|Replace Rear Window
From the Z3 Rides mail list- use CLEAR silicone to repair the rear window seal, not black.
When the zipper is broken the seal can't be repaired without replacing the whole roof :(
See also: BMW instructions
Wed, 15 Aug 2007 Jake Hellbach
That happened to mine. I used black silicone to "glue" the areas that the stitching came loose, worked great and I don't have anymore rear window leaks. The problem is now the black color or whatever from the silicone is leeching about an inch on the clear window. Looks nasty.
I wish I had used the clear silicone.
On 8/15/07 12:51 PM, Danny wrote:
A common problem with the Z3 is that the stitching that connects the "zipper" (which contains the rear window) will disconnect from the roof -- If that is what you are seeing then there is no good option than to keep gluing itin (or replace the roof). Use a flexible silicone adhesive available at most hardware stores .
Mon, 20 Aug 2007 Rory II wrote:
Thanks for all the insight both on and off the list on my window inquiry. Just to summarize for the archives and anyone else that may be doing this repair in the future: I received a few messages privately about people that ordered the e-miata.com/convertible-window.com version and were quite pleased. The kit comes with everything needed to install the window yourself (minus a helper) just like the BMW window. The consensus is that the fit and finish is as good as OE and they appear to wear a little better and are more resilient to scratching over time. Although you still have to maintain them from time to time to keep the ability to see out the back. Pricing is $85 + 13 for shipping. For those that want a genuine BMW part, the list's very own Ed (www.bimmerbum.com) has the best price around at $139.99 shipped. And I did check with all the usual discount internet and mail order sources :-) A new window and some Gummi Pflege on the seals and hopefully the wife-mobile will be leak free in torrential downpours and keep me in the running for husband of the year :-) Best, Rory II
Step by step instructions
Posted by Doug96 on April 05, 1999 at 08:12:06:
In Reply to: Re: Saved $500 today by replacing the rear window posted by Chris on April 04, 1999 at 22:21:03:
The installation was pretty easy. The instructions that come with the window were good. Very few parts; the window, a zipper, two little metal clips, a short piece of double sided tape (100 MM) and a plastic piece that looks like a tongue depressor. The hardest part for me was getting the zipper started on the new window.
1. Unhook the top
2. Run the plastic tool between the black rubber bead and the existing window to break the bind between the top material and the double sided tape used on the window. (I almost quit at this point because it looks like you are tearing up things... but don’t worry.... the new window comes with all new parts).
3. Pull the black rubber bead off and discard (a new one is attached to the new window.... to my relief!)
4. Remove the metal clip at the bottom center of the window. You have to loosen it from inside the car, and then remove from outside. (easy)
5. Unzip the existing window. Discard. (easy)
6. Clean any reaming rubber cement off of the cloth. We used a cloth and rubbing alcohol. (easy)
7. Zip in the new window. It’s important to follow the instructions and start with the blue side. This was the hardest part. I had a very hard time getting the zipper started. I did learn that you can start the zipper standing outside the car. I found this a lot easier than trying to do it from the inside. (Zipping the window takes two people... one on the outside holding the window and one on the inside running the zipper).
8. Insert the metal clap to insure that the zipper does not come undone. I used both clamps that came with the new window although the original window only had one clamp. (This takes two people.... one on the outside and one on the inside) (easy)
9. Apply extra 100 MM double sided tape to area where claps were installed. (easy)
10. Apply rubber cement to the cloth top – where it meets the double sided tape on the window. (easy)
11. Expose the sticky side of the double sided tape by removing the protective plastic. (easy)
12. Use the plastic tool to push the edge of the top into the black rubber bead around the window. (not too hard... be patient).
13. Run your finger around the cloth top pushing it against the tape and into the rubber bead. (easy... your almost done).
14. Fasten the top and leave it up for 24 hours.
: I remember reading about the window replacement on mZ3.net. The author there reported that this job was not recommended and was a real pain in the rump. For me, I find that keeping rear window scratches to a minimum is the most difficult maintenance issue with my '99 2.3, and I suspect that my anal retentiveness will eventually lead to replacing it every so often to keep the car looking new. Can you give a summary of how you did this job? What was most difficult? On the surface, looks like a simple zip out/zip in deal, but it can't be that easy, right? I assume the window is $100? Thanks!
: : Well, my wife and I replaced the rear window on our Z3 today despite the warnings from this message board. We decided to do it after the dealer (Hendrick BMW of Charlotte NC) told me that their cost to replace the window would be $600. I couldn’t believe the cost! I asked two different service advisers on two different days and got the same quote $600.
: : Instead of making Hendrick any richer, we decided to tackle the job ourselves. I ordered the window from Quality Imports for a reasonable cost. The window from Quality was genuine BMW and it arrived in great condition.
: : The job only took about 2 hours for us to do. Next time it will probably only take an hour or so.
: : Don’t be afraid to replace your window. It does take two people, but it’s relatively easy to accomplish.
: : Doug96