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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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Old 03-30-2013, 12:35 PM
marke7981 marke7981 is offline
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Location: oregon
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: Z3
automatic top probs....confused


Last fall my 2005 Z4 had it's top stop about 4 inches from the from the top and froze. I carefully helped it back down and then tried again and it did close...however the red light kept flashing. So jump to this spring now I have it out and ready to go the light is still flashing but the windows will not open nor will the top budge. I checked in the trunk and the lid is adjusted correctly and seems to to be making contact with the microswitch.
I tried the remote for the top and that will operate the windows but the top will still not move. Is there an easy solution for this??? Does this make sense to anybody else??? Any insight would be most appreciated. Thanks, Mark
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:14 PM
fastgaas fastgaas is offline
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Location: Palo Alto, CA
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 33
Mein Auto: 2004 Z4
My recommendation is do a forum search on the Z4 top not working. There are some excellent posts and solutions that need not repeating.

It could be the switch, but the most common problem is the drains in the top pillar support tubs get clogged (did you ever clean them? didn't think so). In a decent rain the tubs (located in the car wall right behind the seats) fill with water. That would not normally be a problem except the hydraulic motor that drives the top is also located in the tub. You flood it a few times and it will bind up and fail. OK, it is a design flaw.

Happened to me. Top releases but hyd motor does not engage. Top opens a inch or two and light blicks.

Solution: You go to a dealer, he fixes it for $1000 to $2000. Or you follow the great instructions from Shipkiller on how to replace the top and replace the motor for a few hundred dollars (that is what I did)

Two years later my top works great and I always clean my drains.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:35 AM
vintage42's Avatar
vintage42 vintage42 is offline
BMW CCA 1405
Location: Louisville, KY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,750
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Originally Posted by fastgaas View Post
... I always clean my drains.
How do you do that?
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:10 AM
Teacher Blind Teacher Blind is offline
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Location: Red Bluff, California
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 67
Mein Auto: 2006 BMW Z4 3.0si
In the search box, type " clean soft top drains"
Go to the post entitled "05 z4 top motor prevention"

chickdr has a reply that will meet your needs
The post has a pdf file that gives excellent directions.
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