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

The 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 you must 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 the 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.

Boxstertips - 101 Projects for your Porsche Boxster
Boxstertips – 101 Projects for your Porsche Boxster
Sale
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 want to repair the rear plastic window on an early Boxster 986 (pre-2003), please remember 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 had 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
compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Canvas Cloth (Black)
39 Reviews
compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Canvas Cloth (Black)
  • Canvas 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. 2
Sierra Auto Tops Convertible Top Replacement for Porsche Boxster 1997-2002, German Acoustic A5 Canvas, Black
  • Upgraded German A5B/DS Acoustic Cloth / Canvas for superior sound dampening
  • Entire top is cut from the same bolt of cloth for consistent color and pattern
  • New DOT rated heated glass window with embedded defroster wiring
  • Includes the wiring harness to connect the defroster window to electrical system
  • Flush mounted deck seams like original and unique to these Boxsters
Bestseller No. 3
Sierra Auto Tops Convertible Top Replacement for Porsche Boxster 1997-2002, TwillFast RPC Canvas, Black, Heated Glass Window
12 Reviews
Sierra Auto Tops Convertible Top Replacement for Porsche Boxster 1997-2002, TwillFast RPC Canvas, Black, Heated Glass Window
  • Haartz TwillFast RPC acoustic canvas
  • Provides up to 2dB (noticeable) noise reduction
  • Defroster, tinted glass window upgrade
  • No Stitching or Piping around window
  • 5 year warranty to original owner
Bestseller No. 4
A-Premium Black Convertible Soft Top Compatible with Porsche Boxster 2005-2012, Convertible Only, Replace# 98756101500A10, 98756190302A10
  • [Vehicle Fitment]: Compatible with Porsche Boxster 2005-2012 Convertible (Black, with Glass Window)
  • [Specification]: ① Reference Number: 98756101500A10, 98756190302A10; ② Color: Black; ③ Window Material: Glass; ④ Installation Hardware Included: No; ⑤ Package Quantity: 1x Convertible Soft Top; ⑥ Packaging Type: Box
  • [First Quality]: Made of Superior quality waterproof fabric, it can not only easily resist external rain, but also wind and sun; Windows feature OEM quality laminated plastic for high visibility.
  • [Perfect Stitching Technology]: The top deck is made up of deck seams on both sides. All seams are heat sealed and reinforced with double pins. This bonding method adds strength so that it does not leak or separate during use, ensuring an excellent experience.
  • [Buy with Confidence]: A-Premium offers a one-year unlimited-mileage guarantee on our meticulously crafted Convertible Soft Top. We offer a wide variety of automotive accessory categories, ensuring that you can hit the road with peace of mind.
Bestseller No. 5
Sierra Auto Tops Convertible Top Replacement for Porsche Boxster 1997-2002, TwillFast II Canvas, Black
  • First quality Twillfast II cloth with a dobby weave lining
  • Precision cut with Gerber automated computer guided cutting equipment
  • DOT approved plastic window same as factory original
  • Includes new steel side hold down cables already securely installed on this top
  • Factory-style retainer attachments are sewn-in for an easy & accurate installation

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

Other Articles of Interest

Boxstertips - Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems
Boxstertips – Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems
Boxstertips - Porsche Boxster Convertible Sides Not Tucked In
Boxstertips – Porsche Boxster Convertible Sides Not Tucked In

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Last update on 2024-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API