Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Replacement

There are many reasons for considering the Porsche Boxster convertible top replacement. It could be standard wear and tear, an accident, or even because of vandalism or theft.

About Your Boxster Convertible Top

The Porsche Boxster convertible top is made by Haartz and uses a German Sonnenland A5 canvas. It is an excellent design and will have an excellent lifespan if you maintain your convertible top correctly.

It is critical for Boxster drivers to learn the correct procedures for Porsche Convertible Top Cleaning & Conditioning.

Porsche Boxster Plastic Rear Window

Pre-2002 Porsche Boxster 986 came with a rear plastic window. This window does not age well and is prone to failure. The plastic does not age well and yellows when left outside in the sun. UV radiation causes a breakdown of the plastic and the yellowing of the rear window.

Issues with Porsche Boxster Plastic Rear Windows

1.0 Cracked Rear Windows – “Boxster Chop”

If you own a Porsche Boxster with a rear plastic window then it is important that you learn and use the “Boxster Chop” anytime that you raise or lower your roof. Failure to do the “Boxster Chop” will result in your window cracking prematurely. This issue increases when you operate the convertible top at low temperatures.

1.1 How to do a Boxster Chop?

  1. When you lower your top, open the top just enough to start the rear window folding.
  2. Get out of the car and do a ‘chop’ with your arm/hand and make a nice even crease/fold in the window.
  3. This will ensure that when you open the top all the way, the rear window does not develop a compound fold or crease.
“Plays with Cars” has a dedicated video on the Boxster Chop

2.0 Scratches

As the Plastic window ages, it is prone to get scratched. Scratches will impair visibly and should be addressed accordingly.

3.0 Yellowing or fading of the Rear Window

Oxidation and UV radiation will cause the clarity of the rear window to significantly fade. This makes your car look old. This can similarly happen to your front headlights (Porsche Boxster headlight restoration).

It is possible to have your plastic window cut out and a new window restitched in.
Often the cost of replacing the window is equal to or more than the replacement cost of a completely new convertible top.

Before Buying a New Boxster Convertible Top

You need to take the time to fully inspect all aspects of your convertible top mechanically. You need to ensure that your car is ready to have a new convertible top installed.

Here are some key aspects for you to review before proceeding.

1 Check Convertible Top Push Rods

Put your convertible top in maintenance mode (or service position). Simply open your convertible top and gain access to under the clamshell, do not remove the engine cover (this is not needed.)

Neil has an Excellent Video on putting Boxster into Service Mode

Thoroughly examine your convertible top push rods. You are looking for

  1. Broken push rod caps (very common issue.)
  2. Bent push rods
Review Push Rod Cap and Push Rod angle for Damage
Review Push Rod Cap and Push Rod angle for Damage

Every Boxster owner will experience a broken push rod cap. You will know that you have broken the plastic pushrod cap as it produces a distinctive loud bang as it breaks and one side of your convertible top will shift hard to the close position (1-4 inches.) It is straightforward to fix, and we have a dedicated article on this entitled Broken Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Push Rod.

2. Ensure your CabRIO Guide Rails are Fully Lubricated

With the convertible top still in service mode, review your left and right cabRIO guide rails and ensure they are properly lubricated. White Lithium Grease can be applied using a cotton swab. This lubrication is one of your first steps. If your roof is making any noises (creaking or cracking, but not popping) when in operation.

We recommend that you lubricate your CabRIO rails yearly using lithium grease and a cotton swab. Below is an excellent video for reference on this maintenance, however, we do not recommend openly spraying lubricant under your Boxster’s clamshell.

Brian has a great overview of the lubrication maintenance, be careful with over-spray.

3. Listen to your Convertible Top Transmission

With your convertible top returned to normal setup (not in service mode), carefully listen to your convertible top for any popping noises as it opens and closes. You are listening for any abnormal sounds coming from the convertible top transmissions (you have 2 of these transmissions, left and right.)

For reference, the photo above depicting the CabRIO channels (for lubrication) also shows the Convertible Top Transmission (Part #1.)

