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Old 06-18-2018, 10:50 AM   #1
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Anybody ever had the actual mounting tab break on the top mechanism?

So I just bought a 2004 Boxster from my Aunt and Uncle. They were the second owners and have had it all but the first year of it's life. Recently, they took it to a know-nothing local shop and for whatever reason the mechanics tried to force the top down. I know it sounds stupid, but someone did it. The plastic rod end broke off of the driver side (as it should in this situation) but on the passenger side the actual tab where the "ball" mounts into the convertible top frame broke. They didn't want to mess with it since the Porsche dealer quoted them an entire new top so they sold it to me for a steal. I assume some number of parts will need to be replaced, but does it have to be the whole top/frame? Is that one "base" piece sold seperately?

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Old 06-18-2018, 11:28 AM   #2
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... but on the passenger side the actual tab where the "ball" mounts into the convertible top frame broke. ...?
I'm pretty sure that you can just replace the broken part with one from a used top.
Can you post a picture, or link one?

For most of us, the first stop when we need a used part is 'Woody', user name itsnotanova: http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-cayman-parts-sale-wanted/52469-parting-out-whole-lot-boxsters.html

I'd recommend that you check with him first if you know what you need. If he doesn't have it readily available, I have 3 (maybe 4) tops in storage that I could scour if I knew exactly what you need.

Here's the pic you linked. I'm checking to see exactly which that is.
Boxster broken top
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Last edited by 78F350; 06-18-2018 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Posting the picture from Exodus5 from below...
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
I'm pretty sure that you can just replace the broken part with one from a used top.
Can you post a picture, or link one?

For most of us, the first stop when we need a used part is 'Woody', user name itsnotanova: http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-cayman-parts-sale-wanted/52469-parting-out-whole-lot-boxsters.html

I'd recommend that you check with him first if you know what you need. If he doesn't have it readily available, I have 3 (maybe 4) tops in storage that I could scour if I knew exactly what you need.
Here is a picture of the tab that broke off on the passenger side.

https://flic.kr/p/28gdHHs
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:41 AM   #4
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https://flic.kr/p/28gdHHs
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
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A quick look through the scrap pile found this:


The ball identified in mine appears to be where yours is broken. This particular (scrap) part is useless, because i cut part off of it, but I have others.

I'm not sure if it's 1 or (2) in this diagram, but that doesn't matter since you aren't likely to order it from a dealership.


So...
Good news: That part can "easily" be replaced by removing a few pins held in place by clips.

Bad news: You have to remove the whole top to get to it.
If you had an '02 or earlier, I'd say to just replace the whole top. On an '04 you'd do best to fix it. I think that the hinge from any 986 will work, but can't guarantee. My parts are all '99 and '01.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:20 PM   #6
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Replacement Ball Joint?

The base of the ball joint in the picture has flattened sides which may indicate that it is removable. If so, replacing this would be a lot less effort than exchanging the complete mechanism (assuming that the mounting point is not damaged). Maybe source a replacement ball joint from McMaster Carr or somewhere similar?

Last edited by alynch; 06-18-2018 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
A quick look through the scrap pile found this:


The ball identified in mine appears to be where yours is broken. This particular (scrap) part is useless, because i cut part off of it, but I have others.

I'm not sure if it's 1 or (2) in this diagram, but that doesn't matter since you aren't likely to order it from a dealership.


So...
Good news: That part can "easily" be replaced by removing a few pins held in place by clips.

Bad news: You have to remove the whole top to get to it.
If you had an '02 or earlier, I'd say to just replace the whole top. On an '04 you'd do best to fix it. I think that the hinge from any 986 will work, but can't guarantee. My parts are all '99 and '01.
Yeah. Looks like #1 is the piece I need. It would probably be pretty expensive to ship. How hard it s it to remove and put back the soft top?
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alynch View Post
The base of the ball joint in the picture has flattened sides which may indicate that it is removable. If so, replacing this would be a lot less effort than exchanging the complete mechanism (assuming that the mounting point is not damaged). Maybe source a replacement ball joint from McMaster Carr or somewhere similar?
Thanks, but it IS the mounting point that is damaged. That whole "tab" where the ball mounts through broke off. I am going to have to take it down a bit to determine how much of that underlying frame needs to be replaced to fix that. I fear it is a large (or at least expensive) section.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:16 AM   #9
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If you are comfortable doing the labor involved, the parts should be fairly easy and inexpensive to acquire through the forum. Post a WTB in the classified section if you can't get it from someone already offering parts.
For a guide, the Pelican Parts Tech Article section is good, but specifically for this, take a look at Mike Focke's Boxster pages:
https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/thetop-itsmaintaince%26replacement

For a downloadable parts manual, use this link and enter "Boxster 986" as the selection.
https://www.porsche.com/usa/accessoriesandservices/classic/genuineparts/originalpartscatalogue/
...handy to have.

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