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Any convertible questions E21, E30 E36

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    Posted: 10 Apr 2011 at 8:30pm
As per title - happy to help if can
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I have had two E93s One a 335i and the other an M3. Both make a strange vibrating noise at speed which seems to come from the top of the winscreen. Both have been back to the dealers to no avail. Anyone else have the same problem or solution?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2011 at 11:59pm
Hi - not an expert on the E93 as they normally go to the dealers - can have a word with a friend who is a master tech - but sounds like its in the connection between the roof and the screen frame - may be a job they cant fix - sorry cant be more help but as they are so new and under warranty its a dealer or dealer technician one
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote STG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 8:13am
OK. Thanks. More an annoyance than an issue but I took both cars to different dealers with no joy.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Cayzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2011 at 5:57pm

Hi...

When my '99 E36 328i Convertible hood is opening, the rear deck (horseshoe shaped bit)  and the hood clips the horseshoe.....sometimes bit of a bang, other times a very small clip, and other times no clip at all and hood opens lovely........no other problems with it...

Have been told its lack of use - it is my hobby car after all, and spends most of its time in my garage.....

To fix the hood clipping the horseshoe, the horseshoe would only need to open about another 5mm....

Can this be adjusted ?


& Are you going to Tatton ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2011 at 7:00pm
Hi - adjustment is possible depending on what the problem is - but always avoid adjusting if unsure what it will do - know that seems obvious but some people decide to play
 
What you mention is often an issue also with E30s and can be down to the roof not moving freely enough and sticking - try when you are pressing the button as it opens to lift off and press again and see then if the roof moves a bit more so they miss each other
 
I will try and post links to download the resetting and detailed info on the E36 roof as may help other people also - dont do this resetting unless more serious problems
 
Unlikely to be at Tatton as still the race season
 

Resetting the Convertible Top

This is the procedure to reset the E36 convertible top in case you have used the emergency

release handle that’s located under the rear seat*. This works on the author’s ’97 which had

the fully automatic top. It may also work on other E36 models and years. The owner’s

manual says to take the car to a Dealer for service but why do that when the procedure is so

simple [APPARENTLY!!]

The owner’s manual describe the method for closing the top manually, presumably in case

you have a dead battery with the top down and it starts to rain! The top mechanism is

driven by two electric motors that are located in the trunk/boot – one for the lid of the

storage bin/compartment and for the top itself. Closing the top manually requires releasing

the two motors from their transmission drives [using the afore-mentioned lever*, which,

through a cable release mechanism, causes the motors to pop away from their drives],

pulling the top out of its storage bin/compartment and then using an Allen wrench/Allen

key [from the tool kit in the boot] to fully close and lock the top to the windshield. The

Allen wrench/key gets inserted into a socket that is hidden behind a plastic cover at the

leading edge of the top, and then you turn it many, many times to stimulate the action of

the electric motor. NOTE: there are interlocks between the storage bin/compartment lid

and the trunk that prevent you from opening both at the same time.

Once the two motors have been disengaged, the top can only be operated manually – the

LED in the control switch blinks, and the owners manual says you have to take the car to

the Dealer to reset the correct operation of the top. The reason is that the two electric

motors have to be re-engaged with their drive mechanisms and also re-synchronized with

each other [you wouldn’t want the top to crash into the lid of the storage bin].

Never fear, there is a fairly easy way to reset all of this yourself! The following is courtesy of

Brett Anderson, who came to the author’s rescue on this topic. He was having a new

subwoofer and amplifier installed in his car, and the installer had the rear seat out when he

decided to pull on the release handle to see what could happen [it has a red tag on it that

just seemed to scream ‘pull me’ -- who could resist?]

First, manually open the top, placing it back into its storage compartment, and then close

the lid of the compartment as far as it will go. You may need to push down the lid so that it

closes far enough to allow you to open the trunk/boot [there’s a safety interlock that

prevents the trunk/boot from being opened if the lid is open at the same time]. Working

inside the trunk/boot, remove the carpet liner from the left side of the trunk. There are two

plastic clips that hold the liner in place – you can pry them out with a screwdriver. Behind

the liner are the two motors that work the mechanism -- one drives the top and the other is

for the lid. Each motor is mounted on a spring-loaded pivot mechanism. The gears on the

motors normally engage the gears for their respective transmission mechanisms, but when

the lever is pulled the motors pop away and disengage.

