Pelican Parts
Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   Pelican Parts Technical BBS > 1- Porsche Technical Forums > Porsche 911 Technical Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Author
Thread Post New Thread    Reply
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
Convertible Top Help

Hello all,
I have searched, and searched again to try and find a thread that documents the entire removal and replacement of a 911 cab top. I have found several partial threads that explain technical prtions of the project. There are also several threads just like this one that ask without reply. soooo.... a few questions.

1. Does anyone know of a good resource for a thread that has complete documentation with detailed pics of the procedure? Plenty of Pelicans have done this job. If there already is, my apologies to whoever wrote it. again, I have searched.

2. Has anyone ever dealt with ConvertibletopGuys.com? They seem to have reasonable pricing, along with very detailed/ car specific instructions for install. (for sale of course) They, unlike everyone else, encourage owners to install their own tops. They have also been kind to deal with so far.

3. Most people say to only use original German canvas for a top. What about those of us who only drive 3000 mi./year? From what I have read, Sonnendeck canvas looks exactly the same, and is constructed in the same three layer design, but has approximately 10% less wear rating. I guess that would mean I would only get 18 years out of the new top.

4. Lets all try to get past the time vs. $ debate regarding install. Who really cares if it takes 40 hrs to install? Who cares if it takes 100 hrs? I work on my car because I like to "Play Porsche" (as my wife calls it), not because it's cheaper. I think it's time well spent. I don't care if it's difficult or tedious, i'm not going to do it because it's easy. A project like this that has been persecuted by everyone gives me all the more motivation to show everyone else how to do it.

P.s. to all cab owners.....
Do not put your top down without unzipping the rear window first when it's 15 degrees F. See current pics below......

To be followed later by sexy glamour shots of a new top and rear window that is so tight, it looks like glass.....(like Steve W's)



Old 01-31-2009, 09:29 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #1 (permalink)
83 CHECKER
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Saratoga N.Y.
Posts: 611
My german canvas looks great on a sunny day, only rarely seen then, once it gets wet, washing etc. it droops a little too much for my liking, but it's new so it will be there for years. It amazes me how the canvas seems to obsorb the water, but it doesn't leak. My TR-250 conertible top is vinyl (I think) looks the same wet or dry. Certainly a lesser quality all together, they did offer a canvas one when I replaced the original, but I passed at the time.
__________________
'83 911SC CAB
'90 ZR-1
'68 TR-250
Old 01-31-2009, 03:20 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #2 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
Yes, I have read here that it may be a good idea to wet the surface before fitting the top so that when it dries it stretches even tighter. I have also read about leaving the top unlatched by 1.5" so when it's closed it is stretched. I don't know if tricks like these are going to be in the installation manual, but its good to have as a backup if it seems the fit is not going to be tight enough upon traditional install.
Old 01-31-2009, 03:31 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #3 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 439
I had a few bouts with the convertible top letting in water. In this thread you will find how the top bolts to the body.
3 main bolts in the back probably covered by gromet pieces. There is a tensioning bolt on either side of the car and a blade on either side and the 2 hinges as far as i know. This thread has diagrams to check out...

Cab top to body seal, driver side leak FLOOD

Btw, i dont care if its -20F or 100F, ALWAYS UNZIP THE WINDOW BEFORE YOU MOVE THE TOP!
__________________
1984 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet - sold, regrettably
2003 Toyota Matrix - VVT @ 6K FUN - sold, not regrettably
2005 Mercedes C230 Kompressor Sport Sedan - now...
Old 01-31-2009, 09:00 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
Robert,
Have you ever tried sealing the top since new so the water will bead up on it instead of soaking into it? I have seen products available, but dont really know anything about them. I would definately color test it before spraying the whole top down! just a thought.
Old 02-01-2009, 03:35 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
Dimeified,
Nice link. I'm sure I will be looking it over carefully when the time comes. It will also make a convenient addition to this thread in the end!
Old 02-01-2009, 03:39 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #6 (permalink)
 
