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Repairing Common Problems on a Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible Top
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Repairing Common Problems on a Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible Top

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Torx screwdrivers/sockets, Phillips Screwdrivers, hex socket set

Applicable Models:

 
Porsche 996 Carrera Convertible (1999-05)
Porsche 996 Carrera 4 (2002-04)
Porsche 996 Carrera 4 Convertible (1999-01)
Porsche 996 Carrera 4S Convertible (2004-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo Convertible (2004-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo S Convertible (2005)
Porsche 997 Carrera Convertible (2005-08)
Porsche 997 Carrera 4 Convertible (2006-08)
Porsche 997 Carrera 4S Convertible (2006-08)
Porsche 997 Carrera S Convertible (2005-08)
Porsche 997 Turbo Convertible (2008)

Parts Required:

New seals, glue

Hot Tip:

Drive around with the radio off to listen of for leaks in the top.

Performance Gain:

Convertible top leaks no more

Complementary Modification:

Replace top

It's a fact, sooner or later, all convertible tops will need a bit of work. As the car ages, the convertible top is asked to withstand a variety of elements, be it heat, cold, dirt or rain. Couple this with constant stretching and releasing and you can understand how much wear and tear the overall system goes through.

This article is not intended to show you how to replace the convertible top fabric. Instead, use it to learn some easy tips that can help to keep water out, or fix a sagging headliner. The first step is to observe the convertible top when up and driving. Has it become louder over time? Are there leaks when it rains?

One of the most common problems with the top is the inner soft fabric headliner separating from the outer, heavy fabric top. This is due to age and temperature. Over time, the elements work to break down the glue that holds the two fabrics together. You can easily fix this by carefully scraping away as much of the old glue as possible and then applying some contact cement between the two fabrics. Do not use any heavy industrial cleaners or strippers to clean away the old glue without first double checking on an inconspicuous area to make sure they will not mare or damage your top. Depending on the repair area if you then tension the top in the closed position, it should provide enough force to hold the pieces together, otherwise a couple a paint stirrers and a few C-clamps work great.

Another area of concern is the two metal hooks on the front edge of the convertible top. Over time, these can fatigue and even snap off. The good news is that they are easily replaced as they are only held on with two Torx bolts each.

If your headliner is sagging, check the long plastic clip piece in the center of the headliner. Check to see if the clip has come lose from the metal bow on the convertible top. The sun can weaken this clip over time. If it has come loose, it just pops back up into place. If the clip has lost its ability to grip, a non permanent glue can help hold it in place.

If the top is leaking water, you'll need to check the seals on the top as well as the seal that meets the top edge of the windshield. If there are any rips or cracks, replace as needed. Additionally, check the six seal sections that make up the sides of the convertible top. The areas to check in particular are where the rubber portions overlap. Replacement of these seals is pretty easy as they come off as a separate assembly, held to the convertible top frame with Torx bolts.

A very common area for leaks is the plastic rear window. These older style top windows were originally zipped into place on the inside of the top and then glued in place along the outside perimeter. Over time, the elements go to work on these pieces, often separating along the seams. In a pinch, you can apply a bit of glue to the affected area, but eventually, you'll need to cut through all of the old glue and replace the window. If you have a factory glued in window that needs replacement I recommend you have it done at an upholstery shop. The top needs to be tensioned, and I have yet to hear of anyone successfully installing their own.

In thisPicture, you can see where the headliner has separated from the convertible top (green arrow).
Figure 1

In thisPicture, you can see where the headliner has separated from the convertible top (green arrow). Over time, sunlight, heat and cold works to break down the glue holding the headliner fabrics together. An easy fix here is to scrape away as much of the old glue as possible and apply some contact cement and tension the top. If you are repair an area that will not be held together under tension you can use a couple of paint stir sticks and a few C-clamps to hold the two pieces together. Do not use any heavy industrial cleaners or strippers without first double checking on an inconspicuous area to make sure they will not mare or damage your top.

Shown here is one of the two hooks on either end of the front convertible top.
Figure 2

Shown here is one of the two hooks on either end of the front convertible top. Over time, the metal can fatigue and eventually snap, resulting in a top that will not latch. Replacement is easy, just unbolt the two Torx bolts shown here (green arrows).

