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Old 09-14-2017, 07:17 AM   #1
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Stuck Convertible Top - Manual operation...

The convertible top on one of my cars stopped working a couple days ago. The top was stuck closed (up).

First I checked the fuses: B6 and D3, then I pulled out and re-seated the relay (red arrow in this pic: http://cdn4.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/72-BODY-SmartTop/images_med/Pic1.jpg)

Next, I checked the front latch, there are two micro-switches in there. One drops the windows, the other is for the Top Relay. The latch is held in place by two screws covered by the 'alien eyes'.


After all that looked good, the rest of it is in back, under the top. I had to get it open.
The components back there are the motor, cables, transmissions and control arms.
Pelican Parts has an excellent article on that, so I will not go into further detail. Here's the link:
Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Repair - 986 / 987 (1997-08) - Pelican Parts Technical Article

I decided that for now (and probably forever), I will operate the top on this car manually instead of electrically. It's simple, safe, and functional. If you remove all the unneeded parts, your car will be about 15 pounds lighter. If you want to restore function later, it it not hard to re-install the required parts.


Here's the video:


Having done this, the clamshell is no longer secured down. It may rattle when you go over bumps, but I found that it does not lift at speed, and the top remains secure when you open it. I do recommend that you use a method to secure the clamshell just for aesthetics and having the job done right. Woody used a trunk latch and cable as shown in his build thread and here: http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/61665-manual-roof-downgrade.html
Eric G used some aftermarket latches: http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/43235-why-i-converted-manual-top.html

I intend to use the trunk latch method on mine.

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Last edited by 78F350; 06-17-2021 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:37 PM   #2
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There's a comment on the video about the instrument panel top warning light staying on. On my car, a 1999, the top light still functions normally. On my 2000 S that has everything including the top removed, the light stayed on until I jumped the connection:

On the 2000 - 2004 Boxsters the "Convertible top indicator light" on the instrument panel is controlled by a switch inside the left side roof transmission. You can make that light go out by jumping the Brown/Black wire to the Brown wire that connects to the roof transmission or just grounding the Brown/Black wire.


On 1999 and older the function is done by the "B-pillar switch". It should still operate normally after the top is converted to manual mode. The switch may be bypassed by jumping or grounding the wires to that switch.

Here's a thread that discusses that switch: http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/24173-b-pillar-micro-switch-98661310102-a.html
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
There's a comment on the video about the instrument panel top warning light staying on. On my car, a 1999, the top light still functions normally. On my 2000 S that has everything including the top removed, the light stayed on until I jumped the connection:

On the 2000 - 2004 Boxsters the "Convertible top indicator light" on the instrument panel is controlled by a switch inside the left side roof transmission. You can make that light go out by jumping the Brown/Black wire to the Brown wire that connects to the roof transmission or just grounding the Brown/Black wire.


On 1999 and older the function is done by the "B-pillar switch". It should still operate normally after the top is converted to manual mode. The switch may be bypassed by jumping or grounding the wires to that switch.

Here's a thread that discusses that switch: http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/24173-b-pillar-micro-switch-98661310102-a.html
For a 2001, where exactly is this switch located? You indicated the "switch is in the left side transmission", do you mean the transmission under the clam shell? I pulled the transmission off the drivers side but I do not see the switch anywhere around or behind it. I don't think it's actually inside the gearbox since there are only a few 22awg wires going to it.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryPorscheGuy View Post
For a 2001, where exactly is this switch located? You indicated the "switch is in the left side transmission", do you mean the transmission under the clam shell? ...
I just noticed this post today (6 months later). Hopefully Bry has his fixed. To anyone else who ends up here:



Here's one I uploaded a while back:
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:13 PM   #5
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Great post!
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:05 PM   #6
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Where is the black brown wire actually located?
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotrod2147 View Post
Where is the black brown wire actually located?
They are routed up the B-pillar under the carpeted trim piece to the left of the left seat. From there there are routed to the "B-pillar switch" on the '97 - '99, or front of the left side top transmission (should be routed over the edge or through the grey drip pan) on the 2000 and later. Pics are in my following post now..
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:47 PM   #8
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Here's a pic from my 2001 parts car, the 2000 model runs the same. In this picture the drip tray is removed:


The wires are in a bundle that runs up the B- pillar under some insulation. This is the view from the doorway, looking back towards the left seatbelt.



Here the wires are, jumped with a red wire in my 2000 model. I could not see them until I pulled the drip pan away from the outside edge of the car.

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Old 12-11-2018, 04:17 AM   #9
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I took the light bulb out of the cluster on mine.
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Old 01-06-2021, 04:50 PM   #10
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Just adding this in after a couple people commented that they could not remove the bolt. It is possible to release and lift the clamshell for better access. I have done this by reaching back with a very long flat tip screwdriver and popping off the clips that hold the lifting arms onto the clamshell (both sides of the car).



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Old 01-06-2021, 05:10 PM   #11
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Hello 78F350,

Good timing. This is my next step. After doing some research, I think my problem is the cables that connect to the top motor and trans. I hear a power/clicking sound from the motor. Did some research on the board and saw Maurice (Schoir) pinpointes this area with a possible faulty cable with a power sound and no top movement. Maurice has been awesome over the years with advice.

My question is this, with the top down, I'm not sure if I can reach those clips. I should be able to pop the ball joint or get to that 19mm bolt?

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Old 01-06-2021, 05:28 PM   #12
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With the top open, you should be able to reach the ball joint and pop it off. Most of the trouble comes from having the top stuck closed.

In the video I embedded in my first post I tried to pop off the ball joint first. You can see how difficult it is to reach and get any leverage.

Almost all of the cars that I've done the 'manual' roof to I have later repaired. The one that I started this thread with actually did have a bad microswitch in the roof latch. The '99 and earlier have two microswitches and one was loose enough that it didn't quite make contact.
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:38 PM   #13
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I did see your video. Good Stuff 👍🏽. With the top down, the ball joint looks pretty accessible. I'll see how it goes. Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2021, 07:20 AM   #14
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Finally, pop all of the ball joints off. That was tuff. The best way to get the black ones loose is to hammer a screwdriver to separate the ball just a bit. Then use a pull and twist motion at the ball joint to further separate. I finished it off with a crowbar.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:27 AM   #15
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Well, I pulled the cables on both sides of the convertible top motor by the third brake light. The cables look good. The passenger side of the motor cable insert has a lot of oil/grease coming out of it and the cable is greasy too. Why is that? I tested out the motor and it's working. Next is to check the transmission side/cables.
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Old 02-02-2021, 11:40 AM   #16
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I pulled the driver side transmission. The plastic gear is broken. I plan to rebuild it with metal gears. Is white lithium grease sufficient to lube gears or is there anything better for the job. Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2021, 10:42 AM   #17
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Rebuilt the Transmissions. Lining the gears is a little tricky. The top is working again.

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