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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 04-17-2008, 06:07 AM
dekfit dekfit is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW Z3
Wink Z3 Soft Top window replacement

Has anyone ever replaced the zip in rear window in their Z3 soft top?, I have found a company called emiata.com who advertise zipper rear windows, anyone bought one from these people. Any advise would help. A local upholstery company quoted me $ 550.00 to take the top off and sew a new window in, I can purchase a complete new top for
$ 400.00, but I am concerned that once I take the top off there will be other items that I don't have that I need to replace.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2008, 07:01 AM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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Search the forum for "emiata" there have been several threads about people buying them, etc. Personally, I would suggest you use a new OE window, unless you have to have the tinted plastic that is available through Emiata.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2008, 11:19 AM
Scottymac Scottymac is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 m roadster
Just replaced mine yesterday. Glue question

Bought OEM window for about $165 delivered - Bav Autosport. Some folks said the
E-maita window gasket did not fit as well while others thought it worked fine.

I had no problem zipping in the OEM unit. Past posts have said the zipper pull that came in the kit would not mesh the teeth. Either they fixed the problem, or I got lucky. I did the job solo in about 45 minutes. Not done yet thought. I have to put in the clips and I'm pretty sure that needs 2 people. One to keep the clip pressed from the outside while the other person bends the points in the receiver on the inside.
Also need to tuck/glue the trim.

Question: What type of glue have you folks used. I've seen references to contact cement and RTV. I'm leaning towards RTV for the flexibility.

Any input would be appreciated.
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2008, 11:32 AM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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I thought the OE windows came with some sort of double-sided strip already attached. If not, Permatex Black Silicone Adhesive will work very well. It's available pretty much anywhere. Use sparingly to avoid it squishing out.
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2008, 11:36 AM
Scottymac Scottymac is offline
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There is a double sided tape, but installation instructions say to use a contact cement prior to tucking top in under gasket.. I assume it just helps fight the separation when the top goes up and down.
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2008, 12:19 PM
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rjcoston rjcoston is offline
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Here's a copy of the installation instructions.

http://www.rfdm.com/tis/54_31_013.pdf
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2008, 01:30 PM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottymac View Post
There is a double sided tape, but installation instructions say to use a contact cement prior to tucking top in under gasket.. I assume it just helps fight the separation when the top goes up and down.
The sealant holds down the canvas around the window and probably helps prevent any leaks through the zipper. The TIS mentions sealant tape, but no contact cement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcoston View Post
Here's a copy of the installation instructions.

http://www.rfdm.com/tis/54_31_013.pdf
If the process is as easy as the instructions make it sound, I would probably replace the thing yearly and stop messing around with window blankets and polishing. I have a feeling it's a bit more tricky, though.
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:27 PM
SamN SamN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinci View Post
The sealant holds down the canvas around the window and probably helps prevent any leaks through the zipper. The TIS mentions sealant tape, but no contact cement.


If the process is as easy as the instructions make it sound, I would probably replace the thing yearly and stop messing around with window blankets and polishing. I have a feeling it's a bit more tricky, though.

I agree. Looks to be a bit of a pain in the neck. I'd like to hear from someone who has performed a DIY replacement.
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2008, 02:55 PM
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rjcoston rjcoston is offline
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Here's some better instructions that were originally posted on Roadfly years ago. It's generally not too hard of a job if you can get the zipper started. As Scottymac mentioned there have been posts indicating that the zipper pulls on some kits were too big and would not engage the teeth properly.

http://www.waycoolinc.com/z3/07/1013...aceWindow.html
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2008, 03:55 PM
GBimmer GBimmer is offline
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My black trim is separating from the corner. Before I go glue this thing, should I glue it to the window or the top? I don't want to glue it to the wrong part and then have to separate it down the road when I change the rear window.

In the instructions above, they call the part separating on mine the PVC profile piping.
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2008, 04:08 PM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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If you were to re-glue it, it would be to the window. However, you aren't terribly likely to be successful with it. It's a terrible spot to glue anything and I haven't found anything that holds more than a couple days.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2008, 04:31 PM
mikey1951 mikey1951 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3 2.5
Cool adhesive for rear window

I have tried black sealant/adhesive with little success. I finally used pliobond which bonds fabric and plastic together. My trim piece is off now and I am going to try the small silicone vacuum hose as a replacement for the trim.

