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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 11:32 AM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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Convertible Top Not Working

I have a 1999 323ic with fully automatic convertible top. When I press the switch to lower the top, the only thing that happens is that all the windows go down one inch at a time until they are fully lowered. Nothing happens with the top at all, and I don't hear any motors running during this time. I have tried to reset procedure, but this does nothing. Anything I can do or check before I bring it to someone who can check the computer codes?

Thanks,
Derek
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2012, 11:52 AM
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I have no idea, sorry.

Also, that's why I'll never own an E36 convertible.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:21 PM
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Did you reengage all the motors? 2 on the back and 1 on top?
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2012, 04:14 PM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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I never dis-engaged them. The top was working fine. I do have an front airbag light on in the dash. Can't remember if the top was working before that light came on. Don't know if that would affect the top function. Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:11 PM
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If you've never disengaged the motors then you haven't done the resync procedure. Resync is done with the top fully down and in the storage compartment. See page 19 of the vert troubleshooting guide.
If you had some kind of a power system glitch then it's possible that your airbag light is related to your recent top problems.
Given the amount of work involved in manually opening the fully automatic top, I'd be tempted to fix the airbag issue first since it needs fixing anyway, and then move on to other things with the top if it was still non-functional.
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File Type: pdf E36%20Convertible%20Adjust.pdf (878.8 KB, 2200 views)
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:47 AM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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DC - thanks. Several months before this problem, I popped the motors and manually put down the top, then sucessfully resynched the top. It was working fine except that it would not quite meet the windshield so that the hooks could grab, unless I pulled it down on the drivers side. Then the hooks would grab, and it would seal and complete the procedure, blinking red light would go off. Everything seemed normal. I probably did this about 20 times until one day, I went to put top down and experienced the situation I described with the windows being funky and no movement on the top. I'll have the shop fix the airbag light issue and see if that solves the problem. I am also wondering if by me having to pull down the top to the windshield if I knocked any of the micro switches out of adjustment. Do you think that is a possible cause for what I'm experiencing? Also, do you have any idea who might know if the way the windows are acting when I try to lower the top is an indicator of a specific problem? As I said, when I try to lower top, the red light blinks, and all the windows go down an inch at a time until they are fully lowered. Very strange. Never had that happen before. Thank you.

Derek
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:02 AM
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Airbag light most likely not related, but as DC said, get it fixed anyway.

It sounds like there's a bad microswitch somewhere. I don't have the time to investigate, but the answer is probably in that pdf DC linked.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:05 AM
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thanks, Petriei
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:07 AM
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DC - just a follow up. My convertible top was not working. All that would happen is my windows would go down 1 inch at a time until they were fully down but nothing would happen with top. I took it too a shop that works on a lot of BMWs. They said the top function shut down to prevent it from burning up. They reset the codes in the module box, and it worked as usual. The problem, though, it that there is a strap that is broken, so it is getting caught. If the motor has to work too hard, it will trip the code in the convertible module box and shut down the auto top function. They quoted me a cost of $150 for the repair kit and up to $300 in labor, depending upon how long it takes to replace. Thanks for your input on this.
Derek
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2012, 04:26 PM
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Thanks for the update with the fix! Too many times we never get what the final fix was. This is one I'll tuck away in the memory bank for future use.......
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:04 AM
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Convert Top Not Working???

The convertible top suddenly seemed to stop working after returning from the airport. I had just loaded a large suit case into the trunk and the trunk did not completely close but was drivable. The switch to bring down the top appeared to be dead. I read the manual. It said that if the trunk is not closed the top will not come down. After removing the suit case and closing the trunk, the top came down as usual.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:08 AM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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top not working 99 e36 328ic

