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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 01-28-2014, 08:11 PM   #21
Landlorder
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Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Replacing it with the top in the car will be a PITA. The harness routes in a loop near the valve block, access is limited and tight.

I think the harness has the same problem I had with hydraulic line #23. It passes through an area of the top too small for the connector. Maybe the pins could be removed from the plastic connector...

I think you're better off just repairing all the wires at the infamous spot where they break.
i would keep repairing but its beyond that now.

The area of the top which you said is too small for a connector, (I think its near the boot and looks like the wire goes into the top hinge mount or something), i think there are 2 allen small screws which can be removed on part of the hinge where the wires feed through - have a good look around there its on the inside and the top has to be semi opened to get access to them.... I'm also preparing to do this once the weather inproves here.

Been told the header cover (the part of the top which meets the windscreen - where you place the allen wrench for manual opening) needs to be removed as does the rear panel for cvm.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:43 AM   #22
taylor192
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i would keep repairing but its beyond that now.

The area of the top which you said is too small for a connector, (I think its near the boot and looks like the wire goes into the top hinge mount or something), i think there are 2 allen small screws which can be removed on part of the hinge where the wires feed through - have a good look around there its on the inside and the top has to be semi opened to get access to them.... I'm also preparing to do this once the weather inproves here.

Been told the header cover (the part of the top which meets the windscreen - where you place the allen wrench for manual opening) needs to be removed as does the rear panel for cvm.
Here's mine post repair. I cut all wires where the tape is cause I couldn't get enough slack to solder new wires further to the right (towards front of vehicle). If this joint breaks, which I suspect it might one day, this is my plan:
1. Cut old wire close to CVM, solder in new wire.
2. Solder new wire to old wire.
3. Remove cover over latches.
4. Pull old wire and new wire through.
5. Cut old wire under latch cover, solder in new wire.

I think this is a better/easier plan than replacing the entire harness. You can use the old wire to guide the new wire along virtually the entire length of the harness.

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Old 01-29-2014, 09:27 AM   #23
AquilaBMW
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So... I am back with questions about Continuity testing or Resistance testing. I have been researching this further, I also touched base with a buddy at BMW and it seems that wiring is INDEED the issue with the top... (I know - DOH! LOL!).

Anyway, I really want to get stuck into this and I'm planning to re-check the wires. My question is how do you guys test for continuity when you can touch the probes to each end of the wires due to length? How do you get around this if there is a way to do that?
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:55 AM   #24
taylor192
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Originally Posted by AquilaBMW View Post
So... I am back with questions about Continuity testing or Resistance testing. I have been researching this further, I also touched base with a buddy at BMW and it seems that wiring is INDEED the issue with the top... (I know - DOH! LOL!).

Anyway, I really want to get stuck into this and I'm planning to re-check the wires. My question is how do you guys test for continuity when you can touch the probes to each end of the wires due to length? How do you get around this if there is a way to do that?
The electrical troubleshooting sticky explains it very well, please review it again. The wires are connected to sensors in pairs or triples. The sensors are magnets that return a certain voltage based on position. The sensors always return a voltage, and thus always form a closed circuit. An open circuit means the sensor has failed, and thus the CVM will throw an error if it sees an open circuit for a sensor (ie no continuity).

If it doesn't make sense please find someone with a multimeter and experience using it. You need to test with the top in the error position.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:11 PM   #25
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Read step 2.

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...01&postcount=2

I think this forum needs a sticky for manually manipulating the convertible top. So many people get stuck where you did, myself included until I figured it out.
Thanks, I got the top to move. I guess I needed to manually loosen the top near the windshield more after I hit the button. I inspected the wires and they looked ok in that bend area. I noticed it had electrical tape already on it which lead me to believe it has been looked at. Did not see any repaired wires. Is there another spot to check? Still cannot get the motor to do anything. Red light still blink even after I manually close the top which it did not do in the past. Aye, really hoping to find a bad wire before I have to take it in to get screwed.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:20 PM   #26
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Thanks, I got the top to move. I guess I needed to manually loosen the top near the windshield more after I hit the button. I inspected the wires and they looked ok in that bend area. I noticed it had electrical tape already on it which lead me to believe it has been looked at. Did not see any repaired wires. Is there another spot to check? Still cannot get the motor to do anything. Red light still blink even after I manually close the top which it did not do in the past. Aye, really hoping to find a bad wire before I have to take it in to get screwed.
Wires can break internally with no visible indication. You need to follow the electrical troubleshooting sticky, or take it to a shop and have the CVM codes read to determine why the red light is blinking.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:02 PM   #27
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Convoy,

