Are All Hardtops The Same?

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Lancsbob
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Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Lancsbob » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 15:57

Just considering whether to get a hardtop if i see
a bargain, are they all the same fitting for
all years. Mines an 02 plate.
How many parts to the fitting kit?

Cheers Bob

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Brian H
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Brian H » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 16:29

All hard tops are the same, the fitting kit consists of :-

1 x Bracket left c/w fixing bolts
1 x Bracket right c/w fixing bolts
1 x Cover left
1 x Cover right
1 x Wiring loom
1 x Heated rear window switch
1 x Rear switch plate and backing for the heated rear window switch
2 x front hardtop screws.

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Lancsbob » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 16:35

Brian H wrote:All hard tops are the same, the fitting kit consists of :-

Bracket left
Bracket right
Cover left
Cover right
Wiring loom
Heated rear window switch
Rear switch plate and backing for the heated rear window switch
Thanks for that.
I wonder why they are all not advertised with the fitting kit, are they a pain to remove from the car.
It seems daft to advertise a hardtop without a kit to fit it. :wink:
and it seems the only way to collect them is to fit it at the sellers premises, how long does it take
to fit the kit then the top?

Bob

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pingu
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by pingu » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 18:17

Lancsbob wrote:
Brian H wrote:All hard tops are the same, the fitting kit consists of :-

Bracket left
Bracket right
Cover left
Cover right
Wiring loom
Heated rear window switch
Rear switch plate and backing for the heated rear window switch
Thanks for that.
I wonder why they are all not advertised with the fitting kit, are they a pain to remove from the car.
It seems daft to advertise a hardtop without a kit to fit it. :wink:
and it seems the only way to collect them is to fit it at the sellers premises, how long does it take
to fit the kit then the top?

Bob
If you both know what you are doing, just want it safe for transporting and it's not raining, you can do it in under an hour. If it's raining, you will want to fit it properly.

To fit it properly takes about half a day, including the wiring for the switch and proper alignment.


The mechanical bits are all the same, but the wiring for the switches (and their position) is different before and after the facelift, but you can retrofit in either direction if you have ALL the wiring for the installation.
Pingu

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Robert T
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Robert T » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 18:46

Also note that the HRW switches are different between pre- and post-facelift, with different connectors on the rear of them. You also need to fit an unloader relay on post-facelift cars. The post-facelift switch has a timer in it that cuts the HRW after a period of time, and I suspect that this will make it a low current switch, hence the need for a relay.

I have no idea why sellers will sell a hardtop without a fitting kit, but I guess they must buy a car with one, decide they don't want it and make the bold assumption that the fitting kit is part of the car and so everyone will already have it fitted. :roll:

I put the fitting kit on a car in a car park once, with nothing more than a simple socket set, so that bit is easy. HRW wiring is not difficult, provided that you have located the connectors (BMW have a habit of taping them up in silly places). Aligning the roof so that the windows work and it doesn't make any wind noise takes absolutely ages!

Cheers R.
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by peter2b » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 19:14

Hi Robert T, I've had a look at the plug and wires by the n/s mount there are 2 thin wires both black out of the top of the plug but 2 thick wires 1 black the other is orange/black it think out of the bottom but when I had a look at the loom that comes with the fitting kit it looks like there are 3 wires plus 2 that go to the hood looking pin
Have i missed some thing?
Peter2b

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Brian H
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Brian H » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 19:53

peter2b wrote:Hi Robert T, I've had a look at the plug and wires by the n/s mount there are 2 thin wires both black out of the top of the plug but 2 thick wires 1 black the other is orange/black it think out of the bottom but when I had a look at the loom that comes with the fitting kit it looks like there are 3 wires plus 2 that go to the hood looking pin
Have i missed some thing?
Peter2b
Not missed anything Peter, there is a small loom that sits in the middle of the connector, the three wires in the bottom are a common, a normal closed for the soft top and a switched live for the HRW.

