1996 E36 328i Convertible > semi-auto roof to full auto roof conversion.....

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  1. 1996 E36 328i Convertible > semi-auto roof to full auto roof conversion..... 
    #1
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    Andy 328i's Car Details
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    Hi fellow BMW owners,

    I own a 1996 328i Cabrio manual in Boston Green with a semi-auto black hood.

    To save my post getting long winded talking about how fantastic this car is (as all BMWs are, in my opinion), I will just say that, this one of mine only has 46k genuine miles on the clock and is in immaculate condition - an ideal candidate for shall we say 'facelifting'

    OK, so you may ask, what do I mean by facelifting?

    Well, my car is NOT the facelifted model i.e. it has NO:

    Parking distance radar
    18 Button OBC
    Climate control

    AND, NO full-auto hood!

    OK, so back on topic - I have recently purchased a full-auto hood off of ebay in green (with a slight split in the back window, but i'll soon get that fixed provided I can install it!)

    So, here are my findings (and obstacles that I need to overcome):

    1) Some if not most pre-facelift convertibles have a Folding top module that will only run a semi-automatic hood only - BMW part number 61358357679 upto 09/97 - my car does indeed have this module fitted.

    2) The above mentioned module has been superseded by one of 3 BMW part numbers that suit both semi and full-auto operation. I need one of these modules that does NOT end with the number 679

    3) The wiring is almost identical between the two types of hood, with the following exception:

    a) microswitch S4 (semi-auto) which is used to tell the Top module that the hood has passed the 'Tension point' is no longer required with the full-auto hood

    b) there are 2 additional microswitches and a top motor assembly mounted in the hood. The wires that read/supply info to that assembly have 2x light blue coloured wiring connectors.

    OK, so I have the hood, and it's wiring complete, BUT on the car side of things here is what is required:

    1) a Top control module that does not end in '679' and more importantly....

    2) the light blue coloured wiring sockets - that the top motor plugs into - I require the connectors complete with the wiring to the top control module.

    So far I have managed to track down a suitable module - BUT I have had no luck locating the wiring connectors that are visible when you remove the back seat!

    Most of the BMW breakers that I have phoned have the modules, but have since destroyed the cars in question, so the chances of locating the wiring connectors have been so far, slim.

    Does anyone know of, or own a facelift E36 convertible that they are breaking?

    Sorry about the long-winded (but informative) post.

    Regards

    Andy
     
     

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Andy 328i For This Useful Post:

    billywhizz1984 (29-10-2011),Ronnie (30-05-2009)

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  4.  
    #2
    RYM
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    Andy, as long winded as you may think your post is it is in my opinion one of the most informative posts I've ever read

    I personally would be trying to locate a complete loom for the facelift model just in case you need something else. I have a spare coupe loom just in case I ever get any problems with the one I fitted to my car when I did the M3 conversion.

    Fitting an entire vehicle loom is not the most exciting job in the world but it isn't that difficult to be honest. If what you need to do can be achieved by adding parts of a donor loom to your existing one then this would be the far better option.

    I would be constantly contacting breakers yards once a week to see if they have acquired the required vehicle so you can purchase the loom before it is destroyed

    Here is a list of breakers for you

    http://www.fabdirect.com/

    http://www.quarrybmwspares.co.uk/

    http://www.bmspares.co.uk/

    http://www.bmw-carparts.co.uk/index....now%20breaking

    http://www.breakeryard.com/cars/engine/bmw.aspx

    http://www.m3spares.com/

    http://www.beemer-redeemer.com/index.html

    http://breakerlink.com/

    http://www.sniffydog.co.uk/

    http://www.findapart.co.uk/home.asp

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/CCAutopart business hours 01748 834 472. CCAutopart

    Leicestershire BMW BMW (Breakers) all models Coalville Leicester 01530 811212 N/A

    Good luck with your search, please keep us posted.
     
     

  5.  
    #3
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    Hi, and thanks for the info............and the thumbs up to my post!

    I have been in contact with a local breakers - Roger Windley's who has 2x Convertibles in his yard, but when I asked one of his lackies yesterday, he said that the hood(s) were semi-auto.............but I got the impression he didn't know what to look for, so I'm going to have a look for myself tomorrow, hopefully i'll be able to cut the 'Blue connectors' from the rest of the loom, then get out my trusty soldering iron and heat-shrink sleeving to do a tidy job on mine

    If not, then i'll get on the phone to the breakers in the list you have sent me - although I have been in contact with a few on that list already, but there's no harm in pestering them I guess!

    Regards
     
     

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    Interesting thread mate...
    I changed the title a little for you. When i first saw it i thought you were talking about the gearbox...
    Keep us posted how you get on with this......
     
     

  8.  
    #5
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    Thanks for the heads up.......

    In theory performing the retrofit is simple enough, just install the 2 missing Blue connectors, acquire a full auto hood module, solder it in and hey presto!

    At least that is it, in theory...........

    There are other potential obstacles that I am aware of such as:

    a) Hood switch - semi-auto does not have a LED visible to inform you that the hood is not fully engaged with the windscreen and,

    b) The possibility that the ECU is coded to the car it was removed from, similar to stories I have heard about the ZKE module's on some E36 cars

    I guess there's only one way to find out whether these pose a problem - and that is to acquire the wiring, connectors and module and get it fitted.

    I can tell you that from a 'physical' stand point, both hoods are identical with regard to how they fit to the car - the control arms are the same as the semi-auto ones, the only difference been the lack of relief pocket on the hood itself, and the addition of a hood motor on the top with 2 microswitches and a motor - that's it really.

    Will keep you posted on any developments.........currently scratching my head trying to think who has a 97> convertible.
     
     

  9.  
    #6
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    Hi everybody once again......

