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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
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  #1  
Old 12-10-2010, 08:07 AM
dvillalo dvillalo is offline
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Thumbs down Need Help-2000 Z3 How to replace Hydraulic Cylinder for convertible top

My son brke the shaft of the hyraulic cylinder that powers the convertible top and need to replace it. I've the new part, but need help with "how to" instructions. Does anyone have any step by step instructions? Would really appreciate any help/advice. Thanks and hope to hear from some one.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2010, 12:08 PM
SUNZOUT SUNZOUT is offline
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Aurora, IL ?
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2010, 12:56 PM
dvillalo dvillalo is offline
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Location is Aurora CO

I'm located in Aurora CO
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2010, 02:43 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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If you do not know how to get the top out of the car, go here: http://www.shipkiller.com/SofttopToubleshooting.html

Once the top is out you will have to figure it out since I only replaced the motor.

Which hydraulic cylinder? left or right side? and how do you know which one it is?
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:43 PM
dvillalo dvillalo is offline
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Replace Hydraulic cylinder

Thanks for the response. Need to replace the driver side cylinder as I can see where the cylinder shaft sheared off from where it attaches to the top latch. Attached is a diagram of the cylinder components.
P.S Nice Z4!
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2010, 05:14 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvillalo View Post
P.S Nice Z4!
Which one?

I still have the black one. It's the wife's......
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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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  #7  
Old 12-13-2010, 03:02 PM
dmytroa@telus.n dmytroa@telus.n is offline
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Had to replace the entire softtop frame once, considered replacing the hydraulic cylinder with a gas assist one but the bottom attachment was difficult to access. That cylinder is one tough piece. How is it broken exactly?
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:41 PM
dvillalo dvillalo is offline
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Cylinder shaft sheared off

Thanks for the input. The cylinder shaft sheared off at the top where it attaches to the convertible top bracket on the driver side. It appears I've to take the driver seat out to get to the cylinder. As far as I can see (not much), have to remove the inside cover by the cylinder and then disconnect it from the frame along with the hydraulic lines that run to the rear container. I'm tempted to just take it to the BMW mechanic as another gentleman suggested ($460? in labor). The BMW labor is very expensive here.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:48 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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Sorry, but you cannot access the shaft from inside the car. You must remove the top from the car. The top and associated hydraulic components are integral to the entire top. The entire mechanical components of the top mechanism are OUTSIDE of the basic structure of the car. The only major components internal are the electrical connections and the two (each side) mounting bolts that hold the entire top to the structure.

If you look at the two DIY's for softtop removal and motor replacement, the pictures tell the story.

I should only take you about 1.5 to two hours to get the top out of the car. Everyone who has contacted me on my DIY's have said the same thing on how long it took them to remove the top once they read the DIY and understood what was going on.
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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 12-13-2010, 06:00 PM
dmytroa@telus.n dmytroa@telus.n is offline
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Although I had my top frame out completely, my recollection is this would not be necessary to access the cylinder. There is a black rigid foam stuffer piece, triangular shape, that has the ribbed rubber thing that the cylinder moves through as it cycles. The rubber is part of the foam piece and just pops out carefully as a unit. You should be able to see the bottom of the cylinder from there, and decide whether you want to do it yourself.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:46 AM
dvillalo dvillalo is offline
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Top Hydraulic cylinder removal

Thanks for the info as it seems to confirm my beliefs that you can access the cylinder by removing the trim (w/o having to remove the top). Presume you have to remove the driver seat to access/remove the cylinder as there's no room otherwise. Does this make sense. Thanks
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2010, 03:42 PM
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BeemerMikeTX BeemerMikeTX is offline
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Wow . . . reading this thread just reinforces that I made the right decision to special order my 3.0i Roadster WITHOUT a power top. Good luck.
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