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Old 10-13-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 2,448
My Ride: 2003.5 M3

I decided to tackle this in stages, which was a waste of time considering how easy its been. I've spent about 3 hrs total: 1.5hrs to remove the rear trim and trunk liner, 1.5hrs to remove the entire top, remove the main lift cylinders, and reinstall the top (since its my DD and its pouring rain outside). If I had done it all at once, and didn't get stumped on a couple things, I would've been done in < 2hrs. Notes (I'll try and take pictures when I put it all back together):

1. There's a trick to manually putting the top down/up. I noticed the first hinge (closest to windshield) would not move at times. Finally figured it out. The latches that close the top are also connected to latches that prevent the first hinge from moving. If you're having trouble getting the top to open/close manually, turn the crank at the windshield and watch the first hinge to see the latches move. This probably cost me 30 mins to figure out, and I felt dumb after.

2. Removing the rear interior requires the top to be down to pull the side trim up. So you might as well remove the rear trim and top at the same time. I did this over a couple days, removing the rear trim one day and removing the top this morning. This probably cost me 30 mins.

3. Removing the entire top is very straight forward. Here's a tip:
- The latches for the storage cover are connected with a cable. The cable must be disconnected to remove the latch, and the latch must be removed to remove the top. Detaching the cable required removing a c-clamp and pressing 2 tabs on a square retaining block.
- A set of angled pliers is an asset here as the space is tight.

4. Removing the main lift cylinders is super easy, just follow the instructions in one of the PDFs posted on this site.

5. I pulled all the fuses for the "power top" only to find out a couple fuses are shared with DSC and ABS (12 and 42, I think - definitely double check). The pump runs at startup to pressurize the system, which I don't want since the lines are disconnected. I'm hoping that fuse 35 (the big 50 fuse) is enough to cut all power... I guess I could measure the voltage at the pump to confirm.

6. I'm positive its going to be harder to put this back together than get it apart as some of the spaces are very tight. It was easy to undo lines, clamps, ... in those spaces, attaching them might be another story.
- I'm not sure how to get the main lift shock back in, its very firm and won't compress by hand. Will probably have to attach the bottom of the shock with the top out of the car, then attach the top of the shock with the top installed and extended.
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