BMW 3 Series, 1994-99
Convertible Top and Convertible Top Parts
The tops on this page fit all the "E36 Platform" BMW models:
U.S. Models: 318is, 318zi, 325, 328, 318, 323 and M3
European Models: 316i, 318i, 320, 323, 324, 325, 328 and M3
- Quality: Made to BMW specs, 100% fit guarantee.
- Original Factory Material: Sonnendeck (Twillfast) canvas.
- Original Colors: Black, BMW Blue, English Green, Titan Grey and Grenadine.
- Alternate Materials: A5 German Sonnenland canvas, Haartz Stayfast Canvas, Chrysler Sailcloth Vinyl.
- Relief Pockets: In 1994-1995 these BMW tops were made with small pocketed areas in the corners for decorative purposes. Click here to see relief pockets. They serve no function and BMW eliminated them in 1996. Most of our replacement tops are made without relief pockets. The tops will fit all 1994-1999 BMW 3 Series perfectly. If you're fond of the pocketed tops, we offer those, too.
- Package Specials: Cost savings for all of your installation needs with package specials, this includes the detailed installation manual, new cables, tension straps and glue kit.
- Shop with confidence: 5 year manufacturer warranty.
- NEW: 1993-99 BMW E36 Series, Convertible top wind deflectors, decrease back draft by 75%!
- About our BMW 3 Series convertible tops
The original dealer fabric was Sonnendeck (Twillfast) canvas.
Alternate Fabrics: A5 German Sonnenland canvas, Haartz Stayfast Canvas, Chrysler Sailcloth Vinyl.
About The Fabrics:
German Sonnenland Canvas is the original German made canvas used in many Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and other convertibles. It's general construction is very similar to the other two canvases. It is hard to tell the surfaces apart among the three. But the manufacturing specifications make this the longest lasting top. There is an approximate twenty percent greater wear rating for Sonnenland than for Haartz Stayfast. Some of this is due to the abrasion resistance of the exterior canvas. This is a factor in certain tops where the framework design tends to produce friction between the top's surface and the car's hardware. (It is a well known 'trade secret' that the Haartz Division of Glen Raven Mills purchased the Sonnenland factory.)
Sonnendeck Canvas (also called 'Twillfast') is an American made canvas, true double texture topping like the Haartz Stayfast. Many purists who own Mercedes and other German cars want to see the particular German weave (that is called "dobby weave") when they look up inside the car. Haartz Stayfast canvas has a plain (unwoven) inner lining. So for Porsche, Mercedes and BMW owners who will spend a little more in order to see that "dobby" weave we offer a fabric called Sonnendeck (in addition to the original German Sonnenland or Happich canvas. The wear rating of Sonnendeck is also greater than for Haartz, by perhaps 10%. This is due to the slightly heavier inner lining and subtle bonding specification differences.
Haartz Stayfast Canvas has a canvas outer layer and a preshrunk cotton inner layer. The two are bonded with and separated by a butyl rubber core. It is this core that makes the fabric last a very long time, with both better static and dynamic wear ratings than vinyl toppings. Haartz Stayfast is the American substitute for the German canvases used in Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, some models of Mustang and Lebaron and others. Canvas is widely regarded as "richer looking" than vinyl. It is a little harder to clean. The inside of the top is pre-shrunk cotton. The inner lining is usually black.
Chrysler Sailcloth Vinyl is the fabric developed for Sebrings and late model Mustangs several years ago. It is a vinyl whose surface grain emulates canvas. It is a less expensive, though beautiful, fabric than our canvas toppings. We therefore offer many of our originally canvas tops in this vinyl fabric.
In 1994-95 these tops were made with small pocketed areas in the corners for decorative purposes. They serve no function and BMW eliminated them in 1996. Most of our replacement tops are made without relief pockets. The tops will fit all years perfectly. For those of you who are fond of the pocketed tops we do offer that option: see the top selection list.
The elastic straps under the top serve an important function and must be in good condition to prevent premature wear in the top.
There is a green plastic window sealed into the top as original.
Full Power and Half Power Frames:
These tops, just as the original ones, will fit both types of top frame which appeared from 1994 to 1997 (latch up and automatic lock up.) However there are subtle headliner differences as indicated in the headliners listed.
Headliners are often re-installed under the new top. If you are ordering a new headliner you will transfer the quarter section hardware from the old to the new headliner.
Parts in this category (BMW 3 Series) fit cars for years: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
We a now pleased to offer hydraulic cylinders, hydraulic motor pumps, and hydraulic hose sets for many different convertibles, they will be listed on your cars page if available. Also, checkout our newly added roof rail weatherstripping seals, front header weatherstripping seals, door weatherstripping seals, trunk weatherstripping seals. Look for extra savings on weatherstripping seals kits.
We are continuing to grow our convertible related products: These include convertible top latches, tonneau covers, relays, switches, rear tacking rails (trimsticks), seat covers, car covers, and carpeting.