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Thread: Can we get a sticky on releasing/re-engaging tops?

  1. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Yellow Springs, OH
    Posts
    4
    My Cars
    95 325ic

    tunnel lid won't disengage

    I bought my 95 325ic with the top disengaged because it was only working intermittently. I use zip ties to hold down the tunnel lid. Then I started re-engaging the motors to hold the tunnel lid down so it didn't rattle. Now I can't get the tunnel lid to disengage and need help. It seems to be related to the arm-clamp on the tunnel motor, but I can't figure out what it needs to do. The motor is disengaged (hinges freely), but the lid is sealed tight.
    Thanks for the help.

    by the way thanks for all the sticky topics, I far prefer to read and search than post, but I came up empty on this one.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auburn, AL
    Posts
    16
    My Cars
    1999 BMW 328iC, 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 HT, a bike
    So your issue is solely getting the motor drive cog back in? You may need to remove the panel it sits on, to get better access to it, so that you can sync the gear better for it to fit. also, you could try releasing the motors again,moving the hood compartment a little, re-engadge the motor and very gently move the compartment until the gear sits, then try re setting again. This will at least prove the cog will actually interface properly.
    This is precisely my problem too. I tried to take apart the panel, but I didn't trust myself enough to make sure everything got back in its original position. Like sliceolime said, the hard cover motor just won't re-engage with the female gear on the inside of the panel, and I didn't have a tool (like, right angle pliers or something) that can rotate the gear significantly enough to mesh the gears. This is really frustrating, especially because one of the 4 bolts that attaches the panel to the quarter panel fell into the bottom of the quarter panel and I couldn't get it out. There's a local BMW repair place near me, but I feel like they would just tear into the panel and charge me ridiculous amounts for something I could do, but didn't. Is there any other possible way to re-engage the hard cover motor??
    Michael

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    26
    My Cars
    1996 BMW 328i Convertible
    Quote Originally Posted by florida guy View Post
    I have been using my top fully manually for the last couple of weeks. It works fine. Just make sure that after you lift the lid, you really have to pull up on the top in a steady motion, with lots of strenght. I am short and this was difficult until I got the hang of it.

    As for re-engaging the motors, I also could not get the lid motor to re-engage. What I found was that if i disengaged both motors and re-engaged the lid motor first, then the top motor, it worked. But now my problem is that I can get one of the other to work, but not both. I can raise the lid, but not the top, or i can raise/lower the top, but not the lid. So i went full manual until i figure it out. i tore apart the area above the battery, and still can't find this mysterious "fuse" that is related to the motors. where is it? what does it do? bentley manual says that the motors fuses' are under the hood. what gives? anyone know where the rear fuse is?

    Yes! Where is this fuse!? I've only seen one picture of it posted and I haven't found it anywhere!! It's supposed to be a 20A somewhere around or near the battery. I've got the fuses, can't find the flippin' fuse to replace it! Pictures please.

    Florida_Guy we've been having the same issues. The lid works, but the convertible top is still dead to the world. I was thinking it was the S4 switch, but now I'm really thinking it has to do with the engaging of the soft top motor. Everything I've read says engage the top motor then the lid...I'll try the opposite just to see if the top will work.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    port orange
    Posts
    101
    My Cars
    2007 E93 2008 F250
    My fully auto top has a few issues.I've done the re-sync.I found the lid motor just takes some force to make it mesh.That and the lever has to be all the way down for it to re-engage.

    1..when the lid comes up it gets stuck on the top and stops.I have to get out and free both side.

    2..After that the top goes right on back about halfway and stops.Motors are running.I have to give it a shove with the motors running and it will fall down.

    3..the top won't compress enough in the trunk to let the lid close.

    4..Everything will come right back up and latch though.

    Any ideas guys?

    99 328ic

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Long Beach, California
    Posts
    54
    My Cars
    1997 328ICA Luxury
    Thank God my top is still working, although I am experiencing the dreaded "non-full retracting lid" problem.

    Do you recommend dealer service for this problem?
    Last edited by Hammonddave; 12-01-2008 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5
    My Cars
    BMW 328i Highline
    Hi all, new to the forums but been reading every post on fixing the vert roof there is for 2 days to no avail. Wondering if anyone can help.

    Firstly i have a 98 fully automatic highline. I have gotten as far as below:

    (Taken from the pdf)
    EM TOP EMERGENCY OPERATION
    In the event of electrical failure, the top can be raised manually. The procedure is as follows:
    • Pull the release lever located under the left rear
    seat cushion as shown.
    • Both motors are disconnected from the gear
    drives.
    • The top storage cover is unlocked.
    NOTE:
    The top can not be lowered again until electrical power is restored to the system.
    This is due to the fact that the top storage cover can not be locked until power is restored.


