Targa - Leaking
FWIW, my targa leaks precisely where you describe; at the joint just above the fixed window.  I have looked carefully and on mine, it appears that the water actually travels along the top of the fixed window frame before dripping inside the car.  I'm looking a two courses of action.  First extending the "rain gutter" so that it overlaps with the windshield frame and doesn't end at the problem area.  Second, I plan on building up the seal in this area so that the water cannot enter.
'84 Targa (slightly damp)


This discussion is a great one and one that I thing I can add to. I have a '68 Targa and am restoring it and have learned some tricks about sealing it up.

First, if you need to replace the seals REPLACE THEM with good originals. Don't try to fix or rig them up.

Second, after the seals are replaced or if if they are ok find out where the leak is.

There are two good ways to do this the first will work well if you have a '69 or newer. make a liquid soap and water solution   (A squirt bottle of water and a squeeze of dish soap will work). Close the windows with the targa top on and turn the fan on high. From the outside with the car buttoned up spray the solution around the window-to-car, window-to-top and fixed window (Get all the cracks that air could escape). You should see bubbles start to form in the area of your leak (Like finding a leak on a tire). be generous with the solution as it makes the leak more apparent and it will clean your window when you wipe it off. The bubbles are the indicator of where your leak is.

If you don't have a fan as in the '68 and older (like mine) you can use the dollar bill trick. Take a 100 dollar bill or a smaller bill will work and open the door with the window up, place the opened bill between the window and body, top or roll bar and shut the door. Pull the bill out from the outside and you should feel resistance. If you don't feel resistance you have found your leak  If there is resistance open the door and move the bill over and over with the same technique until you find the leak

Third, if you can't find the leak using either of the two methods, STOP and seek a body man.

Fourth, if you find the leak, you can adjust the window by removing the inner door panel. Locate the window frame adjustment screws usually at the bottom and or top of the frame. Adjust the in or out to tighten up the leaky spot. (some older models use washers as an adjustment by adding or removing washers behind the frame bolt you can "tilt" the window closer to the top or away). Recheck the leak as well as the rest of the window to assure it is leak free. Lastly once the job is complete reassemble the door panel and you have a nice quiet experience.

Jim Boucher <boogieman@kconline.com>
'68 912 Targa

My 2 cents on Targa sealing:

First, make sure the clips are tight on the top and that when the top is opened the folding bars are seated in the clips.

Used a good black silicone with a very wet cloth to rebuild the windshield rubber and the top side seals.  You must be very patient and let each bead or coat dry the full 24 hrs before applying the next coat/bead.  Also I very carefully used the wet cloth to shape and smooth the silicone.

The next trick I employed involved using marine quality rubber-like weather stripping.  Without removing the paper covering the sticky side I carefully slid a piece of the appropriate size between the thick seal at the targa roll bar and back of the door window.  The length and thickness must be determined by experimentation as it will compress, and be hidden from view, with use.  I did have to lay a bead of silicone behind one of the rollbar/window seals to seal and glue.

Tightest Targa in Texas!  No leaks, and the roof darn near pops off with the windows up while closing the door!

Troy Matz   troy.matz@mci2000.com


Targa - Clips Popping Out

OK, this is a really cheesy way to fix the problem of clips popping off your Targa top at speed, but it works.  If you've already spent hours readjusting the clips to no avail, try this:  Take an old hockey stick, cut to fit longitudinally between the two hinged cross members so that it presses them into the clips.  Wrap in electrical tape for that quality look. For best results, use only a German hockey stick and tape.

I swear it even feels like the car is stiffer with a brace between the Targa bar and windshield, and doesn't look half bad. 

Scott Breeding   SBREEDIN@cnap.navy.mil
'84 911 Targa

Here's an alternative on the hockey stick fix:

Use a window curtain rod, the type which consists of two approximately C-shaped pieces, one of which slides inside the other. The two are connected with an adjustable, spring loaded clamp.

Adjust the rod to a length slightly longer than the distance between the two hinged cross members of the top. When you put the rod between the cross members, the spring loading helps keep it in place and applies the appropriate force to the clips.

On my top, this fix significantly reduced the rattling/squeaking between the top and the body.

Jay Deinken    jjdeinken@rsc.rockwell.com
74 911 Targa
74 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet


Targa - Top restoration

A surprisingly large number of people have asked me to document my Targa top rebuild  experience, so here goes. I'm sure there are year-to-year variations in the details of construction, but I suspect that they're  minor, and that my 1972 911 top is typical.

