Looking for tips on fixing a convertible roof, clutch and other advice (1998 328i)
I bought a 1998 328i Convertible (red, 34,500 mi, 5 speed manual) a few years ago and have absolutely loved the car. It's never seen snow, I put it away for the winter and it's so much fun that it makes up for me buying a 4 seater car for a 5 person family!
When I pull it out this year, though, I've been thinking about making a few changes and could use some advice:
1) The convertible roof: the roof works fine (mostly) and I've only had one problem with it where I had to manually crank it and get it fixed. The part that doesn't work is that the back of the roof doesn't come up far enough for the boot to get by it when I'm putting the roof down (the front goes back, the back of the roof lifts, the boot (?) comes up and then gets stuck on the bottom part of the back of the room).
I've been told by the BMW dealer that the elastics used stretch over time and that they need to be replaced. They changed these elastics out in the '99 and up versions.
The problem: $1500 for the repair. Now, while it's not SO bad reaching back and pulling the bottom of the roof forward, it is a bit of a pain.
Question: has anyone else encountered this and did you replace the elastics in the roof? What did you pay? Did you go to a dealer or did you try an place specializing in convertible roofs and tops?
2) The clutch: The clutch is hard to press and, in traffic, can get tiring. I'd like to replace it and make it easier to work. Are all BMW clutches like this though?
3) The brakes: One of the brakes squeals loudly. It's quite annoying when the top is down. I've taken it to a garage and they've said the brakes are fine. Any recommendations to get the squeal to stop?
4) The radio: the default radio is OK but I'd like better sound, especially when the top is down. I have the 6 CD changer. Any radio upgrade recommendations?
Thanks in advance!