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How To Repair 5th Bow Motor, with photos.

Old 05-10-2011, 02:04 PM
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bluebadge
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Default How To Repair 5th Bow Motor, with photos.

*** How To Repair 5th Bow Motor ***

The model featured is my 2004 Touring Roadster, Current mileage is about 123k and I have never cleaned this motor or replaced the brushes before, so this is what you can expect if you are doing this for the first time.

Ok, so I've been wanting to do a how to guide for a while and this is a doozie! yup, 5th Bow Motor Repair!! If your 5th bow is getting stuck or not retracting your soft top in the storage compartment, the is a high probability that the brushes in the 5th bow motor are worn out. My how to will show you how to replace these brushes... The brushes can be bought online and they are the same ones used in the tutorial for fixing a sticking window motor, in fact this is pretty much the same as that, only easier!

What you'll need before you start.

1) A couple of hours spare time
2) A right angled (90 degree) phillips head screwdriver (or really short screwdriver)
3) Pair of suitable brushes got mine from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/MBS5-Stand-Up-.../dp/B001BHLX0W )
4) Small socket set (not 100% needed but useful)
5) Soldering Iron, Flux and Solder
6) Scissors
7) Egg Box and Double Sided Sticky Tape (just messing!)
8) Electrical Contact Cleaner and Rag
9) Fine sand paper (the wives nail file would do!)
10) A couple of band aids just in case!

The whole process took me a couple of hours with help from domrvt (cheers dude!)

Ok first you want to cram yourself inside your Zee (if you are over 6ft I feel for you!) Everything from this point is in picture format so .....


































Once I got the motor back in the car I re-attached the electrical harness and press the button for the roof, and voila! it worked, then put it all back together, now my roof works flawlessly! Hope this How To was of help to those (like me) who were facing a $1000 plus repair job! this only cost me a couple of hours and about $10.

Cheers, feel free to re-post this on any other forums that you know of where people are having the same issue!!!

If you have any questions please message me. This is my first how to, so feedback is welcome.

BlueBadge

PS You will notice that I didn't re-lube the components as I didn't have any grease on hand, but I definitely recommend it! (i'll do mine later!)
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:20 PM
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Nice clear photos and good descriptions.
Should probably get moved to the DIY section, though...
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveJackson View Post
Nice clear photos and good descriptions.
Should probably get moved to the DIY section, though...
Well... I had thought about that, but the best window fix was in this category also, and it is a repair. May post a link to it there also, thanks for the comment! Need someone to make it a sticky or something, this saved me a grand!
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:03 PM
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Very detailed write up, thanks. That's how I fixed the window motor also.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:21 AM
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Thanks a lot for the write up. My dad spent a total of 5000$ at 3 different Nissan dealers to get the top working and he just called me to tell me it's STILL not working. After replacing every single motor they are now suggesting to replace the whole top. They say it's worth $13 000 but since they have one in stock that is not going anywhere they are ready to let it for 4k.

Before he goes through with this I will tell him to try your solution.....
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon83 View Post
Thanks a lot for the write up. My dad spent a total of 5000$ at 3 different Nissan dealers to get the top working and he just called me to tell me it's STILL not working. After replacing every single motor they are now suggesting to replace the whole top. They say it's worth $13 000 but since they have one in stock that is not going anywhere they are ready to let it for 4k.

Before he goes through with this I will tell him to try your solution.....
i hope you and your dad are not that gullable.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:13 AM
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Just showed the thread to my dad and he says no need to do this DIY since that motor was already replaced.

SuperBlack350z : I also think it's ridiculous but but what other option would you recommend? Considering how much money he already spent on this top I think it's stupid to replace it but then again nobody @ Nissan seems to know how to fix it. Hell... i'm not even convince that if they replace the top with a new one that it will work... I kinda feel bad since I was the one recommending this car (a 350z) for them (my parents). Very dissapointed with Nissan....
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon83 View Post
Thanks a lot for the write up. My dad spent a total of 5000$ at 3 different Nissan dealers to get the top working and he just called me to tell me it's STILL not working. After replacing every single motor they are now suggesting to replace the whole top. They say it's worth $13 000 but since they have one in stock that is not going anywhere they are ready to let it for 4k.

Before he goes through with this I will tell him to try your solution.....
You're welcome for the write up, I was just fed up with being told that it was going to cost over a grand to repair! the 5th bow motor alone (the one that you replace the brushes in) is a $600 part! insane I tell you. As far as your dads roof is concerned I doubt changing it will help, and if you have already changed all the motors, has he looked at the actuators? I'm not sure how you would test them but i'm sure a "reputable" Nissan dealer should be able to check them.

There is a tech manual for the 350Z here on the forum that has a whole troubleshooting section in it, worth checking out for sure....

Sounds like those boys at Nissan where your dad is taking his pride and joy are a bunch of cowboys (no offense to Cowboys!)