 1. The Targa top, sometimes called the skin, that you buy from the dealer or any of the after  market suppliers,  is a vinyl piece that comes cut and sewn to fit.  The front and rear edges have  the binding, or beading, sewn in place.  Similarly, the headliner comes cut to fit and it's edges are  sewn and bound.  There appear to be two kinds of vinyl that most places use, the domestic vinyl  made by Haartz, and the German vinyl.  The former has a coarser pattern and is shinier than the  latter.  I used the former; it's cheaper.  I also think it looks pretty good.

2. The top comes apart easily.  Just unscrew the rubber window seals on either side, and then the  rain gutters.   You'll also have to remove two metal trim pieces on the frame, and perhaps fold  back some of the vinyl trim on the frame.  It'll be obvious.  In my case, the top was cut away from  the hold-down clips, but the headliner was beneath them.   So if you're just doing the top, maybe you can leave the clips in place.  If you're doing everything, and I'd suggest you do, since the  headliner is cheap enough and you might as well as long as everything's apart, then take off the  clips too. Then start ripping off the top, and headliner, BUT pay attention to how things were put  together, and save the top so you can look at it if you need to during reassembly.

3. The top consists of  three aluminum plates that are held together and to the front and back ends by  burlap and webbing.  The webbing appears to be the strength member.  Actually, webbing might  be the wrong word.  It's simply two pieces of tough stuff, a few inches wide, that run down both sides of the top, front to back.  I think the burlap is there simply to prevent the vinyl top from chaffing on the aluminum.  The webbing runs on the top side.  It's not woven between the plates.

4. You can take apart the rest of the frame if you wish, but it probably isn't necessary.  If you do,  and you're not acquainted with auto trim techniques, you'll want to know that the plastic buttons  have a pin in the center.  The button is removed by driving the pin (use a nail, the head side on  the pin, not the point) through the button.  This releases the button's catch mechanism.

5.  The webbing on my top was held to the three plates and to the front and back sections with  rivets and glue.  I replaced it with seatbelt material, available from almost any fabric store.  I used  pop- rivets, 1/8" dia x 1/8" long.  This is one of only two places that I'd offer advice, although you  don't have to be a genius to figure out a procedure for yourself.  It really isn't very complicated in  spite of the popular wisdom which says you shouldn't touch a Targa top unless you're a  professional.   The plate spacing is determined by the webbing, and this in turn sets the entire top  geometry.  To get it right, I put the clips back on the plates and aligned them with the unfolded frame, and then tightened them.  The top is now fully unfolded, as it would be  on the car.  Everything is in the  right place. THEN I put on the webbing.  I also then put on the burlap, gluing it to the three plates and  to the end pieces.  I didn't actually use burlap because the burlap at the fabric store was too weak.   Instead, I used a scrap piece of fairly tough material.  I don't know what it was, muslin maybe. It  came off the odds and ends table.  50 cents.

6. Now when you fold the frame you can be certain that when it is unfolded everything will be in  the right place.

7. You'll have to remove the clips at this point, since they will go over the headliner (for  appearance).  But...you want to be sure that they can be put back in exactly the same place.  I  simply held the clip 'nuts' in place by gluing a piece of foam rubber over them and to the  aluminum plates.  That's what it looked like had been done at the factory.  The reason 'nuts' is in  parenthesis is that there is a single 'nut' for both bolts in each clip.  You'll see what I mean when  you do it. But after thinking about it I decided it would have been much easier to just hold them  in place with a piece of duct tape.  All this will be much more obvious when you actually see it.

8. Put the top on, cutting away here and there as needed to fit the frame. Again, obvious.  Glue it  down along the flap that folds under all around.  You're gluing only the flap, and you're gluing it  to the underside of the top(the inside of the car side, so to speak).  I started gluing from the center  (of the front and back) outwards towards the sides, so I  could smooth it nicely, but I think it  would have gone as well had I started at either end.

9. The raingutters go on easily.

10. The headliner is simple.  Just put it on, it fits like a glove.  Use a little glue to hold it to the top.   You'll have to stretch it a bit to get it under the clips, and you'll have to poke holes in it to get the  clip bolts through.  Again, pretty obvious when you do it.

11. Voila.  New top!

Bob Spindel      spindels@aol.com


Temperature Gauge - How to read

If your temp gauge is like mine, it has a wide white band near the bottom ("warm-up band"--top of this band is 140F or 60C), then a white tick mark (200F or 90C), a second white tick mark (250F or 120C), and a wide red band (bottom of this band is 300F or 150C).

