Hard Top Install
from phrider
Thanks phrider!

Getting a Hardtop for the MZ3

Why would you want a hardtop in LA? Well, I did. And given the Z3 series is going out of production, I thought now was a good time to make the purchase.

While I toyed with getting a non-silver hardtop to go with my silver M Roadster, I went the safe route and got a matching top.

First, it looks better in person than in any of the photos that I've see. From the front or front quarter, especially from slightly above, the car takes on a "silver bullet" look. There are lots of photos around with a rear quarter shot -- that's its least photogenic angle. Leaving the dealer, and driving home, I got a lot of "what is that" looks (hopefully not of the "why is this idiot driving a vert with a hardtop in this town in the summer" kind of looks). I'm pleased with the look -- kinda felt like having a second, different M Roadster.

    Now the process:
  • 1. The dealer had not done a lot of these before.... it's Southern California after all.
  • 2. They gave me a good discount off list (list was $2195, $1950 new w/o tax, cheaper than shipping from a S Carolina dealer at $1850).
  • 3. The parts included in the basic package were:
  • (a) the hardtop,
  • (b) all the mounting hardware, and
  • (c) a storage cover for the hardtop.
The rear defroster switch (which mounts on the rear center console) is NOT in the package -- make sure they order that for you (about $25).

BMW just happened to have my color in stock at their Ontario, California, distribution center, so I only had to wait a couple business days for delivery.

The dealer was busy, so the 1 day time estimate for installing the mounting kit took 2 days. The BMW instructions say 1.5 hours install. I did not want them to rush it, given they install so few in SoCal, so I was giving my "quality work takes time" speech -- and since they had committed to a fixed installation fee. It took them at least twice what BMW estimated for the install time (especially if you count supervision time), but they stuck with their estimate for my fee. The next person who wants one installed... should expect to pay a little more (they were saying twice the time yesterday, but I bet they might go lower). Now they know how to do this, so you should be able to get a parts discount and a decent install price from at least one LA dealer (they liked how it looked, too -- my salesman was asking for the digital photo).

BMW install instructions: here
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