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Old 02-23-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
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Convertible top replacement

Gents
I need to replace my convertible top, I would like to ask a question which would be the wiser action
1. I see a second hand top from a '99 on Ebay says in good condition including the frame for $700 plus $100 shipping
2. or buy a new canvass top from GAHH or other for around $600-800 and have it installed for $800 to $1000
I am making an assumption with option 1 that it would be easier to replace and that I could do it myself
pros and cons of the task at hand
cheers
01 Boxster S, 65,000 miles

Steve

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Old 02-23-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephendoherty62
Gents
I need to replace my convertible top, I would like to ask a question which would be the wiser action
1. I see a second hand top from a '99 on Ebay says in good condition including the frame for $700 plus $100 shipping
2. or buy a new canvass top from GAHH or other for around $600-800 and have it installed for $800 to $1000
I am making an assumption with option 1 that it would be easier to replace and that I could do it myself
pros and cons of the task at hand
cheers
01 Boxster S, 65,000 miles

Steve
Steve:

As long as the vinyl window in the used top from eBay is in good shape (i.e., clear and flexible), you are better off with that option, for a couple of reasons:

1. Removing the old top and installing the "new" top and frame assembly from the '99 is an easy DIY (less than 2 hours start to finish);
[the following DIY can clarify any questions you may have about the process: http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/havingareplacementplasticwindowsewnin]

2. You will have your original top off, and then you can leisurely look around for a shop that is capable of installing a new vinyl window without removing the canvas from the frame (they need a "Juki" machine with a long throat), and that also saves on the wear and tear that stripping and replacing the canvas will cause.

3. You can then either sell your original top or resell the one you bought (because you will now have become an expert at removing and reinstalling the top and frame assembly ).

4. If you just get a new vinyl window sewn in without the luxury of time for finding the right shop, most shops just cut out the plastic window and leave its circumference still sewn in and the new window installation doesn't quite look "factory".

I'm not a big fan of the GAHH tops because of the size of the window (can't be helped because of the three-bow design of the '97 to '02 tops), and because of the somewhat restricted access to the engine compartment.

Although it's a little more expensive, if you want to get the best possible option, get an OEM top from an '03 or '04 (complete top and frame assembly) and install that with this DIY: http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/installinga'03-'04glasstopandframeona'97

One last thing... Keep in mind that you may have to "transfer" the roof liner from your '01S to the '99 if you go that route.

Regards, Maurice.

Last edited by schoir; 02-23-2011 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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Maurice,
If you do the 03 upgrade and go to the 4 bow do you also need to change the motor or transmissions stuff?
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mikes_box
Maurice,
If you do the 03 upgrade and go to the 4 bow do you also need to change the motor or transmissions stuff?
Mike:

It's not absolutely necessary, but if you have the "A Version" transmissions and set-up (i.e., B-Pillar Microswitch, Clamshell microswitch and early double relay), you will have to find a way to trip the B-Pillar microswitch at the appropriate moment in the cycle because the four-bow top's B-Pillar is located slightly differently).

Note that this only applies to MY '97 to '99 ... On the MY '00 to '02, it's a straight swap.

If you do decide to replace the transmissions and other parts for installation on a '97 to '99, you will also have to do some rewiring behind the relay tray, at the front of the new driver's side transmission, and at the electric motor.

Also, the electric motors can be used interchangeably.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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I agree with what schoir said, but I want to point out a slightly different perspective:

It really isn't that hard to replace the top canvas. I too read all the DIYs online that stress how difficult of a task this is... it's not.

It does take a while (two evenings for me), but it really isn't hard. I think I paid $350 for a plastic-window top from ebay. Two years later it still looks great.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:14 AM   #6
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Anyone knows where I can get my vinyl window replaced on Long Island?
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by nieuwhzn
Anyone knows where I can get my vinyl window replaced on Long Island?
I will contact my friend who had his vinyl window replaced and was happy with the job and with the cost and let you know. He's out east in Suffolk county, probably not that far from where you are in Shirley.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoir
I will contact my friend who had his vinyl window replaced and was happy with the job and with the cost and let you know. He's out east in Suffolk county, probably not that far from where you are in Shirley.

Regards, Maurice.
Thanks, appreciate it!
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by nieuwhzn
Thanks, appreciate it!
PM sent.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:46 PM   #10
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The GAHH top is a significant improvement vs. the OEM factory top.


The top is made out of an acoustic canvas that is significantly quieter than the OEM top -- nearly as quiet at my hardtop.


AND, I can ACTUALLY SEE out of the rear glass window. Yes, the footprint of the window is a little smaller, but you can see out of it. Did I mention that you can actually see out of the window??? You won't miss the slightly smaller footprint, ever, for even a minute.


You also get a working rear de-froster. That may or may not be important to you, but I drive my car year-round in the Northeast.


I would go with the GAHH over a older frame/plastic window combo, unless the cost difference was very significant.
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Last edited by fatmike; 02-26-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmike
The GAHH top is a significant improvement vs. the OEM factory top.
How is the engine compartment access with that top? I keep hearing that it may be a problem, but never saw pictures or anything to show how bad it is.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike_Yi
How is the engine compartment access with that top? I keep hearing that it may be a problem, but never saw pictures or anything to show how bad it is.

Yes, the access is not as good. The compartment only goes partially up. This is not a factor for me.

(i.e. - the guy who works on my car has never complained...)




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Old 02-28-2011, 02:40 AM   #13
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I have a roof including frame removed from a 98 that is good condition. There is no damage inside or out and The rear window is still relatively clear. I have removed it because I am building a spec racer and we need to run a hardtop. Roof is taking up space in my garage and if you are willing to pay for shipping from San Antonio I will happily sell it for half the price - $350.

Email me on Laurence.jitts@Att.net and I will send photographs.

I also have all of the roof motors and associated equipment if anybody is need. Likewise a complete A/C system, electric windows, rear spoiler motor and mechanism and a bunch of other stuff.

Don't want to get rich just want to get it all out of my garage.

Laurence

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