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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 09-18-2010, 03:14 AM   #1
chet31
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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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Old 09-18-2010, 07:48 AM   #2
xdmikey
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i got that sound; now i know what it is!
my car was being fixed(bad oil sensor, cpo) and my SA brings me my paperwork and says the mechanic was overzealous; paper has a list of things needing attention, one of which was the rear shock mounts. the parts guy said a lot of times the techs go off the computer to see what has/hasn't been done-if it hasn't they recommend it: battery(original), plugs(i did them) and mounts.
thanks for the info.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
jfoj
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Great info, thanks for the heads up.

My Vert is quiet for now, however, I will keep this in mind if I start to hear noise in the rear area.

I can see where with a Vert this noise may be a bit louder than a coupe or sedan.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
mikec826
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Had same type of noise in my '06. Just found this thread and then checked my shock mounts - sure enough that's the problem! Thanks a lot.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:34 PM   #5
BobSC
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Good info! Thanks for posting and sharing....
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
bimmeration
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though this was written a year ago, i appreciate this info soooooooo much!!! thank you!
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
bimmeration
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is there a diy for this?
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:24 PM   #8
mikec826
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Here's an update:
After checking RealOEM.com at this link:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...41&hg=33&fg=45
I could not determine which part might be faulty, so I headed to my local dealer and asked the parts guy who suggested I ask the service advisor. Neither proved helpful, and the parts guy said he only had one of the parts listed in stock. I decided to take the shock out and determine which part was bad and then order it.

After removing the shock (very easy - 2 nuts at top and 1 bolt at bottom) I couldn't see any damaged or broken parts. It appeared that the top nut - part #13 in the diagram - was simply loose. I tightened it according to specs: 14Nm, installed it and the rattle was gone! Simple fix, didn't cost a penny.

Thanks everyone - now my car's quiet as a mouse ... well almost.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
jimvideopro
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I'm getting a little "chirp" from the rear suspension sometimes when going over a bump. Possibly related, or just a normal sound? Car has 53K on it. Thanks.

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Old 06-10-2011, 07:49 AM   #10
douglas_ngo
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Thanks for the heads up. I have been wondering where this noise is coming from. I need to take a look again. I thought my rear shocks are going bad.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:47 PM   #11
NorthJersey 3er
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Had that issue on my TC Kline coils a little ways back - passenger side. Drove me nuts. Glad you resolved it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:17 PM   #12
Burnam100
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Top noise

Is there a recommened lubricant rubber seals?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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There's a whole thread on what to lube, where, and with what substance. Great info on it, but you'll have to search for it as I don't recall where it is.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
nopcbs
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E46 convertible top noise abatement

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrando View Post
There's a whole thread on what to lube, where, and with what substance. Great info on it, but you'll have to search for it as I don't recall where it is.
I bought a 2006 E46 M3 last October (2012) and stored it through the winter. Before I stored it I noted significant plastic-sounding rattles with the top up. No noise observed with the top down. Figured to deal with it this spring.

Did a lot of research on the E46 convertibles noise subject and found a lot of information on possible causes ranging from loose/broken rear suspension mounts to loose top mechanism components to dried out rubber mouldings to you name it.

In my case, since there was no noise with top down, I attributed the problem (rattling plastic component sounds) to the top mechanism. (I did check for suspension mounts problems and none are apparent.)

I followed up on one suggestion of lubricating the rubber foam weather stripping, that rests on the top cover lid when the top is up, with Gummi-Fledge and of putting a good coat of excellent wax (Nu-Finish paste) on the channel in the top cover lid where the foam weather stripping rests when the top is up. Remarkably, this helped a good deal.

Then I found a reference to a BMW technical bulletin (54-200-03) dealing with E46 convertible noise problems that involves cutting the (hollow) weather stripping at the bottom-rear of the convertible top and stuffing either some plastic tubing or coax cable into the hollow channel within the weather-stripping to make it less flexible and to rest more firmly on the deck lid. Some speculated that this is a recall item, and I will check, but I suspect it is something you would have to pay the dealer to do. It seems that some folks have done this fix themselves using either PVC or other plastic tubing of the correct OD or coaxial cable, like RG-59U, such as useed for cable TV signal. The idea is to put more pressure from the foam weather-stripping onto the channel in the deck that it rests on. The noise is supposedly the rattling of the top on the fiberglass cover (lid) when the top is up.

