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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 03-21-2014, 04:50 PM   #1
DreamnZ
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Manual Top, was this ever standard from the factory?

I just looked at a 2000 E46 convertible. The owner has owned it since 2004. He said the top has always been a manual top. I can't find anywhere that this would be true. Can someone shed some light on this? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:00 PM   #2
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I've heard of one or two others like that- their owners optioned them as such when ordered- idea being less chance of electrical or hydraulic failure. 14 years later, it's starting to sound like they had a heck of an idea.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:19 PM   #3
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Look at your owner's manual, they discuss the manual top operation in there. Also, I believe Wildirish has a manual top.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:37 PM   #4
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That's interesting. I guess, it's not a bad idea to have a manual top. My z3 has a manual top. Granted when I tried to put the top down on the e46 I was looking at, it was a pain. But you're right, it's one less thing to worry about.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:16 PM   #5
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My miata had a manual that could be raised and lathed one-handed while sitting behind the wheel- now that was convenient (and reliable!)
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:33 PM   #6
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Look at your owner's manual, they discuss the manual top operation in there. Also, I believe Wildirish has a manual top.
It was standard on the 325. The power top came with the premium package.

You could not get a 330 or M3 with a manual top.
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.

Last edited by wildirish317; 03-21-2014 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:33 PM   #7
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I just looked at a 2000 E46 convertible. The owner has owned it since 2004. He said the top has always been a manual top.
I'd love to see that car, is it for sale? I've been thinking of doing a conversion.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
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I'd love to see that car, is it for sale? I've been thinking of doing a conversion.
An auto to manual conversion?
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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An auto to manual conversion?
Maybe, if enough of the automatic parts break
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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I don't know if anyone has done this. The part numbers for the top frame is different by one digit. If you do this, and want photos of the front latch mechanism of my top, let me know.
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:24 PM   #11
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GL trying to sell a vert w a manual top (no offense WildIrish). But to chg over to a manual top is utterly insane. Even a bad-working PT is better than a manual top.

Manual tops are meant for smaller cars for easy throw-back,..like Miatas, or my 39k original BRG '73 MGB:

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Old 03-22-2014, 07:57 PM   #12
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That's interesting. I guess, it's not a bad idea to have a manual top. My z3 has a manual top. Granted when I tried to put the top down on the e46 I was looking at, it was a pain. But you're right, it's one less thing to worry about.

The z3 manual top is a breeze. Light and small. So quick to put up or down. You can drop it in traffic in like 5 seconds.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:03 PM   #13
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I owned a 1966 Fairlane 500/XL convertible, & I knew a buddy who had similar car, just a 500, & his manual top was a chore. Stop, pull over, unlatch, roll down windows, get out of the car, 1 guy on either side to pull it up & back then down, then latch into place to keep down,....a process which consumed near 15minutes. I wouldn't ever buy a car larger than a miata with a manual top, but that's just me. Maybe WildIrish has a lot of patience, as I admit, I do not.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #14
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Even with the problems I wouldn't want an e46 with a manual top. Irish described the process once and it's too much work. And one nice feature is the ability to open and close it with your key fob.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:15 PM   #15
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Guys, you won't see me posting "progress" threads in "Health and Fitness". Like everything BMW, the top is well designed, to the point that my wife (who is smaller in stature and 3 years older) has no problem with this. Yes, you have to stop the car and get out to do it. The windows are one-switch power down, so that's not an issue. I can probably do this in less time (20 seconds?) than the automatic top.

It's totally a personal preference, but I would not trade my top for the weight, hydraulics, additional computer gyrations, and inevitable breakdowns that come with an automatic top. The only thing I miss is the extra power of the M54B30.

If your only issue with a manual top is the effort required, no offense, but you are a wimp.
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“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”

Quote:
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:23 PM   #16
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I'm an American! I shouldn't have to fold my roof manually LIKE AN ANIMAL!
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:26 PM   #17
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I am a wimp. No doubt about it.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:39 PM   #18
wildirish317
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I'm an American!
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I am a wimp.
LOL. I totally get it. I had an E36 that cost me $100+ every time the top acted up, and it acted up a lot. That was before PA Soft. When I was shopping for an E46, a manual top was a plus for me.
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“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Miller
I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #19
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I am a wimp. No doubt about it.
You are a Canadian. No, wait, that's the same thing.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:15 PM   #20
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You are a Canadian. No, wait, that's the same thing.
Watch what you say, a Canadian wrote the sticky about the convertible top hydraulics. We're nice like that, unlike some of our neighbours to the south :-P

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