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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
Good job getting this far! Since the part broke fairly clean, those might be repairable with bolts and glue. Worth a try for $5.

The composite part breaks cause it is experiencing pressure in 2 different directions (up/down, front/back) than it's natural movement (side to side).






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I ended up buying the whole part. My mechanic had someone who had them and i got them both for $375 verses $625 ea!! Thought about doing that repair job but i had rain coming in that day so gad no time..just wished i changed the wiring at that time. Removing that liner was the hardest part..

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00
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Here's my repair. One of my latch was completely broken



so the "simple" holes and screws wouldn't have maybe been enough.

I decided to repair the plastic parts, but before putting bicomponent epoxy on the plastics I strenghtened it with some metal plates and wires.

I drilled the 2 holes in the composite part, as suggested in the topic.
Then I glued the 2 scattered parts with plastic specific Loctite, and let it dry 5-6 minutes.

I was not so confident that only 2 screws could firmly block parts from moving, so I used 2 metal plates wrapping from inside to outside and locked in place with passing screws.
Then I drilled some very small holes close to the borders of the 2 cracked parts and tied them with a steel wire.



The part in this phase was already strong and massive.

Next phase was fill the core of the composite with epoxy. I don't know why some of the composite was white and not transparent, maybe because I mixed the epoxy in an already dirt of dried epoxy container...but hopefully all is becoming solid rock.



This evening after 24 hours of drying I'll cover the whole thing with plastic resin.

Hope there is enough room over the composite part when reassembling the cover for the extra-height (3-4mm)!

The whole job done


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I did this mod yesterday and it was fairly easy and straight forward. My 2004 had cracks that were starting to form, but had not broken fully yet, so I am glad that I fixed it when I did.
 

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It is frustrating. I've tried to look for cracks in that plastic piece. I think I can see the edge of the plastic piece. I do not see any cracks. But I'm not sure I'm actually looking at the plastic piece. I think I'm going to one day decide it might be cracked and do the reinforcement. About how long does this take?
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
It is frustrating. I've tried to look for cracks in that plastic piece. I think I can see the edge of the plastic piece. I do not see any cracks. But I'm not sure I'm actually looking at the plastic piece. I think I'm going to one day decide it might be cracked and do the reinforcement. About how long does this take?
A couple hours, although a day for any epoxy to dry.

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That rubber seal is now about a $400/500 price tag So be extremely careful when taking this off. The corners tear very easy when trying to put the cover back on the rubber. The first time I tried this, mine tore a little and I was able to put a little super glue on the rip and it worked good but would leak some during heavy rain.


I need to do this job but I'm terrified of tearing the weather sealing. Anyone have any tips or tricks to make sure it stays intact during disassembly/reassembly? Any videos, how to's etc?
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00
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I made a post to show how it exactly works. Putting it back knowing how it works will help you more than any video. Just remove it carefully.
 

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Well I did this fix, pretty straightforward. I was extremely careful with the seals and did not break them, and I put it back together exactly as I found it. Thanks for a great writeup!

I ran it through an automatic carwash today and the driver's side did not leak, but the passenger side did :( I am hoping its only because it was extremely high pressure, and it will be ok in the rain. There's no tears on the seal so not sure what is the issue.

I actually ordered replacement latches on ebay for the opel astra. The drivers side latch had no issue with the gear. The passenger's side was a little tight, but I put it on a drill and ran it back and forth a bunch and it did loosen it up some. Maybe not as much as it was before. The motor doesnt sound like it's straining. Hopefully the repair lasts.


If anyone wants to find buy replacement latches, here's the ones I ordered, they were cheap. The only issue I had with fitment was the metal ferrue from the OE part was too tight for the replacement ones. I just took a dremel to them and then the ferrules fit fine.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-Verschl...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00
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Well I did this fix, pretty straightforward. I was extremely careful with the seals and did not break them, and I put it back together exactly as I found it. Thanks for a great writeup!

I ran it through an automatic carwash today and the driver's side did not leak, but the passenger side did :( I am hoping its only because it was extremely high pressure, and it will be ok in the rain. There's no tears on the seal so not sure what is the issue.

I actually ordered replacement latches on ebay for the opel astra. The drivers side latch had no issue with the gear. The passenger's side was a little tight, but I put it on a drill and ran it back and forth a bunch and it did loosen it up some. Maybe not as much as it was before. The motor doesnt sound like it's straining. Hopefully the repair lasts.


If anyone wants to find buy replacement latches, here's the ones I ordered, they were cheap. The only issue I had with fitment was the metal ferrue from the OE part was too tight for the replacement ones. I just took a dremel to them and then the ferrules fit fine.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-Verschl...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
for leaks, see post #9 ;)

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1224478
 

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Elbow latch stuck!
So my top got stuck just before closing. For a few tries both latches did engage while in the air and the top just bounced. Never actually closed. I noticed the elbow on the drivers side wouldn***8217;t move into place. Stopping the top from completely closing.
Upon inspection I noticed the plastic piece on was side is basically gone and the other is just cracked.
I have ordered the eBay set and intend on just reinforcing the cracked one. My question is. Do I need to replace the strut also or could the cracked off plastic piece be causing the elbow and strut not to move?
 

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2003 BMW 325CI convertible, Oct '02 prod. date, 111K miles
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reading thru the threads, certain titles of after market latches are listed, but the ebay searches end up with a variety of makers. are there certain brands that are preferred?
 

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I went with a eBay one that shipped from Germany. The quality surpassed the original. No need to to the reinforcement on it.
 

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If your top is latched closed, there is access to turn the threaded latch spindles. This will only work if the composite part of the latch mechanism is still intact. To access remove the weather seals that rest on the top of the side windows. Requires prying open the fuzzy rubber seal to access two torx screws. After loosening (no need to pull out of the channel) the screws carefully pull the weather seal away sideways to reveal an access whole in the top mechanism. The seals cannot be completely removed. They are part of the seal wrapping across the windshield. Do not rip the rubber at the corner joint. A flashlight will reveal the torx 4 or 5 at the end of the threaded spindle. See other photos of the latch mechanism. You are accessing the spindle at the end where there appears to be a black rubber cap.
 
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