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Thread: Need to manually open convertible top!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Crestview,Florida Panhndl
    Posts
    76
    My Cars
    E60 535i M-Sport

    Need to manually open convertible top!

    Ok, replaced my shocks/springs. I removed the top storage box/luggage expanded thing, to get a shock top "reinforcement plate" in on the drivers side. Anyway, long story short, when I put everything back together, I forgot to reconnect the wire that goes from the box to the top; it tells the top whether the storage box is open or closed. Mine thinks it's collapsed, even though it's open/expanded and ready to receive the top. So my top won't open.

    I used the owners manual and Bentleys to try to get instructions on getting the top open manually. I removed the rear seat and ski pass pad. Used the provided Allen/Hex wrench in the front windshield lock, and successfully released the front locks. I then used the Allen wrench in the box under the back seat: pushed the button, turned the Allen wrench both clockwise and counter-clockwise (many, many rotations). I do hear something moving but nothing is opening! I even had a friend try to lift the top while I was turning it and nothing happened. I need to get that back "flap", or storage cover, up so that I can reconnect the wire.

    HELP!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    2010 E60 535i N54 {sleeper}
    M-Sport, Alpine White w/Natural Brown Leather
    FBO+WMI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Crestview,Florida Panhndl
    Posts
    76
    My Cars
    E60 535i M-Sport
    It's fixed!
    And the solution, actually, is not covered anywhere in print.

    What's not mentioned in Bentleys or the BMW manual:

    Once you retrieve the Allen wrench from under the rear seat, you move up to the windshield area and use it there. Pry off the plastic hole cover; try it from both front and back, one will make it come out easy, the other will potentially break it. Insert the allen wrench into the lock and turn the wrench as depicted to release the top from the windshield. Here's the big trick...DO NOT STOP TURNING THE WRENCH ONCE THE WINDSHIELD AND TOP SEPARATE. Keep turning! And turning, and turning, and turning. Turn until it becomes very hard to turn, then stop...don't overdo it. Without doing this step, you'll never get the top open.

    Then you can fold the top up like you would expect to do. The rear top cover, the flap, remains locked until you push down on that button and turn the wrench halfway, that's what releases those locks.

    You are home free now.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    2010 E60 535i N54 {sleeper}
    M-Sport, Alpine White w/Natural Brown Leather
    FBO+WMI

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    SA TX
    Posts
    1,837
    My Cars
    E46 M3
    sub'd
    M driver, RSV4 Rider, Powerstroke roller

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairdale, ND
    Posts
    860
    My Cars
    2004 325xi
    so if your problem is the micro switch for the rear luggage shelf, then why do you need to put hte top down? why not fix the micro switch problem and let the car put the top down like it should?

    not trying to be a di$k but just wondering.
    Level 1 Certified BMW tech.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Mount Crawford, VA
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    2001 BMW 330Ci

    Where is that dang switch?

    My top stopped working a couple months ago and I have been round and round on this one. Is the micro switch in the trunk INSIDE the trunk? Where exactly is it? Anyone got a picture? Just tried replacing the console switch which is what the diagnostic at the BMW dealer said it was (saying the computer is reading that both up and down are being pressed at the same time, causing the red light to flash) to the tune of $130 and it didn't change a thing (red light still flashes). If anyone can help here it would be GREAT!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    charlotte nc
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    2001 bmw m3
    I have the same problem but havent been able to find a solution anywhere... the red light flashes and the diagnostic say that the car thinks the storage compartment is open

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Southlake, TX
    Posts
    108
    My Cars
    330Ci
    It is this stuff that makes me think I need to get rid of my car before it gets too old.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Frisco, TX
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    2000 M5, 2002 M3 Vert

    Manually Deploying an E-46 Convertible Roof

    We actually got this to work last night after about an hour's worth of effort. Some notes. 1) The button didn't work to release it. Several of us tried with much pressure, did not work. 2) The location of the hole for the allen wrench was somewhat a mystery, but it is actually in the GAP between the mechanism with the button and allen wrench and the seat. It is not actually where the button is. 3) We then made a BIG mistake, which will be costly. When you bring the top out of the enclosure, make sure you bring the back window out first and tuck the "boot" (the part which covers the top when open) under the Window. We extended the top to the front and locked it in place on the front windshield without putting the boot back down. Then we unlocked it on the front windshield, but when we tried to lift the back window up to tuck the boot in, it would not go because the front part of the top was jammed. One of us was able to "pop" the front part of the top back up, but the other person actually "bent" the top frame. We finally were able to get the boot under the back window, but then the top frame was bent and we had trouble connecting the top to the windshield. We finally got it done, but the frame is correct on one side, and bent on the other and it leaves the frame below the top of the window slightly, and the window doesn't tuck in tight.

    Long story short. We are looking for someone who is an expert in E-46 M3 convertible tops in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, or at least in Texas. The fabric is brand new, but the motor stopped working and now the frame is bent. Any idea on what this is going to cost to fix?
    Last edited by 4BimmerFamily; 08-24-2014 at 11:06 AM. Reason: now/new

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairdale, ND
    Posts
    860
    My Cars
    2004 325xi
    if you bent the frame you bent the frame there is really not much other than try to bend it back and hope for the best. there are no individual parts available for the frame if you bent one. when you got the frame to meet the windshield with the rear glass down you caused the frame to manually lock in place. All you needed to do was at the same time as you push up on the front you needed to lift up under the rear glass that would allow the frame to unlock but sounds like you forced it and bent it instead. Those are pretty easy tops to manually close so I am not sure why you had som much troubles.

    well good luck and hope your wallet can support the damage.
    Level 1 Certified BMW tech.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Hilton Head, SC
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    2005 BMW 325ci vert

    Very issue

    Quote Originally Posted by 90turbo1 View Post
    so if your problem is the micro switch for the rear luggage shelf, then why do you need to put hte top down? why not fix the micro switch problem and let the car put the top down like it should?

    not trying to be a di$k but just wondering.
    How do you replace the micro switch?

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