Good luck,
Mike
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2008, 04:38 PM
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dwm dwm is offline
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I used flowable silicone on mine a couple of years ago and it has held. Thinner than typical RTV, I think it saturated the fabric under the surround. Permatex 81730. Your mileage may vary. It's easy to use though, so there's little harm in trying. Curl back the trim, squirt it in there. Top should be closed and latched while you do it since that's the stressed position.

Permatex 81730
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2008, 11:46 AM
Scottymac Scottymac is offline
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Took longer than I thought

Although my window zipped in pretty easily at first, I found out the zipper didn't fully bind when tucking in the canvas.
Three tries later, I feel I can do the job pretty quickly - solo.
After crimping the zipper pull (as others have noted), begin to zip window in. Then use one of the suppled clips to keep the leading edge of the zipper from undoing (that was try 2). As the window is basically out at this point, you you have access to both sides of the top from the outside of the car and can clamp the clip together with needle nose vise grips. This makes it easy to bend back the prongs for a nice tight fit. Once the zipper is pulled all the way around, you will need 2 people to put the last clip in. As I destroyed that clip on my multiple attempts, I just left the zipper pull in and taped it down with black duct tape. You can't tell it's there. I may eventually just sew that part of the zipper shut.

Seems to be holding up well without any glue to tuck in the canvas thus far. The window already has some hairline scratches on it. I can'ty believe how soft that plastic is.
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  #15  
Old 04-23-2008, 12:17 PM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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It was heartbreaking to see scratches on my window a week after I replaced the whole top. It's just the way those windows are.
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  #16  
Old 04-24-2008, 02:38 PM
Bigflogger Bigflogger is offline
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Hey all, new to here after recently purchasing 98 Z3 and finding site. Just wanted to say that the guy I bought car off had the emiata.com replacement window sitting in the trunk for a year, cause he was "scared" to install it. Myself and a friend installed same in about 15 minutes, the only problem being the zipper ends had to be sewn. As well, I would not use the contact cement they enclose with the package, it appears to be junk. Fit was excellent and hard to believe the two of us had it finished inside a half hour. Finished glueing with syringe and clear glue the next day. I will be ordering another the next time I am stateside instead of the $600 the dealership wants.
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  #17  
Old 04-27-2008, 05:51 AM
celluje1 celluje1 is offline
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Z3 Window

Got my OEM replacement with Zipper from Erick at KO performance, for 130.00. Had BMW rplace the window for 270.00. Did not want to deal with it. Depending on the shape of your top you can rip the zipper....and then it is a whole new top.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2011, 08:17 PM
Duss Duss is offline
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Just did the OEM.. One suggestion that I would add. Remember you are replacing the window, no need to keep the old one! Cutting out the old clear plastic will allow you to get to the zipper clips and the zipper from the outside for the removal.. A whole lot easier than from the inside!
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2012, 04:51 PM
Bob24 Bob24 is offline
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Unhappy Z3 M Roadster Rear Window Repair

Hello Everyone

I'm an owner of a 1999 M Roadster with a rear window issue. Does anyone know where I can buy the black pcv striping that goes between the fabric and the plastic window? My window is in fine shape but the black bead is cracking and falling apart and doesn't look good. And help would be greatly appreciated.

Bob
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2012, 06:39 AM
Duss Duss is offline
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I don't think you can get it independently from the window.. The window comes with it already bonded to the clear plastic..
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  #21  
Old 09-13-2013, 09:10 AM
Beached Ron Beached Ron is offline
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Z3 rear window replacement

I have a 2001 3.0 Z3 and at long last the rear window seal is coming off and the metal bar at the top is showing . Dealer says $321 for a new window and 2 to 3 hours to replace at $125 and hour. That installation estimate sounds way out of line. Where is the best place to buy the window, besides BMW? Bavarian Autosport? What is a more realistic time for a professional to de-install and install a new one? Back in the day I used to do my own work. But I am willing to go to a pro if the price is better than the BMW dealer. Any recommendations in the Raleigh/Durham area?
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  #22  
Old 09-13-2013, 09:55 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beached Ron View Post
I have a 2001 3.0 Z3 and at long last the rear window seal is coming off and the metal bar at the top is showing . Dealer says $321 for a new window and 2 to 3 hours to replace at $125 and hour. That installation estimate sounds way out of line. Where is the best place to buy the window, besides BMW? Bavarian Autosport? What is a more realistic time for a professional to de-install and install a new one?... Any recommendations in the Raleigh/Durham area?
The black strip around an OEM window is a trim, a channel that receives the edge of the canvas. The OEM window actually seals with a sticky tape under the edge of the canvas. If nobody has tried to glue the black strip, so that your canvas edge is pristine, you might consider removing all the of the black strip and doing nothing more.

