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      12-20-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
Shipkiller
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Thumbs up How to Remove your Softtop Motor on a Z4

Part II of the Softtop fix.

Replacing the motor.



Tools:
Screw drivers (Flathead and Phillips)
Metric Sockets and Wrench's.
Metric Allen Wrench's
Razor Blades or equivalent.
Flashlights or Drop lights

Parts Needed: (Refer to Drawing: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...13&hg=54&fg=10)
Use your VIN number to for the most up to date drawing and part numbers from RealOEM................


Some Tie-Wraps or tape.
Rags.
A new motor. No. ONE on the drawing.........There are different P/N's for different years.
A new Sound Isolation. No. Eight on the drawing.........This is the protective case/housing that the motor reside in. The existing case has sound isolation foam in it. The foam is waterlogged, very dirty/rusty and will take days to properly dry out.
Go ahead, spend the extra money and just replace it......Do you really want to do this AGAIN?


Extras:
A tube of RTV. This is used in case you want to SEAL the motor housing so you do not have to do this again......

Like I said in the Soft Top removal How-To, take pictures of the motor wiring and hydraulic lines for reassembly....

A picture of the motor that was supposed to be attached to the top. If you look carfully you can see I had a broken mount. And later on, after my first drive, I discovered that was the cause of the squeak in my left ear while driving....



Remove the mount from the top frame and note (Take a picture) of the wiring and hydraulic line placement.



Remove the tape and tie-wraps from the cables and hoses.



Now remove the housing cover.



Housing cover removed. You can already see the corrosion.





As extra insurance, before I pulled the motor out, I labeled the hydraulic lines. 3,4,5,6. and then after the motor was out of the housing, labeled the old housing the same way. Just to be sure.

Pull out the motor. The sound insulating foam and motor were soaked.



The old housing. It shows my labels, and labels from BMW. 11,12,13,14 and W for the wire. Later on I found that the hydraulic lines are also labeled if you look . Can't be too careful......




When you look at the new motor, you will see there is a circuit board internal to the unit where the power wires are attached...
Remove the electrical connectors and clean them up. Use Q-Tips, Pipe Cleaners, what ever.. I removed the boots and cleaned them up also.
Note very carefully the wire color and which terminals they attache to. If you put them on backward, the top will operate in reverse and you will have to remove the soft top and redo.



The black assembly is the Bowden Cable. It is the manual top release. Remove the assembly, noting the position.



Looking at the motor, the brass button on the bottom is the actual hydraulic by-pass plunger or spool.



I now used a Dremel Tool to clean up the hydraulic fittings. This is not just a anal move. Hydraulics always require cleanliness...
(Usless fact: On US Submarines, we use the same oil on both the main turbines and ships hydrualic system. The hydrualic system has a higher spec. for cleanliness...)




If you are to do this properly, you should replace the copper sealing washers, but I just plain forgot to order them.. I had to reuse the old ones.
I think they come in the 'Hydraulic Repair Kit'. Number nine in the RealOEM drawing.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...13&hg=54&fg=10

Now I transfer the hydraulic lines a set at a time. The new pump is labeled with the BMW line numbers. 11,12,13,14. But transferring them as a set, you can't screw it up. Do this quickly to reduce the amount of oil loss from the line.
I put the dust screws from the new pump back into the old pump. I plan on draining the oil and saving it. It does not appear to be contaminated.



Replace the Bowden Cable assembly.



The new motor housing. Nice, clean and DRY.



Notice some oil will leak during the hydraulic line transfer.



Reattach the electrical leads, wipe up any oil on the motor and place in the new housing.



Doing a test fit.



Here's ware the RTV comes in, if you use it.



I placed RTV all along the housing seam and in and around the wire and piping penetrations, then put the cover on then put more RTV on the outside seam. Sealing it up.
Four hours after doing all this, I had a nagging feeling about the electrical wire positions so I took it all apart. It was not hard even with all that RTV..... The wiring was correct....
Sealed it back up..




Now using the pictures I took, and remounted the unit to the frame making sure all the cables and hydraulic lines were running properly, additionally putting tie-wraps where needed.

Now you are done....
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      01-07-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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Doesn't look like any fun, but it's certainly nice to know that it can be done and how to do it.

Thanks for the Post!
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      04-18-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
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did you notice in your photo, the new pump housing has the numbers misprinted (stamped) on it ? I was confused - will follow your lead and ignore the stamped numbers.
Yours obviously worked!
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      04-18-2010, 08:47 PM   #4
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all done - thanks so much for the post - would not have tried this without it!!
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      05-10-2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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i have to do this real soon... BMW mentioned something on the phone about adjusting the soft top once u put it back on... know anything about this?
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      05-10-2010, 09:30 AM   #6
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Not heard of this. The official TIS does not mention anything about adjustment.

Not one person (that I know of) that has repaired their softtop motor has mentioned it, and having done it, I don't really know WHAT you would adjust.