Is the headliner sagging inside your convertible with the top up? It may be as simple as pushing the plastic headliner clip (green arrow) back up onto the top bow of the convertible (purple arrow).
Figure 3

Is the headliner sagging inside your convertible with the top up? It may be as simple as pushing the plastic headliner clip (green arrow) back up onto the top bow of the convertible (purple arrow).

Check the front seal on the windshield for any cracks or tears in the rubber (blue arrow).
Figure 4

Check the front seal on the windshield for any cracks or tears in the rubber (blue arrow). This can lead to water leaking in over time.

Also check the main side seals on the convertible top for cracks or tears.
Figure 5

Also check the main side seals on the convertible top for cracks or tears. There are three main sections to check that overlap each other (green arrows). The overlapping parts are where you want to check in detail. If any are cracked or ripped, you should replace them.

Replacing the rubber sealing strips is easy, simply remove the Torx bolts that hold each section of rubber to the convertible frame (green arrows) and swap them out for the new ones.
Figure 6

Replacing the rubber sealing strips is easy, simply remove the Torx bolts that hold each section of rubber to the convertible frame (green arrows) and swap them out for the new ones.

The plastic rear window on these cars can also be a source of leaks and wind noise.
Figure 7

The plastic rear window on these cars can also be a source of leaks and wind noise. The older style windows are held in place by a zipper on the inside (green arrow), while the newer style are just glued in at the factory. If the window is leaking you can try and apply some sealant around the edges, but if it needs to be replaced I recommend you have a professional upholstery shop handle the job.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Don Comments: I just put the top up on my 2009 Cab and it won't lock. It tries to do so but before the windows return to their closed position, the locking mechanism reverses itself.

Anyone have this issue and if so, what is the fix?
November 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the pins to the windshield suport, they may be binding or misaligned /worn. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wooly Comments: 1999 996 cabriolet
My hydraulic pump for the convertible top needed to be filled and went to dealership. They tried removing the fill port plug but it became stripped out so can only remove it so I am left unable to reinstall a viable plug. Dealer is working on solution but parts mgr said they are not able to purchase a plug by itself only the pump which is $$$. I was not able to find the plug for purchase on your website. Only thought was to remove plug and try having a machine shop mill one or purchase a salvage pump and use that plug.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
November 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove plug, take to local hardware store and match it up with a plug or threaded rod. Then make your own plug out of what you find. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jestered Comments: I'm having the same problem that "darren" and "Keith" mentioned a few posts down. Does anyone have any more information on how to fix this? The picture that darren added is exactly what mine looks like and I'd like to fix it.
July 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
andyred Comments: Hi, I replaced the roof on my 996. I refitted the head lining some days later but I failed to take any pictures to remind mw where the elastic straps anchor to and whichever combination I try the roof lining fails to fold smoothly when closing. Do you have any pictures of the points as I can't make the images out in the 996 manual. Thanks for the other tips on the roof lining.
June 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, I don't have photos to share. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
UCF Comments: Hi, I have a 997.2 Cabrio and the headliner is separated from the convertible top with a loose strap. this is on both sides, will that be the only part that needs to be glued? how can i make sure i am reaching all the inner lining without dismantling to reconnect to the outer fabric? I also have a warranty but apparently this is not covered.is that so?
thank you
March 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure rte-gluing will do it. Likely needs to be replaced.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Lahainabry Comments: I have a 07 997 Cab. Yesterday, I was out driving. When I came home I tried to raise the top. Heard a "pop" and only one side was lifting Drivers side. The passenger side did not lift. First issue I have had. Any ideas what ti check?