Now Available for Ordering:   101 Projects For Your BMW 3 Series 1982-2000  [more info]
Registered User
 
geoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sydney. Australia
Posts: 398
sub'd
Old 02-01-2009, 03:56 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #7 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
Stay tuned for updated progress soon. Got the rear window to look like glass. Now for the top section install. I think this will be the easy part in comparison. Although it does require that once the rear section is properly aligned an glued, that it be temporarily dropped to slip the back side of the top section in. No adhesive removal though! Lots of pics and info to come-
Old 06-27-2009, 05:26 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #8 (permalink)
What?
 
trj911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Indy
Posts: 1,504
Garage
I'm looking forward to see your progress. I will have to do mine some day. I did a top on a Miata once and it wasn't too hard. No adheasive, just screw in place. The hardest part was getting the old top off before putting the new one on.
__________________
Tom J.
911SC Cab
M5 the BEAST
CaymanS
SCWDP / GruppeB
Old 06-27-2009, 06:03 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #9 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
Porsche Crest

Ok..Here we go!
As you can see, we have found our work surface to be of structurally sound integrity. Good place to lay out materials and sort our work. The top is from convertibletopguys.com. I did not go with original German canvas. I bought the Sonnendeck German canvas. After reading over the descriptions of the materials, it seemed that for as little use as this top will get, this would be an economical option. Also purchased was the original bowdrill headliner. Good looking texture to it. I also purchased the instructions for install. WORTHLESS! I think they were generic instructions that they then staple a different front page on with a pic of your car.



Before beginning this project, have the following handy..
1. Several cases of beer (German)
2. A mechanically competent helper.
3. Metric socket set
4. A razor with new blades
5. A set of metric ball-end Allen Wrenches.
6. About 1000 small cheap paintbrushes (ok, like 15 at least)
7. A couple of 2 cheap paintbrushes
8. A small roller with toss out trays.
9. Contact cement. Dont buy the VOC free crap- does not stick to metal. Original red label from the Home Depot works great.
10. A hand fabric puller works great to get extra pull strength. (I think I used an old serrated edge sheet metal hand bender. Whatever it was, it worked great) see pics
11. A cordless drill with a small bit set, a socket driver, and some Phillips head screw bits.
12. Plastic covering (painters tarp or visqueen)
13. A stick rule or tape measure.
14. Soapstone 1 pc.
15. A hold-down strap to hang overhead to hold top in unusual positions.
16. Some good tunes. (No Doodletown Pipers, Im thinking Allman Brothers or Phish, but whatever)
17. Several Quick clamps in various sizes. Have a couple matching small ones that can do some serious grabbing. 50lbs pressure at least.
18. Hand riveter with 1/8 rivets. Make sure they have a long enough grab range. I think up to 3/16 is ok.
19. Have a box of small plastic baggies and a sharpie for all of the labeling you are going to be doing.
20. A good digital camera.
21. Black Gorilla tape. Yes its expensive- too bad, its worth it
22. Screwdrivers
23. An automotive trim pry bar.
24. Small inspection mirror
25. Magnetic pickup tool
26. Portable work light with a hook to hang it. Preferably fluorescent or LED. (Stays cool)

We are going to begin with the removal of the old top. This sounds like the easiest part. As it turns out, it is the least stressful, but an extremely important time to take notes, take pics, and label label label! You absolutely cannot go overboard here. I recommend that after you remove a part, take a pic of it and keep all your pics in order so you have a record of the order things were removed in. Also, every time you pull a piece of fabric out, also take a pic of that, because as you will see, there are times when the top has to be partially disassembled to get it installed. (Not a big deal) This portion of the project took me approx. 8-10 hrs. Hopefully with this guide, you will be able to cut that time in half!
This portion of the job is a one man deal, but it never hurts to have another set of eyes with a memory attached to it.

Two Last notes- Do not slack on the install once the top has been removed. You will be relying on your memory for portions of this project. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT- throw away your old top once youve removed it. It is possibly the best reference you can have as to how the old one went on. (Where things were glued, clamped, bent.)

