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1996 BMW E36 Convertible to stopped working.

Nothing happens when I press the button to open the roof. I checked the main fuse box and then manually opened the roof, re-engaged the motors and initialized the top which then shut but still won't open again. Could there be a micro switch problem?

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  • steve651 Jun 25, 2009

    There are about 6 different micro switches. I don't know where to start!

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We found a flat lever under back seat well we pulled it forward an we heard a click an then when we tried to raise the top it would not go up we actualy had to manually raise it did that lever disengage the electric raise on my top

Posted on Sep 11, 2010

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Change switch first checking all contacts(wires to clips)

Posted on Jun 25, 2009

  • Mark Hamlin
    Mark Hamlin Jun 25, 2009

    Try switching them around to get a diferent function. It will be trial and error. It helps to get a couple extras from junk yard and replace one at a time.

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Conv. top won't operate


Hi James
this is the whole procedure, how to open/close manually and reset the convertible soft top BMW E36
http://www.eabjr.com/Synchronize-e36-Convertible-Top.php

Good Luck

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The windows and sun roof doesnt work i think i have a blown fuse


The fuse and relay box on the E30 and E36 models is located in the engine compartment. The E36 models also has relay boxes located under the left side of the dashboard.

Circuit Breakers
Resetting & Replacement

Circuit breakers are located inside the fuse panel. They are automatically reset when the problem corrects itself, is repaired, or the circuit cools down to allow operation again.

One of the less known about fuses that can cause all this to go out is the fuseable link. It is in a black plastic box near the battery. It is an appx 60A thin metal strip fuse. Check the website link to the right for more info.

Also, I suggest check your Fuse Diagram in the BMW 525i Owners Manual here.

Power Sunroof
Emergency Closure Operation

The sunroof is equipped with an emergency closure feature should the sunroof motor fail or the vehicle has lost electrical power. To close the sunroof under these conditions:
  1. Remove the front headliner trim panel.
  2. Using the 6mm hex key that is included with the tool kit, insert the key into the hex socket and turn the socket to close the sunroof.
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Fig. Remove the trim panel to access the sunroof motor

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Fig. Insert the 6mm hex tool from the tool kit and turn the hex socket to close the sunroof


Removal & Installation
E30 Models

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Fig. Sunroof components-E30 3 Series shown, E36 similar

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Fig. Sunroof lid retainer clip location-E30 3 Series shown, E36 similar
  1. Open the sunroof lid 2-4 inches (5-10cm).
  2. Unclip the roof liner frame and push back into the opening.
  3. Close the sunroof lid and loosen the screws on each end of the gates.
  4. Pull in the retainers, remove the center screws and lift off the lid.
  5. Remove the cover over the motor and gearbox. Close the sunroof lid, if not already closed.
  6. Disconnect the wiring harness and remove the 3 mounting screws. Remove the motor and gearbox.
  7. Push the cables back evenly on both sides. Remove the rail covers and pull the cables out of the guides.
  8. Place the cable in the center position of the gate and press off.
To install:
  1. Install the cables to the gate. The cable are marked with the proper side of installation. Do not lubricate fabric covered cables.
  2. Pull the cables through guides and align the cables. Insert a hex key through the gate and cable at the 0 position.
  3. Install the motor and gearbox. The motor and gearbox must be synchronized with the hole in the drivegear aligned between the centers of the 2 gears. Torque the bolts to 2.0 ft. lbs. (2.8 Nm).
  4. Install the sunroof lid. Use new screws and torque to 2.5 ft. lbs. (3.5 Nm).
  5. Adjust the sunroof lid. Pull the roof liner frame into position and clip into place.

E36 Models
  1. Close the sunroof fully. With a quick actuation of the sunroof opening button, open the sunroof so the back edge of the lid depresses 0.08-0.12 inches (2-3mm).
  2. Slowly push the roof liner panel back into the roof. Do not force or use a quick motion or damage could occur.
  3. Remove the mounting screws and pull the lid off at the rear side. Do not operate the sunroof with the panel removed.
To install:
  1. Install the lid and check that the hooks and levers align. Install the screws with threadlocker or use new micro-encapsulated screws. Torque to 2.5 ft. lbs. (3.5 Nm).
  2. Adjust the sunroof lid. Lower the rear of the lid by operating the motor. Pull the liner forward and clip into place.

Good luck.

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1 Answer

1994 Convertible roof not working


If you hear a whining noise, you are probably low on fluid.
The pump/motor/reservoir combination is probably behind the rear seat.
Fill it with ATF with the top down. Cycle the top as much as possible, repeat till the reservoir accepts no more fluid in the down position.
Check lines and cylinders for leaks, replace/repair leaks.
If you hear nothing, check the fuse.
If that is good, hotwire the motor, if that works, check the switch.

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UPDATE: I thought I was posting regarding a 1998 E36. Not sure a 99 has the same fuse or interlock.

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Hey there, I have experienced the same problem. You need to reengage both motors if you have disengaged them pulling the lever undernearth the rear driverside seat. Make sure to put the black lever back under the seat to the position before pulling on it.

You should have the top in the down position before engaging the motors back in place.

To engage the motors: The motors are located under the carpet in the trunk on the driver side. There are two black clips you will need to remove in order to pull the carpet back. One of the motors is located near the taillight. This motor is responsible for the storage lid cover. The motor that is located further in the drunk is the motor for the fabric top to move up and down. Make sure to firmly press these motors back into place. They should not move.

Once you have engaged the motors, go into your car put the key into the ignition and have the convertible top button pressed up (meaning to close the top), move the key to the accessory positio and hold it for 10-12 seconds. You will finally see the trunk lid get pulled closed. The car will now attempt to completely close the lid. If your motors are working fine it will close. If your only intention is to get the lid to close on it's own it should be accomplished.

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The top works with two circular motors in the trunk. The motors are similar to the ones that open and close the windows. The motors of the roof can be engaged and disengaged. One motor drives the roof lid the other one drives the roof itself. The trick to engage and disengage the motors so that they are correctly syncronized to opening and closing.

If you would loke furhter assistance crerarc@vodamial.co.za

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