E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Convertible

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-14-2015, 10:56 AM   #1
dennyboy88
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
My Ride: 323 E46 Convertible
Soft top problems going up and down

Hallo Bimmer fans First I want to say thanks to all the people that take the time to help others and post al the thinks.

I am Dennis and live in the Netherlands where it is starting to get sunny, so my top needs to work.

I made two youtube films where thinks get clear.





I hope you can help me please....
dennyboy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-14-2015, 06:23 PM   #2
taylor192
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 1,920
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
Your top is operating much slower than it should, even before operation stalls. Thus either:
- your fluid is low (cause you have a leak somewhere); or
- your pump needs replacement/rebuilding.

The hydraulic sticky outlines how to access the pump and check the level.

I would avoid operating the top until you verify the issue. You risk burning out your pump if it is just a leak. You can manually lower the top to check the fluid level.
__________________

Last edited by taylor192; 03-14-2015 at 06:24 PM.
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2015, 07:05 AM   #3
dennyboy88
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
My Ride: 323 E46 Convertible
Hi Taylor, thank you for your fast response.
I am going to check the fluid.

And what is the hydraulic sticky ? Is that the first post in the convertible forum of you?
dennyboy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2015, 10:47 AM   #4
taylor192
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 1,920
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
Hi Taylor, thank you for your fast response.
I am going to check the fluid.

And what is the hydraulic sticky ? Is that the first post in the convertible forum of you?
Correct. The post "sticks" to the top of the forum so it is easy to find.
__________________
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 02:19 AM   #5
dennyboy88
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
My Ride: 323 E46 Convertible
Ok that figures

I am going to study that.
dennyboy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2015, 12:17 PM   #6
dennyboy88
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
My Ride: 323 E46 Convertible
Taylor, I checked the fluid and the level is ok.
So I both a used hydro unit from a working car (they told me)

So I have to let my top town unlock the wires put some thing underneath for the dripping, disconnect and replace the hydro unit and check the level of the fluid?

Is it best to fill up the reservoir before mounting it of best after?

Are there things I Forgot?

Can I close the top?
dennyboy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2015, 04:37 PM   #7
taylor192
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 1,920
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
Taylor, I checked the fluid and the level is ok.
So I both a used hydro unit from a working car (they told me)
Fingers crossed then. Do you know anyone local with an e46 convertible? swapping pumps is easy, and would verify if your pump is bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
So I have to let my top town unlock the wires put some thing underneath for the dripping, disconnect and replace the hydro unit and check the level of the fluid?
Yep.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
Is it best to fill up the reservoir before mounting it of best after?
Doesn't matter. It is much easier with the pump on its side.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
Are there things I Forgot?
Cycle (close/open) the top a few times then check the fluid again. Top up if necessary. Do this over a few hours or days, cycling the top multiple times in a row causes the pump to overheat, which leads to premature failure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
Can I close the top?
With the pump disconnected? sure, yet take care to wrap the ends of the lines so dirt/dust are not sucked in. Also be prepared for more than just a drip from the lines as moving the top will cause the hydraulic cylinders to pump fluid around.
__________________
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2015, 02:53 PM   #8
TopHydraulicsInc.com
Supporting Vendor
 
TopHydraulicsInc.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florence on the beautiful Oregon Coast
Posts: 67
My Ride: German verts
Looking forward to dennyboy88's update. It is most likely the pump ("hydro unit" p/n 54348234530) - we get them in on a daily basis now. These pumps are more complicated inside than most people would think. There are several ways that the pumps can lose output pressure, which can be related to faulty pistons, rotor, seals, interior valves, and/or electric motor. Top Hydraulics truly upgrades these pumps - they will ship back to you performing better than brand new ones. We don't just treat the symptoms on these pumps, but upgrade them systematically.

Many (if not most) E46 hydro units will fail during the life span of your convertible. That's the way it goes - part of the cost of owning a fancy convertible.

Caution about buying used pumps: most used ones for sale are actually bad, and are for sale because someone already replaced theirs with a new one. If you cannot resist the urge of buying a used pump instead of getting yours rebuilt and upgraded, make sure to get a pump that came out of a wrecked car. It will still fail sooner or later, but at least you bought yourself some time.

