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Problem with electric soft top

Discussion in 'Z3 Roadster & Coupé' started by zedthreeplease, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    Morning all,

    Yesterday my soft top stopped working, so I'm trying to find out what the problem is.

    The motor does 'go' but it doesn't power the roof much if at all, certainly not enough to open or close it fully

    Is it powered by an electric motor or by hydraulics?

    Where do I start in diagnosing the problem?

    Thanks
     
  2. zedonist

    zedonist Guest

    Hi the motor is hydraulic.

    Common fault is the micro switch in the hood, but I guess this would stop it working all together, if the motor is running, check to see if the ram is connected, failing that I would assume a hydraulic pump issue.
     
  3. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK yes - the switch conked out the other day so I have fixed that with a switch of my own.

    How would I check the ram is connected?

    I wondered if it was hydraulic, the small fluid container at the bottom of the motor is only half full - is that correct?
     
  4. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
    Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator British Zeds

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    The fluid level depends on whether the roof is up or down. I can't remember what the level is when it's up or down, but the level will be lower in one position than the other as the ram is filled.

    If I get chance before I got out in a bit, I'll look at the level on mine with the roof up and down.
     
  5. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    Ok thanks I'll wait to hear
     
  6. Aceman

    Aceman Moderator
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    With the roof up the fluid level with the car on level ground should be inline with what looks like a gun sight embossed on the side of the tank. Also check the ram is connected to the hood mechanism, it is buried down the left hand side of the hood and quite difficult to get to but you should be able to see it.
     
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  7. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK yes that's what mine was at also - I will check for the ram and let you know
     
  8. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Guys, I also have an electric roof and to get it down I need to unlatch it then push the hood back about 6 inches and the motor grabs the hood and takes it all the way down. Putting it up is easy as the electrics restore the hood to about 6 inches of the windscreen then I pull it down and secure. This is normal right or is something wrong? Cooper
     
  9. Mint

    Mint Zorg Expert (I)
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    Cooper, yes exactly right. That's how to do it:)
     
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  10. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    Hi again,

    I've checked and the ram is correct as far as I can see. The roof will now power most of the movement of the roof, but it won't do the last bit or the first bit of it's journey. It's almost like the roof is on a bit of a skew. Has anyone got any ideas?
     
  11. Brian4

    Brian4 Zorg Guru (IV)
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    When you unlatch the roof you have to tip the front section up so that the joint is open, this releases the micro switch. The motor/pump should then power down.
    When going up the roof will raise from the stowed position and if you keep going until you can catch hold of the front of the roof and hold it up the roof should come all the way until the roof stops moving. Pull down of the front with the handle and engage the 2 latches. The handbook also recommends you open the windows slightly before opening and closing the roof and when the roof is latched close the window.Something to do with getting the windows seals to seal correctly.
     
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  12. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    Yes sorry I don't think I explained myself correctly. The roof doesn't stow itself away properly, it can't sit itself down because it looks like one side of it catches on the inside of the car whereas the other side doesn't - which is making me think that it's on a skew. Also, when I have raised the roof fully, instead of simply pulling the roof down the last bit and clipping it in I have to get out and push the roof over to one side, because otherwise the pins won't go into the holes on either side
     
  13. Titan

    Titan Moderator
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    It rather sounds as though the frame has become twisted. This can happen of the micro switch above the LH window is overridden and the pump activated without cranking or breaking up from the windscreen.
     
  14. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK that would tie up, because I have had to replace the micro switch with another switch. So do you mean it tries to power it when it shouldn't? Since I replaced the switch I haven't used the roof any different to before, I still hold it up for the first bit and clip it back down again at the end
     
  15. Titan

    Titan Moderator
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    Yes. If the motor is powered before the front lip is raised the mechanism doesn't articulate and fold correctly. Unfortunately the ram is powerful enough to sprain and distort it in these circumstances
     
  16. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK is there anything I can do to sort that?
     
  17. Titan

    Titan Moderator
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    If you are certain that this is the cause if your problem you could try reversing the process. For example prop the hood open and run the motor in the close direction to put the opposite forces into the mechanism. However be careful as you could break it altogether! This is not something that I have tried I'm just offering a potential solution to "bend it back".
     
  18. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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  19. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (I)
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    That'll be no use .... It's the roof that's faulty! =))
     
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