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92 convertible power top

 
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viking



Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 43
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:53 pm    Post subject: 92 convertible power top Reply with quote

I have a 92 cabrio with the power top. However now when I push the button to lower the top, nothing happens. Recently replaced the battery, maybe that is the culprit? Is there something I need to reset, now that there is a new battery?

Or, if I disengage the power top, (two slots in trunk) will I be able to close the panel that covers the top when it is down?

Thank you
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beejay



Joined: 18 Nov 2002
Posts: 1158
Location: Eastern, Pa

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the power top lift motor failed. What happens is the aluminum pivot point breaks off the housing where the arm attaches. It's a known failure point and most all eventually break.
There is a repair that can be done. Not easy but it works well. I did mine and it has been fine since.
read this article:
http://www.e30ic.com/powertop.htm
And yes you can disconnect both motors( lid and top) and put the top up manually and it will be fine until you repair it.

I bought my parts along with quincy56. he had a good write up but the link is dead. maybe you could PM him.

http://www.unofficialbmw.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=31820&highlight=power+top+motor
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viking



Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 43
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will I be able to lock and unlock the lid for the top when it is stowed? In the manual it says to use the allen wrench in the trunk to disconnect the lid. can it then be locked again or will it have to remain open?

Just had new master cylinder/ slave cylinder, and new clutch done. So need to wait before I fix it. If it works fine manually may leave it for awhile. Just concerned about leaving the lid not locking when driving.
Thank You
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beejay



Joined: 18 Nov 2002
Posts: 1158
Location: Eastern, Pa

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember, there is nothing to lock the lid with the top down and stowed with both motors released. So there is a chance it could come open.
Although you can use the lid motor (lid motor engaged) and fold the top manually (top motor disengaged). it's hard to hold the rear bow up and reach the switch on the dash to operate the lid. I have heard of people putting a toggle switch in near the rear seat area. Essentially using a manual top and a motorized lid. you need to remove some of the actuating arms for the top motor so they are not jammed or in the way.
It would be best to leave the top up until you can repair it correctly.
You need to get in there first to determine if your motor arm is in fact broken, then go from there.
These can be converted to full manual operation, with latching lid, but you need some bits from a doner car to make it work.
do a google search for e30 power manual top conversion to see what comes up. many people have gone this route due to the complexity and cost of the power top components

try these for starters:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=761182
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=953923
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robert1700



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
Posts: 1398
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people here in the Northwest convert their tops to manual tops. Dale has a cool setup in he uses the power function to lift the boot cover and raise the top manually. The e30 power tops are not reliable and I will never fix one again after doing one on my mom's car 4 years ago.
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3087
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Although you can use the lid motor (lid motor engaged) and fold the top manually (top motor disengaged). it's hard to hold the rear bow up and reach the switch on the dash to operate the lid.


This is essentially what I do, use the dash switch to open and close the boot lid and fold the top manually.
I don't have any trouble reaching the switch, having the drivers door open helps that.
I'm 6' tall so that likely helps as well.

On my '92 325ic, the rods are disconnected from the top and the power motor, and everything else was left hooked up.
With the power boot lid, as it closes it will lock the boot lid closed.
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viking



Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 43
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beejay, Robert 1700, and Dale,

Thank you very much for the information. Here is another question. The car top had not been put down for close to a year. (had it garaged)

I replaced the battery, then Last week took the car in for master / slave replacement and new clutch.

The original owner had a radar detector and an alarm system. I had the shop also disconnect the radar and alarm from the battery.

Stupid question, but is the power top also wired to the battery? Maybe they removed that too?

I thank you for your patience and help.
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beejay



Joined: 18 Nov 2002
Posts: 1158
Location: Eastern, Pa

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I guess it's possible they screwed something up.
The power top does not share anything with alarms. But who knows how it was installed.
If the top worked before the repair and doesn't after, only thing you can do is go back and tell them they broke it.

Maybe it's something simple as a fuse.
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92 325ic gone Sad
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Ken Juul



Joined: 16 Jan 2002
Posts: 913
Location: Williamsburg, VA USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

The power top gets power from fuse 23 to light the switch, fuses 21, 25, 7 4 feed the top control unit. Most installs don't wire directly from the battery, they find a hot line under the dash and tap into that. Fuse 21 and 25 are hot at all times, fuse 4 only when the car is running. Check your manual and find out what else runs off those fuses, maybe that will give you a clue, otherwise you just have to start looking for the disconnected wire(s).
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viking



Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 43
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: power top disengage Reply with quote

have a 1992 cabrio with power top, power top does not work, the top is up, how do I disengage the locked clam shell cover? The manual discusses the two levers that are in the trunk, will that disengage the clam shell too?
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beejay



Joined: 18 Nov 2002
Posts: 1158
Location: Eastern, Pa

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, the top release is towards the right (passenger) side of the trunk.
The boot release and motor is towards the center. It might help to remove the clips and lower the cover that hides all the motors and such.
That way you can see whats actually going on. Otherwise your just kinda doing it blind.
I couldn't make sense of what was going on until I removed that cover.
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Bob
92 325ic gone Sad
14 BRZ ltd
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01 VFR800fi - 03 DR650S - 83 CB1100F - 82 CB900F - 69 CB750
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Quincy56



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 2632
Location: San Marcos, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I re-created my page on goggle sites

https://sites.google.com/site/bmwe30toprepair/
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