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325ic Calypso Euro Conversion - Houndstooth and dbilas now, MT1 & stroker on the way

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    Nice work on the interior color match and great to see your mtech parts getting close.
    sigpic
    84 323i

    Comment


      Originally posted by dahows View Post
      Nice work on the interior color match and great to see your mtech parts getting close.
      thanks! lots of work but really satisfying for my wife and I. btw @dahows love the early model euro in your sig!!

      Driver's side with the rocker molding and rear quarter molding trial fitted. Hardware for the quarter should be here soon. Hate to drill a hole in the quarter but it's always hidden and I'll POR it for now.


      still need to paint the pass side window trim and the rocker areas, adjust windows and top, then assemble the interior and swap the trunk lid.

      Wife is really liking the shadowline. Will trial fit the painted bumpers soon. Mtech 1 will hopefully be done in time for assembly next weekend, but I won't have the angled Strömung exhaust until end of the month. So I probably can't mount the rear until I replace the cat back.
      Last edited by bradnic; 09-03-2017, 06:00 PM.
      I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

      HOWTOs:
      DB vert plastic bumpers
      OEM Keys
      MTech1 docs

      88 ix Lach/Card
      91 ic Calypso 3.1
      86 Cosmo 2.7

      OEM+ or bust!


      reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
      TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
      e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

      Comment


        parking this here. as a 7/90 build this car came with a mechanical convertible top. if you look at the stamping though, all the holes are there to mount the electric top gear. I do have to cut out the top motor area on the pass side, but you can see where a die insert was placed in the stamping press.



        and here's an electric top car, similar view


        EDIT looking for PDF hosting
        I even have the installation guide here

        So no way I can resist a conversion, and I already have most everything including the electric top frame and canvass, harness, motors, cables and control boxes. The top even supports a zip out window but it's missing the plastic window. It's not in terrific shape though so I'm looking into getting an OEM top. If I can find a reasonably priced aftermarket zip in window I may go that route for a while to just to get the project going.
        Last edited by bradnic; 09-03-2017, 05:24 PM.
        I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

        HOWTOs:
        DB vert plastic bumpers
        OEM Keys
        MTech1 docs

        88 ix Lach/Card
        91 ic Calypso 3.1
        86 Cosmo 2.7

        OEM+ or bust!


        reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
        TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
        e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

        Comment


          Originally posted by phenryiv1 View Post
          If you can extract the clip from the insert in the body they can be reattached to the trim and reused. If you look at my build thread (and a post I made in the convertible subforum about this exact part) I came to the same unfortunate conclusions as did you.

          I ended up buying new trim because the channel for the other clips got brittle and broke but those end clips can be reused. They just cannot be bought on their own.
          Yeah thanks for the confirmation Patrick. I'm gonna try to warm the channels up a bit before attempting to reinsert the clips. Had I known they were there and how they were attached to the body I would have removed them differently... no way to know that from realoem though since as you said it doesn't even show up in the catalog :-)

          live and learn
          I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

          HOWTOs:
          DB vert plastic bumpers
          OEM Keys
          MTech1 docs

          88 ix Lach/Card
          91 ic Calypso 3.1
          86 Cosmo 2.7

          OEM+ or bust!


          reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
          TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
          e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

          Comment


            Originally posted by bradnic View Post
            parking this here. as a 7/90 build this car came with a mechanical convertible top. if you look at the stamping though, all the holes are there to mount the electric top gear. I do have to cut out the top motor area on the pass side, but you can see where a die insert was placed in the stamping press.


            and here's an electric top car, similar view


            I even have the installation guide here

            So no way I can resist a conversion, and I already have most everything including the electric top frame and canvass, harness, motors, cables and control boxes. The top even supports a zip out window but it's missing the plastic window. It's not in terrific shape though so I'm looking into getting an OEM top. If I can find a reasonably priced aftermarket zip in window I may go that route for a while to just to get the project going.
            Your top well is completely different from my 7/87 built. I don't have that center pivot or either of the 2 black plates. Makes me think your car was from a transitional phase. Could it have been converted to mechanical ?
            Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

            Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
            https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
            Alice the Time Capsule
            http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
            87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

            Comment


              Originally posted by jeffnhiscars View Post
              Your top well is completely different from my 7/87 built. I don't have that center pivot or either of the 2 black plates. Makes me think your car was from a transitional phase. Could it have been converted to mechanical ?
              Actually the center pivot isn't there on my car (the top lid motor needs it to open and close the lid). but if you look closely on the deck lid you'll see a square hole that accepts a bracket with the center pivot - so it's "electric top compatible". agree a 7/90 car is definitely transitional as august is usually shutdown month for car factories in europe and 10/90 was the first electric top.

              Car is not converted from electric - the oblong hole for the top motor is not stamped out. You can clearly see an outline for it though, which is not present on earlier DB verts. That outline is there because the stamping tooling was modified with an insert. Once they started punching the holes for 10/90 they added the punch to the tool and voila. In the interim period (maybe a few months?) they kept producing the tonneau base with the punch for the hole to accommodate top cover motor removed.

              some more pics with details. If I got anything wrong I'll update them.

              a 1/88 DB vert (same one I did the plastic bumper swap on - see my sig)


              mine


              driver side on an electric top car - note the large pad. not present in my car, no evidence it was ever there
              Last edited by bradnic; 09-03-2017, 05:28 PM.
              I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

              HOWTOs:
              DB vert plastic bumpers
              OEM Keys
              MTech1 docs

              88 ix Lach/Card
              91 ic Calypso 3.1
              86 Cosmo 2.7

              OEM+ or bust!


              reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
              TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
              e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

              Comment


                Oh yes I did

                New OEM electric canvas top on order. None left in US. A few left in Germany. This is the original top not the replacement part.

                Hesitated a long time on this, but definitely excited to get the top conversion done. Hoping to get this ready for this years Vintage.
                I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

                HOWTOs:
                DB vert plastic bumpers
                OEM Keys
                MTech1 docs

                88 ix Lach/Card
                91 ic Calypso 3.1
                86 Cosmo 2.7

                OEM+ or bust!


                reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
                TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
                e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

                Comment


                  You're the first person I've ever heard of to swap from manual to electric, it's usually the other way around! Just be careful when you're syncing the top motors and all of the limit switches. That's where the most critical sequencing comes from, and also where it usually goes wrong. When power tops fail it's usually because they came out of sync, and the motors worked against each other and bent/broke their linkages.

                  Comment


                    yup. believe me I've studied the problem at length for a long time. I have a very good fried Kyle with a restored electric top car that hooked me back in 2013.. one of the arms on his top mechanism popped last year, and his car was VERY well sorted.

                    Motors getting out of sync is indeed a severe issue. There's a test tool that's not too expensive which I may end up investing in. It's not just the motor sync though - when the top shocks wear it takes more effort to put the top up, which aggravates the problem. ditto with lube issues on the top itself.

                    I'll document the conversion with lots of pics for others.
                    I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

                    HOWTOs:
                    DB vert plastic bumpers
                    OEM Keys
                    MTech1 docs

                    88 ix Lach/Card
                    91 ic Calypso 3.1
                    86 Cosmo 2.7

                    OEM+ or bust!


                    reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
                    TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
                    e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

                    Comment


                      Sub!! Love your interior.
                      Euro Delivery Thread///E30 Project Klaus

                      Comment


                        Kudos on the electric top conversion. As you probably know, there's some difference in trunk carpet, so you might want to gather those as well. I recall swapping the right side carpet and the piece that hangs along the back the of the trunk when I converted mine to manual.

                        Sorry to clutter your thread, but are the frames different between electric tops and manual tops?

