SoftTop Failure

Discuss problems you have had or are having with your Z4

SoftTop Failure

Postby Shipkiller - Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:02 am

Walked out from the office and tried to open the top, no go. Opened the trunk, and found my tool bag had moved the 'convertible top compartment floor' up a little bit. Moved the tool back out of the way and now the top opens.

Drove home with the top down. Shut the top, washed the car.

Then I tried to open the top. No go. Just had a orange light. No relay clicks, or other noises. The windows did not even move. :o

Cycled the 'floor' up and down a couple of times but no dice. Ok, now lets find out whats up. Starting to get just a little bit worried due to all of the posts about bad electrical motors....

Checked all three fuses. They are good.
Unlocked the front of the top manually, hit the red release in the trunk and opened the top up. It opens very easy so it's not a binding problem or foreign debris problem in the mechanism.

Now to see what happens, I press the close button. Hey, the top closes normally. Ok, it's not the motor.... :D

It has to be a microswitch. Ok, where is that 'convertible top compartment floor' switch.

Went looking in my BMW shop manual. Found it. But now it is getting too dark to work.

I guess my Thanksgiving will be spent NOT watching football or playing on the computer, it will be fixing the Z.

I have PDF's of the removal and replacement (right out of the shop manual) but I have to go figure out how to post them...
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby WLH - Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:05 am

Have a happy Thanksgiving... :P
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Color - Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:11 am

You are sooo helpful WLH!! :poke: :lol:
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby fire-n-ice - Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:36 am

WLH wrote:Have a happy Thanksgiving... :P

Image...Really, you know we care Ship. Please let us know when you get it fixed in the event any of us have the same issue. You have a warranty yes?
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Shipkiller - Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:42 am

My car is out of warranty, but I bought an aftermarket warranty ( after lots of research). I don't want to use it just yet. It is too soon and I don't want to raise any eyebrows about this being an existing problem..

It has to be a switch.

How to I post PDF's . I have all the shop material. I just print them out in PDF format.

I would put them on my home webserver, but I would have to do some Apache reconfigs and don't want to do that yet.
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby WLH - Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:51 am

Shipkiller wrote:How to I post PDF's . I have all the shop material. I just print them out in PDF format.

I would put them on my home webserver, but I would have to do some Apache reconfigs and don't want to do that yet.

If you e-mail them to me I will host them and send you the link to post... :thumbsup:

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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Shipkiller - Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:01 am

Ok WLH.

Let me try to get them in some coherent format.

I may just have to play with my Apache configs and host them myself later on.
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby WLH - Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:14 am

Shipkiller wrote:Ok WLH.

Let me try to get them in some coherent format.

I may just have to play with my Apache configs and host them myself later on.

Ok...I will be happy to host them until you can. Just send me PM when you e-mail them as I don't check that account everyday.
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Shipkiller - Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:09 pm

Shipkiller wrote:Walked out from the office and tried to open the top, no go. Opened the trunk, and found my tool bag had moved the 'convertible top compartment floor' up a little bit. Moved the tool back out of the way and now the top opens.

Drove home with the top down. Shut the top, washed the car.

Then I tried to open the top. No go. Just had a orange light. No relay clicks, or other noises. The windows did not even move. :o

Cycled the 'floor' up and down a couple of times but no dice. Ok, now lets find out whats up. Starting to get just a little bit worried due to all of the posts about bad electrical motors....

Checked all three fuses. They are good.
Unlocked the front of the top manually, hit the red release in the trunk and opened the top up. It opens very easy so it's not a binding problem or foreign debris problem in the mechanism.

Now to see what happens, I press the close button. Hey, the top closes normally. Ok, it's not the motor.... :D

It has to be a microswitch. Ok, where is that 'convertible top compartment floor' switch.

Went looking in my BMW shop manual. Found it. But now it is getting too dark to work.


Problem has been fixed, temporarily.

It was the 'convertible top compartment floor' switch. This switch is only used to LOWER the top. Not to raise it.

Removed the floor panel and the switch. Before I removed the switch I actuated the switch and had my trusty helper (wife) press the 'down' button. Works like a charm.

Image

Heres the switch assembly.

Image

Another view showing the actual switch.

Image

The back of the switch.

Image

Heres the floor panel out of the car. Notice the switch actuator nub on the bottom of the picture.

Image

As you can see in this next picture how the floor panel nub rides in the recess. But looking closer, you can see that in this instance the floor tab cannot hit the switch. The actual switch is not adjustable on its mount.
The tab on the floor panel does not appear to have any damage to it. Something is not right here.

Image

My thoughts are that there is a removable tab that attaches to floor panel tab that does the actual pushing of the switch. Or there is a piece of plactic that is attached to the switch housing that has broken off.
I looked all over the car and in my tool bag to see if I could find it. No dice. It's gone.

To make it work, I took a single strand out of a 12 gauge stranded wire, about 3/4" long and made a jumper. Put the jumper in the switch connector. I can now use the top normally.
I put the floor panel back in the car but not the switch assembly.
I will have to go up to BMW tomorrow to see what piece really goes there.
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Aebous - Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:40 pm

Nice find
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby WLH - Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:45 pm

Good to see you got it working.... :thumbsup:
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby ovrkll - Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:20 am

Great writeup! Will be benificial to someone looking to fix a problem in the future :thumbsup:
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Citation 650 - Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:14 am

It's a really poor picture, but this is the nub (shelf still in the package). Doesn't look like your missing anything.

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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Shipkiller - Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:37 pm

Something must be broken on the switch housing....

Thanks for the back up.
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Re: SoftTop Failure

Postby Zeefour - Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:13 pm

look in your trunk closely, the little leaf-spring that actuates the switch has come off. Its about 1 inch long and looks like the silver clip used on an ink pen to clip to your shirt pocket. when you lower the shelf it presses this leaf-spring against the button and the top cannot be lowered, when you raise the shelf the leaf-spring is released and the top can operated. Click on the link below its number 7


http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do ... g=61&fg=35
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