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Old 11-15-2007, 07:37 AM   #1
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New owner, didn't know about "chop", window seam ripped...

I bought a 2002 2.7L seal gray w/ black top. I guess I didn't think that I would have to get out of the car to lower the top (kinda defeats the purpose of an auto top). The previous owner didn't say a thing about the chop.

Put the top down, up, down, up, second day of owning the car and it creased the window on the passenger side and ripped the window from the top about 3" long. The window went back to shape 90%, but now i have a 3" long rip between the top and the window.

Luckily it's only rained one time since I've had the car (last night) not much rain really leaked in, but then I taped a sheet of plastic over the rip so nothing could get in.

I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions...?

Pic of car btw:


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Old 11-15-2007, 07:46 AM   #2
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You have three options:
One, is to replace the entire top (Expensive $800+)
Two, take it to an upholstery shop (Reasonable $400+)
Three, buy a kit off of eBay and hand sew a new one in yourself (Cheapest $100)

There might be other ways to do it buy these are the most common ways people fix broken tops. I would go with option three, but I don't like spending alot of cash when I can do something myself. You can also remove the top to sew in the new window.
Best of Luck Getting it Fixed!
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:23 AM   #3
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i wold try the 3rd one, looks like you can take off the whole top assembly w 3 bolts, and they go back into the same exact position so you dont have to worry about aligning anything afterwards, and you can take the top in the warm house and sew it in.
i plan on doing this sometime later on, with the tinted plastic
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:36 AM   #4
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a kit like this? http://cgi.ebay.com/Porsche-Boxster-Plastic-Window-911-Convertible-Cabrio_W0QQitemZ230189098974QQihZ013QQcategoryZ336 52QQcmdZViewItem

Does it actually look good? Can anyone do it? I can rebuild engines with my hands, but I'm not too keen on sewing.

I have the money to do all 3, it just seems like a waste to replace the top just because of one little tear.

I've gotten some quotes around atlanta to get the top replaced, all of them are $1500+ parts/labor. $2200 for glass window installed.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:17 AM   #5
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I vote for #1. You can get one of the new GAHH replacment tops with a glass window that won't need a chop during the opening process, and, it comes with rear defroster. That will be much better than spending any money to replace a crappy plastic window that will likely need replacement again at some point.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:48 AM   #6
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The eBay link you posted was the one I was refering too. You could also just buy a hardtop and forget about the tear.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by turbo23dog
I vote for #1. You can get one of the new GAHH replacment tops with a glass window that won't need a chop during the opening process, and, it comes with rear defroster. That will be much better than spending any money to replace a crappy plastic window that will likely need replacement again at some point.
I agree with him. Just buy the glass one! You will never have to worry about it tearing and if you just get another plastic one, who's to say it won't happen again? Plus, thieves have been known to slash the plastic windows to gain entry for a quick grab of your stuff inside while the alarm goes off. Why would you replace the plastic with another plastic on when you have the chance to upgrade.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:22 AM   #8
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Just FYI: A respected (read: recommended to me by a porsche and a high end body shop) upholstery in my area recently replaced my rear window, total cost was $250 (including labor). If you've got cash to burn, a glass top is the way to go, but if you can get it replaced/repaired for under $300, you may be better off doing that.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:31 AM   #9
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I can't get a good quote in the atlanta area, anyone know of a good shop?

hardtop is out of the question, i'm addicted to being topless
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonko The Sane
Just FYI: A respected (read: recommended to me by a porsche and a high end body shop) upholstery in my area recently replaced my rear window, total cost was $250 (including labor). If you've got cash to burn, a glass top is the way to go, but if you can get it replaced/repaired for under $300, you may be better off doing that.
I was in a local custom upholstery shop a few weeks ago, and there was a Box in the shop for a new plastic rear window. I asked the shop owner what the price was for a new rear window in a Boxster, and he said about $700, because you have to remove the top from the frame to sew in the new window.
Did my guy not know what he was doing (possible, but he's been in business in the same shop for about 25yrs that I know of), or are we talking about a different process, i.e. sewn in vs heat sealed , etc?
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:05 AM   #11
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Geez Wonko, where'd you get that done for $250? I'd be willing to drive up to PA for that price. I can't leave the house right now to look, but my wife informs me that someone burnt a hole in our plastic window with a cigarrette at her office the other day.