    RE-CONNECTING DRIVE MOTORS
    Due to the interlock of the trunk lid an unlocked top storage cover, the following procedure
    must be followed to reconnect the top drive motors, to restore electrical operation:
    • Lower all the side windows with the central switch
    • Unlock the top from the windshield frame, raise it over the tension point and open the storage cover.
    • Lower the top into the storage compartment and close the storage cover.


    The top roof wont lower into the storage compartment!! The rear tension bars have released and my window can be pulled up manually and as the DIY video shows you just lower it down...mine wont budge at all. It rocks but moves nowhere but wont move past the tension point at all, now it wont go back towards the window locks either without seriously weight. I fear i have caught it in limbo half between and wrecked something...

    I was thinking maybe its one of the rear micro switches (s6,7,8 perhaps) and they have to be disengaged before the top will fold at all? I have had help in trying to fold it away, but it will bend (break) before it will fold naturally.

    Anyone have any ideas? Once its in the compartment i am confident i can re-sync and get it working again. Thanks in advance!!

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hog Country, NWA
    Posts
    40
    My Cars
    99 E36 Vert
    Put the motors back in, re-synced, stopped the top halfway down and tucked the the window in good, readjusted a couple of things and, wallah! Worked perfectly! COuld never have done it with out this forum. Thanks everyone!

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    roselle,nj
    Posts
    17
    My Cars
    535i,328i
    Quote Originally Posted by florida guy View Post
    I have been using my top fully manually for the last couple of weeks. It works fine. Just make sure that after you lift the lid, you really have to pull up on the top in a steady motion, with lots of strenght. I am short and this was difficult until I got the hang of it.

    As for re-engaging the motors, I also could not get the lid motor to re-engage. What I found was that if i disengaged both motors and re-engaged the lid motor first, then the top motor, it worked. But now my problem is that I can get one of the other to work, but not both. I can raise the lid, but not the top, or i can raise/lower the top, but not the lid. So i went full manual until i figure it out. i tore apart the area above the battery, and still can't find this mysterious "fuse" that is related to the motors. where is it? what does it do? bentley manual says that the motors fuses' are under the hood. what gives? anyone know where the rear fuse is?
    in the trunk by the battery

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Littleton, Co
    Posts
    500
    My Cars
    E90 328i, E36 M3/4/5
    Thanks everyone! Great sticky thread! I appreciate everyone's help on here, I was able to fix my top without pulling any hair out.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Ramon, Ca.
    Posts
    520
    My Cars
    89 635CSi-SOLD-2001 540i

    Where is the sticky for adjusting the tension strap?

    The vert lid gets caught on the hinge mechanism when being retracted. The top hinge has to be pushed forward in order to release the lid so that the top will continue to retract into the vert receptacle. Where on here is the sticky for adjusting the straps so that the hinges move further forward so as not to bind with the lid?

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Canadian live in Germany
    Posts
    136
    My Cars
    95/328ic, 11/335i xdrive

    convertible_adjust.pdf

    e36_convertible_adjust.pdf (application/pdf Object)

    I think this is what you dudes are looking for!!!
    Hope it helps

    Dan,

    BMW E36 Resetting The Convertible Top | Free eBook Download


    hope it helps

    Dan,
    Last edited by Hounddoggin; 08-04-2010 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

    1995 BMW 328i ragtop
    2011 BMW 335i xdrive

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    594
    My Cars
    02 M5, 98 M3, 92 325
    So I have a very similar issue as many here have discussed--my tonneau lid motor wont reengage. It All began when my tonneau lid motor started making that often discussed chattering noise for 12 seconds and the top would not go down. After Disengaging and resynching the top and the tonneau lid motors, it still made the grinding noise and top wouldnt work.

    Then I removed the tonneau lid motor (one closest to the left tail light), and found that the silver mounting plate was indeed slightly bent which is often a reason for the problem at issue. I Straightened it out as straight as I could and reinstalled the motor. When I went to renengage that motor, it wouldnt. I Tried tracing and reversing all the steps I took and no go.

    Aside from replacing the tonneau lid motor, anyone out there have thoughts on what else can be done to troubleshoot this?

    So I have a very similar issue as many here have discussed--my tonneau lid motor wont reengage. It All began when my tonneau lid motor started making that often discussed chattering noise for 12 seconds and the top would not go down. After Disengaging and resynching the top and the tonneau lid motors, it still made the grinding noise and top wouldnt work.