We begin with the top section of this two piece top. Go ahead and put the top down and look at it one last time in all its pathetic glory. (How many hairdos did this thing ruin?)

Begin by removing the front edge metal trim piece that the latches go through. There are several screws located along the length of it. When going to pull it out, Have the 2 long guide pins on the edges removed first. Note that in the pic of me pulling it out, above my hand is the leather-bound trim, this does not need to be removed, but you will have to use your trim bar to pry the plastic snaps out of the metal trim piece before you can slide it out forward. Try not to break these, and if you do, replace them. Take a pic of the front edge before you take it off and put all the screws in a bag and label it accordingly. Keep your bags in chronological order. This of course will help with reinstallation.



Now we will remove the front top edge trim. With the top still down, pull the back cap off as shown in the picture. (With the top down it faces the front of the car.) It has one screw. Bag it, tag it.




The piece has two sides. A rubber side and a cloth like window seal side. Just grab the rubber and gingerly peel it off the trim. Viola, you just exposed the screws. You guessed it, remove the screws- bag it, tag it.








This piece has a thick, gooey rubberlike mastic that keeps a weather seal holding it down too. Use a flat blade screwdriver to lift it off. Do not John Wayne this piece. Go slow; you do not want to bend it. Once its off, remove the goo off both sides. You have just exposed two things. The inner tensioners and the riveted rain gutter. Just use an 1/8 drillbit to drill out the rivets. If they start to spin on you, just tilt your drill a little and they will eventually come out. Take your pics of the tensioner close up for later. It can only help if you label the pieces for passenger and drivers side.








Old 07-20-2009, 02:28 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #10 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
Now lets remove the B Pillar trim. This is the piece that sits behind the back of the window. Put the top in a partially up position and hold it there with your strap. I just hung mine from one of the wood joists in the garage and put the loop around the front edge wherever I could. This piece has 4 bolts that go through the frame. If you unzip the rear window you will have good access to them. I wish I had those little magnetic inserts that go into your sockets that hold small nut in place for starting them. This prevents droppage now, and helps reinstall later. (No, I do not work for Sears, but I used to)







Now lets remove the lower outer screws so we can get at the tensioner at the bottom of the side flap. The long rectangular indent is where it is located behind the fabric. Now get in the back seat!



Remove the interior trim piece that covers this area. (One screw if I remember right) This exposes the lower tensioner which is bolted to the car from the inside. You use a ball end Allen key to get in there. These pics were taken sitting in the back seat. Remove it. Bag it, tag it.









Now remove the upper side screw. This screw hold the tops fabric down to the side, but it also goes through the upper side tensioner as shown in the pic below. The other end is tied into the assembly we saw earlier through the side rail. Go ahead and disconnect it from other side. Bag it, tag it. Pull the wire out from the fabric. Inspect it. If you need a new one, get it. If its sound, put it in the bag with the other tensioner pieces.



Old 07-20-2009, 02:46 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #11 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
At this point, stop drinking. You need to pay attention to this portion of the removal. Get in the back seat, make yourself some room. (Yeah right) Look up in the upper portion of the window. There is a large covered trim piece that covers all the goods. Its got screws all the way around it. Remove, bag em, tag em. You are now looking at the rear bow. This is the single piece that gave me the biggest headache. The top portion of the top as well as the rear window sections both go through this bow. It is screwed through, and glued. Bad combo. Remove the screws. Bag/tag. Lift the fabric up and take some pics as I did. Take pics of the glue lines, the screw holes, and the fabric folds. Or just reference this post. This piece is very easy to remove, so go ahead and enjoy doing so. (Because it is an absolute PIA to reinstall) Remove screws and peel fabric back that is glued to this strip. Set metal bow to side.






Peel back fabric all the way around the top section. Front and sides. Remove top section and set off to the side. Do Not Throw Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





On the rear window section, the upper fabric has already been released when you took off the upper metal bow. Remove the screws that affix the upper flaps to the top. Leave glued for now. These are hold flaps that will help align and install the window section. They will hold the top up out of your way to get at the next screws.



