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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2010, 09:38 PM
Gary Collins Gary Collins is offline
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z-4 convertible top

My top quit working. It seems to want to work but won't lift the top. I am wondering if it is the motor, the fluid, or what? Any insights would be helpful as the warranty is gone and the dealer wants $2500 to put in a new motor, if that is what's wrong.
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2010, 06:03 AM
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imz4n imz4n is offline
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Could you supply a bit more information as to what it does when you push the button?

Check the tray in the trunk and make sure that it is in the upper most position, Make sure that the red handled pull ( in the trunk on the left side ) is all the way in.

Look for an Independent BMW shop to do work for you. There are some really good people out there that will not try to rape you for services.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2010, 06:46 AM
SUNZOUT SUNZOUT is offline
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Eary Z4's did have problems with water getting to the motor for the top so you may be out of luck.
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2010, 01:48 PM
Gary Collins Gary Collins is offline
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convertible top

So what happens when I push the button to lower the top is that the motor on the latch releases the latch, then the light comes on at the switch. At this point I can push the top back but it won't go by itself. I learned, through this blog, that the motor which operates the top is working a hydraulic system? If so, that would explain some of the symptoms. The next question would be, Is is possible that the hydraulic system is low on fluid or???
Anybody got an insight?
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2010, 07:29 PM
lstratos lstratos is offline
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Whats consider early ? pre 05/06 ?
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2010, 07:30 PM
lstratos lstratos is offline
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BTW Shipkiller has an awesome article on a DIY, very detail

http://www.shipkiller.com/ aka http://68.230.199.103:8080/Z4_Stuff.htm
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2010, 07:09 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Collins View Post
So what happens when I push the button to lower the top is that the motor on the latch releases the latch, then the light comes on at the switch. At this point I can push the top back but it won't go by itself. I learned, through this blog, that the motor which operates the top is working a hydraulic system? If so, that would explain some of the symptoms. The next question would be, Is is possible that the hydraulic system is low on fluid or???
Anybody got an insight?
Please clarify..

When you push the open button you have to 'help' the top go down, but it will not do it by itself?

If that is the case, your hydraulic motor is most likely bad.

Unless you have a leak or hydraulic line failure, (never heard of either these) low fluid is not possible. It is a sealed system.

Either way, the top must come out to replace the motor or fill the motor with fluid.

I am really betting that the motor is bad.

If you are not helping the top go down, but release the button and you can push the top down, that sounds like they hydraulic bypass in the trunk has been pulled. Even with a bad motor, you should not be able to move the top without pulling/setting the hydraulic bypass.
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2010, 07:24 PM
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$2500 for a top fix? That's robbery... According to the BMW maintenance book, it should only take eight hours total.. A new motor is less than $500 and a new motor housing (Sound Damper) is about $75.00.

Most of the time I see a dealer fix costing about $1600.

You can do it yourself in about two hours. Thats top out of the car, motor replacement and top back in...

How to remove your softtop: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1365743

How to replace your softtop motor: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1365747
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2010, 07:32 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is online now
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If the links to my website don't work, let me know. I cant seem to access it from inside my firewall.
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2010, 05:51 PM
craig01b craig01b is offline
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It's not a bad job, if you follow ship killers instructions. Took me about 4 hrs...oh, and to service the unit with hydraulic,you need to remove the top...might as well replace it while you are in there. It will be corroded.

Good luck

Craig
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2010, 08:52 AM
dxwats2 dxwats2 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 Z4 Convertible
Convertible motor replaced and top now won't come up

This is so frustrating! I too had a problem with the top not retracting completely. It would start down, but then need help to continue.
I took it into the dealer in June 2010, and they told me the motor needed to be replaced. They charged me $1600 for the repair, but it appeared to fix the problem.

Six weeks later, the top now has trouble coming UP, although it continues to retract correctly. If I try to bring the top up via the button, nothing happens - I don't even get a red light. When I try via the convenience feature, it will raise part way, and then need help to finish.

I went back to the dealer, and now they tell me the switch is bad. A $900 repair.

Does this make sense? I find it questionable that two different problems with the same component occur so close together. Could they have made a mistake with the motor replacement? A different amperage or something?

I hate to feel so suspicious!

thanks!
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:24 AM
craig01b craig01b is offline
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Its absolutly possible....The switch is not part of the actuator and motor. Mine is a 2003, and the motor was corroded badly. These roofs are computor controlled, and any missing input from a switch, will screw up the operation.

Good luck,

Craig b
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2010, 09:53 AM
Billy44 Billy44 is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: BMW Z4 2.5
Count me in on another Z4 convertible top motor going bad. What is the motor part number? Any suggestions on where to find one at a competitive price? Is it only available as an OEM or is it available as an aftermarket item? What other accessories or parts are required to complete the DIY installation (ie - switches, silicone, gaskets, butyl tape, etc ?)

2004 BMW Z4 2.5 with 43k miles
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2010, 10:37 AM
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imz4n imz4n is offline
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I have seen a post stating to make sure you seal the new unite so as not to allow water to get in there again.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2010, 04:05 PM
Billy44 Billy44 is offline
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I don't see any postings or reference to "bleeding" the hydraulic lines once the new motor is installed.

Has anyone found any information on this? Yes, their motors are going bad due to BMW's known problem (aka design flaw) of water intrusion but if air gets in the hydraulic lines, you've only created another problem unless it's addressed at the point of installation. Isn't there only one motor, driving 1 or 2 piston/actuators, for the convertible top assembly???
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2010, 08:08 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is online now
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If you read the DIY, I talk about this. All of your questions are answered in the two procedures I wrote. Down load them from this site or from my web site.

The motor is self bleeding....
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2010, 07:35 AM
lstratos lstratos is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 Z4
shipkiller, I was looking through a harbor freight catalog and found this inspection camera thingy, it might fit the driver side where you can't get a clear view of down the drain plug.. the only thing is there isn't a light at the end of tip.. that would have made it better..

http://www.harborfreight.com/wireles...tor-66550.html
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