Here is what we write on our website regarding the pump rebuild http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/b...lic-pump.html:
"The most common failure symptom on used BMW E46 hydro units is a gradual loss of pressure and power. There are various possible reasons for gradual power loss inside the pump/hydro units, ranging from degrading electric motors through pump pistons wearing out and check valves bypassing, to pressure regulators failing. Top Hydraulics will check that all these components meet or exceed factory specs and exchange or upgrade them if necessary. Bench testing includes all valve functions, pressure test, flow test, extended load test, and test for leaks, to make sure that factory specs are exceeded before the pump ships back. Beware when purchasing used pumps that those may actually be units that are still pumping, but are not able to complete the convertible top's opening or closing cycle without manual assistance.

(Some of these pumps have external leaks (you may find the foam casing soaked in hydraulic fluid). The most common source for external leaks on these pumps are the port seals. Port seals are tiny seals of special shape that are sealing the hydraulic lines when they are plugged into the pump. The port seals are behind brass bushings. These bushings are pressed into the pump housing, and they are made to 1/100 mm precision. Any DIY repair attempt would destroy the bushings. Top Hydraulics replaces the original port seals with an improved version made of Viton, which has practically unlimited shelf life. Before assuming that the pump is leaking externally, check the hydraulic lines going into the pump to make sure they are dry.)

The fill plug is a metric Allen bolt. It is the one closest to the level marker on the reservoir. Make sure to have a fitting Allen wrench, so that you do not strip the inside hex of the plug. Please drain the fluid through the drain plug before shipping the pump to us.

You can save some money by using Mercedes fluid 0009899103(10) or FeBi 02615 - they are fully compatible with your BMW 3-Series cabriolet hydraulics."
In Europe, use Aral Vitamol.

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com

__________________
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

TopHydraulicsInc.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2015, 04:44 AM   #9
dennyboy88
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
My Ride: 323 E46 Convertible
Thanks for your reactions I got the second hand hydro unit and I am gone build it in this weekend.

Keep you posted.
dennyboy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2015, 08:42 PM   #10
pchrist
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Bellevue, Iowa
Posts: 2
My Ride: 04' 325Ci
I have a similar issue with my top on my new to me 04 325Ci. It goes slow we literally just picked it up tonight. Feel i got a fair deal on it! How or where are the instructions for checking the fluid level? Want to look and see if there is any fluid leaks in anything as well as it seems that could be an issue as well. Any advice you guys have on this would be greatly appreciated. Dont' mean to hijack the thread but similar issue and going to follow so I can see what to try.
pchrist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2015, 12:58 PM   #11
TopHydraulicsInc.com
Supporting Vendor
 
TopHydraulicsInc.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florence on the beautiful Oregon Coast
Posts: 67
My Ride: German verts
Quote:
Originally Posted by pchrist View Post
I have a similar issue with my top on my new to me 04 325Ci. It goes slow we literally just picked it up tonight. Feel i got a fair deal on it! How or where are the instructions for checking the fluid level? Want to look and see if there is any fluid leaks in anything as well as it seems that could be an issue as well. Any advice you guys have on this would be greatly appreciated. Dont' mean to hijack the thread but similar issue and going to follow so I can see what to try.
pchrist, welcome to the forum!

Most likely, you either have a hydraulic fluid leak somewhere (thus leading to too low a fluid level in the pump), or the pump is getting weak.

