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Old 04-08-2010, 05:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: MA
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Can't get the top up? Try this workaround

As you know, the parking brake must be engaged in order to operate the top. The Emergency Brake switch, which detects the position of the parking brake has been known to fail after a few years.
My Emergency Brake switch has been working intermittently (as evidenced by the PARK dash light not illuminating) but usually I can try disengaging/engaging the parking brake a few times & get it to light up - not today.
What I discovered is that the top operation is actually tied to the PARK light on the dash - not the switch itself.

The Workaround
If you can't get the PARK light to illuminate using the e-brake, try this - turn the key to the 'off' position (while stopped, obviously) then turn the key to 'on' without engaging the starter. This will perform a dash light/gauge check and illuminate the PARK lamp. While the lamp is lit, you can operate the top.

The Fix
Emergency Brake switch modules are < $5 and easy to replace. While the workaround above will get you out of a jam, I recommend replacing the switch. If you have an older box, it's worth throwing one of these into your shopping cart when you are placing an order, as the shipping for 1 part is 2x the price of the switch.

Part # 996 613 112 01 http://www.****************************************************.com/product/99661311201.html?Category_Code=POTEBXCM

It is #9 in this diagram:

The B&M SSK installation guide takes you through removing & re-installing the console to access the switch: http://www.bmracing.com/bmracing/installation_instruction/67.pdf

Keywords: Parking Brake, ebrake, emergency brake, e-brake, e brake

98 Arena Red 986
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:48 AM   #2
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Thanks for this. Owners will come to this page for years and enjoy what you've taught them. I love the internet and forums for this kind of stuff.
'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:06 PM   #3
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Props to you for figuring that one out! I also have an iffy handbrake switch ( and I have ordered a new one) and this has got to be one of the handiest tips I've found. Thanks dude!

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Old 04-09-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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very very nice tip
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:53 AM   #5
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Location: Finland
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My top is stuck up, and i need to change my MAF. The parking brake light does not illuminate when i pull the hand brake. Tried the workaround, but it did not work for me, so is there any other hack? Can't believe my MAF failed a few weeks ago, got a new one today, and now the switch is dead.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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You could take the console apart & jump (i.e. touch them together) the two wires going into the switch.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:55 AM   #7
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This method for circumventing the parking brake switch does not work. Just a couple weeks ago I had to replace mine. I got it at pelican parts for $8 shipped ($5 for part and $3 for snail mail shipping). I already had the part installed when on my own thread somebody mentioned this trick. Well it was too late for me since I did it the way it said in the manual, but I just went out to check it and it doesn't work. I was pretty sure I had actually tried that before I removed the the top manually. The switch does more than just illuminate the light. It goes through another circuit to allow the motor to engage. I have a 2000 boxster S. The best thing I would say that is closer to this is what somebody already recommended which is to take the switch out (you will need a T20 and T30 I believe) and close the circuit with a safety clip or something. That way it will emulate the switch being activated.

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