Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

2009 328i Convertible Leaks at Seals

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by DSCantu, Jul 19, 2018.

    • Member


    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    Hello, all! Bummer Bimmer decision point. I found water in driver's footwell after heavy storm. I live in San Antonio, TX and I parked my car on driveway facing toward street. The driveway has a slight 10 -15 degree downward slope. I took the car to a local BIMRS-certified shop and they performed various leak tests and conducted SIB 54 12 09 which consisted of applying top repellant 83 19 2 339 673 and Convertible Top Filler Foam (to make seals "fatter") 51 76 4 868 868. The advisor said they "believe that replacing all of the top seals would be the the best course of action to prevent water from entering the vehicle." He stated parts would be about $7,000 (their price) + labor. I looked at the rubber seal at the front and it does look dry and rough.

    The advisor also suggested that I consider getting a trade in on a new or newer model. Other than the issue of water coming in, the car works fine and only has 73,7420 miles on it.

    I would rather spend a couple of thousand dollars instead of car payments for 5 years.

    Can anyone provide info on SIB 54 12 09? I was not able to find it online. I reviewed all the posts on these forums, e46 Fanatics forums, and bart of Bavauto.com E93 tech blogs and was unable to find anything that addressed this issue thus far. Has anyone experienced this issue and have any solutions? Also, if I were to buy the parts at a lower price, which I did find on various sites, is this a workable solution and does anybody have installation instructions?

    • Member


    Post Count: 2,416
    Likes Received:133
    The SIB is below and basically tells technicians to watch a training video on hard top water testing and basic repairs. The question I would ask is the water leaking from the top seal on the first shell of the roof? Or does it leak through the drivers window seal on the front shell? Replacing all the seals seem a bit excessive to me. Especially since you could cause other leaks and more issues than just dealing with the current one you have. I have done all 3 roof shell replacements before and it was a really bad job. So I always avoid doing it when ever possible. Here in the midwest I almost never have to replace the seals on the tops unless some one damaged them. Not sure if the south has different top issues then here in the midwest which could very much be the case. Do you have any pictures of your top seals to show there condition?

    Water Leaks from the RHT


    E93 (3 Series Convertible)

    The retractable hardtop (RHT) uses a complex sealing system which is sensitive to variation. As a result, if a water leak is present, it can be repaired fairly easily, provided certain recommendations are followed. To aid in these repairs, two videos have been developed and should be reviewed prior to performing diagnosis or repairs.

    Video 1: Topics
    This video focuses on water leaks from the area of the A-pillar and includes detail on how to:
    • Properly water test
    • Diagnose the root cause
    • Repair the leak
    • Adjust the window glass
    Availability: Currently available via the Interactive Career Pathway (ICP). This video can be found by searching for course code VO720, or by selecting the link in the Technical Service Information section of the ICP homepage.
    Video 2: Topics
    This video addresses diagnosis and repair of leaks from the A-pillar, B-pillar, and C-pillar areas of the RHT.
    • One copy of this video was sent to each BMW center in early November 2009.
    • A very limited number of DVDs is available through the parts department, should the one sent automatically be unavailable.
    • This video will be posted on ICP with a unique course code by the 1st quarter of 2010.
    Important information:
    This video references an "impregnating fluid" which is unavailable in the US. As an alternative, BMW "Soft-Top Repellent" should be used.
    The foam insert referenced in the video is available through the parts department. However, the insert from the old cowl seal may be reused if one was present.
    Tips and Recommendations

    • View both videos prior to the first repair of an E93 RHT water leak.
    • Check for applicable Service Information bulletins prior to performing repairs.
    • Symptom-based diagnosis via ISTA should be utilized during the diagnosis process.
    • Roof shell seals should not be replaced unless the bond is broken between the seal and the roof shell, or if it is physically damaged.
    • When replacing a roof shell seal, a similar part to what was originally installed should be used (pre- or post-2009), due to incompatibility of the 2 design levels.

    • When replacing a roof shell seal, the proper adhesive is referenced in SI B54 03 08, not in the Electronic Parts Catalog (EPC).
    • The roof shells and the frame itself are precisely adjusted during assembly and should not be adjusted in service to address water leak concerns.
    • Door windows must always be adjusted when replacing roof shell seals or when addressing water leaks from the A-pillar area, following the Repair Instructions implicitly.


    Part Number Description Quantity
    01 69 0 038 434 DVD – E93 Water Leak 1 if necessary
    83 12 0 405 172 Soft-Top Repellent 1 if necessary
    51 76 4 868 868 Foam Insert 1 if necessary

    For information only
    • Member


    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    Thanks for the info. I live in San Antonio, TX and the weather can be hot, currently 100+. This may have caused some dry rot. I noticed that the front seal looked like it had small cracks / brittle. I will take a picture tomorrow of the front seal, as well as the write up from the shop. They indicate that water leaks were present at C & B pillars. The middle and rear seals look ok with the top closed. I will look at them in the open position as well.
    • Member


    Post Count: 7
    Likes Received:1
    Attached are photos of seals, closed front to rear, then open. Front seal has cracks, middle seal feels dry slightly rough, rear seal feels dry and slightly rough at the corners. Also shop diagnosis / description.[IMG][IMG][IMG][IMG][IMG][IMG][IMG]

    Attached Files:

    • Member


    Post Count: 2,416
    Likes Received:133
    The seals do seem quite rough in some spots. They did not say in there write up if the water leak for the a pillars was fixed though. Also using high pressure water on any of BMW's hard tops can cause a water leak. I can make one leak like crazy from a low pressure garden hose if pointed in the correct way. At this point before investing in a repair. I would get a second opinion from another shop that specializes in convertibles or the dealer themselves. There are many seals for that top and some are way easier to replace then others. I wold figure out which one is leaking for sure before just doing all of them.

Share This Page