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

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Old 06-01-2017, 08:28 AM   #1
marty99
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e46 convertible fabric 'C' pillar repair

This is my first post, but I've owned / bought / sold several BMW's since the 1990's. Stumbled on an ad for an '01 330ci convertible with 64k by the original owner. I don't think they had any idea what they were selling. It's now my wife's car, and I frequently walk into the driveway at night to confirm I'm not dreaming. The photos of the car look like a factory photo shoot for a new car with 7 miles on the clock. Not a scratch, new tires, original paint, zero defects, except the fabric at the back of the convertible, inside the car (ie. plastic C pillars). I've ordered the plastic pillars and can only find a single youtube video showing the procedure to string the new parts to the mechanism. Is there any place I can find clear, correct instructions to do this work? Thanks!
Marty from Muggy Hot South Florida.
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Last edited by marty99; 06-01-2017 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:21 PM   #2
All2kool
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Search for 'bat wing replacement'. I think that may be what you are wanting.

I'll ask - what did you have to pay for that beauty?

Last edited by All2kool; 06-01-2017 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:16 PM   #3
Yo Adrian
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Congrats Marty, and yes it seems this year has been the hottest and muggiest it has ever been here in south florida. All2kool is correct on the search you have to do, i myself just started a repair on one side that was messed up and doing the search for BATWINGS help immensely.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:37 PM   #4
BobSC
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Marty,

Just did this on my 2001 vert and struggled to find one source that has the stringing diagram. In the end, I figured it out using the pics I'm attaching for you. I hope these are helpful to you.

One note....on the pic with the spring shown, it took me awhile to figure out that pic was taken of a car with the top up and the top material off the car. However, the spring location is accessible with the top about 1/2 way up.

Good luck and congratulations on your car purchase.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:18 PM   #5
marty99
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Thanks for the info, need one more thing ...

What should I use to attached the new plastic C pillar to the fabric? My first thought is contact cement, but I'd like to know for sure.
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by marty99 View Post
What should I use to attached the new plastic C pillar to the fabric? My first thought is contact cement, but I'd like to know for sure.
I used superglue. Fast and easy and holds great.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:38 PM   #7
Yo Adrian
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Super glue? on fabric i thought it would bleed thru. I am personally going the fabric spray adhesive route due to the thin material on the liner but its been raining here in south florida so I'm delayed. I am glad it worked out for you bob, its just superglue scares the crap out of me like CA glue on plastic. The only thing i remember about SC is the sand fleas in Parris Island ,Still hot up there Bob? DOWN HERE ITS AN OVEN!
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:57 PM   #8
marty99
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Yo Adrian, can you tell me the brand of spray adhesive? Thanks, Marty. ps. I'm in East central Palm Beach County, where are you?
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Old 06-03-2017, 08:36 PM   #9
Yo Adrian
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Hay Marty I'm in Miami. There are two types this one and trim adhesive, i will be using the one pictured below, but any trim adhesive you use should work. I can only suggest that you pre spray on an object to learn the spray pattern before using it on the actual material and make sure you cover everything in the area for overspray. Have you ever used this stuff before?
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:04 AM   #10
marty99
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Adrian, I'm strong on electronics, avionics, etc, but not body work. How similar is it to contact cement ie. one chance or it's permanently messed up?
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:18 AM   #11
Yo Adrian
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It basically the same just in a spray the issue with contact cement is you end up putting to much and it forms globes. The answer is yes and no think about like contact cement it works the same, wrong placement and you could rip the fabric while pulling to realign. Listen you should be fine with the contact cement do the top first and work your way out just let it get tacky before joining it. there is no need to rush a little section at a time, just line it up well and clean the surfaces before starting. a small brush should do the trick and a thin layer. Good now i will send you my avionics off my Cessna 140 to rebuild lolol

Last edited by Yo Adrian; 06-04-2017 at 09:25 AM. Reason: ADDED.
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Old 06-04-2017, 07:32 PM   #12
marty99
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You have a 140? No way!
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:09 PM   #13
Yo Adrian
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Marty i have 2 one for parts and the other is taken apart to rebuild. I am hoping to finish this gift car and A 356 SPEEDSTER kit car this year and few things around the house and start working on it next year January. Well did you do your c pillars yet? I'm doing mine tomorrow if weather permits.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:37 AM   #14
marty99
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Adrian, I wanted to get these on this week-end but had our Grand Daughter until Sunday. Took the wife out for a date, went home, cleaned up, passed out. My wife has the BMW at work all week, so it's on for next Saturday. Do me a favor, and take pics / notes as you go, if you can.

Attached are a few photos of her Lexus SC430, which we just sold.

Thanks so much!
Marty
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:00 PM   #15
Yo Adrian
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Well don't feel bad Marty i took my mother out to brunch, lol. Very nice ride, seems she can't be without a rag top. I did you two favors one i mounted mine using contact cement so you can see it can be done and second i took a lot of pictures for you. So here we go.....
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:18 PM   #16
Yo Adrian
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One side of my unit did not have one, so i started with that one you will notice i covered everything in the vicinity just in case. The headliner still had old glue on it so i used a single edge razor as a scraper just to remove some of the old stuff remember its a scraper not a cutter, do it very lightly and just to remove some of it you don't need to leave it perfect.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:06 PM   #17
BobSC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yo Adrian View Post
Super glue? on fabric i thought it would bleed thru. I am personally going the fabric spray adhesive route due to the thin material on the liner but its been raining here in south florida so I'm delayed. I am glad it worked out for you bob, its just superglue scares the crap out of me like CA glue on plastic. The only thing i remember about SC is the sand fleas in Parris Island ,Still hot up there Bob? DOWN HERE ITS AN OVEN!
Fair point on the superglue.....but remember you are gluing on the back side of the batwing that isn't visible. I went out and looked just to make sure, but there was no bleed through from using it.

It gets hot up here (as you know), but not like South Florida. I'm about 3 hours north of Parris Island, up by the North Carolina border. The summer is hot, but spring and fall are very nice and winter is cold....but not extreme. It is actually a great place to live (Myrtle Beach).

I moved up from Lake Worth and grew up in Orlando, so I know EXACTLY what you are talking about with Florida heat. I don't miss that at all.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:15 PM   #18
Yo Adrian
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I don't want you to get alarmed if you see me using pictures from one side or the other its that some pictures came out better then others but the process is the same.
The next thing i did was to wipe both sides with an alcohol wipe to just get any loose stuff or finger residue off..
Here is the tuff part, first make sure you got lefty and righty correct, once you know which side is which then your ready to start...
First i want you to do a dry run that means no glue slide it in and look how it fits? where the cords run thru and how the material sits on it. theres an edge mark on the new wing where the fabric wraps around and goes to that mark, find it. look at the pictures and compare get clear how they go on before you drop any glue. Once you have know doubt on how they mount up then begin.

DO NOTpeel the tape of the new unit yet. Your first going to take the small brush and spread a little cement inside the upper portion of the liner and the upper portion of the new wing. Then wait one to two min then slide it in, try to get it in there as fast and correct as possible and then fish the top cord thru. The pictures should help. The top cord hole bracket should help you line everything up. pull the material to the bottom and make sure that everything is lining up. Thats why i had you not pull the tape or put glue on the lower portions. double check the outside of the liner that it looks flat on the new wing.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:23 PM   #19
Yo Adrian
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Bob i wish i was up there where your at "Normal living with normal people" This Miami has turned into a mad house. The whole family wants out but where? I Remember we had leave and went to the beach at Myrtle, i almost went awol because it was so nice lolol.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:40 PM   #20
Yo Adrian
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Its a cake walk from here, flip the unit over. Add a little glue wait 5 min's pull back the tape and go flatting it out so the material is smoooooth. Then work on the edges.
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