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Old 02-14-2019, 01:35 AM   #1
lgibshop
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Default California top issue 1997

Hello,

I have a 97 318ti with a California roof. Ive had it for about four years and I love this little car. It's had a persistent leak at all four corners. Then it started making this bupping noise at the end of the close. Last spring I opened it all the way, stuck a wire down the tubes and got no resistance. Cleaned out the track and got out a new can of lithium grease to lube it but alas, the top was broken off the can. I proceeded to squeeze some out in the cap and was putting it in the track when it suddenly started to rain! So I pushed up on it and got it to close. I have not opened it since.

Last week, I took it to a body shop where someone I know works to see if he could check the drain tubes. He had repainted my hood and done an excellent job. He took down the headliner and could not find how to access the tubes. So he opened the top. Greased it. and it closed. . . almost. . . all the way. I covered it with a garbage bag and strip magnets.

I took it all over town (Joplin, MO) and no one thought they could fix it. Called BMW in Springfield and they referred me to a convertible shop. They had never seen one. Called BMW in Kansas City and took it there with an estimate of $425 to get it closed and see if the tubes would reconnect.

Not. It would cost $11,000 to fix it! That's right eleven thousand dollars! It even shocked them. From Germany, custom made. They taped it shut.

Ive about decided to close it with some plexi or lexan if I can, but would like to see if anyone knows a way to fix these before I take this drastic step. I was trying to keep it stock and hate to do that.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Lisa
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:41 PM   #2
maxx
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http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=41628

also, call a higher volume dealer, their service will see a higher number of cars and they may have a solution
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:27 AM   #3
FunElan
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In the above thread you'll see how to remove the cartridge. What you can do at the dealership is buy a new roof seal - last I checked there were less than 100 left in the world. I paid $125 for mine.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:35 AM   #4
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There was a thread going last month on this as well;

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=40482



You can probably see gaps in the corners between the gasket and body, looking down from the top. It's probably not the tubes, but the gasket. People have used silicone with success. Might try that till you figure out why it isn't closing/opening smoothly.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:19 PM   #5
lgibshop
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I went all over looking for a solution to this problem. Seems the cables had stretched out and stripped out the worm gear. My mechanic bought the only one I could find, from E Bay and between the two made a good one. It tucks in and closes like it should. The test was today, when it rained, and it still has a little leak at the back corner on the drivers side. I watched where it went and think I can fix it with some silicone like one of you said. Thanks all for your advice.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:18 PM   #6
FunElan
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So you just had the gear and the seal replaced? Or the cables too?
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:38 PM   #7
lgibshop
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Gear and cables. Just the closing problem, not the seal. But looks like it should have been replaced too.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:04 PM   #8
FunElan
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Curious if they took any photos of the cable replacement....I've never seen it.
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:49 PM   #9
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I doubt that they did.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:49 AM   #10
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Default California roof

Hi,

I got my ti with cloth roof last year, with the great (member!) seller commenting that it would sometimes 'hang up.'

Yes, I did experience that sometimes.

But after a few weeks ...not certain, but... it seemed to me to improve, somewhat, the more I opened and closed the roof. I had originally been coaxing it to close by using a bit of upward pressure near the final close. Don't have to do that very often anymore.

So I make a point of using it, now. Living in California.

mike
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