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Old October 31st, 2005, 06:10 PM   #1
trafelo
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3
Painting a hardtop

I've purchased a used hardtop (red) for my 2000 Boxster (black met.)
No---I don't plan to leave the hardtop red!! I'm having a local guy paint it to match the body.

My questions have to do with the narrow panels on either side of the top, specifically the black molded elastomer separating (at least visually) the two panels from the rest of the top:
--Can the elastomer be removed with relative ease for the painting session,
and then be replaced?
--How is the elastomer retained?
--Once removed, must new molded pieces be put in place?

Or--- is careful masking of the elastomer the only reasonable option?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Jim
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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:04 PM   #2
trafelo
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Painting a hardtop

Having received no replies to my quest, I have finally determined what must be done to remove the seal. I've actually lost count of the parts and service personnel I've spoken with at various Porsche dealers, not to mention a couple of independent "experts, who shall remain nameless. Here's what I've
learned:

--The two painted panels must be removed in order to remove the seals.
and are retained by plastic clips (four on each panel) that slide into
a channel on the underside and snap onto ribbed studs that are
welded to the hardtop. A groove on the edges of the panels retains
the rubber seals, which are molded pieces, formed and marked for "left" or "right". Although I was told that the clips are destroyed when the panels are removed, I have since determined that this is only partially true, since some of my clips appear to be still usable. I nevertheless have ordered eight new clips "just in case". BTW---the clips are apparently rarely stocked by a dealer---my parts had to be special ordered out of the Atlanta inventory. Hopefully I'll have them in time for re-assembly of the panels to the top after painting is complete.

--I removed the panels by inserting a thin substantial tool (in my case, the nose of a pair of needle-nose pliers) under the seal at the rear end of the panel (at the upper edge of the rear window) and carefully prying upward. (This was nervewracking for me since I'd been told, incorrectly, that the panels are plastic, and I could just imagine breaking the panel, necessitating another phone call to a dealer for replacements. Turns out, the panels are very substantial die-cast/extruded(?) aluminum pieces.) When the prying motion is properly done, the separation of the first clip from its stud
is accompanied by a distinct "cracking" sound. From here out it's all "duck soup". The remaining clips are separated from their studs simply by sliding a hand under the panel and further lifting it away from the top. Most of the seal will come away with the panel, except at the front, where butyl rubber (like windshield adhesive) is used to retain the seal to the top.

That's where I stand now. I'll follow this up with my adventures in re-installing
the panels, clips, and seals when my top has been painted.

Stay tuned.
Jim
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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:10 PM   #3
doug_d (7.7/77777)
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Location: Sacramento-ish
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thanks for the update
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