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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 10-11-2009, 10:50 PM
01 M Roadster 01 M Roadster is offline
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Z3 & M Roadsters - Soft top plastic rear window

Just information some owners can use.

Some have tried placing a folded blanket or rolled towel in the fold line when the soft top is folded into its compartment to avoid getting a sharp pinch in the rear window plastic shield. I discovered another inexpensive trick to do this without the issue of what to do with the "anti-pinch" doohickey when the top is up.

A 1-2 foot long nerf-like tube about 3 inches in diameter does the trick. These nerf-like tubes are used as water pipe insulation or part of your kids' toys. Just place the nerf tube in the fold (stopped about half way) before completely collapsing the soft top all the way. When the top is up, the nerf tube can be stowed away in the trunk or behind the seats with no fuss.
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2009, 07:55 AM
Desolationoverdrive Desolationoverdrive is offline
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Thats a great idea I will have to try it.
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2009, 08:12 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Old trick, but it works (been doing that for 10 years now).
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2009, 03:37 PM
beachbuggy beachbuggy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01 M Roadster View Post
Just information some owners can use.

Some have tried placing a folded blanket or rolled towel in the fold line when the soft top is folded into its compartment to avoid getting a sharp pinch in the rear window plastic shield. I discovered another inexpensive trick to do this without the issue of what to do with the "anti-pinch" doohickey when the top is up.

A 1-2 foot long nerf-like tube about 3 inches in diameter does the trick. These nerf-like tubes are used as water pipe insulation or part of your kids' toys. Just place the nerf tube in the fold (stopped about half way) before completely collapsing the soft top all the way. When the top is up, the nerf tube can be stowed away in the trunk or behind the seats with no fuss.
Would this "toy" be like a swimming pool float, or noodle as we call them?
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2009, 03:46 PM
01 M Roadster 01 M Roadster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbuggy View Post
Would this "toy" be like a swimming pool float, or noodle as we call them?
yup.

the name of the "toy" skipped my memory. i guess its the age thing.
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Last edited by 01 M Roadster; 10-12-2009 at 04:05 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2009, 04:21 PM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Nice idea but I had a problem. After I replaced the window on my 12 year-old top, I started using the pool noodle and the cloth-top side of the zipper started to tear away from the top (failure of the single thread stitching). It was probably mostly due to my difficulty installing the window and having to pull rather hard on the zipper, but I used just the blanket for a few weeks after the replacement with no problem then decided to use the noodle after reading a few threads about it helping to preserve the window and the zipper separation happened a few days later. Maybe the extra material puts a bit more tension on the stitches. Mine might be just an isolated experience
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:37 PM
01 M Roadster 01 M Roadster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBH22102 View Post
Nice idea but I had a problem. After I replaced the window on my 12 year-old top, I started using the pool noodle and the cloth-top side of the zipper started to tear away from the top (failure of the single thread stitching). It was probably mostly due to my difficulty installing the window and having to pull rather hard on the zipper, but I used just the blanket for a few weeks after the replacement with no problem then decided to use the noodle after reading a few threads about it helping to preserve the window and the zipper separation happened a few days later. Maybe the extra material puts a bit more tension on the stitches. Mine might be just an isolated experience
consider using a smaller diameter nerf tubing -- 1-2 in. -- but if a blanket or towel works in your case, don't change.
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:51 PM
Giznaz Giznaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBH22102 View Post
Nice idea but I had a problem. After I replaced the window on my 12 year-old top, I started using the pool noodle and the cloth-top side of the zipper started to tear away from the top (failure of the single thread stitching). It was probably mostly due to my difficulty installing the window and having to pull rather hard on the zipper, but I used just the blanket for a few weeks after the replacement with no problem then decided to use the noodle after reading a few threads about it helping to preserve the window and the zipper separation happened a few days later. Maybe the extra material puts a bit more tension on the stitches. Mine might be just an isolated experience
More than likely, it's that the stitching is dry-rotted. A top is only good for 5-7 years, after that age & elements take it's toll.
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2009, 06:52 PM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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By the time I replaced my top, the stitching was so rotten that it was falling apart. The top would have been 9-10 years old at that point. With a top that spends any amount of time outside in the sun, I wouldn't expect more than 7 years before things start failing. It is a maintenance item, after all.
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