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944 Tech Write Ups And FAQS >> All 944 Body >> REAR HATCH REPAIR

Message started by brian951 on Mar 7th, 2007 at 12:59am

Post by brian951 on Mar 7th, 2007 at 12:59am

First, before you begin, REALIZE THAT YOU MAY BREAK THE GLASS IF YOU ARE NOT EXTREMELY CAREFUL. THIS IS DEFINITELY A TWO PERSON JOB. Now, if you are still dedicated, begin by disconnecting the clips from the struts for the hatch. There are also wires that you must disconnect for the brake light and hatch wiper. I decided that I would just cut the wires to the wiper and reconnect them later; it is much easier. The brake light cover unscrews then just disconnect the wires. Pull the wires out of the tubes in which they are fed, tape them off and mark them.

Now, remove the rear headliner piece above the back seat, which is seated by approximately 6 screws, I believe my car is missing one. After that, pull off the rubber hatch seal. Only pull off the top half because pulling off the whole seal will make the perimeter sticky and rather annoying to work with. However, you can pull the whole thing off if you want. After you removed the seal and headliner piece, there will probably be two plus signs cut out in the thin vinyl like headliner. If not, peel it back from the top of the hatch. This will reveal four allen head bolts. Carefully and EVENLY loosen the bolts. After you have removed the bolts and washer plates, set them aside, and hope your buddy is strong.

Make sure you have a place for the hatch sit after you have removed it. Now, have your buddy support the hatch while you remove the retaining clips to the hatch struts and remove them. After you have done so, VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLYremove the hatch. Make sure you have a good grip on the hatch and carefully lay it wherever you have picked. Now, stand the hatch up vertically, grab a flathead screwdriver and begin prying off the upper trim piece from the “inside” of the hatch.

After you have done that, inspect the trim piece and make sure it is in line and straight. Then, inspect the actual hatch frame itself. To straighten this (by bringing it closer and more flush to the glass), I attached two tow straps with the ratchet to a rope, slowly bringing it tighter and tighter. For this, I kept the rear spoiler wing on; you can remove it if you wish, which would probably be a better idea. Bring the frame a little past where you want it to be, as when you release it, the frame will move back a little bit. Be very careful, like always, as you do not want to break anything. Now, take good nights rest and come back tomorrow keeping the frame overnight with the tow straps.

If your seal has been bad for some time and water has been running down your hatch, you may notice some corrosion on the copper defroster wires. If so, and you feel like being anal like myself, grab some Mother’s Aluminum and Mag Polish, a few diapers/rags and a whole bunch of spare time. Turn on some good Led Zep of Floyd to pass the time.

When you are ready for a new day of frustration, come back and clean the glass. Clean it with glass cleaner and then prep it with alcohol. After you have prepped the glass. Tape off a nice straight line on the inside of the glass where you want the silicone to stop. I found that this is usually a sliver above the top of the brake light. Generously apply 100% silicone (I used DAP) working it up into the top of the window. Work it in from the to and bottom. Do not worry about overflow as you can scrap it off easily. After you are done creating a solid seal without any air bubbles (covered in saliva as usual), tighten straps so frame is in desired place. Once again, let it sit overnight and come back. I let mine sit for a few days.

When you are sure that all of the silicone is dry, slowly release the straps and scrap off all of the old silicone with a razor blade. Reattach the upper trim piece and begin the reverse the process for reassembly. Have your buddy hold the hatch up and put in the hatch bolts with the plates. The hatch will be heavy so work quickly but correctly. Do not tighten fully until you a sure the hatch opens and closes properly without coming in contact with the rear section of the roof and still seals properly. Once you are satisfied with the position, tighten the bolts fully. You might want to fasten them with Lock-Tite or some other sort of bolt sealant as these as primary bolts to keep your hatch in place.

Come back in a day or two and then attach the struts. One of the main reasons that the hatch seal failed in the first place is because the gas struts are creating a constant pushing force on the glass, pushing the glass away from the frame. This break from the struts will help the seal last much much longer. Reattach the wiper motor and rear brake light, as well as defroster clips, hop in the drivers seat, AND BANG SOME GEARS!


had a random skweeky and/or chirping from my rear hatch recently, and looked up online for FAQ's, suggestions, etc.  Porsche themselves had a tech doc about the rear hatch noise being a common issue, and most commonly one of three reasons...

1) A pin from one of the rear hatch hinges could have come unseated at the top of the hatch (this was my issue and once fixed resolved my issue)

2) The rear hatch posts that slide into the release boxes at the bottom of the hatch are actual bolts that can be adjusted...they suggest making them shorter and shorter with trial & error until the hatch no longer secures shut. Then back off a turn. I assume this helps by tightening the hatch and reducing vibration.

3) The glass sometimes becomes separated from the frame up at the top, causing noise.

Ambient temperature changes cause the intermittent noise (sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it does especially with higher exterior temps).

Then again, it could be electrical. If so, that ought to be a fun game of tracking it down!

An interesting side note - In the article/doc it also mentioned that the rear hatch release button was never made to work properly and Porsche tried & tried to fix and/or redesign it, and eventually gave up. They ended up releasing a statement that the rear hatch button was never intended as "the way" one should open the rear hatch of a 944...it was meant as only an emergency release. They also said the the owners manual was incorrect in stating that that is how one should open the rear hatch. Porsche says that you should open the rear hatch using your key in the rear.  Too funny.  

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