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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 11-03-2011, 02:33 PM   #21
gwhit
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Alternate solution requiring NO WORK!

I noticed these hard to find drain holes cloking up...if it rains long enough or it sloshes around while your driving this water will accumulate in trunk.

OK, here is what I found out....it has NEVER FAILDED TO WORK for me!!!

Pore a 1/2 cup of favorite DRAINO drain clog remover into the areas that contain the water...the area under to convertible top lift mechanisim.

In minutes you should see water dripping rapidly from underneath the door area.

PS, I actually fill those same areas will water after they empty to clear out the remaining DRAINO....
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:42 AM   #22
JPlunket
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GWhit --how long does the Drano take to work?

My darling wife is out now getting the drano --how long did it take before the the 1/2 cup of drano leaked out to the ground?

Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:55 AM   #23
330ci-vert
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Shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes. I like to follow it up with some rather hot water flushes to ensure it is all gone. I also attemp to blast it with the jet spray of a garden hose just to remove large debrie first.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:45 AM   #24
JPlunket
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Drano Clears BMW Convertible Drains --No More Water in Spare Tire Well!

1. Get the strongest liquid drain cleaner you can find.
2. Open convertible top part way, prop open if needed, so you have clear access to the main hinge assemblies
3. put newspaper along edge of running boards, weight them down --this helps you see when drains clear, and protects surface from drain cleaner
4. Use strong vac, with narrow tip to remove all debris you can while it's dry, both sides of both hinge assemblies --remember, you're clearing out a horizontal space, through under the hinge (awful design!)
5. same idea, but using water With vac tip deep as possible on inside edge of hinge assembly, sucking, spray strongest hose-nozzle stream into deepest spot on outside edge
6. Reverse positions of water stream and vac tip, spray-and-suck again
(Doing 5 and 6 on both hinge assemblies dislodges/vacs out a good bit of the debris --but probably not the real clog. Check Newspapers you laid out for drip marks.)
7. pour 1/2 cup of the drain cleaner into each hinge area and go for a run or something --I let mine sit for about an hour
8. replace the newspapers, consider putting glass cups under ID'd drip points
9. vaccuum out both sides of both hinges to get any remaining drain cleaner out before step 10.
10. WITH SAFETY GOGGLES and old clothes on, repeat steps 5 and 6
11. repeat step 7, look immediately to see if it flows right through or not. If so, wait a few minutes, remove catch cups, rinse once more --you're done. If no, have another run, repeat 9 and 10 --should flow right through.

Last edited by JPlunket; 11-12-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:49 AM   #25
JPlunket
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A million thanks to Gwhit, whose brilliant, out-of-box thinking made a two-man / four hour / $1,500 mechanic's job into a one-man / $15 / 30-45 minute job that any idiot like me can do!
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:39 AM   #26
welshie
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thanks..I had the dealer do this a few years ago and it was around $800-$900....and I think it needs it again. Now I'll use your write up!
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:29 AM   #27
borre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearce View Post
I got same problem 2 years ago, I have another solution "Bottom-up".

I did it when my car jacked up at a wheel shop.
1. open top in half way
2. pour some water at upper drain hole
3. find where the water drain out, it is around the rear wheel housing.
4. use compress air gun to blow the hose from bottom. clogged dirt will be blowed from upper drain hole.

ps. if you car is very low near ground, maybe you need to jack up your car firstly.


Could you tell me where to find the holes under the car?
is it before the rear wheel case?
and close to the side of the car?
maybe a picture?

peter
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:55 PM   #28
DropTopKingM3
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If anyone does this in the near future using the Drano method, would you mind posting a vid? It would be EXTREMELY helpful. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #29
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I did this job yesterday and I really appreciate the pics and tutorial. I thought I would post my experience to further help the next person who does this job.

1. I tried the drain cleaner method first.( liquid plumber gel) One side drained a little but later stopped up again as I was flushing it. The other side did nothing.

