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Old 10-19-2004, 07:13 AM   #1
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Replace top or plastic window?

I know the matter has been discussed in some detail earlier, but based on the previous discussions I couldn't make up my mind which way to go...

So, I have a '97 model with a fairly decent soft top, but the rear window is beyond recovery... tried Renovo and yes its better now but miracles don't happen, I'm afraid.

So the options are to replace the entire top or try to locate an upholstery shop that would just replace the rear window. If I've understood correctly, taking the top off and putting it back on again is the costly part. The plastic window doesn't cost much and an aftermarket top is not that expensive either... I haven't had the courage to even ask what a new top from Porsche would cost.

Currently I think I might as well replace the whole top if it has to be taken off anyway. Yes it might cost a couple of hundred $/ more, but nothing excessive (I hope).

Have you guys been pleased with the after market tops or have you stayed loyal to Porsche and paid huge sums for the original replacement top?

Anyone have any experience, or heard of anyone who has, of these tops offered on eBay? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7918103757&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT

The top is made of original German Sonnenland canvas and the price seems to be very competitive.

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Old 10-19-2004, 10:11 AM   #2
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I have never seen an aftermarket top, or if I did it looked good enough that I did not notice.

My January 1997 has the original top and I am waiting for the window to crack. Then I am going to buy an aftermarket top as the cost difference with just a window replacement is almost nothing.

I am tempted by that ebay top. Buy it and let us know how it looks and fits.
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Old 10-19-2004, 01:04 PM   #3
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So I get to be the guineapig
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Old 10-19-2004, 03:59 PM   #4
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I haven't replaced my top (Boxster) but I have looked into both options because I have a small tear in my window. The Porsche tops cost a bit - roughly $3k installed at a dealer. I expect the top iteslf runs up toward $1000. The best aftermarket top seem to be from the Robbins company (~$600 for a Boxster). They use the same materials and re-use the same frame.

I went to a local shop (that I was impressed with after speaking with the owner and that does this work for a lot of local dealers) and a replacement window would be $600-$700. A replacement top would be about $1700 installed.

The risk with a window is that there always a possibility of it leaking (I don't know how much of a risk). They may be able to use some of the new plastics that are less likely to scratch, though.

If the rest of your top is good, I'd say go for the window and replace the top some other time when it starts looking worn.
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Old 10-21-2004, 06:27 AM   #5
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I just actually was at the dealer, and then a canvas shop yesterday. I need to replace my rear window as well, as its cracked and I can't see through the damn thing.

The canvas shop said it would probably be cheaper to have them make a new top, since its harder to take the old window out, and put a new one in, and the labor would be much more than making a new top. (That's what he says...)

My top is worn and faded anyway, so a new one wouldn't be a bad idea. Just shop around, talk to different canvas shops, and gather all the info that way. I know its cheaper than going the Porsche route, but in terms of warranties and support, it might be a toss-up.
"Action is Eloquence." -Shakespeare

"I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. And then I ran some more." -Fight Club
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Old 10-23-2004, 02:09 AM   #6
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i have replaced my rear window as my top is perfect. I cant see the point in replacing the whole roof everytime the window cracks which will happen to everyone at some stage.

Plus, i am now aware of a tinted plastic porsche window however at the time i only replaced it with clear.
They made a first class job of it!

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