Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

So 50 cents a day for the top down option.


Expect the best, and accept no substitute.

Products for your Boxster, Cayman and Carrera.
I've got to replace my rear window on my 986. I did this about five or 10 years ago, as I recall it was pretty quick, about $600, is this in line with others' experience? Since this is an '01, it has a plastic window, I'm wondering what the board thinks about swapping in a glass window.

2001 Base, purchased in 2004, replaced engine at 130K+, RIP 2017
Quote
JackintheBoxster
I've got to replace my rear window on my 986. I did this about five or 10 years ago, as I recall it was pretty quick, about $600, is this in line with others' experience? Since this is an '01, it has a plastic window, I'm wondering what the board thinks about swapping in a glass window.

Roughly $600 is what I paid some years ago for a new plastic rear window. The window material was heavy plastic and held up well over the years. I'd say its performance was comparable to that of the original plastic.

Couple of things: There are as I understand it 2 ways to go with the replacement. One way -- the way it was done for my car -- is to cut out the old window, but leave its border in the canvas. The new window is sewn in with a 2nd line of stitching. The left over border makes for a bit of a ridge line in the canvas around the window opening. I was not too concerned about this but was concerned the window would leak. It did not. The 2nd way I've been told is the entire rear window is removed and the new window sewn in usiing the same stitching line. I've never had this done.

If the top is original be very sure it is not leaking. Mine developed a leak just ahead of the rear window about in the middle of the top. There was no sign of any damage or problems at the canvas. While a bit faded the canvas looked just fine. The canvas is not the water proof layer, of course, it just covers the rubber sheet that is the water proof layer.

Also, I'm not sure the window can be replaced a 2nd time. But the shop where you take the car can advise you regarding that.

When it came time to replace the window I looked into a new top from Porsche. Cost of the top (alone) was over $3200 and even with some discount quite expensive. I submitted a request for some goodwill from Porsche -- using the car mileage as some kind of lever -- and was not successful. I was told Porsche is very tight-fisted with goodwill. My dealer quoted me a big discount -- I forget the amount -- but the cost was still prohibitive. Plus I was concerned about the new top's condition. I was thinking at the cost these tops sell for they can't be flying off the shelves and thus the replacement top could be as old as the one that came on the car and because of its age, even though "new", might not hold up as long as the original top.

After some research I went with an aftermarket top: GAHH. I elected to use the same top with the same size/shape plastic window, same color, same everything. The new top cost with labor to install at around $1400. The same shop that fixed the window replaced the top. Took a day I think and caution was to leave the top up for 2 weeks before using it.

I stayed with the plastic window as the glass window is smaller, not located in an ideal location, and interferes with putting the top in service mode.

The replacement top has the big and thick plastic window, has the same lining and other top hardware from the old top and for all intents and purposes is indistinguishable from the factory top.
This is in line with what I suspect -- I haven't actually been into the shop yet. Given the age of my car, I'm not sure I'd spring for a glass window, particularly given its disadvantages. The cost of a top sounds right to me, as it happens, I've been told that the replacement top for a 911 in the same shop was $11,000. At $3,200 for a 986 top, I'd rather just start using the cover I recently bought.

Having a convertible is fun, but it has caused me enough headaches that I'll go for a Cayman or other fixed-roof car when I replace this one.
...the aftermarket top -- GAHH -- is around $1400. Still not cheap, but the top appears to be top -- no pun -- quality and gives the impression it will last as long as the factory top.
Right, I guess I did miss that. However, having looked at the cracked window stitching and I'm going to see if I can get the window replaced again, which will be cheaper and more appropriate for a car that is more than 15 years old at the moment. I've also bought and just started using a CalCarCover (whatever), which I think you recommended, and which I hope will head off any leak problems from downpours or leaves clogging up the drains again.
I have quotes to replace my cracked rear vinyl window - $570, or replace the top with a GAHH (vinyl window) for $1480. The top is in pretty good shape otherwise. If I go GAHH, I am leaning toward staying with the vinyl top due to the discussion about smaller size of the glass window.

What would (have) you do/done with your top and what made you go this way?

Thanks.

