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  #1  
Old 10-06-2018, 05:50 PM
ragged claws ragged claws is offline
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Mein Auto:
z3 convertible top motor problems?

I'm thinking of buying a Z3 or Z4. I know that the early Z4s had problems with the vert top motor failing due to drainage issues and subsequent motor corrosion. Does the Z3 have these issues? Also, does the Z3 have the "sticky" steering problems the pre 2006 Z4s can have?

Thanks,

Kim
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2018, 04:27 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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The Z3 top motor is mounted high and dry, is not in a compartment with drainage and corrosion problems.
I am not aware of sticky steering in a Z3.
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:55 AM
ragged claws ragged claws is offline
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Thanks for the reply, Vintage 42. That's good news. Another reason to lean toward the Z3.

Kim
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2018, 10:47 AM
ragged claws ragged claws is offline
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I'm going to be looking at a 2001 Z3 2.5M in the next week or so. Owner said the convertible top motor doesn't work but the top can be raised and lowered manually. How hard is operating the top manually, and how expensive is a top motor replacement on this car? I know the vert top motor replacement on the early Z4s is $2K plus.

Thanks,
Kim
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:47 PM
leiniedude leiniedude is offline
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I have a 200 2.3, the top is not that hard to lift. You may know you have to turn the tee handle on the pump a half turn to release the preasure. Mine did not work when I got it. I thought my problem was the micro switch, I removed it and wired the two wires together. It will go closed now but you have to give it a little help by pulling it up to start it going. Still trying to figure it out. Sorry, I do not know the cost of the pump.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:36 PM
ragged claws ragged claws is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leiniedude View Post
I have a 200 2.3, the top is not that hard to lift. You may know you have to turn the tee handle on the pump a half turn to release the preasure. Mine did not work when I got it. I thought my problem was the micro switch, I removed it and wired the two wires together. It will go closed now but you have to give it a little help by pulling it up to start it going. Still trying to figure it out. Sorry, I do not know the cost of the pump.
Thanks for the reply. I did a little research after posting this thread and learned about turning the T handle on the pump. I don't mind operating the top manually as long as it doesn't take a gorilla to do it. I wish all the Z3 models came with the original manual top.

Kim
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2018, 03:33 PM
khammack khammack is offline
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The problem may not be with the top motor (not a common failure point). The micro switch (above the dirver's head) tends to fail and is easy to replace. It tells the motor that you have pushed the top up the required 6 inches at which point the motor can take over. Also there is a switch on the brake peddle which needs to work because you need to have your foot on the brake in order for the top to work. I'm sure there are other possibilities, so there is a chance that the top motor in this car may still work.
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Old 10-07-2018, 03:40 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragged claws View Post
... I don't mind operating the top manually as long as it doesn't take a gorilla to do it. I wish all the Z3 models came with the original manual top...
The manual top is not as easy as a Miata, but does not take a gorilla.
My early 1997 (Oct 1996) top is manual.
In Spring of 1997 a gas strut was added to make lifting easier. This required strut mounting points that my car does not have.
In mid-1997 a motor, pump and hydraulic strut were added.
I think that with the T-handle turned, the top takes the same effort as my manual top.
I tried to retrofit the gas strut, but found I did not have the ball stud mounts which require the ball studs and drilling into the body.

Last edited by vintage42; 10-07-2018 at 03:43 PM.
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