Anyone have experience with trying to subdue the convertible shake when you go over bumps (especially with one wheel)? I have an '06 M3 and am considering getting a hardtop to reduce the shake because it bugs me to no end.
Hardtop for change in look, better insulation during winter, extend the life of your soft top - Sure.
But as far as "reducing the shake", or creak/rattle -hmmmm - a hard top might probably reduce some of it. But your soft top shouldn't be rattling at this early stage of ownership. Did you take a tech for a spin and replicate the problem so they could check the fitment and seal and locking mechanism?
I'm not talking about creaks or squeaks, but physical twisting of the car. I notice the rearview mirror shake a little every time I go over ripples in the road. I used to have an e36 M3 sedan and this is a whole lot different.
a hardtop isnt going to provide any structural strength. the shake is especially noticeable to you because sedans are even more rigid that coupes.
it doesnt have any reinforcements or major locking points. it weighs about 70 lbs and it just a thin sheet of metal with a headliner. its held onto the car by a small pin on each side and 2 small latches on the front.
all it will give in terms of improvements is quieter ride (assuming that it fits your car perfectly) because the air flows more smoothely over flat metal than fabric.
the lack of structural rigidity is the cost of having a convertible. thats why people that are really into tracking their cars dont get convertibles (besides the fact that some tracks dont allow them).
You could try fitting a strut brace but it probably won't help all that much. What you're talking about is called 'scuttle shake' and it happens on all convertibles. It used to be a lot worse on previous models and each generation gets stiffer and stiffer. The only way to avoid it is to buy a car that was designed as a convertible in the first place, like a Z4 or a Boxster, and even then you still get it a little.
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