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Old 06-03-2016, 03:51 AM   #1
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Hardtop Boxster -04

Close to buying a Boxster S from 2004.

Thinking of buying a hardtop secondhand to use in early spring and late autumn. Also wondering if there are ways to fit a roof box with enough length to fit skis in or a roof rack for a bike or two.

I´ve seen that there are two versions of the hardtop for Boxster.

986 563 911 01 - 1997
986 563 911 03 - 1998- 2004

I don´t want to use the solutions that you see on pictures from early model that also fit when using the soft top. I´m thinking of a solution more like fitting something from Thule. Is there any preparations on the hardtop from that like a standard car?

Unfortunately I have not seen any Boxters with hardtop in my area lately in person. Hope that someone here have some helpful information.

Thanks.

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Old 06-03-2016, 04:58 AM   #2
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Fins della norga, snella barn ar?

(Can't spell it. I was Tompten for a little girl's Christmas this year)

No help with hard top.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:02 AM   #3
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I think the Porsche roof transport system is the only thing out there that will safely let you carry things over the roof of the Boxster. While early version of the hard top had the external covers at the back of the B pillar all Boxsters have the small body piece at the B pillar behind the top of each door where the RTS mounts. I don't think any rack manufacturer, e.g. Thule, Yakima, Rocky Mounts, will endorse use of any of their rack systems on the hard top. Yakima used to make adapters that could be bolted to car roofs without any way to otherwise attach a rack, but I think the weight of a box or ski rack combined with the aerodynamic forces at work at highway speeds would do a number on the hard top.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timco View Post
Fins della norga, snella barn ar?

(Can't spell it. I was Tompten for a little girl's Christmas this year)

No help with hard top.
Not bad

Finns det några snälla barn här?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulE View Post
I think the Porsche roof transport system is the only thing out there that will safely let you carry things over the roof of the Boxster. While early version of the hard top had the external covers at the back of the B pillar all Boxsters have the small body piece at the B pillar behind the top of each door where the RTS mounts. I don't think any rack manufacturer, e.g. Thule, Yakima, Rocky Mounts, will endorse use of any of their rack systems on the hard top. Yakima used to make adapters that could be bolted to car roofs without any way to otherwise attach a rack, but I think the weight of a box or ski rack combined with the aerodynamic forces at work at highway speeds would do a number on the hard top.
Not the answer I was hoping for. I guess I need to look deeper into the questions in hand. Maybe put the question forward to Thule for Porsche. There might be a reason you never seen anything fitted to the hardtop itself on Google and pictures.

If I just use the hardtop as it is without hope to fit anything on it. Is it worth sourcing. Is the car more comfortable sound wise during the time of year when you really don't use the soft top?
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulE View Post
I think the Porsche roof transport system is the only thing out there that will safely let you carry things over the roof of the Boxster. While early version of the hard top had the external covers at the back of the B pillar all Boxsters have the small body piece at the B pillar behind the top of each door where the RTS mounts. I don't think any rack manufacturer, e.g. Thule, Yakima, Rocky Mounts, will endorse use of any of their rack systems on the hard top. Yakima used to make adapters that could be bolted to car roofs without any way to otherwise attach a rack, but I think the weight of a box or ski rack combined with the aerodynamic forces at work at highway speeds would do a number on the hard top.
Not the answer I was looking for. I guess I need to put the question forward to Thule or Porsche. But there are probably a reason you don't see anything fitted to the hardtop itself if you Google Boxter + hardtop + roof box or similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timco View Post
Fins della norga, snella barn ar?

(Can't spell it. I was Tompten for a little girl's Christmas this year)

No help with hard top.
Nice try

Finns det några snälla barn här?
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timco View Post
Fins della norga, snella barn ar?

(Can't spell it. I was Tompten for a little girl's Christmas this year)

No help with hard top.
Nice try

Finns det några snälla barn här?
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Old 06-03-2016, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timco View Post
Fins della norga, snella barn ar?

(Can't spell it. I was Tompten for a little girl's Christmas this year)

No help with hard top.
Nice try :-)

Finns det några snälla barn här?
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Old 06-03-2016, 03:38 PM   #8
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I believe I can be of some assistance, I have an early hardtop (with ears) and the Porsche Roof Transport System (RTS). Firstly, the only difference between the two hardtops are the ears, which is just a small plastic cap behind the windows which you can pop off to mount the RTS. However, Porsche quickly abandoned this design and removed the ears from the hardtop.

