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Old 01-01-2011, 10:58 AM   #1
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Engine access with glass rear screen?

Hi,

Sorry i'm sure this has been covered before. How on earth do you get access to the engine with a glass rear screen. Tried it today and could not post the glass over the roll hoops.

Thanks, Andrew.

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
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a '99 with a glass window is an aftermarket. Search my thread from last week. Same issue.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:21 PM   #3
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The only top with a glass rear window that allows normal access in the factory unit because of the extra bow.......
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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Andrew, it is surprising that you are having the same problem as I did last week when I tried to gain access to my engine cover. I couldn't get access either (2007 w/glass window). The glass window wouldn't clear the hoops. Also, I couldn't disconnect the cable that hooks into the speaker unit so that I could remove the speaker unit to clear the access to the engine cover. My attempt to change the air filter was a total failure.

I unhooked the top skirt in the back and pulled off the cable on each side, but then couldn't roll the top up high enough to have the glass clear the hoops. My mechanical abilities are about average, but I should be able to do something as simple as getting access to the engine. Wayne (at Pelican) '101 Projects for the Boxster' made this process look so simple in his book, but..................I couldn't do it. Well, back to the dealership with my $100 bill. I think, next time, I am going to buy a car with an engine I can see.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #5
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Hi Iflylow...

Wow...! thats a tad of an oversight on the aftermarket producers.! How is it solved in the later cars that have the glass as standard. On my last car (not boxster) you could post the glass over the hoops.

So is that it...? Poor access for me?
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
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Andrew McD,

I have a glass GAHH on my 2000 and was able to work with the OE top before having the GAHH installed. Obviously there is a difference in access. But, I've been able to change my air filter, install a new air/oil separator, and install a TechnoTorque (plus other stuff that I can't remember now) with the GAHH's limited access. It would have definitely been easier with full access. But I really don't need access to the top of the engine very frequently and feel like it is a good trade-off for all of the benefits of the glass rear window.

On 2003 and newer cars the top bow has 4 rails instead of 3 on 2002 and older cars. The extra bow allows the glass to fold.
Best of luck,

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Old 01-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #7
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I have the GAHH glass rear window convertible top on my 1998 Boxster and I love it... I would never go back to plastic and doing the Boxster Kung Fu Chop again everytime I wanted to put down the top (using hand to soften plastic window fold when lowering top)

I use to do extensive work on my car as well as all my own maintenace. All you need is a decent tie strap with the ratchet mechanism and that has the hooks rubber coated.

Put your convertible top in normal engine bay access position, undo cables etc... put one hook of the tie strap along the front edge of the top and
then the other hook right where the cable ball joint snaps into the lower edge of the rear of the top. You will see a metal support brace where
the cable is attached to and there is a small metal lip that the hook of the tie strap can hold on to. It helps to have some tension already in the tie down.

so, just ratchet up the back and while it is pulling together to fold, reach inside the car and push the glass up and over the roll bars, or as far up
as it will go. and just ratchet up some more to a point that seems good but not putting any unnecessary stress on your convertible top seams / glass.

I keep that tie down ratchet in my trunk at all times . I have used it for years like that and I have NO issues with clearence and maintenance access
to the top of the engine. I got the idea because Porsche mechanics use a similar tool to work on the 2003 glass top boxsters.

I hope this helps you .
Bill
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:11 PM   #8
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Hi Bill, yes that is a great help. I'll search for such a thing. Anybody have any ideas where in the uk I might get such a thing?

Thanks, Andrew.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:58 PM   #9
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Hi guys. First post here. I stumbled upon you while looking at options for top replacement. I have a 98 Boxster and have been cursing at having to get out halfway through opening, fold the pvc window and get back in to complete the process. Thought I was an exception but I have discovered I am the rule.

I initially tried the official channels to have the OEM glass window top installed as I had been told by an authorized mechanic at some point in the past that all you need is a 4th frame bar added. The official response was that the solution is not recommended as it has never been tried and it is not certain it is possible.

Then I found various aftermarket solutions (such as GAHH's) that use the standard frame, but my joy was cut short by reports of messed up engine access.

So:

Does anyone have pictures of access with original and GAHH-type top?
If I go for the OEM top with the glass window can I only add a 4th bar or do I need a complete new 4-bar frame as someone said here?
Either way what would that entail? Is it just a matter of mounting an additional bar or entire new frame to the same mounting points or are there more "initiatives" required?

Thanks
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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GAHH glass top photos... Here is a photo of my engine access with my tie strap ratchet system holding it up and in place. As you can see... plenty of space to work on top of engine. My recommendation for any extensive work on top of engine is to also remove 4 bolts and take off rear trunk lid. If you try laying on it or sliding around on your trunk lid you will dent it and scratch it. takes 5 minutes to remove it and then you can sit or kneel in rear trunk and be much more comfortable working on the top of your engine for extended periods.

