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Thread: 1997 z3 convertible top replacement. How makes a good one?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Hebron, IN
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    1997 Z3 Roadster 2.8l

    1997 z3 convertible top replacement. How makes a good one?

    I need to replace my 1997 covert top. I was wondering how makes one as close to original equipment as possible. I would like on that is just as heavy duty as my original. Any help is appreciated.

    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    O.C. Oregon
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    1,056
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    E36-E367-E39-E53
    I assume your referring to who.

    If you want one that's rugged and tough like your OE, buy OE

    My Z has a non OE top and it's fine. Not sure of the manufacture. I can try and figure it out tomorow if your interested. I think it's nice and it gets the job done.
    ​~Mike


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    4,010
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    1997 BMW Z3 1.9L 5MT
    Quote Originally Posted by markbritt View Post
    I need to replace my 1997 covert top. I was wondering how makes one as close to original equipment as possible. I would like on that is just as heavy duty as my original...
    The following aftermarket tops are OE quality, made of the same fabric (Haartzx Twillfast II). They have sewed-in windows, and cost around $500:
    http://www.robbinsautotopco.com/bmw.php
    http://www.gahh.com/store.php?cPath=...ts_family_id=1
    http://www.autotopsdirect.com/1996-2...04-e37-005.htm
    http://www.germanautotops.com/bmw/bm...plastic-window
    http://www.topsonline.com/model/Conv...E37_Body).html

    An OE top from BMW has a zipped-in window, but costs about $1,500.
    Professional installation of any top is in the $700 to $1,000 range.
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    10,182
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    MCoupe, 328is, Z3, TDI
    Can vouch for the Robbins top, it's pretty much perfectly built. Took a day to install though
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe
    - 2014 328d Wagon, self-tuned, 260hp/420ft-lbs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    220
    I agree the Robbens Top was an excellent fit look very nice the only thing you need to watch is to follow the directions and install it when the temperature is 75 or better otherwise it's very difficult to try to stretch it across the bow in the rear.

    Sent from my iPhone using BF.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    7,451
    My Cars
    98 M Roadster
    If you are resigned to paying $700-1000 for install and $500 for an aftermarket top, why not pay $1500 for the proper OE top and install it yourself?

    It's not the most fun job, but it is well documented (if I say so myself ).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    1997 BMW Z3 1.9L 5MT
    Because, assuming that you are able to install the top yourself, and can accept a sewed-in window that cannot be replaced, an aftermarket top costs $1,000 less than an OE BMW top from the dealer. The aftermarket top will have the same quality.
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

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