to catch the Brass shavings, I remember vacuuming them up for months - good tip though.

Sounds like you had some trouble with the shattered Brass Nut, mine broke in convenient pieces, but you worked it all out!

I'm glad you took the time to post the pics and share your experience. It is such a poorly designed fastening system (using a Soft-Metal captive Nut to hold a highly tensioned Steel Screw - it's bound to fail with time), that for Porsche, it surprises me.

I'm sure that other Boxster Owners will encounter the same failure and maybe your experience will encourage some to perform the correction themselves. IMSM, the Dealer wanted $225 to perform the fix using the exact same technique and equipment - they turn that Marson Tool into a Profit Center! This is not something you need to pay a Dealer for!...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99


98Boxster98 04-10-2006 01:58 PM

I'm not obsessing about this subject. I was actually looking for a car jack when I saw this tool. Note it does mention that's for aluminum.

98Boxster98 04-10-2006 02:07 PM

Here's another option from Harbor Freight:


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