Bob Tindel


Turbo Tie Rods - Installation

Installing Turbo Tie Rods 101 Version 1.01

Special Tools -- In addition to regular sockets/wrenches
Non Adjustable Tie Rod End Puller ($5 from local Auto store... DO NOT get a gear puller *grin*)
Dull Metal Chisel w/ .5"-.75" blade width (or big flat head screw driver might work)
Silicon Lube Spray
BIG adjustable wrench
Blood guts and glory

1.  Jack front of car up high enough to easily work under it with hammers or large wrenches.  Safety brake should be on.
2.  Remove both wheels.
3.  Turn steering wheel all the way to one side.
4.  Go to opposite side and remove cotter pin from castilated nut (castle nut to some) at the top of the tie rod.
5.  Get breaker bar and remove castilated nut.
6.  Use tie rod end puller to get the tie rod end out of the joint that connects it to the spindle..(Not sure if its the correct name)  This is a tapered end and will probably POP out with a loud noise so don't be frightened like I was *grin*  Do not let the tie rods change their length at any time or you will have some problems later on.
7.  Repeat 3-6 for other side of the car.
8.  Remove metal dust/rock guard from under the front of car.  This plate covers the steering rack.
9.  Remove front sway bar.  You may or may not have to do this.
10.  Remove the old rubber bellows from the steering rack and push it as far out of the way toward the outside of the car as you can.  Be careful not to damage the little retaining springs as you will be using these again.
11.  There is a large ring with 4 rectangular cuts in it at the joint between tie rod and steering rack.  Call it big nut for now.  Take your dull chisel and place it in one of those rectangular cutouts and hammer gently.  You must make sure that you are trying to force the big nut loose and hammering on the correct side.  Remember: Lefty Loosy Righty Tighty as you look from the tire wells to the steering rack .  My partner had this small error and ... well... So on the right side (passenger) of the car you will hit on the front side going up and on the left side (drivers) you will hit on the rear side going up.
12.  Big nut should get loose with in reason.  Do both sides.  You can use the steering wheel or big muscle to move the steering rack such that you can get a better angle on removing the big nuts.
13.  Remove the tie rod of your choice by unscrewing it completely from the steering rack.  DO NOT change the length.
14.  Mark the tie rod as either drivers or passengers (or right or left).
15.  Remove and mark other tie rod.
16.  Open your turbo kit and remove the plastic covers (one each end) to the turbo tie rod ends.
17.  Put Rubber turbo bellows over the turbo rods as this is a pain to do it later (don't ask how I know).  We also should have cleaned the retaining springs with brake cleaner at this point };).  You will only need to use one for each side.  I think its the bigger one, but check as the inner and outer retainer springs are of different sizes.
18.  Adjust the length of one turbo rod to the length of one old rod as close as you can.  Make sure you mark the turbo rods as to which is drivers and which is passengers.
19.  The kit we had came with two large spacers.  We compared them to bump steer spacers and they were not  the same.  After a little discussion we decided that they were to be used as replacements for the space occupied by big nut on the old tie rods.  Another friend of ours had a kit that did not have these and his car runs just fine and it has been an interesting local discussion.
20.  Screw in both turbo rods on their appropriate sides after applying some thread lock.
21.  I forget the wrench size to tighten the tie rods, but we didn't have one as a box wrench so we used a big adjustable wrench.  We tightened it up against the steering rack until strange grunting noises somehow escaped our lips.
22.  Put the rubber turbo bellows on.  This is where the silicone lube spray comes in handy.  Spray the inside end areas of the bellows with a little bit of that silicone stuff and they slip on their stops easily. You should only have one spring retaining ring that you use on the steering rack side.  The tie rod side is sufficiently held by a rubber thing on the tie rod side.
23.  Replace sway bar if removed.
24.  Replace dust/rock guard plate.
25.  Use some mid-fine grade sand paper or Emory paper to clean up the hole area on the arm that the tie rod links to.  Wash with brake cleaner to remove dust.
26.  Put tie rod end into hole at end of arm.  Put castilated nut on and tighten to torque in spec book (don't have mine at work sorry..)
27.  Insert a new cotter pin.  These didn't come with our kit so you should make a hardware store run before you start to get the right pins.
28.  Put on wheels.
29.  Lower car.
30.  Done.

Now, if you got your length measurements reasonably close you should be able to drive a short distance to get a front end alignment.  You will need one of these! 


-Michael and Chris