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

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Old 06-03-2013, 04:08 PM   #1
Bashn
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M3 Convertible roof hydraulic line leaking

Hi Guys,

I roof stopped working and i found oil on the passenger side (UK car) rear seats.

Upon further investigation i could clearly see that line 31 had been rubbing and now was leaking.

lines 31 - 34 go into 2 blocks which are attached to the Bow cylinder

I can see that the lines cannot be removed and come as a whole unit

Does anyone have a guide to remove and suggestions on a cheaper option fix?

Thanks


Bash
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:31 PM   #2
taylor192
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Can you post a picture of where line #31 rubbed and leaked. Dave reported a similar issue (http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=979101) and I'd like to investigate if there is anything we can do proactively.

You'll need to complete the bow tension cylinder removal DIY (http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/e46bowcylinders.pdf) to remove both bow tension cylinders and lines 32/33 that go between the cylinders.

Then you'll need to figure out how to remove lines 31/34 that go from the valve block to the left bow tension cylinder (drivers in the US, passenger in the UK). Removing lines 31/34 should be very similar to steps 1-4 in the DIY for line #23 (http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...07&postcount=5). The difference being:

- Step 1: Klaus offers a service to replace line #31. Since you have the old style bow tension cylinders you'll need to remove both cylinders and lines 31-34 to send away. http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/b...er-00-03-.html

Note: Bashn, I mixed up the new/old style in our PMs. Ignore our PMs, lets get the correct info here.

- Step 3: you need to remove lines 31 and 34 from the valve block. This picture shows where lines 31/34 connect to the valve block and how they route out the other side.


- Step 4: lines 31/34 go along a different route on the convertible frame. There is a similar protective cover that has to be removed, circled in this photo. You'll have to figure out a position of the top to get at it:


Photos on page 10 show the ends of lines 31/34 clipped into the routing plate: http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/e46bowcylinders.pdf

Hopefully the route between the protective cover on the frame, and plastic routing plate is easy to follow with no gotchas.

Last edited by taylor192; 06-03-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
Bashn
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The split line is where lines 31 and 34 go up on the hinge which has a plastic cover secured with a few torx screws.

It looks like the line has been rubbing over a long period of time and has eventually split.

I have a couple of pics but dont have anywhere to host them... i can email them to you


Cheers


bash
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bashn View Post
Hi Guys,

I roof stopped working and i found oil on the passenger side (UK car) rear seats.

Upon further investigation i could clearly see that line 31 had been rubbing and now was leaking.

lines 31 - 34 go into 2 blocks which are attached to the Bow cylinder

I can see that the lines cannot be removed and come as a whole unit

Does anyone have a guide to remove and suggestions on a cheaper option fix?

Thanks


Bash
Bash,

if lines 31 and 34 cannot be removed from the aluminum block, then you must have an early version of the bow tension cylinders, which would put your car's model year to 2000 - 2003?

Below is a picture of the lines going into early version bow tension cylinders:



As you might be able to see, the lines are crimped into the L-shaped aluminum block. BMW would require you to purchase two new cylinders with lines to the tune of well over $1000. Top Hydraulics can replace the lines on the cylinder, if you send in the cylinder. We make the new lines a little longer. We have seen these lines failing in various places, so I cannot say yet which is the dominant failure mechanism - we just started offering this particular line replacement on the old style bow tension cylinders last week...
http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/b...er-00-03-.html

If the line has split, then I would attribute that more likely to too much flexing or pulling on the line. Thus, these lines might be too short just as line 23 is.

For newer version bow tension cylinders, the lines on the left bow tension cylinder can be removed separately, and we can simply ship replacement lines.
http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/b...number-31.html
http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/b...number-34.html

Klaus

http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/56-bmw-e46
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Some BMW E46 hydraulic cylinders, pumps, and valves that we rebuild and upgrade at Top Hydraulics:
54347025593
54347025600
54347025599
54348236956
54348243269
5434-8234530 (hydro-unit)
54347025592 (control unit)
54347025598 (improved hoses manufactured at Top Hydraulics)
http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/56-bmw-e46
www.tophydraulicsinc.com

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Old 06-03-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
Bashn
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Hi Klaus,

Mine is a 2002

So i would need to take the left and right side cylinders off as they are connected and send both to you?

