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      09-23-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
Pelicanglider
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Time to Replace the Convertible Top

My 2008 128i convertible top is starting to show signs on age and I'm thinking of replacing it soon. Does anyone know of another source for the convertible top other than BMW? Has anyone ever replaced the top on their 1-series convertible on their own? How much is a new top approximately? Thanks.
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      09-23-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
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I'm very concerned that a four year old convertible top is already due for replacement. My mother's old SL500 is from 1998 and I am friends with the new owner, who drives it in Norway. It's in perfect condition still.
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      09-26-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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Quick question-- I've read here that there is some problem with the tops and they puncture? Does anybody know where on the top I should look for wear? Just got a 128i convertible. NICE CAR.
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      09-26-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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Oh! and all of my other convertible tops over the years lasted ten years before replacement.
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      09-26-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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Some early e88s had rubbing issues, i believe it was on the sides a few inches behind the windows, defective examples would eventually wear thru the vert cloth. FWIW my e88 is an early n54 and the top is fine, save for a bit of creasing, but thats to be expected with time. Dont quote me on this but i *believe* there was a tsb for the rubbing issue.
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      09-26-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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When I was shopping for my wife's 135i, I briefly looked at used convertibles. Lots of evidence of wear and tear. Walked right away from it.
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      09-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #7
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It seems to be the one part of the car I can't find much information. The top itself is OK appearance wise, but my rear window has rattled against the stops at the base since right after I bought it. And now the rear window seems to be sagging inward, which is why it rattles at highway speeds. I tried to ignore it but it ain't easy. I love the car, and I want to keep it for a long time, but I need to find a solution to this problem. I just can't find much information on the top - how much, where to buy, how to install, etc. Does anyone know of any information source?
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      10-04-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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New Information

Got my answer to the window rattling last night. I drove the commute home with the top down and when I got home, I put it up. When I go out of the car, I noticed the rear window had separated from the top along the bottom edge of the opening. OK, now what?

I got busy and did some research and found a few threads on other sites about reattaching the glass rear window to convertible tops. I found a few people who had good results from 3M Windo-Weld, a two part system just for glass. I ordered some and will report results next week.
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      10-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelicanglider View Post
Got my answer to the window rattling last night. I drove the commute home with the top down and when I got home, I put it up. When I go out of the car, I noticed the rear window had separated from the top along the bottom edge of the opening. OK, now what?

I got busy and did some research and found a few threads on other sites about reattaching the glass rear window to convertible tops. I found a few people who had good results from 3M Windo-Weld, a two part system just for glass. I ordered some and will report results next week.
good info keep us posted! oneday i want to get a convertable 135i.
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      10-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #10
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I've received two new tops under warranty. The issue on the first one was a loose thread. BMW replaced the top rather than repair it. I would have been OK with it just stiched up properly. That top wore through on the passengers side behind the side window about half-way to the rear window glass. There was a tsb for mine which was made in May 2009. I think the cut off was August 2009 - I'm pretty sure it was later. I posted the tsb once, I got it from somebody else that posted it. The tsb is pretty simple, it just involves riveting different guides to the folding mechanism. So far my third top is fine but it was installed in July - time will tell.

A yearly cleaning with special top cleaner followed by reapplication of water repellant will go a long way towards making a top last. I bought the set I used on the first top from Bavarian. I also do not wash the top unless there is bird droppings on it or something. I just vacumn it normally. Once a year I clean it with the special cleaner.

I had a Fiat 124 spyder about 15 years ago. I replaced the top on it but it was a lot simpler than the multi-layer BMW top. If the previous owner had cared for it, I don't think I would have needed to replace it. I found the replacement on-line. But I doubt there is enough demand at least yet for suppliers to tool up for the 1 series.

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      10-05-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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Good info! But I've been breaking all of your rules. I tried a water repellant for the top but it was a mess so I abandoned the idea. It even stained the trim between the window and the door (left speckles). If I do it again, I'll treat it like it was paint and mask the car completely. I've also got the wear spot behind the rear window, but I'm out of the coverage (2008 128i). I'll just keep an eye on it and do more research on how to fix it. Even with all of this, I love my convertible. I don't think I'll ever go back to a "fixed head".

The 3M glue comes in tomorrow and I'll give it a go on Sunday.
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      10-06-2012, 06:51 AM   #12
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It might be worth asking our dealer if they would still do the TSB. It should have been done while you were under warranty and they still might. If not, the parts should not be expensive, you might want to check. It could give you another few years.

I didn't have any real difficulty with the water repellant but I agree it gets on the paint. You just can't control a spray can to a fine line (without tape). I just wiped it off and it didn't seem to hurt anything. My car had been waxed recently and the repellant didn't seem to hurt the wax. Taping the trim is probably a good idea.

