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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 06-01-2013, 12:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Yet Another Convertible Top Question...Getting it Down!

First of all I will apologize for yet another question on this popular topic...BUT I have read almost all the threads on it in this forum and another. Never seems to be a straight answer, to be honest, as others have asked this question as well. Hoping this thread will turn all that around.

My top won't go down on a 97 328ic fully automatic top.

-There are no lights on the switch...Not sure if there lies the problem.
-Can release top from front headliner area with allen wrench after much turning (for those reading this at a later date with similar issue it is done so by turning allen wrench as if you were tightening a screw...I point this out as it is human nature to turn it in a direction that would loosen a screw or remove it with the thought process that it would release top).
-Have disengaged motors via lever under rear drivers side seat.
-removed fuse #7 (not sure if this part matters but read about it when it was in down position).
-Windows lowered all the way.

My issue is that once I disengage from front I can't budge the boot or raise rear of top so that boot can be lifted. Is this a two person project? I wondered if I needed someone at front pushing back on top so that it releases something in back to release top from boot area.

My whole goal here is to get top down so that I can reset and realign motors so that roof may be functional again.

Thanks in advance for your time and patience!
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Releasing auto vert top

?Should be a release lever under the rear seats. This will disengage the motors in the trunk allowing the roof to move.

I would look for the power problem on why no power/light at button first.

BTW you will need to remove trunk liner to re-engage the motors.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tahiti16 View Post
?Should be a release lever under the rear seats. This will disengage the motors in the trunk allowing the roof to move.

I would look for the power problem on why no power/light at button first.

BTW you will need to remove trunk liner to re-engage the motors.
The boot doesn't raise or move and therefore the front (once detached manually) does not fold to the back...
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lowering/raising roof manually

When you have raised the front of the roof does the rear raise at all?

When you pull the release it should release both the roof and the lid. The rear of the roof raises up vertical and then the lid can rise.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I didn't get anything to budge...May be a two person project. Will let you know when I get a second person in on it
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Manual operation Vert

It is NOT a 2 person job. When you unlatch the front with the allen key do not quit turning until roof quits moving. The front edge of the roof goes up quite a ways before the rear of the roof can move. When you pull the release lever you should hear the motors disengage inside the trunk. Make sure the lever is pulled all the way out.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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When I unlatched the front, it would only let me raise the roof back 12" or so before it refused to move anymore...Unless I was supposed to put some brut force into it, which I did not do...Is there some kind of releases under the roof lining?
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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emergency release lever

I have to ask since I can't remember if you said previously. You have pulled the release lever under the left rear seat correct? It should have a red or orange tag and it pulls out until parallel with side of car. This releases the motors in the trunk which control the roof and lid.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes it has been pulled...All the way...Basically vertical to the back of the drivers seat.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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All I can think of is the motors didn't release from the gear reductions in the trunk. To check go into the trunk and remove the liner on the driver's side. There should be a motor that controls the lid lifting and the latches and then under the rear lid on the left side should be the motor that controls the roof folding. Make sure both are tipped away from the gear case. There is a lever with cable attached, this it what the lever under seat is attached to, that releases the motor.
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