Leaky BMW convertible

My wife has a beloved 2001 BMW 330i convertible she loves more than me, but that’s a separate issue. Hers was the last year before retractible hardtops,so she bought the option for a removeable by hand [not easy at all] hardtop, that twice a year we manage to take out of basement storage and put on or off. Abut 5 years ago she noticed some minor water issues with the hardtop on, so hse took it to the dealer, who redid the rubber seals on the top. That didn’t work, and the dealer then shrugged and said she ought to talk to some body work shops to see if they had any answers. They didn’t. We just installed the hardtop again for the winter, and now there are major leaks coming in at both front A pillars when it rains. For some reason there’s also water leaking into the trunk too. This doesn’t happen when the soft top is up and on, so we feel that the problem is related to the hard top, but we don’t know what to do next. The car has only 60,ooo miles on it, runs well, but water leaks are driving my wife, and derivatively me, crazy.

The immediate solution is to use the soft top and leave the hardtop off until you figure it out.

I wonder if the hardtop is out of alignment. It may have gotten that way by long term storage without adequate support for the front and back. Without that support, it might twist or sag, even though it is a solid top. Also, when the dealer replaced the gaskets, did they do the interface gaskets on both the top and the mounting points on the windshield and rear body?


That would be my guess, too. Maybe got tweaked on the trip from or to storage. It wouldn’t take much.

As far as water in the trunk: my Miata required a replacement of the seals around the taillights. An easy, low cost job.

Those hard tops require adjustments to be made to the fixing points on the car, there are special plastic gauges that are used to get the gaps. Any Bmw dealer should know that if there’s anyone there from that era.

Though it would defeat the purpose of having a convertible, next summer leave the hardtop on, parked in the sun, it might realign itself.
At one time lifts were available to raise and lower removable hard tops. These were attached to the ceiling of the garage. Perhaps such a system is still available, this would allow you to ‘store’ the roof on the car.