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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 03-08-2010, 11:23 AM   #1
cxp
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PHL
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My Ride: E46, E90
E46 convertible top stops half way going down or up

My convertible top started acting up today. I think a sensor is bad somewhere, but I'm not quite sure where to look.

This is what happens when I try to put the top down:
- Front unlatches from windshield (normal)
- Rear moves upwards to clear folding top compartment lid (normal)
- Folding top compartment lid opens (normal)
- Rear begins to move into compartment, but roof stops operating within a few seconds (not normal)

Folding top LED is blinking red. If I turn the car off and put the key into position 0, I can manually fold the top down. The folding top compartment will lock via the "open roof" button after I manually put the top down and restart the car.

Roof gets stuck at a similar point on the way back up.

Any ideas? I checked the pump in the trunk -- the fluid level was good and there was no sign of a leak. I suspect that there is a sensor or some other fault telling the car to stop moving the roof.

Update: Roof sometimes works as described above, sometimes barely moves at all, and sometimes (but very rarely) goes down all the way. No frayed wires found yet.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:00 PM   #2
berhsu
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: santa monica, ca
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My roof has gotten stuck in that position a few time when the compartment lid did not open all the way. Try this - get a second person. Open the roof as you normally would but when the lid goes up as far as it can, have your helper pull up on the lid a little higher while you still have the button pushed down (even before the roof stops moving/gets stuck). If the top folds down (let go of the lid at that point) and completes the cycle properly then you know there's something is wrong with the compartment lid mechanism. Either the lid it not opening all the way or the sensor needs to be adjusted or replaced. Be advise this was my home grown check/solution so take it as is.

Last edited by berhsu; 03-08-2010 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Fix typos.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
srlehmkuhl
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My Ride: 2004 LSB M3 convert.
Mine has gotten stuck when detailing it while the battery was on for the sound system. Make sure you're not draining the battery ahead of time. It happened one other time randomly and I pushed the top down while my fiance held the button and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:52 PM   #4
cxp
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Good suggestion to check the folding top compartment lid. It never occurred to me that the lid might open only partially, blocking the roof from opening all the way.

The compartment wouldn't open at all when I tried this evening, which also points to the lid.

I'll try your suggestion tonight and report back.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:47 PM   #5
cxp
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I gave the folding top compartment lid a little push, and the top went down perfectly. No issues putting the top back up, either. I cycled the top up and down about five more times, and it worked each time. I'm thinking a sensor was slightly out of alignment or perhaps the motor that controls the lid is on its way out, but I can't complain for now -- everything is working again.

Thanks berhsu!
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:59 PM   #6
Hattori Hanzo
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little motor box under rear seat

Hello, my top is stuck as well. When I try to shut top, a sound like gear stripping comes from the little box under the rear seat where the emergency release is located. I pressed down the top of this box, and the top shut. No pressure, gear stripping sounds and it doesn't shut.

Has anyone had this problem?

I'm taking her in tomorrow.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
cxp
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You have a damaged top flap drive unit:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=640185

You may be able to find a DIY fix by searching on Google. I remember reading about someone who used some wood and a few clamps to apply pressure on the top of the unit, but I couldn't find the post.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
cxp
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I started having the same problem a few days after I "fixed" the roof. Turns out the wiring harness in the roof was damaged and needed to be replaced. One of the wires broke in the harness after 10 years of putting the top up and down. Replaced the harness and I'm good as new.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:15 AM   #9
merbimer
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My Ride: bmw 325ci conv
Hey CXP do you remember the location of that harness?
My 02 325ci had an issue yesterday the top and fork seemed
to hit/jam eachother while trying to close the top,
the light was blinking and nothing happen when I tryed to
put it down again. I turned the engine off and
I referred to the owner manual to look for the manual
override under the rear seat. I turned it clockwise several
times but no success. Manually I lifted the rear top cover
and pulled the top into the compartment again but the cover
didn't close completely so I pressed the opening button and
the rear cover seemed to close now. I tryed now to close it
again but it stops before the rear window pulls out of the
way for the rear cover to come down. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
merbimer
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hello to all!
I recently found out the problem with the soft top of my car. I hooked my laptop and found three or four faulty codes. Since I couldn't find some of the components, I went to the stealership and paid 270.00 for two hours of electrical labor. The diagnosis was the cable harness inside the top. They quoted the part for around 200.00 and labor of 1200.00! I tought they were out of their F. mind. I did it myself in about 6-7 hours without a book, just following the route of the other one and being extremely careful of the disassembly order. Tip: After the installation and before covering the CVM unit with the side panel, I had to reset
the unit unplugging it and plugging it back with the car's battery connected.( but Not operating the top). It worked for me, works perfect! If somebody needs info, email me at fernando.lara@comcast.net I''l be happy to describe my experience.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:07 PM   #11
HRHShai
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Hey everyone,

Was hoping to get your feedback on a problem I have with the soft top of my 04 325cic

The top won't completely close because the two automatic hooks on the soft top will not engage with the top of the windshield. As of now, the top does close manually. Could I fix this problem myself? Can this problem be fixed without a trip to the dealership?
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:47 AM   #12
ogsk8r
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i am having similar problems with my top. It will start to open & then stop. I had my mechanic look at it and he said it was the latches that are bad. 1200 new to replace or he could possibly find used ones for about 500. is there a way to manualy open & close the roof? it sucks the the weather is getting nice and I cant enjoy my top.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:37 PM   #13
Herbalicious
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I had this problem almost every time I tried putting the top down. About 1.5 years ago I changed the hydraulic fluid...have not had a single issue since! Over time the fluid breaks down and in doing so does not generate the pressure needed to operate the top properly. The fluid is about $15 and it take like 30 minutes to do!
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #14
merbimer
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Convertible Top Service Manual

Hello All!
I got a CVM and Convertible Top Service Manual from another member. It was extremely useful to me in order to understand and fix the problem with my top. Also I would recommend it to owners of 'verts even if they are not mechanically inclined to read it so they understand how the system works.
I'm attaching the file (pdf), and hope this help someone else too.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf E46ConvertibleTop[1].pdf (738.6 KB, 1329 views)
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:32 PM   #15
BMW-North
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merbimer View Post
Hello All!
I got a CVM and Convertible Top Service Manual from another member. It was extremely useful to me in order to understand and fix the problem with my top. Also I would recommend it to owners of 'verts even if they are not mechanically inclined to read it so they understand how the system works.
I'm attaching the file (pdf), and hope this help someone else too.
Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:44 AM   #16
Pbergunder
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
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My Ride: 2004 M3 Convertible
Mine does the same thing.
This is what happens when I try to put the top down:
- Front unlatches from windshield (normal)
- Rear moves upwards to clear folding top compartment lid (normal)
- Folding top compartment lid opens (normal)
- Rear begins to move into compartment, but roof stops operating within a few seconds (not normal)

I had my Mechanic re-wire the harness at the pinch point in the roof and that worked for a while, but it still does this intermittently . Very frustrating
Sometimes it opens with no issues at all, then sometimes it gets stuck half way...this always happens when I'm in public and it looks like I have a convertible that doesn't work.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:44 AM   #17
taylor192
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It is a wiring issue. Follow the electrical trouble shooting sticky at the top to actually measure for open circuits rather than just rewire at the pinch point... cause there are actually a couple pinch points!

Another pinch point is at the forward edge of this cover. The harness goes from straight to > 90 degrees bent during the operation of the top.



This is with the cover removed. You can see the harness is creased, this is where it bends.


Last edited by taylor192; 05-03-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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