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

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Old 05-07-2014, 12:25 PM   #1
comova
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Question Soft top diagnosing has begun

How it all started:
A couple of years ago I tried closing my top with the back seat full of furniture and it jammed and stopped working mid close. Since then I have manually opened and closed it several times but now I'm stuck with it open.

I installed and ran INPA this morning to begin trouble shooting my soft top and was not able to read the CVM errors, I kept getting sys-0002 ecu object not found

So I ran CarSoft instead and got this:
12 Soft top open switch : continuously active
13 Soft top close switch : continuously active
I cleared those.

When it gets to about here, it stops, whines like it wants to keep going but can't (sounds stuck and snaps back a fraction of an inch)


I found these broken on both sides


These wires (on the drivers side) look a bit suspect but not sure if they would be preventing the top from closing...


Light is still blinking.


If anyone else has had similar, let me know what how to resolve... driving around in the middle of the day, baking in the sun, really sucks
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:14 PM   #2
taylor192
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1. The broken pieces are for the covers that slide on either side of the storage lid. I bet you can slide one side by hand with no resistance.

2. Your wire harness looks like it has been repaired. Here's the same area on my car (with a cover removed) and you'll notice I don't have the wire harness you're pointing to in your photo, or if I do its not tangled in the mechanism like yours is.



3. The hydraulic cylinders only push the top out to the position in your photo, then the electric locks take over and move the top to the windshield, then clamp to the windshield. Since the CVM is registering errors that say the top is both open and closed, it doesn't engage the electric locks and tells the pump to stop pressurizing the system. This is the noise you hear, and why the top moves back slightly (the hydraulics depressurize).

This is definitely a broken wire issue judging by the condition of your wire harness. Check the normal spot for broken wires (detailed in the electrical troubleshooting sticky) above the drivers seat and electrically test all the wires in the harness.

Although judging by your harness I'd say its time to just replace it. There's no DIY for that, despite many members saying they'd tackle it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:26 PM   #3
comova
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Thanks Taylor192... the wire harness seems like a cheap item ($138) that's hard to install.
I will tackle that as soon as I can make the top open and close properly.
Is there an easy way to test continuity on those wires?


But if what you say is correct (electrical motor part which makes sense) I should still be able to hand crank the top closed, those last few inches.
And I can't

Would it be safe to say that the electric latch or latches could be broken and interfering with that?
I guess what I am trying to figure out is if I need to crack open the WINDSHIELD FRAME COVER and inspect the FOLDING TOP LOCKs.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:34 PM   #4
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The crank at the front actually controls 2 sets of latches. The obvious latches are those to the wind shield, the not so obvious are at the first bend.

If you cannot bend the top down to meet with the windshield, the not so obvious latches are probably in the wrong position. Try turning the crank in both directions and looking at the first bend, you'll see the latch move and understand how it works.

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:59 AM   #5
comova
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Taylor192... You are a fountain of knowledge. Do you know how to adjust that elbow latch? Would that be a symptom of a severed wire?
I plan on checking that out 1st thing in the AM!! I might have to buy you a beer when this is all done.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:42 PM   #6
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comova View Post
Taylor192... You are a fountain of knowledge. Do you know how to adjust that elbow latch? Would that be a symptom of a severed wire?
I plan on checking that out 1st thing in the AM!! I might have to buy you a beer when this is all done.


The elbow latch usually gets people when they ahve to manually open the roof. They turn the crank enough to unlatch for the windshield, yet then the roof won't bend cause the elbow latches are still engaged. They need to keep cranking until the elbow latches release too.

Since the CVM sees codes I bet it is not operating the latches, so the elbow latches are in whatever state you left it... which is probably the wrong position if you've turned the hand crank to try and latch the roof previously. They should not need any adjustment, just reset to the correct position with the crank.

