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

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Old 11-01-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Mount Crawford, VA
Posts: 115
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
So close, PLEASE HELP, top not completely working, crushed wire problem?

So I have now read more about these convertibles than I probably read for my major in college, including ALL the forums I have seen posted here, so I am pretty familiar with the "common" issues, but here is my problem and I would be EXTREMELY grateful to anyone that can help!

First off, I have a crushed wire that I will post a picture of shortly that is in the "typical" place of the first hinge on the driver's side where all the wiring runs. I cut open the nylon jacket and all the wires are in tact, BUT one of the wires is pretty well crushed, and so my question is, even though it's not severed on the outside, could the wire inside be disconnected? If I splice and bypass, is using a larger gauge wire a problem? It's one of the thicker ones, so I don't want to reconnect it with a smaller gauge right?

My syptoms:
Red flashing light of course on the console switch. At the same time the top stopped working, the trunk no longer opened with the key, the button on the trunk, or the button inside by the hood release. Had it diagnosed at indy dealer and he said it was showing that the "open and close circuits are showing that they are simultaneously being pushed". Bought a new console switch for $100 which he said was probably the problem (used from exact same model 2001 330Ci), and as soon as I switched them out the new switch was flashing red too, so no dice there.

At first there was no movement at all. By suggestion of a the BMW indy tech, I pulled the fuses for the radio (stores fault codes?) and disconnected the battery for over an hour (he suggested 30-45 min). Somewhere in the fiddling, my trunk started to work again, and I started to FINALLY get movement!

The problem is that at this point, if I disconnect the battery and reset, I can get the top to go down all by itself but the red flashing light is still on before and after this. Once it's completely down, the button to go up doesn't work at all, BUT, if I disconnect the battery once again, the top will go up, but won't seal at the lid, it just acts like the hydraulics are pushing it but the motor to rotate the hinges to seal into place don't activate. BUT yet again, if I MANUALLY start to turn the latches with a hex key and then I disconnect the battery a third time and then push the top close button, it seals, but then won't go back, until, you guessed it, I disconnect the battery and start all over. And to top off the fun (no pun intended), the trunk is now not working again just as before and disconnecting the battery doesn't seem to change that.

So I guess my questions are:
1) the crushed wire - do you think that could be the source of the problem still even though I have never repaired it to get the initial movement?
2) is there some reset procedure that needs to be done with a computer/scanner that I should take it to the dealer for?
3) am I not pulling ALL the fuses necessary to reset the fault in the system completely, and if so, any idea what they are or would be labeled as?

Thanks again so much if you have any ideas, this has been an extremely frustrating situation, and I have someone looking at the car to buy THIS WEEKEND and I'm sure they won't want it, or will offer a whole lot less if I can't get this working, and I really need the money! I appreciate the help this forum has already been!!!

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Old 11-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 61
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330Ci
A thicker wire will not hurt anything as long as it's not too thick. A guage or two thicker isn't going to hurt. It's low hanging fruit, takes all of 10 minutes to do and you'd know right away whether that was the problem. Can a wire be severed or short out inside the sheathing? Yes. Is that the problem? Splice it and see.

I got nothing to offer on other potential problems or fuses. Best of luck.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Mount Crawford, VA
Posts: 115
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
Good to know, thanks very much Offshore, I just don't like cutting and pasting where it doesn't need it since I am really new to this, but learning fast! And now off to Lowes for a soldering iron!
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:35 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Northeast
Posts: 3,055
My Ride: '08 328xi / '01 530i
I wish my thread was stickied......


Yes, that area is your problem.
fmzip is offline   Reply With Quote

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