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DIY repair for hydraulic lift cylinders in e46 convertibles

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by raichean, Mar 29, 2013.

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    Hey guys!

    I wanted to share out some information that has been spun on up a number of sources on how to pull the hydraulic lift cylinders in your convertible yourself and get them off for repair.

    I have had a number of BMWs over the years, including a previous e46 330cic, but recently returned and got an 04 M3 convertible that is my new love. Being my third BMW vert', never had a leak but ran into one very quickly. Most commonly the upper bow hydraulic bow cylinders will leak over time.

    Most commonly you will see oil drips on the rear deck cover after you open the top, but there are a number of others that can and will fail as well. I was told it would be $2k+ for the repair and the entire top coming off just for the bow cylinders. WHAT?! You mean those two cylinders I can reach out and touch? Those right there? Really?! And to top it off, the oil will ruin the rear deck and the top will fail if it they are leaking.

    If the lowers are leaking, you will get oil out of the lower drain holes in front or back of the rear tires.

    I wrote up a comprehensive DIY guide for the upper bow cylinders, the ones that will leak onto the rear deck and are the easiest to remove. The guide is being reviewed and will be ready in the next day or two, but also there is a fantastic source for DIY on the rest as well. The good thing is that I did all of the work in about 2 hours total and $250 in repairs!

    I will upload my DIY guide here if I can in a reply (its about 6mb in size) or if not embed a link. Below is a fantastic guide for the other cylinders, which WILL require the top coming off. Hassle, but doable.

    Lower hydraulic DIY guide

    I will reply with a link to my upper bow guide in the next day or two.

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