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Old 02-01-2011, 09:56 AM   #1
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Problem with convertible roof

Hello everyone,

This is my first post to the forum, I've just recently purchased a 1999 Porsche Boxster

The problem I'm have is the roof is locked in a closed position. When I try the roof button, I don't get anything (I can't hear any transfer of power).

I've put a multimeter to the B6 and D3 fuse. I am getting power from the B6 but nothing from D3 slot.

Can anyone advise what I can do here to get my roof working or if the problem does in fact lie with D3 slot?

Thanks

Paul


Last edited by Paulsingh; 02-01-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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Just make sure that ...

... the emergency brake light is on.
Even if the parking brake is engaged, if the light is not on you will not get power to the top's motor.
Some times the microswitch on the e-brake acts up.
Happy Boxstering
Pedro
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulsingh

The problem I'm have is the roof is locked in a closed position. When I try the roof button, I don't get anything (I can't hear any transfer of power).l
Paul, do you mean the big button on the convertible itself, the one that lets you unlock it from the windshield, or do you mean the electronic switch to lower the roof?

I'm going to assume the switch to start the motor...

Check what Padro said first, if your brake is engaged and you 'release the roof lock' what happens?. I know there is a little switch like the cover of an old clothes washer that stops the spin cycle if you lift the top...only the reverse on the latch for the top of the convertible.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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Hi! Please do check if the warning light for the handbrake is on when you pull the handbrake. Mine would not come on, had to change the switch to get the roof working. Good luck!

http://www.bombaydigital.com/boxster/projects/parking_brake_switch/
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:01 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I've checked the hand break light and that stays on. So I'm not sure if it's that.

Also when I release the roof from the top/ convertible itself, the windows lower but the top doesn't move. I'm trying this by the convertible switch on the dash by the radio compartment.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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Paul, ok I just tried this, as I suspected the little washing machine type switch does indeed effect whether or not the top will close or open. Once you unlatch the roof and the hook is pulled from the housing on the window you will see a little hole where the hook went in. You can open and close switch in there with your finger or a screw driver. It is there so that the roof won't engage if it is not unlocked first. See if that is somehow stuck in the up position (i.e. the position that it would be in if roof latch hook was in it). If I push mine in the roof will not open or close. I actually hear a little clitch when I push it in with my finger.

That housing on the window (I'll have to get the name in my PET system) has other electronics in it too such as the interior light and I think the motion sensor and rain sensor though I'm not sure of those details. All I know is mine has broken away from the window because the nuts in the window frame split open. While I was trying to fix it I saw all the electronics in there.

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulsingh
Thanks guys, I've checked the hand break light and that stays on. So I'm not sure if it's that.

Also when I release the roof from the top/ convertible itself, the windows lower but the top doesn't move. I'm trying this by the convertible switch on the dash by the radio compartment.
Paul:

If you have eliminated the emergency brake light switch and the indicator light is lighting up properly when you pull up on the handbrake, your problem lies elsewhere.

From the symptoms that you describe, the most likely cause is one of the two microswitches that are located inside the latch receptacle in the windshield frame.

There are two microswitches in the latch receptacle assembly. There is one on the left side of the assembly (has a large plunger that juts out when the latch is open). That one controls the 4" window drop that occurs immediately when you pull down the latch to open the top. There is another one on the right side of the assembly, and that is the one that activates the convertible top double relay.

My guess in your case is that it is the latter, and that in all likelihood one of the parallel strips has a hairline crack in the soldered connection. You may be able to repair it by reflowing the solder. You should examine that little assembly with a magnifying glass as the crack(s) is(are) difficult to spot.

Since you are getting the window drop, that is an indication that the other (plunger-type) microswitch is okay.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:28 PM   #8
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Maurice, much better explanation of what I was seeing up in there, now i know what that stuff is for
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by WhipE350
Maurice, much better explanation of what I was seeing up in there, now i know what that stuff is for
Whip:

The other microswitch inside the latch assembly has a different way of failing.

Whereas the parallel strips microswitch usually gets a hairline crack, the plunger-type microswitch (that controls the window-drop function) usually fails because it warps or gets distorted enough to no longer function as intended. In that case, the hook on the end of the latch no longer depresses it enough to trip or release the switch.

