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Old 01-27-2013, 10:05 AM   #1
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Convertible Top Clam Shell

I am wondering if there is a way to open the convertible top clam shell manually. It is currently stuck in the closed position.

As background, I have a 1997 Boxster that had its plastic window slashed in a parking lot. My car insurance company paid for a new top with glass and defroster. I was referred to a local upholstery shop to have the top replaced. During the replacement of the top, they somehow broke the arms that connect the top to the right and left transmissions. They then forced the clam shell closed somehow and latched the top.

Now when I try to unlatch the top the hook will not pop out from the area near the microswitch and I don't want to pry it out and cause further damage. If I am able to get the hook out, in theory the clam shell should still slide despite the arms to the top being broken, is this correct?

Absent getting the hook unlatched, is there a way to slide the clam shell back so that we can figure out what we need to replace. This is a huge mess which involves myself, the upholstery shop and the insurance company, who wants the adjuster to be able to assess the damage.

Any advice as to either issue:

1) Unable to unlatch, is the to too tight?
2) A way to manually slide the clam shell back?


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Old 01-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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Update: While I was not enthused about doing so, I pried the hook from the front and used the convertible top switch in an attempt to move the clam shell back but to no avail. I do hear the top motor making noise when I hit the button.

I am still seeking info on how to move the clam shell manually.

Thanks again,
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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Try utilizing 2 people... Have one operate the switch, while you "help" the metal tonneau cover open.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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After having the top replaced, it is normal to have to manually pull the top down so the latch will catch. The new top will eventually stretch out. Give it a few months in the sun this spring.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. I tried the two person method but the clam shell won't budge. I have a feeling the shop jammed it back into place causing it to bend within the tracks.

Has anyone ever tried pushing on the mechanism from inside the car by maneuvering a rod or a pole on the outsides of each seat?

It seams like this may be possible and potentially less damaging than pulling on the clam shell itself.

I really just need to get in there for the insurance adjuster to look at, so that he can determine what to do next.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks again,
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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Update: We were able to use a pry bar from inside the car to pop the struts off the convertible top transmissions allowing the clam shell to slide easily back and forth.

Thanks again for the suggestions.


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