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Thread: Soft top window thread

  1. #1
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Soft top window thread

    Has anyone had a problem with clouding on the plastic window? It is very uniform, and getting difficult to see through on a sunny day. Any history on how BMW treats the problem under warranty?

  2. #2

    It is easy to clean....

    There are several products available to clean the cloudy plastic. I use BMW's own soft top screen cleaner, you can buy it at any BMW dealer. (The very plentiful Z3 has the same problem, so it is a product that is in contsant supply.) It is quite amazing how well it works, the screen really looks like glass after cleaning.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3

    Post Plastic Rear Window re-glue instructions.

    These are the official instructions and illustrations for repairing the seal between the fabric and the plastic of the rear window panel. It is recommended that you use the original adhesive, which is available at most BMW dealers. It's called 'Terokal' and the part number is: 83190153050
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  4. #4
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Soft Top Window Fix

    I know a number of people had trouble with the surround of their soft top window seperating. It happened to me about 2 months ago.

    Of note - the glue that BMW used was still tacky - they are doing something wrong there. Regardless, I applied a very thin layer of 'Dap 100% Clear Silicone Glue for Aquariums' and pushed the surround back in. I then ran my fingers hard over the surround to work the glue into the fabric. I did not drive the car for 48 hours. It has held for over 800 miles and that includes driving at high speed with the top up and the windows down (which I believe was the event that precipitated the seperation in the first place).

    This glue is cheap and it really appears to have worked. One advantage of the silicone is that if you do spill a small amount or some leaks out of the seam you are closing just wait a few minutes until the glue is tacky. Then you can rub the glue vigorously and it will come off the surface.

    Dave

  5. #5
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    Smile DAP Silicone adhesive

    Thanks Dave. My top has bee separating just above the window. I plan to try your suggested solution rather than have the dealer try it. Dave D. Dez1

  6. #6
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Soft top window

    After 3 months my silicone glue has started coming apart. I will get the BMW guys to have a crack at it.

    Dave

  7. #7

    Thanks for the update....

    I think that this will be a constant issue with our cars, as the rubber lip is a little too little to give a good purchase for the glue.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  8. #8
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    mine has seperated again, 4th time

    guess I will try the silicone idea, can't be any worse than the lousy dealer fix. I fixed my seatbacks myself and they have held fine ever since.

  9. #9
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that this is really NOT a glue

    issue but an issue of bad design of the rear window. The canvas top around the window is not supposed to be glued into place as the the window is "designed" to be replaced from time to time. IF the entire circumference of the top were glued down, then you could not unzip the plastic window and replace it (yes, there is an industrial zipper around the window that requires a special tool to unzip it, which is done from the inside of the car). The design flaw is that the rubber stripping is too small to catch the fabric adequately and every top made has too little canvas to "tuck it under" like it is designed to.

    I saw a post somewhere where the person stated it was from the zipper protruding outward and that his dealer replaced his window and rezipped it flat and did not have a problems after.

    I agree with Macfly that this will be a constant issue -- maybe the Club could help stimulate BMW to tackle this annoyance once the frame issue is over?
    Last edited by Z8doc; April 2nd 2006 at 21:08. Reason: correction
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  10. #10
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    Soft Top

    Hi Friends

    Again I ask for a little advice. I do not tolerate the sun and have never had the hardtop off of my car, but I am honestly worried about the soft top. Does the soft top come out of the car for easy storage? Should I do this and if so how is it done? Do you use the hardtop rack?

    The other evening, right after sunset, I took my daughter for a ride in the Z8 and we agreed that it would have been nice to have the top down, so I am about to consider removing the top. My car dose not squeak or rattle and is wind tight. I won't remove the top if I will loose these attributes. How has the experience been on replacing the top? How is the car with the soft top up? Wind noise, etc? As a coupe, I think the car is just great and I don?t want to mess it up.