BarryL
2002 Boxster 2.7 Tip
Seal Grey - 200,600 miles
Santa Cruz, CA
It just strikes me that $1,500 for a new top is too damn much. My car is now 16 years old and shows it; I'm not complaining, I love it and I still think it's a great-driving car. However, if I can swing it, I expect I'll replace it in the next couple of years and I think that the much-cheaper option of replacing the window if I can do that will be what I do.

I also have to say that although I love driving with the top down, all things being equal, I might opt for a Cayman or other coupe next time around. If you use this car as a daily driver and you're not among those who can casually fork out large amounts of money, I'm not sure the repairs required to keep a convertible on the road are worth it -- this will be my second replacement of the window since I bought the car in 2004.
With the glass window version a one time thing.

Try to buy a top and frame from a wreck of a '03-'04 is another option.
Not counting the cost -- financial and in time -- of the car flooding because of a leak you didn't see, causing the control module to freak out; the lost time when the window cracks and you have to take it in; etc., yes 50 cents day.
... they charge $500 more than I charge for an installed GAHH top.
Bring it to Florida and you'll get a deal.
Many times it's really not orth it to remove and replace an old top that's has a new window sewn in.
There are several edges that sustain a lot of friction and are only apparent when the canvas cones off.
Happy Bixstering
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 290,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
With the differential now around $500-$650, I am thinking replacement. Now its deciding between vinyl or glass. With Pedro's comments about service bay access issues if not installed perfectly, I need to think hard about the glass. Most reviews I have seen owners are happy with the reduction in road noise with the glass and others I have heard are not that impacted by the smaller rear window.
The quote I received for a new top was Robbins not GAHH. Installer prefers Robbins over GAHH. Does anyone have any experience with Robbins?
Quote
BarryL
With the differential now around $500-$650, I am thinking replacement. Now its deciding between vinyl or glass. With Pedro's comments about service bay access issues if not installed perfectly, I need to think hard about the glass. Most reviews I have seen owners are happy with the reduction in road noise with the glass and others I have heard are not that impacted by the smaller rear window.

Hard to believe the presence of a glass window vs. a plastic window makes any difference in road noise in the cabin. Most of the noise I hear in my Boxster sounds like it is coming in from everywhere, not just the rear window. And obviously the windshield and side windows are all glass.

The view out the Boxster with the top up is not good. Not scary bad just not good. Since I never put the top down keeping the original larger plastic window was important to me. And not making it any harder for the techs (or myself when I'm feeling frisky) to service the car, at least put the top in its service position, also helped me decide to stay with the the GAHH top with factory like plastic window. I really like the car's silhouette with the factory top/plastic window so there was that too.
Servicing ease is a little worrisome as I do some repairs and servicing myself. After watching a YouTube with a guy driving his Boxster with new glass top and commenting on the reduction in noise and the fact visibility is already impacted helped with the decision along with thoughts of no more chop and caring for the vinyl. Time will tell and I'll repot back.


BarryL
I got a used glass-window OEM Porsche top for about $700 (I can't remember the exact price) from car-part.com. They didn't have it for that price when I first searched but I was patient and got a great condition top and installed it myself (took only a few minutes).
This option just did not seem to be there through much inquiry and search.
There are lots of spares these days.
Minutes?! *NM*
Laz - 3 years ago
Yup
Boxsterra - 3 years ago
It's held in by 3 bolts on each side and it pulls right off. Most of the time to replace the top is in getting the alignment just right and even then it doesn't take long.
So I ordered the gahh glass top replacement. I get a call from the shop and they say they received the top and we schedule the day for the work to be done. I am in constant contact with the owner, arrange to drop the car off the night before. I get a call the day of the service and the top is done ready for pick up. Go down to pick it up (40 miles away). Arrive and notice a new vinyl window. Ask the owner where's my glass window, he looks around, sees the unopened boxes labeled gahh and realizes they replaced the window instead of installing the gahh top. He offers to put the gahh top on. At that point I decided it looked fine, my top was actually in pretty good shape, and the car stays original. And it's $570 vs. $1170, just won't be able to give up the chop.

BarryL
Doh!
Boxsterra - 3 years ago
You're probably good for at least 5 years. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login