Mine is in the same position as yours with the flashing light. I know mine has already been by passed with a ground wire that broke originally. The original ground wire showed no signs at the time of breakage but must have been internal. Now another wire must have broke but I have not had the time so far this week to look at it.

My plan of action will be to open the top and look at the harness first to see if there is visible breakage before tearing off the back seat panel. If I find one I will repair it and hopefully that is all I'll need to do. If not visible then I will code scan it to find the fault, this should tell me what sensor, however where mine stopped it should indicate the front motor latching. At that point I will pop the back seat panel and test the wires to make sure, then I'll probe the wires around the bend to see if I can isolate the break. At any rate I should be able to figure this out.

AQUILA....yeah re-read the sticky. You are not testing each wire from end to end. You are testing across two or three pins in the plug at the CVM. This means that there are two or three wires that go to each sensor that creates a circuit or loop. Your tester will send a current up the wire through the sensor and back through the other wire to complete the loop. If something is broken in a wire (or bad sensor) it will not complete the loop. That is about as simple as I can make it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:43 PM   #28
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AQUILA....yeah re-read the sticky. You are not testing each wire from end to end. You are testing across two or three pins in the plug at the CVM. This means that there are two or three wires that go to each sensor that creates a circuit or loop. Your tester will send a current up the wire through the sensor and back through the other wire to complete the loop. If something is broken in a wire (or bad sensor) it will not complete the loop. That is about as simple as I can make it.
Thanks! I couldn't ask for it to me much simpler. I will check it again once the weather gets better here.

Taylor - I actually did review that thread / sticky again and this time I am armed with the wiring chart that details where it wire goes with codes - that will help a lot.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:16 PM   #29
taylor192
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My plan of action will be to open the top and look at the harness first to see if there is visible breakage before tearing off the back seat panel. If I find one I will repair it and hopefully that is all I'll need to do. If not visible then I will code scan it to find the fault, this should tell me what sensor, however where mine stopped it should indicate the front motor latching. At that point I will pop the back seat panel and test the wires to make sure, then I'll probe the wires around the bend to see if I can isolate the break. At any rate I should be able to figure this out.
All the wires will eventually break. Instead of trying to diagnose which one each time, just cut every wire before/after the bend and splice in new wire. You'll spend more time dismantling the rear and probing the CVM pins than just splicing 6-7 wires.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:42 PM   #30
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All the wires will eventually break. Instead of trying to diagnose which one each time, just cut every wire before/after the bend and splice in new wire. You'll spend more time dismantling the rear and probing the CVM pins than just splicing 6-7 wires.
Do you need to disconnect that battery before doing that?
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:33 PM   #31
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Do you need to disconnect that battery before doing that?
Nope.

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Old 01-30-2014, 11:00 AM   #32
Phoenix330ci
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All the wires will eventually break. Instead of trying to diagnose which one each time, just cut every wire before/after the bend and splice in new wire. You'll spend more time dismantling the rear and probing the CVM pins than just splicing 6-7 wires.
You know........that is an excellent idea. I could be done within an hour.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:14 PM   #33
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You know........that is an excellent idea. I could be done within an hour.
Sometimes brute force is the best way
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:44 PM   #34
AquilaBMW
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All the wires will eventually break. Instead of trying to diagnose which one each time, just cut every wire before/after the bend and splice in new wire. You'll spend more time dismantling the rear and probing the CVM pins than just splicing 6-7 wires.
It is a good idea. My question here is which bend would you cut the wires?

There is the one right above the driver's seat, but the roof has other bends too and it was mentioned before that the wires could be broken elsewhere.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:30 PM   #35
taylor192
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It is a good idea. My question here is which bend would you cut the wires?

