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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 10-21-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
cliftonjay
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lexington Massachusetts
Posts: 5
My Ride: 2001 330 CI
Stuck Even in Manual

Hi All, I'm new to this forum, so hopefully you all can help me. I'm a pretty handy amateur mechanic, but I'm still an amateur. I have had several E46 convertibles, but me current is 2001 330 ci.

History. This conv top has the pinched wire problem in the hinge by the base. I have fixed this about 3 times, and the top then works fine. I can even peek in and see the latest break at the same spot.

Problem. But the broken wire is not my current problem. Current problem is that I cannot get the top to release manually. Yup, I did all the normal things:
- unscrew the windshield locks
- pressed the button and turned the cover release lock

But, the back of the top by the rear window will not budge. I tried a bit of force but don't want to break it.

I'm thinking that the hydraulic pressure is preventing me from releasing the back and in turn the cover. I even waited to see if the hydraulic pressure would subside (like the book says it's supposed to) but no luck.

Another symptom that I don't understand is that the rear trunk lock is no longer activated. I figure that this is some kind of preventive item when the sensors are in the midst of top open/close.

I was thinking that maybe disconnecting battery might help.

Any thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated. CLIF
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
FooFighter94
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Morgantown, WV
Posts: 276
My Ride: 2001 325Cic
I had to go through this yesterday, just keeeeeeep turning. Turn until it gets hard to turn then stop. Then get out of the car and fold the roof by hand. Pull the front latch portion back and then pull the rear portion up. Make sure the storage lid is out of the way. Good luck, it takes some time but you'll get it.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
taylor192
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Location: The Best Place on Earth
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My Ride: 2003.5 M3
We need a sticky on manually manipulating the top. The storage lid is held down by 2 latches operated by cables attached to a motor under the rear seat. The cables must be in this position for the latches to be released. If they are not then push the button and keep turning, left or right, whichever is easier.



If the roof is in an error state the trunk is locked out electronically. Close the top and try the trunk. If the trunk still won't open electronically then likely your trunk harness has a broke wire at the bend between trunk and body. Search, it is a common e46 problem. A broken trunk harness wire can indicate the trunk is open and the convertible top operation will be locked out. Usually that is accompanied by the trunk open light on the dash.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #4
cliftonjay
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lexington Massachusetts
Posts: 5
My Ride: 2001 330 CI
Still Stuck

So far no good. I have jimmied with the rear cover with the button with override to manual crack (under the back seat). Still no luck. So anyone know and can advise me on two tactics:
1. Where might I access the cable-based latches to the rear cover? By stripping the trunk or by taking out the back seats.

2. Should I try releasing the hydraulic pressure? If so how would I do this?

thanks...CLIF
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliftonjay View Post
So far no good. I have jimmied with the rear cover with the button with override to manual crack (under the back seat). Still no luck. So anyone know and can advise me on two tactics:
1. Where might I access the cable-based latches to the rear cover? By stripping the trunk or by taking out the back seats.

2. Should I try releasing the hydraulic pressure? If so how would I do this?

thanks...CLIF
1. Did you remove the rear seat and check the position of the cables as in the photo I posted? If not, go do it now. If the cables are not in the position pictured, push the button and turn the crank till they are. If the crank is tough to turn, try the other direction or find a stronger friend.

2. With the vehicle off there is no hydraulic pressure. The pump builds up pressure when turned on, and releases pressure when turned off. If the lid will not open then it is related to the cables or motor as the design of the latches will release if either the cable or motor fails.

3. I suspect I misinterpreted your initial post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliftonjay
But, the back of the top by the rear window will not budge.
Can you lift the rear window? If not then you need to crank the motor by the windshield more. There are 2 sets of latches controlled by that motor, the 2 obvious ones that connect to the windshield, and 2 more at the "first bend". If both sets of latches are not released you will not be able to raise the rear window section.



If that solves your issue you owe me a case of Canadian beer.
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Last edited by taylor192; 10-22-2013 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
cliftonjay
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lexington Massachusetts
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My Ride: 2001 330 CI
OK, thanks all for your input and help. But now I'm in worse shape because the windshield release crank appears to have broken. I was going to try and turn/open it more so that the hing lock would release. But, now the little allen bolt seems to unscrew! This seems wrong. I tried applying pressure to keep in in/engaged but no luck. So now I can even release the windsheid at all. I am thinking that this is trouble. Getting access to this mechanism looks like a pain.

One alternative that I was contemplating was to open the headliner by the back hing, and get to my broken wire through the back. I know which wire it is bc it broke before.

Any ideas? Thanks...CLIF
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
taylor192
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Re: Stuck Even in Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliftonjay View Post
OK, thanks all for your input and help. But now I'm in worse shape because the windshield release crank appears to have broken. I was going to try and turn/open it more so that the hing lock would release. But, now the little allen bolt seems to unscrew! This seems wrong. I tried applying pressure to keep in in/engaged but no luck. So now I can even release the windsheid at all. I am thinking that this is trouble. Getting access to this mechanism looks like a pain.

One alternative that I was contemplating was to open the headliner by the back hing, and get to my broken wire through the back. I know which wire it is bc it broke before.

Any ideas? Thanks...CLIF
Yep, you're screwed. No point fixing the wire if the front latches won't release manually. Search and you'll find some recent threads where members had to cut open the panel to access the latches and motor. If either breaks with the roof closed there's no way to remove the panel, you have to cut it open.

If the Allen key is turning without doing anything then the plastic gear inside the motor assembly is broken and you'll need a whole new motor assembly since the gear isn't available. Again search, a member posted great details about this recently.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:37 PM   #8
cliftonjay
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lexington Massachusetts
Posts: 5
My Ride: 2001 330 CI
Thanks for the reply and insight on the windshield motor. I'm going to take a respite on this, bc the car is in CA. When I do, I'll probably take one of those rotozips and cut the plastic cover, and get access to the motor assembly.
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