Thanks
December 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the pushrods, the plastic sockets are known to fail. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Keith Comments: Hi Darren. I fixed a similar problem a couple of weeks ago but was not a broken cable. The tension cable has a hook at each end which fit over a single torx screw at the rear green arrow and a ~ 6mm aluminum pin inset which is located at the centre of the main roof frame red arrow. The rivet holding this pin onto the roof frame snaps and releases the tension which causes the kink. To fix place the roof in the service position. Remove the roof trim at the red arrow to get to the pin. It may still be held by the hook on the tension cable. Drill out the broken rivet. Then rivet the pin back onto the frame. You will have to lift a piece of the roof material off the frame edge to remove the old rivet head and insert the new rivet. It is a bit fiddly and around a two hour job. Hope this does it, good luck, Keith.
November 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
darren Comments: re oct 22 post of mine, i have now discovered the cable on this side has snapped/rusted away, is this easy to replace? where can u get the parts?
November 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Which cable? Can you share a photo? I may be able to check the info on the procedure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DamonK Comments: The cover on the closure mechanism of my 997 convertible keeps falling off - any thoughts on how to fix it back on? It is supposed to just pull off to give access to the manual closure mechanism, so I am reluctant to glue it back on, but double sided tape doesn't seem to hold it
October 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cover may be worn or missing a clip. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
darren Comments: 997 roof opens and closes fine but when i close it the bit of roof near the side window by the middle section of the 3 rubbers fig 5 as per above does not sit properly into the rubber seal.
October 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I haven't seen that before. Possible a tension strap or cord has failed, not stretching the top. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jack jiro Comments: i have a problem that my 911 1987 the top is closing normaly but not openning no any action
October 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try to manually open the latch, does the top open? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Leigh Comments: My 1999 996 removable hardtop leaks on the drivers side where it meets the windshield. I'm guessing seal needs to be replaced. Do you have these seals/easily replaced?
October 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We can find you one. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Josh Comments: Does anyone have instructions for replacing convertible top on 2000 Porsche 911??? I can't find anything.
September 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.



I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paul Comments: Paul, for water infiltration, i changed thé hooks on either side of the roof. Didn't quite stop wind noise 100% but helped.
September 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paul Comments: Like Paul aug 11 i have a small gap. Rrubbers look fine. I noticed that the roof approches a bit crooked towards the windshield. The wire running a long the driver side becomes tensed before the passenger side. Any adjustments recommended ? I Will post a picture soon.
Thanks
Paul
September 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Usually if it has just become crooked it is due to worn parts. I would inspect the drive components to see if anything looks bent or worn. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul Comments: I Have a 1999 carrera convertible and the driver side of the roof has a gap where it meets the windshield. The rubber gasket on the roof does not contact the windshiels as on the passenger side. This leads to Wind noise and water infiltration in carwash.
Any suggestions´?
August 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: is the top latched securely? If so the issue may be with a worn seal. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ed Kellogg Comments: Some of the squeaks are cured by spraying a little silicone oil wherever rubber meets rubber or metal frame. Needs doing about twice each winter where I live in New England.
August 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
grgx3 Comments: the oil in the pump was low so I added some to it. The top will go up and down now but once it gets past vertical it sort of falls closed. When trying to close it runs a bit then the light blinks, you release the button and try again it will close fine. Any idea?
July 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Still may need more fluid. May have been air in system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Joe Comments: When I close my top, the fabric does not fold correctly but stays over the metal latch. When the hard clamshell cover then closes, the latch punctures a hole in the middle of my roof. Any ideas on how to fix?
June 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think there are some elastic tension straps in the canvas top that are broken or un attached. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
99996 Comments: Had my hard top on my 996 for about a year after not being on it for about 10 years.
When trying to close the soft top, a small click click happens followed by a quick pause, then repeats with the click click. No parts move side flaps, rear etc. I don't think the rear windows will go up now either.
Any ideas?
May 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the control unit for faults, and run a calibration. Check all fuses and also try to roll the windows up by holding the key in the drivers door lock tumbler to the right, lock position for about 30 secs or until the windows and top go up. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
cass Comments: Help my 996 roof opens halfway then stops I can hear a relay click when I retry but the roof will not open further, it will close again,
May 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like something is binding up. Make sure all the pivot fasteners in the folding arms are tight, check the fluid, check for faults.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Porsche-996-997-Carrera/71-BODY-Convertible_Top_Mechanism/71-BODY-Convertible_Top_Mechanism.htm
Read this article for how to check the fluid. - Casey at Pelican Parts
 
