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      05-07-2022, 08:05 PM   #1
tominizer
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e85 Reinstalled Soft Top Blues :(

So..... pulled the top off to install a new headliner and also address the pump as the roof only 1/2 closes.... while screaming all the time. Taking it all out was fairly un-eventful and did the repairs. Was hoping the install would go the same. It didn't.

Few things went sideways, but the big one I wanted to post here about in case my train-wreck adventure can help out someone else. So where am I at?


Reinstalled the roof. Pain the arse. But it's in. The ISSUE is this. Flashing red light on the open/close button and we have absolutely nothing happening at all. No motor sound nothing. So I believe something triggered wrong electrically or there's a broken wire or something

I started with the micro switch in the boot. Took the switch out of the plastic housing and taped it down so I was sure it was closed. It was working before the fun and game started and I hadn't touched it at all. So I was assuming it's not this as the red light is still flashing.

Tried disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, checked all the connectors to make sure I put them all back in place, looked for pitched lines on the driver side (nothing). So all the simple stuff I think I have tried. I'm not sure if there is a reset or something, but all the videos I watched of this install I didn't notice anything unusual being done. Everyone else just reinstalled and the damn thing worked like a dream.

Also wanted to note this. I tried the allen key to lock down the top ad nothing. The locking arms didn't move. I thought that this allow you to manual lock and unlock the top. Weird. Also noted this gem on one of the other forums. Not sure about this one and have to look into it. Maybe I have to turn it move times. I think I saw somewhere that someone cranked it 47 times to get full movement!?!?

Adjustment after soft-top removal/replacement:
There are factory-fitted adjusting shims under the fixing bolts (M8) on the B-pillar. Those
adjusting shims ensure the correct lateral gap between the soft-top and the body

Last edited by tominizer; 05-07-2022 at 08:25 PM..
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      05-07-2022, 09:57 PM   #2
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Flashing red light would indicate incomplete roof operation or electrical/sensor issue. Dealing with this myself... It'd be ideal if you could pull the trouble codes and that should give a clue. ISTA/Inpa would allow you to monitor the convertible sensors to ensure everything is working there.

Allen cranking takes a LOT of turns. Just keep going until you feel it stop somewhat.

Since all you did was replace the headliner I am thinking you maybe disconnected or crimped the wiring that goes to the top latch motor? I would lower the headliner and inspect those 2 connections (1 connection for top latch motor and other connection is for hall sensors which report latch lock/unlocked status). Try fully unlatching the top with the allen key until there is resistance. At this point the computer -should- know to let the hydraulic motor take over and open the roof.

Other suspect could be the hall sensors located on the driver side roof hinge which report the roof open/closed position. Also check connection from the cable to the module behind driver seat trim panel.

Last edited by zed_fan; 05-07-2022 at 10:08 PM..
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      05-08-2022, 06:59 AM   #3
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Just being up front. I did spend a few hours scouring the internet on this issue and following some advice others have used. No really progress was made.... but just to note that I did try walking down that road.


I think pulling the codes would be the best place to start as well. Except I don't have the right tool to do that. I know someone that does but I'd have to get the car to them and right now it's un-insured and not back on the road from winter storage. But that will be a necessary step if I can get this figured out at home.

I'm trying to logically go through steps that make sense that I can do from home to get to the bottom of this. Right now I just feel like I'm squirreling around checking misc stuff in no logical order.

Incomplete roof operation..... is there a process or a way to deal with this. Can it be reset. I've disconnected the battery overnight and I still get the flashing red immediately. Does the roof have to be fully open or closed to reset this ?

Is there a thread or figure available showing where all the sensors are located? I know of two that I've seen....... the parcel shelf one in the boot and one Hall sensor on the drivers side facing upwards that I believe connects with the fully closed position where the two bolt attachment point is. It's my understanding that there are 5 sensors (?!?!). Two up at the latch point with the top of the windshield, two at the bolt up point drivers side (?) and the parcel shelf.

It's also occurred to me that with the man-handling of the top when taking out and putting back in, electrical wiring may have kinked/broken inside the housing or something similar. I guess I'm going to have to finally figure out how to use that multimeter beyond just checking for resistance to be able to see for continuity ....... if the meter does that. Any tips ?!?!

Also, two other things I wanted to ask about.

Toping up the fluid in the pump in the white-ish cylinder. when I checked mine, it was at the half way point. There doesn't seem to be any marking on this cylinder showing a min or a max. Any words of advice as to what "topped up" is??

Was considering double checking the motor just for shits and giggles. Can I just apply 12volts across the motor leads and see if that will get the top to move and work again? Just want to cross this off the list as it was an original issue that the top would not fully close. It only made it to the half way point and stops screaming in pain.
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      05-08-2022, 10:50 AM   #4
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hello,
I just had my battery replaced in my 06 m roadster and seems like the symptoms are similar - are the shelf knobs in a vertical position on both sides of the trunk? mine wouldn't retract until they were turned from a horizontal position back to vertical.. i've attached a pic of the left side from my trunk.
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      05-08-2022, 12:06 PM   #5
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Re-check your plug into the white convertible controller box. Spray Electrical contact cleaner on both the plug as well as to the area of the white box where it plugs into. Afterwards, (you may need two people) try moving the box with cable plugged in around a little as you push top down/top up. If you get top movement then the problem is in the box or harness plug.