Broken Porsche Boxster Convertible Transmission Gear
Broken Porsche Boxster Convertible Transmission Gear

It is very common for the nylon gear to break from inside the convertible top transmission. The gear is designed to break (similar to the plastic pushrod caps) if the convertible top is experiencing out-of-specification threshold loads.

Proceeding to do the Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Replacement

So, your convertible top mechanics are in excellent condition and have been maintained properly. Thus your convertible top is experiencing one of the following:

  • Wear and Tear
  • Theft or Vandalism (Convertibles are easy prey for theft and anyone with a knife can slice open your convertible top for easy entry.)
  • Damaged Rear Plastic Window. (The rear plastic window has a very high rate of failure due to age, usage, and environment)

At this point, we recommend reading Project 70 in 101 Projects for your Porsche Boxsters. This dedicated chapter has 40 color photos that walk you through the replacement of your Porsche Boxster Convertible Top.

Sale
101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster (Motorbooks Workshop)
627 Reviews
101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster (Motorbooks Workshop)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Dempsey, Wayne R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 312 Pages - 01/08/2011 (Publication Date) - Motorbooks (Publisher)

Informed Consent

101 Projects for your Porsche Boxsters lists the Replacing the Convertible Top as taking 16 hours to complete and rates the repair as a 5 wrench repair in level of difficulty. Note: 5 wrenches is the highest difficulty rating.

If you’re looking to repair the rear plastic window on an early Boxster 986 (pre-2003), please keep in mind this upgrade and the costs involved. In many cases, the complete replacement of the convertible top (with glass window) will be lower than the repair of the rear plastic window itself. Especially if you can do the installation yourself.

Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Replacement Options

In the last few years, Amazon has an excellent selection of Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Replacement options. Pricing is competitive and the purchaser can save a lot of money when doing this repair.

Bestseller No. 1
LAFORMO 986 987 Boxster Convertible Soft Top Push Rod Ball Joint OEM Repair Kit
25 Reviews
LAFORMO 986 987 Boxster Convertible Soft Top Push Rod Ball Joint OEM Repair Kit
  • Repair Kit Includes: 2 X Pors 986 987 Boxster Convertible Top Push Rod Ball Joint
  • The Plastic used is the mixture of glass fiber which i heat resistance and durable.
  • Pors che Applications: Boxster (1997-2012)
Bestseller No. 2
compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Stayfast Cloth (Black)
22 Reviews
compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Stayfast Cloth (Black)
  • Haartz Stayfast Cloth.
  • DOT Approved Heated Glass Window.
  • This top comes completely assembled and ready to install. No sewing is required.
  • Our tops are Brand new in the original box.
Bestseller No. 3
UPGRADED Metal Top transmission Gears L+R Side for Porsche Boxster Convertible 1997-2012 98756118001
13 Reviews
UPGRADED Metal Top transmission Gears L+R Side for Porsche Boxster Convertible 1997-2012 98756118001
  • Fits: 1997-2012 Porsche Boxster
  • Upgraded Gears over OEM, will not break again like the original plastic gears.
  • Easy installation - Includes both inner and outter gears.
  • Includes LEFT+RIGHT SIDE (Sold as a pair)
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY
Bestseller No. 4
North American Custom Covers Compatible Soft Top Roof Protector Half Cover for Porsche Boxster 986
15 Reviews
North American Custom Covers Compatible Soft Top Roof Protector Half Cover for Porsche Boxster 986
  • Custom-fit softtop roof protector designed for the Boxster 986 - 1997 to 2004
  • Made from a Poly-Urethane-coated woven polyester ; grey in color
  • Fixes to vehicle with padded ribs that are trapped in the closed doors and trunk, and a concealed magnetic fixing system
  • Helps protect your soft top from the outside elements
Bestseller No. 5
Compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Black Stayfast
  • Haartz Stayfast Cloth
  • DOT Approved Heated Glass Window
  • This top comes completely assembled and ready to install. No sewing is required

Also, be sure to check out our “Best Of” Series:

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Last update on 2021-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API