So you have to push the motors back into their original positions so that the gears reengage.

When you do this the spring-loaded catch mechanism will firmly latch into place.

Be sure that the motor is firmly seated into the drive, and not just partially

engaged.

Once both motors are re-engaged, get into the car, and with the ignition key in the ‘off’

position press and hold the top control switch in the up [for closing] position.. Continuing

to hold this switch, turn the key to the ‘accessory position’ [second position ie without

starting the car] and hold it there. After about 12 seconds the lid will be sucked down into

the locked position and then, after a few more seconds, the top will start its normal closing

procedure. The motors are now re-synched, and should be all set. Work the system a few

times to ensure that both motors are properly engaged and all is well.

54 34 002 Initializing EM convertible top after

emergency release (convertible top

unlocked)

Connecting up drives:

Both drive units are unlocked and access in trunk is not

possible (electrical forced locking of trunk lid).

Open side windows.

Turn central handle and raise convertible top over dead center point, microswitch (S4) cuts in (convertible top not

overstretched).

RA Initializing EM convertible top after emergency release (convertible top unlocke BMW AG - TIS 14.07.2003 22:02

Issue status (03/2001) Valid only until next CD is issued Copyright Page - 1 -

Raise clamping bracket into upright position.

Open convertible top cover manually and store in convertible top box - micro-switch (S3) cuts in (convertible top stowed

away).

RA Initializing EM convertible top after emergency release (convertible top unlocke BMW AG - TIS 14.07.2003 22:02

Issue status (03/2001) Valid only until next CD is issued Copyright Page - 2 -

Close convertible top lid (closing brackets must locate in locks on

left and right sides).

Have second man press down convertible top lid in centre (1) and

right side (2) until microswitch (S6) (electronic forced locking of

trunk lid) engages and trunk lid (3) can be opened.

Caution!

Convertible top lid and trunk lid must not make contact with

each other when opening (risk of damage).

Installation:

Before engaging the drive units, push unlocking lever fully back

(Bowden cables fully retracted). If necessary, raise the seat.

RA Initializing EM convertible top after emergency release (convertible top unlocke BMW AG - TIS 14.07.2003 22:02

Issue status (03/2001) Valid only until next CD is issued Copyright Page - 3 -

Removing left luggage compartment trim,

refer to 51 47 151

Push motor (A) for convertible top drive upwards, engage and allow to locate.

Note:

In tooth-to-tooth setting (motor cannot be engaged), press down convertible top gently and engage motor.

RA Initializing EM convertible top after emergency release (convertible top unlocke BMW AG - TIS 14.07.2003 22:02

Issue status (03/2001) Valid only until next CD is issued Copyright Page - 4 -

Pull motor (B) for convertible top lid drive inwards, engage and allow to locate.

Note:

In tooth-to-tooth setting (motor cannot be engaged), press down convertible top lid gently and engage motor.

Close luggage compartment lid.

Initialization without diagnosis:

Prerequisite:

Convertible top stowed in convertible top box and drive units

connected up.

Turn ignition lock into "0" setting.

Move convertible top switch into "open" position and hold down.

Turn ignition lock into "R" (radio setting) setting.

After approx. 10 seconds, the convertible top lid starts to close.

RA Initializing EM convertible top after emergency release (convertible top unlocke BMW AG - TIS 14.07.2003 22:02

Issue status (03/2001) Valid only until next CD is issued Copyright Page - 5 -

Convertible top switch can now be released and initialization

procedure runs. Initialization is completed approx. 0.5 seconds

after the convertible top lid has finished closing.

Note:

The initialization sequence can only be interrupted by turning

the ignition lock into setting "0".

Now completely close the convertible top (perform function check).

Initialization with diagnosis:

Prerequisite:

Convertible top stowed in convertible top box and drive units

connected up.

Initialization, refer to BMW diagnosis system.

Emergency actuation of convertible top:

Open side windows and left door.

Push left front seat forwards and fold down.

Note:

No-one must be sitting on the rear seat at this time.

