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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 03-03-2015, 05:33 PM
DMWAMSJ DMWAMSJ is offline
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E36 Convertible Top

I have a 1998 323iC with a full power top.
I have replaced the straps last year and the top worked beautifully.
I recently changed insurance companies and installed the Progressive snapshot. the top has not worked since. I do not know if the device released the motors or not. There is not a sound when I press the top switch.
anyone out there had a similar experience?
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2015, 06:29 PM
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diptenkrom diptenkrom is offline
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doesn't it just plug into the obd2 port? if so i dont see how that could effect the vert top.
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2015, 09:11 PM
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Engel12626 Engel12626 is offline
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That progressive thing shouldn't have messed with anything, probably a coincidence. And I really doubt the top controller can be accessed through the OBD port.

Anyway, read through the 'origami problems' sticky and start troubleshooting. It's a big thread dedicated just to convertible tops.
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Last edited by Engel12626; 03-03-2015 at 09:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2015, 05:47 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Engel12626 View Post
That progressive thing shouldn't have messed with anything, probably a coincidence. And I really doubt the top controller can be accessed through the OBD port.

Anyway, read through the 'origami problems' sticky and start troubleshooting. It's a big thread dedicated just to convertible tops.
The top controller isn't connected to the OBDII port. The only connection there is a ground and a data line to connect to the DME. Everything beyond that is addressed by data busses connected to the DME. The top controller data lines are connected to the body control module (ZKE module) and it's connected to the DME. It's a bit of a stretch that the progressive module is causing the issue, but it is constantly querying the DME for data, and maybe somehow that's interfering with communications.

The simple thing to try if you haven't already it to unplug the Progressive module and see if the top starts working again. If not, next is to start checking all the fuses. WRT the Progressive module releasing the motors, that's a mechanical action via the lever under the back seat. There's no electronics to activate that function. Flo would had to have broken into your car to do that.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2015, 06:01 AM
DMWAMSJ DMWAMSJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
The top controller isn't connected to the OBDII port. The only connection there is a ground and a data line to connect to the DME. Everything beyond that is addressed by data busses connected to the DME. The top controller data lines are connected to the body control module (ZKE module) and it's connected to the DME. It's a bit of a stretch that the progressive module is causing the issue, but it is constantly querying the DME for data, and maybe somehow that's interfering with communications.

The simple thing to try if you haven't already it to unplug the Progressive module and see if the top starts working again. If not, next is to start checking all the fuses. WRT the Progressive module releasing the motors, that's a mechanical action via the lever under the back seat. There's no electronics to activate that function. Flo would had to have broken into your car to do that.
Thank You
I checked my security footage and no sign of FLO, you were right.
Just learning my 1st BMW, hooked for life
I did reset the top but no luck, it will not proceed past the window drop, just keeps repeating this function, wont unlock the top from the windshield.
I will probably take it to the dlrship for microswitch diagnostics
Thanks Again
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2015, 08:46 AM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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DMWAMSJ - Did you replaced the straps yourself or had a shop do the work? Where did you buy the straps and how much if you did it yourself? I need new straps on y 97' 328ic, but not sure if I can do this myself or hired out...

Thanks,

Jay
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2015, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jat007 View Post
DMWAMSJ - Did you replaced the straps yourself or had a shop do the work? Where did you buy the straps and how much if you did it yourself? I need new straps on y 97' 328ic, but not sure if I can do this myself or hired out...

Thanks,

Jay
To replace the straps you have to remove the top canvas to reach everything easily. You might be able to get it done by just removing the headliner and working from underneath to get some of it, but I think you'd still have to disassemble the front bow. An easy and inexpensive fix that works just as well is the run some flat bungie cord or some latex tubing from the bow just above the front seat backs to the bow just above the rear window. There are a few posts that recommend using velstraps made by Velcro. They work but only last a couple months before they fatigue and break. I used the latex tubing on my top and it worked fine.
To answer your question on where to get the straps, look up the part number on realoem.com or bmwfans.info and then Google search on the part numbers. You'll get lots of sources and you can compare prices.
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2015, 11:48 AM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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dc_wright - Where do you buy the latex tubing?

thank you dc_wright as always!!

Jay
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2015, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jat007 View Post
dc_wright - Where do you buy the latex tubing?

thank you dc_wright as always!!

Jay
ACE hardware is one place where you can buy it by the foot.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2015, 09:52 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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dc_wright - Do you just tied a knot at the end of the tubing then? I am planning on do the quick fix either by the latex tubing or the Velstraps by Velcro. I am planning on doing this fix under the top with the headliner off.. If I remove the top by myself, she ain't going back on and that's would be bad.

Thanks!!
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  #11  
Old Yesterday, 04:14 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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I doubled up the latex tube and did a slip loop for the rear bow, then just tied a triple knot at the forward bow once I'd set the tension. See the diagram for the bows I tied off on. While the velstraps look enticing I didn't have any of them last longer than a couple weeks before they broke. You don't have to remove the headliner to install either the latex tubing or bungee cord. Just open the top part way and there's enough slack in the headliner you can reach in to get the job done.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Top_Bows.pdf (77.4 KB, 5 views)
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Last edited by dc_wright; Yesterday at 04:16 AM.
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  #12  
Old Yesterday, 01:52 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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That's excellent info dc_wright!! Thanks so much!!

Jay
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  #13  
Old Yesterday, 01:58 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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I forgot to ask... do you do this on both sides of the bow of just the 1 side as you've it on the diagram? As for the tension, how do you adjust that or what is the best practice to adjust the tension?

Thanks,

Jay
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 03:14 PM
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You do both sides. The tension is a bit trial and error. You want enough tension so that the rear most bow below the rear window pulls up to vertical when you're putting the top up or down, but not so much that the same bow won't lay flush on the body when the top is up.
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  #15  
Old Today, 09:29 AM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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Thank you!!
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