    By the way, I have never even opened the big box that I believe contains the top rack the rack nor have I opened the heavy clothe packages that have the convertible stuff in them. If I wanted to sell the car, this might be a selling point ? still wrapped up NOS.
    Thanks for any information or advise
    Hap

  11. #11
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    You are truly missing the best part of the....

    Z8 experience by NOT driving topless (the top of the car that is... )!!!

    To answer your questions:

    1] The hardtop comes off very easily and requires 2 people of reasonable strength. My wife is 5'2", 120# and can not lift the other side (to my satisfaction) for fear of her dropping it. The top is not particularly heavy but cumbersome and hence anyone of small stature will have some trouble manuvering it and tilting it to place it on the hard top rack.

    2] The wind noise is more noticible with the convertible top up but I was quite surprised out how little there is compared to other convertibles I have owned in the past so I think it is fine. Wind buffeting is just "OK" with the top down, the wind screen (in one of those bags you mentioned) does help and with it on and the windows up, you can hear the radio pretty well and have a conversation with your passenger easily and experience minimal wind buffeting. I personally, LOVE my Z8 MORE topless, as it is truly a gorgeous car when the top is down and the boot cover is on!! (PS: if you are not going to use the boot cover and the windscreen - they are leather so do not forget to condition them every so often to keep them in good shape).

    3] Then when convertible season is over, I put the top back on -- it's is just like getting a new car all again as it changes the look dramatically. Word of caution here though, when putting the hardtop back on, make sure the softtop is tucked inside nicely and away from the anchor posts of the hardtop. It is easy to pinch the top when putting the hardtop back on and put a hole in your softtop!!

    4] Your post mentions removing the softtop? Not sure about this as I have never heard of anyone doing that? I really think there is no reason to, but I think you should make sure that the BMW cloth that came with the car is ON your softtop while it is stored and put away under the hardtop as the rear window is plastic and the cloth prevents scratching while stored.

    5] I have had my Z8 for 3 years (38,900 miles) and only this past winter did the hardtop squeak. My dealer ship lubricated a few of the mechanical parts/locking parts and the squeak is gone. The only recurring problem I have had with the top is the softtop rear window seal, the fabric comes loose from the rubber seal and is a frequent common problem as every Z8 owner I have known has that problem. Since you bought your's used, I'd bet your soft top has had that problem as some point too. A problem BMW is not going to recall and something that it looks like we all will have to live with.

    I personally think you are missing the best part of the experience without putting your top down. A nice spring, summer, or fall drive in the evening is PERFECT top down driving and an experience you should not deprive yourself of!! Send me your address and I will send you a big bottle of sunscreen (spf 50) and a big hat to help with the sun during the day!!

    Hope that help--
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  12. #12

    It becomes a very different car...

    without the hardtop. If eating miles and long freeway drives is your thing the hardtop really seals in the cabin well, keeping the car almost silent on the inside. I kept mine on for the first year I had my first Z8 because I was constantly at the track with it, and I also didn't have a stand or a safe place to stow it, so I just left it on. It is a great coupe with the top on, but like the Doc says you are really not getting the greatest gift the Z8 has to offer with the top on, or up.

    As you know we just did around 2,600 miles on the MITM drive, and I think I only had my top up thrice, and then only to take shade from the searing midday sun. For sunset and moonlit drives it is just incredible as a top down sportster. On the first day of the MITM drive Norcal and I took an after dinner spin from Furnace Creek Lodge in Death Valley up to Dante's Peak which looks out over the valley from 6,000 odd feet, and it was one of the loveliest top down night drives ever - stars and a crescent moon on a warm desert night suit the Z8 very well indeed!

    Certainly a lot of wind and road noise gets into the cabin with the soft-top compared to the hardtop, especially on the freeway. However it isn't that bad, and being able to drop the top and enjoy the car as a convertible when the conditions are just right is sensational. Avoid the high sun, time your drives right, and I think you'll be delighted. The heated seats and the heater are easily a match for even the coldest of conditions, so fear not - try topless out of the sun, and see what you think.

    The one thing that I really do recommend is this gadget, makes the whole affair so civilized and simple.

