How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

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Hughesy99
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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Hughesy99 » Thu May 11, 2017 9:04 am

Thanks Enzed4, as far as I can tell the roof has not been removed before, doesn't necessarily mean it won't be one of the Hall sensors though I guess. Maybe a stupid question but how can I test the bypass valve? Mechanically it's moving freely but how can I verify the internally the valve is opening/closing? Cheers!

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enzed4
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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by enzed4 » Thu May 11, 2017 9:14 am

Only way I can think to easily test the 'bypass' is to pull the release cable in the boot (and lock it 90 deg to one side so it doesn't just pop back into its slot - sorry if this teaching you to suck eggs), check that the roof can go up/down without any hydraulic resistance. Put the release cable back in the normal position, you should now not be able to lower or raise the roof easily. It will go up/down, but very slowly (and you don't want to force it).
If the above 2 tests give those results, it would appear the bypass valve is not stuck.
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Hughesy99
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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Hughesy99 » Thu May 11, 2017 9:22 am

Thanks Enzed4, I think that's it. If I'd thought about it logically I guess it's obvious. Roof goes down fairly easily regardless of whether the bypass is set or not. I guess it needs replacing then or is it feasible to remove the Hydraulic unit and attempt to clean it up to free off the bypass valve?

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by enzed4 » Thu May 11, 2017 9:39 am

I think you should contact Mike (Ducklakeview) for his input on this. I don't know if there's a 'fix' for a stuck bypass valve but he may know otherwise (e.g. a good soak in Diesel/WD40 etc may free it). Definitely worth asking before you shell out for a replacement pump. Nothing worse that finding the (free/cheap) right answer or fix, after you've paid for a different solution :(
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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by kjb1 » Thu May 11, 2017 10:55 am

I am in Pembrokeshire, might grab your number for a bit of advice before i tackle this!!

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Ducklakeview
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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Ducklakeview » Thu May 11, 2017 11:05 am

Couple of things. Firstly, if the motor has failed due to water ingress, which is the case for 100% of the one's I have repaired, then IF you pull the bypass, there is a VERY high chance that either; It will not work, or that it will seize in the "bypassed" position. Reason for this is that the bypass cable operates a small brass plunger on the side of the pump, as the pump is alloy then you get galvanic or "different metals" corrosion between the two. Due to this, on every repair/relocation I do, I always remove the bypass actuator lever and physically check and free off the plunger. MOST of them are stuck, usually in the bypass position if the red ring has been pulled.

Secondly, I can pretty much guarantee that you WON'T need a new motor. They are sturdy little things, and respond well to a little TLC. I've NEVER had to replace one, even those that have been seized solid, and not worked for years can be brought back to full working order.

Mike

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Ducklakeview » Thu May 11, 2017 11:07 am

mikeriden wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 10:23 pm
New member to z4 forum. Bought a 2008 z4 4 weeks ago, roof motor failed last week, made numerous enquiries to have said problem resolved. Quotes even from BMW independent in excess of £600 plus VAT, plus the doom and gloom story as to additional cost if hydraulic lines are faulty. Then, with a bit of searching, and the use of the Z4 Forum, came upon Mike in St Helens, rang him Monday, arranged to take car to him Tuesday 6.00pm, left 45 minutes later with roof in complete working order. This guy is the nicest person you will ever meet and a miracle worker, and I do not say that lightly. Do not entertain going to any independent or BMW direct just make contact with Mike and your roof problem will be resolved pretty well as soon as you can get to him.
Many thanks Mike - Was great to meet you!

Mike

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Hughesy99 » Thu May 11, 2017 12:04 pm

Mike, thanks so much. That is exactly what it was. Roof now fully operational!
Stuck valve.jpg
Stuck valve.jpg (111.47 KiB) Viewed 1116 times

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Marlon » Thu May 11, 2017 12:10 pm

Hughesy99 wrote:
Thu May 11, 2017 12:04 pm
Mike, thanks so much. That is exactly what it was. Roof now fully operational!Stuck valve.jpg
Mike knows his stuff and is happy to share knowledge too :thumbsup:
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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by NeilZ4E85 » Sat May 20, 2017 12:51 pm

Hi

I have a 2005 Z4 and it is not just a tie wrap around the body of the plastic bucket which the motor sit in holding the bucket place. It has a triangle piece of plastic coming of the body of the bucket with 2 slots in it, there was one tie wrap on it which I have removed but the bucket will not come out no matter how much I pull. Something else must be holding it even though you can wiggle it quite easily an it feels free. If I cannot free this plastic bucket with the motor in I will have to remove the whole roof.

Has anybody else got any suggestion on how they may have overcome this problem.

Thanks.

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by ch_ryqmhho » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:44 am

Guys, I need your help. I tried to follow the instructions and think I got the casing free....seems to be movable, but only straight upwards. But this is where the silver loop of the soft top is blocking the removal.

Any ideas? Am I missing something? Can the experts here let me know from the picture if the casing is in the right position? Or has it been messed with before and is unusually angled?

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Hughesy99 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:04 am

Hi there, hard to tell for sure from the pic but it looks normal. It moves up and down vertically as there is a long slot in the casing that has a large cable tie through it. The slot has a weak point at the bottom which you have to break by force to free it from the cable tie. There is no easy way to do it other than to try and get the right leverage to snap bottom of the slot in the casing. It takes quite a bit of perseverance and is pretty frustrating. I found that if you can get you hand under the bottom of the casing and pull it towards the rear of the car while pushing the top of the casing towards the front it eventually gave. Not easy to do with so little room but stick with it.

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by ch_ryqmhho » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:18 pm

Hughesy99, thanks for your reply. Are you saying that once the bottom of the slot is snapped off then I'll be able to move the casing laterally/horizontally and not only vertically?

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by Hughesy99 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:00 pm

Hi,
Yes, once the slot breaks you will be able to lift the whole casing out of the well to the extent that the motor power cables and hydraulic lines will allow, it's just enough to get the assembly into the boot. If you can remove the tape that goes round the casing then you can remove the top of the casing and lift the assembly partially out of the lower casing which can help you get a bit more leverage on the lower casing. The power/hydraulic lines loop round and go under the lower housing so until you get that out movement is very limited.

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How to replace soft top motor without removing roof.. DONE!

Post by ch_ryqmhho » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:27 am

OK, update. I finally managed to get the thing out. Had to pry open the top of the case, then I could take out the motor and then the rest of the case. The motor was disgusting. If it wasn't for Ducklakeview I would have ordered a new one right away but he mentioned that these things can be brought back to life. Took me forever to figure out how to open it and where to apply force, but then some cleaning worked wonders.
So I put the motor back in and topped off hydraulic fluid (lost some when I detached the motor) and it runs fine (as in fast). Unfortunately very little power seems to get to the top. I undid the bowden cable attachment on the motor to make sure that the override valve wasn't stuck but that doesn't seem to be the problem.

When I manually put the top in the half open position, I can slowly move it in both directions for a bit. It's like there is only a fraction of the needed pressure going to the hydraulic cylinders....almost like it's pumping air. I read that these assemblies are self-bleeding. Is that really the case in all situations?
The motor, while going fast, also sounds kind of hollow and a little rattling. But that might just be because it's now hanging loosely in my trunk without any sound protection. Is it possible that I did not attached the pump to the hydraulic head (?) correctly? I noticed a little metal pin fall out that I put back in when I put things back together.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've come so far, would be a shame if this didn't work out now.

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