If the latches at the elbows don't move when cranking either direction then you have a problem. The latches are probably broken and the crank is nolonger moving the latches. Be careful with how much you crank in either direction.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:27 PM   #7
comova
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I removed both latches and lo-and-behold, both were FUBAR.


I drilled and screwed them back together.

Couple more question if you don't mind...

Is there a default "place" to screw/unscrew the latches for installation?

I've seen some post regarding "resetting" the top on older models by holding down a button, waiting, then turning the key... do we have something like that?


Here are the before and after pics, going to try to reassemble in an hour or two.



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Old 05-09-2014, 10:57 PM   #8
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I would reassemble and manually close the roof.

The roof on the e46 has enough sensors that it seems to be able to recover from any position it's in, no need to reset anything.

Oh and good job on fixing them. I'm hoping this is the definitive fix.

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Old 05-10-2014, 09:36 AM   #9
comova
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Thanks Taylor192. I hope it holds together too! Going to start checking the wiring harness next week.

Update!
  • Everything except the Windshield Frame Cover is back on.
  • I can now hand crank the top closed. But the Locking Mechanism Motor does not engage yet (severed wire?) Hoping the motor is still good.
  • The blinking error light now goes away when the Hall Sensor registers the top completely closed.

Carsoft Errors:
  • 43 Traction Windlauf, Error during locking
  • 22 Airflow switch unlocked, Tension at ground level
  • 1F Airflow switch locked, Tension at ground level
Does INPA give better error reports? I tried getting INPA to work but it's not picking up the CVM

And finally, I also noticed something broken under the lid, driver side, do you know what this is/does?

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Old 05-10-2014, 12:26 PM   #10
taylor192
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This probably broke when the top jammed while opening.

This is one of the sensors that tell the CVM the position of the top. I'll see if I can grab a photo of what it looks like on my car... yet I think you're going to need to buy a new one.

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Old 05-10-2014, 01:44 PM   #11
comova
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Thanks man.
I am looking forward to the summer again.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:57 PM   #12
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Here ya go. Your sensor is definitely broken. Hopefully the plastic slider is sold separately.

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Old 05-10-2014, 07:33 PM   #13
comova
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I think I found it on RealOEM.
Looks like #18, Pin to sensor
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...75&hg=54&fg=10
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:45 PM   #14
taylor192
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#18 looks like just the pin, see the photo in the corner. The sensor is $100, hopefully you can find a cheap used one... or MacGyver a fix for the broken slider.

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Old 05-11-2014, 01:18 AM   #15
comova
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Assuming the sensor is still good...
I found the pin at BMW of South Atlanta for $15 (shipping included)
We'll see what the local dealership wants for it; They tend to price gouge us here in LA.
If not, ECS and FCP have the whole thing for 80 bucks.

http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...347073381.html
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:27 AM   #16
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comova View Post
Assuming the sensor is still good...
I found the pin at BMW of South Atlanta for $15 (shipping included)
We'll see what the local dealership wants for it; They tend to price gouge us here in LA.
If not, ECS and FCP have the whole thing for 80 bucks.

http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...347073381.html
That is just the pin, ie the black metal pin that holds the other end of the slider.

These sensors are just glorified magnets, they rarely fail.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:36 AM   #17
comova
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Ah!

The slider is part of the sensor.

So I need to buy a new one since I don't have the broken pieces to mend it back together. I thought I dodged the bullet on that one.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:25 AM   #18
comova
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Just found one on ebay for for 1/2 the dealer list price, should get it next week.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:59 PM   #19
comova
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I finally received and installed the Main Pillar Sensor and all is well with the world.
Time to re-assemble everything and hope the latch repair work holds. Thanks Taylor192 for all the tips.
Last question, should I clean/lube anything?
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:03 PM   #20
wildirish317
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Last question, should I clean/lube anything?
Duh. Yes. The key to keeping these tops operating is to lubricate them at least annually. If you have a Bentley, the procedure is there. Otherwise, search the forum or youtube. I'm sure you'll find it.
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