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

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:05 PM   #1
Duke2080
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Replacing Convertible Top Motor

This weekend I am going to replace the convertible top motor, the one in the front edge of the top, right above the rear view mirror. I'm just wondering if anyone has had to pop off the plastic cover under which the motor and top latches reside. If so, how'd you do it. 2001 330ci.

Last edited by Duke2080; 04-06-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
Duke2080
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I have now completed replacing the top latch, requiring me to remove the motor cover, the long black cover under which the top motor and left/right latches sit. It was a bit--. If anyone is need to do the same in order to replace the left or right latches, or the motor itself, respond to this and I'll answer any questions about getting it done.
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:04 AM   #3
Zyaltr
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How do you remove that cover...my latches squeek when closing, need to get in there an grease them up...
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
Duke2080
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You have to have the top open in order to get at all of the screws an bolts and the like. When you have the top open you'll see a number of small screws along the leading edge of the cover. They are "star shaped" headed screws rather than common or phillips head (they're called Torx). You can either buy the bits, or you can actually use an Allen wrench that fits. You have to take out each of those. On both ends of the cover you'll see what looks like small dome-capped nuts. Those are just plastic covers over two small nuts you also have to remove. Then, on each end of the cover you'll find two screws under the rubber molding that have to come off. One of them will be screwed from the cover to the frame. The other one will be screwinbg the headliner to the cover. They are both on the very ends of the cover, one on top and the other on the side.

Once you have all the screws and such removed you should be able to pry it up.

Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:35 AM   #5
djsilver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke2080 View Post
You have to have the top open in order to get at all of the screws an bolts and the like. When you have the top open you'll see a number of small screws along the leading edge of the cover. They are "star shaped" headed screws rather than common or phillips head (they're called Torx). You can either buy the bits, or you can actually use an Allen wrench that fits. You have to take out each of those. On both ends of the cover you'll see what looks like small dome-capped nuts. Those are just plastic covers over two small nuts you also have to remove. Then, on each end of the cover you'll find two screws under the rubber molding that have to come off. One of them will be screwed from the cover to the frame. The other one will be screwinbg the headliner to the cover. They are both on the very ends of the cover, one on top and the other on the side.

Once you have all the screws and such removed you should be able to pry it up.

Good luck.
I'm working on this project this weekend myself. The pictures in the TIS don't match the car but the instructions are correct. The tricky part is that there are six screws holding the trailing edge of the trim in place. You have to reach between the fabric top and the headliner and loosen the screws that hold the trailing edge of the headliner in place. The trim piece is slotted and it will slide out.

Last edited by djsilver; 06-28-2011 at 08:28 PM. Reason: More information
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
Zyaltr
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What was the best position of the top to tackle this? Cover up and top resting in flat in compartment? Seems like the best way...thoughts?
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:21 PM   #7
Duke2080
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A little late on this post . . . I worked on the six screws with the top not quite closed to make it easier to reach in to try and access the screws. There may be an easier alternative I thought about when I was all done. I don't think you have to remove the liner from the motor cover in order to get the motor cover off. One you remove all the screws/bolts holding the motor cover in place you should just be able to leave it connected to the headliner.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:16 AM   #8
molten330ci
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How much is the latch motor ?

Can you write a step by step instruction on it?
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:27 AM   #9
welshie
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I have to replace the lock/latch on the passenger side.

It failed a few months ago..finally found the parts..had to buy as a set.

Did you have to remove any portion of the cloth top?
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:22 AM   #10
Duke2080
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Sorry molten330ci and welshie about the delay in responding to these. I have to get back in the habit of accessing this site regularly. The latch motor will run you $230 - $250 if you purchase a new one. I suggest searching out used ones from a number of salvage yards out there. I purchased a folding top lock in excellent condition for $125 rather than the almost $400 a new one would cost. Also purchased the Window Frame Cover for $100 instead of a new one for $225.

welshie - if you still need info on replacing your lock, respond here and let me know. Can you open your top, or is it locked closed?
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:03 AM   #11
dknightd
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I'm interested in replacing the front rubber seal on my top. It is torn, cracking, and leaking. I've put in RTV as a stop gap, but I suspect it will need to be replaced at some point. Starting to do the research now - will probably do the job next spring. Looks like that rubber seal is around $350 - if you know of a cheaper source please let me know.
Seems like this might be a relevant thread since the seal probably has to removed and reinstalled to replace the lock motors.
Any tips, on just replacing the front seal? Thanks
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #12
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E46 replacing convertible top locks or latches

I have replaced many E46 tops, top latches, hydraulic lines, rams other trim parts and I made a repair bracket to fix the top latches and I will post pictures later when parts come back from plating.Dont buy new.I would like to get any broken ones out there. thanks Dan
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by uphguy View Post
I have replaced many E46 tops, top latches, hydraulic lines, rams other trim parts and I made a repair bracket to fix the top latches and I will post pictures later when parts come back from plating.Dont buy new.I would like to get any broken ones out there. thanks Dan
Sorry to go off topic...

How do you replace the soft top wiring loom, i cant solder the wires any more at the bend near the soft top cover.... If you can give any details on how to go about this it would be great. !
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:06 AM   #14
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Splice a new wire on beyond where the top frame Bends .It is very difficult to change the wire loom

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Old 05-15-2013, 01:39 PM   #15
nadodude
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Hmmm I took off all of the screws but the cover just won't come off
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:52 AM   #16
joey622
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hi there.....when I try to lower my top the latch motor just spins and pops out a bit and nothing else happens....im assuming that I need to replace the motor but how can I access it with the top fully closed?
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:45 PM   #17
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uphguy top latches

You need to call me Dan 650 740-5969
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:19 PM   #18
CombatWombat
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Is there a way to do this if I can't get the top open at all? Something is broken where it won't manually unlock with the allen key (the allen drive "bolt" just falls out completely when I go to unlock the top).
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:32 PM   #19
taylor192
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Re: Replacing Convertible Top Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatWombat View Post
Is there a way to do this if I can't get the top open at all? Something is broken where it won't manually unlock with the allen key (the allen drive "bolt" just falls out completely when I go to unlock the top).
As I said in your other thread, cut the plastic cover. There is no other way. There is no DIY either other than a brief description of how to remove the cover, yet you need to cut it open. A number of people have posted pics of the motor and latches if that helps.

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Old 09-08-2013, 11:30 PM   #20
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Re: Replacing Convertible Top Motor

Cut the wire back away fromthe bend in both directions,make splice away from bend

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