Old 07-20-2009, 02:56 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #12 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
I would like to apologize for not taking any pics of the locations of the rear hold down screws. You can see them clearly at the right side of the pic below. If not- Get in the back seat and turn around facing the rear window. Your window may still be down from removal of the B-pillar. Zip it up Chuck! Look all the way to the bottom trim under the perimeter of the window. There are three black plastic caps. Use your trim bar and remove the three black plastic caps off the lower rear trim at the bottom inside of the window. There is an Allen screw located at the depths of the recess. Use a ball end to unscrew, and a magnetic pick up tool to retrieve. There is also a hex nut on each side at the front edge of this curved piece. Remove this nut and the entire rear window section will come loose at this point.




Peel back glued fabric flaps at the top and front of the B-pillar and set rear window section aside. Flip over to inside and notice the curved frame part has a ton of screws in it. Remove them, bag/tag, and peel the glued fabric off the metal. Save weatherseal unless its shot. Put aside metal trim pieces and buy more beer.










INSTALLATION IS REVERSE OF REMOVAL [img]
Old 07-20-2009, 03:11 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #13 (permalink)
Registered User
 
mppickett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Barrington, RI
Posts: 593
Wow, Tony. Great job with the photos and instructions. We need a "finished" shot when you're ready!
__________________
07 Audi A4 2.0T Cabriolet - Black/Black (sold)
96 993 C2 Cabriolet - Arena Red/Tan (sold)
82 911SC - 993 Turbo Cab Trib - Speed Yellow/Black (sold)
58 DKW Universal - Baby Crap Yellow/Beige (sold)
Old 07-20-2009, 03:30 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #14 (permalink)
Plotter and C.R.A.P.per
 
SCWDP911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Jackson, TN
Posts: 6,414
This is a long needed thread and you seem to be doing a great job of it so far. Looking forward to positive results when all is done and the last drop of glue has dried! I have thought about trying to tackle this job on mine for a while and keep talking myself out of it. Those I have talked to that have done it before say they would not do it again. Looking to hear your afterthoughts. Good luck!
__________________
Shane

- Gone but not forgotten - 1983 Ruby Red Cabriolet
Old 07-20-2009, 05:47 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #15 (permalink)
Registered User
 
geoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sydney. Australia
Posts: 398
excellent write up so far, please continue, I think I'm looking at a similar engagement somewhere down the road ...
__________________
cheers

hg

1988 911 Cabrio
Old 07-20-2009, 06:36 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #16 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Delafield, Wisconsin
Posts: 143
You guys are really going easy on me, I figured on men with torches and pitchforks at my door this morning for my last comment. It may be a day or two to finish the write-up. Complete install to come
Old 07-21-2009, 02:13 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #17 (permalink)
Registered User
 
initial's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 112
We ignored it...The smiley gave you away...

Great write up.. I'm anxious to see the rest..
__________________
95 Carrera 4 Black/Black Coupe, Row M030, Bilstein HD
Past - 89 911 3.2 silver cab
Old 07-21-2009, 04:44 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #18 (permalink)
Registered User
 
geoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sydney. Australia
Posts: 398
Tony,

did you also find some rust on the frame, under the hood? I think there may be some on mine (on the non-alloy parts) & this is probably a good time to take care of it.
Old 07-21-2009, 11:42 PM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #19 (permalink)
Carrera Cab Connoisseur
 
nyne11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Western Victoria Australia
Posts: 732
Garage
Excellent Thread..subd
__________________
Dave
1986 Carrera Wide Body Cabriolet
1993 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo (620rwhp)
2003 BMW 330Ci MSport Individual
1973 Mercedes 350 Custom Convertible
Old 07-22-2009, 04:44 AM
  Pelican Parts Technical Article Directory    Reply With Quote #20 (permalink)
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

 


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:29 PM.


 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2016 Pelican Parts - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page
 

DTO Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.