Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Sides Not Tucked In

A very common issue for Porsche Boxster 986/987/987.2 convertible tops is that the Porsche Boxster convertible top sides not tucked into their side channels.

Boxster Convertible Top

The Porsche Boxster is a masterpiece of beauty, performance, and superior engineering. The engineering and design of the operational components of your convertible roof are very intricate and unfortunately wear out over time.

The convertible top does go through wear and tear over time. The canvas of the roof is not waterproof only water-resistant.

As a Boxster owner, it is critical to make the Porsche Convertible Top Cleaning & Conditioning a part of your monthly maintenance. Regular maintenance will result in your ability to extend and preserve your convertible top.

Why Do The Sides not Tuck In?

This is a recurring issue for drivers who make use of their convertibles. The cloth stretch band loses its tightness (or elasticity) over the use and age of the car.

Porsche Boxster Convertible tops are connected on each side with embedded cables that are built into the convertible top. History indicates premature failure at these areas due to the “pull-through” design of the cables in the Boxster Convertible top.

Anyone who enjoys the use of their convertible top will experience this issue.

Dealing with the Sides When You are On The Road

Please note that you can easily guide the edge (by hand) of the convertible top side (s) into the channel as you close the convertible top. This is a stop-gap while you are waiting to perform this repair.

You can manually stop the process of closing the convertible top, just past service mode, and reach out and guide the top over both bows into the channel.

Or you and the significant other can reach back while the top is going up and guide the canvas inside the channel.

Also, you can push the top of the back window up and out which tucks the sides in enough to go inside of the bows of the channel. This doesn’t work well if you have a wind deflector installed.

Do Not Drive or Store Your Boxster With the Convertible Sides Not In Their Channels

Driving or storing your Boxster with the convertible top sides not tucked in will only exacerbate your issue. Driving will further stretch the elastic cloth stretch band. Always take the time to guide the convertible top sides into their proper channels.

How to Repair Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Sides Not Tucked In

Below is a Youtube video repair of convertible sides not tucked in. It is highly recommended that you watch multiple Youtube videos on this repair.

Youtube Video Repair of Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Sides Not Tucked In

The first time you do this repair it will take approximately 30 minutes to effect this repair. Take your time and familiarize yourself with the various parts involved and most critically the access to these components. Subsequent repairs will take under 5 minutes.

Exploded Diagram of the cloth repair.

Please note: that this appears to be only a short-term fix. I have now done this repair 3 times over the 8 years that I have owned my 2009 987.2 Porsche Boxster. Over time, the replacement stretch band also wears out.

Some forum users have opted to use (stronger) shock cords (bungee cord) in place of the stretch fabric with positive results.

From the Internet:

In Porsche’s infinite wisdom, they use strings and elastic bands to keep their convertible tops in the proper position. Not good from a longevity standpoint as both stretch over time and cause issues. When the elastic band stretches, it allows the canvas to go over the outside of the top bow, putting a lot of strain on the stitching holding the beading edge of the canvas roof. And once the canvas goes over the outside of the bow, the elastic band is stretched further and it will always go on the outside.
(Link to the thread here)

husker boxster@986forums.com

I think I finally figured out how to solve the problem with my top edges not tucking properly. I’ve tried multiple times to pull the OEM elastic tighter and move it to the next screw hole. But that has just left me with elastic that no longer has any spring left. And when I pull it too tight, it bunches the top funny and you can tell it is too tight. I knew that I would ultimately need to replace the elastic, but I did not want to pull out a sewing needle and thread. And I wasn’t sure how I would find the correct replacement material.

I finally decided to try and use some shock cord that I had lying around. And it seems to have worked perfectly.
(Link to the thread here)

Rrunkle @ Palnet-9.com

I love the convertible feature of the Porsche Boxster and I use it all the time. It is the primary reason that I bought the Boxster. As a result, this repair skill set is one that you will need to learn.

Tips for Your Porsche Boxster Convertible Top

Boxstertips has put together a list of Tips for the care of your convertible top.

1. Opening and Closing of your Convertible

  • Never open or close your convertible top when your car is in motion.
  • Only open or close your convertible top only on level ground.
  • Never open or close your roof in high winds
  • Opening or closing in cold weather (Pre 2003 Boxsters with Vinyl rear windows must learn the Boxster-Chop)

These tips will save your convertible motor, your channel pull cables, and especially your push rod caps. Thus following these rules will extend the life of your convertible top

2. Make Sure You Do Regular Maintenance on Your Convertible Top

The issue with a canvas convertible top is that it is not waterproof. It is only water-resistant. To make the canvas convertible top waterproof, it should be treated.

Without protection, canvas tops are susceptible to leaking, stains, and collecting mildew.

Keep your convertible canvas clean, dust will collect in that fabric and cause premature ageing and wear.

Therefore, you need to learn the correct methods for Porsche Convertible Top Cleaning & Conditioning

3. Never Leave Valuables Visible in the Car Cabin

Sage advice given to all convertible car owners is to never lock your doors. This will prevent anyone cutting through your convertible top to access the interior of your car.

Boxstertips does not fully abide by this, however, it is critical that you maintain situational awareness. If you leave any temptation in your Boxster a thief will take it in seconds. This could be a cigar, a bag (of any type), sunglasses, any clothing, etc.

4. Deal with Spot Cleaning

The Dreaded Seagull
The Dreaded Seagull

It is better to deal with any spills or stains on your convertible top sooner than later. This includes the high incidence of bird poop when parking outside. This happens quite a bit when parked near a beach or resort area. The convertible top makes for excellent target practice by Sea Gulls.

You need to treat these spills quickly and not let them have a chance to dry. Give them a thorough rinsing. It significantly helps that you have pre-treated and conditioned your convertible roof.

5. Keep your Car Out of the Sun

Ultraviolet rays from the sun will cause damage to your car’s finish and similarly your convertible top. As part of your maintenance, it is known not to wash, wax, or seal your car in direct sunlight, and the same goes for your top. The primary effect of convertibles left in the sun is the fading of the roof color. This can be resolved by re-dying your canvas.

6. Careful What You Use On Your Convertible Top

it is strongly recommended that you use a horsehair brush only on your convertible top.  Not just any old brush will do. Other brushes can cause scratching of your canvas and leave marks.

Vacuuming the roof can leave scratches and scraps on the fabric, because of this most users opt to use a fabric roller.

7. Careful with Chemicals

Chemicals that are meant to wash your car, may prove too strong to be applied to the canvas roof of your Boxster convertible. Boxster owners avoid automatic (and touch-less) car washes, because of this.

Use only chemicals, soaps, and sealants that are specifically meant to be used on canvas (not vinyl) convertible tops.

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

Other Articles of Interest

Boxster Convertible Top FAQ

What Tips for Your Porsche Boxster Convertible Top?

1. Opening and Closing of your Convertible
2. Make Sure You Do Regular Maintenance on Your Convertible Top
3. Never Leave Valuables Visible in the Car Cabin
4. Deal with Spot Cleaning
5. Keep your Car Out of the Sun
6. Careful What You Use On Your Convertible Top
7. Careful with Chemicals

What are common Boxster Convertible Top Issues

1. Sides not tucking in correctly tucking in.
2. Broken Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Push Rod
3. Poor Porsche Convertible Top Cleaning & Conditioning
4. 986 Boxster Rear Plastic Window CRACKED
5. Premature wear and tear on convertible top
6. Vandalism or theft causing damage to convertible top