How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Shipkiller - Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:21 am

The primary cause for the motor to go bad is water intrusion into the motor housing.

If you are decently handy with tools you can do this yourself, saving a TON of money from the dealer. :chicken:

This How-To will also be available on my website in PDF format. http://www.shipkiller.com

Tools:
Screw drivers (Flathead and Phillips)
Metric Sockets and Wrench's.
Metric Allen Wrench's
Razor Blades or equivalent.
Flashlights or Drop lights

Parts Needed: (Refer to Drawing: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do ... g=54&fg=10)
Use your VIN number to for the most up to date drawing and part numbers from RealOEM................


Some Tie-Wraps or tape.
Rags.
A new motor. No. ONE on the drawing.........There are different P/N's for different years.
A new Sound Isolation. No. Eight on the drawing.........This is the protective case/housing that the motor reside in. The existing case has sound isolation foam in it. The foam is waterlogged, very dirty/rusty and will take days to properly dry out.
Go ahead, spend the extra money and just replace it......Do you really want to do this AGAIN?


Extras:
A tube of RTV. This is used in case you want to SEAL the motor housing so you do not have to do this again......

Like I said in the Soft Top removal How-To, take pictures of the motor wiring and hydraulic lines for reassembly....

A picture of the motor that is SUPPOSED to be attached to the top. I had a busted mount. And later on, after my first drive, I discovered that was the cause of the squeak in my left ear while driving.... :thumbsup:
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Remove the mount from the top frame and note (Take a picture) of the wiring and hydraulic line placement.
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Remove the tape and tie-wraps from the cables and hoses.
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Now remove the housing cover.
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Housing cover removed. You can already see the corrosion.
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As extra insurance, before I pulled the motor out, I labeled the hydraulic lines. 3,4,5,6. and then after the motor was out of the housing, labeled the old housing the same way. Just to be sure.

Pull out the motor. The damn thing is soaked....
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The old housing. It shows my labels, and labels from BMW. 11,12,13,14 and W for the wire. Later on I found that the hydraulic lines are also labeled if you look . Can't be too careful......
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When you look at the new motor, you will see a circuit board inside...
Remove the electrical connectors and clean them up. Use Q-Tips, Pipe Cleaners, what ever.. I removed the boots and cleaned them up also.
Note very carefully which way and what terminals they go on. If you put them on backward, the top will operate in reverse and you will have to remove the soft top and redo. :headbang:
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The black assembly is the Bowden Cable. It is the manual top release. Remove the assembly, noting the position.
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Looking at the motor, the brass button on the bottom is the actual hydraulic by-pass plunger or spool.
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I now used a Dremel Tool to clean up the hydraulic fittings. This is not just a anal move. Hydraulics REQUIRE cleanliness...
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If you are to do this properly, you should replace the copper sealing washers, but I just plain forgot to order them..
I think they come in the 'Hydraulic Repair Kit'. Number nine in the RealOEM drawing.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do ... g=54&fg=10

Now I transfer the hydraulic lines a set at a time. The new pump is labeled with the BMW line numbers. 11,12,13,14. But transferring them as a set, you can't screw it up. Do this quickly to reduce the amount of oil loss from the line.
I put the dust screws from the new pump back into the old pump. I plan on draining the oil and saving it. It does not appear to be contaminated.
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Replace the Bowden Cable assembly.
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The new motor housing. Nice, clean and DRY.
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Notice some oil will leak during the hydraulic line transfer.
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Reattach the electrical leads, wipe up any oil on the motor and place in the new housing.
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Doing a test fit.
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Here's ware the RTV comes in, if you use it.
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I placed RTV all along the housing seam and in and around the wire and piping penetrations, then put the cover on then put more RTV on the outside seam. Sealing it up.
Four hours after doing all this, I had a nagging feeling about the electrical wire positions so I took it all apart. It was not hard even with all that RTV..... The wiring was correct.... :rofl:
Sealed it back up..
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Now using the pictures I took, and remounted the unit to the frame making sure all the cables and hydraulic lines were running properly, additionally putting tie-wraps where needed.

Now you are done....
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby rabman5 - Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:35 am

Nice write up! :thumbsup: How long did this take?
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Shipkiller - Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:37 am

The writeup or the procedure?
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby flyboyaj - Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:50 am

WoW! That is KEWL! Very Nice work! :thumbsup: :D
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby rabman5 - Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:58 am

Shipkiller wrote:The writeup or the procedure?


The procedure.
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Rick Hunter - Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:29 am

Dang... that motor has seen better days.

Nice writeup mate :thumbsup:
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Breaker - Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:21 am

Whoa!! Seeing that I'm glad I have a coupe! :o

That's just a bad design that that much corrosion can happen! I guess the car is around 6 years old, but still!! :?

Nice right up. :thumbsup:
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby cj10jeeper - Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:58 am

Good job there Shipkiller and a great write uop. Let's hope I don't need to know it line by line in the near future
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby jaskispyder - Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:46 pm

I was wondering about replacing the oil/fluid in the pump. Does the new pump come full of oil? Anyone know what oil it is?

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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby WLH - Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:54 pm

Yes...Excellent write-up... :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Shipkiller - Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:36 pm

Since I was flying blind, the removal, took about six hours. If I would have had these pictures, two/three hours tops. It only took me 2.5 hours from start to finish once I dropped the top back into the car.

Like I said in the writeup, it took me two hours to figure out how to get the 'hoop' out of it's clip. But at the time I did not know that it was in a clip..

AND I found the annoying squeak/rubbing sound that was in my left ear. Since the motor housing was broken, it was not attached to the frame of the top and just lying in the well.

jaskispyder:
The pump comes pre-filled with hydraulic fluid, and the pump is self priming. You have to cycle the top several times to get all the air out.
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby timscuba - Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:23 am

Shipkiller wrote:The writeup or the procedure?


(Smarta**) :poke: Very nice write up Ship. I hope I don't have to do this. My tech told me he drilled the drainage holes larger. I hope that is true.
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Wondermike - Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:55 pm

Awesome write up, can't believe how bad the motor was :o
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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Carscadden - Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:46 am

I'll be putting your procedure to work very soon. Uber-cool write-up and sincere thanks ... assuming I'm successful of course, otherwise I"ll be bitching later how I gave up and went to the dealer. :)

Assuming success, please accept an offer of free beer and a pat on the back if you're ever in Northern New Jersey and want to swing by.

Regards,

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Re: How to Remove and Replace your Soft Top Motor..56k Beware

Postby Shipkiller - Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:15 pm

I'll be driving through, on my way to CT on the 25th....
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