    I also always leave my soft-top up when the car is parked. I learnt this from J?rgen at the Z8 Club, who told me it is the best way to preserve it. Not shut tight all the way, but just in the fully up position before the catches bite and clamp it shut, so the canvas is nicely stretched and breathing, but there is no pressure on the rubber seals.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  13. #13
    DSC Off hapc's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeff

    Thanks Jeff and Andrew
    I live in So Cal so I do have a nice big hat. I used sunscreen when I was riding a bike, so I won't ask you to send me any, but I appreciate the offer and the information. I actually bought my 03 Z8 new and took delivery in Jan of 03, but have never removed the top. I am assuming that the other top is down there. She now has 8500 miles and I think I am about to remove the top. By the way, I just took delivery of my 06 Ford GT, and I don't need 2 coupes, so the roadster is looking better all of the time. My wife is in Russia right now but as soon as she gets back, I think the top will come off - in fact perhaps I will ask a friend for a little help and have it off when she gets back. You guys convinced me - thanks again. I'll let you know about my experience.
    Hap

  14. #14
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Macfly is right on all accounts ... as usual when

    describing the experience of driving with the top down. You really are missing the best part of ownership.

    As far as the EZ lift goes, I agree that it makes it very easy but my electric garage door opener conflicts with the space needed to have such a device and my garage bay is not long enough to use it with the car backed in so... I am left to do it manually.

    Hey Mac, do the lift points on that EZ lift put pressure marks on the rubber seals OR the fabric area inside the top when you have it stored away? Just curious.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  15. #15

    No marks at all.....

    Those big fluffy pads like the one you can see on the top are what the top sits on underneath, so no marks at all.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  16. #16
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    Window protection

    Andrew et al
    Since the back window on the soft top is plastic, are any of you using anything to proactively protect this window. Do you wax it or use any type of plastic preservative? Thanks again
    Hap

  17. #17

    yes to both...

    BMW make a protector which some owners got with their cars (I didn't) and they also make a cleaner for the plastic screens that is really good, you can get both through your local dealer.

    Also this company makes both protectors and cleaners, I have thiers, both great too.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

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    Soft top window replacement

    The soft top rear window is beyond polishing. Salt air, sun and previous owner neglect has taken its toll. I've noted that BMW sells a replacement window that zips into the top. As there is no zipper slide, I assume there is a BMW proprietary tool required to remove the existing and replace with a new window. The alternate solution is to have a good top & upholstery shop replace the window with new eisenglass. Is there any member experience on this issue?

    SProZ8

  19. #19
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    I've had mine replaced

    by BMW and it's perfect again. They go through a proprietary sequence, and the top is like new.

  20. #20
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    Got a cost from the dealer for a labor install cost of $900+, but recall on the other forum, one owner said it took him about 2 hours to install with a helper. Might have been a Z3 top though. I'll make a few more calls for install prices, as dealer labor costs seem to vary greatly, and I've not married to any yet.

  21. #21
    If you are in the Bay Area then I'd recommend Peter Pan, but other than them there isn't anyone in CA I've found that I love. Replacing the window is pretty easy if you at all mechanically inclined, but replacing the soft top is a devil of a job, and one also frought with dangers becuase if the coating on the magnesium frame gets even a little nick on it it will start to oxidize crazy fast.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  22. #22
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    Just had mine replaced at Main Line BMW in Bala Cynwyd Pa
    It is labor intensive....took 2 men 4 hours......they had to restitch and glue and then because it was so tight, they had to put weight on the top in an almost closed condition overnight to stretch it so top could close.........It looks brand new!

  23. #23
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    Finally replaced the rear window with a new BMW unit. Cost for the window thru BMW was $470+ tax and the local upholstery shop charged their regular BMW price of $75 for a seamless install. He complained the interior area was tight for working in due to the roll hoops. Looks clear. Rain tight? When's the next rain in SoCal.