Best of luck, let us know how he gets on and what the underlying issue is!
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:34 PM
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Nice repair/diy. My only suggestion would be to upload these pictures as attachments to the forum in case of future mishaps (ex. your picture host is down).

Just curious, but is this a common problem with the Z roadsters?
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 3hree5ive0ero View Post
Nice repair/diy. My only suggestion would be to upload these pictures as attachments to the forum in case of future mishaps (ex. your picture host is down).

Just curious, but is this a common problem with the Z roadsters?
Thanks for the suggestion, I am actually hosting the images on my own website and I have a 99.9999% uptime so that shouldn't be an issue.

As for this being a common problem for Z Roadsters... it's becoming more so. The older the Z roadsters get, the more likely it is to suffer from worn brushes in the motor, The brushes that Nissan install are designed to break down slowly. Every time a roadster owner lowers or raises the roof a small amount of the brushes is worn away, until eventually there is insufficient brush left to make a good contact with the motor spindle, and that is typically the issue with some of the older models. There was a TSB out there somewhere for a lubrication issue with some of the components of the roof where the 5th bow sticks in the upright position, but I firmly believe that is just the onset of bad brushes. It will happen to them all eventually, it's just a matter of time. It doesn't take but 20 minutes to whip out the motor to inspect them if you have the right tools.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:43 PM
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Default How to as attachments

Ok I tried to upload as attachments but It would only let me do 5... sorry. Just hope my site necer goes down.

Last edited by bluebadge; 05-12-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:48 PM
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Super great job & thanks for sharing! A+
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:28 PM
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My top started to act up also. After removing and disassembling the motor it looked exactly like your photos. The brushes were totally worn. I soldered new brushes and it is working again. Thanks for an excellent DIY.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:29 PM
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awesome write up i just replaced my soft top that was tearing like crazy and noticed that there was a gap in the back latch. looks like ill be pulling that motor apart now. I jumped when i saw how much a little motor like that costs. i could make one for under $100 with parts from radioshack. lol.
Random question: any idea where to get new weather striping for where the windows roll up at and the back seal. Mine is an 04' so its going bad. its a min. of like $30-$100 for the pieces.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:22 AM
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Sorry, I have no idea, try googling it, you may have to go to the dealer
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:32 PM
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I just used this thread to rebuild all 3 motors. All 3 seem to be working great & I can hear them running considerably faster. Just a note on replacing the brushes for the 2 side motors. I had to sand them down to about 1/2 the length to get them to work & used all the original wire plus all the new wire. Also the brushes are pretty difficult to keep in place when assembling. A machine must have done that originally. I used 2 small bent paper clips to hold the brushes back while sliding it through. I put the paper clip / wire in a tiny hole below the brush in the plastic, ran it right in front of the brush so the spring wouldn't spit it out (I also put the spring on the wire of the brush so it was connected & wouldn't fall apart) then twisted the wire around the plastic so that I didn't have to hold anything & both brushes stayed depressed. Slid the shaft in & pulled both bent paper clips out. Held it firmly in place with a knife while sliding the magnet on so that the magnet didn't pull everything back apart & have to start all over. Its a PITA but doable, especially when you consider a 10 pack of RC car motor brushes are less than $30 & 3 new motors are like 6 grand or some other insane amount. Although you only need 6 for all 3 motors I ruined 2 with trial & error so definitely go for the 10 pack, the carbon brushes are VERY soft & brittle.

Anyway, got all 3 rebuilt & now something strange is happening. It goes so far & then just stops. If I tell it to open again, nothing happens. After that, it doesn't matter if I tell it to open or close it only opens but not correctly. Its kind of like it gets confused about what to do when, sorta binds & struggles. One time it popped, thats not a good sound to hear. If it does make it all the way down into the holding area then the orange part wont close & it wont try to came back up either. With 2 people we can slowly raise it up with steady pressure, not forcing it. Then it has to be locked or it will just try to open at the wrong time again. Locked, I hear it try to do the wrong thing for a moment then everything closes up like it should. Its really confusing me. I'm not sure what I'd even call that to know what to search for to find a solution.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:47 AM
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So just so I'm clear. This repair will fix that 1/4" gap and motor noise my top does when I close my top? My latch doesn't close all the way, so it's not a snug fit. Thanks guys.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:39 PM
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wow, nice tutorial, going to use it in a few days....TYVM
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:05 PM
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Question Going to try this DIY, but...

...just to be sure it's the 5th bow issue before I try all of this, please tell me if my car has the symptoms. Here is a video of what happens.

:01 -> :04 - it struggles really hard to open

:15 - it pauses for a quick moment

Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmpd0sk4b9c



Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bluebadge View Post
Sorry, I have no idea, try googling it, you may have to go to the dealer
dang forget that. lol. its like $300 or so i called last month and asked. its ridiculous how expensive stuff if because of the name only
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