Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 65

Thread: Need Convertible Top Motor Installation and Synch Instructions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    tucson, az, usa
    Posts
    48
    My Cars
    323IC '98

    Need Convertible Top Motor Installation and Synch Instructions

    Hey -- does anyone have instructions (or a link) to install a new convertible top motor and synch the motors?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    450
    My Cars
    '95 325ic, 2000 A8

    here you go

    The following is courtesy of Brett Andersen. I don't know him, but the procedure I found was credited to him.

    Resetting the Convertible Top

    This is the procedure to reset the E36 convertible top. This procedure was described for a 97 328ic, which has the fully-automatic top. It also works for a 95 325ic with the semi-automatic top, (my car).

    The top mechanism is driven by two electric motors located in the trunk -- one for the lid of the storage bin and one for the top itself.

    Closing the top manually requires releasing the two motors from their transmission drives by pulling on the release handle located underneath the rear seat bottom.

    Make sure you pull it our far enough to release both motors completely.

    After pulling the handle out, push it all the way back in.

    Pull up on the storage bin cover and manually place the top down into the storage bin.

    Close the lid of the bin as far as it will go. You may need to push down on the lid so that it closes far enough to allow you to open the trunk, (there's a safety interlock that prevents the trunk from being opened at the same time as the lid.

    While holding down on the storage lid, open the trunk.

    Remove the carpet liner from the left side, (drivers side) of the trunk. There are two plastic clips that hold the liner in place, you can pry them out with a screwdriver. Behind the liner are the two motors that work the mechanism. One is next to the quarter panel on the side of the car, the other is located just behind the rear, seat-back frame.

    The gears on the motors engage the gears for their respective transmissions, but when the release lever is pulled the motors pop away and disengage. You have to push the motors back into position so that the gears re-engage.

    When you do this the spring-loaded catch mechanism will firmly latch into place. Be sure the motor is firmly seated into the drive and not just partially engaged. If the motor(s) won't re-engage, get some pliers and softly rotate the gear on the motor just a smidgeon, then try again.

    Once both motors are re-engaged, get into the car and with the ignition key in the off position, press and hold the top control switch in the up (for closing) position.

    Continuing to hold this switch, turn the key to the "accessory" position without starting the car, (while still holding the control switch in the close position).

    After about 10 - 12 seconds, the lid will be pulled down into the locked position and then after a few more seconds the top will start it's normal closing procedure.

    The motors are now re-timed and should be all set. Work the system a few times to ensure that both motors are properly engaged.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    tucson, az, usa
    Posts
    48
    My Cars
    323IC '98
    Everything worked after it locked itself back down and then nothing. The blinking light went away and the clam opened for the top closing procedure, but stopped when the clam was only 2 inches opened... any suggestions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Butler PA
    Posts
    432
    My Cars
    97 328ic 03 DHS
    I had similar problems. After I replaced the convertible top module, which I was told was bad, the system still wouldn't work. What I found was a bad main fuse (the 20 amp fuse beside the battery). Physically it looked good, but electrically it was open.

    Normally if a fuse is bad you can see it. I looked at this fuse several times. Visually it looked great. The only way I found it was to check the continuity with a multimeter. Under a microscope I could see where the filiment seperated from one of the contacts.

    Make a long story short, I replaced the fuse and now the top works like a new one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Paradise
    Posts
    951
    My Cars
    M3Saloon 325iC 525iT
    Quote Originally Posted by spreknz View Post
    Everything worked after it locked itself back down and then nothing. The blinking light went away and the clam opened for the top closing procedure, but stopped when the clam was only 2 inches opened... any suggestions?
    Were you able to resolve this issue? What was the solution? I'm experiencing the exact same symptoms with my 94 vert. I've gone through the resync/reset procedure numerous times to no avail. I have the older semi-auto top with no fuse near the battery.
    /// Technique Tuning Stage 2 Powered /// Auto-to-Manual swap / CES Cut Ring / M50 Manifold / NGKs / VPD Oil Cooler / Aquamist / Zionsville Alloy Radiator / Fan RESTORE - SPAL DELETE/ AA Turbo Clutch / AA Lwt Flywheel / AA DSB / GC Track COs / Motorforce Camber Plates / Strong Strut / UUC Evo III / UUC RSC36 / UUC Swaybarbarians / UUC TMEs / JTD Underpanel / VDO Gauges / PLX M500 / Greddy Profec II / ZKWs / CATZ HIDs / Euro Clears / Blanton 2.93LSD Diff - Uli race proven / Radowski Diff Brace / ALL DIY!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    564
    My Cars
    2010 C300, 1997 M3/4
    Its so sad, that there is a photoshop sub-forum, but we cant get a vert sub-forum. So we could have all the answers to problems like these.

