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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 02-01-2014, 05:55 AM   #1
trebor99
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Hard Top Question

So I tracked down and procured a hard top for my vert which I'm picking up later today. Not an easy task these days it seems.

I'm curious if I must plug in the electrical connections, or if I can simply install the mount hardware. Is the release mechanisms electrical or manual? Is the connector for the defroster/dome light?
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:29 AM   #2
Poncho@home
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The locking mechanism is manual, no wire hookup required. Wiring is for defrost and lighting
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:50 AM   #3
trebor99
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Originally Posted by Poncho@home View Post
The locking mechanism is manual, no wire hookup required. Wiring is for defrost and lighting
Cool, thanks. I just found a procedure posted on another forum. I guess follow-up question would be if you do connect the electrics, is it a one-time dealio, or do you have to plug/unplug every time the top comes on or off?
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:49 PM   #4
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Installing the hardtop electrical and mounting hardware is a one time thing. The mount itself contains the electrical contacts, which match up to those on the hardtop. So whenever you put on the hardtop and lock it down, the lights and defrost are connected.

Go ahead and do the extra step to connect the electrics as you put in the mounting hardware. Its nice to have the lights and defrost.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
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^ this
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:59 AM   #6
trebor99
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Originally Posted by Keaton1 View Post
Installing the hardtop electrical and mounting hardware is a one time thing. The mount itself contains the electrical contacts, which match up to those on the hardtop. So whenever you put on the hardtop and lock it down, the lights and defrost are connected.

Go ahead and do the extra step to connect the electrics as you put in the mounting hardware. Its nice to have the lights and defrost.
Thanks All. I'm tracking now. Got it home and its sitting on the car as I type. Love the look of it on the car. Now on to color matching...
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:02 AM   #7
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Will the hardtop mate properly with a standard e46 cabrio or does it have to be an M?
My top is broken and I'm thinking about getting one instead of spending over a thousand bucks to have the soft top repaired.

MAC
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by comova View Post
Will the hardtop mate properly with a standard e46 cabrio or does it have to be an M?
My top is broken and I'm thinking about getting one instead of spending over a thousand bucks to have the soft top repaired.

MAC
The only difference is the colour of the trim. Standard is chrome, M is black.

There are tons of resources on this site to fix your soft top economically. It may seem daunting yet its really quite straight forward to work on.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:25 AM   #9
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It is a rather daunting task (messing around with the soft top) I'm afraid of making it worst.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by comova View Post
Will the hardtop mate properly with a standard e46 cabrio or does it have to be an M?
My top is broken and I'm thinking about getting one instead of spending over a thousand bucks to have the soft top repaired.

MAC
I have a hard top and it fits perfectly on my 2001 330ci. Taylor192 is correct on the trim.

The hard top is easy to handle and all that is required is the install kit for everything to work properly.
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:15 PM   #11
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Well then, the only problem now is to find a cheap on in good condition. What's a good price for one of these?
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:01 PM   #12
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Well then, the only problem now is to find a cheap on in good condition. What's a good price for one of these?
Most ads I've seen usually ask around $1500. I'd say anything between $1000 to $1500 is a good buy. Maybe up to $1750 if already in your car's color as will probably cost a couple hundred or so to have one painted. $2000 or more is too high (in my opinion).

I'd think it would be rare to find one for less than $1000 unless something was wrong with it like hail damage, cracked glass, or the electrics not working.

Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:31 PM   #13
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Not to mention finding one locally.
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:24 PM   #14
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It is a rather daunting task (messing around with the soft top) I'm afraid of making it worst.
I think you should try to fix it. Post a new thread. But first read the stickies. You might be able to fix your top for a few bucks and a few hours. Yes the vert looks nice with a hardtop. But is this why you bought a convertible? Think about it - you want to get a hardtop because the softtop is broken, and you are afraid of breaking it more. It is broken - try to fix it - if you fail you have nothing to loose - you've still got a broken softtop. And you were going to buy hardtop anyway. So you have nothing too loose, and everything to gain by trying fix you top
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:57 PM   #15
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Well then, the only problem now is to find a cheap on in good condition. What's a good price for one of these?
I think $1000 - $1200 is fairly normal.

I found that Craigslist was a good source. When I got mine, it was a different color and I had it painted orient blue to match my car. That cost about $300.

Mine came with a stand and a cover......which you absolutely need the stand.

Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:37 PM   #16
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I'm thinking of going on a road trip to pick one up some day. Will the stand fit in the trunk or back seat?
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by comova View Post
Will the hardtop mate properly with a standard e46 cabrio or does it have to be an M?
My top is broken and I'm thinking about getting one instead of spending over a thousand bucks to have the soft top repaired.

MAC
buying a hardtop to avoid fixing the softop is silly. fix your softop, THEN get a hardtop is u so wish.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:57 AM   #18
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Yeah, I've decided that I will be taking it apart first the front (top latches) and then digging in the back... I'll take lots of snap shots and tapping you lot for a some advice & helpful tips, etc.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sky_High View Post
I'm thinking of going on a road trip to pick one up some day. Will the stand fit in the trunk or back seat?
Yes, stand folds up small enough to almost fit in your lap...almost !!!!


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Old 04-28-2014, 01:37 AM   #20
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PS. AND.....don't PAY $1500-2000 for a HARDTOP. Wait for an OLD MAN with a MINT one....$800 ....BLACK....NOT a SCRATCH....NOT a marr.
And even with correct CHROME TRIM (for 325, 330) , all...MINT,...$800.00 including OEM cover for it, AND, OEM STAND.

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