04-28-2013, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florence on the beautiful Oregon Coast
My Ride: German verts
| I don't like to be negative, but I doubt that this would be a simple conversion. Forgive me for putting a damper on your dreams, and hope I'm wrong.
Not knowing the particulars on BMW's top control module and rain sensor, I will assume that they are similar to most other convertibles out there. After all, the control module and the rain sensor are made by the same OEMs who supply other car manufacturers, and safety guidelines are pretty much universal for convertible tops.
Safety: BMW would not be able to sell a vehicle that closes the top without a safety feature that allows you to instantly stop the top operation or reverse it, in case someone or something got caught in the top during operation. That's why the annoying need to hold on to the soft top button.
Some aftermarket add-ons exist for most modern convertibles that allow you to close the top via key fob or by briefly moving the soft top button. Obviously, those have to be installed at your own risk.
Once you have such an aftermarket module, you could get the rain sensor to simulate the brief closing signal from the top switch via a solid state switch, for example. You would still have to go through another couple of steps: have the rain sensor active without the ignition on, and have it switch its duty from wipers to top operation when the ignition is off, so that both will never accidentally be activated at the same time.
Maybe there's a simpler way. I doubt that the E46 is prepared for this already and that it can all be accomplished by some simple recoding, but I hope I'm wrong...