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Dave L2
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Dave L2 » Sun 25 Oct, 2015 00:18

Robert T wrote:You also need to fit an unloader relay on post-facelift cars. The post-facelift switch has a timer in it that cuts the HRW after a period of time, and I suspect that this will make it a low current switch, hence the need for a relay.
I never fitted a relay, no-one told me, where the hell does that go ;)
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Tufarlian » Sun 25 Oct, 2015 07:54

Dave L2 wrote:I never fitted a relay, no-one told me, where the hell does that go ;)
Niether did I. Just fitted a facelift HRW switch and it's worked OK for 2 winters now.

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by gookah » Sun 25 Oct, 2015 11:12

and me, Facelift car and no relay required, plugged in and heated screen.
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Robert T » Sun 25 Oct, 2015 12:23

Actually, I don't remember having to fit a relay to the facelift zed I fitted a hardtop to. However, I have just seen a post by wavesong where she bought a relay for hers. :?

The relay is referred to as the "unloader relay", and clearly appears on the 2001 HRW wiring diagram I have as K9 for both roadster and coupe. Component location picture shows this as the front-right relay in the fusebox. I can't see from the diagrams as to whether it has any other purpose e.g. heated seats or aircon, which might explain why it was already fitted to the car.

Cheers R.
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pingu
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by pingu » Sun 25 Oct, 2015 13:45

The switch will work, but it will carry the full load. Most switches are rated at 15A, and the load is approx 15A. The relay would be rated at approx 30A, so there would be a 2x factor of safety with the relay, but not with the solo switch.

If it hasn't burnt out in two winters, it is probably ok to carry on and stay calm ;).

Personally, I'd put an ammeter on the wires to the switch just to see what the current actually is and then decide.
Pingu

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by peter2b » Sun 25 Oct, 2015 14:09

Just put a photo on YouTube of my new hard top
Peter2b

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Tufarlian
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Tufarlian » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 08:13

pingu wrote:The switch will work, but it will carry the full load.....
Surely if it needed a relay and the relay was missing the circuit would be incomplete and the HRW just wouldn't work?

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Del » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 10:14

Over the years I've never seen this relay included in any 2nd hand hard top fitting kit?

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pingu
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by pingu » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 11:17

Tufarlian wrote:
pingu wrote:The switch will work, but it will carry the full load.....
Surely if it needed a relay and the relay was missing the circuit would be incomplete and the HRW just wouldn't work?
[edit] I have just re-read your post. If the wiring for the relay was present and has not been altered (and the post-facelift sw doesn't fit in the pre-facelift loom), you are correct.

The important bit is whether it is DESIGNED to carry the high current.

A relay is designed to be energised by a low current and carry a high current.

A switch is designed to be turned on and off. It may (or may not) be designed to carry a high current.

If the switch is a low current switch, it should energise the relay, which carries the high current. However, the low current switch may be capable of carrying the higher current on its own, even though it was not designed to do so, but it will be working too close to its design limit.

A switch that is designed to carry a high current does not need the relay.

This is a 5A switch and would require a relay to operate a 15A HRW safely:
Image

This is a 16A switch and would not require a relay to operate a 15A HRW safely:
Image
Pingu

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Robert T
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Robert T » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 12:40

I think you missed my point, pingu. I am expecting the wiring harness to be setup for a relay, and was surmising that it worked when the switch was fitted because the relay was ALREADY present. I don't have a facelift car that I can inspect to see whether the relay is there or not. If the wiring harness is designed to work without a relay, then I assume that BMW know what they are doing and supply a switch that will do the job - however, they changed the connectors on the switch for some reason and I do know that it contains a timer, hence what I said, as time circuits are unlikely to operate at 15A.

Cheers R.
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Dave L2 » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 14:44

Robert T wrote:I think you missed my point, pingu. I am expecting the wiring harness to be setup for a relay, and was surmising that it worked when the switch was fitted because the relay was ALREADY present. I don't have a facelift car that I can inspect to see whether the relay is there or not. If the wiring harness is designed to work without a relay, then I assume that BMW know what they are doing and supply a switch that will do the job - however, they changed the connectors on the switch for some reason and I do know that it contains a timer, hence what I said, as time circuits are unlikely to operate at 15A.

