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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 11-11-2010, 02:45 PM   #1
sam5357
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Just drove a Convertible.....

Ok, so I just went down to test drive a 2006 330cic that I have been driving by every day. I would never want to actually buy it, just wanted to see what it was like. I was expecting to be similar to my 02' 325i. Both are auto's and sport package etc and have about 80k. First off it felt completely different! The key was harder to turn and it just felt so much more refined when starting. Everything just felt more sturdy and stable, like a bigger more heavy car?!?! It was strange. I feel everything in my steering wheel, all pebbles and hairs on the road, the vert much more smooth and heavier. I wasn't really expecting it to feel much faster, bc it was a heavy vert, but wrong again. It was much faster. The overall experience just make me want to go and buy a coupe soooo much. Has anybody else notice a considerable difference between the coupe/vert and the sedan?
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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Buy the vert and look for a used hard top.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:49 PM   #3
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^ I totally agree, get the Vert and a hardtop. I love mine and will probably never buy a tin top car again.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:08 PM   #4
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Buy the vert and look for a used hard top.
What does a hardtop for an E46 cost and how hard is it to take on and off?
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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I got mine with the car, but seen them for around $1200.

They are easy to remove, just need the hoist or two people and the rack
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sam5357 View Post
...felt so much more refined when starting. Everything just felt more sturdy and stable, like a bigger more heavy car?!?! It was strange. I feel everything in my steering wheel, all pebbles and hairs on the road, the vert much more smooth and heavier. I wasn't really expecting it to feel much faster, bc it was a heavy vert, but wrong again. It was much faster.
A convertible needs to be a more solid build since there is no roof to take on the flexes in cornering. This accounts for a lot of what you noticed driving. Also the center of gravity is lower giving a different handling feel.
The coupe has the roof to deal with flexing, so it's likely going to feel more like the sedan.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Pretty interesting experience. Note that an 06 E46 vs an 02 E46 is going to have newer bushings, newer rubber, newer ignition, less wear and tear. Properly build your car back up to spec and it should feel better, sturdier than a vert. I used to have an E36 M3 convertible and even it being a 12 year old car was extremely solid and confident after I rebuilt it. Was such a great experience. I miss that car.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:46 PM   #8
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Also, the difference between the 3.0L and the 2.5L engines will be significant.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:55 PM   #9
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My car did have about 3k less miles, and I have changed the front bushings and stuff just last year. TBH my front end felt wayyyyy tighter, but not as looses over speed bumps and such. It was just strange, because the car felt so much like a 5 series I drove before.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:10 AM   #10
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Love the vert... not sure about how the others drive. Maybe even get a strut bar to stiffen the vert even more. John '06 330cic ZHP
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:24 AM   #11
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also, the difference between the 3.0l and the 2.5l engines will be significant.
+1
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:36 AM   #12
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Also, the difference between the 3.0L and the 2.5L engines will be significant.
+ 2. believe me i've had both and in fact the 3.0 was a sedan and the 2.5 was a vert. addditionally, the 3.0 was 2 years older and had 40k more miles than the 2.5 but STILL it was that much different (better) than the 2.5.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:12 AM   #13
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Definitely go for the 3.0 if you decide to move in that direction.

I originally looked at a Vert with the smaller engine and I am glad I passed on it.

Have a '06 330cic and it is a really nice car, but it belongs to the wife, she lets me play with it occasionally.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:14 AM   #14
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I got mine with the car, but seen them for around $1200.

They are easy to remove, just need the hoist or two people and the rack
What do you mean, hoist and rack? About how much does the top weigh? What is it made of?
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:04 AM   #15
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What do you mean, hoist and rack? About how much does the top weigh? What is it made of?
A hoist like this one where you can leave the top up on the ceiling when not in use. One person can remove and install the top

http://www.allanteatlanta.com/html/h...ist_guide.html

the rack is a storage unit for the top on wheels so you can move it around. The top is made of steel(maybe fiberglass?) I believe and is finished quite nicely with dome lights,nice headliner and rear window defrost.

I am unsure of weight,I have the hoist and never picked it up but would guess around hundred pounds

Edit: found out they weigh around 60lbs

Last edited by jonesro; 12-01-2010 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:11 AM   #16
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What do you mean, hoist and rack? About how much does the top weigh? What is it made of?
The top weights about 60 pounds, it's made of aluminum.

You can buy an aftermarket hoist system for your garage that makes it possible to put the hardtop on/off by yourself; these vary in price and operation, some are electric. The nice thing about a hoist is that it also lets you store the top up in the air out of the way. If you don't want a hoist, BMW sells a rack for storing the top in an upright position which saves floor space, but you need 2 people to manually put the top off/on and get it in/out of the rack.

Here's my hoist... not the greatest model since it doesn't grab the roof from the front at all and you can see how the roof wants to balance, not level. (I think this can be improved by playing with the straps but there's a piece you have to get under the back window, it's just an awkward design) But I can still put the top on/off by myself which is huge.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:19 AM   #17
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I use the hoist that I linked to in my previous post and it works real well. the top sits level and has safety cables when stored on ceiling, it does not spin and I feel comfortable parking under it.

I use a cordless drill to operate the hoist and I can put it on or off by myself, but a second person on the other side to help guide the pins in place does help
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:31 AM   #18
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Get the vert! I love my car, but I wish I had shopped around a little more and got a vert...
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #19
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Vert with a hardtop is the way to go. I use the floor stand for my hardtop so it only takes up a little bit of floor space.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:43 PM   #20
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i would recommend not getting an m3 vert if you ever consider one. its quite disappointing if you have driven hard top m3's, i like the non ///M verts better. i would like to get a zhp vert if i could find one...
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