Josh, sorry for the bad luck right out of the chute. It's wierd, the chop only seems necessary on some cars. We have never done it with ours. Can I ask what the temperature was that day? At around 60 degrees, you can't put the top down without warming it up first or the window will crack.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:46 PM   #12
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The place I got it done was called Rainbow Upholstery in Lock Haven, PA. I don't think they have a website, but the guy has been doing upholstery for 30+ years... Here's a link to google maps so you can plot it yourself: Google Maps

The stock boxster window is heat sealed (glued/melted?) in place as well as sewn, this replacement window is just sewn in. The two places that recommended this shop are Black Walnut Autobody (they work on the high end stuff in the area) and European Imports, an independent shop that does porsche work, where I had my PPI done on my car before I bought it. I figured if both of them recommended it, then they probably knew what they were doing as those shops regularly have cars a LOT nicer than the ol' box in their shops

I'm sure that if you were going to have it melted/glued as well as sewn, it would cost more, but I figure that the miatas have sewn in windows, and they regularly hold up at least 5 years or more, by the time this stitching fails it will be time for a new top anyway.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:12 PM   #13
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I forgot to mention, the previous owner had the window replaced due to a crack less than 2 years ago.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:44 PM   #14
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Ah, so did the window itself rip, or did the stitching fail? If the vinyl ripped, and you go the repair route, ensure that you get the thicker plastic.. If you go the replacement top route (and can swing the extra cost), I've never heard of anyone regret buying a glass window
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #15
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This is entirely the fault of Porsche. The manual for the cars with plastic windows doesn't mention the first word about manually doing anything to the top when you lower it.

When I purchased my Boxster the owner lowered the top without folding the plastic window. Having owned a Miata for 15 years and a MGB for four years made me a little leery of doing that so when I got home I read the owners manual and didn't find a word about doing this. The first time I lowered the top I saw the way it was folding and knew that even if it made it OK that time that it wouldn't be that long until it creased the window. When I found this forum I found out for sure that you needed to knock out the creases.

I live in Suwanee and I don't know of a shop up here but there was a great shop on Lawrenceville Hwy in Tucker. I can't remember the name of it but it is between Brockett Rd and Idlewood Rd on Lawrencevile Hwy. The shop was owned by a woman and she knew convertible tops. They put a new one on a 1972 Cutlass that I owned many years ago and did a great job for a fair price.

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Old 11-15-2007, 03:37 PM   #16
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Two and a half years and I have yet to "chop". My top folds nicely and no creases or cracks. Of course I dont lower the top unless it is warm. Cold plastic is not pliable and can crack.

Just luck I guess...
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshMD
I forgot to mention, the previous owner had the window replaced due to a crack less than 2 years ago.
You cant resew another window in top, only 2 then it will leak
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:54 PM   #18
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A note on the "chop." I chopped mine the first few times. But since I got a hardtop, and have had the soft top sitting perfectly creased underneath. Whenever I remove the hardtop my soft top folds neatly. So maybe if you leave the soft top down long enough with the correct creasing it will continue to crease without the, "chop," in the future.
Just my theory!
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rick3000
A note on the "chop." I chopped mine the first few times. But since I got a hardtop, and have had the soft top sitting perfectly creased underneath. Whenever I remove the hardtop my soft top folds neatly. So maybe if you leave the soft top down long enough with the correct creasing it will continue to crease without the, "chop," in the future.
Just my theory!

that makes sense, the owner said she almost never put the top down, so she probably replaced it and never put it down so it just didn't have a good tendency to fold correctly.

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