    Steve

  24. #24
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    I recently inquired at my local BMW dealer in Bloomfield Hills, MI about the BMW soft top screen cleaner. I was advised that they no longer carry the product!?!

    In perusing the autopia car care web site, I came across Plexus Plastic Cleaner and Polish. Wonder if any have tried and what there experience has been. Or, any alternatives to recommend?

  25. #25
    It seems that BMW has indeed stopped selling it, I guess they no longer make plastic windowed cars, so it got deleted from their catalog. According to Roadster Solutions these are the products BMW recommends, in service bulletin 540500, to maintain the clarity of your rear window.

    Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Detailer #18
    A single-step solution that keeps clear plastic surfaces pristine. Regain the original crystalline clarity of plastic in need of restoration, using this convenient all-in-one product specially formulated by Meguiar?s. Simply spray it on and wipe it dry. You will safely remove surface contamination and achieve dramatic results on everything from window panels to instrument lenses.

    Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Cleaner #17
    Safely removes hairline scratches, dirt and grime. Clear plastic that has lost its clarity due to significant contamination and fine scratches should be treated using the two-step process. Meguiar?s non-abrasive, alcohol-free Plastic Cleaner aggressively cleans and removes scratches without harming the surface. Follow up with the #10 Plastic Polish for a perfect finish.

    Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Polish #10
    The finishing touch for maximum clarity and brilliance. Meguiar?s Plastic Polish provides the second step in the two-step restoration process for clear plastics. One easy application protects surfaces previously cleaned with #17 Plastic Cleaner. You will restore the natural brilliance, while leaving behind an anti-static coating that helps repel damaging dust and dirt.

    You can order them from Roadster Solutions, scroll to bottom of this page.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  26. #26
    You could also try this one from Griots Garage, let us know what you find, and how it works.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  27. #27
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    I can vouch for the Mirror Glaze. It's used extensively in the helicopter industry to keep plexiglass clean and clear and works great on the plastic windows of both the Z3 and Z8. Amazing results.

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    Thanks for the tip!

    I will try the Maguire's and report back.

  29. #29
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I use Maguires on the Z8. I really should do it more often, but when I use it, it does the trick.

    Recommended!
    thegunguy

  30. #30
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    Just a thought about permanetly glueing down the edge around the rear window is that it might make it impossible to replace and ruin any chance at reinstalling a window it can be repaired .DO NOT USE silicone or super glue .A thin coat of contact cement is always plyable and easy to pry up when replacing a window .Don,t leave top stored down in garage when not use it causes permanent creases and if strings are broken or came loose it could possibly cut top

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    so are you saying

    use contact cement. I am having the same issue on a new top!

  32. #32
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    Reglue window

    I use contact cement to install tops and i put very thin layer on both sides and let it tack up and stick it flat and tuck under bead email if you want me to do it uphguy

  33. #33
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    where are you located?

    Quote Originally Posted by uphguy View Post
    I use contact cement to install tops and i put very thin layer on both sides and let it tack up and stick it flat and tuck under bead email if you want me to do it uphguy

    Hey UPH GUY...thanks for the info....where are you located?

  34. #34
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    top help

    Redwood city

  35. #35
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    The bead around the window is part of the top, not the window, so whatever glue works on it will not effect window changing.

    Roaster Solutions sells window protectors for Z8's

    http://www.roadstersolutions.com/page42.html

    They are great people to deal with

  36. #36
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    Window bead is sewn to window not top

    The bead around the window is sewn to the plastic window and half of the zipper. The other half of the zipper is sewn to the top. A new window comes with a bead to hide the raw edge of top when zipped together. The raw edge pulls away at the top of window because of being stored down, the double back tape also sewn in will let go because the top being bent in down position, permanent bonding is only a problem later when trying to clean surface and bonding raw edge top to new window edge, it takes a lot of time to clean well when other adhiesives are applied. It is easier to tuck edge of top in place when top is up with small plastic tool

  37. #37
    Just an FYI -

    The person posting as "uphguy" is the person who does all of my convertible top work. I have used him for nearly 30 years. There is no person I trust more to work on convertible tops.

