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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 09-12-2005, 11:28 AM
quiksilver62 quiksilver62 is offline
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Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: 1994 325ic
Question Convertible top rear window replacement

Anybody every try to replace the plastic rear window on a convertible top. The guy selling windows online says it's doable in up to two hours with some help and been done in as little as 15 mins. Basically a zip out the old one zip in the new one. Can it be that easy...
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2005, 02:42 PM
rasher rasher is offline
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri
 
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Mein Auto: 1964 Ford Thunderbird
In a nutshell: Yes. It's pretty easy. It took my wife and I about an hour. Getting the zipper lined up was the hard part. Make sure you sew the zipper shut at both ends to make sure you don't have to mess with it anymore.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2005, 04:37 PM
johnnybad1 johnnybad1 is offline
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Location: Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada
 
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Posts: 5
Mein Auto: Looking to buy 328cic
Glue around window

I thought the installation calls for glueing the canvas to the rubber seal around the plastic window?
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2005, 07:54 PM
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crash8168 crash8168 is offline
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Location: fay.nc
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rasher
In a nutshell: Yes. It's pretty easy. It took my wife and I about an hour. Getting the zipper lined up was the hard part. Make sure you sew the zipper shut at both ends to make sure you don't have to mess with it anymore.
And here i thought i was the only one who sewed the ends of the zipper.....
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2005, 07:42 AM
rasher rasher is offline
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri
 
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Mein Auto: 1964 Ford Thunderbird
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybad1
I thought the installation calls for glueing the canvas to the rubber seal around the plastic window?
Yeah, go to Napa and get a tube of the 3M black weatherstrip adhesive and run a small bead around the perimeter of the window. You'll see how it's supposed to work when you get there, it's not very hard. Nor is it very precise. Once you get the zipper started and working correctly, it's a snap.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2006, 12:48 PM
sparzo sparzo is offline
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Location: SLC
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 318iC
I am looking at purchasing a 95 318iC but the back window is split. Does anyone know if that model has the zipper type window or do I need to replace the entire top, which is around $1300, which I dont want to do right now but if its that easy to replace my decision has been made. Any input appreciated.

M =)
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2006, 05:26 PM
topless328 topless328 is offline
Love a bitch with no top
Location: Baaaston
 
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Mein Auto: 96 328/M EuroSpec Convert
i have a 96 328ic my window is sewn in was wondering how come.thought it was sapossed to be a zipper..do i have a new top..
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2007, 10:43 AM
M3inMD M3inMD is offline
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Location: Columbia, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 M3 Convertible
Zipper coming undone during install

I bought the E36 replacement kit from the guy at Emiata.com. I'm finding that when I get the zipper started correctly (both edges lined up, coming together OK), when I get to a certain point there's too much strain on the window and zipped part begins to come apart.

Seems like either the replacement window is too small or I'm just doing something wrong.

Help?!!
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Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law. Douglas R. Hofstadter, (1945 - )
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2007, 10:59 AM
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Bimmer_Angel Bimmer_Angel is offline
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Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,207
Mein Auto: 1995 320i Convertible
Hi

When I bought my convertible the back window was really bad. I, personally, would not have attemtped to do it myself as getting the teeth lined up is a nightmare. BMW stealers in the UK charge astronomical amounts for new windows so I sourced a local firm and they did it for only 130 GBP fitted. I would definitely get a professional to do it unless you have a very clever wife like the one that 'rasher' owns!!!!!!! [I can say that because I am a fellow wife!]
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2007, 04:49 PM
quiksilver62 quiksilver62 is offline
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Location: San Diego
 
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Posts: 25
Mein Auto: 1994 325ic
Convert top

After buying the window from emiata, i tried and tried to get it in but couldn't get it zipped it. I thought it better I bring it somewhere before I destroy the top and window. I called around and found an auto upholstery that could put it in for 70 bucks. They got it in fine. They wouldn't warranty the window because it wasn't theirs but the guys said they could have made a window using the old one for a template and use the zipper on the old one also. They would then also warranty the window since they made it. All for about $225-$250.

Nes
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2007, 07:16 AM
M3inMD M3inMD is offline
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Location: Columbia, MD
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: 1999 M3 Convertible
Found the solution after my post yesterday: if the window keep coming unzipped, it's because it is WAY off proper alignment. I compared my old window to the new aftermarket one just to make sure they were the same size. They were, but putting them side by side I found the problem. The starter zipper on the new window is about 3/4" to the right of the factory zipper, which means if you align the two together (factory says within one tooth of even) the entire window would be 3/4" to the right!

