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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 07-02-2015, 06:20 PM
chatcher chatcher is offline
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Down goes another top motor

Lost the top motor on my 03 today. I keep the drain holes clean and just checked them probably within the last few weeks. I have ordered the motor and new housing tonight and have read over shipkillers DIY (will probably print it up when the time comes to tear into this) Any other words of wisdom or links out there that may help?

Thanks in advance for any help and I'll post pics once I have it out.
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2015, 06:35 PM
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enzed4 enzed4 is offline
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From my experience of replacing the motor:
Take your time. Read the instructions at least once or twice before even turning the first screw.
MASK around the back and sides - you do NOT want to scratch the car removing or replacing the top. You've already paid enough for the motor, don't have to pay more for paint repair.
Buy the washer kit/accessory kit and replace everything that can be replaced. This is not a job to cut any corners. Probably goes for the sound insulation housing as well, unless your motor is dry and has just died.
Start early so you don't have to rush to complete the job, or have somewhere you can safely store the top overnight if you can't complete it in one go. Seems to take anywhere from about 4 to 8 hours looking at other members' efforts.
Remember you will need an assistant to lift the top out, and to replace it. Think carefully who you can trust to do this...
Print out Shipkiller's guide so you have it with you during the job. It really is a lifesaver.
Finally, if it helps, take lots of photos of every stage, just in case you need to refer back and see what goes where. It will cost you nothing but a little time, but could save a lot of time and frustration if you get to a stage where you can't remember how something was before you started.
Good luck
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2015, 07:15 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Condolences! At some point the motor will die, even if it's not from corrosion.....

As Enzed indicated. mask the body around the rear portion of the top. I put down blue painters tape and then a layer of duct tape over that so it had some durability. Worked great.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2015, 06:09 AM
kalali kalali is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatcher View Post
Lost the top motor on my 03 today. I keep the drain holes clean and just checked them probably within the last few weeks. I have ordered the motor and new housing tonight and have read over shipkillers DIY (will probably print it up when the time comes to tear into this) Any other words of wisdom or links out there that may help?

Thanks in advance for any help and I'll post pics once I have it out.
Sorry to hear that. Just out of curiosity, did the motor die instantly or it gave you some warning signs, like laboring, etc.? I'm sure you ruled everything else out before ordering the parts. Keep us posted and may be you could even enhance Shipkiller's instructions with more pictures for those of us who are next in line.... Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2015, 02:59 PM
chatcher chatcher is offline
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No heads up was working fine than nothing. ECS says the new motor should ship in six days. Ill def take pics of what I find.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2015, 05:19 PM
Twixboy Twixboy is online now
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Sorry to hear that chatcher. Weird the motor gave you no warning though. I'm sure you already checked, but you sure it wasn't a fuse or relay?
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2015, 06:00 AM
stnecut stnecut is offline
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I'm sure you've heard this before.....
  • Plan on it taking a day.
  • Try to have somebody give you a hand.
  • Plan on getting frustrated by something that does not come apart easy, or does not look like the instructions.
  • Plan on walking away for 10 minutes when you get frustrated.
  • Plan on saying "that was a piece of cake, what else can I fix" when you are done.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2015, 08:41 PM
JerBearr JerBearr is offline
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I wrote a lot towards the end. This was my repair. I suggest reading this. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...813&highlight=
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2015, 09:03 PM
chatcher chatcher is offline
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What a nightmare. Took me 6 hours and I may have walked away few times But its done. Just want to say thanks to shipkiller and every one else who posted. On a scale of one to ten that was def an 11 I did it alone but never actually completely removed the top. I used bungies and rachet straps and just lifted it above the car while I swapped the motor and housing.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2015, 09:27 PM
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enzed4 enzed4 is offline
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Hats off to you for managing the top removal and refitting alone - I think it would have been 10 times harder without someone to help during those two stages...
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:51 AM
JerBearr JerBearr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatcher View Post
What a nightmare. Took me 6 hours and I may have walked away few times But its done. Just want to say thanks to shipkiller and every one else who posted. On a scale of one to ten that was def an 11 I did it alone but never actually completely removed the top. I used bungies and rachet straps and just lifted it above the car while I swapped the motor and housing.
Good job. I wish I thought of that because I damaged my paint when it was going back in.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2015, 07:06 AM
TennesseeZ4 TennesseeZ4 is offline
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Top Motor Question

