325ic Automatic Top Repair Or Convert? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 08:40 PM
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I fell in love with a black 92 325ic (91 E30 titled new in 1992) and got a great deal on it too but the car has one major problem. The car came with the automatic top and apparantly had problems with the previous owner(s) and they basically made it where you can open and close the top but it requires much more manual input than usual.

I've never seen an automatic working so I'm not sure which parts are missing/broken. I know there is some sort of shock mechanism that holds the storage hatch open, this is apparrantly missing and the hatch must be propped up with a stick. There are two electric motors in the trunk, one that actually opens and closes the top, which DOES work, and another that works but is laying (still connected to the wiring harness) on the floor of the trunk. I'm guessing that the loose motor must open, close and lock the hatch? I can see a mounting hole but am apparantly missing some linkage or cables or something.

Some aftermarket steel cable is used to hold the top down by pulling it through the hole in the trunk firewall and securing it. The hatch is opened by releasing this cable, providing slack, manually opening the hatch and then propping it open with a stick until the top is done retracting/whatever.

I haven't found any diagrams of the missing parts so I'm not even sure what parts I need to restore this to factory working condition. Anyone have any ideas? Should I try to restore it or keep it the way it is? How about a conversion to a manual top? Anyone seen this done?

Does anyone have a 325ic with the automatic top that could supply details of how the hatch opens/closes/locks or even better yet, supply some photos?

Thanks in advance!

1992 325ic *sold*
1984 320 *sold*
1986 325 5sp sedan, 175,000 Great car!
1986 535 5sp sedan, 172,000 Awesome!
1978 530 AT sedan, 275,000 still runs and drives
1997 740il AT sedan, 125,000 Like a newly wed!
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 05:33 PM
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hey, my friend has the same car... the top used to work but then the top cover linkage broke (partly because the experts that were putting on a new cloth top bent some metal parts for the previous owner)... we bought the parts but havent had the time to put them in yet, also i searched for some wiring nad realignment diagrams on the internet but could not find ANYTHING
and, i can tell you dont get the parts (that are by the way very expensive) from the dealer!!! that little special latch that holds the trunk top up cost like 60$!! you can maybe get it at the online stores for maybe 10-15$ less and no tax... if you find ANY wiring or aligment diagrams for this car, if would really appreciate, if i get anything i will post it too...
it is also hard to find anything for these 91-93 automatic top-cars on junk yard!!!
you should check the motors if they actually work... by connecting them to 12V and switching them on... those are probably the most expensive parts...

<span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Arial'>'87 325i Convertible</span></span>
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 08:53 PM
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i didn't even know they had these things with automatic tops.... hmmm cool! wouoldn't one of the hanes or other repair manuels have the wiring diagram?

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#4 (permalink) Old 02-06-2005, 01:59 PM
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too bad my bentley manual hardly mentions anything about convertibles, and NOTHING about the ones with automatic top... like when you are replacing the rear shock mounts you need some crows-foot wrenches, otherwise youa re stuck.... & other little tricks for convertibles...

<span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Arial'>'87 325i Convertible</span></span>
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2005, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by javieruz@Feb 6 2005, 12:59 PM
too bad my bentley manual hardly mentions anything about convertibles, and NOTHING about the ones with automatic top... like when you are replacing the rear shock mounts you need some crows-foot wrenches, otherwise youa re stuck.... & other little tricks for convertibles...
[snapback]286848[/snapback]
thats retarded that they wouldn't include the convertable in it hmmm.... what about a private euro shop they'd prolly have some sort of wirring diagram or somthing? not too sure tho, otherwise just play arround with it until it starts working? i duno will prolly take a whole day but if thats what ya gotta do thats what ya gotta do... anyways good luck to ya!

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#6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 03:51 PM
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Hi October,
I found a 92 with the automatic top and removed both motors.

noticed that in the center of cover there's a small control arm that will pull push the cover, unfurtuanetly it was broken. this arm connects to motor at center area.

as per cable, did see it, it comes from driverside and runs all the way across storage comparment until it reaches passanger side latch, there where some other linkages there as well, think i picked up some of them too.

as per holding it up, i did not see any "shocks" as per non motorized models., pretty sure that it is held up by actual control arm and motor.

hope this helps,
regards,
Frank

Quote:
Originally posted by Kowalski+Feb 6 2005, 02:50 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Kowalski @ Feb 6 2005, 02:50 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-javieruz@Feb 6 2005, 12:59 PM
too bad my bentley manual hardly mentions anything about convertibles, and NOTHING about the ones with automatic top... like when you are replacing the rear shock mounts you need some crows-foot wrenches, otherwise youa re stuck.... & other little tricks for convertibles...
[snapback]286848[/snapback]
thats retarded that they wouldn't include the convertable in it hmmm.... what about a private euro shop they'd prolly have some sort of wirring diagram or somthing? not too sure tho, otherwise just play arround with it until it starts working? i duno will prolly take a whole day but if thats what ya gotta do thats what ya gotta do... anyways good luck to ya!
[snapback]286871[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

cheers,
Frank
e30 parts

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#7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2005, 02:49 PM
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it will be in your best interest to leave it not automatic, you will have problems with it. I ve never seen one that didnt always have problems. when BMW decided to make the tops on late e30 conv. automatic they didnt want to design a new system so they tried to retro-fit an e36 system into the e30. It was a terrible idea that they should never have done. 90% of the people with them converted them back to manual, they arent hard to put up and down anyways
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