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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 02-07-2011, 06:31 PM   #1
Suseer
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Hardtop!

(Brief intro, skip if you'd like to next paragraph)
Hey guys, Nice forum you have here. I'm looking to get a E46 M vert this spring/summer from the US and bring it up here! As much as I love how a coupe looks, from the few times i've driven a 3 series vert in summer i've absolutely loved the feeling of having no top! I don't plan on tracking, so it seems this would be great for me, especially if I can get a hardtop for it to, which leads me to my next question.

When you purchase a hardtop for a E46 vert, does it require any modification of taking the soft top off? Or does it simply sit overtop of the softtop when it's in it's down postion, and then you simply latch the hardtop on?

Thanks guys!
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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Once you install the hardtop kit, you just put the cloth top down then drop the hardtop on.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
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Yes just pop the hardtop on when the hardtop is down.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:55 PM   #4
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Excellent, so if I had the hardtop off, would I be able to put the softtop up? Or is it disabled once you install the hardware for the hardtop?
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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Nope! Once you remove the hardtop you can pop the soft top right back up I believe.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
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As mentioned, just put the hardtop over the soft top. You shouldn't have to remove the soft top or anything like that.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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They're all correct, you just have to buy a hardtop installation kit for about $120, it takes about 20min to install; very simple
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #8
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Hi,

I would suggest removing the soft top or leaving it up under the hardtop if you don't want permanent creases in it. Ask me how I know this - I too live in the great white north.

Secondly, sold the hardtop after the first year. You don't want to drive this cabrio in the winter - even with snow tires the back end is so light that it just floats on the snow.

E46's are cheap enough these days, get an Xi for the winter and keep the CiC for the summer, all 4 weeks of it in Manitoba.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #9
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This car won't see a moment of winter or snow - Summer only! I
ll keep my civic for the winter.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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Hi,

I would suggest removing the soft top or leaving it up under the hardtop if you don't want permanent creases in it.
How would you do that?
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:35 PM   #11
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How would you do that?
Good question....
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:51 PM   #12
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Hi,

I would suggest removing the soft top or leaving it up under the hardtop if you don't want permanent creases in it. Ask me how I know this - I too live in the great white north.
Strange.

Buy the vert you will love it. Look to buy a reasonable priced used hard top, they are made really nice. Easy on and off with a person helping you, they only weigh 68 pounds.

Lots of people drive the verts in the snow. Just make sure you have the proper size winter tires. Actually the verts are heavier than the coupes and sedans.

My hard top stays on the car for about 4 month then the soft top is used in the transition month in the fall and spring. The rest of the year the top is down.

Garage queen and she does not even go out in the rain. So I did not really need the hard top or snow rims\tires or roof rack. But you never know when you might need them.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:16 PM   #13
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Removing the soft top is an option if you want to keep the additional trunk space using the flexible storage compartment. it only takes a few minutes.

the hydraulic lines have self-sealing connectors so when you separate them, the fluid doesn't pour out. a few bolts later and the soft top assembly lifts right out with the help of an assistant. Then install the hardtop. Good option if you have long winters like we do in Ohio.

and by the way, the convertible handles GREAT in the snow with good tires. I have had no issues at all aside from the low-slung sports suspension scraping ice and snow mounds.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:50 AM   #14
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It's not that I don't think the vert will handle well in winter, it's the fact I don't want to expose such a car to the disastrous amounts of salt and other crap our city shoots everywhere in the city - Preservation
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:59 AM   #15
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how hard would it be for a thief to break into your car via the hard top? i was considering a vert but living in the city and parking on the street means the soft-top would be slashed open and the the hard top might not be as secure as a coupe.
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[QUOTE=Back2Basics;11538236]So you're gonna have your food delivered to you while you sit at your computer screen on the 112th floor responding to questions about dildo's and sex lube's while strangers fill your bank account to acquire the tools needed for their sick, guilty pleasures?
That's pretty ****ing legit man.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:14 AM   #16
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If thieves want it, they will find a way to get it. After having my car broken into 5 times in a 3 year period and going from no alarm, to alarm, to alarm with backup battery siren, to alarm with backup battery siren with sub boxes bolted to the frame of the car trunk disabled - to realizing if theives want it - They will go to any means nessicary to get it regardless of your "counter measures".

I don't even lock my door anymore, nor have any fancy electronics other then a standard cd player. I'd rather have a thieve open my door and snoop through what little I keep in there, then deal with broken windows, destroyed interiors and trunks from ripping electronics out, cut battery and alarm cables and claiming insurance. Just not worth the head ache anymore.

So to answer your question, no I wouldn't worry anymore about having a softtop then any other car.

Also, as far as ease goes - Throwing a porcelain bit from a sparkplug at your window to shatter it is just as easy as slashing a softtop.

Last edited by Suseer; 02-08-2011 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:32 AM   #17
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im aware of that but i can do whatever possible to deter a thief. im sure they would find it more convenient to slash open a soft top nice and quietly than to smash a window with a brick and potentially wake someone up. i say the same thing "if they want it bad enough, there's nothing u can do about it" but that doesn't mean you cant deter them as much as possible. Just to make things a little more inconvenient so maybe they'll be like "**** it, there has to be something easier than this".
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[QUOTE=Back2Basics;11538236]So you're gonna have your food delivered to you while you sit at your computer screen on the 112th floor responding to questions about dildo's and sex lube's while strangers fill your bank account to acquire the tools needed for their sick, guilty pleasures?
That's pretty ****ing legit man.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:41 AM   #18
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The hard top is very secure. Actually it does make the car feel more rigid when it is on. It comes with the mounts for the BMW roof rack, so it is built to carry weight as well.

If a thief wanted the car it would be a lot easier to break a window. Even with a crow bar, I think it would take a while to pop the mounts.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iansanderson View Post
Removing the soft top is an option if you want to keep the additional trunk space using the flexible storage compartment. it only takes a few minutes.

the hydraulic lines have self-sealing connectors so when you separate them, the fluid doesn't pour out. a few bolts later and the soft top assembly lifts right out with the help of an assistant. Then install the hardtop. Good option if you have long winters like we do in Ohio.

and by the way, the convertible handles GREAT in the snow with good tires. I have had no issues at all aside from the low-slung sports suspension scraping ice and snow mounds.
Woah, you can remove the soft top that easily? Have you done it before? DIY??
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:49 PM   #20
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Hardware Install Instructions?

Anyone have the hardtop hardware installation instructions?

Thanks!
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