Just out of curiosity, how long did the deceased motor last? Sounds like you took good care of the top motor, but it simply died. And great idea about the lift assist.
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2015, 07:19 PM
chatcher chatcher is offline
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Originally Posted by JerBearr View Post
Good job. I wish I thought of that because I damaged my paint when it was going back in.
I didn't damage the paint but I did scratch the pass side hoop/roll bar headrest

Quote:
Originally Posted by TennesseeZ4 View Post
Just out of curiosity, how long did the deceased motor last? Sounds like you took good care of the top motor, but it simply died. And great idea about the lift assist.
I don't know how long as I'm not the original owner but it may have been the original as it had a sticker on the housing that said warranty void if seal broken.
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2015, 02:26 AM
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enzed4 enzed4 is offline
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I didn't damage the paint but I did scratch the pass side hoop/roll bar headrest
Mine is scratched too, but I sure don't remember doing it while removing the top. I've been planning on painting them a satin black, but:
A) I understand the two halves of the covers are a real bitch kitty to separate without breaking clips
B) I'm worried the top going up and down over the covers will wear the paint off and make them look worse than the few scratches they have at present.
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:56 AM
JerBearr JerBearr is offline
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Originally Posted by enzed4 View Post
Mine is scratched too, but I sure don't remember doing it while removing the top. I've been planning on painting them a satin black, but:
A) I understand the two halves of the covers are a real bitch kitty to separate without breaking clips
B) I'm worried the top going up and down over the covers will wear the paint off and make them look worse than the few scratches they have at present.
Wrap it. If you wrap over a small scratch like that it will be invisible or VERRRRRY unnoticable to the average joe. I've wrapped all my trim in silver carbon fiber and it looks fanominal
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:52 PM
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enzed4 enzed4 is offline
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Wrap it. If you wrap over a small scratch like that it will be invisible or VERRRRRY unnoticable to the average joe. I've wrapped all my trim in silver carbon fiber and it looks fanominal
Pics or it didn't happen
Seriously, can you upload a couple of pics to show the result? Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2015, 04:32 PM
JerBearr JerBearr is offline
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Originally Posted by enzed4 View Post
Pics or it didn't happen
Seriously, can you upload a couple of pics to show the result? Thanks.
Yeah I definitely will. The car is currently jacked up so I will do it tomorrow when I let her down. I haven't wrapped those pieces yet but I plan to. When I wrapped the rest of the car last year I didn't know how to take the pieces appart to wrap but now that I know how to take them appart I will probably do it in a few months when I get the chance.
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2015, 05:14 PM
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enzed4 enzed4 is offline
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When I wrapped the rest of the car last year I didn't know how to take the pieces appart to wrap but now that I know how to take them appart I will probably do it in a few months when I get the chance.
Have you found a technique that doesn't break the clips...?
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:15 PM
JerBearr JerBearr is offline
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Have you found a technique that doesn't break the clips...?
I just used a pry tool for everything I took out. I think I broke one or two clips because the panels are just so tight, but to be honest it doesn't matter if a few clips break. Just try not to make those few clips on the same panel. Hahaha if a Clip breaks on a panel it'll still clip in and you won't really notice a difference, it'll stay in tightly still.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:04 PM
impreza276 impreza276 is offline
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How was the condition of the top drain hole? I'm curious whether there was large debris or fine dirt.
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  #21  
Old 07-14-2015, 04:11 AM
chatcher chatcher is offline
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How was the condition of the top drain hole? I'm curious whether there was large debris or fine dirt.
Clean and dry
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:21 PM
JerBearr JerBearr is offline
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The third picture (the one with the shifter and the e-brake) has a few flaws in it. When you wrap vinyl around a corner you have to cut slits in the vinyl so when you heat it up to make it will make a clean finish around the edge. When I cut the slits near the curves I didnt cut them far enough, thats why it looks like its peeling up there. Thats been like that for 11+ months and will probably never peel up unless I pick at it. Its funny because that was the last panel I wrapped so you would think I would screw up and somehow, even with my experience, I did screw up. So, thats just user error when applying lol The only thing wrong with any of the panels I wrapped (that wasnt caused by my incompetence to wrap) is on the same panel. If you look closely to the right of the e-brake there is a little spot where you can see a tiny piece ripped off. I honestly have ZERO idea how it happened but I can suspect I stabbed it with a sharp object getting in or out. The vinyl is very durable so I had to have hit it with a really sharp object, but thats not even really noticeable because the silver vinyl is almost the EXACT same shade as the silver color the panel was previously.
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