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Convertible Top Transmission Problem

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It's been a long time since I've been here. I hope someone can help me.

I've finally replaced my '99 Zenith Blue with an '07 Black a couple years back.

About a month ago the top went kerplunk. I did some research on line and realized that the plastic gear in the driver's side convertible gear box was broken. Sure enough, it was easy to replace.

But now I have a problem. I am clueless on how to synch the top so that it operates correctly. The shop manual seems less than helpful because the picture they show doesn't resemble what I'm seeing.

It seems to me that as long as the two sides are parallel, the top should work correctly. The microswitch on the driver's side should stop it properly, and the notch on the flange of the gear box should align the bat wing connector correctly.

That's my theory. But it didn't work. I tried to close it and I broke a plastic end rod. Could it be as simple as adjusting the length on that end rod, or am I missing something?
no idea on your top, but hello long lost skyler. smiling smiley
Sorry, I can’t help you with your top problem, but welcome back!

Have you checked out the below article on top repair?

[www.pelicanparts.com]#



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2019 07:05AM by CarreraLicious. (view changes)
As you discovered the plastic rod end is sacrificial to avoid metal carnage in just this circumstance.

I just did my top, but I just replaced the entire mechanism - everything lined up just fine. I would think that the rod with the ball end would not have enough adjustment to account for too much of a side to side differential. There are just not that many threads on the rod.

I am trying to see in my mind's eye what you are seeing. In the meantime, I e-mailed our super duper top guru.
The overall length of the pushrod (i.e., metal part plus plastic ball cup) only has an effect on how the horizontal leading edge of the top lines up with the top horizontal surface of the windshield frame. If one pushrod is longer than the other, one side of the front of the top will reach the windshield frame before the other, and that side will usually end up with a broken plastic ball cup. Note that fine adjustments are achieved by screwing the plastic ball in or out, and more drastic adjustments are done by loosening the 10mm bolt with fat washer and changing the length of the two metal sections of the pushrod.

The "synching" of the top is controlled by the position of the rotating gear inside the transmission on each side. You can adjust the relative positions of the two transmissions by disconnecting one of the drive cables at the electric motor end and then inserting the inner cable into the chuck of a cordless drill, then spinning the cable accordingly (while you observe the effect the spinning of that inner cable has on the various parts of the top mechanism, matching that side to the other side) . That will help you line up the position of the V levers, of the clamshell, and of the top itself.

Regards, Maurice
Thanks Maurice. I'm pretty sure I have the two sides in synch. When I operated the top the first time after synching them and reassembling, the plastic ball socket on the passenger side split pretty dramatically as it got close to opening all the way. My guess is that I need to make the arm shorter. Is there a way to measure what length to make it without breaking a lot of those sockets?
I think I have a bigger problem.

I got new plastic rod ends in the mail today. I aligned the two gear boxes as exactly as I could using calipers. And then I tested it before putting on the new rod end, trying to put the top in a slightly different position.

The driver side gear box didn't turn, and the passenger side did. I was worried that the worm gear inside the drivers side gear box had broken (since I put metal gears inside the gear boxes to replace the plastic ones).

So I busted open the driver's side gear box and split it open. All the gears, including the worm gear, were in good shape.

With the limit switch wiring disconnected and the passenger flex coil disconnected, and the cover still off of the gear box, I can get the gear box to move in the "open" direction, but not the "close" direction.

And that's where I'm at now. I have no idea why it would do that. I was at first thinking the microswitches were bad, but then I remembered that I had them unplugged. I still think they're bad, they seem a bit wobbly. But if they're not connected, why would it only go in one direction?

I'm a bit lost. I'm thinking of throwing in the towel and towing it to my local shop with a bag of parts. They won't like that. And I like to fix things myself. There should be no reason I can't do this. I can put parts on and off, I just can't figure out why it's not working.

Any ideas?
Two questions:

Do you have the "A Version" transmissions or the "B Version" transmissions. (The early ones [A version] have a half-moon gear inside, the later ones [B version] have a continuous, full circle gear inside)?

Since you describe that "the driver side gearbox didn't turn", have you verified that the inner cable of the drive cable on that side has not "retracted" inside that cable so as to cause it to not be driven by the output flange on that side of the electric motor? If you have the early version of the drive cables (i.e., smooth, non-braided appearance on the outside), that is a very high possibility. Note that the inner cable does not actually retract, but that it is the outer black sheath that stretches, but the end result is the same: the inner cable does not get engaged or driven by the electric motor.