There are two alternatives in replacing the window. One is to buy an OEM window from a dealer or from RoadsterSolutions.com, both for about $300. The black trim comes sewed to the window, and sealing tape is pre-applied to the window. The other is to buy a window from Emiata.com for $80. It uses a canvas flange that is glued over the edge of the top to serve as both a trim and a seal. Both windows zip into the top after the old window is zipped out. Both windows need part-time help from a second person, and it takes about an hour to get the old window out and the new window in. This does not include any optional time taken in masking the Emiata before gluing.

The Emiata has the advantage of being much cheaper, and has an easier zipper to start. It has the disadvantage of the glued trim and seal, which can look bad if not done with great care.

The OEM has the advantage of a clean thin trim. It has the disadvantage of much greater cost, and a difficult zipper to start.

The greatest risk is that repeated efforts to start the zipper of any new window can not only fray the window's zipper tab, but also fray the top's zipper tab, so that no window can be installed.

I bought an OEM window, frayed the starting tab, and returned it for half-credit. Then I bought an Emiata window and did like the looks of the sloppy zipper and canvas flange so I returned it untouched for full credit. Then I got another OEM window, began to fray the starting tab, took it to a top shop that tried and gave up, so I returned it for half-credit. By this time the zipper tab on the top had become frayed, so I doubted anyone could install any new window. I was tired of ruining windows, so I ended telling the top shop to order and install a new top with sewn-in window.

My advice is to get the Emiata window and try install it yourself. Most people can, though the neatness of their glueing does vary. Or find a shop that will do it for you, preferably one that has done it before.

Edit: I don't understand the statement that a "metal bar at the top is showing". There is no metal in or around the window. If metal means a bar (bow) of the frame of the top, the top needs replacing.

Last edited by vintage42; 09-13-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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  #23  
Old 09-13-2013, 10:18 AM
Beached Ron Beached Ron is offline
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Sorry, "bar" implies a big thing, which it is not. It is a metal rod about 1/16 inch in diameter that sits at the top of the plastic window and is supposed to be hidden underneath a 1/4 inch rubber gasket that goes around the entire plastic window. The end of the metal rod had been showing for a couple of years at least, but now a foot long section of the rubber gasket has become unattached in the upper right corner, so more of the metal rod is showing. I took it to the dealer and they said the window replacement will take care of it. In U Tube videos and descriptions, I have not seen this metal rod. So I am wondering if the 2001 Z window might be a bit different from earlier models.
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  #24  
Old 09-13-2013, 10:35 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beached Ron View Post
... "bar"... is a metal rod about 1/16 inch in diameter that sits at the top of the plastic window and is supposed to be hidden underneath a 1/4 inch rubber gasket that goes around the entire plastic window. The end of the metal rod had been showing for a couple of years at least, but now a foot long section of the rubber gasket has become unattached in the upper right corner, so more of the metal rod is showing. I took it to the dealer and they said the window replacement will take care of it...
I removed my failing OEM black trim, and bought two OEM windows, and tried installing them in my top, and never noticed a thin metal rod around the window, either in the windows or the top.

And I would not describe the OEM black trim as a 1/4 inch rubber gasket. It was more like a 1/8 inch semi-rigid hard rubber or plastic channel that only served to hold the edge of the canvas top and prevent it from fraying. It did not gasket or seal anything.

I wonder if your top and window are OEM, and I wonder if your top can even receive a new zipper window. Check to see that your window is removable via a zipper. You might have an aftermarket top.

Last edited by vintage42; 09-13-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09-13-2013, 10:47 AM
Beached Ron Beached Ron is offline
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I have owned the car since early 2003 and it had only 7,000 miles on it when purchased, so I hope it is original equipment. But it does have a zipper. The dealer asked me a couple of times the year of my Z, so the conclusion probably is the 2001 version is slightly changed from earlier years. I am checking with a couple of local shops to see if they have had any experience with this replacement.
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