The RTS was sold with mounts to be fitted to hardtops with ears or directly to the body by popping off the 'wingtips' just behind the door / in front of the clamshell. When the hardtops with ears were discontinued Porsche issued a TSB which advised everyone to mount the RTS directly to the body (under the wingtips). I have mounted my RTS both ways, and suggest the body mount (under the wingtips) because it is a lot sturdier and quieter.

To your other question, the RTS is the only rack available for the 986, unless you are looking for a trunk mounted luggage rack. I am actually surprised Porsche even made a roof rack for a convertible, and no one else offers anything 986 specific or universal that would work. The main problem is that the roof has too much of a curve to stick or clip anything to it.

I even investigated mounting a ski rack to a trunk mounted luggage rack, but that presents two issues. The trunk racks cause paint damage and the angle is not steep enough to clear the top. I suppose you could weld a rack onto the hardtop, but it's made of aluminum and there is a good chance it would deform under any significant weight. The RTS is rated for 175 lbs.

I have a 6' Thule box I mount on my RTS in the winter, and a few others have mounted bike, surf, kayak racks. The RTS bars are oval and you can use most generic ski, bike, etc carriers. I will say my 986 handles horribly with a roof box, way too top heavy, and I bought the slimmest box available. But it sure looks cool.

Hope that helps!

 photo IMG_0025EDITED.jpg
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Last edited by rick3000; 06-03-2016 at 03:45 PM. Reason: added picture
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:58 PM   #9
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I've been trying to quote reply for each of one replyed so far in the thread. There seem to be some problem when posting. Consider this reply as a test. I get back later. Untill later. Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timco View Post
Fins della norga, snella barn ar?

(Can't spell it. I was Tompten for a little girl's Christmas this year)

No help with hard top.
Nice try

Finns det några snälla barn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulE View Post
I think the Porsche roof transport system is the only thing out there that will safely let you carry things over the roof of the Boxster. While early version of the hard top had the external covers at the back of the B pillar all Boxsters have the small body piece at the B pillar behind the top of each door where the RTS mounts. I don't think any rack manufacturer, e.g. Thule, Yakima, Rocky Mounts, will endorse use of any of their rack systems on the hard top. Yakima used to make adapters that could be bolted to car roofs without any way to otherwise attach a rack, but I think the weight of a box or ski rack combined with the aerodynamic forces at work at highway speeds would do a number on the hard top.
Not the answer I was looking for. But I guess there are reasons why you don´t see any solutions where Porsches own solution is fitted to the Boxster (with or without hardtop).

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
I believe I can be of some assistance, I have an early hardtop (with ears) and the Porsche Roof Transport System (RTS). Firstly, the only difference between the two hardtops are the ears, which is just a small plastic cap behind the windows which you can pop off to mount the RTS. However, Porsche quickly abandoned this design and removed the ears from the hardtop.

The RTS was sold with mounts to be fitted to hardtops with ears or directly to the body by popping off the 'wingtips' just behind the door / in front of the clamshell. When the hardtops with ears were discontinued Porsche issued a TSB which advised everyone to mount the RTS directly to the body (under the wingtips). I have mounted my RTS both ways, and suggest the body mount (under the wingtips) because it is a lot sturdier and quieter.

To your other question, the RTS is the only rack available for the 986, unless you are looking for a trunk mounted luggage rack. I am actually surprised Porsche even made a roof rack for a convertible, and no one else offers anything 986 specific or universal that would work. The main problem is that the roof has too much of a curve to stick or clip anything to it.

I even investigated mounting a ski rack to a trunk mounted luggage rack, but that presents two issues. The trunk racks cause paint damage and the angle is not steep enough to clear the top. I suppose you could weld a rack onto the hardtop, but it's made of aluminum and there is a good chance it would deform under any significant weight. The RTS is rated for 175 lbs.

I have a 6' Thule box I mount on my RTS in the winter, and a few others have mounted bike, surf, kayak racks. The RTS bars are oval and you can use most generic ski, bike, etc carriers. I will say my 986 handles horribly with a roof box, way too top heavy, and I bought the slimmest box available. But it sure looks cool.

Hope that helps!

 photo IMG_0025EDITED.jpg
Very helpful post. I have other solutions if I really need to haul things like skis around. With that said it would be fun to take the car on a trip to the alps to ski in early spring. A weekendbag and ski boots in the trunks and skis on the roof (there are always rental skis).

