Snapped convertible lid bowden cable - Anyone DIY it yet? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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E46 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 08-28-2018, 02:28 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Snapped convertible lid bowden cable - Anyone DIY it yet?

One of the convertible lid bowden cables snapped on my car a couple of weekends ago. The top is in down position, the lid is locked and will not release via top up button, impossible to put the top up without some disassembly.

I was traveling right after it happened so I parked the car in the garage, ordered both cables from FCP Euro, made an appointment at a local shop to have the work done. The appointment was made for today because I returned home last night and am flying off again tomorrow so I only had one day to get it done.

I somehow ended up with the wrong cable from FCP Euro and the local dealer does not have it in stock, so I've wasted my window of opportunity to have the top fixed the one day I was home. The cable is on order from the dealer and will be waiting for me when I get home on Sunday. Since Monday is Labor day, I will try to tackle the job myself then because I need the car back on the road and the ability to put the top up.

I searched for DIY's and nothing of value came up. Newtis has the procedure here but either I need to spend more time reading through the breadcrumb of procedures or something is missing. What is not clear to me is how to get to the latch end of the cable with the lid stuck closed? Is it accessible with side trim removed? With the trim removed, can I pull on the cable and release the latch?

I was going to start tearing into it tonight to see what awaits me on Monday, but if anyone has any info to pass along, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions

Last edited by FredoinSF; 08-28-2018 at 04:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2018, 02:53 PM
vc4's Avatar
vc4 vc4 is offline
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This is interested

Unfortunately I can not provide any advice...
Keep us posted make a DIY
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2018, 08:21 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Since I could not find a DIY on this , I decided to do one using steps and pictures. Here it goes.

- Order the part. Part number is 51-25-8-227-907 and it's the same part for left and right sides.



- Back car out of garage, talk cars with neighbor, gather tools. Tools needed are:
7mm hex socket
8mm hex socket or T20 torx (apparently two types of fasteners are out there.)
10mm hex socket
5mm Allen wrench



- The cable that snapped on my car is the one on the passenger side. What needs to come out are the back seat (three parts), the side panel (three parts), and the latch.


- First to go was the center trim piece. If your car has a rear airbag, make sure key is not in ignition and disconnect the negative terminal. Mine has no airbag so I could skip that step.
Start by removing the two bolts at the bottom of the arm rest. Mine were 8mm hex but I have seen references to T20 so YMMV on this one.
This picture shows the location of the bolts in the armrest. Picture taken from bottom:


- Once armrest bolts are out pull out from bottom rear and move forward. There is a clip towards the front. Picture of the tabs that slide into upper trim piece, and rough placement of rear clip:


- Disconnect the speaker:
https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Car...IMG_8556-M.jpg


- Then I work on the seat. There are tree piece to remove: The center pass through cover, the bottom seat cushion, then the back cushion.

This picture shows the center pass through cover removed (easy, just pull from the top.) Before pulling the bottom cushion unsnap the leather piece from the center rod.


Then grab the bottom of the seat cushion and pull up. The seat attaches near dead center in on the right and left side.


To remove the back rest, take out the 2 10mm fasteners at the bottom of the backrest then simply pull up.


- Back to the trim. I took out the bottom part first, but you could likely do upper or bottom in either order. First thing to do is remove the three 7mm bolts running along the bottom of upper trim piece:


- Then pull the bottom trim piece starting from the rear. I believe there is one clip towards the front:


- To pull the upper trim piece you need to first remove the plastic rivet that holds the rubber trim to the upper trim piece:


- Then pull gently on the trim piece. It is secured by a line of metal clips along the top side to the trim. Once it comes loose you will need to carefully remove the spring from the sliding cover which is shown partially opened in picture below:


- From there I had to open the lid. I used pliers and pulled on the snapped end of the cable while pressing the button to operate the top. A helper is handy, but it can be done solo as I did.
In the picture below, the center part is where the cables connect. Unsnap the black cover to expose the cables:


Then I pulled on the cable with pliers to release the cover:


- With the top partially open, the latch becomes visible. It is held by two 5mm allen bolts:



- With the two allen bolts out, unplug the latch motor connector and work the latch out of its cave. There is a zip tie holding the wires that could be cut (the zip tie, not the wires) for more room to move, but I had enough room to work with the zip tie untouched.


- Remove the cable from the latch. It is held but a sliding metal pin dealio and a plastic clip. The sliding dealio was easy, the best way to remove the clip is to squeeze the sides and work it free.


- Now that the cable is unhooked from both sides it can be removed. Pull the carpet and work the cable out, then the rubber trim along the rear side panel to do so. Notice that there is a rubber grommet inside the quarter panel, easy to deal with.


This picture shows the grommet for old cable still in place and the new cable that I had started to feed.


From there on out it's about working in reverse. A couple of tips / observations:
- There is a hole in the quarter panel where the grommet fits. It's tight getting the latch end of the cable in, but doable.
- For reassembly, work on latch side first, then do the motor side.
- I used the paper trick on the allen bolts, or else they drop and are impossible to fish out without a magnet.
- Don't forget to reconnect the wire for the latch and test things out.
- I did not have to adjust anything, everything worked perfectly.
- Took me a little over 2 hours, but I was working slowly.

Good luck!
__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:30 AM
rav31 rav31 is offline
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Thanks for this write-up & info with pictures. I hope I never have to replace the cable but thanks for showing how.
kudos to you
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2018, 12:19 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is online now
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Nice work but, as I own a coupe, this is only of mild academic interest except for one key point, to wit: What is that intriguing antique in bay #5?!
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:05 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rav31 View Post
Thanks for this write-up & info with pictures. I hope I never have to replace the cable but thanks for showing how.

kudos to you


Thanks. Seems like it is inevitable long term. Since I couldnít find a diy I hope this helps someone in the future.


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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2018, 07:06 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Reno NV & Healdsburg CA
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 7,138
Mein Auto: 4 BMWs, 1 Mini, 1 Vespa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
Nice work but, as I own a coupe, this is only of mild academic interest except for one key point, to wit: What is that intriguing antique in bay #5?!


Itís a Packard straight 8 touring limo. 1941 or 42. Absolutely gorgeous.


Sent from my iPad using Bimmerfest mobile app
__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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bowden cable, convertible top, top stuck


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