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Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Convertible

E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 06-22-2011, 06:59 PM   #1
luvmybimmer10
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----UPDATED!!!! ---- Convertible not closing- latch prolly broken?? HELP!

Hi. I also posted in the general forums and was referred to this forum (go figure!)

My convertible top, all of a sudden, is not closing. It will go down perfectly and close top down nicely, but when it's time to pull the top up and close, it seems to stop about an inch or so and makes a weird noise. After observing it further, seems like the left latch is working, but the right isn't.

Can someone help? Although the weather is great, I don't like to keep the top down in certain spots of my neighborhood, so would also like to know how to close it manually in the mean time.

Please help!!!

Last edited by luvmybimmer10; 06-25-2011 at 01:35 AM. Reason: Update
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:25 PM   #2
rldavid71
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If you have the owner's guide / manual, it has a section on manual operation that describes using the allen wrench, mounted under the leather flap between the rear seats (pull out the center filler of the seat back), close the top as completely as you've indicated it can, remove the oval plug in the center of the headliner with a small flat ended blade (screwdriver, etc.) and use the wrench to switch to manual at the crank between the seats, then use the wrench to manually close the clasping hooks at the crank in the headliner.

Good luck,

Robert
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:46 PM   #3
cityjohn
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It depends on whether you're talking about top-to-windshield latches or rear lid latches.


Latch A: Use the allen key in the oval hole by mirror to close (takes a lot of cranking). Check for broken wires above your left ear -- they go to motor that operates these latches.

Latch B) Remove rear seat cushion, examine mechanism under middle of seat. Same allen goes in here to manually close lid latches. Pop out the gear (disconnecting motor) and study how the cables are attached; sometimes they bunch up. This motor turns only one way; each cycle opens/closes the latches.


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Old 06-23-2011, 12:36 AM   #4
luvmybimmer10
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So it is the passenger side top to windshield..unfortunately, i can't position the the top close enough to latch. We tried to crank it at both spots but the top won't move any further without having to use too much force without the fear of breaking something...

Any other suggestions?
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:08 AM   #5
cityjohn
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Keep cranking! It moves not only the latches but also the whole angle of the top itself. You can actually see the top lowering and getting a little closer to the windshield with each turn (but it takes a lot). Try putting a hex bit in a drill to keep your hand from tiring.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:19 AM   #6
luvmybimmer10
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OK..so i tried again and it stopped cranking and it was met with resistance and once I let go, it sprung back

I don't have a hex drill...I can find someone who has one and try it tomorrow. I hope this does the trick.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
rldavid71
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Convertible not closing - latch proably broken?

Are you saying the left side, most forward hinge point is not straigtening out all the way? If you and someone else are trying to manually push down the front bow to try to crank for connection, is the right side hinge straightened out and the bow can be placed right on the frame, but, the left side doesn't? If so, you have exactly the same situation I do with my Wife's. I am currently awaiting some time this weekend to attack it again and see if something is mechanically wrong as I'd checked the typical wiring issue, found a couple of wires with light crimp marks, went ahead and cut a section out and spliced new in, but still no movement. That is why I am suspecting a possible mechanical issue.

Robert
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:39 AM   #8
luvmybimmer10
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Ridavid..that sounds almost similar..I'm trying to visualize what you were writing. I have pics and I am hoping to upload it to show a bit more what I was saying.

Mine is the right hinges. If you attempt to close the top towards the windshield the top two hinges that bend to clamp into the windshield, only the right one does not close. The hinge (or what I think looks like claws) doesn't bend but remains straight. I can't manually close it either because the hinge is straight and will not go into the hole. I'm taking it to the dealership tomorrow to see if they can manually close it for me. To diagnose the issue will cost me over $150..maybe might do that in a week or so if I can't figure out what's going on. T
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:38 AM   #9
luvmybimmer10
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Took it to the dealership to get diagnosed, turns out the left latch broke now too Which means I need to replace both. The top locks are definitely broken and parts alone are over $600. Total for the dealership (they only quoted me on the left side) was $1400!!! OUCH!