Or does the L shaped block detach from the cylinder?

Thanks for help


Bash

Last edited by Bashn; 06-03-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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Bash,

the L-shaped aluminum blocks can be detached from the left side cylinder. That means in your case that lines 31 and 34 are actually part of the right side cylinder.

I would recommend sending in both cylinders, anyway, so that we can upgrade the seals in them at the same time.

Klaus



www.tophydraulicsinc.com
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Some BMW E46 hydraulic cylinders, pumps, and valves that we rebuild and upgrade at Top Hydraulics:
54347025593
54347025600
54347025599
54348236956
54348243269
5434-8234530 (hydro-unit)
54347025592 (control unit)
54347025598 (improved hoses manufactured at Top Hydraulics)
http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/56-bmw-e46
www.tophydraulicsinc.com

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Old 06-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #7
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bashn View Post
The split line is where lines 31 and 34 go up on the hinge which has a plastic cover secured with a few torx screws.

It looks like the line has been rubbing over a long period of time and has eventually split.
I'll check this out when I have time. These lines seem to have lots of slack, so maybe the cover just needs some padding not to rub.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bashn View Post
I have a couple of pics but dont have anywhere to host them... i can email them to you
Sign up for a photobucket account. Or if you have Dropbox, or Google drive, or iCloud there are ways to share files too.

Or you can just attach files to your posts. That's why I got you to start a thread, cause I don't think you can attach files to PMs.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:23 AM   #8
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Bash,
You are in good hands with Taylor and Klaus. I just got all six of my rebuilt cylinders back from Klaus on Saturday and I am just putting the last two (bow tension) cylinders back in tonight and I'm done. Taylor's extensive photo documented DYI'S are a life saver. Top Hydraulics does top notch work with a super fast turn around and their work is warranteed. Thanks for the hockey puck tip Taylor!
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:40 AM   #9
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Re: M3 Convertible roof hydraulic line leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrax View Post
Bash,
You are in good hands with Taylor and Klaus. I just got all six of my rebuilt cylinders back from Klaus on Saturday and I am just putting the last two (bow tension) cylinders back in tonight and I'm done. Taylor's extensive photo documented DYI'S are a life saver. Top Hydraulics does top notch work with a super fast turn around and their work is warranteed. Thanks for the hockey puck tip Taylor!
Cool! Glad to hear you were able to tackle this yourself! Love that my Canadian engineering trick is being used by others!

Did you check out line 23 and/or 24? I was thinking of writing a proactive post to prevent line 23/24 and 31/34 from splitting once I get more info.

- Line 23/24 could have some slack pulled from the passenger side to the drivers side.
- I inspected line 31/34 at the cover on the frame through the entire movement of the top and don't see how the line would split. I'm hoping Bashn will post some pics so we can figure out why line 31/34 splits and devise a proactive solution.

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Old 06-05-2013, 05:29 AM   #10
Retrax
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Luckily all my lines look good so far. I am 95 percent done with the reinstall. I poured out all my old fluid which was just under 250ml. Not to thread jack but a couple questions about refilling the system...

How much fluid did you put back in? I think the total capacity is around 250ml but I'm not sure.
Do you check the final fluid level after cycling the system with the top up or top down?
I'm just not sure how to proceed with this part. If I should fill the whole reservoir to the top and start to cycle it, or if I should fill it to the top portion of the circular level indicator cycle it a few times and then keep adding as needed.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:19 AM   #11
Bashn
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Hi

I have attached the pictures of where the line has split

My plastic cover has also been prised open, so looks like something the lines
must have been pushing against it.

Also found a Torx screw which had been forced out of the back of the pastic
cover

Thanks

Bash
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
taylor192
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Re: M3 Convertible roof hydraulic line leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrax View Post
Luckily all my lines look good so far. I am 95 percent done with the reinstall. I poured out all my old fluid which was just under 250ml. Not to thread jack but a couple questions about refilling the system...

How much fluid did you put back in? I think the total capacity is around 250ml but I'm not sure.
Do you check the final fluid level after cycling the system with the top up or top down?
I'm just not sure how to proceed with this part. If I should fill the whole reservoir to the top and start to cycle it, or if I should fill it to the top portion of the circular level indicator cycle it a few times and then keep adding as needed.
I should definitely add a post to the DIY that explains draining and filling the pump.