RA Initializing EM convertible top after emergency release (convertible top unlocke BMW AG - TIS 14.07.2003 22:02

Issue status (03/2001) Valid only until next CD is issued Copyright Page - 6 -

The release lever is located at the left under the rear bench seat in

position (1) (rest position). If necessary, lift up rear bench seat.

Pull release lever forwards with grip into position (2) until both drive

units disengage audibly.

After being released, the release lever returns to position (3).

Caution!

When drive units are disconnected, only drive with convertible

top closed (it is then not possible to lock the convertible top

lid).

The convertible top lid and convertible top can now move freely.

Installation:

Before engaging the drive units, slide release lever fully back

into position (1) (engagement not otherwise possible) and

allow bench seat to reengage.

 



Edited by Cabrio - 26 Jun 2011 at 7:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Frith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2011 at 9:13pm
Hi Neil,
hope you are keeping well, I hope you can advise on this one please. My daughter has followed me into BMW ownership and she has recently bought a 99 E36. which is self destructing the hood when opening. Its fully auto and the plastic interior trim which which sits on top of the windscreen (on mine its the trim that houses the manual hood locking mechanism on the semi auto hood) but hers continues, around over part of the front/side windows, this part is loose and hanging down as a result of the holding clips that go into little white brackets being broken off. it has also cracked the rear window vertically. We live in Leicestershire, could you please recommend someone to repair the trim, replace the rear window and adjust the mechanism(also v slow) although I think an element of lack of use may have some bearing as it was stood in a garage for having very little use some time prior to us buying it.
 Thanks and regards Dick   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2011 at 9:28am
Hia - different people for different jobs really
 
the slow operation is likely to be tight frame (try lubricating first) but it also points towards lazy motors which is more difficult to diagnose cheaply
 
dont suggest someone playing or adjusting without knowing what doing or done before and dont know anyone local to you 
 
Re window a garage that has fitted a BMW softtop window before should be able to help - but suggest genuine window as copies can give problems and its a 2 person job and likely to take an hour - but if roof has shrunk can be grief...call me if want any further advice - sorry cant direct you to someone or give magic answer but the E36 roof has many components that give issues - but if low mileage and it works try getting mechanism lubricated first 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Frith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2011 at 7:15pm
Thanks for the advise Neil,. we will work through the jobs, starting with the lube.
 regards, Dick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2011 at 11:31am
best to look at the cheap stuff first
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paceywalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2014 at 5:17pm
Hello I have recently gained possession of an e30 convertible, the power hood does not work is there a manual operation to release the stowage lid I can't find one ? Any help would be great thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rpennington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2014 at 9:47pm
Hi Richard
I live near Leicester & you could try classic car services with regards to your soft top window repair.They are in silverdale drive , thurmaston,i had a seat pad replaced by them & they did a great job,they do complete interior trim replacements & custom work to customers requirements.
Hope this helps

Regards
Rich

Edited by rpennington - 20 Feb 2014 at 9:48pm
2011-E90 325d M Sport
1999-E46 323i-sold
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2014 at 12:36am

Hi - I posted regards your E30 hood but is seems that it has not posted - lets blame the ipad

If your roof and the lid is not operating its likely that the rod going to the frame/roof motor has broken and that someone has then tampered with it - saying that if the rod is bent and or broken it snaps either the rosejoint or if unlucky which is most often it rips the rod out of the aluminium casing of the motor...but then if you release the roof at the frame you would then be able to manually open the roof but the lid is connected to another motor and they both need to be in sync to work - but now one is broken but still in sync so once the roof is up sometimes the lid will then operate on the button - try that and see

Failing that to answer your question when you look in the boot at the lining under the roof compartment you will see two holes/slots and the rod in your tool box fits into them and then you can release the motors - the one on the right is the frame/hood and the one in the middle is the lid...but once they got out of sync you will need then to fix the problem and re sync them which is a job for a specialist who has done it before and I only know 3 that can do it properly ....take  look and then come back and say what is or is not damaged etc to diagnose and help a bit more

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stormboysdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2015 at 4:55pm
Hi there,

First post here -  I have a 1989 325i convertible with a manual roof, it's not too bad, fits OK leaks a little around the front but looks repairable, my main issue is water into the stowage compartment. 

