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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
saw John's photos with the hard top... looks really nice! over $2,000 though!! i'm wondering if I'd really use it that much here in the bay area. i'm sure it would be nice now and then, but how often do you all use yours that have em? storage might be another issue... :-/ how do people find the noise compares?

any comments/suggestions about the hard top are welcome.

thanks,
Wes
 

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Shiftin
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From My expereince

I owned an '01 325cic since Oct 13th 2000. I recently traded it in for an '03 330i. I had every option including the hardtop. The only reason why I bought the car was because I could have that option. The car is as quiet as a coupe with the top and looks great!! Although I personally had a lot of problems with keeping the softop in the compartment for long periods of time. I would notice water spots in the headliner from humidity building up. I also had to headliner straps snap off after raising it for the first time after the winter and the softop tends to develop wrinkles that don't stretch out. The car spent more time at the dealer than in my driveway, so for fear of paying for these softop repairs after warranty , I decided to trade. As nice as the hardtop looks, I would stay away from it and save the money or put it towards something else. I don't believe BMW has perfected the hardtop system on the E46's as of yet. Other people on this site may have different opinions or have had better experience and luck with their hardtop, but I will stand by mine since it comes from horrible personal experience. I hope this information is useful for ya and good luck!!:thumbup:
 

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I MUST have the hardtop here in Wisc. I take my car to a touchless automatic wash in winter and just do not want water on my soft top in below freezing weather. I also don't want all the salt and road grime from winter on the soft top. It is quieter, and also a bit of a change with the larger rear window and courtesy lights in the back. I feel like I have a new car and it truly feels like a coupe, complete with hand grips and clothes hooks. However, UNLIKE the 330ci, I can put down all four windows. I didn't have any of the problems mentioned above. I vacuum out the top storage area before the final lowering, the top is bone dry and I place a bedsheet over the top before lowering so that when folded the top doesn't rub against itself. After first raising in spring, I park it in the blazing sun for a couple of hours and all the wrinkles come out. My wife and I install and remove the hardtop, it's only 88 lbs. More clumsy than heavy. We store it on the wall on the apparatus that was in the crate when it was shipped as an aftermarket kit. In all honesty, in an area without freezing temps and where I could still wash my own car, I might well pass. For me, it's a good 5-6 months with the hardtop on.
 

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Hardtop

I have a 2002 330 CIC with hardtop.
Advantages:
1. Gives the car a second great look for approximately 6-7 months in the Winter.
2. Typical BMW quality, fits very well with no air noise or leaks.
3. I purchased the roll around rack which occupies a very small portion of my garage. Has a cover for Summer storage.
4. Two people can handle the on-off operation easily and I use towels and blankets to ensure there is no paint damge.
5. Has a larger rear window for better Winter vision.
Disadvantages.
1. Expensive option, over $2,000.
2. I took European Delivery and had to drive the car in Europe with the top on. The styrofoam storage block also disappered during shipping.
3. Limits trunk space because the softtop, when stored, occupies an area that is available for storage when it is up.
I would order the hartop if I lived in a Northern area, not the Sun belt.
 

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Re: Hardtop

CascadeTelcom said:
I have a 2002 330 CIC with hardtop.
Advantages:
1. Gives the car a second great look for approximately 6-7 months in the Winter.
2. Typical BMW quality, fits very well with no air noise or leaks.
3. I purchased the roll around rack which occupies a very small portion of my garage. Has a cover for Summer storage.
4. Two people can handle the on-off operation easily and I use towels and blankets to ensure there is no paint damge.
5. Has a larger rear window for better Winter vision.
Disadvantages.
1. Expensive option, over $2,000.
2. I took European Delivery and had to drive the car in Europe with the top on. The styrofoam storage block also disappered during shipping.
3. Limits trunk space because the softtop, when stored, occupies an area that is available for storage when it is up.
I would order the hartop if I lived in a Northern area, not the Sun belt.
I'd say that pretty well covers it!

How do you use these blankets/towels during on/off operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the replies guys... is there any way to order the top separate, as i would like to do ED as well... let's see pictures too!!!
 

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330Cic Hopeful said:
thanks for the replies guys... is there any way to order the top separate, as i would like to do ED as well... let's see pictures too!!!
Mine was separate. However, it is about $300-500 more expensive than OEM. You need the installation kit (wiring etc.) and installation labor by dealer. However, you can get the shipping bracket in the crate, mount it to the wall, and store the top there...thus, save the rolling cart cost. It's the blue metal thing on the wall as you look past the car.



Here she is in the dead of winter, top, Blizzak snows, Borbet winter wheels (which I hate) and a little salt on the garage floor for good measure.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmm, don't suppose i could order it oem and talk them into shipping it separately ;-)

tough choice, as i would love to have the option but just not sure it's justified where i live. i imagine i'd have the top down any day it wasn't raining =)

Wes
 

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330Cic Hopeful said:
hmm, don't suppose i could order it oem and talk them into shipping it separately ;-)

tough choice, as i would love to have the option but just not sure it's justified where i live. i imagine i'd have the top down any day it wasn't raining =)

Wes
If I were you, I'd pass. If ya gotta have it later you can get it and it will cost you $500 more. If you get it and don't use it, you blew $2300. Nobody in Calif. is going to pay you on resale for the top, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah, too much $$ and storage would be an issue for me as well (too bad, as the look is really nice!) I'm thinking of going with this:

330Cic w/Sports Package
Xenons
PDC
metallic paint (steel blue) w/black leather
bunwarmers - still up in the air on this one -- anyone care to comment?

I would like to work it out to purchase the birch anthracite trim to replace the titanium. at first i thought i liked it, but saw it up close today in a 330 wagon near my place and decided i didn't care for it.

assuming i can work out $1,000 over invoice for ED, that puts things at $39,875 before tax. what do you think? that pushing it a bit much?
 

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330Cic Hopeful said:
yeah, too much $$ and storage would be an issue for me as well (too bad, as the look is really nice!) I'm thinking of going with this:

330Cic w/Sports Package
Xenons
PDC
metallic paint (steel blue) w/black leather
bunwarmers - still up in the air on this one -- anyone care to comment?

I would like to work it out to purchase the birch anthracite trim to replace the titanium. at first i thought i liked it, but saw it up close today in a 330 wagon near my place and decided i didn't care for it.

assuming i can work out $1,000 over invoice for ED, that puts things at $39,875 before tax. what do you think? that pushing it a bit much?
heated seats are nice on cool Calif. nites topless. Get the rain sensing wipers, great! Maybe consider grey with the SB, prem pkg will get you myrtle wood. I'm guessing birch would be a bit bright against black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i have grey in my truck now, and really don't care for it... the Birch Anthracite is the blackish birch trim - you can see it on the Individual site http://www.bmw.com/bmwe/products/individual2/

would look very nice with the black i think =) since I don't want the myrtle, the PP seems to just add more things that could break :)
 

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330Cic Hopeful said:
i have grey in my truck now, and really don't care for it... the Birch Anthracite is the blackish birch trim - you can see it on the Individual site http://www.bmw.com/bmwe/products/individual2/

would look very nice with the black i think =) since I don't want the myrtle, the PP seems to just add more things that could break :)
I can't tell from the pic on the site, but if it's like my father's black maple? in his SLK 320 I don't like it. It always looked like a black car that was dusty and then rained on. My taste only, he likes it. I was mistaken before however, didn't realize you meant anthracite in the previous post.
 

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My opinion is don't get the hardtop. It prevents you from putting the top down on those occasional warm sunny winter days we get in NJ. You also have to store it during the warm months. I don't know what a replacement soft top would be, but I guess it's probably less than the cost of the hard top. I say use the soft top, and if it eventually gets ruined, replace it with the money you would have spent on the hard top.
 

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egruber said:
My opinion is don't get the hardtop. It prevents you from putting the top down on those occasional warm sunny winter days we get in NJ. You also have to store it during the warm months. I don't know what a replacement soft top would be, but I guess it's probably less than the cost of the hard top. I say use the soft top, and if it eventually gets ruined, replace it with the money you would have spent on the hard top.
No reason for the soft top to get ruined if cared for properly. I use RaggTopp cleaner and protectant, separate products, and the top is like new. www.wolfsteins.com
 

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330Cic Hopeful said:
bunwarmers - still up in the air on this one -- anyone care to comment?
Don't get the car without heated seats!!! Heated seats are a must for a convertible, they will greatly expand the amount of time you can comfortably drop the top. If you are buying rather than leasing, the lack of heated seats could be a factor come resale time. My wife, in particular, couldn't do without them. Maybe this is a gross generalization, but I've always found that women are much more sensitive to cold than guys. My girl uses the heated seats once the temperatue gets near 70 degrees, and without them she'd want the top up much more often, paticularly in spring and fall. Crisp spring and fall days are great times for a convertible, and that's when you'll really appreciate the seat warmers.
 

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E46 in Philly said:


My girl uses the heated seats once the temperatue gets near 70 degrees, and without them she'd want the top up much more often, paticularly in spring and fall. Crisp spring and fall days are great times for a convertible, and that's when you'll really appreciate the seat warmers.
Without sun, 70 can be quite cool topless. For me 80 degree eve is perfect.
 

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330Cic Hopeful said:
330Cic w/Sports Package
Xenons
PDC
metallic paint (steel blue) w/black leather
bunwarmers - still up in the air on this one -- anyone care to comment?
I've got an '01 330Cic, Orient Blue, with SP, PP, Xenons, Heated seats, and NAV. I don't regret anything I got, or anything I left out.

The rain sensing wipers are terrific. I've heard a few stories of problems with them, but mine have been perfect. I'm a bit fanatical about wiper rate matching rainfall, so I always end up fiddling constantly with the variable delay in any other car I drive (I hate squeeking wipers, and of course want to be able to see when the sky deluges). So, the rain sensing technology was a blessing for me.

I'd also stay away from PDC, unless you would classify yourself as a hopeless parking moron (my wife falls into that category -- she won't even ATTEMPT to parallel park). The system is annoying and can't be turned off, unless they changed that in MY02.

Dave
 

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Bun warmers--Yes!

I second the vote for bunwarmers in an iC. :thumbup: I lived in and around SF for most of six years. The bun warmers were great--flip 'em on when you hit the fog in the western part of SF. Flip 'em off when the sun's back out. :D Keep in mind, since the top is open the heater (air) doesn't have as much of an effect. Probably obvious, but maybe not if you haven't driven al fresco before.

I never had the hardtop, and I can't see why you'd need it there, unless you want to take the car to the Sierras. As you say, unless it's raining, you'll have the top down. Seriously--when it's sunny, even in winter you can usually put the top down.
 

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here in the mountains of NC, NOT down in the low lands where its hot as hell! I am in the colder part of the state (ski area) it gets down in the single digits/teens, and snows more in the mountains for sure here..I wanted the hard top too...but its espensive :( :cry: but its looks GREAT...gives Johnlew's car a whole new look!! :thumbup:
 
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