There is the one right above the driver's seat, but the roof has other bends too and it was mentioned before that the wires could be broken elsewhere.
Only a handful of members have reported a wire breaking at the lowest bend, and none have reported a break at the middle bend. Likely your break is above the drivers seat.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:45 PM   #36
Landlorder
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If I do this harness replacement DIY i'll be famous, no one has done it online

Youtube videos would get lots of views - $$$$

Think of all the glory.

Come on someone do it !!!!
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:25 AM   #37
taylor192
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If I do this harness replacement DIY i'll be famous, no one has done it online

Youtube videos would get lots of views - $$$$

Think of all the glory.

Come on someone do it !!!!
I doubt it'd be as popular as you think due to its complexity. I don't see how it can be done without removing the top from the vehicle to access where it plugs in to the valve block and main lift sensor.

I'm all for someone doing it, yet the brute force solution to just cut and splice all the wires at the first bend, or running a new wire from the CVM is far more practical and cost effective.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:21 PM   #38
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Ok I had a little time tonight to scan the CVM.

Here is what was set (they were all current hardset)

DTC 1F
VSW 4.1 Input at Ground

(Shadow)
DTC 70
Low-voltage at terminal 30

DTC 7B
Hardware Error

I will look back through the information I have to see if I can find terminal 30.
To me this sounds like the ground wire that was replaced may have gotten pinched or broken again.

Tomorrow I will have the time to open this up and look at the wires to see if there is something glaring.


EDIT: Terminal 30 is Battery Voltage - when I cleared the codes this one went away but the other two stayed and of course the red light is still blinking - still going on broken wire.

EDIT 2: FIXED

[IMG][/IMG]

The break area you are looking at is at the first bend above the drivers door. I cut the loom further up and slide it back and there it was. So it ended up being a simple fix. It is funny because the original wires in the loom are something like 20/22 Ga, except for two wires in there are 18 Ga. In my opinion they all should have been 16/18 Ga.

The thick black wire (16 Ga) to the left is from the previous repair. Notice there is no brown wire with the group of wires. The original fix cut the wire above the first bend and then rejoind the wire after the second bend pulling out the brown ground wire between.

In the wire bundle you can clearly see two wires, one completely broken and one about ready to break. I added two pieces of 18 Ga in between the broken wires. I went about 2 inches above the bend and two inches below the bend and connected the wires up. Heat shrank them and then pulled the original mesh wire loom back over every thing and electrical taped the wire loom at the cut points. Done.
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Last edited by Phoenix330ci; 02-08-2014 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:19 AM   #39
taylor192
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i would keep repairing but its beyond that now.

The area of the top which you said is too small for a connector, (I think its near the boot and looks like the wire goes into the top hinge mount or something), i think there are 2 allen small screws which can be removed on part of the hinge where the wires feed through - have a good look around there its on the inside and the top has to be semi opened to get access to them.... I'm also preparing to do this once the weather inproves here.
I reread this and was wondering if your break is here. If so, this is also where the hydraulic lines get pinched. You should be able to follow the steps for "Line #23" in the sticky about hydraulics to gain more access to the harness to repair.



Remove this panel:



Then if you keep following the wire harness you'll find it behind the "C-pillar" of the top. It should be enough room here to open the harness and splice a new wire in... yet if you go this far you might as well run a new wire right up the bend above the drivers seat.

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Old 03-15-2014, 12:12 AM   #40
AquilaBMW
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So... I am still trying to get my roof too work. I was able to get away with opening and closing it manually and quite frankly, I was tempted to just leave things at that. However, now I can lower it into the rear area anymore. It just won't fold down and I feel I will break it if I try too hard.

I did scan it again and the re-occurring code is now Error Code 65 Clamping Bracket is not fully raised. I spoke to someone at BMW and they thought it might be the hydraulic pump in the trunk on the driver's side. I checked it and there were no apparent leaks to be found.

Taylor: Your last post had me thinking. Could my issue be hydraulic related as opposed to electrical? In the picture above, was the panel removed on the driver's side? Could a pinched hydraulic line cause my issues?
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