    Thanks
    Dana Caldwell
    Service & Parts Director
    Peter Pan BMW

  38. #38
    Great to know - I asked him if he'd post a complete soft top care overview a couple of weeks back, so hopefully he'll include all his details when he pops that up.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  39. #39
    Team Z8 JoshB's Avatar
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    Does any one know a dealer or supplier that sells the Terokal adhesive (part #83190153050 for regluing the window in the soft top? the dealers around me want to sell me the whole top mechanism!

  40. #40
    I would call Dana at Peter Pan for sure - 650-204-7550
    Andrew Macpherson

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  41. #41
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    I checked BMW's TIS on the window replacement to verify what I recall from when I had my rear window replaced. The window zips in and is laminated to the fabric with a two sided tape in lieu of a Terokal contact adhesive. The TIS indicates that the existing tape has to be scraped off before new tape is applied. The "u" shaped plastic bead that adheres to the edge of the fabric around the opening is adhered with a gun applied adhesive, but has little to do with the window panel other than to secure the edge of the opening. I'm not sure if this info is any help, not knowing the exact nature of your intended repair?

  42. #42
    Great info on the rear window from the manufacturer - link.

    The Download PDF link shown pulls up exactly the same material shown on the site, and in the screengrab below which I made incase the site there changes and we loose the information there. (May 12, 2014)
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SProZ8 View Post
    Finally replaced the rear window with a new BMW unit. Cost for the window thru BMW was $470+ tax and the local upholstery shop charged their regular BMW price of $75 for a seamless install. He complained the interior area was tight for working in due to the roll hoops. Looks clear. Rain tight? When's the next rain in SoCal.

    Steve
    I know I'm quoting a very old post here, but I'm amazed that the price for this part has increased by over $1,000 since then.




    Gar

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by BigGar View Post
    I know I'm quoting a very old post here, but I'm amazed that the price for this part has increased by over $1,000 since then.

    Gar
    The neon taillight replacement cost will also cause you to pause and take notice. The good news is mechanically the Z8 is rock solid. Annual maintenance is also very reasonable.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  45. #45
    My back window is cloudy to the point where it is necessary to replace it. The window is also separating (once again) from the top. A replacement window with labor will be about $1700 as the window through on-line OEM dealers is about $1,400. I have also been suggested as an alternative a complete soft top replacement for $2,400 with a top by http://www.gahh.com/. There are also multiple companies selling on line for about $1,800. Anybody have any experience or opinions about this or about them? I am hesitant as it is not "OEM" and I believe it also is somewhat of a different design, for example, the window is sewn in as opposed to being zipped. The original BMW Convertible top is $7,480. My top itself is in good condition. While the car has a "few" miles on it (94,400) and I drive it regularly I also keep it extremely well maintained and address any cosmetic or other wear issues as they occur in order to have the car always at its best.

    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  46. #46
    I would really suggest trying the excellent soft top plastic products on the market first, they are really amazing. If that really doesn't work then a replacement window is just a zip in piece, so there really shouldn't be any labor involved. I'd go with keeping the car original over a non-oem part.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  47. #47
    Thanks Andrew - that's what I thought also. It is interesting that earlier in this thread (2007) there is a mention about the price being $470.00 for the top through the dealer. Now it retails for $1,758. I am going to take one more shot at "restoring" the window before I pull the trigger on the new one.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  48. #48
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Hey Skip

    I had the same issues with my soft top window seperating. I carefully removed the old glue and reglued and left the soft top 'almost' all the way up. It lasted about a year and a half. It's a pain though. A year ago I put on a new top. It's aftermarket but the material is exceptionally high quality. It doesnt have an unzippable window but I never unzipped my old one anyhow. I'm exceptionally pleased with it. I dont believe absolute originality is key with these cars in terms of maintaining value unless you have a car you dont drive.
    There are great cleaning products out there. It should not be difficult to get the window clear if that is the route you take
    Dave p

