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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all,
I recently bought a 1994 325i and the convertible top needs fully replaced. I don't believe the top that is on the car is the original because the back windows do not go up all the way with the top up. I can't seem to find a replacement anywhere online with the frame (all I can find is the cloth, no frame). The top also doesn't have the rear window attached, which from what I'm understanding is a major pain to put back on. It does seem to be an automatic top, the roof motor isn't in the car though. The only way I can seem to put it up/down is by basically simulating the automatic turning of the motor using two wrenches, which takes two people to make sure it's done properly without worrying about major damage.

I guess I should have passed on this car, but I'm deeming this a labor of love and would really appreciate any advice when it comes to my roof situation
 

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Instead of buying a whole new top why not just buy a new motor? That way you can reuse the top you have now. Or you could always go hard top. They look better IMO but are kinda pricey

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Discussion Starter #4
Well my problem with just buying a new motor is that the back windows don't line up properly with the current roof so they don't go up all the way with the top up. It could just be a window issue, but they work fine when the top is down. Also that would mean figuring out the plastic/vinyl window situation

I could go hard top, and think it does look good, but I live in the heart of humid country, Coastal South Carolina and would love to be able to ride with the top down

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I have never owned a vert but from the ones I have seen all of the windows look the same. I would maybe look into the rear windows. Sometimes the front windows on my coupe don't go up all the way and seal due to some regulatoron the door. It could be something like that. Cheapest option if your looking for a whole top would probably be a scrap yard

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Your cheapest option might be to take it to a rag top pro. It might just need some adjustments and have the back window put back in. He can at least give you an estimate on making things right. Then look for a motor on ebay or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What I've been thinking is maybe it'd be worth it to just make it 100% manual for the roof so I don't even have to worry about a motor. I know there's a way to just take the automatic stuff out and make it basically a manual, but that leaves the window problems that need fixed before it's really secure so rain doesn't get in and mess with the electrical systems

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Looking at your one picture of the car, the problem is with the windows themselves and not the top. They need to be adjusted. I do not envy you the task. :(
 

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What I've been thinking is maybe it'd be worth it to just make it 100% manual for the roof so I don't even have to worry about a motor. I know there's a way to just take the automatic stuff out and make it basically a manual, but that leaves the window problems that need fixed before it's really secure so rain doesn't get in and mess with the electrical systems

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That's probably a better option. I have a fully auto top so i don't have that choice but I would if I could. :thumbup:
 

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You might try putting the windows up with the top down and then carefully put the top up and see if the windows are truly up and will then seal or you will see where there might be a misalignment between the top and windows that you can work to correct. Possible too that you just need to resync the windows. i have a semi auto top that I converted to manual and no more fiddling ! Back plastic window should be pretty doable with a number of videos out there to help. Keep at it !
 

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You can buy a replacement rear window from emiata.com. The rear window zips in place and the emiata window comes with the instructions.
When the top is down and you put the rear windows up are they in line with the door windows or are the angled out more? If they're angled out then you'll need to pull the rear inside trim panels and check the track guides. That's also where you have to go if you need to align them to the top.
If you're going to replace the top motor you need to start looking in salvage yards as a new motor costs just under $1K.
 
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