    I did manage to track down the appropriate pieces of wiring loom from a '97 318i Convertible today, and started work on the wiring earlier this evening.

    Here is what you may call a blog or something like that - I'm making notes not just for your benefit, but also because i'll be able to look this up at a later date for my own reference so here goes:

    The first thing I did when I got the looms home, was to decided whether to simply cut the existing wires from the motor connector (X13156) and resolder the wires I snipped from the new connector, but I like to see a neat job, so I thought I'd do whatever was necessary to remove the Black/Yellow striped wire and the Black/Red striped wire from the later model connector.

    This involved basically destroying the connector with a soldering iron (melting the plastic around pins 3 and 4 so that I could free the wires. Usually this is where I end up knackering the wiring, but as luck had it, the 2 wires came out clean. Inserting them into the original motor connector was a piece of cake, so that part actually looks like it was meant to look in the first place!

    The next task was to compare the wiring on the other connectors (I made sure that when I removed the full auto ECU that I snipped the wires going to the connectors that fed it!)......

    There is a White 26-pin connector that connects to the ECU when viewed it is nearest the rear of the car (the hardest one to get at!) - here there was one wire - a Grey/Red striped wire that goes to pin-17 on that connector, I have traced this to the hood switch in the centre console (at least this is where it was destined to go!) - it's purpose is to illuminate the LED on the switch to inform you that the hood it not secured to the windshield when driving. This wire is not essential to the operation of the hood, and I will get around to wiring it in over the coming week.

    And finally there is what I call 'The new connector' a 12-pin connector, This one basically carries the information to and from the microswitches mounted in the hood's top motor (S8/S9) - nothing special had to be done here, except there was 2 loose wires, one I made note of that went to earth (car body) - a brown wire and the second, a White/Red striped wire, which at the time of fitting went to an unknown location (I suspected the ZKE module at the time)

    Anyway, regarding the latter wire, I was correct, it does indeed go to Pin-18 of connector X13254 (Green 26-pin) on the ZKE module (Central body control module) - it's primary purpose is what is called 'Comfort close'. Basically the ZKE sends a signal to the Hood module when you lock the car that closes your hood when you lock the car - pretty cool eh? - anyway, this is also non-essential to the operation of the hood, so I will deal with that later.

    So, we're now at the 'hood fitting' stage, hopefully I will have it working tomorrow.

    I managed to get the ECU and wiring really cheap (£25!) but there was no warranty with the ECU, but at £25 including the wiring it was definitely worth a gamble. All being well there will be nothing wrong with the hood module, but if there is, I know I can obtain another one without too much difficulty.

    Anyway i'll keep you updated with further developments.

    MORE GOOD NEWS (for me anyway)........

    caraudioandsecurity.com have just e-mailed me to let me know my LED tail lights, and clear front lights have been despatched, so I'm quite excited about getting them (I've waited long enough!)

    I can't wait to see what my car looks like with them (I already have Hella headlights, so these should finish it off nicely)
     
     

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Andy 328i For This Useful Post:

    joylove (07-01-2011),Ronnie (30-05-2009),steve23002 (31-05-2009)

  11.  
    #7
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    An update regarding my soft top conversion.............

    OK, I managed to remove the old hood and wiring today.

    I had to remove the switch (S3) from my old hood (the one that informs the ECU that the hood is 'in the bin') and swap it with the one on my new hood, due to a damaged switch.

    I also managed to get my new hood fitted and wired in, but I have hit a snag.....

    The 2x 'Flexible drive tubes' that connect the 'Top Lock Motor' to the left and right hand lock drive have sheered and torn off, so even though the hood shows all the signs of working properly, it is unable to function because of this.

    So, for now I have disengaged the hood mechanism from the motor's in the boot, and am currently closing it manually, with the aid of an assistant and 2 pairs of mould grips on what is left of the Flexible drive tubes, to clamp the hood to the windshield.

    BUT, apart from that - all went well, and I am convinced that this is only a minor issue.

    What would be really handy though, is if I knew the BMW part numbers for the flexible drive tubes because I would prefer to obtain these parts from BMW if possible.

    What I've seen of the exploded diagrams on www.realoem.com is that the motor and tube is one assembly costing an arm and a leg! and the 2nd tube is part of one of the locks, which is also an arm and a leg!, but considering that the tubes are removable I am sure they should be available separately.

    Any help on this 'last leg' of the operation would be appreciated.

    Regards Andy

    PS - I managed to get my lights installed - will upload photo's to the gallery soon for your pleasure.
     
     

  12.  
    #8
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  13.  
    #9
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    Hi Ronnie,

    The parts are shown on here:

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...99&hg=54&fg=10

    08 LEFT FOLDING TOP LOCK 1 05/1996 54348217197 $362.70
    08 RIGHT FOLDING TOP LOCK 1 05/1996 54348217198 $362.70

    It looks like the tubes come as part of the locks @ an arm and a leg!

    Regards
     
     

  14.  
    #10
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    An update..........

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

    I went back to Roger Windleys this afternoon and removed the hood top locks.

    i'll tell you one thing - it is very reassuring to see one of these cars after it had been rolled = a very safe place to be! - only the hood top plate was bent, the windscreen pillars were perfectly straight, but the support running across the top of the windshield had bowed a little, where the car had laid on it's roof.

    Upon getting the top locks home, instead of fitting the complete unit, I managed to remove the tension tubes by removing the circlips and withdrawing them from their housings, re-inserting them into my hood took less than 15 minutes.

    There is a few final things to do:

    1) wire in the Switch LED wire from the ECU to the hood switch in the centre console.

    2) wire in the 'comfort close' wire to pin-18 on the green connector of the ZKE

    and finally

    3) find some way of making the hood fold away properly into the storage bin.

    But apart from that - the system works perfectly.
     
     

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