    VERT OWNERS UNITE!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    D/FW (Flower Mound)
    Posts
    1,205
    My Cars
    '98 328i Convertible
    I was thinking a few months ago that a Vert sub-forum would be a good idea too.. Has anyone ever asked?
    '98 328 Alpinweiss Cabriolet, 130K, CD43, CHA-S634 MP3 Changer, Chromeline Interior Trim, 'Redlined' Gears & Diff, Z3 Chromed 16" Rims, Billet Front Stress Bar, aFe CAI, 'Golf Tee' Exhaust Mod, Powerdiscs, SS Brake Lines, CDV delete, JTD Underpanel, BAV Lowering Springs, Bilstien Sports, Bimmerworld Rear Lower Control Arms and Front Camber Plates, E46 RSM's with reinforcing plates, Electric Rad Fan, Alum. T-Stat Housing, Mishimoto Hi-Capacity Aluminum Radiator, Hi-Performance Water pump, 3.23 LSD.
    Sometime to come: New Clutch with LWFW, Clutch Stop, M50 Manifold, M3 Cams, Reprogrammed ECU (Probably in that order).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    2010 Olympic City!
    Posts
    604
    My Cars
    1994 325ic
    i've asked and didn't get any response. it seems to only make sense since there are so many convertible specific issues. maybe if enough members ask, the moderators will reconsider.
    1994 325ic
    Mauritius Blue/Dove Grey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Seattle (Eastside), WA
    Posts
    4,182
    My Cars
    2001 325Ci cabriolet
    Apologies for reviving an old thread...but....

    During this step:

    "After about 10 - 12 seconds, the lid will be pulled down into the locked position and then after a few more seconds the top will start it's normal closing procedure."

    I hear an awful grinding/clicking sound coming from the trunk and nothing happens. The lid gets sucked down tight and it seems like the motor is continuously trying to suck the lid down more.

    Yes, I'm sure the motors are fully engaged.

    Suggestions?
    - Chris




  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    442
    My Cars
    '94 325ic
    Why aren't you asking this in the Vert forum? The guys here won't know the answer to that (unless they have one) - they own coupes and sedans!

    Plus, I'm pretty sure we answered that in the vert section the other day. Why don't you just try what was suggested before asking again?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Seattle (Eastside), WA
    Posts
    4,182
    My Cars
    2001 325Ci cabriolet
    Because it didn't work. =)
    - Chris




  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    15
    My Cars
    98 328i Convertible
    Quote Originally Posted by BobCT View Post
    Continuing to hold this switch, turn the key to the "accessory" position without starting the car, (while still holding the control switch in the close position).

    After about 10 - 12 seconds, the lid will be pulled down into the locked position and then after a few more seconds the top will start it's normal closing procedure.

    The motors are now re-timed and should be all set. Work the system a few times to ensure that both motors are properly engaged.

    Ok now with this entire procedure done word for word...when i held the switch to the down position for over a minute and the deck lid never closed all the way but it seemed locked...the LED was off...now while i was stowing the top the LED was blinking to show the top was not locked/ready...i did this over and over with no success...does anyone know why this is happening?????????...please help...i've never owned a car that tested my patience so much...LOL

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    44
    My Cars
    1994 325IC - 2006 330 Ci
    Just wanted to post my $.02....

    Another satisfied customer.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Ken

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,328
    My Cars
    1998 M3 Cabriolet
    Thank you SO much for these directions. I feel like such a MORON... I read in the owner's manual what that lever was for, but I was tinkering around and removed the back seat and saw it... Then I pulled it. I couldn't help it! I pulled it because it was there. Then I realized what I had done!

    Bimmerforums to the Rescue!!! I was able to figure out on my own how to reattach the motors to the gears, but I would NEVER have figured out how to reset the top with the hold for 10 - 12 seconds (although I had to re-read the post because the first time I didn't start holding the switch BEFORE key was in ACC position.

    But it worked like a charm. Thanks SOOOOO much. Saved my butt because it's after midnight and there's no place to get help that late at night!
    1998 M3 Cabriolet (Estoril, Hardtop, Vaders, Dinan Stage 5, M50 Mani, Eisenmann Exhaust, UUC Pulley & SSK, Reiger Body Kit, 19" Staggered Axis Pentas, Momo Steering Wheel & Shift Knob)
    2002 Audi S6 Avant, 2013 F150 Ecoboost (6"lift, 20" wheels, 35" tires) 2005 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 (2 Bros Exhaust, Power Commander, Fender Eliminator, Flush Mounts, Throttlemeister, etc.)

    Interested in using a Professional Fender Rolling tool w/ Heat Gun?. PM me for details.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    phx az
    Posts
    4
    My Cars
    1987 325is

    e30 convertable

    i am having trouble finding wiring schematics and troubleshooting flow charts for my e30 convertable top.....help

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    raeigh
    Posts
    3
    My Cars
    98 bmw 323i vert
    chris did you ever get that grinding thing figured out mine does the same thing i put the top down do the rengage step when it pulls the lid down it grinds all over

