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

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Old 05-18-2014, 07:09 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Finland
Posts: 16
My Ride: 330Ci Cabrio
Convertible Top troubleshooting problems escalating

This is a new thread continuing discussion that was started at thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=854059 about my convertible top operation malfunctions.

So here is the history:

When I tried to open my top for the first time this spring it stopped halfway. I was able to close it back. And thanks to djsilver’s instructions at thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=854059 and the convertible top info document prived at the same thread I learned to manually operate the top and was able to start searching the root cause for my top’s malfunctioning.

I read error codes with BMW scanner and for CVM module it showed errors:
Error Code Number 7E (126) and Error Code 7C (124) Unknown position of soft top.
From these 7E doesn’t have any explanation and it doesn’t get erased when erasing error codes with the bmw scanner.

When I was able to manually lower the top I was able to determine what are the stages of lowering and raising sequences that my top stops at.

For Top Lowering Sequence it was following bolded stage that my sequence stopped at:

• CVM activates the top lock motor and the top is unlocked and raised past the tension point
• At the same time, the CVM signals the GM to lower the windows (if closed) for approximately 1.5 seconds.
• Top lock motor is switched OFF - signal from cowl released hall sensor (S145).
• CVM activates hydraulic pump and switches the tension bow solenoid (V4) to raise the tension bow.
• Tension bow is raised to its vertical position - signal from tensioning bow angle hall sensor.
• CVM signals GM to unlock storage compartment cover.
• Storage compartment cover unlocked - signal from motor hall sensor (S700) - storage cover lock motor is switched off.
• CVM receives status of cover lock from GM over K-bus - switches storage cover solenoid(V1).
• Storage cover raised to its open position - signal from cover hall sensor (S188).
• CVM switches to the lowering solenoid for the tension bow (V3) - top starts lowering into storage compartment.
• CVM switches the main pillar solenoid (v2) - top is fully lowered into storage compartment.
***65532;• CVM switches solenoid for top cover (V1) - cover is lowered - signal from storage cover lock hall sensors (S161 and S158).
• CVM signals GM to lock storage compartment cover.
• GM activates cover lock motor - cover is pulled closed by lock assemblies.
• GM switches off lock motor - signal from motor hall sensor (S700).
• CVM switches off hydraulics and LED.

For Top Raising Sequence it was following bolded stage that my sequence stopped at:

• Windows are lowered (if closed) - CVM to GM
• Storage compartment cover is unlocked - CVM to GM
• Storage cover is opened
• Top is raised out of storage compartment
• Tension bow is raised
• Storage cover is closed
• Storage cover is locked - CVM to GM
• Tension bow is lowered
• Top is lowered and locked to cowl - Top locked, is confirmed by S142 and Tensioning
bow angle sensor (Tensioning bow horizontal)
• Windows are closed - if switch is held

After this I have done the next checks for the system.

1) Measuring continuity for the main wire harness, detached the connector from CVM II module. See thread XXX for instructions

- Continuity was ok. (I was first wondering the continuity of wire pairs 13&14 and 4&5 but later when I measured those from my friend’s functioning
- I was not able to check the other wires continuity since I couldn’t open diagrams for those from the links provided at thread xxx.

2) Checked the hydraulic fluid level according to instructions on document XXX.

- fluid level was over high limit. I removed extra fluid but that didn’t help anything.

Somewhere at this phase of my investigations the top started acting up even more and at the Top Raising sequence it stopped already at:
• Storage compartment cover is unlocked - CVM to GM
So it opened the locks but didn’t continue to opening the storage compartment cover. When the storage compartment cover was manually raised about an inch the system started raising it and continued the top raising sequence until
• Tension bow is raised
After which it didn’t continue closing the storage compartment cover.
Soon after this even the unlocking of the storage compartment lid didn’t work and I realized I really was in for several problems.

3) I check the bowden cables for the storage compartment locks according to thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=789954&page=2

- cables were attached correctly and tightening them didn’t help either so I left them with the tensioning they were at.

4) From my friend’s similar convertible I was able to switch CVM II and GM5 modules to my car and see if those would have been the problem.

- changing CVM II module didn’t help and the error code 7E remained
- changing GM5 module didn’t help and the error code 7E remained

And now my top has gone even more disfunctional. I have it closed and when trying to lower it the system won’t even unlock/unlatch the top lock over the windshield. If I manually open the locks then I can get the front of the top raise a bit. Still it seems to be stuck even after waiting for the hydraulic pressure go down I am not able to start lowering the top like I was able earlier.
Doing something wrong? Djsilver said he had some instructions for this.

Still wondering where to continue troubleshooting the root cause/causes for these problems?
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:26 PM   #2
Madison E46 Ragtop
Registered User
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Madison CT
Posts: 4
My Ride: 325 CI Convertible
2002 E46 Convertible Problem ~ Try this 1st

Not sure how to link you to my other post (attached below) Please consider this easy fix.... $150 motor is probably all you need, but I am hoping that someone will point me towards a $20 gear instead...

This my 1st post.... hope we can all fix this problem once and for all.... I believe that many of you actually have the same problem, but are missing the root cause. After months of trying to fix this problem, I ask that you confirm that I am correct. And, if I am correct, please help me (and you) save $150 by finding a source for a replacement white plastic gear inside the Folding Flap Drive Motor.

If everyone takes the "Folding Top Flap Drive" (motor ~ Bosch AHC RealOEM.com part number 67618380036) apart, 1st you will need to remove a few torx screws and carefully (I broke mine) pry, the hinges off of the motor assembly. Once this motor is opened, you will notice that the square metal post that fits into the white plastic gear has been stripped out. The compression fix seems to work temporarily as they are forcing the metal square drive to bite into the plastic. But, the real and, I believe only fix is to replace the stripped out white plastic gear.

I will try to figure out how to attach pictures, but in the mean time, can anyone help me find a source for this internal gear?

Yeah, I know I can spend $150 and be enjoying Memorial day with my top down, but I am saving money to fix my leather seats that are ripped out and my tires that seem to wear out after each trip around the block.

A big thanks to anyone who can resolve this issue....
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:41 AM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Finland
Posts: 16
My Ride: 330Ci Cabrio
OK. Took the car finally to service that said they have experience with these e46 tops. They used 9.5 hours fro troubleshooting and 1.5h for repairs. The root cause was that some sensor had gone loose and misaligned. So no parts were needed. I didn't get the info what was the sensor just was satisfied once I managed to negotiate reasonable price for the repairs.

I still have one more problem with the top. It is the trunk storage microswtich connector that comes loose every now and then. And now it occurs almost every other time trying to use the top. But I'll try to search if there is already a topic for this...
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