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

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Old 03-10-2013, 12:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: near Vancouver
Posts: 1,080
My Ride: Cabrio. Stick.
E46 Hardtop M3 BLACK vs non-M3 CHROME mouldings

OKAY. So. i have a great lead on a 2005 HARDTOP in mint shape for a decent price,...it's even my same exterior colour. It comes with 2 OEM BMW stands, ground & garage mount, with pads, & cover. ALL COMPLETE WITH those EXTRAS !

.... BUT....it IS an M3, as I can tell by the BLACK side TRIM mouldings vs the non-M3 (323, 325, 330, etc) CHROME side TRIM mouldings.

So...I have a few Q's that I hope members can help. And, please excuse my ignorance, as I have never seen a hardtop up CLOSE. (This hardtop is out of town, ..a few hours....but before I plunk down the loot & drive for many hours... I need some insight.)

(1) I prefer the CHROME mouldings, as they flow nicer with the chrome of non-M3 'verts. Are these mouldings the SAME as the BLACK? ie. can I have them removed & have them anodized, or better...would a M3 owner trade me their CHROME mouldings for these, straight up? (What r the chances an M3 owner with a non-M3 hardtop would DO that?)

(2) Are these mouldings available anywhere?

(3) Are these moulding EASY to take off? (Anybody have close-up pics of how they are attached? Screws underside?)

(4) My car is equipped with HARDTOP "preparation" as determined by my VIN & BIMVIN website. Does this mean I STILL have to buy that EXTRA $200 kit on ebay? Will the latches/lights/etc all work w/no nasty disappointments?

(5) Being the SAME code 354 (Titanium Silber),..will it be near EXACT colour match as it has been stored INside, as well as my low-miler 325?

(6) Are there any other differences or surprises (M3 vs non-M3, or "hardtop-general stuff") I should know about?

THANKS in advance.

EDIT: 1 more last Q (for now)....I currently have the black COVERS in the back (interior car colour is black)....I know I have to take these off, but do they go back nicely in ...for summer no-hardtop driving? (I don't like the big holes that I see in the ebay kit, where it says something to the effect in 1 guy's auction, "PICTURE 4, if you don't have THIS, you do NOT have the hardtop prep kit"...which I think is wrong, b/c my car IS prepped for hardtop, per VIN...so I don't get it....??!?? ...& it shows the covers OFF...which looks kinds BAD if I have to remove those 'permanently', I prefer the covers IN when hardtop will be put away for summer.

Last edited by beeemerdude; 03-10-2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
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man i have chrome hardtop moldings i would to trade for black. but you're all the way in Canada
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:30 AM   #3
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Although the paint code is the same for titanium silver across all years, there are different variations. I found this out when I had my bumper first sprayed. They had to respray it.

No, you don't need the Kit since yours is already installed...

No difference in hardtops, it will pop right on. I sold mine to M3 owner....

And yes, you can buy the chrome, be prepared to spend big $$$


BMW PN 54217032151 Left $226.74
BMW PN 54217032152 Right $226.74

And yes, you leave those covers in for the summer. Those need to pop out prior to installing the hardtop so the studs on the hardtop can pass thru that area. Depending on model year, they simply slide or pop out. Some pics can be found here:


Item 11 or 19 depending on model year in this diagram:


Last edited by fmzip; 04-18-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:41 PM   #4
Mr. Din
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I have chrome moldings I would trade for black as well... I am about to get mine wrapped in black in a few weeks.
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