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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 09-23-2006, 03:33 PM   #1
SuperSleeper
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Cool Hardtop install kit in less than 30 minutes

Hi Folks,

After reading some posts on DIY for hardtop install kit, I wanted to get something out there that had lots of pictures to make it as simple as possible. Basically, I performed the enire install with pictures in under 30 minutes. Some of you may take longer, but it is not at all as dificult as many make it out to be.

1.inspect your kit. You should have two metal brackets, and two wire harnesses. Don't clip the harnesses over the brackets yet as you will want to install the wire harnes first. Before we get started, note that the bottom of each metal bracket has an arrow and a letter. L is for left side of the car, and R is for right. The arrow indicated the direction of the car towards the front. With that said, it should be obvious where the brackets should be alligned.


2. Drop the top so that the ragtop is completely contained inside the compartment, but stop before the compartment starts to close. Leave the key in the ignition or the cover will slowly drop while you are working.

3. Roll down all the windows. At this point it is recommended to disconnect the battery cable so as not to short out any electronics. You may need to place a stick under the top lid cover to prop it up and keep it from falling on you while working.

4. Pull out the small plastic tabs on both sides of the car. They are about 1"x1" and located just behind the rear windows. Slide them backwards towards the rear.

5. Find a long screwdriver or something long and skinny that you can clamp the wire harness to. I wedged the end of a flathead screwdriver in between the clip tabs. This was relatively useful for me, however you may choose to use something like a long handled pair of pliers if you can get them to fit.


6. Locate the harness attachment. it is about 8 inches in past the plastic coverings on both sides. See below...


7. Guide the harness in using your tool carefully avoiding the obstacles. Gently push the harness into its resting place. I needed to lightly seat it, pull the screwdriver slightly back behind the lip of the harness and push again on the back for it to clip into place.


8. Next, install the metal brackets. You'll note that the screw holes do not give much, if any, play once the screws are threaded into the bracket. Therefore there is no adjustment to be made to seat the hard top.


9. Carefully seat the electronic cap over the metal bracket.


10. Ensure that the wires do not come into contact with any moving parts. Carfully tuck them asside and zip-tie them if needed.


11. Once both brackets and harnesses are in place, re-connect the battery. If you have a voltage meter, you can check your installation by getting a 12v reading from the tabs as shown. The reading will only work on the left side. The right side, I believe, is for the defroster, and will not activate until the hardtop is installed.


12. Install the top, and you're done! Well, I have yet to do this part .

So there you have it. No need to remove any interior panels. No scraping of arms and hands. When I walked back in the house, my wife was talking on the phone to the same person, and I realized it took me about 27 minutes, with pictures! Does the steelership warrant a $400 labor install? I think not.

Anyways, I'll update this thread with pictures of the top installed. If I hear creeks and squeeks while driving, I'll do what I've read in other forums, and lubricate the seals .
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Old 09-23-2006, 04:17 PM   #2
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Lookin good so far, aside from the two tone...

I'm still working on the hight adjustments. Seems the map lights won't work until the hight adjustments are set correctly. I have yet to test the rear defroster.
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Last edited by SuperSleeper; 09-23-2006 at 04:22 PM. Reason: photo too large
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Old 09-23-2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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i think the two tone is nice
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Old 09-23-2006, 05:12 PM   #4
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i think the two tone is nice
Thanks. It's growing on me. I may still paint it, but not till next season.

Anyways, I found out why the map lights didn't work . There was a piece of rubber blocking the contacts .
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Old 10-06-2006, 04:43 PM   #5
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All is working now. Those rubber tabs were the culprit. I've been driving it in the rain now. No leaks, no creeking or rubbing sounds .
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:30 PM   #6
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Very helpful write-up. Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:47 PM   #7
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thanks for the write up man, it was so easy and quick to do
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Old 03-24-2007, 12:42 PM   #8
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I dont see any photos,,, and Im doing the DIY now
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Old 03-24-2007, 01:24 PM   #9
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I dont see any photos,,, and Im doing the DIY now
Sorry, looks like the server is down. We'll try to get it back up, but it might be a while before it happens
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:54 PM   #10
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Great write up. From what I hear, the hardtop does reduce rattle and wind noise and it even stiffens the car. Is this true?
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:45 AM   #11
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Great write up. From what I hear, the hardtop does reduce rattle and wind noise and it even stiffens the car. Is this true?
Yes, in every aspect. I'm not sure to what degree it stiffens the chassis, however as I don't think it is intended for this purpose. To some degree though, a metal shell has to offer more structural integrity than fabric and frame. I wonder if they have performed any crash testing or if someone can attest to have rolled a car with the hard top on?
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:16 PM   #12
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30 minute hardtop install kit in less than 30 minutes from a newbie

