I recently experienced a problem with my power top. I would press the switch to open the top and nothing would happen. I couldn't find much on this type of problem on the archives so I thought I would right up what I found and post some pictures.
I started by checking the fuse and some of the micro switches, all of which turned up fine. Having the repair manual on CD, I noticed a part called the convertible top control unit. I suspected the problem might have something to do with the unit but I had difficulty locating it. I finally located the control unit under the drivers side footwell, sort of under the dash vent.
The part was a real pain to get out since it located on top of another electronic box with a VDO label on it. Once I finally got it free, I tried opening the top while pressing on the 4 connectors going to the part. To my surprise the top started moving. I thought great, it was just a loose connector. I reseated the connectors and tried again. Nothing moved. I tried again pressing on one of the connectors and the top moved again. I then knew it was probably a cold solder joint on one of the pins on the pc board or a bad connector. The control unit is housed in a plastic case which comes apart easily. Looking closely at the one of the connector pin solder joints, it was easy to see where the problem was. There was a crack in the solder joint around one of the pins. I heated up the soldering iron and reflowed all the solder joints on the pins adding a little extra solder. I put things back together and gave it a try. Now the top works great. The best part is that the total cost was $0.00.
I'll try to attach a couple of photos. They are the control unit with and without the cover on plus a shot of the area where the cold solder joint was.
Hope this helps.
96 C4 Cab
While having the greenfrog at GT Performance, I had the chance to put it on Gabe Watson’s brand new scales. To my surprise, the weight reading came out at 3054 lbs. Digging out my Cayman R brochure, it clearly says “Curb weight: 2855 lbs”. That is quite a significant difference of 199 lbs. I am curious why.
It turns out, Porsche is taking the definition of “curb weight” a bit lightly in Cayman R’s marketing material. By definition, curb weight (or unladen weight) is the total weight of a vehicle with standard equipment, all necessary operating consumables such as motor oil, transmission oil, coolant, A/C refrigerant, and a full tank of fuel, but without passenger or cargo. It is exactly the 3054 lbs shown on the scale. The 2855 lbs is in fact the dry (or empty) weight. This is corroborated by Porsche Cayman owner’s manual, stating empty weight of Cayman S to be 2976 lbs, exactly 121 lbs more than the Cayman R.
Does the Cayman really carry close to 200 lbs of fluid? The numbers do add up. You probably wouldn’t guess coolant alone accounts for 55 lbs. A full tank of fuel weighs a whopping 108 lbs. And the rest: engine oil 14.9 lbs, transmission fluid 6.3 lbs, power steering fluid 11.9 lbs, brake fluid 0.9 lbs, windshield washer fluid 13.2 lbs.
Mystery solved, I hope. Now when some one claims the weight of a car, you know more than enough to call him out, or at least confuse him more!
Lately I have been asking myself why I like working on my car. Of course there’s the cost savings, which gets me down this path since I flush my brake fluid 6 times a year. By now I have realized not to underestimate the time - I’ve learned that I can’t make a living as a mechanic, not even at Porsche’s hourly rate. And there’s always the clean up, some times messy. Learning the mechanical skills is fun to me. It is less scary because we have so many experienced members in the club ready to help if I make a mistake. Getting up close and personal with the Porsche also helps me understand and appreciate how well the it is designed and built, for road and for track.
But a moment like this tells the real reason - to care for, bond with, and trust my ride. When I am taking the Cayman R to its happiest run at the race track, I will be confident that it will accelerate, turn and brake at my request, lap after lap, because the engine is cool, the oil is clean, the brake fluid is fresh, and the pads are thick. I know if I treated the green frog with attention and do things right, he will always reward me with exhilaration and a big smile.