ben Comments: 993-561-321-00-8VB-M260 Vertical Roof Seal, Left Side
993-561-322-00-8VB-M260 Vertical Roof Seal,
911-561-189-66-8VB-M260 Cabriolet Top Side Seal, left 1986-89
911-561-190-66-8VB-M260
are the part numbers, Casey, thanks
May 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ok unfortunately I could not find a repair instruction for these two seals and I have only done one set of these seals many years ago and that was on a 930S Slant nose car...I don't think the tops are different but they could be. But here is what I do remember: The upper seal has 3 or 4 little Philips screws that you need to remove to "un-sandwich" the inner and outer seals. The B-pillar seals have also three little screws that hold the seal and a metal plate to the convertible top frame. From the parts diagram it says there are nuts that screw on to studs on the plate but I don't remember that on the car I did. So fold your old seals around and look for possible places that there could be screws. If on the b-pillar seal you do not see screws in the front, try looking from the back seat side of the convertible top frame and there may be some 8mm, or 10mm nuts that hold the plate to the convertible top frame. I do not remember having to use any sealants, or clean up a bunch of glue from the seals. The job was relatively easy as I remember it. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
bosalls5 Comments: Top rattles when up, I believe the plastic clip no longer grips the metal bow. Can I replace the clip part number?? Add some glue to re-attach.... not sure what you mean by non-permanent glue.
Thanks Bob
May 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The little plastic boot that covers the locking latch is found by following the link below:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/PEL_search_2014.cgi ?SUPERCAT_FLAG=Y&make=POR&Context_make=&please_wait=N&LastVisited_input=0900&Previous_Section=&forumid=&threadid=&command=DWsearch&make=POR&LastVisited_input=0900&description=9965617870101C - Casey at Pelican Parts
 
ben Comments: I have purchased the replacement roof seals for my 1990 911 C2 cabhorizontal and vertical from pelican parts today... but can't find info on how to remove the old ones and install the new ones... it is super easy?
May 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What part numbers? I will try to find a repair instruction for you. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Dave L. Comments: I have a 2001 911 carrera 996 convertible..
when the top is up it rattles when roads are rough.
It there a way to adjust it?
May 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Those cars do rattle, the first step is to find the source of the rattle. If it is at the windshield frame you can try to tighten the clearances by adding felt to the areas that rattle. Usually the seal that seals the top against the windshield collapses, and then the rattles begin. It is probably best to replace the seal and then see if you still have a rattle. The adjustment shouldn't go out once it is adjusted. Chances are something is worn and should be replaced. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Mel Comments: What is least expensive fix for auto window lowering about 1/4" when opening and closing door. My car is a 2002 996 Cabrio and the window just began to malfunction. Window stays in up position either when opening or closing.
April 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Least expensive? No real option other than fixing it right. Does it never drop? When opening from the inside or outside? If so, the regulator is likely bad. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frank Comments: I have a 1999 porsche 996 and a friend of mine jumping from the backseat out of the car bashed one of the 2 roof flaps in putting his weight on it. Now the closure system is working still, but the opening doesn't properly: to open the damaged flap i have to lift it up manually. Is there anything i can do by my self? What should i have to check? Thanks
March 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is a very common failure the flap mechanism needs to be replaced. It is a pretty involved process from memory. If you follow this link ( http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Porsche-996-997-Carrera/71-BODY-Convertible_Top_Mechanism/71-BODY-Convertible_Top_Mechanism.htm ) you can look at illustration 6...the flap mounting is BEHIND all that convertible top mechanism. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Manny Comments: My 993 convertible has started to separate at the top of the plastic window. I want to glue it and am wanting to know if you can recommend a suitable glue. I am thinking of using some tape to act as a clamp once glued or is there a better way to bond the plastic to the fabric?
January 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know af any glue that will hold. Replacement is necessary. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jdjg Comments: where I can buy the rubbers sealing strips? I need the front one and the sides one and I cant find it in your part catalogs

regards,
December 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From Pelican parts. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Laddie Comments: Hello,
Where can I purchase a good convertible top conditioner and cleaner,that works?
December 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right cleaner. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: One of the cables on my 2000 911 Cab top has rusted and snapped. The other looks like it is about to give. This has caused a small sag and open spot on the top. Can these cables be replaced without swapping out the entire top? Do you sell the cables? Thanks!!
September 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We should be able to get you a replacement set. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
victordnet Comments: Hi,

Any ideas as to where I might get it?

Marc
April 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A tech bulletin? From Porsche. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marcus Comments: Do you have the Porsche Tech Bulletin 6102 for the hardtop?
This bulletin details all the squeaky noises and where they are coming from on the 996 Hardtop.

Marcus
March 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, I don't have that bulletin. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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