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Old 05-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #1
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Convertible top replacement

Hi I have a quick question. Will a later model 986 convertible top mechanism with the glass roof work on the earlier model chassis? Thanks
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
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Hi I have a quick question. Will a later model 986 convertible top mechanism with the glass roof work on the earlier model chassis? Thanks
I have 2001 base.
I replaced my top, the cloth, the windows, and the frame with, 2003 top, with glass rear window and defroster.
It is my understanding that 2003 top is the last year compatible with the previous years.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:27 PM   #3
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How early? 2000-2002 is plug and play with existing transmission and electric motor. 97-99 need the electric motor and transmission from a 2000 or later model.

I did my 02 S back in march. It's the best mod I've dove so far.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #4
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OEM, no the canvas/glass skin will not work if you take it off an 03-04 car and try to put it on 97-02. There are 4 support bows on the glass version, 3 on the plastic. However- if you unbolt the the whole top assembly it can work (00-02). There are aftermarket glass tops that can work for the 3 bow top.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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Thanks guys I currently have a glass window upgraded on my 99 but in service position it doesn't fold up perfectly because of the 3 bow so I was thinking of changing the whole top assembly to a 03/04 model. But seems like I'll have to go back to plastic window canvas to be able to have good excess to engine bay
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:56 AM   #6
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Yes, if better engine access is important than a rear glass window is not the way. My 04 is glass and when it comes to engine access I get jealous looking at the earlier models which can easily put their roof and clam shell into the full service position, big opening they get.
If I were to do big engine work again I'd just remove the whole top.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:49 AM   #7
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I have a 98 with the 3 bow glass top and like it a lot. Access for changing the air filter or checking PS fluid is easy enough. If you plan to spend a lot of time in there just unbolt the whole top and take it off. What... 4 bolts?
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:39 AM   #8
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A complete 2003-2004 top onto a 1997-2002 Boxster writeup is here with pictures and step by step instructions thanks to Maurice. It is the best option if the donor top is in excellent shape.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
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A complete 2003-2004 top onto a 1997-2002 Boxster writeup is here with pictures and step by step instructions thanks to Maurice. It is the best option if the donor top is in excellent shape.
Even if the donor top is not in excellent shape it's worth it to get the frame and by new canvas. Buying the complete assembly from Porsche new is in the neighborhood of $11,500 just for the parts.
In my not so humble opinion, the 4 bow is better in just about every way. The glass is quieter, easier to see out of, and does not really compromise engine access. I also believe that the profile of the top is more appealing; the difference subtle, but yet another plus. If you can find a used one, grab it.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:39 AM   #10
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Thanks a lot guys! I'm gonna look into it
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