I need to find a DIY for convertibles...
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
mmxmby
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E46 Convertible top problem

Hi Everyone,
This seems like a common problem with e46 convertible tops. I had the same problem with my 330ci. Here is what I found out on how to fix the issue. Need to check the following:
1. Is the top not closing all the way and getting stuck just before it is suppose to latch?
2. The storage is not opening?
3. Hearing some clicking noises while it is closing?

I think I have found a solution for this problem. The dealer is going to charge couple of hundred dollars just to diagnose the problem.
The problem is with a plastic gear inside the box under the rear seat. Dealer price for the item is $300+. After spending days on trying to find/solve this issue, I have found a place which sells the plastic gear for less than $50. Replacing this gear requires some mech. knowledge but if you are good with tools you can do it otherwise you can send him the unit and he replace the gear too (extra charge I don't know how much). I am putting together a pdf file for all the steps with pictures which I can email to people.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:13 PM   #11
johnrando
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Thanks for offering up a good find. Wouldn't it be better to post it here instead of email?
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #12
ruslan michralijev
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hello that look like the same problem which one i have on my 323ci, open work well no problem, but when i close a top ,i have problem , when hydraulic close a roof all going fine but befor close complete top just stop about 5 cm over Front frame, and top not work cant open or close and not other sound, i try to change hydraulic liquid, top go better and faster i think but still problem whit that complete closing, and finally when i bit push a top when top just stop a close, just hear hydraulic system try to close top and top its close... its look like need bit help really bit just one finger push a top and all work well ... why ?never had problem like this befor,its look like simple problem... i try reset top tomorow, but if dont help can u send me pdf documents about which one u talk here ? thanks
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:23 PM   #13
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Yes, please, post it here, but start a new DIY thread w/clear title so that folks can find it easily - you can put a link to it from here if you want to as well.

Thanks for contributing!
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:58 PM   #14
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruslan michralijev View Post
hello that look like the same problem which one i have on my 323ci, open work well no problem, but when i close a top ,i have problem , when hydraulic close a roof all going fine but befor close complete top just stop about 5 cm over Front frame, and top not work cant open or close and not other sound, i try to change hydraulic liquid, top go better and faster i think but still problem whit that complete closing, and finally when i bit push a top when top just stop a close, just hear hydraulic system try to close top and top its close... its look like need bit help really bit just one finger push a top and all work well ... why ?never had problem like this befor,its look like simple problem... i try reset top tomorow, but if dont help can u send me pdf documents about which one u talk here ? thanks
Check the electrical trouble shooting sticky at the top of this forum. If the top stops just inches from the wind shield it is usually indicative of the wires being broken. The top stops cause it cannot communicate with the latches at the top. There are sensors it checks to determine what to do next, and a broken wire causes the computers to think the sensors are faulty and the roof stops.

Moving the top with your hand might be just enough for the wires to make contact. I doubt this is a hydraulic problem.

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Old 05-04-2013, 06:19 PM   #15
ruslan michralijev
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Re: ----UPDATED!!!! ---- Convertible not closing- latch prolly broken?? HELP!

Thanks i try find something here on forum. Yeah i was think too its may be sensor... But i just try simple way, that its why i was look for hydraulic liqiud...
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #16
ruslan michralijev
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Re: ----UPDATED!!!! ---- Convertible not closing- latch prolly broken?? HELP!

I have new problem, now when i try to touch a buttom "open" nothing happend, while i hold open buttom i see red light like normaly , but windows dont go down, no noise, nothing... I was have conected cvm on pc and check faults, i see mcv memory have there 15 faults,and when i delete it, i see two pernaments faults unlocking/closing iam not sure what its bad... But some times top work good, open and close go well ... But right now i cant move whit roof(open, close) ... I think need to delete that faulta again , may be that is on memory and cvm think something its broken and need stop a roof but iam not sure, and i dont know what to do, but looks like sensors work well, i try it, and all its work i see leds what i need to see, i know my car how all works, they show blincking, red or orange color led all work well, i hope mechanic device are in good condition... If i dont fix it my self i will visit dealer, but i think they are stupid and they never see 46 cabrio there. .. I have bad experience whit my e 36 cabrio in the bmw dealer...