                        I've almost completely converted my electric top to manual; only thing left that I'm aware of, is to add the decklid shocks. I'm already using a manual top frame and canvas top. But the top is getting worn, plus it's aftermarket and I'd love to get a new oem canvas top. But I'm pondering whether I should get a new oem top for the manual top frame or for the electric top frame, seeing I still have the electric top frame in storage. I've heard the windows are different? And am I safe to assume, that if/when I reinstall the electric top frame along with a matching oem canvas top, it will work fine manually? Or does the frame need to be modified to work manually?
                        sigpic
                        January 2012 COTM

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by robrez View Post
                          Kudos on the electric top conversion.
                          thanks Rob! thought about it for 3 years.. taking the plunge!

                          Originally posted by robrez View Post
                          As you probably know, there's some difference in trunk carpet, so you might want to gather those as well. I recall swapping the right side carpet and the piece that hangs along the back the of the trunk when I converted mine to manual.
                          Yeah right side and front of trunk liners. I have the 'front of trunk' one but not the right side one yet. Should be able to get it from the same source as my swap parts, which was a late 92 electric top vert converted to manual top.

                          Originally posted by robrez View Post
                          Sorry to clutter your thread, but are the frames different between electric tops and manual tops?
                          Just took 180 pics to find out. Summary post coming, but tl;dr there are only 2 distinct differences I could find, one in the frame and the other in the top:

                          1) the passenger side rear mount on the electric top has some added brackets to accommodate the power top motor linkage

                          2) the electric canvas top has an extra bow at the front edge of the top. this is the '5th cross-arm' you hear about some times.

                          those are the only diffs I could find.

                          Originally posted by robrez View Post
                          I've almost completely converted my electric top to manual; only thing left that I'm aware of, is to add the decklid shocks.
                          as I'm sure you know it's very common for electric top owners to have converted their tops to manual. it's pretty painless to do and gets rid of a lot of troubleshooting headaches and expensive motor replacements.

                          (un)fortunately I saw my friend Kyle's fully restored electric top in action a few years back and became fascinated with figuring out if a conversion was reasonable effort. I found out 2 things previously mentioned:

                          -- bmw offered an electric top conversion kit for convertible owners
                          -- my late model 07/90 manual top car already has all the sheet metal mods done.

                          Originally posted by robrez View Post
                          I'm already using a manual top frame and canvas top. But the top is getting worn, plus it's aftermarket and I'd love to get a new oem canvas top. But I'm pondering whether I should get a new oem top for the manual top frame or for the electric top frame, seeing I still have the electric top frame in storage.
                          It's a lot more cost effective to stick with a top end aftermarket top - think 3X the cost for the OEM logo compared to a top of the line german cloth aftermarket top.

                          If you have both top frames you can compare them in detail. I had never seen anyone post pics comparing the 2 comprehensively. About to remedy that in the next post :-)

                          Originally posted by robrez View Post
                          I've heard the windows are different?
                          I'll let you draw your own conclusions from the pics, but here's what I know

                          1) there were originally 3 top types, manual with sewn window, electric with sewn window (10/90-9/91) and electric with zip out window (10/91+). The window design has no impact on top operation.

                          The latter two have an additional metal bow near the front edge, but the bow is NOT attached to the frame. I'm not really sure what it's for other than to keep the top from sagging in front, and for the life of me I don't see why a canvas top with that extra bow wouldn't work just fine with a manual top frame.

                          2) There are 2 remaining part numbers floating around, one selling for about $2100 and the other for about $700. Depending on who you speak to the cheaper one superceded (replaced) the more expensive one. It's not clear what the difference in the tops are, and the same part numbers work for both manual and electric top cars.

                          3) I tried to find out more about the lower cost part number and was told it was NLA. The more expensive part only has 8 tops in stock in Germany as of this writing - none in the US. Yes I bought the pricey one. I want my zip out window and was afraid the lower cost part number had removed it (i have no idea and there are no pics online).

