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

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Old 01-19-2015, 08:19 PM   #1
silver4260
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Convertible Top Retracts Too Slow :(

Hey guys, i just bought a 2005 e46 325ci cabby and I'm uncomfortable with the roof opening/closing so slowly and inefficiently. i timed it with the windows down and it came about to about 22 seconds. i also noticed that it lags on its way up and down. It works, but I'm afraid its on the verge of completely giving in...

Does anyone have any DIY suggestions that won't empty out my wallet?
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:38 PM   #2
taylor192
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20 secs sounds about right, I wouldn't worry too much. Worse case you can manually close the top while waiting for a fix.

Your pump might be on its way out, or you might have a small leak. You could contact Top Hydraulics to see if its cheaper to rebuild the pump now before or after it fails.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:38 PM   #3
jjrichar
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Have a look at some videos floating around the net of people opening the roof. 22 secs is what they all are.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:36 PM   #4
TopHydraulicsInc.com
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silver4260, congrats on your new vert!

Sounds like you have an average closing speed on your top, and currently nothing to worry about. Altogether, 22 seconds is not a bad time for a convertible top opening all the way. We get the pumps to perform better than when they were brand new. That barely makes the top faster, but you may not feel like the pump is about to die when the top is going through the slow spots (lifting off the windshield and out of the storage compartment).

In response to taylor192's remark, the price for rebuild & upgrade is the same before or after failure - it's the same amount of work for us. http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/b...ulic-pump.html

BMW pushed the envelope a little on how compact they made the pump and the main lift cylinders, which leaves little room for decreasing pump performance. Once the top starts slowing down on account of a failing pump, it will get worse quickly, and you will end up helping the pump manually.
The official part number is 54347025595. You can also find the following numbers directly on the pump: 8 234 530 or or HB70346-002

The most common failure symptom on used BMW E46 hydro units is a gradual loss of pressure and power. There are various possible reasons for gradual power loss inside the pump/hydro units, ranging from degrading electric motors through pump pistons wearing out and check valves bypassing, to pressure regulators failing. Top Hydraulics will check that all these components meet or exceed factory specs and exchange or upgrade them if necessary. Bench testing includes all valve functions, pressure test, flow test, extended load test, and test for leaks, to make sure that factory specs are exceeded before the pump ships back. Beware when purchasing used pumps that those may actually be units that are still pumping, but are not able to complete the convertible top's opening or closing cycle without manual assistance.

Some of these pumps have external leaks (you may find the foam casing soaked in hydraulic fluid). The most common source for external leaks on these pumps are the port seals. Port seals are tiny seals of special shape that are sealing the hydraulic lines when they are plugged into the pump. The port seals are behind brass bushings. These bushings are pressed into the pump housing, and they are made to 1/100 mm precision. Any DIY repair attempt would destroy the bushings. Top Hydraulics replaces the original port seals with an improved version made of Viton, which has practically unlimited shelf life. Before assuming that the pump is leaking externally, check the hydraulic lines going into the pump to make sure they are dry.

The fill plug is a metric Allen bolt. It is the one closest to the level marker on the reservoir. Make sure to have a fitting Allen wrench, so that you do not strip the inside hex of the plug. Please drain the fluid through the drain plug before shipping the pump to us.

You can save some money by using Mercedes fluid 0009899103 or FeBi 02615 - they are fully compatible with your BMW 3-Series cabriolet hydraulics.

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
www.bmwcylinders.com

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Some BMW E46 hydraulic cylinders, pumps, and valves that we rebuild and upgrade at Top Hydraulics:
54347025593
54347025600
54347025599
54348236956
54348243269
543454347025595 (hydro-unit, sticker p/n is 8234530)
54347025592 (control unit)
54347025598 (improved hoses manufactured at Top Hydraulics)
http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/56-bmw-e46
www.tophydraulicsinc.com

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Old 01-29-2015, 04:57 PM   #5
sgoetz628
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Twenty-two seconds is exactly how long mine has taken since the day I picked it up, brand new, in Munich.
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
Twenty-two seconds is exactly how long mine has taken since the day I picked it up, brand new, in Munich.
Have you had any problems with your top since new? If so what were the issues? Thanks!

Last edited by klixtokw; 07-04-2015 at 01:26 AM. Reason: forgot an item
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by klixtokw View Post
Have you had any problems with your top since new? If so what were the issues? Thanks!
Until recently, I've had absolutely zero problems with my top, and I cycle it constantly. It's really been flawless and I've loved almost every minute of owning the car!

This is the first problem (see pic, attached) and I'm not sure what's going on, as it's not rubbing on anything on the way down. I'm guessing it's just age, though the other side is perfect. Maybe something/somebody rubbed up against it? Clueless. But figure I'll have to find a repair shop, maybe somebody that fixes boat covers, to have a look.

Definitely something specific to me, not normal, not something you should expect. Good luck with yours. Happy motoring!
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
Until recently, I've had absolutely zero problems with my top, and I cycle it constantly. It's really been flawless and I've loved almost every minute of owning the car!

This is the first problem (see pic, attached) and I'm not sure what's going on, as it's not rubbing on anything on the way down. I'm guessing it's just age, though the other side is perfect. Maybe something/somebody rubbed up against it? Clueless. But figure I'll have to find a repair shop, maybe somebody that fixes boat covers, to have a look.

Definitely something specific to me, not normal, not something you should expect. Good luck with yours. Happy motoring!
You are Lucky. I've had nothing but problems with the mechanism since after the 1st year. And I don't use it that much maybe once or twice a week all year long. What you show its a problem on the cover and as you say a boat or even a top exchange place can repair for not much.