Once I figured all that out, the window went in fairly easily. Moral of the story for anyone who's going to DIY this job: if the window is aligned correctly, the zipper should run the entire length (corners included) pretty easily. If you run into strain, especially to the point where the track pulls apart, something's really wrong - start over. And don't forget Hofstadter's Law on this one!

Cheers,
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Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law. Douglas R. Hofstadter, (1945 - )
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2007, 08:42 AM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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Location: Panhandle of Florida
 
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Posts: 2,530
Mein Auto: 335 vert//M3/4/ 13Outback
To the vert owner that has a sewn in plastic window. You most likely do not have a new top but the uphlostry shop that did the work simply cut the old one out and sewed the new one in. This does three things: it means you can never go back to the zipper plastic window again unless you replace the top, you get a little bit more visibility because they had to cut your opening larger and last you will have to go to an uphlostry shop to get a new window put in eventually.
Actually that is not a real problem if you take care of your top.
To get long life out of the top use most any wax that doesn't have abrasives in it and clean the outside of the window after flusing the window with fresh water. Also when you close the top put something like an old sheet or thin cloth where the plastic window folds into the boot to keep it from rubbing.
My window looks really good after doing this once or twice a year.
Hope this helps....
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2008, 10:17 AM
1PokerLion 1PokerLion is offline
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Location: Andalucia Spain
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 320i Hellrot Ragtop
Id be careful of buying from emiata. They have about 5 scam websites and sems only about 50% of people are recieving them
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2010, 01:21 PM
blueskycar blueskycar is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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In our professional opinion, NEVER BUY AN AFTERMARKET WINDOW for a BMW. Only the OEM BMW parts line up right. It's a lot more expensive, but well worth the lack of problems.

We've been in the convertible top installation business for a while (25 years exp)...trust us on this one.
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2010, 07:06 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
Dr Jim & his Bim
Location: Rhode Island
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 323i 1999 2004 X3 2.1
Rear Window replaced

I would like to figure out how to post this in the DIY area with photos. That would be better than this abstract verbal description(dribble) –but here goes. For now here is a quick bit of input. This will NOT get you the "concourse d'excellence" award for perfect car. It did save the day on installing the window. First rule (RTFM) READ THE INSTRUCTIONS until you understand every step, every part and tool like the "Folding Leg" and the 'blue tape' I would also take Blueskys reccommendation strongly and suggest staying with OME on this one.
We got the old window out (no problems here) but the Piping all fell off or we just pulled off that which hadn't. We then cleaned things up well (used spirits of Vodka) to get all old tacky adheasive/sealer off.
– Installing the new window –trying to keep the cardboard and protective plastic in place –was a big mistake and caused untold aggravation. We finally just were careful not to scratch the window with any tool or fingernails and ditched the protective crap. Aligning the zipper ends was much simpler without the proactive stuff. UNFORTUNATELY by the time we got to that stage-- after several failed attempts to get the "zip fastener slide" (the thing that actually joins the zipper halves together) attached to the cover side of the zipper the leading pilot edges was in threads and impossible to get into the slide. In ultimate frustration and after two hours, I started the process on the outside of the car leaning over the trunk . The slide went on –it zipped all the way around perfectly BUT it would not and can not complete the full circle because of the designed in overlap. Starting from the inside allows the final zip to overlap the first part. The way I did it the slide butted the closed zipper and began to force it open and prevented me from over laping (in this case underlaping)
What I did at this point was attach the locking clip as per instructions and used a needle and thread to pull the un- attached zipper together. A little bit of black electrical tape on the outside and it looks just fine! I still need to get some sealer and re-attach the piping and press it down a bit but I have a window that I can see out of and it stayed together when I folded it down.
Nothing has been destroyed except the start section of the cover side of the zipper-I may re-address this and use some superglue on that little end of the cover zipper to see if I can get it stiff enough to go into the slide and try this whole thing again-- another day!
Jim

Last edited by jpmcguire; 10-03-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-03-2010, 07:11 PM
jpmcguire jpmcguire is offline
Dr Jim & his Bim
Location: Rhode Island
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 323i 1999 2004 X3 2.1
See note below

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueskycar View Post
In our professional opinion, NEVER BUY AN AFTERMARKET WINDOW for a BMW. Only the OEM BMW parts line up right. It's a lot more expensive, but well worth the lack of problems.

We've been in the convertible top installation business for a while (25 years exp)...trust us on this one.
Yep he's right --I should have driven down to NJ and had Blure sky do it. But I like challenges!
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