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986: Remove and replacing roll hoop padding and wind deflector clips

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I had to replace the wind deflector clips on my 2003 986S, and took a couple of photos. Originally I documented it in my car's thread ( http://www.BoXa.net/forum/topic/78363-not-the-commuter-car-i-was-planning-for/?do=findComment&comment=1081195 ) but it'll probably get lost there, so Menoporsche suggested I put it here instead. There are other guides online to help do this, but maybe this'll be new & useful to someone...

One of the clips for the wind deflector between the roll hoops snapped while I was trying to remove it. These things (though this is after I finished the job):


This is probably due to the age of the plastic, and the fact it'll be exposed to the sun quite a lot so will probably have become quite brittle by this age on all our cars. Luckily, replacements are cheap and easy to come by. I bought mine off eBay so they would be posted to me, but they were a similar price at my OPC:


This was a pack of the three replacement clips and the pop rivets required to fit them. I understand that for the 987 version you also get spare plugs for refitting the roll hoop padding (one of the last steps) but on the 986 this isn't really necessary; I've reused the old ones without issue.

- First step is to drop the top of the car for access - trust me, this'll make it so much easier and you may as well make the most of having a convertible!! 

- Remove the roll hoop padding - those plastic/leather bits in front of the roll bar. There are trim removal tools that help with this, but I don't have any of those. Instead, I used some bicycle tyre levers. I started with some like these:
But they proved to be quite flexible, so they were being very bent all the time. I then swapped to my Park Tools ones (£1.49 for 3, so not pricey) which are much more rigid and that helped. You could also use ones like these:
Whichever you use, make sure they're plastic! You don't really want to scratch the paint off the roll hoop. Push the tyre levers between the rubber headrest parts and the metal roll bar.


The photo above helps, showing where the attaching screws are, so focus your strengths in those areas, working on one at a time. Rather than trying to lever off the rubber bits, just push the levers in as far as they go to use that to push the rubber parts off, then tug. It's impressive how much force was needed to pull off the padding trim. That is, I really really had to pull. If you scuff the pleather a bit, it doesn't really seem to show marks. Just be careful about slicing/cutting into them which is more likely. The back of them is metal to which the outer pleather bits are glued, so you can't really damage the back bit and you can always reglue the leather to the back if necessary. You can see this metal backing in this photo of the middle piece:


I left one bolt of each of the two side pieces of trim attached to the car as you can see in the photo above. Mostly because it was a lot of work removing them and I didn't want to risk losing my patience with unnecessary jobs!

- You need to drill out the rivets. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can start with small sizes and work your way upwards to remove all the rivet, or - as I did - just use a large drill bit to remove the front face. Doing it this way, what's inside will drop down into the roll bar but I stopped this by putting a large welding magnet on top and then after the rivet was removed I 'rolled' the bit inside through the hole using the magnet. Difficult to explain with words, and very fiddly. Not sure I'd do that again. Also, I managed to snap two drill bits removing rivets somehow. Never done that before.

- Line up the new clips to the holes (you'll only be using one hole in each clip), and push a new rivet (there are some included with the kit) through the hole. Double check fit & location.

- Insert rivet in your rivet gun (make sure you have the right sized head bolt to the gun attached - it should be a snug fit), check again the rivet and clip are in the right place, then pull (hard) the handle to pop the rivet. If all goes well, the stem of the rivet should come out the back of the gun. (In my case, the innards of my rivet gun came out with it - my rivet gun is a bit knackered)

- If you've never riveted something before, start with the middle section as you can (should) remove it from the car and do it somewhere comfortable.

- Unscrew the plastic clips that held the rubber trim in place (they probably came with the padding when you pulled them off, still attached to the threads of the bolts - they did with mine, but sadly I don't have a photo to show this) and place them in the holes. They may be a bit lose but should be reuseable. I didn't replace mine, but I did apply a little Sikaflex I had lying around to help ensure a snug fit - not strictly necessary though.

- Line the rubber trim back up and push hard back in place to fix everything back together.

- Put the wind deflector in, roof up then pack away your tools and turn on the kettle/crack open the the beer. Or go for a topless drive, then crack open the beer.


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  • 2 weeks later...

wow, this seems a massive faff.  one of my clips is broken, it keeps the deflector in place for now but i guess its just a matter of time.  I think i'll try to fix with some sugru instead of getting hold of a rivet gun etc!!  out of interest, where did you get the replacement clips and how much were they?

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@thefunkygibbon, it's not the biggest faff of a job I've had to deal with by any means, and having the ability to have my wind deflector back and secure when I have the roof down has made it worthwhile. Given the way my clip had broken, I think Sugru wouldn't have done much and I trust a mechanical fix more than - say - a duct tape fix for such a part. Wind deflectors are expensive to replace if they fly off the car!

I got the clips from a seller of them on eBay:

They were basically Porsche parts though and would probably cost the same from Porsche themselves. I just didn't want to drive to my OPC to pick them up (though in the end had to go for other parts anyway, only to find the guys at Porsche would've just posted them too if I'd wanted...).

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