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Old 07-02-2015, 07:04 PM   #1
slade13
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Default California top help

Hi guys. Last year my top stopped working so a few days ago I decided to take a look at it. The motor spins fine. I did notice a broken cable by feeling around the right side of the top. Is there a way to get the inner top headliner removed so that I can see what's broken? I cannot move the top even with the emergency tool. I couldn't bring up the Cali top documents. Thanks
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slade13 View Post
Hi guys. Last year my top stopped working so a few days ago I decided to take a look at it. The motor spins fine. I did notice a broken cable by feeling around the right side of the top. Is there a way to get the inner top headliner removed so that I can see what's broken? I cannot move the top even with the emergency tool. I couldn't bring up the Cali top documents. Thanks
Hi! The Cali top is one complete unit/cartridge. The drive cables are in the unit itself. You'd need to remove the headliner, then remove the 18 or so torx screws and 2 Philips screws to lift out the Cali top cartridge. Once off, you can flip it over on a workbench to take it apart. I've not had to pull one apart yet, so that's as far as I can take you.

There's a member in Norway who has taken his apart and reassembled it. He will know more on this repair.

I have observed that when the drive gear on the top motor grinds down, the movement on the two cables are uneven and can cause the passenger side to retract while the drivers side stays put. As a result, the bow on the passenger side breaks or the slider ion the passenger side disengages and cracks. This happened to my current top from the PO. Once I resolved the motor issue, the top retracts just fine, but my slider is broken and disengaged. Still works and I have other projects to work on, so I haven't addressed it just now. I fully retract the roof quite often.

Getting the top out is actually easy, less than an hour to remove it. Similar to reinstall. Easier than a Sunroof cartridge for sure.
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1998 318ti Sport - "Cali" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, Cali top
1998 318ti Sport - "Max" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, S52
1997 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior
1995 318ti Active - "Blanca" Alpineweib III/Schwartz leather interior

Other Current Bimmers: 2006 530i / 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1999 540it

1997 318ti Sport - "Huera" - RIP
1995 318ti Active - RIP
1995 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Sold
1994 325i Sedan - "Jade" - Sold
1991 318ic - "Bert" - Sold
1985 635csi sold
1984 533i "Max" Sold
1984 318i sold

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Last edited by BlackBMWs; 07-03-2015 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 07-03-2015, 03:34 PM   #3
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Default Link to service files

Here is a link to the files I have.

Please post what you find and how you fixed it to help others that may have similar issues.

Steve

https://drive.google.com/folderview?...zg&usp=sharing

PM me if you can't get the files for any reason.
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Old 07-03-2015, 03:54 PM   #4
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Default California top help

Steve, thanks for posting these. Eric had also posted a version that described how to take apart the cartridge IIRC. Let me see if I can find that as well.

Rich.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I stand corrected. You can do some dissassembly of the headlining material of the Cali Top without removing the top or headliner.

Here are the help files Eric posted. (And Steve posted above) I couldn't open Steve's files on my phone, but works just fine on my PC.

http://www.318ti.org/files/showentry.php?e=8&catid=1

Keep us posted. Cheers!


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1998 318ti Sport - "Cali" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, Cali top
1998 318ti Sport - "Max" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, S52
1997 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior
1995 318ti Active - "Blanca" Alpineweib III/Schwartz leather interior

Other Current Bimmers: 2006 530i / 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1999 540it

1997 318ti Sport - "Huera" - RIP
1995 318ti Active - RIP
1995 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Sold
1994 325i Sedan - "Jade" - Sold
1991 318ic - "Bert" - Sold
1985 635csi sold
1984 533i "Max" Sold
1984 318i sold

BMWCCA #160411

SUPPORT 318ti.org! CLICK THE LINK ABOVE!
Hosting a forum like this is not free. 318ti.org is one of the best BMW forums on the web because it is member supported, not vendor supported. The cost to become a Supporter is a nominal $10.00... A YEAR! DO IT! NOW!

Last edited by BlackBMWs; 07-03-2015 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:57 PM   #5
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Cool, Thanks guys. I'll take a look at my top in a week or two.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:00 AM   #6
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Since this is a Cali top thread, does anyone know how to reattach the headliner to the top? The connection point at the rear of the car fell off so when I retract the top the headliner hangs down into the interior.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:07 AM   #7
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Hi Matt! Check the third document the Steve references above. I recall it depicts how to remove and reinstall the Cali headliner. I have not had to do this yet.


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1998 318ti Sport - "Cali" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, Cali top
1998 318ti Sport - "Max" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, S52
1997 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior
1995 318ti Active - "Blanca" Alpineweib III/Schwartz leather interior

Other Current Bimmers: 2006 530i / 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1999 540it

1997 318ti Sport - "Huera" - RIP
1995 318ti Active - RIP
1995 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Sold
1994 325i Sedan - "Jade" - Sold
1991 318ic - "Bert" - Sold
1985 635csi sold
1984 533i "Max" Sold
1984 318i sold

BMWCCA #160411

SUPPORT 318ti.org! CLICK THE LINK ABOVE!
Hosting a forum like this is not free. 318ti.org is one of the best BMW forums on the web because it is member supported, not vendor supported. The cost to become a Supporter is a nominal $10.00... A YEAR! DO IT! NOW!
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:40 AM   #8
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Where do I find parts for cali top
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:04 PM   #9
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I like the California Top on the 318ti.....i would think that was a rare option back in the day .....
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:50 PM   #10
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Default Folding Tops Not So Common

...but if you have one, be ready to fight leaks from old gaskets and, maybe, from clogged drain tubes.

I need to find my references, but IIRC, I think there are something like 500 of them in the US. If you’re going by rarity, the 98s and 99s would be the rarest, since so few Tis were sold in those years to begin with.

In my search for a Ti, I came across several folding top cars, but no California editions. I read somewhere that most folding roof Tis were produced for the U.S. were California editions. So I was surprised to find a 1998 Ti with a folding roof.

I have a theory that the least common Tis were the most likely to be saved. So folding tops may become relatively more common as the higher production versions get all used up.

I just put a new gasket on my roof. Though I suspect the original gasket was in the car, it looks like the cassette had been dropped before. There was some clear silicon scattered around the gasket. I’m hoping that fresh rubber will get the roof back to water tight.

Last edited by Outrider; 12-31-2018 at 12:09 AM.
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