The rubber around the stowage area is new, water ingress appears to be run-off from the roof into the gap between the end of the stowage lid (chrome ) and the rear of the rear window chrome strip, ie. where the lid meets the body - The hood is positioned above this line, so water easily gets in and accumulates in the roof mounting area, and does not drain. I can find no information whether or not there should be a drain hole under the roof hinge fittings at each side of the stowage area on the E30 - the bolts are sure rusty - there's often an inch of water in each side after heavy rain. I normally sheet the roof over with a weatherproof half cover, but can't always choose and sometimes have to drive in heavy rain - really common in Devon!

I hope that drains exist which are blocked - as some water in the stowage area seems inevitable..

Looking forward to your comments

thanks

Paul :-)


Edited by stormboysdad - 14 Jan 2015 at 4:56pm
1989 E30 325i Convertible
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stormboysdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2015 at 7:42am
OK,

I'll answer my own post as this forum appears somewhat quiet, but my findings might help someone someday.

The drain holes on a pre facelift E30 convertible, are on the outer vertical surface oposite the roof mounting points, not as you would imagine on the bottom surface, they are usually clogged with debris and really hard to see. Use a piece of bent wire to poke around until you reveal the small drain hole. Removing the rear seat and then the side panels which hide the rear window mechanics, as well as the window itself allows you to see how the water should escape from the storage area into the window cavity and out of the car.

I found about 2 litres of water lying in this cavity as the two water outlets into the sill area were blocked with crud, this lying water would find its way into the rear floor pan and the rear carpets would always be damp. Cleaning out the crap, drying everything out, making sure the sill drains are clear, then painting the internal body areas as well as re sealing the bottom seams with silicon sealant will stop the rot.

Test by pouring water directly into the roof mount area, and see that the drainage works efficiently, it is surprising how much water gets channelled off the roof into the stowage area under some circumstances.

I also replaced the rear window edge rubbers that meet the front Windows, now, driving over rough roads the window slapping sound on perished rubber has gone, and the overall seal is better. There is a useful set of original BMW videos on the Tube which details the E30 convertible roof alignment, but more importantly, how to align your windows correctly.

Hope this may help, the amount of info about this problem on the net is minimal to say the least

Paul

1989 E30 325i Convertible
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2015 at 9:00am
Thanks for your post sorry didn't reply earlier and give you the solution good work with posting to help others cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tim77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2015 at 9:45am
Hi,
If my fully electric E36 roof packs up where would I go to in the northwest?
Tim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2015 at 9:54am
If in North west best places are the E30 centre in wolves or HRD in Stafford
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tim77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2015 at 9:59am
Brill, thanks for the swift reply.......
Just in case.
Also I've been lubricating the moving frame hinges where possible , do I need to lube anything else?
Regards, tim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2015 at 10:37am
Just make it easy to move so no twists the motors are a lot more reliable on the 36 although design very similar
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Thanks mate. Appreciated...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul M3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2015 at 8:52pm
My horseshoe plastic cover catches the hood as it opens and I have to get out and give it a hand, from what I believe its the elastics that have worn, anyone replaced them and what is the best proceedure ?

Edited by Paul M3 - 31 Jan 2015 at 8:53pm
Always someone cleverer than yourself...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2015 at 9:41pm
Test this when you open first and report back

Press button for the lid then release before it catches and press again and serif it now clears
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Madmatt74 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2017 at 7:22pm
Hi is there anywhere in surrey maybe near Gatwick who can help with the faulty roof I have . I tried a reset and not working still . Got the car in October the roof worked twice now nothing .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2017 at 10:13pm
When you say reset is this an e36 and what do you do when it stopped working cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Madmatt74 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2017 at 5:36pm
Hi i bought the car with the roof operating fine and 2 weeks later i found a hardtop so on the day i was going to collect it i opened the roof half way just to make sure lt was ok and closed it again arrived and the guys house and the roof didnt work we checked fuses and they seemed ok but ended up putting the roof down manualy . I have tried a reset by putting the roof down and pushing the button for 10 seconds and turning the ignition on but nothing seems to work . I have reconnected  the motors as well .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2017 at 6:02pm
If you disconnected it I suspect they are now out of sync and need resetting where are you in the uk cheers
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