I had an Alfa Romeo GTV (916 model) many years ago. Alfa Romeo offered a rack solution for the trunk. I never bought it however. That car was as practical as a 911. But you bought it for the engine note alone.

Is it a big difference in comfort between the soft top and hardtop an daily basis? If I would source the hardtop just for use in the spring and late autumn.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:03 PM   #11
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Seems that there are no moderator around to approve the post I made when quoting your posts in them.

Anyway, I choose to reply this way instead:

Timco Wrote:

"Fins della norga, snella barn ar?

(Can't spell it. I was Tompten for a little girl's Christmas this year)"

This is how you spell it: Finns det några snälla barn här?

Thats a nice try I must say

To Rick and Paul: Not the answers I was hoping for. But it explains why you don´t see any pictures with a Boxster with hardtop and roof rack not using Porsches own RTS system. 79 kg is not much weight. Don´t know how much a roof box itself weights with that said. Ski equipment, A pair of skis, ski boots, avalanche rug sack, shovel, pole etc ads up.

What´s the comfort like with hardtop compared to the soft top if I would source a hardtop even if there are no practical reason.
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:31 PM   #12
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My Thule box weights about 15-20 lbs. I have had 3 pairs of skis and poles in the box, with my boots and tire chains in the front trunk, and my other gear in the rear trunk. You could easily travel with ski equipment and luggage for one person by using the passenger seat, but for two people it would be tough. I also cannot stress how awful the handling is with a roof box, when I have it mounted I try to avoid the highway.

I love my hardtop, and as much as I like driving with the top down I leave my hardtop on almost all year long. The hardtop's only advantage is a quieter ride, and I consider a hardtop a must have for long road trips. A hardtop offers no structural support, no extra protection, and add 55 lbs of extra weight.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:44 PM   #13
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Off topic.

Thanks. Her eyes lit up huge when I said that. She didn't quite know if it was me or Tompten. But it worked.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:45 AM   #14
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I've had my Boxster S since 2003 and my hardtop for the past 3 years. I would say it's nice but not essential. If you have adequate storage for it off the car, I would say buy one when you find one in a color that works for you, is priced at what you're willing to pay and is not a geographical challenge to get home.

For me, the car is quieter with the hardtop in terms of road noise, but there are a few extra squeaks and rattles due to chassis flex over the poorly maintained roads here in the Northeast US.

As an aside, I passed up on an opportunity to acquire the RTS about 2 years ago. I responded to a Craigslist Ad for a set of 17 inch Boxster wheels. The woman selling the wheels told me they were already sold, but she did have this Boxster roof rack system if I was interested....I do my roof racking of bikes, skis, whatever on my daily driver though, and know I would scratch up my paint big time trying to install the RTS on my Boxster so I passed on this chance to get one.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:58 PM   #15
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On my way to pick up the car. Thank you for your opinions. I have storage for a hardtop. I'm going to keep my eyes open for one. If someone sells one within reach i might buy It. The car in question is gt-silver so i guess I need to get it painted regardless. Not many around in that colour.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:16 PM   #16
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Repaint hardtop

Well. I´m going to pick up a hardtop later this afternoon. It´s arctic silver but I will repaint i to GT silver. How much preparation do one need to do to get good results. For example take out the rear window before paint?
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:34 AM   #17
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http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-parts-sale-wanted/62860-sweet-boxster-hardtop-fs-seal-grey.html
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:42 AM   #18
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That´s another continent for me. Wish the owner good luck with the sale.
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:26 PM   #19
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Well. I´m going to pick up a hardtop later this afternoon. It´s arctic silver but I will repaint i to GT silver. How much preparation do one need to do to get good results. For example take out the rear window before paint?
I'd recommend a painter familiar with Porsches who may have previously painted a hardtop.

In the USA I was quoted right at $1K

Note that the big rubber gasket across the front and into both side windows of the hardtop lists for $800.
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:36 PM   #20
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I'd recommend a painter familiar with Porsches who may have previously painted a hardtop.

In the USA I was quoted right at $1K

Note that the big rubber gasket across the front and into both side windows of the hardtop lists for $800.
Tomorrow I will leave the hardtop to one that does all Porsche repairs on the behalf of the local Porsche dealership. I will leave it up to them to decide how to do it right and what painter to use. If necessary I will ask them to remove the rear window. I searched the forum earlier and saw that it was not recommended to remove the window. It could break.

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