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

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Old 06-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
MikeS123
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Replacing wiring harness. Does top need to be removed?

I took my car last night to a friend who is a mechanic at BMW because currently the top is not working.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=990772

He read the fault codes and there were none, but it is showing that the cowl lock sensor is neither locked or unlocked. I had already found one wire broken in the common area where it breaks, but after testing with the ohm meter, he believes I have another broken wire. I had previously checked along the top area, so it must be further down where the issue is. He thinks that the top would need to come out to get to it, and suggested just getting a whole new harness since we are removing the top. Can the harness be replaced without removing the top? He has worked on a lot of e93 verts, but he was not as familiar with the e46's.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
taylor192
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I wouldn't go this route. Are you visually checking the wires at the common area? Wires can break internally so you really need to electrically test them. Expose some wire on either side of the bend and check for continuity:
1. across the bend
2. back to the CVM connector

Hopefully the problem is #1, yet if it is #2 I would just run a new wire instead of replacing the entire harness. The following photo shows another area the harness bends a lot, so a wire be broken here. Expose some wire and check for continuity:
1. to the bend
2. back to the CVM connector

I bet it'll be #1. If it is. Cut the wire, solder a new wire to it, go to the bend and pull the new wire through. You'll save yourself a ton of hassle doing it this way.



I doubt the harness can be removed without removing the entire top. Here's some pics of the valve block to show how the wiring routes, this is with the top removed. I have no idea how you'd route the harness around the valve block without removing it. The rest could (and should) be done with the top installed.


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Old 06-25-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
MikeS123
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Holy hell man!! You are a lifesaver! Had not checked that location yet (actually didn't know about it until I saw it last night), and there it was, another broken wire! Woot, woot, now the top is working again! If you are ever near Nashville, I'll buy you a beer!



Last edited by MikeS123; 06-25-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:26 PM   #4
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeS123 View Post
Holy hell man!! You are a lifesaver! Had not checked that location yet (actually didn't know about it until I saw it last night), and there it was, another broken wire! Woot, woot, now the top is working again! If you are ever near Nashville, I'll buy you a beer!


Glad you found it!

Can you respond to the electrical trouble shooting sticky and include the photo of where the break is so others know to check that location too. Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:07 PM   #5
klixtokw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
I wouldn't go this route. Are you visually checking the wires at the common area? Wires can break internally so you really need to electrically test them. Expose some wire on either side of the bend and check for continuity:
1. across the bend
2. back to the CVM connector

Hopefully the problem is #1, yet if it is #2 I would just run a new wire instead of replacing the entire harness. The following photo shows another area the harness bends a lot, so a wire be broken here. Expose some wire and check for continuity:
1. to the bend
2. back to the CVM connector

I bet it'll be #1. If it is. Cut the wire, solder a new wire to it, go to the bend and pull the new wire through. You'll save yourself a ton of hassle doing it this way.



I doubt the harness can be removed without removing the entire top. Here's some pics of the valve block to show how the wiring routes, this is with the top removed. I have no idea how you'd route the harness around the valve block without removing it. The rest could (and should) be done with the top installed.


When you say "expose some wire" do you mean cut so you can test?
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:11 AM   #6
taylor192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klixtokw View Post
When you say "expose some wire" do you mean cut so you can test?
Use a wire stripper to cut through the sheathing without cutting the wire, then pull the sheathing apart to expose the wire.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:23 PM   #7
klixtokw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Use a wire stripper to cut through the sheathing without cutting the wire, then pull the sheathing apart to expose the wire.
Thank you Taylor. I figured you had to do one or the other just wanted to be sure.

You will be happy to know I followed your great posting and opened the sheath to expose the wires at the 1st bend and found one broken (blue & yellow) and one with a Nick (brown and red) and repaired them both, soldered and insulated with heat shrink. By the way the existing wires are 1.3 mm in OD #18 gauge. I used #18 silicone with 465 strands. EXTREMELY FLEXIBLE. The odd thing is that all the other wires had the mark of where they bend but the damaged one's were not in the bend jut above or below it????

The top now works but is very slow coming out of the storage. I feel I may have a problem with the pump again since I have not lost any fluid. This pump was replaced by an Indy shop less than a year ago by one (according to them) bought from the BMW dealer and after the top started working but had to go many times back because it would stop working and he would add liquid (even though he could find no leak) to the point that when I personally checked what he had done (following your instruction of how to get the pump) I found the container grossly overfilled and had to remove fluid to bring it to the maximum mark on the container.

By the way to check I know you have to have the top down but must you also loosen the nut, take the top off and place the pump standing vertically on its bottom? I know no lines disconnected.
Anyway the pump is basically brand new maybe about 40 openings/closings cycles. I will test the top again today to see how it works because I finished late last night. I wish it had a valve where you could connect a gauge to see the pressure developed to make sure. As Klauss mentions it could also be the Valve Block but I have no idea of how you would tackle or check this. Remember I'm a Neophyte on all this and have done this much thanks to your and others instructions.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:57 PM   #8
ac427
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Does the pump hydraulic circuit need bleed once the pump has been replaced?

I dismantled a complete convertible roof once. Even off the car it was a complete PITA to remove the wiring harnesses and everything else. Repairing in situ is the easiest way by far.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:47 PM   #9
klixtokw
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Drain & refill pump

I have a similar question. If I remove and have the hydra unit serviced when I re-install do I have to drain the cylinder to avoid mixing the remaining fluid with the new? Also when I re-install the hydra should I fill to the mark with unit standing vertical before re-installing even though the top is closed?
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