  49. #49
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Doug Dolan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogsbreath View Post
    Hey Skip

    ... A year ago I put on a new top. It's aftermarket but the material is exceptionally high quality. It doesnt have an unzippable window but I never unzipped my old one anyhow. I'm exceptionally pleased with it. ...
    Dave p
    Dave,

    What top did you have put on?
    Doug Dolan
    61297 - Stratus / Crema

  50. #50
    Dave - My window is beyond cleaning or restoring. It has clouding, but is also "pitted" with spots that seem to have deteriorated the material itself. I have tried a few products as well as professional assistance. I would be interested in finding out what top you did end up installing and also if it has the same details such as the famous strings that the original BMW top has.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  51. #51
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Hey Skip and Doug

    It is a GAHH top. I am forwarding the email from the shop I had my top done at. Very professional and did a superb job. For the record - I have no affiliation with this shop. I recommend them without reservation.

    It still has the same strings but he researched the issue and used a reinforced/beefed up ferrule. No signs of loose strings to date

    Dave P


    Hi Dave,


    Happy to hear you're enjoying your new top. Thanks for the kind words.

    The top is GAHH and it retails for $2500 US. We are the Canadian distributor for GAHH and have them stocked in both our Canadian and US warehouses. In fact, we could save your friend $500 and ship it for free from our US warehouse for $1990. After having done a handful of Z8s over the years and having tried several different brands, this one is the absolute best available and the only one we will use as it has the best fit.

    Cheers.


    Roy Heimann

    Vancouver Convertible Tops and Auto Upholstery

    954 SW Marine Drive
    Vancouver, BC V6P 5Z2
    604-325-TOPS (8677)

  52. #52
    Dave - Would it be possible for you to post some detailed pictures. I would specifically interested to see the window detail from the outside as well as a close look at the fabric itself. Also, is the interior identical? Does the headliner look exactly like the original?

    Skip
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  53. #53
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    Hi Skip

    I've taken some detailed photos of the fabric, window surrounds, stitching detail and headliner for you. Images 2 and 3 are the driver's side-window surround. Images 4 and 5 are the rear window surround.
    As best as I can recall, the headliner is the same. You should compare the photos with your headliner though.

    Dave

    - - - Updated - - -
                     

  54. #54
    Dave -

    Thank you!!! I truly appreciate it. The top looks very nice indeed. Having the window stitched into the fabric should also resolve issue of the fabric slipping out from below the plastic lip holding it in place. It is interesting that your GAHH window shows the zipper inside as well. I wonder if it is there just to make the look identical or will it also allow the replacement of the window itself if necessary (even if it is stitched in). I now am leaning heavily towards doing this instead of spending close to the same money for the OEM replacement window with the risk of having the issue with the fabric separating from the window. Also, replacing a 10 year old top with a new one seems another bonus. My top was replaced by BMW when I bought the car in 2005 as it had holes in it due to broken springs under the CPO warranty.

    Thank you again - I'll keep everybody posted.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  55. #55
    From the pictures, that GAHH unit appears to be a nice replacement top that looks comparable to the original. FWIW, the plastic window in the OEM unit is composed of a special polymer that has reportedly enhanced durability.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  56. #56

    URGENT HELP - Please

    I am having my replacement window being installed right now and the installer just called to say it is not the right window. It was ordered through BMW of Siver Spings through their internet sales (getBMWparts.com) and the box has the correct part number. The installer says it only has one zipper, but should have two. The it has attaches to the fabric top, but it according to him requires also another one for the headliner. Any ideas? Does anyone have contact information for an installer that has actually performed the replacement of the plastic window that I could have my installer call? I am over 100 miles from home getting this done...