Last edited by ruslan michralijev; 05-08-2013 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #17
openskyr
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Wow, lots of different issues, but I haven't found mine. My '05 330ci has a problem with the left side latching at the top of the windshield. There's a rod coming from the very front left edge of the top that comes back about a foot towards the back of the car. When the top is going up, this rod rotates a sort of fork-shaped mechanism which is visible when I'm standing beside the driver's door. The 2-pronged fork or u-shaped piece is supposed to rotate (works perfectly on the right side of the car) and slide over a post before the top locks against the top of the windshield. On the left side of the car, the u-shaped piece doesn't rotate soon enough and the post hangs up against the outside of it, so the top can't fully close. I'm afraid this means the top left latch motor needs to be replaced -- does anyone have any other possibility? If not, I'd appreciate any info on DIY replacment. Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:37 PM   #18
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruslan michralijev View Post
I have new problem, now when i try to touch a buttom "open" nothing happend, while i hold open buttom i see red light like normaly , but windows dont go down, no noise, nothing... I was have conected cvm on pc and check faults, i see mcv memory have there 15 faults,and when i delete it, i see two pernaments faults unlocking/closing iam not sure what its bad... But some times top work good, open and close go well ... But right now i cant move whit roof(open, close) ... I think need to delete that faulta again , may be that is on memory and cvm think something its broken and need stop a roof but iam not sure, and i dont know what to do, but looks like sensors work well, i try it, and all its work i see leds what i need to see, i know my car how all works, they show blincking, red or orange color led all work well, i hope mechanic device are in good condition... If i dont fix it my self i will visit dealer, but i think they are stupid and they never see 46 cabrio there. .. I have bad experience whit my e 36 cabrio in the bmw dealer...
Dude, I'd love to help yet you've got to be a lot more clear and concise. If you clear the faults and 2 return, then you have to focus on those.

Read the PDFs linked in the stickies you'll find the CVM checks a few things before doing starting operation, if any of those are faulted nothing happens. With those codes and the PDFs we can help you figure out why the CVM will not operate the top.

Sorry, don't mean to be rude, just your posts are confusing.

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Last edited by taylor192; 05-11-2013 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:43 PM   #19
taylor192
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Originally Posted by openskyr View Post
Wow, lots of different issues, but I haven't found mine. My '05 330ci has a problem with the left side latching at the top of the windshield. There's a rod coming from the very front left edge of the top that comes back about a foot towards the back of the car. When the top is going up, this rod rotates a sort of fork-shaped mechanism which is visible when I'm standing beside the driver's door. The 2-pronged fork or u-shaped piece is supposed to rotate (works perfectly on the right side of the car) and slide over a post before the top locks against the top of the windshield. On the left side of the car, the u-shaped piece doesn't rotate soon enough and the post hangs up against the outside of it, so the top can't fully close. I'm afraid this means the top left latch motor needs to be replaced -- does anyone have any other possibility? If not, I'd appreciate any info on DIY replacment. Thanks!
Have you tried operating the top manually? If you turn the Allen key in the hole on the front of the top towards the lock position and this fork shaped latch does not move then likely the rod between the motor and the latch is broken. Common issue unfortunately. There is no detailed pictorial DIY for the latches, yet there is a thread on here that identifies how to remove the cover.


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Old 05-13-2013, 04:57 PM   #20
openskyr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Have you tried operating the top manually? If you turn the Allen key in the hole on the front of the top towards the lock position and this fork shaped latch does not move then likely the rod between the motor and the latch is broken. Common issue unfortunately. There is no detailed pictorial DIY for the latches, yet there is a thread on here that identifies how to remove the cover.


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I'll try that next. Thanks!
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