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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 12-02-2005, 04:04 PM   #1
E46M3CAB
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E46 convert Hardtop Install

I have just picked up a hardtop for my 04 M3 Convert and now I need to do the retro fit. I purchased the installation kit from BMW (If your car came with a hardtop this was already installed) now I need to figure out how to attach the wires on the install kit to the car. There are two plugs that attach to the car. Anyone who did the retro fit know where the two plugs plug into on the car????? I CAN'T FIND THE WIRES ANYWHERE.
(If you puchased the hardtop with your car the dealer attached the plugs for you and when you clamp in the rear of the top it automatically powers up the dome light and defrost). I know the wires attach somewhere near the rear clamps, I have installed the two brackets but I can't find where to attach the wires! THANKS BILL
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:45 PM   #2
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Sorry I don't have an answer but I wanted to ask you how much you paid for the top? Thanks and good luck!

Oh, ask Chien... he has one.
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:48 PM   #3
Wilson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKC
Sorry I don't have an answer but I wanted to ask you how much you paid for the top? Thanks and good luck!

Oh, ask Chien... he has one.
I was also wondering how much it was for one also? Cause my mom is looking for one. Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:54 AM   #4
E46M3CAB
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Ebay $ 1,000 with cart and cover. Painting was $400, instal kit is $120. Here are a few things to watch out for when buying. Try to buy one in your local area because shipping can be $300 - $400, and it needs to be crated to ship. All the tops for the E46 are the same but the exterior trim is different for the M3, it is black instead of chrome. The interior is either black or gray. Good luck. Bill
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:04 AM   #5
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I have a hardtop but I got it from the dealer at the time I purchused the car. I didn't have to install anything. Sorry I don't think I can help you.
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Old 12-03-2005, 10:09 AM   #6
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I just installed the prep kit myself 2 days ago. It is a pain in the ass if you don't have small hands to reach really far back into the compartment. I have scrapped up hands from the install but is better then paying the stealership 500-600 dollars to do it.
The right side was much easier to install than the left because there is an extra wire attached to the metal bracket, which gets in the way in an already tight space. 1 st open the top partially and remove the small plastic cover from both sides of the car next to the rear seat side panel. There is a larger plastic panel attached to a spring right above it. Remove the spring from the panel so that it slides freely. The wiring harness needs to be attached to a slot towards that front. If you look into the hole there is a wiring harness about 7-8 inches towards the front there are 3 slots but only the middle one is open. Shine a flashlight down the opening to see it. The top is small and the bottom is white and wider than the middle. Make sure you have the black wiring harness positioned correctly to fit into the middle slot, I beleive it's circular side to the right. You have to get the slot into the harness. You're supposed to take out the rear seats and a bunch of other panels to do it properly but I just crammed my hand in there. It took a couple hours and tons of frustration but I got it in there partially with my hand and stuck a chopstick in there to push it the rest of the way through. You also have to put the metal brackets into the predrilled slots. Put the bracket underneath the predrilled holes and attach it but putting the screws from the top, there are arrows on the metal brackets to show you proper positioning. DONT OVERTIGHTEN the screws with a socket wrench because you can rip off the screw head with too much torque. Stop tightening when you feels moderate resistance. Finally snap the plastic piece on the top of the metal bracket and your done.
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Old 12-03-2005, 12:57 PM   #7
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Here are some pics to illustrate what I'm talking about.

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Old 12-03-2005, 01:02 PM   #8
mike greco
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i needed that info
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Old 12-17-2005, 12:48 PM   #9
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thats for the info too--i tried this morning plus the plus wre a royal PITA so I gave up and only install the brackets--I try again another day
Mike
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:52 AM   #10
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Hi guys,

I just removed my hardtop install kit. I followed the instructions above and was pretty easy. However, I could not get my soft top to close. It's not working. The light flashes on the close top button. I guess it's stuck or something.