I also included photos of the GAHH top in position closed... Something to look closely at... The GAHH uses the original 3 bow system that the 1997-2002 Boxster used. The 4 Bow system for 2003-2004 Is a much different profile top, which causes the profile line of the convertible top to be a little more "bubble" like. I prefer the sleek look of the 3 bow, but that's my personal opinion. Trying to go for the 4 bow system on an earlier car will be much more difficult. I do not think engine top access is much more beneficial with the 4 bow.

This is actually my 2nd GAHH top... I was one of the first to try it out several years ago and they have made great strides in improving the construction and fit. The 1st Gahh I had on had some issue with the cables being a little too stiff and not falling into their groves along the top of the window when it closed. When a new improved version came out with better glass seal and better cables, they replaced mine for free under warranty. They stand behind their product and that was almost 3-4 years ago. I have had absolutely no issues with the top. So I highly recommend it for early 986 owners.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:19 AM   #11
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Thank you for the info and photos. Was wondering: do you have (I am certain you do ) a profile photo of the car with the top open to see how far forward it goes with the gahh top for top engine access? In the access photo I cannot tell.

I am mostly worried about damage caused by mechanics stressing things too much to access sthng.

And another thing: do you (or anyone) know what it takes (besides money) ti have the original 4-bow top installed? Do I just add another bow or do I need a whole new frame? Either way, does everything go where everything goes now or do I need additional parts or modifications?

Had not thought about the difference in profile with the 4-bow top. Will need to find some photos to compare.

Nice car, by the way. Got me thinking with the 996 motor...
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:48 AM   #12
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Georg,

If you haven't already seen this thread it's a good one started by a member here, Boxtaboy, chronicling his experience with his added 4-bow glass window top. It should answer a lot of questions about this option as well as show some pictures.

Best of luck,

ddb

http://986forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20414&highlight=Boxtaboy
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:02 AM   #13
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4 bow compared to 3 bow examples and pics....

unfortunately I do not have a profile photo showing top up in engine access mode...
All I can tell you is that I have done a complete engine conversion and worked extensively on the top of the engine with no issues concerning engine top access. Unless your mechanics are completely disrespectful, I can not imagine how they would damage your top if you gave them a good tie strap ratchet to work with and showed them how to hold it up. Before any mechanic does any work on my car I explain to them the proper way to use the strap and have it held up. it takes 2 minutes. not sure what else I can tell ya.

If you have the money and you like the look of the 4 bow, then go for the 4 bow. The Gahh top cost me about $1400-1500 installed using my existing 3 bow. To do a 4 bow system you will need a fabricator to make the 4th bow fit on your existing setup or purchase an entirely new 4 bow set. Just the glass top and fabric will still cost you around $1500 installed plus whatever the cost is to setup the 4th bow.. You can most likely find a 4 bow top from a Porsche dismantler or buy it new from porsche... Either way I think you will be paying about $2500-3000 for the 4 bow system used from a dismanlter..

one advantage of getting the 2003-2004 4th bow top is the sound insulation on the inside of the top. The 3 bow systems do not come with that.

best of luck. Having a glass top does wonders for the look and feel and the convertible top. You will not regret installing it. best of luck ;^) bill
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:16 PM   #14
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Didn't the insulated top come in around 2000 with the S model and in 2001 all models?
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:33 PM   #15
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Yes, Boxster S has inside liner, but Gahh 3 bow tops, at least when I purchased mine, did not offer the inside liners. If you had a Boxster S you could just transfer it over, but the Gahh top did not have it as part of their kit.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:47 PM   #16
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if you have a 2000+ regular top, you should have the extra sound fabric under the top. i do. it was reused when i had the GAHH was put on.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddb
Georg,

If you haven't already seen this thread it's a good one started by a member here, Boxtaboy, chronicling his experience with his added 4-bow glass window top. It should answer a lot of questions about this option as well as show some pictures.

Best of luck,

ddb

http://986forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20414&highlight=Boxtaboy
Thanks ddb. I also saved Maurice's complete works unabridged. Starting from the page you mentioned I got lost in various net places, so I cannot say exactly where I saw this, but I got the impression that if my mechanics (motor, transmissions etc) are working fine there is no reason to change anything other than the top and frame for the 03- OEM solution, in which case it would be a very easy straightforward unbolt-bolt job. Am I missing sthng?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qikqbn
...If you have the money and you like the look of the 4 bow, then go for the 4 bow. The Gahh top cost me about $1400-1500 installed using my existing 3 bow. To do a 4 bow system you will need a fabricator to make the 4th bow fit on your existing setup or purchase an entirely new 4 bow set. Just the glass top and fabric will still cost you around $1500 installed plus whatever the cost is to setup the 4th bow.. You can most likely find a 4 bow top from a Porsche dismantler or buy it new from porsche... Either way I think you will be paying about $2500-3000 for the 4 bow system used from a dismanlter...
So the 4th bow is not a separate part and the only difference between 3- and 4-bow frames? If I buy the 4th bow as a part, it will need to be modified to be installed on my frame?

