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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having trouble releasing the convertible top. Drivers side latch is locked down, while the passenger side latch is loose and not locked all the way.

If you try to unlock manually with allen wrench, there is resistance, and spins the allen key back. The electric motor will still work, but will not unlock the top - I also dont want to strip any gears.

Any help on this? there is not a single clear forum of why the allan wrench is cranking back.
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00
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stupid question....did you push the button over the gear while using the allen key?

maybe the loosen one has unbalanced the other one, try to release it a little bit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don***8217;t believe so - what would this do? I took to a shop and paid $200 and they couldn***8217;t get it unlocked either. They said best bet is to cut into the plastic of the top and look at the gear which doesn***8217;t seem like the best option
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00
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because the "resistance" you describe seeme that one I had before I realized i was turning the allen key...without pushing that button and releasing a bit the wires XD
but if you think is not your case, hope you find the right way :D
 

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Are we all talking about the same button? There is the "oh what the hell" button under the back seat. I was unaware of one above the windshield.. Not to say it doesn't exist.
can you get some downward pressure on the front edge of the roof while trying the crank?
Might I suggest moving to the Convertible forum and also checking the excellent collection of factory guides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I***8217;ve sat on the edge, while someone manually cranked to see if that would work, but the Allan wrench just keeps winding back
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 780 K km
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First, it isn't plastic cover , it is metal one, so cutting it won't be as easy.
There was a video somewhere how to access shaft from side of a top to unlock it in case motoror gear failed , to avoid cutting.
Most probably one side latch plastic nut broke and now it doesnt open the lock and to fix it you have to open top first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes - the problem is getting the top released off the windshield. Right now, we have one side loose or unlocked, and the other side is locked down. The allan key will crank, but then gets resistance.

Does the button in the back have anything to do with manually cranking the windshield?
 

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Mu understanding is that the unit under the back seat controls the tonneau hatch. To release the head rail, my understanding is that you pull the plug in the middle of the rail and use the hex key to turn the mechanism. I believe the procedure is described in the owners manual.

Where are you trying to turn? You might also cross-ref with new post in Convert forum. Did you get my file? Don't push that damn button yet!
The intro on the other forum has repair procedures.
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00
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SORRY!!
My english is veeeeeeeeeeery poor, I only understood now you're talking about the FRONTAL hatches.
So, forget what I said before, sorry.
Unfortunately is more likely one of the two hooks that has broken the plastic assembly or maybe one of the shaft worn or somewhat removed.
So, I'm afraid that the suggestion of cutting the metal cover is right...
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 780 K km
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Before you decide to cut the cover, search for more info to have clear understanding how mechanism works and what to do in order to unlock it so you might manage to drill couple of holes rather than cut big area off and then try to move broken nut in order to open latch.
 

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Just fixed this problem myself,
First off lower all windows, remove the side weather proofing above the door, there are 2 x TX30 screws,
Number 15 https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=BS52-EUR-02-2003-E46-BMW-330Ci&diagId=54_0275, watch this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZ85pV_lhQ,

if that doesn't work then,

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=BS52-EUR-02-2003-E46-BMW-330Ci&diagId=51_4100
you are trying to remove number 5, which is plastic and therefore you could break it!!

I did the following.
Remove both A pillar trims
Remove the sun visors from both sides (4 screws per side),
Remove the light unit
Release the top as much as possible
On the side of the cover that has released pull the weather proofing from the corner of the cover and pull the cover towards the interior and the outside at the same time, you will notice on number 5 that is has a lip.

Once it has been removed you will see your problem,

The latch is still engaged in number 16
https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=BS52-EUR-02-2003-E46-BMW-330Ci&diagId=54_0273

Now comes the scary part
Remove the three screws from the plate.
Use a strong screwdriver and lever the plate down so that is clears the locating pin.
Keep the plate below the pin, hit the plate with a hammer in the direction on the open end of the latch (towards the centre of the car), keep doing this until the latch releases.

I DID NOT BREAK ANY PARTS WHILST DOING THIS, YOU MIGHT SO PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND STAY SAFE

To replace the broken latch watch this video, it explains how to remove the metal cover to gain access to the latches
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II5kua0IAI4

This video explains how to repair the latches
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcPIqgJyvfs

As I have said be careful and take your time

From start to finish this took me about 8 hours
 

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I cut the motor box open. What I usually have to do to unlock the top is hold the button down and hold the spinning gear in place while pressing the button to open/lower top


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics
 
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