BMW Z3 CONVERTIBLE 1995 E36 Convertible Tops Manual
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CONVERTIBLE TOP STORAGE LID POSITION HALL SENSOR TESTS
Before testing always verify pin numbers and
wire colors from the appropriate ETM.
DC Voltage Test Procedures:
•At X13145 disconnect and access ground
(pin 6) and the hall sensor supply voltage
(pin 3) = battery voltage.
•Re-connect plug and check hall sensor sig-
nal (pin 2), activate convertible top, with
storage lid in motion = 5.0 volts.
Tap switch to display high/low signal - High = 10.0 volts.
Low = 0 volts.
Voltage Frequency Test Procedure:
•With storage compartment lid moving in either direction, pin 2 = 70 Hz.
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E36 CONVERTIBLE TOP ADJUSTMENTS
NOTE: All mechanical adjustments are critical for synchronous top operation.
The following adjustments are possible on E36 convertibles. The Repair Manual section of
TIS provides system component R&R and adjustment procedures.
The following Repair Manual
screens are from Groups 51 & 54.
The individual listings provide all of
the pertinent procedures for effec-
tively repairing a defect and adjust-
ing the components to effectively
maintain the precision operation of
the top mechanisms.
Example:Adjusting left or right
soft top compartment cover lock.
Group 5125.. additionally includes
the following E36 convertible top
•Configuration of convertible top
•Replace actuating lever
•R&R Bowden Cables
•R&R Top Cover Lock
•R&R Gas Struts for Top Cover
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Convertible Tops - 24
Group 54 25.. includes the fol-
•Adjusting both top lid locks.
•Adjusting electric motor for
convertible top lid.
•Adjusting both bowden cables
for convertible top lid locks.
Group 54 25.. additionally
includes the following E36 con-
vertible top specific procedures:
•R&R electrical convertible top
lid drive unit
•R&R both convertible top
•R&R both bowden cables for
convertible top lid locks.
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Convertible Tops - 25
Group 54 31.. includes the fol-
•Adjusting convertible top
•Adjusting EM convertible top.
Group 54 31.. additionally includes the following E36 convertible top specific procedures:
•R&R complete EM Convertible Top
•Replacing rear window in convertible top
•Replacing convertible top fabric.
•R&R handle for convertible top lock
•R&R headlining in convertible top
•Replacing convertible top lid cover
•R&R base plate on left or right
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Convertible Tops - 26
Group 54 34.. includes the fol-
Convertible top lock (fully
Group 54 34.. additionally includes the following E36 convertible top specific procedures:
•Initialization EM Convertible top
•Replacing linkages for convertible
•R&R electrical convertible top drive unit
•Replacing convertible top cover
•R&R finisher on convertible top lock
•R&R headlining in convertible top
•R&R both convertible top locks (fully automatic system)
•R&R motor for converter top lock (fully automatic system)
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Convertible Tops - 27
Group 61 31.. includes the fol-
•Adjusting micro switch S4.
•Adjusting micro switch S3.
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Group 54 90.. includes trou-
bleshooting charts for the Semi
and Fully Automatic Systems with
links to repair procedures.
Group 54 90.. also includes a
micro switch logic table for diag-
Convertible Tops - 28
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E36 CONVERTIBLE SPECIFIC SI BULLETINS
Refer to the following list of Service Information bulletins when servicing an E36 convertible.
Always check the most up-to-date SI’s and recent DCS messages for current service infor-
•E-36 CONVERTIBLE TOP HEADLINER SAGS.
Repair kit P/N 54 31 8 227 354. SIB 54 03 96.
•CONVERTIBLE TOP CLEANING KIT. P/N 83 12 9 407 806. SIB 54 07 95.
•CONVERTIBLE STORAGE LID PROTECTIVE CAP INSTALLATION. SIB 54 06 95.
•CONVERTIBLE FOLDING ASSIST ROD. P/N 54 31 8 203 869. SIB 54 05 95.
•CONVERTIBLE HEADLINER PLASTIC PANEL REPLACEMENT. P/N 54 31 8 211 902.
SIB 54 04 95.
•CONVERTIBLE TOP PLASTIC BREAKS AT C PILLAR.
Repair Kit P/N 54 31 8 209 781. SIB 54 02 95.
•CONVERTIBLE HEADLINER SAGS. SIB 54 04 94.
•CONVERTIBLE TOP FAILS WHEN LOWERING.
--Needs new drive levers-- SIB 54 03 94.
•CONVERTIBLE TOP SEAL SQUEAKS.
•CONVERTIBLE TOP ACTUATING ROD REPLACEMENT.
•CONVERTIBLE STORAGE LID LATCHING CABLES. SIB 54 06 93.
•E-36 CONVERTIBLE TOP INITIALIZATION. SIB 54 04 93.
•E-36 CONVERTIBLE GLOVE LIGHT STAYS ON. SIB 63 03 93
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Z3 CONVERTIBLE TOP
This Convertible top design is a single retractable mechanism that folds into a storage well
behind the seats. When stowed the top is covered by a clip on vinyl top cover. The top is
rigidly connected at the rear which eliminates the need for a tension bow as used on the
E36 top design. The top is latched to the windshield frame with catches on the left and
The Z3 was introduced in the 1996 model year with a manual variant of the convertible top.
Starting with 4/97 production, the manual top was fitted with an additional gas spring strut
to assist the driver while raising or lowering the top. For the 1998 model year an optional
Electro Hydraulic variant also became available.
Regardless of the mode of automation, the mechanical pivot points and movement while
raising or lowering are the same for both variations.