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ocean city
    Posts
    24
    My Cars
    1999 328
    Tonight my top would open and then stop half-way. The compartment lid was not opening - I presume that is why it stopped. Anyway I took BOBCT's post and modified it somewhat for my 1999 328 Convertible. I released the motor in the trunk from the gear as he stated but I did it all in the trunk, specifically by pressing on the cable at a spot just a few inches away from the motor. This released the motor from the gear housing and then I followed his directions verbatum. Success!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    The Woodlands,Tx, USA
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    97 BMW 328i Convertible
    Just wanted to say THANKYOU!THANKYOU!THANKYOU!
    Mine was a bent main top rod, but now is where it should be.
    then resetting it was not workin(info from BMW dealer).
    once again thankyou!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Youngsville, NC
    Posts
    68
    My Cars
    Red/Saddle 1998 M3 Convertible
    My top is closed completely. The light is blinking on the switch. When I push the switch to open (or close) I hear clunking in the trunk and it continues even if I release the switch. I have to turn the ignition off to get rid of the clunking. I feel like I have to reset the system. I don't know why the trunk motor(s) would be doing anything considering that the latch release motor is the first thing to run in sequence. Any ideas before I try to the reset procedure?

    Thanks!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    D/FW (Flower Mound)
    Posts
    1,205
    My Cars
    '98 328i Convertible
    Nope.
    1. Put the key in the ignition,
    2. Hold down the button to lower the top,
    3. Turn the key to the first position (while you hold down the button)
    4. 10 seconds later the top will 'close' (its already closed) and the windows may raise.
    5. Release the button.
    6. The top is now re-synced.

    If it still makes noise, you can try releasing the motors, re-engaging them and perform the reset again.
    '98 328 Alpinweiss Cabriolet, 130K, CD43, CHA-S634 MP3 Changer, Chromeline Interior Trim, 'Redlined' Gears & Diff, Z3 Chromed 16" Rims, Billet Front Stress Bar, aFe CAI, 'Golf Tee' Exhaust Mod, Powerdiscs, SS Brake Lines, CDV delete, JTD Underpanel, BAV Lowering Springs, Bilstien Sports, Bimmerworld Rear Lower Control Arms and Front Camber Plates, E46 RSM's with reinforcing plates, Electric Rad Fan, Alum. T-Stat Housing, Mishimoto Hi-Capacity Aluminum Radiator, Hi-Performance Water pump, 3.23 LSD.
    Sometime to come: New Clutch with LWFW, Clutch Stop, M50 Manifold, M3 Cams, Reprogrammed ECU (Probably in that order).

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Youngsville, NC
    Posts
    68
    My Cars
    Red/Saddle 1998 M3 Convertible
    thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, it didn't work and it still sounds like I have a jack-hammer in the trunk. The condition has not changed. Should I do the back seat removal and motor disengage / re-engage and try the re-sync???

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,328
    My Cars
    1998 M3 Cabriolet
    Quote Originally Posted by mebirkle View Post
    thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, it didn't work and it still sounds like I have a jack-hammer in the trunk. The condition has not changed. Should I do the back seat removal and motor disengage / re-engage and try the re-sync???
    Yes, pull the red lever under the driver's side rear seat.

    Open the trunk and pop the motors out and then back into place (until they click)

    Then try to resync as described above again.

    Good Luck.
    1998 M3 Cabriolet (Estoril, Hardtop, Vaders, Dinan Stage 5, M50 Mani, Eisenmann Exhaust, UUC Pulley & SSK, Reiger Body Kit, 19" Staggered Axis Pentas, Momo Steering Wheel & Shift Knob)
    2002 Audi S6 Avant, 2013 F150 Ecoboost (6"lift, 20" wheels, 35" tires) 2005 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 (2 Bros Exhaust, Power Commander, Fender Eliminator, Flush Mounts, Throttlemeister, etc.)

    Interested in using a Professional Fender Rolling tool w/ Heat Gun?. PM me for details.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Youngsville, NC
    Posts
    68
    My Cars
    Red/Saddle 1998 M3 Convertible
    Ah, I just realized that I held the top switch in the top-down position and not the top-up position. Let me try it one more time.

    Come on baby...... gotta get that top down as the wife wants to mess up her hair in the mountains on our anniversary weekend.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Youngsville, NC
    Posts
    68
    My Cars
    Red/Saddle 1998 M3 Convertible
    Didn't work..... I'm going to try the secret red lever and motor reset next. I guess I have nothing to lose as the top is already completely up so I won't have it stuck half way at least.

    What is the racket in the trunk anyway? Is it one of the motors engaging and teeth slipping on one of the gears? I hope the gears aren't stripped.

    Thanks all.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Youngsville, NC
    Posts
    68
    My Cars
    Red/Saddle 1998 M3 Convertible
    The lever and motor reset didn't work. I'm thinking that the top should be in the down position when performing the reset as I did not put the top manually down as it's fully automatic and I don't want to mess with the top latch.

    The motor noise from the trunk is gone now. However, nothing happens during the reset sequence with the ignition/top up switch. The light just blinks. It used to cause the trunk sound after holding the top-up switch with the ignition turned 2 clicks forward. I found a step by step video which helped me through the process.

    Has anyone performed the reset with the top up?

    I guess I didn't miss too much top down driving on the Blue Ridge as it was on 52 degrees. Too cold for not having heated seats.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by mebirkle; 10-18-2008 at 09:19 PM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •