How To Guide Z4 roof motor relocation to boot

gookah

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Well, my missus's Z4 succumbed to the renowned roof motor failure last week.
Windows drop, roof unlatches then nothing.
So I set about a repair and decided to photograph what I did to get it, not only working, but relocated as well.

The main problem with the Z4 roof motor is its location.

The motor, surrounded by some sound proofing foam, sits in its own small black plastic housing,
This housing is tie-wrapped into a plastic moulded compartment just behind the L/H door (UK passenger side)
There is a drain hole in the bottom of the compartment, which can become blocked. The compartment will eventually fill with water, from rain and/or washing. and the water then spills into the motor housing.

The problem is this.

Imagine you have a bucket with a drain hole, (that is the plastic compartment behind the door).
Put a cup inside your nice dry bucket, (the cup is the motor housing)
Now put a motor into the cup
If you now plug the drain hole and start filling the bucket with water, eventually the level reaches the top of the cup, and the cup also fills with water.
Now unblock your drain hole and the bucket empties, but the cup does not.

No amount of further unblocking and keeping the drain hole clear will empty the cup, and that is exactly what happens to the Z4 motor, as it sits and slowly rusts away whilst remaining submerged. And it only has to fill once.


So here is the (second) way I did it: (other methods are available.... =)))
I know! I removed a roof once to do this on a previous Z4.




First job is to remove the parcel shelf.
To do this, squeeze together and push upwards the plastic clips. There are two on each side of the parcel shelf:

2copy.jpg

The clips will probably fall down the sides, but you can get them later,



Pull the fabric flap off the shelf:
20170729_174718_35856807900_o.jpg

28.jpg


Now pull each hinge upper plate away from the parcel shelf towards the centre of the boot:
this is best done with the parcel shelf in the upper position
20170729_114923_36082554542_o.jpg



Remove the parcel shelf by moving it towards the drivers side as far as it can go, and pulling the other end out. Then you can rescue any clips that you pinged off earlier.



Now you can remove the complete LHS hinge assembly for the parcel shelf.
Remove the Torx bolt at the front, and the bolt at the back.
20170729_114149_36208675686_o.jpg

20170729_114621_35416558534_o.jpg


There is also a rivet, in the now viewable plastic well.
Pull the centre of the rivet out with some pliers, and then remove the outer washer:
20170729_163157_36208687186_o.jpg


Now give the whole hinge assembly a good pull towards the middle of the car to remove it. A little hump shape underneath it provides some resistance, but otherwise it just needs a bit of effort.



Now you can see all the way into the well and behind the door latch is the dreaded motor in its housing:

20170729_125349_35444773963_o.jpg


cut the tie wraps to release the hoses

7.jpg



By lying on my back in the boot with both arms above my head and through into the compartment I was able to wiggle the housing about.

It is held in place by two tie wraps around the ram which is nearest the door, and on the RHS of the housing. But I could not get it to shift. I even tried from the door end but that was worse and just wasted time taking off the plastic cover and speaker compartments behind the seat. None of that is needed by the way, Everything can be done from the boot.

So what I eventually ended up doing was separating the motor housing,
The housing comes in two parts (see later photo's). It is held together with some black fabric tape.
I was able to pick at the tape and pull a lot of it off. Then with a long bar I was able to separate the top of the housing from the tie wrapped bottom section exposing the pump.
9.jpg


From then on I could pull out the pump/motor assembly, and finally wrench the bottom of the housing out.

The motor was soaked and rusty,
and the bottom housing was full of the dirtiest water imaginable, that could run down my face as I tipped it up in the boot over myself.....!
10.jpg


With the motor pulled into the boot you can see the ram and associated hoses to it, Try not to pull too hard on these:
11.jpg

Now you can see (with a camera) the bottom of the plastic well and the drain hole. Note the rusty water tide mark:
14.jpg

The housing looks as follows, with the tiewraps on the plastic fin which breaks away eventually:
17.jpg
You can see the remainder of the fabric tape that I couldnt get too


and inside is the sound proofing which stays soaked:
19.jpg


You can separate the motor from the pump by removing 2 allen bolts, but do this with the pump downwards and break the joint nearest the motor or you will lose hydraulic oil (ask me how I know)
With a quick wipe down and wire brush, I then sprayed WD40 all over it and inside it. then connected to a 12v power supply and it immediately came back to life so I ran it in both directions whilst still oiling it.
Sorry no pictures for that.

After putting it back together and topping up with hydraulic jack oil through the little plug in the top of the pump. (check level with roof down) I was able to get the roof up and down fully with no noises,
To operate the roof you have to temporarily press in the parcelshelf position microswitch (i used a 12mm socket for that):

20170729_174747_35444811683_o copy.jpg


The hoses that now go to the motor have to be routed across the plastic well and below the hinge. This involved cutting the plastic away and securing as follows:
15.jpg



The hinge assembly had to have the same treatment before being refitted:
20170729_162311_36115766601_o copy.jpg

Then time to rebuild:
I pulled out the LHS carpet from the side of the boot to be able to locate the motor.
I tiewrapped the dried out soundproofing around the motor and tied it to a little connector block which is under the LHS side carpet:
Keeping the motor underneath and the pump uppermost:
20170729_163845_36082596712_o.jpg

Then just wrap the carpet back around,
20170729_175016_35856821140_o copy.jpg

refit the parcel shelf and fiddly clips, and finally the fabric flap.



and most importantly have a beer, knowing that it will no longer get wet, It is easy to get to, and top up if required.

Over 2 grand to fix from BMW,
I did it for free.
 
Last edited:

t-tony

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Excellent info Pete, thank you. I was not aware the the pump sat in a cup in a bucket and that once the cup fills it stays filled..

Tony.
 

g8jka

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Shame you did this without me, would have been nice to give you a hand. If only you asked. Would have been funny watching you get dirty water all over your face lying upside down in the boot =))

Nice write up though, could help people to save a lot of money.
 

Tony Wilson

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Aug 10, 2015
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46
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Lincoln
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Z4 roadster 2.0i
thanks Pete (gookah)
why did they put it there in the first place?, it must have been a spare hole to stick it in,been a better place to keep a cool beer in emergency.
great explanation,not sure if my abilty to dismantles wife car is like yours, but will try and follow, any hard tops forsale just in case!!
best regards tony
 

MikeH54

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British Zeds
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Jan 25, 2018
Messages
40
Location
Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan
Model of Z
Z4 2.0
Bit concerned the roof motor may be beyond resuscitation as its been inoperable for over a year, It's a shame that my son left it so long but I will certainly try to share the experience with Ducklakeview if I get the chance
 

Brian H

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3,645
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Model of Z
E36/7 3.0i - E85 Z4///M
Well, my missus's Z4 succumbed to the renowned roof motor failure last week.
Windows drop, roof unlatches then nothing.
So I set about a repair and decided to photograph what I did to get it, not only working, but relocated as well.

The problem with the Z4 roof motor is it's location.
The motor is located in a small plastic housing which sits in a plastic well, just behind the L/H door (UK passenger side)
There is a drain hole in the bottom of the well, which can become blocked and then fill with water.
The problem is this.
As mentioned before the motor is in its' own little housing.
Imagine a bucket with a drain hole, (that is the plastic well).
Put a cup in the bucket and put your motor in it.(the cup is the housing)
Now plug the drain hole and fill the bucket, the cup fills
Now unblock your drain hole and the bucket empties, but the cup does not. No amount of unblocking and keeping the drain hole clear will empty the cup, and that is what happens to the Z4 motor, as it sits and slowly rusts away whilst remaining submerged. And it only has to fill once.


So here is the way I did it: (other methods are available.... =)))

First remove the parcel shelf.
Squeeze together and push up the plastic clips. There are two on each side of the parcel shelf:





The clips will probably fall down the sides, but you can get them later,
Pull the fabric flap off the shelf:




Now pull each hinge plate away from the parcel shelf towards the center of the boot: this is best done with the parcel shelf in the upper position




Remove the shelf by pushing one side in as far as it can go and pulling the other end out. then rescue the clips that pinged off .

Now remove the LHS hinge for the parcel shelf. Remove the Torx bolt at the front and the bolt at the back.

There is also a rivet in the now viewable plastic well :


Pull the centre rivet out with some pliers and then the outer washer:


Give the hinge assembly a good pull to remove it. A little hump shape provides some resistance but otherwise it just needs a bit of effort.

Now you can see all the way into the well and behind the door latch is the dreaded motor in its housing:

cut the tie wraps from the hoses to release them


By lying on my back in the boot with both arms above my head and through into the compartment I was able to wiggle the housing about.



It is held in place by two tie wraps around the ram which is nearest the door and on the RHS of the housing. But I could not get it to shift. I even tried from the door end but that was worse and just wasted time taking off the plastic cover and speaker compartments behind the seat. None of that is needed by the way, Everything can be done from the boot.

So what I eventually ended up doing was separating the motor housing,
The housing comes in two parts (see later photo's). It is held together with some black fabric tape.
I was able to pick at the tape and pull a lot of it off. Then with a long bar I was able to separate the top of the housing from the tie wrapped bottom section exposing the pump.


From then on I could pull out the pump/motor assembly and wrench the bottom of the housing out.
The motor was soaked and rusty,
and the bottom housing was full of the dirtiest water imaginable that could run down my face as I tipped it up in the boot over myself.....!



