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Porsche 911 Carrera - SmartTop Rolling Override

Pelican Technical Article:

Porsche 911 Carrera - SmartTop Rolling Override


15 minutes15 mins







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 (2005-12)
Porsche 997 Carrera 4 Convertible (2006-12)
Porsche 997 Carrera 4 GTS Convertible (2012)
Porsche 997 Carrera 4S Convertible (2006-12)
Porsche 997 Carrera GTS Convertible (2011-12)
Porsche 997 Carrera S Convertible (2005-12)
Porsche 997 Turbo Convertible (2008-13)
Porsche 997 Turbo S Convertible (2011-13)

Parts Required:

SmartTOP control module

Hot Tip:

Operate the automatic feature with extreme caution

Performance Gain:

Open the top while driving less than 15 miles per hour

Complementary Modification:

Check your fusebox for blown fuses

The 911 Carrera roof controller is somewhat bothersome in that you need to bring the car to a full stop and apply the emergency brake in order to raise or lower the roof. This can be annoying to both you and other drivers if you're trying to raise or lower the roof at a stop light. This restriction is designed to protect the roof so that you don't damage it while driving and exposing it to large wind forces.

Fortunately, there are a few ways around this restriction. You can purchase an aftermarket module that plugs into your car. The SmartTOP, designed and manufactured by Mods4cars and available at, is one of these replacement relay/controller modules for your convertible 911. This module allows you to raise and lower the roof while the car is cruising at speeds under 25 miles per hour (40 km/h). In addition, the roof can be raised and lowered with one-touch operation--simply press the button once and the roof will completely raise or lower itself without you having to hold down the button. But beware: If the roof catches on something or someone sticks their hands in the roof during this one-touch operation, the results can be ugly.

Installation is a snap. Simply put the roof down, turn off the ignition, pull out the old controller relay from your relay panel and install the SmartTOP unit in its place (see Figure 1).

There is also a "poor man's" version of this feature override. By removing one of the pins on the factory convertible top relay, you can override the speed control limiter and open the roof while driving. You will also need to pull up on the emergency brake one click in order to activate the switch. Of course, this will allow you to open the roof when the car is going 60 miles per hour--which can be dangerous and will certainly damage your roof. Exercise caution when you have these overrides installed.

Adding this is a snap--simply remove the relay, and bend pin No.18 down toward the center of the relay so that it won't be inserted into the relay socket any more. The pin numbers are written down on the back of the relay. You can also override the emergency brake switch too by simply grounding pin No. 15. You can do this by bending the pin over pin No. 15 and soldering a wire to it and then connecting that wire to a chassis ground. Or, you can remove the wire that goes to pin No. 15 in the relay socket, put it off to the side, and install a ground wire in its place.

This photo shows the location where the SmartTOP module is installed.
Figure 1

This photo shows the location where the SmartTOP module is installed. This relay panel is located above where your left foot rests while driving. The yellow arrow shows the foot rest, while the green arrow shows the location of the panel that covers the fusebox. The SmartTOP module replaces the factory control module located in the center of the relay panel (red arrow). The inset photo in the upper left shows the back of the relay with all of the pins labeled (pin No. 18 indicated by the purple arrow).

Comments and Suggestions:
steve Comments: What is the procedure to get to the panel under the top on a 996 to swap the control module?
June 4, 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
Matt Muha Comments: The "poor man's" procedure in this article is for the 986, not the 996. The 996 control module is in the back under the top, not under the dash like the 986.
June 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it. I will have someone update the article.
- Nick at Pelican Parts

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Page last updated: Fri 2/23/2018 02:46:42 AM