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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)

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 11-09-2012, 05:34 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Soft top boot

I just got a 1997 Z3 Roadster that still had its OEM boot or cover for the folded soft top. The boot is in perfect condition, but was hard to install. I am 6'-2" and 200 lbs and it took a real effort to get the boot onto its four snaps. I don't think a small person or lady could do it.

Is this normal, or has the 16-year old vinyl shrunk and hardened some? Can I buy a new, less rigid, easier to install replacement from the aftermarket?
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:28 PM
SUNZOUT SUNZOUT is offline
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There is a trick to it....keep the two sides folded in and snap the two connectors behind the seats, then flip the sides into place.

Alternative is don't bother with with the two behind the seats and just use the two fronts...it's not going anywhere.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2012, 07:08 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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I don't attach the two snaps in the middle either. They are just too hard to un-snap, especially in the rain...

I assume you realize that the snaps have sort of a release ring that you have to pull back before pulling away from the pin. If you pull on the snap before moving the ring back, it's much harder. Even then, the little things are hard on your fingers.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2012, 02:40 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
I don't attach the two snaps in the middle either. They are just too hard to un-snap, especially in the rain...
I assume you realize that the snaps have sort of a release ring that you have to pull back before pulling away from the pin. If you pull on the snap before moving the ring back, it's much harder. Even then, the little things are hard on your fingers.
I understand how the snaps work. I don't think I would trust just two front snaps. Afraid the priceless boot might blow off if they came loose.
After a few hours in sunlight at 75 degrees today, the whole boot relaxed and its rear edge settled down onto the body.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:53 PM
nfunk nfunk is offline
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I am glad I am not the only person who fights with this. Sometimes it goes on and off easy, other times it can be a real pain in the ???. Many times I just don't bother putting the cover on.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:24 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
I understand how the snaps work. I don't think I would trust just two front snaps. Afraid the priceless boot might blow off if they came loose.
After a few hours in sunlight at 75 degrees today, the whole boot relaxed and its rear edge settled down onto the body .
Properly installed, the perimeter of the boot is tucked into the body, leaving the edge of the bodywork exposed, not the sewn edge of the vinyl boot.

Don't feel too bad if you put it on wrong, as MANY people have, even magazine road-testers have done it wrong for their photo-shoots!

Perhaps somebody will post a side/rear view of a boot installed correctly...?
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2012, 10:28 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
Properly installed, the perimeter of the boot is tucked into the body, leaving the edge of the bodywork exposed, not the sewn edge of the vinyl boot...
Hah! I would not have guessed that. But it does tuck in very securely.
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  #8  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:51 AM
nfunk nfunk is offline
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Tucking it in isn't a problem, usually fighting to unsnap the two fasteners.
I got to admit it, it really does dress up the car with the cover on.
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:28 PM
CTHuskyinMA CTHuskyinMA is offline
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I had no idea that it tucked in so nicely. I was laying it on top and thought it looked a little warped. Thanks for the tip, Randy!
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:42 PM
FZbar FZbar is offline
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You may also find it easier to fasten the two middle snaps by putting two thin washers under the screws. It holds the pin farther out so that snapping to cover on is easier.

Fred
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  #11  
Old 11-12-2012, 07:53 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTHuskyinMA View Post


I had no idea that it tucked in so nicely. I was laying it on top and thought it looked a little warped. Thanks for the tip, Randy!
Thanks for posting the picture; been so long since I put mine on, I forgot what it looked like!

If I'd ever take one of the ///Ms to a car show, instead of the Healey, maybe I'd be compelled to use the boot once in a while...
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  #12  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:30 PM
Guus Guus is offline
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Hi,

In the middel of the cover inside side a manual is shown how to do it.

This piece of cloth over the middel with the manual on it also is to be used to put the ends of the cover under it.
Use this to put the ends underneth it when keeping it closed in the trunk.

gr. Guus
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2012, 04:36 PM
TheUSC_2001 TheUSC_2001 is offline
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New Z3 owner and I would like to get one of these, any good options for a source? Looking for a hardtop too..... Thanks Eric
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2012, 07:18 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Look in classifieds or eBay. They show up here every so often.

They are a ROYAL pain to put on and take off. IMO< only really useful for a show. Otherwise, if you just want to keep teh folded top clean, the one from Roadster Solutions is more convenient.

http://www.roadstersolutions.com/product120.html

Although we have one of these and never use it either.
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2013, 02:00 PM
Alfre Alfre is offline
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Thanks to Vintage42 for posting this inquiry. I"m having the same problem installing the boot on my '96 roadster. The boot is stiff and likely hasn't been used in many years. The answers here were very helpful. I was surprised at the photo of the boot installed, as mine looks quite different, or maybe just due to the siffness of it.

The search engine works great and helped me find this.

Al in Charlotte
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  #16  
Old 10-01-2013, 02:15 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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I have gotten used to installing the OEM semi-rigid boot. I only do it if I am going to leave it on for a long time, weeks actually, since I garage the Z3 and only drive it on nice days. After the second or third installation, it becomes easier.

I do value the soft Travel Boot sold by Roadster Solutions. It is easy to put on and off, and stores flat in its vinyl envelope. The only thing I don't like about the soft boot is that it moves in the wind, which causes the sharp metal parts of the top underneath to make marks on its underside. Particularly over the top's latches. This is a gentle abrasion, and I have taken to placing pads over the latches before buttoning down the soft boot. In the long run, over years and hundreds of miles, the soft boot might be harmed by fluttering over the folded top. So I balance the use of the soft boot and the semi-rigid boot; each has its place and time.

Last edited by vintage42; 10-01-2013 at 02:17 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2014, 12:15 AM
hughgotit hughgotit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUSC_2001 View Post
New Z3 owner and I would like to get one of these, any good options for a source? Looking for a hardtop too..... Thanks Eric
I have one in tan from my 1999 Z3 for sale for $250. Pick up in Rye, NY 10580 or I can ship by UPS for $25 extra. Contact me a hughgotyou@gmail.com

Last edited by hughgotit; 08-09-2014 at 01:00 AM.
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2014, 07:09 PM
jlt8030 jlt8030 is offline
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It is tricky but you get the hang of it after a few tries and practice. Usually I lay it I place them reach under and amp it on the two center points. Then tuck in the back under the desk lid and finally tuck in the sides and clip on the side points. I leave mine on for weeks on end as I only drive it in dry weather. Definitely a classy look with it on.
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