The plastic part of that switch becomes deformed, either from heat or from use. When the plastic in the mechanism has bent, the microswitch will usually still work when it is pushed in farther. You can test this theory by putting something in between the latch and the switch (like a small rectangular piece of cardboard) and see if the problem goes away. If you want to test it immediately before you devise a small piece of cardboard, close the top and, before you pull the latch shut, press into the spot where the tip of the hook of the latch normally goes (either with your finger or with the eraser part of a pencil) and see if the windows remain all the way closed. If that works, then you can decide if you want to stick a little piece of cardboard (or similar material) on the end of the hook or if you want to take the latch receptacle apart and try to bend the bent plastic part back into shape, or replace the microswitch. If it doesn't work, that switch will have to be replaced.

Let's hope Paul resolves this after he dives into the latch receptacle assembly.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Maurice, (Paul sorry to highjack your thread) do you know how to replace the two nuts up in the window frame that the latch assemble attaches to, both mine split and the screws can no longer hold the assemble in place, I looked in the PET system and couldn't identify the nuts by part number.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by WhipE350
Maurice, (Paul sorry to highjack your thread) do you know how to replace the two nuts up in the window frame that the latch assemble attaches to, both mine split and the screws can no longer hold the assemble in place, I looked in the PET system and couldn't identify the nuts by part number.
Whip:

IIRC, there was a similar problem with split nuts that involved the sun visors, with a fix posted on the old PPBB forum.

I'll do a search in those archives and post it here if I find it.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoir
Whip:

IIRC, there was a similar problem with split nuts that involved the sun visors, with a fix posted on the old PPBB forum.

I'll do a search in those archives and post it here if I find it.

Regards, Maurice.
I think the fix is applicable to your split nuts.

Here's the link on PPBB: http://www.ppbb.com/phorum/read.php?6,1229019,1229019#msg-1229019

There are some photos missing from that thread, so here's the link to Mike Focke's website, where he has hosted this fix: http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/randrcenternuts

You can definitely get a set of "nutserts" that will fit in there and take the place of the broken ones for a permanent fix.

Let us know how you make out.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:39 PM   #13
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Perfect, thanks! I'll post back how it goes.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:11 AM   #14
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Brilliant thanks Maurice,

Finally got the roof to function, there was a hair line crack which I managed to solder.

Bear in mind, the roof had been disconnected from the rear hinges to manually close it, but when I reconnected these and put the roof down, there were some rather large 'snapping noises'!! completely cheesed off. From what I can see below the rear panel, the arms have come off the hinges - but why would this happen??

It also only rocks back and forward when I push the up/down button - but I think this could be due to a flat battery!

Would appreciate your feedback.

Paul



Quote:
Originally Posted by schoir
Paul:

If you have eliminated the emergency brake light switch and the indicator light is lighting up properly when you pull up on the handbrake, your problem lies elsewhere.

From the symptoms that you describe, the most likely cause is one of the two microswitches that are located inside the latch receptacle in the windshield frame.

There are two microswitches in the latch receptacle assembly. There is one on the left side of the assembly (has a large plunger that juts out when the latch is open). That one controls the 4" window drop that occurs immediately when you pull down the latch to open the top. There is another one on the right side of the assembly, and that is the one that activates the convertible top double relay.

My guess in your case is that it is the latter, and that in all likelihood one of the parallel strips has a hairline crack in the soldered connection. You may be able to repair it by reflowing the solder. You should examine that little assembly with a magnifying glass as the crack(s) is(are) difficult to spot.

Since you are getting the window drop, that is an indication that the other (plunger-type) microswitch is okay.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Paulsingh
Brilliant thanks Maurice,

Finally got the roof to function, there was a hair line crack which I managed to solder.

Bear in mind, the roof had been disconnected from the rear hinges to manually close it, but when I reconnected these and put the roof down, there were some rather large 'snapping noises'!! completely cheesed off. From what I can see below the rear panel, the arms have come off the hinges - but why would this happen??

It also only rocks back and forward when I push the up/down button - but I think this could be due to a flat battery!

Would appreciate your feedback.

Paul
Paul:

Good work finding that hairline crack!

Since you have a '99, I am reasonably certain that it still has the original "A Version" transmissions installed. Those have a half-moon gear inside of them (as opposed to a 360 degree round gear in the B Version-after MY 2000) and what you are hearing is the sound of each half-moon gear being rotated past its respective 50th tooth and then being pulled sharply back by the black "hydraulic" pushrods.