Thank you Thank you Thank you! I just got my new (well, new to me!) certified pre-owned 2005 330ci convertible with 14,000 miles on it 2 days ago and found a used hardtop locally for it for $500 in excellent condition. Since I needed to take the hardtop to have it painted (sonora metallic) to match my car's paint, I installed the hardtop install kit in about 20 minutes and off to the paint shop I went! The DIY post made the job EASY! Otherwise, I would have been tearing out seats and interior trim to find and install those pesky wire harnesses.

I am surprised there are not more of the sonora metallic cars out there. Mine is the only one I have seen. Anybody know why? I like the color myself.

Also, does anybody have any great ideas on where to install the head unit for a Escort SRX? The best place I have come up with so far is below the dash on the driver's side. The ashtray would be a good place if I could find a way to fabricate a bezel for it.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by robwpolk View Post
Thank you Thank you Thank you! I just got my new (well, new to me!) certified pre-owned 2005 330ci convertible with 14,000 miles on it 2 days ago and found a used hardtop locally for it for $500 in excellent condition. Since I needed to take the hardtop to have it painted (sonora metallic) to match my car's paint, I installed the hardtop install kit in about 20 minutes and off to the paint shop I went! The DIY post made the job EASY! Otherwise, I would have been tearing out seats and interior trim to find and install those pesky wire harnesses.
Happy to assist. Standard disclaimer apply's

Quote:
Originally Posted by robwpolk View Post
I am surprised there are not more of the sonora metallic cars out there. Mine is the only one I have seen. Anybody know why? I like the color myself.
Got a pic? I'm curious.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:27 PM   #14
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Sonora Metallic Hardtop and rear spoiler pics

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Happy to assist. Standard disclaimer apply's


Got a pic? I'm curious.
Here is the best I could do with the lighting at the time. Thanks again.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:32 PM   #15
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rear spoiler

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Here is the best I could do with the lighting at the time. Thanks again.
And yes, I added the rear spoiler at the same time as the hardtop was painted.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:39 PM   #16
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Nice. I am thinking about re-paining my rear bumper when I get mine done. It has a medium sized chip in the center of it. I was also considering getting the spoiler. What did the spoiler and paint set you back?
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:00 PM   #17
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This thread makes me want a hard top so bad!!!
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:11 PM   #18
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i think the two tone is nice
True, it looks great, i'd leave it
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:11 PM   #19
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Nice. I am thinking about re-paining my rear bumper when I get mine done. It has a medium sized chip in the center of it. I was also considering getting the spoiler. What did the spoiler and paint set you back?
Paint for hardtop was $500 but, even though that is high, the shop did it right by removing all chrome, headliner, rear glass, glass reveal, etc, so it was like they did it at the factory. In other words, it was not a mask and paint job by Maaco. You cannot tell it was not done at the factory no matter where you look. It is so damn hot here I would not be dropping the ragtop anyway so I am enjoying the extra insulation the hardtop provides the car's interior.

The spoiler I got from Direct Sales and Design. It is fiberglass but very well done. It was $250.00 and is regularly listed on eBay by them for all types of vehicles. I had previously purchased one from them for my previous car and it looked like new after 3 years. Some of them they make come with brake lights. It comes pre-painted in your choice of factory colors and was an easy install. You can actually save a couple of bucks if you look their business up on the internet, call them and order it direct from them by telephone. From order to delivery was less than 10 days! Their website is:

http://www.directsalescart.com/index...d4baae333d0553
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:39 PM   #20
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What is the part number for the connection kit? I've been looking everywhere. thanks... I want to buy it from mile one.
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