    Then I removed the tonneau lid motor (one closest to the left tail light), and found that the silver mounting plate was indeed slightly bent which is often a reason for the problem at issue. I Straightened it out as straight as I could and reinstalled the motor. When I went to renengage that motor, it wouldnt. I Tried tracing and reversing all the steps I took and no go.

    Aside from replacing the tonneau lid motor, anyone out there have thoughts on what else can be done to troubleshoot this?
    Last edited by zipaquira; 09-24-2010 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Castro Valley, CA (San Francisco Bay Area)
    Posts
    399
    My Cars
    1998 M3 Convertible Cosmos, 2000 RAV4

    Lightbulb One helpful extra tool for vert owners to keep in the trunk

    You know how much of a pain it is to manually disengage the top from the windshield, right?

    If you've done it as many times as I have, you can get quite annoyed by this.

    My solution is to use a battery-powered screwdriver or drill with an allen bit. It makes adjusting tops quite a bit easier. I think it's a 4mm bit, but it should be easy enough to get something like this.

    Another thing I use is 1-gal bottles of water to hold down the top or the lid while I am adjusting things in the trunk.
    '98 M3 Convertible
    Cosmos Automatic
    Diamond Audio/Alpine/Sony ES HU sound
    Mishimoto radiator and hoses
    Motion Motorsport underpanel
    BMW CCA #387533 - join today and save on everything related to your BMW - http://www.bmwcca.org
    Know your rights when it comes to dealing with police - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

  14. #39
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK - North London
    Posts
    128
    My Cars
    '96 328i Manual M-Sport
    Flat battery with the roof up, now new battery and the obvious "nothing happens" syndrome with the roof.

    Tried everything, but it occurs to me that Ive been trying it all with the roof still up, will try manually lowering the roof and trying again in the morning.

    Could BMW have made this any more difficult?

    Will post the results tomorrow

  15. #40
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK - North London
    Posts
    128
    My Cars
    '96 328i Manual M-Sport
    That makes sense NOT !

    OK, If your roof is UP when the battery goes flat and you then do all the emergency release and re-engage motor process, absolutely bloody nothing happens, it does not reset at all.

    BUT

    Manually lower the roof, then do all the motor re-engage stuff and voila it damn well works.......

    There must be some stupid BMW thing that means you need the roof down to reset everything, easy when you know that, but truly annoying when you dont

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    1,423
    My Cars
    BMW Vert & Touring
    Follow the positive cable from the battery, the 20amp fuse should be along there........

    Madeiraviolett Bf.C club member #003

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    428
    My Cars
    '95 M60B40
    First time I tried synchronizing both A & B motors, I got stuck at the "B" motor because it will not re-engage.

    If you are having problem re-engaging the "B" motor, simply slide a screw driver or something equivalent from the bracket and pry it down hard (make sure the screw driver tip is right underneath the motor) while pulling the motor towards you by hand. This should help the motor to snap in and re-engage.

    See below picture in yellow arrow. Hope this helps.



    1995 M60B40

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Nj
    Posts
    15
    My Cars
    Vw jetta

    Thumbs up


  19. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    sydney, ns, canada
    Posts
    6
    My Cars
    1996 bmw 328i conv
    No joy in mudville, Casey has struck out! I followed your very good video to the letter, several times. But no matter how many times I've tried, each time the cover sucks in nicely but then I can't get the top to go up. The only difference I can see is that my car is a '96 not a '97. Would that make any difference?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Did you put weight on the top cover (passenger side)before you re-engaged the top cover motor? The weight must be enough to activate the switch that releases the trunk lid lock out.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    141
    My Cars
    1998 BMW 328is
    To make the red light stop blinking you need to disconnect and reconnect some cable in the trunk. Can't remember exactly WHICH cable. But it's near the motor area on the left side.

    @GaBr No you can't because the top uses one motor to lock down on the windshield. However, if that motor breaks you can use an allen key I believe and turn the motor a bunch of times so it disengages/engages to the windshield. Just remove the plastic cover and you'll see it. Has two arms that twist. Once you do that you can disengage rear motors by pulling red lever under rear seats, then you can drop the top. Once the top is down put some weight on the tonneau cover (you won't be able to open your trunk if you don't) and engage the motors so it locks the tonneau cover in place. Or else it will open while you are driving.

    If you want to get rid of the stupid motor that locks the top to the windshield you can convert it to a manual using older e36 convertible parts, it will bolt right in. I can sell you the part actually if you're interested.
    Last edited by ilikemycar; 04-08-2017 at 06:24 AM.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Gravenhurst Ontario Canad
    Posts
    64
    My Cars
    1997 BMW 328ic
    In “fully manual”, how does the tonneau cover get locked when the top is down? I assume both motors are disengaged

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