Please be more specific about what you mean by "arms" and "hinges" so that we can diagnose it properly and devise a fix. Posting a couple of photos would help.

At some point, you will have to re-synchronize the transmissions by spinning each of the V-levers with a cordless drill which you will use to drive the V-levers to the correct position.

The rocking back and forth, if it's occurring when the top is near the completely closed collection, is not caused by a weak or discharged battery. The most likely cause is a result of the B-Pillar microswitch being triggered on and off as the top approaches the completely closed position. That switch can be adjusted by bending the small silver metal arm protruding from it so that it gets depressed/released by the B-Pillar part of the convertible top frame at the correct moment in the sequence.

Your first step is to synchronize the transmissions and then you can try to adjust the B-pillar microswitch to see if you can get it to the optimal position.

Regards, Maurice.

Last edited by schoir; 02-04-2011 at 03:30 PM. Reason: correct sentence structure
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:06 AM   #16
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Thanks Maurice, weathers a little bad here right now so I'll be looking at this again when the weather looks up. :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by schoir
Paul:

Good work finding that hairline crack!

Since you have a '99, I am reasonably certain that it still has the original "A Version" transmissions installed. Those have a half-moon gear inside of them (as opposed to a 360 degree round gear in the B Version-after MY 2000) and what you are hearing is the sound of each half-moon gear being rotated past its respective 50th tooth and then being pulled sharply back by the black "hydraulic" pushrods.

Please be more specific about what you mean by "arms" and "hinges" so that we can diagnose it properly and devise a fix. Posting a couple of photos would help.

At some point, you will have to re-synchronize the transmissions by spinning each of the V-levers with a cordless drill which you will use to drive the V-levers to the correct position.

The rocking back and forth, if it's occurring when the top is near the completely closed collection, is not caused by a weak or discharged battery. The most likely cause is a result of the B-Pillar microswitch being triggered on and off as the top approaches the completely closed position. That switch can be adjusted by bending the small silver metal arm protruding from it so that it gets depressed/released by the B-Pillar part of the convertible top frame at the correct moment in the sequence.

Your first step is to synchronize the transmissions and then you can try to adjust the B-pillar microswitch to see if you can get it to the optimal position.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:15 PM   #17
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Thanks Maurice, weathers a little bad here right now so I'll be looking at this again when the weather looks up. :-)
Paul:

We on the east coast feel your pain, in spades this winter!

We've had so much sn*w that I'm looking for Al Gore so I can put it in the right place! LOL!!!

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:46 AM   #18
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Right, I'm going to try and have another look at this today.

I've checked and it seems the two load noises were the two spool arms on either side of the top.

The red plastic screw on female ball joints have broken on the spool arms. I'm assuming the top was out of line?

Anyone had this problem?

Any advice on a fix would be great.

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulsingh
Right, I'm going to try and have another look at this today.

I've checked and it seems the two load noises were the two spool arms on either side of the top.

The red plastic screw on female ball joints have broken on the spool arms. I'm assuming the top was out of line?

Anyone had this problem?

Any advice on a fix would be great.

Thanks in advance
Lots of cars had this issue. The top cables have ball clips made of plastic to specifically break to prevent damage to the frame and the clamshell if the top goes out of alignment. This is a Fail-Safe mechanism.

The top can go out of alignment several ways. The most common is that the plastic shielding on the top transmission cables will shrink from age causing the cable inside to pull away from, or disengage the transmission. Meanwhile, you operate the top and the transmission 'skips' past the now slightly retracted cable and one side of the frame gets skewed slightly out of sync. The cable sets back into place and the top seems to work, but it is out of sync, causing the cable ball ends to break.

The fix is to replace the top cables and the transmission cables. The trick is to get everything synchronized again. This involves running the motor to it's stop (fully lowered, or raised) and then attaching each new transmission cable in the exact same orientation so both sides now operate in unison and perfect sync.

The procedure is well described in the Bentley Manual, which is an absolute must if you own one of these cars.

Cheers!
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:42 AM   #20
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...We've had so much sn*w that I'm looking for Al Gore so I can put it in the right place! LOL!!!

Regards, Maurice.

You mean in the Lockbox...???

Cheers!

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