    If you can provide a name and a number for someone who has done this, it woulb be GREATLY appreciated.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  57. #57
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Skip, I read the german instruction on posting #1 and you only have and need one zipper. At picture #9 it says that the zipper needs to be removed and picture #16 shows it is used again to install the replacement window.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  58. #58
    Drove to the local BMW dealer in Omaha where the car is being worked on and confirmed the part number etc. They were very kind and also printed English language installation instructions. I then drove to the installer's location and he showed what the issue is. The first picture shows the close-up of the current window from the bottom when exposed underneath the top material and opened a bit. There are clearly more than one zipper - looks like three with the overlap, but then becomes two as you go futher out from the start point. The scond picture shows the one that is in the top currently below and the new one that BMW of Silver Springs shipped to me above it. There definately is a difference in the zipper layout. And as we actually placed the new replacement window above the old one in order to compare the zippers, it bacame evident that the window was not close to correct sizewise. I have contacted the purveyor, and received an initial response, while trying to resolve the issue, but I have not heard back since I forwarded these pictures to them. To be continued....





    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  59. #59
    I purchased a rear window from getBMWparts too, so I'll check mine against the original this weekend and report back.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  60. #60
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    A zipper set is available separately: 54 34 7 075 904
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  61. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by EDEZ8 View Post
    I purchased a rear window from getBMWparts too, so I'll check mine against the original this weekend and report back.
    Ed - it also appears that the oroginal package it came in had been opened and then re-taped closed. Obviously you can see from the last picture of mine that it is not the correct part even though the part number on the box was. This may have been a shorter conversation if we would have overlayed the new picture over the original window before the zippergate. I can't wait to hear from you on your window. Hope it is good. I bet if it is the correct size, it will also look like the detail on mine showing what appears three zipperlines at the start point. Where are you planning to get it installed?
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  62. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Z-acht View Post
    A zipper set is available separately: 54 34 7 075 904
    Thanks - I do have that as well, it is a kit to aid in the installation process (the zipper pull etc.) Not actual zippers. This ended up being quite an ordeal! And it is not over yet, at least for me and my Z8. I hope it turns out to just being a case of an incorrect part that had somehow gotten switched into the correct protecting carton.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  63. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Musta10000 View Post
    Ed - it also appears that the oroginal package it came in had been opened and then re-taped closed. Obviously you can see from the last picture of mine that it is not the correct part even though the part number on the box was. This may have been a shorter conversation if we would have overlayed the new picture over the original window before the zippergate. I can't wait to hear from you on your window. Hope it is good. I bet if it is the correct size, it will also look like the detail on mine showing what appears three zipperlines at the start point. Where are you planning to get it installed?
    Hi Skip,

    Whew, the rear window I ordered nearly two years ago is an exact copy of the original on the car. My neighbor is an upholstery subcontractor for local BMW dealerships in the SF Bay Area and he will perform the install. When I took to him my new window last year, he convinced me to wait a little longer before installing the replacement. Below is a picture of the box containing the new window and installation gear on the left. My hunch is that you have a Z3 rear window.

     
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  64. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by EDEZ8 View Post
    Hi Skip,

    Whew, the rear window I ordered nearly two years ago is an exact copy of the original on the car. My neighbor is an upholstery subcontractor for local BMW dealerships in the SF Bay Area and he will perform the install. When I took to him my new window last year, he convinced me to wait a little longer before installing the replacement. Below is a picture of the box containing the new window and installation gear on the left. My hunch is that you have a Z3 rear window.

    I am glad you have the correct one. My installer also suggested that the one I have is a Z3 one. It will be interesting to see what they say tomorrow about it at getBMWparts.com, one the manager is in. Thank you for checking for me.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  65. #65
    Received an e-mail from getBMWparts.com stating that the window I have must have been miss-packed and that they will be ordering a new one to ship to me. However, according to them there are none in the US and they must get one from Germany (which should tale at least five days). I'll see - hopefully there are some in Germany. Once they ship the new one, they will also send a tag to return the incorrect one so they can claim a credit from BMW.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  66. #66
    Sounds like everyone is trying to do the right thing for correcting your situation. Thank you for the update.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  67. #67

    I can see now!