2.I tried both air pressure and water jet through the drain holes (when I finally found them) with no success. I also tried running a wire up from the bottom and never got very far. ( I'm posting a picture of the holes so you can find them but that method is not recommended.)

3. I finally decided to bite the bullet and clear the holes from the top and it really wasn't as hard as I imagined after reading this thread. I did the job by myself in about an hour and learned a few tricks. Here's the abridged version:
a) remove 2 armrest screws on one side
b)remove center panel behind it
c) 3 trim screws and rubber unhooked from rivet takes off the top panel to get to the hinge.
d) loosen the slotted hinge bolt behind the top panel.
e) remove 3 bolts on the back side of the hinge and leave its mounting plate fastened.
f) lift hinge about 2 inches and slide a block of wood under it to hold it up. I used a 2X2.
g) clear the hole with wire and hose stream and then reassemble.
h) repeat on side 2
I didn't remove the seat or unplug any wires and by doing it one side at a time it becomes a one man job. Also when you get the drains really cleared they make a whirlpool and sucking sound like your tub. Don't settle for less.
Good Luck!
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #30
iansanderson
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excellent write up. I didn't even know this problem existed on the convertibles until seeing this post. I went outside and tested both drains with water. Passenger side was flowing very nicely, but driver's side was draining very slowly and holding some water. I tried flushing it down with some hot water but no go so I followed this DIY to lift off the left side of the convertible frame. Wasn't hard at all. Getting the frame off the base was a bit of a bear because you have to put pressure on the front of the top so it balances itself a bit. Sure enough, I got to the hole and it was plugged up. While I was in there, discovered the front-facing base nut was completely loose and about to fall off! I am assuming from a previous repair job by the dealer.

It's nice to be able to leave the hydraulics connected and just move the base out of the way. Took my pipe cleaner set from harbor freight and went to town on the drain. Flushed it a few times and it is now sucking the water down very quickly.. even making sucking sounds like the other side. Thank you!
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Last edited by iansanderson; 04-02-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #31
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We should put this in a common convertible problems list.
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Cheat Sheet:

GT1/ISIS/MoDiC = Factory authorized diagnostic system used by BMW dealerships across the world.

NCS Expert = BMW Factory R&D programming tool available on the internet (not intended for the public and not available to the dealership network)

OEM = Genuine BMW part only available from a franchised BMW dealership.

DME = Engine Management Computer
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #32
gregrr
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$2 Fix to a $1,000 Problem

After observing the location of the hole in the pictures, I decided to try to access the hole from beneath the bracket. I fashioned a tool out of 5/32 brass tubing and .080 weed whacker line.

I took a 12" length of the tubing and bent a radius about an inch from one end. To prevent the tube from crimping, I inserted an awl and slowly pulled the awl out while bending the tube.

I inserted a three foot length of the weed whacker line and melted the end at the radius to prevent it from pulling back through the tube. It also helps to clean the drain hole.

Slide the tool under the mounting bracket and gently rotate the end downward so that when it catches the hole it falls into place.

Feed the line through slowly, working it up and down as you go, to help clean the hole. When the line moves freely, your drain should be open and water should be able to pass through freely.

I've created a short video to demonstrate the process.


Reference Image15 from pingu's post to approximate the location of the drain hole.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:00 AM   #33
steveberry
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woodwindow,
I did proceedure three in line with your instructions and it worked a charm. I did clear the drain away with pipe cleaner initially but I had to flush it through with hot water a couple of time until totally clear. It still only took around an hour to complete, around the same time it would have taken me to drive to the dealership and back! Many thanks for all threads on this point.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #34
Binnsy
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I'm having this issue now spare wheel well had a few inches and battery compartment similar.

Tried drain cleaner in one side to no avail but I'll check again in the morning as its dark early.

On the passenger side I've noticed a small 5mm or so hole which is kinda alarming and wonder if the boot water is coming thru there?

