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Replace the soft top

 
Old 02-10-2015, 04:02 AM
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doridori
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Smile Replace the soft top

For a 986, how much is it to replace the entire soft top with glass window? How about just replace the plastic window with glass window?

Thanks
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by doridori View Post
For a 986, how much is it to replace the entire soft top with glass window? How about just replace the plastic window with glass window?

Thanks
IIRC there are two paths to this. One is to fit a 2003 (or newer) top with its glass rear window to the older car. This requires the top and some top hardware like the top frame/cross bars and so on. Expensive as the necessary parts are only available from Porsche, well, unless one wants to source them from a wrecked car. There have been write ups on how to do this in one or two Porsche mags over the years and I believe there is or more DIY write ups on the 'net.

The second way is to fit an aftermarket top to the car. The aftermarket top comes with a glass rear window. A number of owners have gone this route as it is cheaper and pretty much strictly a bolt on job.

In the 2nd method (and maybe the first too) the car's shape changes, its silhouette, which some might find the new shape to be less attractive (I think I would) and the glass rear window is smaller and in some ways interferes with putting the top in the service position.

For prices I have nothing at hand. Google the 'boxster top replacement' and I'm sure you'll get hits to links that will give you some good idea of the cost involved.

Oh, I do not believe there is a way to replace the plastic window with a glass window. The plastic window can be replaced with a new plastic window if the top is in otherwise good shape. (I've had this done once, at a cost of $600 (or was it $700?).)

I believe you can even replace just the canvas portion with a new one and of course with a new plastic window. When it comes time to replace the replacement rear window in my car's top I think I might explore doing this, that is having it done. The entire top (canvas/plastic window, rubber sheet underneath) can be replaced but this is expensive, on the order of $4000 IIRC.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:23 PM
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Welcome to the world of replacing your Boxster's top.

As previously mentioned, you have several options:
  • Replace plastic window
  • New top with plastic window
  • New top with glass window
  • Entire assembly replacement with 2003+ frame and top with glass window

I chose to go with the replacement top with a glass window. Despite it being smaller than the plastic window, the elimination of 'the chop' and the knowledge the new top won't go through another problem with the plastic window was reason enough for me.

The premier replacement top is the GAHH which goes for $929.

The other option is Sierra Auto Tops which has the same one for $639.

There are the EXACT same top, the Sierra has a sticker on the box covering the GAHH sticker. They come from the same factory (GAHH and Sierra have the same address).

You can install it yourself or get an experienced installer to do it for you. I wasn't comfortable so I hired a pro who had already done several Boxsters (he confirmed that the Sierra was exactly the same as a GAHH when he used my Sierra top as he had already done several from GAHH). I was glad I used him as he ended up needing a couple of small pieces that weren't in the kit due to shoddy previous work on the top (my original plastic window had already been replaced once). He said he had the spare parts from having installed some real Porsche replacement tops which he said come with numerous spare parts not included in the aftermarket tops.

I paid him a little over $700 and it took him about 7 hours. I also got quotes from a couple of automotive upholstery shops and they all wanted $1000+ for just the labour to replace the top.

A glass replacement top does not alter the outline of your top as the frame is still the same frame. You would only change the outline if your replaced the whole frame assembly with one from a 997.

Here are pics of mine with both the plastic window and the new top with the glass window.
Attached Images   

Last edited by Ottacat; 02-10-2015 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:57 PM
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997 fit on a 986? Not the same. The frame and glass/canvas replacement is a '03-'04 986.

Maurice has written up a whole series of DIY articles hosted at http://sites.google.com/site/mikefoc...%26replacement
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:09 AM
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Dave H.
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wasn't there a guy who put a 987 top on his 986? the frame fits but he had to replace the door glass due to a different shape.

even if that really worked, you'd lose the ability to use a hard top.

-----

i went with a used '03 top.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave H. View Post
wasn't there a guy who put a 987 top on his 986? the frame fits but he had to replace the door glass due to a different shape.

even if that really worked, you'd lose the ability to use a hard top.

-----

i went with a used '03 top.
So why do you loose the ability to replace the hardtop if you fit a 987 top assembly on a 986. And does the 986 clamshell still cover the 987 top. I am super interested in this but I do want to use the hard top in the winter.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:53 PM
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The frame and top you want for a 1997-2002 Boxster is a 2003-2004 frame and top. You lose nothing re the hardtop.

The 987 top and windows assembly are different shapes from the 986.

Info on tops here
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:27 AM
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Thank you this is exactly what I needed. for my 2001....987 is not compatible. Window upgrade can be done with 2003-2004 frame and top. Really appreciate.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:03 AM
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Good info here! Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:47 AM
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Do not put the glass rear window in a 97-2002 car unless you put the complete frame from the 2003-2004 on with it. Your mechanic will hate you, or you will hate yourself if you ever need to work on the top of your engine. It severely limits the access to the engine while the top is in service position, well you really can't get it in service position due to not being able to fold the window and lift the rear of the frame.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Porschetech3 View Post
Do not put the glass rear window in a 97-2002 car unless you put the complete frame from the 2003-2004 on with it. Your mechanic will hate you, or you will hate yourself if you ever need to work on the top of your engine. It severely limits the access to the engine while the top is in service position, well you really can't get it in service position due to not being able to fold the window and lift the rear of the frame.
Good point. I have thought about having my upholstery guy put in a removable, zipper plastic window like convertibles used to have. My upholstery guy can do anything (for money.)
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:23 AM
  #12  
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Does anyone have instructions on how to replace the whole convertible assembly for a 2001 with a 2003-2004 Assembly?
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:43 PM
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See an earlier message in this thread which refers you via a link to Maurice's detailed multi page with pictures articles on many do it yourself top replacement options.
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