If you have photos of the inside of the problem transmission, please post them if possible.

Regards, Maurice.
Because I don't see anything moon shaped in the gear box. I have a picture but I don't see how to post a picture on this forum. Surely there is a way to do it, but I can't see it.

Your theory about the cables is interesting. It might explain what's happening.
Picture
Skyler - 2 weeks ago
I could not open the entire photo in Photobucket, and could only see the top portion of it (blue terry cloth).

In any case, you can check whether the inner cable has retracted by pulling up on the upside down U-Clip that locks the black drive cable onto the output flange of the electric motor. Do that on both sides and compare how much of the inner (square) drive cable is sticking out past the end of the sheath and the metal "ring" that protects it.

Compare the two sides and see if there is a difference. The inner, speedometer-type, drive cable should be sticking out by about 3/4". If it isn't, it won't properly engage inside the output female flange.

Regards, Maurice.
The bat wing on the driver's side has been worn out.

There is a key, of sorts, on the gearbox that aligns the bat wing to the gearbox. But the problem is that my bat wing has a rabbet carved very deep and for about 60 degrees, when it starts to taper up, so that the key isn't able to lock onto the gearbox. Maybe it's possible that this is the culprit. It doesn't explain why the rest of the diagonal teeth aren't engaging, though.

Perhaps I only need to buy a new bat wing.

My checks on the cable seem to indicate that it's good. I pulled the core out and it's square on both ends. It engages the gear box. It might be a good idea to replace the gear box too, but they are fearsome expensive and I'm going to hold off on that as long as I can. I'm going to try to replace the batwing alone and see if that makes it better.

[s1383.photobucket.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2019 09:11PM by Skyler. (view changes)
... he's the top-most (pun intended) convertible expert!
... and welcome!
Good to see you around Mike.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 293,000+ 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
I will defer to Maurice's expertise - other than to note that I suspect a corded drill would work too. cool smiley

Either way, be careful because those plastic cups break easily. Ask me how I know.....

BTW - do not get the metal ones, that defeats the whole point of the sacrificial cup.
Yeah, those are like a fuse, and that's why I'm worried about having put metal replacement gears inside the gear box.
it's been so long that your little girl is probably off in college already, right? smiling smiley

MY 2000 S, Ocean Blue, Metropol Blue, Savanah Beige. Bought June 2000 - Sold May 2010
Not quite, but she is in 7th grade. Thanks for remembering. My life took a big turn sometime around 2004, and she came along in 2007.
only 7th grade? man, it feels like a lifetime ago! i was going to joke that she was already off and married starting a family of her own and that you were a grandpa.

our life has changed quite a bit at well. we moved from switzerland to the left coast of canada in '09. unfortunately couldn't bring the boxster with us because of ridiculous canadian laws.

i remember many of the people that i got to know starting nearly 20 years ago on ppbb. met a fair number of them IRL. good times for sure.

i still pop in here once in a while to see what trouble everyone's getting into.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2019 04:45PM by frogster. (view changes)

MY 2000 S, Ocean Blue, Metropol Blue, Savanah Beige. Bought June 2000 - Sold May 2010
Yeah, those were fun days. Thanks to Chuck. I went to law school and twice to war and got married and had a kid and nothing is even remotely the same anymore! Except I have my second boxster. This one is every bit better than my 99, but the magic isn’t there the same way.
Well, I'm quitting this fix.
Skyler - Saturday at 9:55:56 pm
I finally got the bat wing in the mail and put it on (it took two weeks because of various errors, on my part). I lined everything up as best I could, and it goes up and down okay. However, it seems to get stuck and travels too far no matter how I adjust it. I'm giving up and bringing it to the local shop before I break something. I think they won't like getting a partially put together car coming by.
Re: Well, I'm quitting this fix.
Skyler - Sunday at 10:10:40 am
And now I had to disconnect the battery because the parking lights won’t go off. WTF? How did that happen?
The shop says it's a microswitch, confirming what I suspected was wrong. Now I don't feel so bad.

And the parking light was because the blinker was on. I forgot about that.
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