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Old 06-25-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
BlackBMWs
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Default New motor for Cali top

OK Cali community,

I should have a new motor delivered Friday for my 98 Cali top from Germany. Before I install it, do I need to confirm top position or motor position ? I suspect yes, like with sunroof motor replacements, so any feedback from folks who have recently done this? Also, I read some folks further lubricated their new motors. How'd that turn out over time?

I will continue to look for a replacement gear for my existing motor to keep as a spare. If anyone has a motor they no longer need, please drop me a PM.

I look forward to using the top on a more frequent basis. Thanks!
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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: 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1991 318ic / 1999 540it

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

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Old 06-26-2014, 01:55 PM   #2
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I cannot say for sure but after dissassembling the motor and gears I would say the design does not rely on a position mechanism like the other sunroofs. The gears in the cali top motor have a tension mechanism instead. This is also the reason they are more prone to gear failure IMHO.

Somewhere I found a factory manual posted for servicing the assembly that may detail a process. I will see if I can post it or a link.

What is the current cost of a new motor?

Surely with the new 3D printing technology there should be a way to reproduce gears at a reasonable cost. Even if the 3D printed parts are not as durable, if they are easily reproduced they could just be replaced more frequently.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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Default New motor for Cali top

Thanks much! Shipped with tax and the threaded emergency tool was $403 from getBMWparts.com. Lowest price I could find.

I will seek to repair my existing motor as a spare or for parts when the new one breaks.
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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: 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1991 318ic / 1999 540it

1997 318ti Sport - "Huera" - RIP
1995 318ti Active - RIP
1995 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Sold
1994 325i Sedan - "Jade" - 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; 06-26-2014 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:32 AM   #4
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Here are the service files for the roof:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B82...it?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B82...it?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B82...it?usp=sharing
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:47 AM   #5
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Sweet! Thanks very much! I actually printed and have these in my workshop reference material now. I have to troubleshoot why the drivers side of the roof sometimes does not retract.


I have a spare Cali roof I will renew and ensure proper operation and swap out this failing one for repair/ renewal. I lucked out and found a spare 98 roof for my 98 car.


1998 & 1997 318ti Sport Schwartz II
1995 318ti Active Alpineweib III
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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: 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1991 318ic / 1999 540it

1997 318ti Sport - "Huera" - RIP
1995 318ti Active - RIP
1995 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Sold
1994 325i Sedan - "Jade" - 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!
BlackBMWs is offline   Reply With Quote
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