Remember, 99% of all dealerships have NEVER performed this repair. So they may be generalizing and don't really know.
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      05-10-2010, 12:36 PM   #7
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cool, thanks for the writeup!
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      05-11-2010, 01:05 PM   #8
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so im just wondering because i have not tried yet but can the top go up and down manually?? pressing the button to make it go up and down will unlock and lock the top in place but doesnt move the top because i assume the hydraulic motor doesnt operate the locking mechanism on the roof... right??

so can I drop the top manually and hold the "open" button so it locks??
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      05-11-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
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Yes.

Read your owners manual about emergency manual operation.
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      05-11-2010, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipkiller View Post
Yes.

Read your owners manual about emergency manual operation.
dont got one of those.... i did however find a thread regarding this though so should be no prob.
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      05-16-2010, 02:11 AM   #11
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Thank you so much for the post!!!

I have a same problem, and i'm going to do this myself.
What about oil for hydraulics?
Do you need to add oil after motor replacement?
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      05-16-2010, 08:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lnick View Post
Thank you so much for the post!!!

I have a same problem, and i'm going to do this myself.
What about oil for hydraulics?
Do you need to add oil after motor replacement?
Negative. The only way to add oil is to remove the top again, and you should not need to. There is sufficient oil in the new motor, unless you spilled a LOT when you swapped the hydraulic lines.
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      05-17-2010, 10:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipkiller View Post
Negative. The only way to add oil is to remove the top again, and you should not need to. There is sufficient oil in the new motor, unless you spilled a LOT when you swapped the hydraulic lines.
Ok!

Glad to hear this!

thnx!
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      08-12-2010, 01:59 AM   #14
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great write up - wouldn't even know where to begin without this (and Part I)..... looking at the realoem site there are 2 part No.1 at significantly different price..... which one do I get? and what's the difference between the two?..... I spoke to the dealership today just to see how much they would charge to do the work and they said around $1500 total for parts and labour - it looks like some people on the forum paid over $3000..... am I missing something?..... Thanks.....
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      08-15-2010, 07:01 AM   #15
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Hello Shipkiller
Thank you so much for your time and pictures and to write down all the steps to do.
I got yesterday unfortunately, a bad surprise when I pressed the button to open my soft-top of my Z4 from 7/2006 and it opened just a bit and stopped.
It was moving like the engine was dying very slow, and after a feww seconds just stopped completely.
So I open it following the emergency manual operation ( very easy) and tried again to close it with the button, but its dead. so I closed it manually and now in my garage I will start in a few minutes doing the same Job as you did, removing the soft-top.
I saved all your precious information in my laptop, and I will follow step by step, I did not buy yet the parts I need, as I want see first how it looks like once all removed.
I hope you don't mind if I come to you here in case I'm blocked in any of the steps and ask you advise.

I wish my self good luck and lets see.

I will do pictures also as you say, its the best memory

Thank you for all.
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      08-15-2010, 05:43 PM   #16
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The hydro electrical motor of my Z4 looks pretty like yours before replacement

Will order the bits tomorrow
Attached Images
  
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      03-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #17
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Slow operation after replacing motor

Thanks for the clear instructions.
I had the motor replaced by the dealer for around $1600. It failed again 2 months later and was replaced under warranty by a different dealer. (I had moved to SoCal.)
It worked fine for half a year and then the top started raising slower and slower over time. Now it only goes up half way before the motor overheats and stalls out. I have to help it by hand to get it all the way up.
Am I running low on hydraulic fluid? If so, is there a way to top it off without removing the entire soft top?
Thanks again for the DIY instructions.
Markus
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      03-12-2011, 12:26 PM   #18
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The softtop hydraulic system is a CLOSED system. If you were running low on hydraulic fluid, the top must come out of the car to fix the leak. I have NEVER had someone report that they had a hydraulic leak. Not saying it could happen but ......

THERE IS NO WAY TO TOP OFF THE HYDRAULIC FLUID WITH THE TOP IN THE CAR.
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      03-13-2011, 09:11 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=Shipkiller;9113148]I have NEVER had someone report that they had a hydraulic leak. Not saying it could happen but ......



I was more concerned that the dealer allowed air into the system. I have checked my garage floor for any hydraulic leaks and there are none. If there is a leak, it is very small.

I've also lubricated all of the pivot joints I could reach on the soft top frames. This made no difference.

Any ideas on what might be the root cause? Anyone in the Santa Barbara / Ventura area know a good soft-top repair shop? I have to get this fixed as it affects every drive.

Thanks
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      03-13-2011, 02:53 PM   #20
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The system is self bleeding.

Root Cause.... Water intrusion causing the motor to fail.....

You will have a very hard time finding someone other than the dealer that has performed this repair.

Do it yourself. It is rather easy to accomplish...just time consuming..
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      03-27-2011, 05:26 PM   #21
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how to remove your softtop 11 -- shipkiller ---
great article - very informative - well done -
is there a how to remove your softtop part 1?
or any help on removing the top from the body?
thanks
ajrose60 --- 2004 Z4 3.0
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      03-27-2011, 06:51 PM   #22
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Yea, there is one. It may be further back in the directory since the listing is based on the date of the last post..

I did two DIY. One for removing the softtop from the car and one (second DIY) for replacing the motor.

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...52#post8227352

I just gave it a bump.
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