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E36 M3 (1995-1999)

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2010, 11:49 AM
vino4me vino4me is offline
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Location: Homosassa, FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 99 M3 Convertible
Replacement Convertible Top

My first post. I have a 99 M3 convertible which is barely broken in with 71,000 miles. Baby needs a new top. Molding (Edging) is pulling away around rear window and tension straps need replacing.

GAHH wants $886 for the top and tension straps. Topsonline.com wants $539.00 ($347.00 cheaper than GAHH). I live near Tampa, FL and have talked to 5 different installers.

Appears the going labor rate to install top is $500.00

Some questions for anyone with experience in getting a new top:

1. Is GAHH really worth the additional money? Is there that much difference in material?

2. Does it really take 6 to 8 hours to replace the top or is $500 just the going rate because it's a BMW?

3. Last...my wife and I are thinking about trying to do the install ourselves. Stupid idea or what?

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2010, 05:52 PM
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shamulater shamulater is offline
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Location: Outer Banks
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 196
Mein Auto: 99 M3
This is about the most informative link I've seen....I've still got several years left in my top but have investigated the process for when the day comes to replace.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=906187
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2010, 08:55 AM
vino4me vino4me is offline
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Location: Homosassa, FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 99 M3 Convertible
Great info

Thank you very much. That really helps make up my mind on self install!
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:41 AM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
BMWCCA 149159
Location: Panhandle of Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,634
Mein Auto: 335 vert//M3/4/ 13Outback
I have the GAHH top and I feel it is no different from the guys in my area that got the topsonline top. Quality of both is very good and one friend self installed, perfect, other has a shop do it but went overboard tinted rear plastic window, something you may wish to do since you are in Tampa and other things.
Tensions straps are a must. Just wait until it is cooler and plan on a full day.

Plus if I can find the link that shows a member removing and installing the entire top, tension strap and headliner.

http://www.unitedtravelcenter.com/BM...p_Removal.html
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2010, 03:19 PM
JephyM3 JephyM3 is offline
99 M3 Cabrio/Estoril/5spd
Location: Tampa Florida
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 99 M3 cabrio/Estoril/5spd
You can!

I'm sure you can re-do the top yourself--but it will take plenty of time. I've done the old Mecedes 560SL top which is comparable in complexity, and can say that as long as you've got the basic skills you'll be able to do a proper and good job. Research all the steps and have everything at hand before you start. There are a couple of related tutorials on Youtube you ought to check out before beginning, as well. Post pics and tips when done!!
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2010, 08:26 AM
vino4me vino4me is offline
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Location: Homosassa, FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 99 M3 Convertible
Thank you..

Thanks for the advice. I think I've combed the web pretty well. Couple of videos and a How to manual. Just have to do it.
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