BTW, Bill, I have seen it posted repeatedly that the GAHH setup puts a lot of stress on the window (I guess by the fabric stretching too much when folding). How's yours? I am not so much worried about the window coming loose (they seem to have worked that out), but mostly about everything else (transmissions, cables, motor) being overworked in the long run.

The problem with buying from a dismantler is that I would be buying used. For the frame I wouldn't mind. But for the top I am not certain it makes sense, unless you are planning to sell the car at a specific time.

Maybe find a 4-bow frame at a dismantler and buy a GAHH top for the 03- car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qikqbn
one advantage of getting the 2003-2004 4th bow top is the sound insulation on the inside of the top. The 3 bow systems do not come with that.
GAHH now sells the top as an Akoustik version (supposedly OEM GI after 2009). I just don't know if that would be stiffer (maybe too stiff for the health of the mechanics).

Quote:
Originally Posted by qikqbn
best of luck. Having a glass top does wonders for the look and feel and the convertible top. You will not regret installing it. best of luck ;^) bill
Thanks. Am trying but it looks like it's not very easy...

I saw a 01 Boxster with what looked like the GAHH top outside an independent service place, but it was pouring so I'll go back take a look again. If I am lucky they have one with the OEM 4-bow top as well to compare side by side. Is the roof line (profile) the same as the current model?
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg
I got the impression that if my mechanics (motor, transmissions etc) are working fine there is no reason to change anything other than the top and frame for the 03- OEM solution, in which case it would be a very easy straightforward unbolt-bolt job. Am I missing sthng?
You have a 98, and I remember reading that the 4-bow off an 03 or 04 is not a simple bolt-on for pre-2000. I don't recall it being impossible, but there's something else involved.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:21 PM   #19
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This is what I was referring to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by schoir
Rick:

BTW, if you wanted to stick with your old style transmissions (which is not what I have chosen to do), I don't see why you wouldn't be able to swap in the new '03-'04 glass top and frame in place of your '99 top and frame and have it work the same way that the old top worked.

I don't believe that the change from 3 bow to 4 bow frame would have any negative effect on the timing providied by the after-running time built into the "old" system.

It's worth a try if your old "Version A" transmissions and the rest of your system are working 100%. It's easy enough to put the old top and frame back on if it doesn't work for you, at least until you get the rest of the new parts.

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Old 02-04-2011, 08:36 AM   #20
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Saw a car (01 I believe) at an independent place with what looked like a GAHH top installed. They had installed it themselves in the past but could (would?) tell me neither top manufacturer nor year of installation.

Side by side with mine with the pvc window and an 03 (OEM glass) 3 cars further away:

(1) wife says mine looks better (hmm...) for a reason I failed to grasp - no surprise there, I guess
(2) straight from the back my car itself looked better - probably more sqwat with my OEM sports suspension
(3) straight from the back the GAHH top looked the best. The shorter glass made the top look smaller and wider adding to that beautiful butt (I could add a remark here but I would probably be banned a couple of days after joining so I'll keep it to myself)
(4) profile: my car looked way best, next was the GAHH, then the OEM glass top. GAHH and OEM glass was a close call as Bill's bubble of the OEM was almost totally outweighed by the bubble in GAHH's glass. For some reason GAHH's window has a pronounced convexity to the outside (rear) in the vertical axis (besides left-right). I had the guy open-close slowly and checked for a reason, but could not see that there would be a problem with the rear shelf if the glass had been vertically straight. Maybe GAHH's mind works in mysterious ways (or mine doesn't at all ).
(5) OEM look: undecided yet. GAHH looks nice but I am not certain it looks like it might have been an OEM item (due to window design, not quality, which appeared on a par with the OEM units).

Main reason for opening/closing little by little was to check for stress to the glass or the joint. It appeared to be a close call (GAHH must have used every mm of size they could with that window) but it does not look it would be an issue. That said, it looked like the window top edge might have started separating itself, but not certain. Then again it might well have been a previous generation top. Something was amiss though...

Someone had asked for size difference. I am afraid I did not have a measure on me, but the OEM window was more than 50% taller than the GAHH.

Overall, I am for the time being leaning more towards the GAHH unit: according to those guys OEM top and frame additions would escalate the OEM glass top cost to several times that of the GAHH. OEM from salvage yards would of course work, but then you are buying a used top w/ so much life in it (maybe not more that your carefully looked after current one).

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