But when it come to the mechanism its not only expensive but a guess at finding what is really causing the problem.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by klixtokw View Post
You are Lucky. I've had nothing but problems with the mechanism since after the 1st year. And I don't use it that much maybe once or twice a week all year long. What you show its a problem on the cover and as you say a boat or even a top exchange place can repair for not much.

But when it come to the mechanism its not only expensive but a guess at finding what is really causing the problem.

Thanks for the info.
klixtokw, me's thinks I spoke too soon. I drove it to Canada recently and on some tiny back roads, at speeds under 30, with the top up, when I hit some moderate potholes the car made some nasty metal-on-metal sounds, coming from the rear. Having maxed the tire pressure for the long highway ride and also having just put in new rear shocks I was baffled but thought maybe I screwed up on the install somehow.

On the return trip, this time with the top down, at the beginning of the trip I hit some similar potholes, yet nothing but the sweet sound of the suspension doing its business. More "scientific method" testing back home and that sound is only made when the top is up, never when down.

So clearly my problem is top-related, though it doesn't affect the functioning of it whatsoever. Any thoughts? Maybe I should post to the group?
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
klixtokw, me's thinks I spoke too soon. I drove it to Canada recently and on some tiny back roads, at speeds under 30, with the top up, when I hit some moderate potholes the car made some nasty metal-on-metal sounds, coming from the rear. Having maxed the tire pressure for the long highway ride and also having just put in new rear shocks I was baffled but thought maybe I screwed up on the install somehow.

On the return trip, this time with the top down, at the beginning of the trip I hit some similar potholes, yet nothing but the sweet sound of the suspension doing its business. More "scientific method" testing back home and that sound is only made when the top is up, never when down.

So clearly my problem is top-related, though it doesn't affect the functioning of it whatsoever. Any thoughts? Maybe I should post to the group?
All I can say is I wish I had your problem and be happy your top is working.
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:39 PM   #11
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I just installed my rebuilt pump from http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com. It took maybe 20 minutes, and the top flies now. I was seeing about 30 seconds to open \ close since I've owned the car (longer when the pump started failing about a month ago). The thing now only takes 15 seconds. Cool of them to fill the reservoir for me. I didn't even have to crack the bottle on the Mercedes fluid I bought for $12 \ quart. The BMW stuff was $40 per pint, and I would have needed 2.

With the price of a new pump being so high, this service saved me about $1000. That's not bad @ all.
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:08 PM   #12
The Thomas J
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My top has always taken between 20 and 23 seconds to go up or down.
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:08 AM   #13
Bim & Mini 03
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Call Klaus at Top Hydraulics in Oregon
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:36 AM   #14
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If it aint broke, dont fix it. The only soft top problem I've had is when a wire in the loom above the drivers head broke. Had to split the plastic loom sleeve and solder.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:53 PM   #15
ikalinin
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seems good to me.


0:25-0:52 OPEN (~27s)


1:09-1:38 CLOSED (~29s)

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Old 05-07-2016, 09:25 PM   #16
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I think maybe my pump is going out? when I open or close, it would start the cycle but then it would not be able to go past the last 2/3 of either the open or close cycle. If I give the top a push then it would very slowly complete the cycle. the pump makes no unusual noise and there is no clicking sound of plastic gearing goes bad... So you think it's the pump? how do I know for sure?
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:39 PM   #17
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That was really nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGary911 View Post
I just installed my rebuilt pump from http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com. It took maybe 20 minutes, and the top flies now. I was seeing about 30 seconds to open \ close since I've owned the car (longer when the pump started failing about a month ago). The thing now only takes 15 seconds. Cool of them to fill the reservoir for me. I didn't even have to crack the bottle on the Mercedes fluid I bought for $12 \ quart. The BMW stuff was $40 per pint, and I would have needed 2.

With the price of a new pump being so high, this service saved me about $1000. That's not bad @ all.


That is really nice of them. I thought you could not mail the pump with oil in it? Good to know.
Tell me when your pump started failing did you have to help it to lower or raise?
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:47 PM   #18
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Testing pump

I have the same problem and been seeking if there is a way to test the pump. I know it can be tested just have not found someone that would test this particular pump. Mechanics check by installing a new one and if it does not fix the problem then they know its not the pump. I was a victim of this and after it was replaced it did not fix the problem.
I would suggest to find a buddy with a working top that would be willing to take out his pump and let you try it on your car to see if that is the problem. I know is hard to find such a good buddy.
Good luck and post your solution.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpig View Post
I think maybe my pump is going out? when I open or close, it would start the cycle but then it would not be able to go past the last 2/3 of either the open or close cycle. If I give the top a push then it would very slowly complete the cycle. the pump makes no unusual noise and there is no clicking sound of plastic gearing goes bad... So you think it's the pump? how do I know for sure?
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildpig View Post
I think maybe my pump is going out? when I open or close, it would start the cycle but then it would not be able to go past the last 2/3 of either the open or close cycle. If I give the top a push then it would very slowly complete the cycle. the pump makes no unusual noise and there is no clicking sound of plastic gearing goes bad... So you think it's the pump? how do I know for sure?
Only reasons the top would move slowly are:
- old pump is having trouble building pressure.
- leak in the system, causing pressure to be lost.

If you don't find hydraulic fluid in the usual locations (see READ ME) then it's the pump.

Have the pump rebuilt. Don't buy another used pump as it could be on its way out too.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:06 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by klixtokw View Post
That is really nice of them. I thought you could not mail the pump with oil in it? Good to know.
Tell me when your pump started failing did you have to help it to lower or raise?
I agree. I know they don't want fluid in the core you return. That makes more sense, as the pump may be leaking and that fluid is nasty and old.

I didn't bother to return the Mercedes fluid, not worth my time. If anyone local needs it, they can have it.

Good idea on finding a friend to swap pumps. It really doesn't take long at all.
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