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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 06-04-2009, 10:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New E36 - Lots of issues

I just bought a 1996 328i convertible. There are a lot of issues that I want to start working on. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm just going to list a few and anyone who thinks they can help....shout your answer out.

1. Driver side door will not unlock with the key. It will lock (and that triggers the central locking system) but the key will not even turn the opposite way to unlock. From the passenger side, all is well and the central locking works. Any ideas?

2. The convertible top. Where do I begin...the top cloth needs to be replaced and I am ordering that but I want to get all of the systems working first. When I bought the car the motors were disengaged and the top cover would not lock down. I went through the sequencing method found in the forums as follows. I stowed the top manually, reengaged the motors, turn the key, held the button, turn the key further, released the button. Magically, the lid pulled down and latched (i was excited). Then nothhing happened. I thought the top was going to cycle back up it did not. Here's the worst part: I tried to diengage the motors (with the release lever under the rear seat) and start over - the motors would not disengage. My research leads me to believe I have two problems 1. a broken microswitch (or 5) which is not letting the top cycle back up during sequencing (or any other time) 2. a broken bowden cable from the emergency release lever to the motors or lid latches that is not letting the motors disengage or the lid unlock. i did notice a cable on the lid latch (driver's side) that looked a little frayed and loose. Probably shouldn't have run the sequencing until i fixed that. Ahhhh....hindsight.

Questions: A. any other ideas what the problem(s) could be B. Is there an emergency release for the emergency release (some way for me to get the lid open again) C. Where is a good place I can get the switches and cables fast (and relatively cheap if possible)

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any help. I can't tell you how happy I am I found this forum.

Last edited by soxfanjake; 06-04-2009 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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On the lock issue, I think you may have a worn cylinder. As to the top, i suspect the whole linkage needs service and some replacement parts. Best of luck with it, and
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Can cylinders be purchased without tumblers or rekeyed so I don't have to change them all?
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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I don't know as a fact, but I don't see any reason that would pose a problem.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OK after further review, it seems the microswitch on the rear tension bow (I've seen this refered to as S4 or Top End Position Switch) is snapped of the bow (probably from getting hit with the lid). It seems to still work, it just isn't in the right position - secured to the bow. If anyone has a picture of exactly where, how and in what position this switch should be in, I would love to see it. Still doesn't solve my release lever issue, but I'm half way home.
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