                          Originally posted by robrez View Post
                          And am I safe to assume, that if/when I reinstall the electric top frame along with a matching oem canvas top, it will work fine manually? Or does the frame need to be modified to work manually?
                          My educated-but-not-experienced-with-electric-tops opinion is that you'll have no issues with that. As to modifying the frame for manual use, the e30ic.com procedure is fine - you really just need to disconnect the rod that goes to the motor. Assuming you did the rest of the mods including the top lid latch and handle thing you should be good. I also hear of people leaving the electric top lid functioning but not sure what the point of that is and how you fake the electrical into working with no top motor function.
                          Last edited by bradnic; 04-11-2017, 08:51 PM.
                          I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

                          HOWTOs:
                          DB vert plastic bumpers
                          OEM Keys
                          MTech1 docs

                          88 ix Lach/Card
                          91 ic Calypso 3.1
                          86 Cosmo 2.7

                          OEM+ or bust!


                          reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
                          TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
                          e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Staszek View Post
                            Sub!! Love your interior.
                            thanks man! following your build closely. would love to bring the E30 over sometime and wrench...
                            I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

                            HOWTOs:
                            DB vert plastic bumpers
                            OEM Keys
                            MTech1 docs

                            88 ix Lach/Card
                            91 ic Calypso 3.1
                            86 Cosmo 2.7

                            OEM+ or bust!


                            reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
                            TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
                            e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

                            Comment


                              Comparing manual and electric tops, frames

                              I've looked over the years and never found pics comparing manual and electric tops. You sometimes see comments from folks that seem to know what they're talking about, but I never see any damn pic comparisons! that ends here.

                              CANVAS TOP COMPARISON

                              This is the interior view of my current manual top. It's a stock frame in basically perfect condition, very clean. Top is high quality aftermarket, replaced by PO, in great shape externally but showing it's age.


                              Here is my donor electric top, same view. It's the original OEM electric top from it's donor car, BMW logo and all, It a post 9/91 top off a 92 vert with a zip out window capability, but the window itself unfortunately did not come with it. FYI a brand new OEM zip-in window costs about $700 right now.


                              The first thing you notice when you compare the 2 pics (other than the missing window) is that there is an extra horizontal bow on the electric top. If you look closely you can see the ends of that extra bow are not attached to the top frame. So I suppose it's simply there to keep the canvas from bowing in the middle. That was probably needed for the top to store properly without manual intervention. I can't think of another reason why you'd need that.

                              Here's the OEM logo on the electric top (faded but you can still see it).


                              Here are exterior views of the same tops. Note the added stitching on the electric top
                              manual top


                              electric top


                              front edge manual top


                              front edge electric top


                              FRAME COMPARISON

                              Looking at the top frame, there's only a single difference I've been able to find and it's what you would expect. That passenger side rear mount has some modifications to it so that the top motor actuator rod can be attached.

                              Here's the manual version for reference


                              and here's the electric top version.

                              You can clearly see 2-3 additional brackets and some bracket mods. You can't see them very well, but nte also that the top shocks and their covers have the same part number across manual and electric. the pic seems to verify that's the case as they look the same.
                              Last edited by bradnic; 09-03-2017, 05:51 PM.
                              I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

                              HOWTOs:
                              DB vert plastic bumpers
                              OEM Keys
                              MTech1 docs

                              88 ix Lach/Card
                              91 ic Calypso 3.1
                              86 Cosmo 2.7

                              OEM+ or bust!


                              reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
                              TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
                              e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.

                              Comment


                                ^^ Thanks Brad! I will use my electric top frame for my new canvas top. That way I can sell my current manual frame and canvas top to recoup some money. I asked about the difference between the $700 and $2100 tops a while back on the Yahoo Group. It's too bad no one had experience with buying the cheaper oem canvas top. Who know whether the cheaper top is a lesser product without zip-in windows, but since it's NLA now, I guess it don't matter. Thanks again Brad and good luck with the installs.
                                sigpic
                                January 2012 COTM

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