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Thread: Fully MANUAL top - Tonneau won't open when top is in.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Seoul, South Korea
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    E36 328i Cabrio

    Fully MANUAL top - Tonneau won't open when top is in.

    Hello, Tried searching archives but couldn't find a relevant one. My convertible is fully manual - so there are no motors or emergency latch underneath the back seat. It has a door handle thing behind the driver's seat which opens the tonneau when you pull. The Tonneau opens well when top is up. But when I put my top down and close the tonneau, the passenger side latch won't open. I have to go back and forth multiple times to push down the tonneau and it will open if I'm lucky. Does anyone had the same problem? Grateful for your advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murrieta, CA
    Posts
    9,243
    My Cars
    '94 325iC, '08 328i, E93
    Most of us are in the States, and we did not get the manual top. We might have gotten a few on the most base model of the 4-cyl cars, but I think that the 6's all got a motorized top, and by the time the 328 came here, it would have been the full auto top. But if you are pulling the door handle in the back seat and going back and forth to the passenger side to push the cover down, you should use a helper to pull the handle while you are pushing down, and this should allow the latch to open. I think that you have an issue where the roof itself is pushing on the cover and binding the latch. When I had my E36, I would make sure that the folds in the top were folding flat so that the material did not stack up. I used a beach towel and rolled it into a tube shape and placed it into the crease of the window so that the window did not break along the crease line, then I made sure each of the folds were all straight and square. Once you have all of this, there is an adjustment in the latch that should allow it to not be so tight as to get stuck. I think the top is playing a role in getting stuck because you said that the cover opens well if the roof is up, therefore the top is folding badly when you are putting it down and the result is that one side is higher than the other and the cover latch gets stuck unless you physically push it down. I see that either you need to take care when putting the roof down, or you need to adjust the latching mechanism on the passenger side. You should be able to use a straight edge (board) across the back seat to measure the roof to see if it is level when lowered into the storage compartment. If it is high on the passenger side, then this tells you that the roof is folding poorly.

    POINT OF ORDER
    You should refer to the car as left and right because the driver side and passenger side can vary by the market where the car was designed for -- left or right hand steering. Left or right is referenced from sitting in the driver seat and looking forward.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Seoul, South Korea
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    E36 328i Cabrio
    Thanks, JDStrickland. Super helpful. Yes, my top doesn't fold flat and it is pushing on the cover. Even if I try to fold it as flat as possible, it still pushes the cover. What's the latching mechanism you mentioned that I can adjust? Do you mean the nut and bold thing on the bowden cable? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murrieta, CA
    Posts
    9,243
    My Cars
    '94 325iC, '08 328i, E93
    Quote Originally Posted by 618dental View Post
    Thanks, JDStrickland. Super helpful. Yes, my top doesn't fold flat and it is pushing on the cover. Even if I try to fold it as flat as possible, it still pushes the cover. What's the latching mechanism you mentioned that I can adjust? Do you mean the nut and bold thing on the bowden cable? Thanks!

    I don't think that the bowden cable is what you need to adjust, I was thinking that the latch itself needs to be moved. But, if you place a straight edge across the storage compartment with the tonneau cover open, and the roof is not the same distance away on both sides, then this is what you need to fix.

    Maybe the bowden cable is adjusted too long, that's something to consider.

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