With the motor pulled into the boot you can see the ram and associated hoses to it, Try not to pull too hard on these:


Now you can see (with a camera) the bottom of the plastic well and the drain hole. Note the rusty water tide mark:


The housing looks as follows, with the tiewraps on the plastic fin which breaks away eventually:

You can see the remainder of the fabric tape that I couldnt get too



and inside is the sound proofing which remains soaked:




You can separate the motor from the pump by removing 2 allen bolts, but do this with the pump downwards and break the joint nearest the motor or you will lose hydraulic oil (ask me how I know)
With a quick wipe down and wire brush I then sprayed WD40 all over it and inside it. then connected to a 12v power supply and it immediately came back to life so I ran it in both directions whilst still oiling it.
Sorry no pictures for that.

After putting it back together and topping up with hydraulic jack oil through the little plug in the top of the pump. (check level with roof down) I was able to get the roof up and down fully with no noises,
To operate the roof you have to temporarily press in the parcelshelf position microswitch (i used a 12mm socket for that):



The hoses that now go to the motor have to be routed across the plastic well and below the hinge. This involved cutting the plastic away and securing as follows:





The hinge assembly had to have the same treatment before being refitted:


Then time to rebuild:
I pulled out the LHS carpet from the side of the boot to be able to locate the motor.
I tiewrapped the dried out soundproofing around the motor and tied it to a little connector block which is under the LHS side carpet:
Keeping the motor underneath and the pump uppermost:


Then just wrap the carpet back around,


refit the parcel shelf and fiddly clips, and finally the fabric flap.

and most importantly have a beer, knowing that it will no longer get wet, It is easy to get to, and top up if required.

Over 2 grand to fix from BMW,
I did it for free.
Great write up Pete
 

Ianmc

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British Zeds
The M44 Massive
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Oct 12, 2014
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2,478
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New Forest
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Is there a manual hood option for the Z4? My manual hood Z3 is easy to use and I think the semi automatic hood (where you unlatch the windscreen catches) is more trouble than its worth. Just my opinion of course.:thumbsup:
 

gookah

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You can pull a lever in the boot to be able to move the roof itself manually, (use for emergency override only) however it still needs different power for the locks which latch and unlatch the roof from the windscreen, unlike the manual levers on the Z3
 

Ianmc

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British Zeds
The M44 Massive
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So no fully manual option for a Z4 then? Sometimes less can be more.:)
 

tabspeed

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
26
hi,chaps the roof motor has given up the ghost on my 2004 z4,so following petes excellent guide i have set about trying to remove it,
now somebody has been in there before and decided to silicon the 2 halves of the motor cover together,so i can;t get them to seperate,but i have managed to get the whole assembly nearly out,what seems to be stopping it is the actual 2 electrical wires that connect to the pump,
these seem to disapear into the bottom of the well,is there a connector block anywhere behind the left hand side rear panelling where i can disconnect them and pull the whole assembly into the boot,and i should be able to seperate the cover into its 2 halves.cheers
 

tabspeed

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
26
hi,yeah the 2 wires go into the housing where it splits and down to the connectors on the motor so that would give me some more length when the housing is off
,i am thinking the wires must exit the well lower down and into the rear of the passenger side,where i can cut them and run them into the boot,i will try get a photo later and see what is going on down there,
feel like i have been run over today after being squeezed into the boot yanking on the housing,cheers
 

Tonyjoc

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
10
Brilliant description and you made it look easy.
Decided I would do it to eliminate future problems but can't get the top off the housing. Peeled as much tape as I can but can't get any purchase to lever the top off. What did you use and did you puncture the top to lever against? Any advise would be appreciated.
Regards Tony
 

tabspeed

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
26
hi i have almost got mine out,but need to investigate the wiring as that is stopping it from fully coming out,
i drilled a 6mm hole centrally in the centre of the plastic housing,then i put a suitable short allen key in some mole grips and hooked it through the 6mm hole and you can then get a good pull on it,be careful when you drill hole as not sure what is directly behind where you are drilling,and watch the grips dont slip off the allen key when tugging as you might rip the roof,good luck
 

tabspeed

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
26
I used a long lever and managed to get it on the joint. You can just see it in one of the photos..
By the way, are all the photos displaying as on mine some are not showing and are replaced with a tag or an X
yes some photos do show,then when you log on again they aren't visible
 

gookah

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It's happening all the time with my photos now. I have stopped updating my journal now as there is no point. I also keep getting a message saying '404 access denied' to the forum. Wouldn't mind but it costs me to host pictures on Flikr for here and they don't show up reliably anymore
 
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