If nothing happens then, your going to need a code reader.

More than likely a wire within the harness that runs between the liner and cloth roof from the controller to the front of the top has broken. You may have also have snapped a sensor wire (same harness) when doing the liner. Same results, the top does nothing.
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      05-08-2022, 12:13 PM   #6
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There should be a plus symbol on the reservoir. And yeah you can apply 12v directly to the leads to trigger the motor. Reverse the polarity to switch between raise/lower. If you just added fluid then there might be air in the system so you'll need to raise/lower a few times to clear that out.

There is no reset procedure for the top. The computer always knows its position using all the sensors. Maybe have a check at the fuses but yeah definitely gotta be an issue in the wiring harness.
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      05-09-2022, 09:32 AM   #7
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This morning put 12v on the motor and dead. Nothing. No smoke, no noise....... nothing.

I assume that may be the cause of the flashing red light in the dash?? Or only the sensors causing that ?

Weird thing is it looks brand new. Well, not that ever means anything in my world...... but the unit looks like it was just pulled of a parts shelf and installed. Absolutely mint cosmetically. Same with the crush washers. But the hydraulic connections to the pump are slightly corroded.

I'm thinking that this unit has been changed. The fluid level was even correct for the hydraulics according the picture above (thanks for that BTW). Maybe it just died a premature death due to faulty internals ?!?!

Hope this is the case. Should not be hard to replace.


On another note, pulled apart all the wiring loom to check what I could. BMW has done a decent job of protecting the wiring loom inside the top up to the point where it meets the drivers side 2 fastening bolts. That's the one place I'd say if anything has gone bad....... it's between there and the module/plugs. Just my thoughts from what I see....... no expertise involved in that evaluation.

Last edited by tominizer; 05-09-2022 at 09:40 AM..
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      05-09-2022, 11:06 AM   #8
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You got nothing from the motor?? Odd, I've never heard of the electronics taking a dump on the motor. Hm maybe the 12v source you used wasn't charged or the wiring wasn't adequate to run the motor.
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      05-09-2022, 02:15 PM   #9
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Could be my test equipment.

Brought the motor to my mechanic and at first he got nothing as well when hooked up to a car battery. And then all of a sudden it worked. Weird.

I brought it home again and tested in my rig and still nothing.


Lately, everything I touch automotive wise has been challenging and testing my patience. Been quite frustrating. Just today, new tires and on the way home, I guess the inner bead on one of the tires didn't seat and is pissing out air. Barely got home and pulled off the wheel. You can hear it leaking from the bead. Nothing lately has been simple...... even the simple doesn't go simple. Ok, end of my bitchie rant........ grrrrrr.
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      05-09-2022, 04:29 PM   #10
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Late afternoon update.

Pump motor works just fine. Was my test rig that is trash. Connected it to the battery and no issues. Topped up the fluid again and ruling that part of the setup out as being the issue.

I've double checked all the connections and look solid.

I'm figuring one of two choices now. Remove the roof here at home and muddle through it hoping to find something.....

OR

Take it to my buddy who has the proper BMW scanner and have him look it over to see if anything pops up. That's what I'm thinking is the more mature adult type of choice to make instead of chasing down something blindly not even really knowing what/where to look.... beyond generally fumbling through the entire folding top electrical. I guess time to put insurance on the thing and get on with it. Stay tuned.....
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      05-09-2022, 09:30 PM   #11
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Ok, I'm guessing your plug into convertible controller is ok, which rules this out.

once you run the code reader of your buddies if you get these codes:

22 CVM Switch, cowl panel unlocked short circuit to ground

42 CVM Drive, cowl panel short circuit to positive.

then, it's your convertible harness from the white box to the front motor. Since you worked in this area I wouldn't be shocked.
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      05-17-2022, 01:46 PM   #12
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Sorry about a lack of updates. Haven't had a chance to get in to have the codes pulled. LIFE got in the way. Hoping this Saturday morning.

@JAS1169 As soon as I find out anything I will post here. Hoping to be able to get this sorted out fairly quickly.


Had a chance to check for continuity of the harness from the top module to the leading edge where the latch motor is and looks like there are no breaks in the wires going up through the top. Was really hoping I was going to get lucky here and find a break but just not ment to be

Last edited by tominizer; 05-17-2022 at 06:08 PM..
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      05-18-2022, 09:33 AM   #13
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Car had 4 codes:

1C CVM: switch, convertible top closed, short circuit to ground
1F CVM: switch, cowl panel locked, short circuit to ground
22 CVM: cowl panel unlocked, short circuit to ground
25 CVM: switch, convertible top stowed, short circuit to ground


So this is where it gets odd. He cleared the codes, pulled the top to the full closed position, topped up the fluid..... put the top back down and yeah. Everything works again. So...... what are my thoughts? Surprise. I'm guessing a cycle wasn't complete when un-installing or e-installing or when I reinstalled the position was out or something to trip all those codes. After all those codes being cleared and the top starting from the full down position, all good.

Wish I had a cleaning explanation on this to help other out possibly but I don't know what to say. Maybe someone else can chime in.
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      05-19-2022, 02:28 PM   #14
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Honestly, there isn't an answer. Maybe the position sensor couldn't locate the position of the top? Yet, you had a real boat load of short circuit to ground codes which given your outcome, are confusing.

Given your good luck with this, it just might be time for you to play the lotto.
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