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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:36 AM
prostock prostock is offline
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Question SRS "hoops" deployed. How to get released

Hello,

I am new to the forum and a new to me BMW owner. I recently purchased a wrecked 96 328. It was hit lightly in the rear, but enough that the "hoops" behind the seats deployed and are in the up position.

How do I go about getting them back down to their original position?

Thanks in advance for the help. I'm looking forward to getting it repaired and driving it.
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:56 AM
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I assume you've bought a convertible?

EDITED TO REMOVE INCORRECT INFO SO AS TO NOT MISLEAD PEOPLE>

Yes, I was wrong
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:21 AM
prostock prostock is offline
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Yes, its a convertible. I would think there would be some way to unlock them, at least to get them back down again. I understand they only would work once going up though.

Does anyone know what the real name is for this system?
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  #4  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:39 AM
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There is an easy way to reset them, I believe there's a tool you insert in a slot near them to release a manual catch, and just push them down. Instructions should be in the owners manual. They're called rollover protection bars.



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Old 10-05-2012, 11:43 AM
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Great! Thanks for the info. I bought the car, but haven't picked it up yet.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:49 AM
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No problem, good luck with the repairs!

Did they damage the top? I've heard if they deploy with the top up it can punch a hole through the window.

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  #7  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:52 AM
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They are pushing against the back window, but I don't think its damaged.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:44 PM
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The can certainly be released fairly easily. The important thing is to replace the pyrotechnic charges which deploy them.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2012, 02:46 PM
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They're actually spring loaded, not pyro technique fired. That's why they're resettable. The release tool should be part of the tool kit in the underside of the trunk lid. They're pretty stout springs and it might be a two person job to get them pushed back down, one to use the release tool and the other to put their weight on them to get them back in place.
The pop up release point is set lower than the threshold for deploying the air bags. The sensor looks at the roll angle of the car and the speed of the car and releases them if a calculated threshold is exceeded. I don't remember the exact numbers but it's possible to get them to deploy if you're driving aggressively enough even without a roll over. (Which is why I'll be autocrossing with my top down.)
If they didn't damage the rear window that's fortunate, but surprising. They've got about 18" of travel and definitely interfere with the top.

This video shows them in action on an E46 and also shows them being reset. The E36 operates the same except you need to tool the reach the release point on the E36 system.

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Last edited by dc_wright; 10-05-2012 at 02:55 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2012, 05:11 PM
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Cool. Interesting video.

I plan to pick the car up next Tuesday. Hopefully I can check it out sometime later in the week.
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:57 PM
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:57 PM
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Thank you for the corrections guys. My info was based off of what I had thought I remembered reading, not on recent research by anyone's standards.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2012, 08:48 AM
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It's ok Ed, no one expects you to know about things that are used in sunshine and warm weather.

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  #14  
Old 10-06-2012, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2012, 05:10 PM
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I got the car today. No owners manual or tool. Is there any other way to do it?

Last edited by prostock; 10-09-2012 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
It's ok Ed, no one expects you to know about things that are used in sunshine and warm weather.

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well played, sir

Quote:
Originally Posted by prostock View Post
I got the car today. Now owners manual or tool. Is there any other way to do it?
dealer.

now.


unless you can locate them on ebay or something...



df
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:12 PM
prostock prostock is offline
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Are the releases on my 96 the same as the ones in the video?
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:47 PM
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From my earlier post.......

"The E36 operates the same except you need to tool the reach the release point on the E36 system."

The tool part number is 54628165663. Search is your friend.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:43 AM
prostock prostock is offline
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If all I need to do is pull back that tab as shown in the video, why do I need a tool?
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prostock View Post
If all I need to do is pull back that tab as shown in the video, why do I need a tool?
Because you don't have an easily reachable release tab on the top like an E46 does. The release on the E36 is down inside the locking mechanism and the only way to reach it is with the release tool. Did you look in the tool kit in the trunk lid to see if the tool is there? There's a storage location for it and it doesn't have any useful function other than releasing the roll over protection mechanism so I'd expect it to be there.
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  #21  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:41 PM
prostock prostock is offline
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All of the tools were gone. Somehow my buddy that's doing the bodywork figured it out and got them released without the tool. Thanks for the replies everyone.
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  #22  
Old 10-11-2012, 05:48 PM
prostock prostock is offline
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The power still won't work on the top. Is there a reset for it anywhere, or do I have another issue?
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  #23  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:13 PM
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Here's the troubleshooting guide for the top. Several things can keep it from moving. First, is your top a semi automatic or fully automatic top? If you have the semi auto top and don't understand the process for lowering it you could think it wasn't working. Your trunk lid must be closed and the microswitch that indicates this to the top controller has to be working properly or the top won't move. There's another micro switch to sense if the top storage compartment lid is fully closed. If this switch isn't working the top won't move.
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File Type: pdf E36%20Convertible%20Adjust.pdf (878.8 KB, 18 views)
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  #24  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:16 PM
prostock prostock is offline
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I'm not sure which one my car has. I've only owned it for a few days. How do I tell?
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  #25  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:34 PM
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The semi auto top has a handle on the front bow that you turn to unlock the front of the top from the window frame. You release the front of the top and push it up about a foot, and while you're holding it there you press the top control button.

The full auto top doesn't have the handle. There are some motors that release the front of the top and raise it. You just press the top control button.
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