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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 04-23-2014, 06:37 AM
nh_handyman nh_handyman is offline
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Location: New Hampshire
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 325i Convertible
Do I need a new convertible top or can it be saved?

'95 325ic - unclear when (or if) the top was ever replaced.

The rear 'window' needs to be replaced - I know that.

The rest of the roof seems in pretty good shape (with an exception of the flap being loose on the pass side covering some of the gear work and the piping in the picture that is attached).

My question is, this piping that is hanging out in the attached picture, can it be sewn back in?

Should I spend the money to get an entire new roof or just the window? I'll be DIYing the installation.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2014, 09:58 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Bad news. You need a new top. The thread in your top seams has rotted and is breaking down. Eventually (possibly even shortly) that rear seam will split open across most of the rear bow and you'll start to see other seams opening up. You can try sewing that open area back closed, but you'll be chasing that all the way across eventually. Ask me how I know.....

That is exactly how my top died.

Since you'll be DIYing this, make certain in addition to the new top canvas that you get a tension strap set, and the kit with the "bat wings" and cords for the "C pillar"area of the top.
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Last edited by dc_wright; 04-23-2014 at 10:01 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2014, 10:18 AM
nh_handyman nh_handyman is offline
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Location: New Hampshire
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 325i Convertible
Great - I'm two-for-two today on the questions and answers.

That is exactly the info I wanted to find out.

I'll plan on a complete roof and did see mention of the tension straps in another post.

Brian
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2014, 02:25 PM
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71_340 71_340 is offline
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Mein Auto: 99 328i Convertible
Looks like the top on mine, seperating in the same spot. I am getting a new top, tension straps, and tension cables all in one kit for around $600.00 on ebay.

I am still undecided if I try to replace it myself or pay somebody to do it. I will get me a price quote for the labor and if I can get it done for $1000.00 including the parts I will not touch it.
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2014, 06:16 AM
nh_handyman nh_handyman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 325i Convertible
Thanks again - PM'd for link to kit
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2014, 06:23 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by 71_340 View Post
Looks like the top on mine, separating in the same spot. I am getting a new top, tension straps, and tension cables all in one kit for around $600.00 on ebay.

I am still undecided if I try to replace it myself or pay somebody to do it. I will get me a price quote for the labor and if I can get it done for $1000.00 including the parts I will not touch it.
If you get a top that comes with the bow clips already glued in place, doing the top is tedious, but manageable. Some of the cheaper tops just give you the clips and the glue and you have to figure out proper placement and wait a day or so for the glue to cure which really extends the time for the job. Just be certain to investigate thoroughly what you're actually getting.
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  #7  
Old 04-24-2014, 07:32 AM
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71_340 71_340 is offline
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dc,

Thanks for the advice about the bow clips! Got love the forum.

Brian,

I sent you the info you requested via email.
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  #8  
Old 04-24-2014, 04:42 PM
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71_340 71_340 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
If you get a top that comes with the bow clips already glued in place, doing the top is tedious, but manageable. Some of the cheaper tops just give you the clips and the glue and you have to figure out proper placement and wait a day or so for the glue to cure which really extends the time for the job. Just be certain to investigate thoroughly what you're actually getting.
dc,

I am looking to get one of those two kits:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/221423970626...84.m1423.l2649

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=281317729266

Looking at the pictures in the listings can you tell me if those have the clips you are referring to already glued in?

Also, since you have already installed a top are there any areas where the replacement top has to be glued on to the frame or w/s header or is this strictly a matter of a whole lot of screws and rivets.

Thanks for your advice.
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  #9  
Old 04-24-2014, 06:25 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by 71_340 View Post
dc,

I am looking to get one of those two kits:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/221423970626...84.m1423.l2649

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=281317729266

Looking at the pictures in the listings can you tell me if those have the clips you are referring to already glued in?

Also, since you have already installed a top are there any areas where the replacement top has to be glued on to the frame or w/s header or is this strictly a matter of a whole lot of screws and rivets.

Thanks for your advice.
The first top looks like it's got the plastic parts already glued in place so it should work for you. It's screws, bolts, rivets, lacing, and cursing from there......
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2014, 06:44 PM
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71_340 71_340 is offline
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Location: FLW, Missouri
 
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Mein Auto: 99 328i Convertible
Thanks, and I found that talking (cursing) to my car sometimes helps......if nothing else I feel better afterwards.
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