I filled mine in steps rather than measure 250ml. The pump should be full when the top is down. I would suggest filling it to the circle, cycling the top closed then open, then checking the fluid level. If the top struggles to close reset it to open and check the fluid level, it'll probably be very low. I cycled the top and checked the level 3-4 times before getting it right.

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:35 AM   #13
taylor192
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Re: M3 Convertible roof hydraulic line leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bashn View Post
Hi

I have attached the pictures of where the line has split

My plastic cover has also been prised open, so looks like something the lines
must have been pushing against it.

Also found a Torx screw which had been forced out of the back of the pastic
cover

Thanks

Bash
Hmmm.... Dave who had a leak on line 31 or 34 had mentioned his protective cover was missing, and yours is not seated correctly. Without the cover installed correctly the lines will definitely get pinched. Sucks dude, sorry a missing screw led to this.

The proactive maintenance should be to check this cover and it's screws, and maybe add some thread locker to the screws.

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:40 AM   #14
Bashn
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Ok started now, excellant guide, thanks all, specially Taylor

I have done the 1st phase which is disconnect the lines from the valve block

Will attempt the removal of cylinders next

Please see pictures
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:16 AM   #15
Bashn
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Upon further investigation it looks like when the torx screw came out the plastic cover has prised open and has been catching the round silver rivet (see picture with finger pointing)... the rivet looks scraped

This rivet comes all the way out, that looks wrong, can someone please
check if this is supposed to be secured from the other end as i can see a hole

Check third pic, rivet all the way out
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:33 AM   #16
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Good start! and good catch!

The protective cover looks damaged where the screw should be. I wonder if the rubbing broke the screw off... I hope you don't have to drill that out! If you do have to drill it out, and a drill won't fit, a tiewrap will probably work to hold down the cover. There should be enough clearance.

That "rivet" is a "pin" for the joint at that location. If that pin falls out you're in for a world of hurt to get it reassembled, so I suggest stopping there and reinstall it properly first. To reinstall you just need to hammer it back through. You might need a hand to pry up the frame slightly to get the pin to line up with the hole on the other side... hopefully its not out of alignment much, if at all.

The other side of that pin is hidden under the hardtop mounting brackets so I don't have any photos of what it looks like on the other side. I suspect there should be a C-clip on the other end of the pin to prevent it from falling out, like every other pin at the joints on the top. I wonder how yours fell off... maybe I'll add a quick check of all the C-clips as proactive maintenance.

Here's a photo where I circled how the pin should be installed. I'll see if I can get a photo of the otherside at lunch today, or tonight before I leave for the weekend. Unfortunately after tonight I may not respond as quickly, going to the F1 race in Montreal, back Tues.


Last edited by taylor192; 06-05-2013 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #17
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Re: M3 Convertible roof hydraulic line leaking

The other end of the pin doesn't have anything holding it in on either side of my car. Can someone else confirm this... seems strange nothing keeps this pin from backing out.

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Old 06-06-2013, 11:38 PM   #18
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It looks like that rivet you guys are talking about is press fit into the assembly. I tried to photograph my car in the same orientation to show what it should look like. I took a close look at the rear of the rivet on both sides of my car. There is no C clip on the rear.

I took a pic of it but it is pretty dark back there and my camera had a hard time trying to focus.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:37 AM   #19
Bashn
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I managed to source a whole hood of a later spec car in perfect working order from ebay.

The hood and lines all in excellant condition with no signs of leaks. I took the bow cylinders off and have put them on my car and all looks good.

Currently hood only goes halfway as fluid is low... but looks good

Tried getting fluid from dealers but none available til Tuesday

Does anyone know if Hydraulic jack oil is the same?
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:19 PM   #20
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It's not. I have been told bmw uses a specific fluid. Klaus from top hydraulics has a link on his site for the same fluid from a different source which is much less expensive. I had already bought mine. You should not use any other fluid or mix other fluids. The bmw fluid comes in a 250ml bottle. When I emptied all the old stuff to replace it I needed two bottles. I probably used about 300 ml of fluid.
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