I suspect there is something to this as I was just out driving my car in a "driving" rain so that the top fabric got wet (and heavy) and the rattling seems reduced.

I plan to give the dealer a call about the service bulletin to see about cost. If it is ridiculously expensive, I may try the job with PVC tubing or coax cable myself. Should not be too hard with silicone spray lubricant used.

Anyone tried this do-it-yourself?

How well (long) does the fix last for those of you who have tried it?
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:44 PM   #15
taylor192
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The rattling of the top against the storage cover sucks, especially if you have to close the top manually if the hydraulics failed for some reason. The hydraulics pressurize when the car is turned on and supply a little extra force on the top against the storage lid.

Thanks for finding the TSB about filling the hollow weatherstripping. That seems easy enough to do, not sure why you'd have a dealer do it. I cannot see why this solution wouldn't last the the lifetime of the weather stripping.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:14 AM   #16
nopcbs
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Threading tubing through weather-stripping...

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
The rattling of the top against the storage cover sucks, especially if you have to close the top manually if the hydraulics failed for some reason. The hydraulics pressurize when the car is turned on and supply a little extra force on the top against the storage lid.

Thanks for finding the TSB about filling the hollow weatherstripping. That seems easy enough to do, not sure why you'd have a dealer do it. I cannot see why this solution wouldn't last the the lifetime of the weather stripping.
************************************************************ ****

It appears to be easy to do, once you have the ~7 foot length of red silicone rubber vacuum tubing (or something like it) that the dealer wants $26 for. However, and I have not seen the bulletin, so I am guessing, in part, if you are to thread the vac tubing in through a slit/cut you make in the weather-stripping (at a right angle to the length of the weather-stripping, of course), then you get to thread that long piece of tubing through about 7 feet of weather-stripping and past two 90 degree turns. I suspect that is where the 1 hour of labor comes and I saw one post that said it took three techs over an hour to do this and they were not happy to do this. Major PIA. Someone suggested removing the weather-stripping and threading and then re-attaching, but this idea does not sound attractive. Never re-attached weather-stripping and do not wish to lose the seal quality I have now (no rain gets in).


The BMW PN for the tubing is 11-74-7-797-050 and it is red silicone rubber "VACUUM HOSE" 3.5 mm ID x 7.5 mm OD.

A funny thing about this is that that tubing sells at ~$26 a meter on eBay and from on-line BMW dealers, so the $26 that the local dealer wants for it to do the TSB implies that just a meter is used. That channel in the weather-stripping is almost 7 feet long, so no way ammeter is enough!

I wish I had access to that TSB 54-200-03!

Here is the original link I found:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=549701



Sigh.

- nopcbs

Last edited by nopcbs; 05-24-2013 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:46 PM   #17
nopcbs
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Cheaper tubing

Quote:
Originally Posted by nopcbs View Post
************************************************************ ****

It appears to be easy to do, once you have the ~7 foot length of red silicone rubber vacuum tubing (or something like it) that the dealer wants $26 for. However, and I have not seen the bulletin, so I am guessing, in part, if you are to thread the vac tubing in through a slit/cut you make in the weather-stripping (at a right angle to the length of the weather-stripping, of course), then you get to thread that long piece of tubing through about 7 feet of weather-stripping and past two 90 degree turns. I suspect that is where the 1 hour of labor comes and I saw one post that said it took three techs over an hour to do this and they were not happy to do this. Major PIA. Someone suggested removing the weather-stripping and threading and then re-attaching, but this idea does not sound attractive. Never re-attached weather-stripping and do not wish to lose the seal quality I have now (no rain gets in).


The BMW PN for the tubing is 11-74-7-797-050 and it is red silicone rubber "VACUUM HOSE" 3.5 mm ID x 7.5 mm OD.

A funny thing about this is that that tubing sells at ~$26 a meter on eBay and from on-line BMW dealers, so the $26 that the local dealer wants for it to do the TSB implies that just a meter is used. That channel in the weather-stripping is almost 7 feet long, so no way ammeter is enough!

I wish I had access to that TSB 54-200-03!

Here is the original link I found:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=549701



Sigh.

- nopcbs
FYI you ca get the tubing from Pelican Parts for $5/meter plus $6.75 shipping.
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