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Old 02-29-2020, 04:59 PM   #1
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Roof (convertible top) Issues

I am a new owner of a 2000 Boxster. When purchasing the car the previous owner informed me that he would sometimes have problems with the top but I decided to try it and it worked a couple of times the only thing was the dash light would not turn off when the top was in the closed position. Then the roof got stuck in the open position I garaged the car and the next day it worked. I noticed that the red ball joint was broken and replaced it. A couple of days later the same thing happened but this time when I put the top in open position the dash light did not turn off (like it did before) and later became stuck in open position. Two days later the top decided to start working again and get to the closed position, but now it won't move at all. When clicking the button I could hear the top motor start and it looks like it sucks up all the energy from the car but does not move the clamshell or top. The noise will stop a couple of seconds later and the car will regain all the power. The parking brake is working fine and the windows come down when unlatching the roof. I've noticed that my driver window goes all the way down and my passenger side window only goes down like 4 inches when unlatching. Its been doing that since I got the car so I don't know if it's normal or not.

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Old 02-29-2020, 08:19 PM   #2
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I am far from an expert with this system, but I am having similar issue I'm pretty sure I am looking at replacing the big gear in the transmission. Both the 101 project book and the Bentley manual have a pretty good explanation of the process. The trouble shooting is not the greatest but the big gear is prone to failing
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:50 AM   #3
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I was thinking the same thing but didn't want to start taking things apart or ordering until I had a definitive answer
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:19 PM   #4
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It's not normal for German engineering not to work.
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Old 05-11-2020, 02:35 PM   #5
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Look for Mike Focke’s pages:

https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/mikesporscheboxsterwebpages

Look for the sub area for articles by Maurice. It has very complete information on trouble shooting the top.
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:17 PM   #6
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I know there is a little switch that activates the top when you pull the hand brake ( down by the HB)that could be faulty or sticking..when I first got my 02' the top would work then wouldn't work so I was able to jiggle it around a bit and it has worked fine ever since but I have a new switch JustInCase it finally stops ?? Frank
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Old 05-11-2020, 05:33 PM   #7
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Congrats on getting the Boxster! this is a pretty common issue. I personally fiddled with the top for months and tried many different things until i figured it out. I did learn a lot in the process though. I have a 2000 like you and because the light stays on and the top gets stuck in the open or closed position i think it's one of the gears failing. Basically what happens is the nylon gears inside the transmission get brittle with time and crack so although the electric motor is pulling, the top wont move. When one side moves and the other doesnt the top goes out of alignment and it's never fully open or closed. That's why the light stays on sometimes, because it's not fully in one position or the other.

You can eigher get a pair of transmission for both sides (you can find them used for not too much money) or get the transmissions out and check which one is cracked inside so you only buy the one you need. Make sure you get the right year, not all are the same. Ours has a position sensor inside the transmission on the right side of the car (if memory serves), newer model transmissions dont have the sensor inside, it's somewhere on the chassis. Do some research to learn what year the design changed if you cant find one for the year 2000 exactly.

It's not hard to replace the transmissions, you can get it done with some basic tools. if you need to move your top manully, check your owner's manual, there is a process to disconnect it.

Once you replace the transmissions you have to realign the top, otherwise it still wont open or close fully. There's plenty of info on how to do that, it's not difficult.

Good luck with it!

Cheers,

Cristian
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:23 PM   #8
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I just replaced the gear in mine on both sides. The limit switch is on the driver's side. My passenger side was broken. I think mine was cracked when I bought the car 3 years ago. The clamshell never quite lighned up correctly. Now that I replaced both gears and greased everything up realigned everything. The top has never been so smooth. The clamshell closes flush. The motor does not work near as hard. It really wasn't all that difficult as it seemed. The dash light goes out at the open and closed position.
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:33 AM   #9
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You're right, it is the driver's side. And lubricating the mechanism is crucial, probably why most gears end up braking. Mine broke because dust got on the rails and system was working too hard. After replacement, alignment and greasing the top has been smooth!
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBen View Post
I just replaced the gear in mine on both sides. The limit switch is on the driver's side. My passenger side was broken. I think mine was cracked when I bought the car 3 years ago. The clamshell never quite lighned up correctly. Now that I replaced both gears and greased everything up realigned everything. The top has never been so smooth. The clamshell closes flush. The motor does not work near as hard. It really wasn't all that difficult as it seemed. The dash light goes out at the open and closed position.
How did you go about realigning the two sides? My top works fine but it is, you know, 20 years old now. I wouldn't mind going in there for a good greasing and tune-up.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:41 PM   #11
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How did you go about realigning the two sides? My top works fine but it is, you know, 20 years old now. I wouldn't mind going in there for a good greasing and tune-up.
Here's the factory recommended way:
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Last edited by RobT987; 05-14-2020 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:29 PM   #12
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I went with the x measurements like in picture 19. I used a steel ruler I keep in my tool box for fine measurements I used a cordless drill to spin the cable to get the arm to move. Because of the gear reduction it takes many rotation of the cable to get the arms to move. When I first tried it I thought it was not working. Patience has never been my strength
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:30 AM   #13
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There are two series of top transmissions. The original and the new (Porsche calls them A and B). On the original, the body is aluminum and has "lines" cast into it that you use to align the arms. In case yours is the "old" version like mine is. Other major differences between the series:
-there are no micro switches on the transmission (no control cables). Only the drive cable
-there is only a 1/2 moon driven gear, not a full circle.

Just in case anyone is wondering. I have a 98 and the old transmission. It was pretty easy to set up and align the top.

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