Any ideas? Thanks. David
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:53 AM   #11
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Does the back lid open? Is it even latched?
My lid would not open, I had to get the motor replaced, would have been over $2500 CDN, luck it was under warrenty
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=351083
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:34 AM   #12
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How did u make the connections--I cudnt fit apinky in there to see--Almost took off interior side panels--but wont have to worry until winter again
Mike
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:43 PM   #13
tran330cic
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Well, I removed the hardtop install kit from one car and installed it on another car. The soft top operates fine on the car I installed on. However, the soft top on my car is not working. Kind of strange?!?!?!

I took off the inside panels and had no problems with the removal or install of the hardtop kit. If you need more info, then let me know.
David
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:20 PM   #14
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How hard is it to install the brackets only? I need to pick up a hard top from someone tomorrow.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:47 PM   #15
tran330cic
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Not hard at all!! Took me about 1 hour to do the install. I have directions if you need. Let me know.

David
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:39 PM   #16
hiatus1111
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does anyone know where i can look for a used hardtop? for a 02 m3
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:04 AM   #17
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hey guys, does anyone know if i can get just the top plastic parts with the wires? mine broke and that s all i need, don t wanna pay 100 usd for some metal mounts and screws that i already have
Please help me with this as i have not been able to get any information from the dealer or realoem except for pics that don t tell very much.
Cheers
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:59 PM   #18
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Dead Thread Resurrection: Yeah yeah I know this is an ancient thread. Just have to say I just did the kit and thank Jebus I read the note here first caus the chopstick (or related long poking-tool) method is TOTALLY the way to go. Actually the wiring is not too tough once you:
  1. Unhook the spring for the sliding panel so it can slide all the way in out of the way
  2. Visually ID the plug with a mini-maglite through the hole
  3. Carefully feed the plug & wires in, and prop the metal socket in a place that gives you max slack wire to maneuver (at least for the left / drivers side one which stays attached to the wires)
  4. Line it up close using just the wire on the end, then
  5. Push it home with the chopstick / screwdriver
  6. Bolt the socket in
  7. Beer
  8. Profit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
I just installed the prep kit myself 2 days ago. It is a pain in the ass if you don't have small hands to reach really far back into the compartment. I have scrapped up hands from the install but is better then paying the stealership 500-600 dollars to do it.
The right side was much easier to install than the left because there is an extra wire attached to the metal bracket, which gets in the way in an already tight space. 1 st open the top partially and remove the small plastic cover from both sides of the car next to the rear seat side panel. There is a larger plastic panel attached to a spring right above it. Remove the spring from the panel so that it slides freely. The wiring harness needs to be attached to a slot towards that front. If you look into the hole there is a wiring harness about 7-8 inches towards the front there are 3 slots but only the middle one is open. Shine a flashlight down the opening to see it. The top is small and the bottom is white and wider than the middle. Make sure you have the black wiring harness positioned correctly to fit into the middle slot, I beleive it's circular side to the right. You have to get the slot into the harness. You're supposed to take out the rear seats and a bunch of other panels to do it properly but I just crammed my hand in there. It took a couple hours and tons of frustration but I got it in there partially with my hand and stuck a chopstick in there to push it the rest of the way through. You also have to put the metal brackets into the predrilled slots. Put the bracket underneath the predrilled holes and attach it but putting the screws from the top, there are arrows on the metal brackets to show you proper positioning. DONT OVERTIGHTEN the screws with a socket wrench because you can rip off the screw head with too much torque. Stop tightening when you feels moderate resistance. Finally snap the plastic piece on the top of the metal bracket and your done.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:18 AM   #19
cinredman
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Right side...sucks!

Received my kit tonight and used instructions above to successfully install left side cable and bracket.

However, the right side...

Tried and tried, but no success. Even removed rear seat and back to open up the trim panel. However, that too struck me as too complicated to mess with as my state of mind was a bit

Called it a night and will make another run at it tomorrow.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:52 PM   #20
cinredman
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Tonight we reached success on the right side, by removing the interior panel. Thank goodness for bavaIran soundwerks and their DIY videos.
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