Not mega keen to start with the spanners as its my first BMW and Ive only had it a week!
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:16 PM   #35
mikeinga
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Just tried the draino trick let it sit within 10 minutes water and draino came flooding out. great fix and easy thanks!!
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:30 AM   #36
Binnsy
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Completed the 2 man version of this fix as per instructions - thankyou! I also found a rogue hole which was letting water drain to the underside of the rear seats. This was quickly and efficiently 'gooped' up and sealed. I can only assume some Jerkoff had drilled it as a lazy solution to the problem.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #37
EmmieIII
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Guys, I have to tell you this solution works the best and in the least amount of time. It took me 1 hour to do clear the drains on both sides...and what was funny was the fact that once the drains were cleared, they each made the whirl pool sucking sound.

Dont waste your time pulling the seat and disconnecting wires, not one wire was disconnected in this way of clearing the drains. I did pour boiling water down each hole after I cleared the blockage and now the car drains perfectly.

No more water in the trunk!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodwindow View Post
I did this job yesterday and I really appreciate the pics and tutorial. I thought I would post my experience to further help the next person who does this job.

1. I tried the drain cleaner method first.( liquid plumber gel) One side drained a little but later stopped up again as I was flushing it. The other side did nothing.

2.I tried both air pressure and water jet through the drain holes (when I finally found them) with no success. I also tried running a wire up from the bottom and never got very far. ( I'm posting a picture of the holes so you can find them but that method is not recommended.)

3. I finally decided to bite the bullet and clear the holes from the top and it really wasn't as hard as I imagined after reading this thread. I did the job by myself in about an hour and learned a few tricks. Here's the abridged version:
a) remove 2 armrest screws on one side
b)remove center panel behind it
c) 3 trim screws and rubber unhooked from rivet takes off the top panel to get to the hinge.
d) loosen the slotted hinge bolt behind the top panel.
e) remove 3 bolts on the back side of the hinge and leave its mounting plate fastened.
f) lift hinge about 2 inches and slide a block of wood under it to hold it up. I used a 2X2.
g) clear the hole with wire and hose stream and then reassemble.
h) repeat on side 2
I didn't remove the seat or unplug any wires and by doing it one side at a time it becomes a one man job. Also when you get the drains really cleared they make a whirlpool and sucking sound like your tub. Don't settle for less.
Good Luck!
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:11 PM   #38
Chad44
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How to clear the convertible's drain holes

I was about to do this today on my mother's convertible, when I thought I an interesting possible work around.

I took a one liter bottle of hydrogen peroxide and dumped half into each side of the convertible area where the mechanical assemblies are(and the water backs up)
Clean as much water as possible out of the area.
The water did not drain from the area whatsoever before, and the hydrogen peroxide sat in there just the same. After about 5 minutes, one side began to drip under the car and after about a minute of that the peroxide flowed out.
I then took a hose to flush out the area and let the water run through, and the tube would clear about 75% of full flow from the hose, so pretty significant change.
The other side took about 5 minutes longer, but the process was the same.

It's worth a try, an only cost me 88 cents in peroxide and 15 minutes of my time.

This is the peroxide bubbling and cleaning the junk out of the hoses.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:15 PM   #39
Chad44
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How to clear the convertible's drain holes

Okay- I admit that I had not read past the original procedure.. I now see that there are a hand full of ways to do this... Guess ill just add to the bunch!


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Old 11-05-2013, 02:05 AM   #40
chelseapaul
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just a message to say thankyou! original guide worked well.. i was getting inches of water and under battery.

first thing i soaked it all up and sealed the battery vent thats known for leaks causing the build up.. fingers crossed thats sorted!

then the drivers side roof drain was blocked and letting no water pass.. following your guide managed to get a plastic rod inside and clear it..

however the rod snapped in half and is stuck down the drain hole. water is still passing but not at the speed of the other side.. any ideas how to retrieve it? but might not be a major problem.

ive had to remove the seats and drivers rear well carpet as it was soaked in water and had a 2 inch puddle underneath, plus the seats foam was soaked up like a sponge! in process of drying it all at the moment... praying it doesnt happen again now.
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