The pump (also known as hydro unit p/n 8 234 530 or 54347025595 or HB70346-002) is located behind the left rear wheel. It is encased in foam rubber for noise reduction. To check the fluid level, remove the pump from its chassis mount (that's not difficult - you leave the hydraulic lines attached), remove the foam cover, and observe the fluid level. There is a circle near the top of the reservoir. With the top retracted and the pump held vertically, the fluid level is supposed to be within that circle. It could be just a little lower with the top up. Here is more detail, as posted by gbakerkingston: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...71&d=131759110

If your fluid level is low, then you need to find the leak and take care of it. If the fluid level is okay, then you very likely have a failing pump. Don't buy a new pump - send yours to Top Hydraulics for rebuild & upgrade: http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/b...ulic-pump.html

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
__________________
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

TopHydraulicsInc.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2015, 01:02 PM   #12
pchrist
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Bellevue, Iowa
Posts: 2
My Ride: 04' 325Ci
Ty tophydrolics I am assuming a leak I am low on fluid I just purchased car so I need to add fluid to see where leak is.Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1428688907.163446.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	266.0 KB
ID:	596744
pchrist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2015, 03:43 PM   #13
dennyboy88
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
My Ride: 323 E46 Convertible
Taylor I want to thank you very very much!!! And also to Klaus and the rest of the forum.
I did what you said an bought a used hydro unit from Germany for 100 an I put it in yesterday.
I was in shock when I saw the connection was different but I could use my old cable.
Then I saw that there was one round cylinder thing was missing. The new one has 1 and mine had 2.
What is does this do??

But any how I tried if it would work, and it did IT DID!

I am so happy :-) an can not thank you guys enough.

Pchrist good luck with you issue check this form and do what they tell you then you can fix it.

Greetings from the Netherlands
dennyboy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2015, 04:34 PM   #14
TopHydraulicsInc.com
Supporting Vendor
 
TopHydraulicsInc.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florence on the beautiful Oregon Coast
Posts: 67
My Ride: German verts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
I was in shock when I saw the connection was different but I could use my old cable.
Then I saw that there was one round cylinder thing was missing. The new one has 1 and mine had 2.
What is does this do??
The second solenoid was a safety measure in early models, which was supposed to keep the top from slamming down. The conversion from two valves on the original pump to one valve on the replacement, like in your case, is okay if you use your original wiring harness. It gets more difficult if one buys an early model dual solenoid pump and tries to make it work on a newer model E46, because there is no signal in newer models that would activate the second solenoid...

I'm glad this worked out for you - please do not expect the used replacement pump to last very long.

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
__________________
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

TopHydraulicsInc.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2015, 08:22 AM   #15
dennyboy88
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 9
My Ride: 323 E46 Convertible
Klaus thanks for your information I am glad that the new one is ok for my model.

I am going to sell mine an am thinking on buying the E92 or E93 how is the hydronic system on the new Cabrio E93????
dennyboy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2015, 11:57 AM   #16
taylor192
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 1,920
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
You're welcome!

A suggestion: You could send your old pump to Top Hydraulics to be rebuilt, then reinstall it and sell the used pump you bought. Klaus is correct that a used pump may not last long, then you'll be back to where you started.

Although if you're not going to keep the car long, so be it!

Klaus, I am interested in more info on the e92 convertible system too. Having seen one in action they look like it might be easier to work on.
__________________
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2015, 07:22 PM   #17
TopHydraulicsInc.com
Supporting Vendor
 
TopHydraulicsInc.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florence on the beautiful Oregon Coast
Posts: 67
My Ride: German verts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennyboy88 View Post
I am going to sell mine an am thinking on buying the E92 or E93 how is the hydronic system on the new Cabrio E93????
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Klaus, I am interested in more info on the e92 convertible system too. Having seen one in action they look like it might be easier to work on.
I haven't done removal and re-installation of pump and cylinders on an E92 myself yet. The shops that are sending us E92 parts are not complaining as much about it as on the E46, but it's typically the more qualified shops who get to work on newer cars.

The hydraulic cylinders themselves are pretty good, the hoses are of slightly lower quality than in the E46 (but that's okay as long as they have been installed correctly), and the pump should be less prone to failure than on the E46.

Every late model convertible has a hydraulic system if the top is not a manual one. Having to replace the hydraulic cylinders and the pump at some point is part of the cost of ownership for a fancy convertible.

Be glad you don't have a Bentley Azure or a Rolls-Royce Corniche IV - those have 26 hydraulic hoses and twelve hydraulic cylinders each, and the OEM hoses are accidentally biodegradable...

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
__________________
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

TopHydraulicsInc.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use