    The rear window has finally been replaced. I received the (correct) replacement window from getBMWparts.com a couple of weeks ago and arranged another trip to Omaha to have it installed. Curtis from Lion's Upholstery did a fantastic job at a very reasonable price (also fixed seatbacks, replaced gear shift knob that had a few scratches from before my ownership, and replaced my passenger side sun visor as the little flap hinge for the mirror had broken). Great to have all these details taken care of.

    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  68. #68
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Looks great! And nice to get a few minor details handled to. All those little things can add up to diminished enjoyment.

  69. #69
    Sport Button On
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    I changed my rear window a couple of years ago and it was no problem - window bought from BMW but installed by a very good car upholstery and soft top specialist recommended by BMW. It's a much better solution, and frankly not very expensive, than trying out myriad cleaners which at the end of the day do almost nothing.

  70. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by mrcjackson View Post
    I changed my rear window a couple of years ago and it was no problem - window bought from BMW but installed by a very good car upholstery and soft top specialist recommended by BMW. It's a much better solution, and frankly not very expensive, than trying out myriad cleaners which at the end of the day do almost nothing.
    In preparation for showing my car at The Quail last year, I also replaced the rear window in the soft top using a BMW-sourced part. The work performed by my neighbor who also subcontracts with local car dealerships was more involved than I thought it would be, but the results were excellent. I have maintained the new window by ensuring that the rear-window cover is used before dropping the top and by using Meguiar-branded products.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  71. #71
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    6
    Hi Ed,
    Hope you don't mind reaching out to you on the soft top window for your input please. The seal on the rear window is gummy in one area and coming away from the window and fabric. My local BMW (I live in the Tampa FL area) tells me you cannot buy just the rubber seal and have to buy the whole window at over $2k. They also said the install is tricky and could damage and ned to replace the "whole" soft top if the zipper is damaged. Needless to say, the confidence level is not there with this dealer? Can you share any advise or experience here as I am not sure what the best course of action is. Thanks so much for your time!
    Cheers,
    Deb

  72. #72
    Hi Deb,

    You seem to be having issues with both your hard and soft tops! I replaced the plastic window on the soft top last year because of cloudiness and my desire to have the Z8 looking its best for The Quail. If you do need a new rear window for your situation, the cost quoted feels about right because BMW used some proprietary plastic on the Z8. The installation was performed by my neighbor who has contracted with BMW dealers in the SF Bay Area, and despite his experience it was a 60 - 90 minute process for him to replace the window.

    if you can post pictures of your "gummy area" that would be helpful to provide more specific feedback. Depending on how much you want to retain originality for your car, an aftermarket non BMW soft top may be an option too. For my car, I am striving for originality, so I didn't consider the aftermarket option.

    I hope these few words help!
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  73. #73
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    6
    Thanks so much Ed! Yep, having a few issues but working thru them and just had the hartop liner replaced with original fabric (one of three last bolts of original fabric left in the country). Living in Fla humidity takes it toll as after ten years of having my hartop stored on the stand, I got a surprise with the fallen headliner . Now, the soft top window seal is gummy and starting to come away from the window/fabric. Pic below; the red is from duster that stuck to it! Having trouble finding out if I can purchase just the rubber seal instead of whole window. Again, appreciate your time and opinion!

    Cheers,
    Deb
     

  74. #74
    I believe that the black plastic piece that you are showing above is from the plastic window and not the top. Can anyone else confirm?

    If your rear plastic window is clear, I would consider finding an automotive upholstery shop who could help re-glue the failing piece back into place. If your rear window is cloudy I would replace it.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  75. #75
    Here are installation instructions - hope this will be of assistance. The window can be obtained for $1,376. Part number 54347004457 from https://www.getbmwparts.com/ If you click on view parts diagram, you can see all the convertible top components. I ordered my replacement (OEM) window this way year and a half ago. The parts came from BMW of Silver Spring and it is my understanding that this site is formally part of that organization (but I am not sure if that is correct). They were very helpful and provided the installation guide below.
               
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

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