Cheers R.
Ok Rob, I'll go out in the wind and the rain and check. God moderators are so lazy ;)
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by peter2b » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 18:52

Just following this thread where is the relay mounted?
Peter2b

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Robert T
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Robert T » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 20:26

Dave L2 wrote:Ok Rob, I'll go out in the wind and the rain and check. God moderators are so lazy ;)
I know, I know, but I really don't have time to drive to Lincolnshire to check on the only other hardtop I have installed to a facelift zed. :wink:

Peter, as I mentioned above, the relay is supposed to be located in the fusebox and it is the front-most relay nearest to the side of the car.

Cheers R.
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Dave L2 » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 21:01

Two mugs of soup and a cocoa later, my hands have warmed up enough to be able to type again. Not really, weather down south has been pretty nice today

Standing at the front of the car, looking at the fuse box. In the position closest to me and on the right hand side is an orange relay, so I guess that's the one.
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Robert T
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Robert T » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 22:16

Dave L2 wrote:Standing at the front of the car, looking at the fuse box. In the position closest to me and on the right hand side is an orange relay, so I guess that's the one.
Does the HRW still work if you remove it? :wink:

Cheers R.
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Dave L2 » Mon 26 Oct, 2015 22:36

Robert T wrote:
Dave L2 wrote:Standing at the front of the car, looking at the fuse box. In the position closest to me and on the right hand side is an orange relay, so I guess that's the one.
Does the HRW still work if you remove it? :wink:

Cheers R.
Dunno, too dark to tell ;)
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Brian H
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Brian H » Tue 27 Oct, 2015 10:20

whole heap of info about unloader relays here :)

http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopi ... 81#p266981

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by bertiejaffa » Tue 27 Oct, 2015 12:45

Ok just for clarity:

I have a pre face lift car and a post facelift car. Both of them have hardtops fitted.
Fitting the fitting kit is quite easy in itself (just the brackets) and will take about 30 minutes to an hour tops. If the car has a manual roof then finding the loom to fit the rear demist to is a bit more fiddly - it is hidden up under the carpet under the rear window behind the seatbelt side passenger seat - if the car has an electic roof then the loom is right where you fit the fitting kit. (NB if you have an electric roof then there is a little part of the hardtop loom that you don't need due to the wiring harness for the electric roof - not a problem if you're buying it new from BMW (circa £15) but if you are buying 2nd hand from someone it is possible they threw the little bit away - especially if they have an electric roof and you have a manual roof)

Most fitting kits tend to be of different stages of completeness. You definitely need the brackets, bolts, torque screws and torque tool although you can use a standard screw driver with the relevant torque bit if you needed and the bolts for the bracket are standard threads so can be bought from B&Q etc. You will need the proper torque screws for the front though.

The other bits tend to be hit and miss whether they are included (trim to hide the brackets, loom, switch and relay - there are also a few plastic parts on the hardtop itself that are decorative trim - all these parts are available from BMW at very reasonable prices.

Pre faclift cars dont need a relay (they need it for heated seats instead) post facelift cars need the relay - these are 10 a penny on ebay very cheap.

Finding the wiring for the switch can be a bit fiddly but is always taped to the metal underneath the rear storage / switch plate.

If you dont have the rear demist stuff then putting the main vents on full pointed at the window will demist it in 5 minutes.

I have been fortunate when buying and fitting my hardtops - both of them were a perfect fit immediately so I didnt have to adjust the fitting to stop and wind noise. However one of them is a tighter fit than the other. By this what I mean is when you twist the levers at the back (which attach the rear of the hardtop to the car) I can only get them 1/2 - 3/4 of the way on my own. For the last turn I get a friend or the missus to lean down on the hardtop which moves it just far enough down to engage the levers all the way.

Be wary of the DIY brackets that are sometimes on ebay - they are cheaper but have (in my opinion) a PITA wiring solution. Better to pay a bit more for the standard BMW loom.

Also, remember that 99% of the hardtops for sale are OEM - there are a couple of other versions out there but these will be priced very much higher.

