Retrofit Hardtop BMW 3 Series convertible (E46/C)

EBA – 01 29 0 009 975
BMW Installation Instructions

Technical knowledge is required

(Only for use within the BMW trading organisation) Installation time approx. 2 hours.

Retrofit/installation kit no. 54 21 8 268 922



1. Preparatory work
2. Parts overview
3. Retrofit of hardtop
3.1 Assemble the hardtop support
3.2 First fitting of the hardtop

Important notes

All maintenance, repair, installation and resetting work on passenger cars is carried out on own responsibility.

All operations should be carried out with the aid of the currently valid BMW – repair instructions,

– maintenance manuals, – operational ins truc tions,

in a rational sequence and with the aid of the prescribed tools (special tools ) while observing the currently valid health and safety regulations.

Safety instructions

Before starting on the installation, note the following instructions:

Caution: All specified tightening torques for screw connections must be adhered to without exception.

Fitting instructions

The hardtop must be fitted by two people.

The step-by-step operations are shown only on the left hand side of the vehicle.The work steps on the other side of the vehicle must be carried out in the same logical sequence. In vehicles with hydraulic soft top, the vehicle electronics will have to be re-coded for the hardtop recognition to be activated.

Required tools and auxiliary materials

Phillips screwdriver
Small flat-tip screwdriver
Side cutters
Reversible ratchet
Torque wrench (9 Nm)
Torx insert TX 25
Socket wrench insert SW 10
Torque wrench (open-jawed wrench SW 24 and 70 Nm)
Feeler gauge 3.5 mm
Cable ties 100 mm (2x)
For vehicles with hydraulic soft top: Modic III or DIS

1.Preparatory work

TIS AW no.
Disconnect battery 12 00…
Dismantle rear side trim panel 51 43 000

2.Parts overview

a Hardtop support left, incl. contact cap 1x

b Hardtop support right 1x

c Contact cap right 1x

d Hexagon head cap screw, self locking with micro-encapsulation 4x

3.Retrofit of hardtop


Note safety instructions in Chapter 1.

The workshop information you are familiar with forms the basis of accessory installation.

3.1Assemble the hardtop support

Remove contact cap (1) of the left hardtop support (a) by releasing the clips (2) on left and right with a small flat-tip screwdriver.

Place the hardtop support (a) from below on the mounting bracket at the place designed (1) for it and screw it down from above with the supplied screws (d) at 9 Nm.

The hardtop supports are marked with an R or L and an arrow to indicate direction of travel.

In vehicles with hydraulic soft top, take special care to see that no damage occurs to the sides of the vehicle and to the cable of the left HT support.

Place contact cap (1) on the hardtop support (a).

The contact cap will only stand firmly in one position.

Open mounting clip (1). Plug in the plug connector of the contact cap (2) into the centre plug of the vehicle (3). Set the cable (4) in alignment with the mounting clip (1).

Cut through existing cable tie with side cutters. Fix cable of the contact cap (1) with a new cable tie (2) together with the existing cables to the mounting bracket (3) above.

Assembly is carried out in the logical reverse sequence.

When the parts are assembled, make sure that all clips of the trim panel parts are correctly seated.

Observe all specified tightening torques without exception.

In vehic les with hydraulic soft cover, the vehicle electronics will have to be re-coded additionally in order to activate the hardtop recognition. To do this, the relevant coding must be implemented with a Modic III or DIS in menu item Retrofit.

3.2First fitting of the hardtop

Open the convertible top cover and place the soft cover in the convertible top compartment. Pull out to the rear the cover of the hardtop support (1) in the upper part of the breastwork (2). Close the convertible top cover.

Open the hinged lid (1) of the hardtop locking mechanism by giving it a brief press. Push the cover of the hardtop support (2) into the hinged lid (1) of the rear hardtop locking mechanism for storage.

Open the front latches (1) of the hardtop by pressing the release button (2) and then lowering the opening lever (3).

Rotate the red lever (1) forwards in the direction of the arrow and by this method open the rear locking mechanism (2) of the hardtop.

Fold the sun visors of the vehicle down and open all windows. Place the hardtop (1) on the vehicle. When doing so, make sure that the rear locking bolts of the hardtop are not tilted when they are inserted into the hardtop s upports.

Fitting of the hardtop must be carried out by two people.

While the loc king mec hanis m is being closed, make sure that the decorative strip (1) of the hardtop is not touc hing the moulding of the side panel (2) or compressing it. If necessary, do not close the locking mechanism but make a first set-up as described below.

Close rear hardtop locking mechanism by rotating the red lever (3) to the rear.

Close the front latch of the hardtop by pressing up the locking lever (1).

Undo the upper nut (1) of the rear latch (2) on both sides and then tighten it again in order to eliminate any possible tension in the hardtop.

Check the gap between hardtop and bodys hell using a feeler gauge 3.5 mm (1). To do this, place the feeler gauge, as shown, on the bodys hell and push it between bodys hell (2) and hardtop (3).

While the hardtop is being fitted, take care to see that the decorative strip of the hardtop (1) is not touching or compressing the moulding of the side panel (2). If necessary, adjust the gap to be a little larger than 3.5 mm.

If necessary adjust the gap to about 3.5 mm by shifting the upper and lower nuts (3) of the locking mechanism.

The hardtop c an be taken off to tig hten the nuts (3).

Tighten the nuts (3) to a tig htening torque of 60 Nm.

Open the doors.

Check the rubber seal (1) in front between hardtop (2) and window frame (3) for correct seating.

Check the hinged lid (1) of the rear hardtop locking mechanism for easy movement and if necessary, repeat the setting of the gap between hardtop and bodys hell and make the gap somewhat larger than 3.5 mm.

Check that the side windows (1) func tion faultlessly when being opened and closed. If necessary, repeat the setting of the gap between hardtop and bodys hell and make the g ap somewhat larger than 3.5 mm.

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