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

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Old 09-18-2010, 03:14 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Madison WI
Posts: 430
My Ride: 05 330i convertible
Convertible Top Noise

I am posting this only to help other vert owners solve a problem w/ vert top noise. I searched extensively on this issue on three different forums, and found the answer to my particular problem buried in one of the threads. Another recent thread reminded me to post.

Symptom - Annoying metallic rattle or jingle from the rear area, especially over bumps - in my case, appearing to come from behind the rear passenger window area (could also be driver's side). Much more prominent with top up, which therefore leads you to believe it is related to the vert top. When you search, you will find several posts re: lubricating metallic vert top parts, rubber seals, etc., all of which, in my case, were useless.

Solution in My Case - Bad rear shock mount. Easy to check. Set your top so it is midway between open and closed, i.e. such that the rear cover (your rear "dashboard") is up in the air. In the exposed area, you will find some access holes. This is where you access your rear shock mounts (not through the trunk lining as in a sedan or coupe). If your rear shock mounts are as bad as mine were, you can literally stick your finger in the access holes and "jingle" the bad mount. It is not as noticeable when the top is down because you have the folded top insulating the noise, and possibly dampening the noise by putting downward pressure on the mount. If this does not work for you, it costs you 5 minutes and $0 to eliminate it as a possibility. Pretty easy DIY, or the dealer will fix it for $180. I did the latter since it was done under warranty.

"Cool Story Bro" - I took my car to my local dealer (usually pretty good), and told them the problem and that it was the rear shock mounts. Half-hour later, the Service Advisor grabs me as I am working on wireless Internet, eating a low-fat muffin, and sipping a latte, and says "we can't find the problem, two of our ace mechanics took it on a test drive, one drove, the other tried to find the problem, and he could not locate it." OK, I embellish, he didn't say "ace."

I say, after a pregnant pause "but I told you when I brought it in that it was the rear shock mounts. If you don't believe me, you don't need to drive it ..." then I tell him about the finger test.

Oh well, they finally fixed it. Hope this helps a person or two, took me two weeks to figure it out.
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convertible top, metallic, noise, rattle

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