Finally - remember it is definitely a 2 man job to lift and fit the hard top - not sure where in Lancashire you are but I am in east manchester if you are struggling

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pingu
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by pingu » Wed 28 Oct, 2015 01:45

peter2b wrote:Just following this thread where is the relay mounted?
Peter2b
Wiring diagram for pre-facelift
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Wiring diagram for post-facelift
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Location of Relay K9
K9... UNLOADER RELAY, TERMINAL 15... rear LH side of engine compartment in Power Distribution Box
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by bertiejaffa » Mon 02 May, 2016 00:47

Hey Pingu

Looking at the preface lift circuit - how does the circuit cut out? ie, Rear demists are usually only on for a limited time but I cant see anything in the circuit that would kill it after a prescribed time?
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Robert T
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Robert T » Mon 02 May, 2016 10:33

IIRC the timer is built into the facelift switch. Pre-facelift definitely does not have a timer.

Cheers R.

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by bertiejaffa » Mon 02 May, 2016 13:45

Robert T wrote:IIRC the timer is built into the facelift switch. Pre-facelift definitely does not have a timer.

Cheers R.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
Thanks Robert - that makes sense as the facelift switch has a small circuit board inside it and the pre-facelift is a far more basic plastic affair that just seems to move a bit of metal from position A to B.

My plan is to butcher my facelift switch and mount it on top of the prefacelift switch so that I have the facelift part showing in the dash to match the rest of the M's facelift buttons.

Another question I have is that on the prefacelift loom taped to the block that the switch goes into there is a separate wire (green and brown) - does anyone know what this does?
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Wavesong » Mon 02 May, 2016 17:36

You will definitely need the relay for post facelift cars and I can confirm that without it, the heated rear window won't work. As for fitting the hardtop after installing all the bracketry, its is a lengthy process of trial and error. My long suffering wife was thoroughly sick of helping me lift it off to make small adjustments before putting it back on. Keep at it as, when fitted well, it is a joy with no creaks, groans whistling noises etc. Once done, removal to revert back to softop takes seconds and it always goes back on just as it came off. I clocked up 500 miles this weekend with it on and it made a big difference to the journey. I am off to Scotland this week to do the North Coast 500 and have left it on for that too.

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Robert T » Mon 02 May, 2016 20:11

The switches are illuminated in the same way as the heater controls and ashtray, so might be that. Check the wiring diagram to be sure - wiring colours are given.

Cheers R.

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by bertiejaffa » Mon 02 May, 2016 23:24

Robert T wrote:The switches are illuminated in the same way as the heater controls and ashtray, so might be that. Check the wiring diagram to be sure - wiring colours are given.

Cheers R.
this is the wire I'm on about, the diagram says GR (green) RT (???)


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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by gookah » Tue 03 May, 2016 00:20

GR is grey (grau)
GN is green (grun)
RT is red (rot)
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Brian H
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Brian H » Tue 03 May, 2016 07:40

Do you have a wire on the back of your handbrake, the connection for this wire is feeble to say the least.

Cable colour chart for ref: -

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by bertiejaffa » Tue 03 May, 2016 21:55

HI Brian - I cant see any wire on the back of the handbrake - is this where this one is supposed to be? What is it for and where does it attache?

Thanks Lee
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Brian H
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Brian H » Tue 03 May, 2016 22:02

bertiejaffa wrote:HI Brian - I cant see any wire on the back of the handbrake - is this where this one is supposed to be? What is it for and where does it attache?

Thanks Lee
Hi Lee,

It's for the parking brake light in the dash, it clips in to the rear of the handbrake handle, i may have a pic somewhere.

Cheers

Brian

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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by bertiejaffa » Wed 04 May, 2016 20:52

Hi Brian - you were spot on - that wire should have been attached to the handbrake - what a cheap naff solution that is !!
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Brian H
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Re: Are All Hardtops The Same?

Post by Brian H » Wed 04 May, 2016 21:04

bertiejaffa wrote:Hi Brian - you were spot on - that wire should have been attached to the handbrake - what a cheap naff solution that is !!
Yep, of all the connectors I have seen in the car this one is naf...... It works but it's naf :) glad you got it sorted :thumb:

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