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      10-06-2012, 11:28 AM   #13
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I'm on my fourth new top in a year and a half. Won't be replacing mine anytime soon.
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      10-07-2012, 09:54 PM   #14
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The "Fix"

For this repair, I followed the procedure I read on the site that also used the 3M Windo-Weld system. Here you can see the bottom half of the seam has completely let go. The symptom was a rattling rear window over the course of a few months. The seam letting go was something I never considered as the problem until I got out of the car and saw the gap between the top and the window. I'm way out of warranty and I didn't want to pay for a new top and installation, so I made this repair. It is not perfection. It is functional.



Here are the tools and products I used. I purchased the Windo-Weld online from Auto Body Toolmart. Great service. Note Windo-Weld is considered flammable, so it cannot be over-nighted. I ordered it Tuesday night and expected it on Thursday, but Auto Body Toolmart called me to let me know they couldn't ship it by air, but still got it to me Saturday morning in plenty of time to get the job done the same day.
1. 3M Windo-Weld
2. 3M Windo-Weld primer 30oz.
3. razor scraper
4. latex gloves
5. clear packing tape
6. disposable paint brushes
7. masking tape
8. caulking gun



I propped up the top in the front and rear with a clever system of rolled towels, pillows and books.







I masked off the perimeter of the area that was going to get the primer and the Window-Weld.



I positioned the window and ran a bead of Wind-Weld in the areas that had separated. I didn't take the window out completely because the top of the window was still holding very well and I didn't want to mess it up even more than it was.



I taped the top down onto the window with the packing tape and tried to put as much pressure on the seam as possible.



I let everything set overnight and after 24 hours time I removed the packing tape. I trimmed the excess that a squished out of the seam and ran another bead of Windo-Weld to fill in the voids. I am impressed with the strength of the bond and feel confident the repair will last. How long it will last, time will tell. But for now the window is in position and it doesn't leak (or rattle). I don't want to pay for a new top until I have to, and I'm hoping that won't be next week. As long as the "ten foot rule" is applied, it doesn't look too bad.

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      10-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelicanglider View Post
For this repair, I followed the procedure I read on the site that also used the 3M Windo-Weld system. Here you can see the bottom half of the seam has completely let go. The symptom was a rattling rear window over the course of a few months. The seam letting go was something I never considered as the problem until I got out of the car and saw the gap between the top and the window. I'm way out of warranty and I didn't want to pay for a new top and installation, so I made this repair. It is not perfection. It is functional.



I let everything set overnight and after 24 hours time I removed the packing tape. I trimmed the excess that a squished out of the seam and ran another bead of Windo-Weld to fill in the voids. I am impressed with the strength of the bond and feel confident the repair will last. How long it will last, time will tell. But for now the window is in position and it doesn't leak (or rattle). I don't want to pay for a new top until I have to, and I'm hoping that won't be next week. As long as the "ten foot rule" is applied, it doesn't look too bad.

Nice, thank for the write-up. I just got my top replaced, under warranty, 5 days before it expires and hopefully don't have to think about it anytime soon. It is weird though, to give out like that after such a short time.

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      10-08-2012, 08:12 PM   #16
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if your the original owner...i would complain to the dealership since its a pretty common issue.
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      10-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #17
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Yea, not the original owner. I think I would have gone to the dealer had the car not been as old or had as many miles as it does. And I really don't like going to the dealer for anything. I try to do as much as I can for maintenance and repair and this forum has been my biggest help.
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      10-13-2012, 09:09 AM   #18
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new top for a new owner

I just bought a CPO 2008 135i CV and the top had some wear and a small worn spot on the liner inside the C pillar, you could only see it as the top was moving up. I showed the service department manager and he said it was normal wear. I then joined this wonderful forum and found a TSB regarding the wear and went back to the dealer. They are now installing a new top. This forum just saved me a ton a grief, thank you.
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      10-13-2012, 09:10 AM   #19
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2008 128i  [4.00]
Convertible top replaced.

Had my top replaced last summer for the small wear area on the rear quarter of the roof. No questions or problems. One day and it was done. Pleased with result and no new wear spots. Should be good for the duration.
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      10-13-2012, 09:19 PM   #20
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Convertible Top TSB!

Really!!!?? A 2008 135i and they replaced the top! Didn't I see somewhere in here, someone posted the service bulletin?
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      10-13-2012, 09:34 PM   #21
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Found the TSB!

I found the TSB under the "Vert Top repair" thread. I'm going to print out a copy and give it try. You see, in addition to all this rear window trouble, I've also got the hole in the C pillar problem. I'll follow up after my trip to the dealer.
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      10-15-2012, 06:28 PM   #22
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Hate Going to the Dealer

Made the trip to the dealer today with service bulletin in hand...they hardly looked at before dismissing me and my car. Oh yea! NOW I remember why I hate going to the dealer! They are not paying for the repair, are they? Why would they refuse? What is their motivation? Anyway, my car is MY car and I'll repair the hole. Now I have the service bulletin and the repair procedure.
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