*The Infiniti M30 convertible is a complex machine. Unless you are a convertible person, there is a lot of intricacies to it.
One of the reasons why I avoided getting a convertible before was the added maintenance and parts.. which I had little understanding and convertible parts are hard to get. When Jacy and I started to organize the F31club forums more, vert owners wanted to be heard too. So Jacy made Vertville sub forums. The problem was that most of us owned coupes and didn’t know much about convertibles.
That is when a few of the vert owners such as Zydeco,91ragtop, Sundowner, Bstephan wuzz up and Drewzee87T made some posts. I will bring that information out. Additionally, Jim P has given me some more current information and I will add to this.
Vert Top Pulldown Motor (actuators)
Okay, i finally got one that works.
These little motors (called actuators) must be made of gold. When I first started trying to locate one, the dealership wanted $1200 for one.
I searched around and found one at a slavage yard. $75, worked once and motor froze.
Found a complete set on Ebay $100. I used one and the other one may or may not work.
If your top makes a severe grinding noise when it is being lowered or raised, Usually on the drivers side, then you probably need to replace one of your actuators.
If yours does grind and you just want to get your top to go down, you can remove the interior covering located across the top frame of the windshield. Once you can access the motors you can turn the receiver from the bottom side using an allen (8mm, I think). This can be done to release the top so that it will retract or to tighten the top snug when you put it up.
If mine goes down and I am tired of raking out money for actuators, I will probably drill a small hole directly below that motor and just use an allen wrench to release and lock the top. If you worry about it looking bad you can probably find an insert like I used to hold upholstery in place and use this to fill the hole when you are not accessing the motors.
Sundowner added this:
The good thing about the actuators is that they are universal, you can use them on either side.
My drivers side was going bad and I took it apart. The actual motor part is held onto the rest of the actuator with two very small screws, and one of my screws came loose.
If your actuators are making any type of grinding noise I recommend taking apart and making sure that the two screws are tight. Otherwise the screw shaft from the motor will get misaligned and could damage the gear.
Jim P mentioned this:
Inside the actuator, there is a plastic gear that can break.
Another common problem with the top is the eye bolt on the rods.
DrewZee87T talked about his top going out. Bstephans chimed in with this information about the eyebolts.
It has been a long time since this was posted and I don’t see if you ever got your problem fixed, but if all you need is the eyelet on the end of the cylinder, order from Grainger (www.grainger.com) part number 6G173. I just replaced my eyebolts, also broken, and searched high and low. Found these and they are dimensionally identical. Plus the eyelet has a bearing in it. No need for the plastic washers or the brass bushing. I guarantee these fit. Cost ya about $5 each. I had to modify mine since the bracket that connects the cylinder to the top was also broken. If that’s OK, you’re good to go if this is what you need.
I have to give a major shout out to Bstephan on this board. My convertible top barely worked then gave up all together–i found the eye bolts disintegrated so i ordered the part from Grainger–it was EXACTLY the right part, they were 10 bucks each…and even kind of scary–i ordered them online and they showed up THAT AFTERNOON…with standard 9 dollar shipping! i was like, wt????? even an old post like that majorly saves my a**!
Since the forums are not active, I believe this info isn’t out there. But Jim P actually made a post for about it.
As Bstephan mentioned, the original one has a plastic washer and a brass bushing. With the new eyebolt, it is actually a bearing, making it superior.
Sometimes there is a simple fix if you find a convertible that the top can only be lowered or raised by hand. Start by pushing the ‘top down” button. If you can hear the actuators above the windshield and the top will release, you are half way there to an easy fix. Nine out of ten times the problem is that one or both of the connecting rods on the top stack hydraulic cylinders are broken.
You can remove the connecting rods without removing the interior panels below the side windows. Simply get a couple of small vise grip pliers and unscrew the broken connecting rod from the cylinder shaft. Re-attach the connecting rod with the clevis and cotter pin to the top frame. These are only about $8 each.
Convertible rear quarter window function
Many times convertibles will have the “shark fin” look with one of the rear quarter glass not being able to go up or down. I’ve seen two issues. One is the window motor itself. It does share some the same with motor with the 240sx convertible (S13) and Z31.
I also learned from Jim P was that the rear quarter windows have this nylon guides at the bottom of the glass. He showed me the broke ones and said that also is an issue.
The good ones have the edges intact.
A couple issues with these pieces. 1. They are nylon (can be easily be broken) and 2. They are mounted on pretty well (still haven’t figured out how to remove them).
DrewZee87T posted this about the convertible top motor in the trunk. Drew found a reason why his top motor wasn’t working, so he replaced some hoses and got it to work.
* Please note that the pictures were lost, but I wanted to keep the info intact.
Here is what I found when I diagnosed the hydraulic system yesterday, all the oil shooting out of this cracked hose.
I went to the Lowe’s and got this stuff:
(picture of hose and fittings)
I think it cost $1.70 for the tubing, and like 3 or 4 buck for fittings.
The tubing is polyethylene, rated for ice cube makers and stuff 170 PSI operating pressure (which, as it turns out is NOT enough) My next effort will be using copper or ordering the real stuff online.
Here is the repair, basically cut out the busted up tubing, put fittings on the new tubing, and put it back together.
So I filled it up with oil, ran the tops, the top went halfway down. Checked the fluid and refilled it. Ran it again it went all the way down. Wouldn’t go back up. Checked fluid, filled it AGAIN. Top goes up, top goes down.
filled it up again, top goes up, top goes down, like three times. Then top won’t come back up. Look in the trunk, and the new tubing had burst 🙂
So – this repair works, but you have to use the right tubing – either copper 1/4″ or order some proper Nylon hydraulic tubing online, the operating pressure on the tops must be pretty significant to have blown a hole in this hose. Don’t use the home depot poly or vinyl stuff.
I used a copper 1/4 line, problem solved.
Zydeco had some vert top advice:
Hey all you fellow Drop Toppers!!! The thing that seperates us from the rest of the forum is (yup, you guessed it…) the dripps. I have been looking for less expensive alternatives for 3 years …and here is what I have come up with…:
1) Go to Wal-Mart, go to camping section and get Outdoor Silicon Canvas treatment (that’s not the exact name – but it’s near the tents) or the Scotch Guard Heavy duty treatment – also in the same section. They come in Spray cans….
2) Spray you roof when you know you have at least 2 – 3 days of no rain… and I do mean saturate it… oh yeah – and don’t drop the top til it dries…
3) Look for a new top -and some one to install it …. cause the original top has a life expectancy of 10 years… you are well beyond that….
Option 1&2 is the band-aid
Option 3 is the solution…
also – consider replacing the those rubber side rail moldings… Unfortunately they go for $100.00 a piece and you will need two…
one more thing… given the cost of replacing the top – if your hydraulics stop working… switch it to manual and get the added benefit of a mini- workout out.
As mentioned by Zydeco, The top has a life of 10yrs (as it is mentioned) and replacing the top can be ideal if you picked up an old convertible.
Sometimes the top is good, but the back plastic window needs to be replaced. This can be sold separately. It is mentioned by (Jim D.) to use stainless steel staples when installing these.