my top isnt working either!!!!! when i press the switch my windows go down halfway and my lights dim for a quick second. any suggestions????? ive never used the top before i just got the car also im 16 HELP MEEEEE
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:41 AM
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Do you have the semi auto top or the full auto top? If it's the semi auto top there's a manual release handle to release the front of the top from the windshield frame. Once released you have to push the front of the top up about 10"-12" while simultaneously pressing the top down button. Also in the Super Sticky thread if you look at the Origami Problems thread there are vert top trouble shooting guides you can download.
Did you try to top before you bought the car? Was it working and then stopped working or have you never seen it work?
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:52 PM
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hey! thanks for the help, yes its fully automatic the only release from the window frame is that hex allen key you have to turn a million times, ive tried eveything on youtube, when i first got it, when i pressed the down button i heard the motors running but nothing moved, so i asked my cousin to help me (bc he had a 96 vert) and he re-engaged the motors and they still didnt work and i didnt hear the motor running anymore, so we tried to open it a little bit with the hex allen key thingy to "get it going" and it still didnt work, a couple days later i disengage the motors with the lever under the back seat and i made sure they were out and i pressed the down button so i could see if they were still moving i heard nothing... i still hear nothing like the motors stopped working, so i out the motors back in place and now everytime i press the down button the lights dim and the windows roll down nothing happens and the red light still blinks.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Do you have the semi auto top or the full auto top? If it's the semi auto top there's a manual release handle to release the front of the top from the windshield frame. Once released you have to push the front of the top up about 10"-12" while simultaneously pressing the top down button. Also in the Super Sticky thread if you look at the Origami Problems thread there are vert top trouble shooting guides you can download.
Did you try to top before you bought the car? Was it working and then stopped working or have you never seen it work?
sorry for the late reply, also i got the car on copart so i didnt check it out before i bought it
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:36 PM
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When you've released the motors you have to resync the top, otherwise the controller doesn't know where it is and won't move it. To do the resync, the top has to be in the FULLY DOWN position. You need to release the motors again, manually put the top down, then run the sync procedure.
To run the sync, with the ignition off, hold the top down button in the down position and turn the ignition on while continuing to hold the button. After about 10 seconds, the top should pull down a bit further into the storage compartment, and then the storage compartment lid should pull down and latch. If it does the resync properly, try putting it back up, and it should close ok.
If it won't resync, then report back and we'll look at the next step in trouble shooting.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:12 AM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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I read about that but...

Can you teach me to put it down manually? I donít know how and It would be really useful to know Iíve tried to do it but itís not working, I pulled the lever to disengage the motors but I heard thereís some kind of lock on the back end?
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatBlueBimmer View Post
Can you teach me to put it down manually? I donít know how and It would be really useful to know Iíve tried to do it but itís not working, I pulled the lever to disengage the motors but I heard thereís some kind of lock on the back end?
Since you've got the fully automatic top, there's two parts to putting it up or down manually. First part is to pull the red handled lever under the rear seat to release the top and storage compartment lid motors. Second part is to pop off the plastic panel on the front bow of the top (right above the rear view mirror) and use the Allen wrench tool from the BMW tool kit or any Allen wrench that will fit, and manually turn it until the front bow unlatches from the windshield frame and raises up past the tension point for the top. The tension point is where the front has moved up far enough to where the tautness is off the top canvas and you can push up on the front of the top and it will move without forcing it. Note that it will seem like it takes 1,000 turns of the wrench to get the front of the top lifted up.
Once everything is released, lift up on the front of the top to remove the tension and lift up the rear bow of the top so that you can open the storage compartment lid. While holding the storage compartment lid up, push the top rearward and into the storage compartment. While this can be done by one person with some difficulty, it's really a two person job. You'll soon determine that this was only intended to be used for emergencies where you need to put the top up (reverse the steps above), because it's too much work to use all the time.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:32 AM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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:)

Ok ima try that; Iíll keep you updated! Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:15 PM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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Help :(

When I released both the motors and I used the Allen to unlatch the front, the front only opens like half a foot and itís not letting me pull the back pat of the canvas top up, it feels like itís resisting... is that ok?
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:19 PM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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I feel a lot of tension
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:35 PM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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Update!!!

I got the top down, I had to push the front up little by little while turning the Allen, i used a power drill with a Allen bit, it helped a LOT haha Should I put the motors back in before I resync it?
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:45 PM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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I think the sync procedure isn't working? I pressed down the key and turned the car on, nothing happened.....
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:32 PM
ThatBlueBimmer ThatBlueBimmer is offline
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UPDATE AGAIN!!! before I Re synced it, i had to hold down the top cover behind the back seats and open the trunk, I had to re engage the motors then resync it, and it pulled down and latched!!! I'm so juiced to I went to put it up and it worked!! I couldn't run anymore operation tests because it started to rain but I got a pic with it down before it started raining, I'll try to add a pic
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:41 PM
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update, after i recynced it and it worked but my battery died and it go up all the way so i recharged the battery and its not working again??? and my plastic window cracked in half when i put the top down but i can always obtain a new one... im gonna try to resync it again in a couple days

Last edited by ThatBlueBimmer; 01-25-2018 at 07:31 PM.
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