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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2008, 05:30 AM
lbooker lbooker is offline
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Z3 Power top not working

My 2001 3.0 Z3 power top stopped working. It was stuck in the down position. The dealer has no idea what the problem is. He was able to put up the top. Can anyone help.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2008, 05:50 AM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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Check the switch located on the driver-side of the top frame. That switch is tripped when the top is fully closed to prevent the top motor from running when it has no work to do. Those have been known to fail. You can also check your brake light switch, which can cause top problems.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:14 AM
lbooker lbooker is offline
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I can find the switch on the drivers side but can you tell me where the switch is for the brake
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2008, 07:06 AM
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rjcoston rjcoston is offline
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There's a picture of it in here from Ron S.'s website.

http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/dri...edal_slop.html
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2008, 08:40 AM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbooker View Post
I can find the switch on the drivers side but can you tell me where the switch is for the brake
See the link above. If that switch has failed, your brake lights won't work (or will be flaky)and you will probably see issues with cruise control.

If either switch has failed completely, it's easy to diagnose. When it's not always repeatable, you may just have to start taking things out and checking them with a meter.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2008, 09:03 AM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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You're testing my memory here, but seems like there is a cable that runs from the console switch to the motor in the trunk. Sometimes it gets pinched ( read, shorted), especially in the trunk area. That happened to mine and the dealer fixed it under warranty.
Of course you know you can disconnect the motor and operate the roof manually.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2008, 03:20 PM
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Most likely the top switch. If you look just behind the driver door(trunk end) where the pivot point for the top is there is a rubber boot that hides the mechanics etc..... just below that boot is the connector for the top switch if you undo that connector and put a jumper in instead of the switch wires the top will go up and down...... if it was a failed top switch. I had mine with a jumper untill I found one on ebay...... Stealer wants way too much..... CAUTION ! ! ! when you put the top up you have to release the button or the motor will continue to try and squeeze the top tighter and damage will most probably occur.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2008, 04:13 PM
lbooker lbooker is offline
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Will try that. We now manually put the top in the up position to see if it will now go down but nothing.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2008, 05:19 PM
lbooker lbooker is offline
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Tried to disconnect the top switch as mentioned above but still nothing. With everything connected as normal and putting the top manually in the down position, I could get the motor to start for a few split seconds before it stopped. The top would move up an inch or so and then stop.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2008, 08:39 AM
rwsams rwsams is offline
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Hydraulic Leak - one thing to check

When this problem happened to me, I found that one of the banjo bolts on the hydraulic pump had loosened and the hydraulic fluid had leaked out. The pump is behind the left side cover in the trunk. Check and see if you can see fluid in the reservoir, about half full. Another sign is a puddle of fluid below the pump in the fender well.

However, if this is the problem, you should still hear the pump motor running.

BMW notwithstanding, ATF works fine if you have to replace the fluid.

Hope it's simple.

Bob S.
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  #11  
Old 10-23-2008, 01:05 PM
lbooker lbooker is offline
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Thanks Bob. Did check the hydraulic fluid and it is approx 1/2 full and no signs of any leaking. Starting to run out of ideas. The motor will sometimes work for a split second and then stop. Will have to keep looking
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  #12  
Old 10-23-2008, 04:41 PM
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When you disconnected the end-position microswitch, did you jumper the pins? That switch is normally open and gets closed when the top is in a position where it's safe to activate the motor. They're known to fail, I'm on my second one and many people have had to replace them.

Another thing to check is the ground connection X1116 for the relays in the trunk. It's in an awkward spot at the bottom of the pump/resorvoir.

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  #13  
Old 10-23-2008, 06:44 PM
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EOD Guy EOD Guy is offline
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If you look behind the pump you will see two relays, one up one down, and the wires to the pump should come from them..... might try direct 12v to the pump and see if it's the pump.... If the pump runs try switching out the relay, bypass the "top end switch", bypass the brake switch (I think you can bypass it at the same connector as the top switch) I don't remember what I did when I narrowed mine down to the top switch.
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:11 AM
gaucia gaucia is offline
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Does anyone know what spec oil should be added to the hydraulic pump of the soft top motor. I discovered my problem was low oil.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2013, 06:45 AM
BryZzz BryZzz is offline
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^bro, ATF is fine as per one forumer
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2013, 11:33 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaucia View Post
... the hydraulic pump of the soft top motor. I discovered my problem was low oil.
New fluid might follow the old fluid out of the leak.
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