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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 04-09-2009, 10:43 AM
Nightwing749 Nightwing749 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW z3 3.0
2001 z3 top is not working

Hi, I have a 2001 z3 roadster 3.0. It's been broken for almost a year now, but I don't have the money to take it into the shop.

symptoms:
At first, every once in a while it would stall and I would have to press the button more than once to get it down/up. It progressively got worse to where I had to nudge it in the direction I wanted it to go, some days it would work perfect without a problem. Then a week later it would start stalling again. Sometimes it would just stall halfway or stall intervals. Now it's at a point where most of the time it won't go down/up. I figured out if I nudge it enough the top will SLOWLY lower itself without the button, but I'm talking about like 8-10 mins. I'm thinking it might be the motor, anyone have any guess's?

Also, If it is the motor or a hose leak, is this something I can fix myself?

thank you.
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2009, 12:11 PM
khammack khammack is offline
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When it stops, does it sound like the motor is still running? If so, I would check the oil level in the reservoir in the trunk (on the drivers side).

If the motor stops also, then it could be the micro switch in the top. I'm not exactly sure where this switch is located, but it has been known to fail.
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2009, 01:11 PM
sheidjr sheidjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khammack View Post
When it stops, does it sound like the motor is still running? If so, I would check the oil level in the reservoir in the trunk (on the drivers side).

If the motor stops also, then it could be the micro switch in the top. I'm not exactly sure where this switch is located, but it has been known to fail.
What kind of oil goes in the reservoir?
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2009, 02:08 PM
khammack khammack is offline
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Just FYI, the fluid level is normally very low. Maybe 1/4 or less. There is a mark on the side.

It uses BMW convertible top hydraulic fluid, part number 54 34 8 410 306.
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2002 M Roadster, Steel Gray Metailic, Gray Nappa Leather, Black Soft Top, Steel Gray Metailic Hard Top, TC Kline Double Adj Shocks with H&R Springs, Stromung Exhaust, SSR Type C Wheels.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2009, 03:19 PM
Nightwing749 Nightwing749 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khammack View Post
When it stops, does it sound like the motor is still running? If so, I would check the oil level in the reservoir in the trunk (on the drivers side).
1. The motor does stop running or in my current case, doesn't run at all when i'm trying to get it down. But it does work mostly on the up after I play with it for a bit. Like jerking the top up as I push the button.

2. I found the oil reservoir in the place you mention and it looked half full.

Is there anyway I can disconnect the motor so I can manually put down/up my top in this nice weather as I work for a solution to fix it.

Thanks for the fast replies guy's! I'll do my best to reply back.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2009, 04:40 PM
khammack khammack is offline
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Sounds like it may be electrical. The micro switch that lets the motor know where the top is may be the problem.

There is a "T" handle on the pump that you can turn and it should allow you to open/close the top by hand.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2009, 04:48 PM
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EOD Guy EOD Guy is offline
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No need to disconnect the motor...... turn the T handle on the motor/reservoir and it will allow the manual operation very easily.
I would make sure that it is tight, and try again before I did anything else…..….. might be loose.
My top switched failed on mine and I had to replace it, junkyard 3.00....... dealer wanted megabucks. It is located on the driver's side top bow near the 1st hinge (from the windshield) behind the cover that has two screws. The wires from it run to a connector that is located just aft of the driver's door, under/beneath the rubber padding that hides the mounting points/pivot for the top frame. If you open the driver's door, stand beside the seat, facing rearward, look at rear sill (where the door lock catch is) follow that up until you find the rubber cover, remove the rubber cover and there is the top connector. If you unplug the connector and put a jumper in it, and your top works it's your top switch…..….. be very careful if you decide to leave the jumper in place…..….. DANGEROUS !!!! you have remove the safety's!
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2009, 05:24 PM
Nightwing749 Nightwing749 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW z3 3.0
Quote:
Originally Posted by khammack View Post
There is a "T" handle on the pump that you can turn and it should allow you to open/close the top by hand.
I found the handle and tried tightening it but it still wouldn't work. After a few quick turns of loosening it, the top manually came down w/o a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EOD Guy View Post
located on the driver's side top bow near the 1st hinge (from the windshield) behind the cover that has two screws. The wires from it run to a connector that is located just aft of the driver's door, under/beneath the rubber padding that hides the mounting points/pivot for the top frame. If you open the driver's door, stand beside the seat, facing rearward, look at rear sill (where the door lock catch is) follow that up until you find the rubber cover, remove the rubber cover and there is the top connector. If you unplug the connector and put a jumper in it, and your top works it's your top switch…..….. be very careful if you decide to leave the jumper in place…..….. DANGEROUS !!!! you have remove the safety's!
I'll have to try this tomorrow when I have more light. Thanks for the help guys! I'll be sure to update tomorrow evening when I get out of work and have time to try this.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:59 PM
remjr remjr is offline
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I have a 2000 z3 convertible the top motor not working trunk got water can the motor be rebuilt
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2010, 03:16 AM
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Did you try jumping the relays?
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2010, 12:07 PM
roadsterfan63 roadsterfan63 is offline
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My reservior is empty. Is it normal to have to add fluid or does this mean I have a leak?
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2010, 08:37 PM
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It's not normal to have to add fluid. My car has as much fluid as it had when I drove it out of the showroom.

I don't recall ever seeing a reported motor failure or a fluid leak. The problems I've seen have always been electrical or mechanical, not hydraulic. I assume the car is new to you? Has the top ever worked since you've had it? I'm wondering if the previous owner had a problem and decided to empty it.
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2010, 06:57 AM
roadsterfan63 roadsterfan63 is offline
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I've had the car for 2 years and the hydralic system has worked perfectly. Just a month ago the fluid level was fine (took out the trunk liner to install a DICE module), so I guess I sprung a leak.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2014, 09:33 PM
rikizee3 rikizee3 is offline
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I'm having the same problem. It started out with me having keep pressing the up/down switch. It would work at times. But now it's not doing anything. Need help and how hard Is it to remove and replace the micro switch ?
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2014, 03:09 AM
Brian4 Brian4 is offline
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Mein Auto: E61 530d and 3.0i Z3
Have you checked the brake lights are working as this happened to ours on it was the brake light switch faulty.

Brian
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