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Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 2
2001 BMW Z3 Roadster PLEASE HELP with DREADED intermittent convertible top issues

Good evening. I am new to the forum though I have been a customer of Pelican parts for years.

My girlfriend has a 2001 BMW Z3 which she loves.

As we have the type of relationship where she drives and I fix whatever breaks I have one of those dreaded "intermittent/sometimes" problems that I could use help to solve:

Sometime last year the convertible top started being "picky" about when it would go down.

You would unlatch the top and push the top up several inches to disengage the microswitch on the drivers side of the top, put your foot on the brake (everything we had been doing since we bought the car new) BUT the top would not go down.

IF you tried several times either talking dirty or sweet to it (depending on our mood) it would always eventually go down.

There never USED to be any trouble having it go back up but this year it now SOMETIMES requires you to push the up button several times to go back up.

There does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to when it works right away and when it wants to not work right away.

So far it has always eventually worked.

When the top motor does finally decide to work I hear the electric top motor continuing to run (if I continue to hold the button) either after we have put the top up or down.

I have replaced the "up/down" switch (more in hope and because it felt "worn") and that seemed to make it happy for a day or so and then it was back to its "lets talk before I put the top down (and now sometimes up) attitude.

I have ordered and possess the microswitch BUT I don't think that is the problem.

I have looked at the wire connections at the electric motor on the left side in the trunk and everything looks tight and clean.

The fluid level looks good as well.

I see two (purple) relays which I believe are the "up" and "down" relays sort of behind the top motor and I am wondering if they could be the problem.

Any non acrobatic suggestions and/or counsel would be greatly appreciated.

Old 03-20-2019, 12:58 PM
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Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1
Intermitent Convertible top operating issue

I had this problem too, it was an broken cable wire just before the micro switch at the location of the area were the top is bend when it is opened and close.
Old 04-24-2019, 08:49 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #2 (permalink)
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 2

Well (if you can imagine an Inspector Cluseau French accent) the intermittent issue with the top going up and down morphed into FUSE #46 (brake light fuse among other functions) blowing every time I stepped onto the brake pedal issue.

Looking at the wiring diagram it appeared that any one of four (4) modules could be responsible for the "short to ground".

Of course none of these modules were even remotely accessible.

I threw up my hands and took it into a shop I trust and they figured out when you disconnect the convertible top main power connector (the connector located under the pump motor) that fuse #46 stopped "popping" every time you stepped on the brakes.

I then went on eBay and purchased a used pump with the wiring harness (including the up and down relays) and swapped it out with the existing pump and harness and everything works great now!

I still can not verify the electrical fault/short (the pump motor appears to have resistance with an ohm meter) BUT the brake lights work AND the top goes up and down!

It should be noted that I did NOT originally consider (based on the wiring diagrams) that the short could be located in the pump motor "assembly".

If you are experiencing similar issues (in reading various enthusiast websites it appears the question is NOT, "does your Z3 have an issue popping fuse #46" but rather WHEN will it start popping fuse #46) this may be of value to you.

Old 04-26-2019, 05:17 PM
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