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Soft top not working

Discussion in 'Z3 Roadster & Coupé' started by zedthreeplease, May 18, 2014.

  1. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    Morning guys,

    Got a problem with the soft top on my 1997 Z3. Any ideas what I can do to try and see what the problem is?

    Thanks
     
  2. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
    Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator British Zeds

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    What does or doesn't happen? There are several known weak points in the system...
    • Do you get any noise when you try and raise/lower the hood?
    • Check your brake lights work when you press the brake pedal, which checks for a faulty brake pedal switch
    • This article shows the location of the hood micro switch which can fail - http://zroadster.org/articles/bmw-z3-hood-micro-switch-replacement.52/
    • Sometimes you need to make sure the front part of the hood is lifted enough for the micro switch to engage
     
  3. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    • No no noise at all.
    • OK will try that.
    • Will look that up
    • The handbook says 8 inches - I would be lifting it more than that
    Just checking the circumstances in which the roof will open. Is it ignition on, neutral, foot on brake?
     
  4. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    That's the process!

    You could try lifting the hood a bit more, just in case the micro switch is faulty. There is a natural point at which it feels wrong to lift it higher ;)
     
  5. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    Yes i figured that :) - I am lifting it until it hits the point where it won't go any further.

    Just tested the brake lights and they're fine
     
  6. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    On the microswitch - is that something that is turned on when I open the handles or is that something i need to switch manually?
     
  7. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    The micro switch is 'automatic' if you look at it's design in this image. It's a simple contact switch.

    upload_2014-5-18_11-26-20.png

    You could as a test bypass it by shorting the two wires together. Not advisable to leave it this way as you could cause other damage. Would at least prove it's not that causing the problem though!
     
  8. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK will try that. What is the T25 torx tool?
     
  9. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    Torx is this style screw.

    upload_2014-5-18_11-32-27.png upload_2014-5-18_11-32-46.png
     
  10. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK so I've taken it apart but the only way I can short the wires is to cut them is that correct?

    They seem to be fixed into the switch with a piece of molded plastic
     
  11. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    I've just read through the article I linked to again, and it does look like you need to cut the wires :facepalm: . I had assumed they were push on connectors.

    I haven't had this issue myself, so didn't realise they are fixed to the switch in that way. Sorry!
     
  12. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    NP - so as long as the fuse in the fusebox is not blown then that's the only thing it can be?
     
  13. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    As far as I know that would seem the be the likely issue. Not sure if you have a Maplins (or the like) nearby, but might be worth seeing if you can get the bits before you proceed...
     
  14. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK good idea - I will check it out. Thanks for your help
     
  15. gizze

    gizze Regular Member

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    Don't cut the wires, just strip a bit of the sheath and then short them.
     
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  16. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
    Dutch Zeds The M44 Massive

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    You could also check the rest of the wire running down from the micro switch.
     
  17. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    Yes we've found out that it was the switch - shorting the wires made it work. So I will replace the switch

    Thanks
     
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  18. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (I)
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    BTW you don't need to be in neutral, I often roll up to a roundabout on the way home and drop the top in very slow (crawling) traffic as you only have to have the brake lights illuminated not necessarily applying the brakes. ;)
     
  19. zedthreeplease

    zedthreeplease Regular Member

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    OK good to know thanks
     
  20. hard top

    hard top Zorg Expert (I)
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    • Agree Agree x 1