hippy shit, sometimes, works

i just fixed a bmw convertible motor with two hair ties…

…and yes, i’m serious.

a month or so ago i went to put the top back up and half way through the cycle heard this loud clicking noise coming from under the back seat, which is where the tonneau cover motor lives. i totally SHOULD have looked up what causes that noise, but decided instead to just look up the part. the whole assembly runs around $575 new, or you can just get the bmw electric motor for it for $600.

(why the whole assembly is $50 cheaper than JUST the motor in the thing i guess is some kind of euro math we colonists don’t get)

but while the motor is in a bmw assembly, it’s not MADE by bmw, so i found the bosch part (the manufacturer) and it was only $45 shipped, so i got it, swapped it, and in the middle of the assembly lost two ball bearings that apparently were pretty crucial because nothing worked without them. i tried a bent piece of metal (i SWEAR i did a bit on this i’m just not finding) but that didn’t work, and they seem to be imperial in size because two different metric sizes were either too big or too small, so i bit the bullet and bought the whole damn assembly used on eBay ($100 shipped) and took the parts i needed and put it on mine since mine had the brand spanking new motor.

and it worked twice, then started clicking again. i then went online and found that supposedly the lid on the thing, which is plastic, tends to be the point of failure so a guy makes an aluminum cover you can get ($100 on eBay) to resolve, which i almost did, but instead decided to investigate a bit further and it appears the plastic washer, which rides on the middle upside down gear, has a part of itself that wears against metal and therefore wears down after a bit. my theory was that if said washer, that now looked to sit a bit lower than i think it should, were higher the gear would be pressed down by the lid and continuously engage. since i had no idea what sized flat o-ring i needed, i simply took a couple of rubber hair ties and made one out of those and it worked!

so now the top drops and raises AND the title of this bit makes sense!

while that’s not an expensive solution it’s also, i figure, not a very durable one, so i’m going to take the washer to the shop (remember, i bought an extra whole set up, but that washer was ground down as well) and measure it on the caliper we use for larger body jewelry and go looking for an actual flat washer that will fit it, so it will have a bit more longevity. so far the hippy shit is working (and it took two to do the trick, so i put four more in the center console just in case) so we’ll see if this does it for good!

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *