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Soft top pulldown motor question


Mad_Bohemian
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I will try to be as concise and short as possible.

Problem: soft top motor does nothing when switch is activated. Downward movement - nothing.Upward movement of switch leads to a "click" from the solenoid on soft top assembly.Immediate upward movement again does nothing.(After about thirty seconds it 'clicks' again.)

Replaced motor. before completely reassembling I decided to check to see if it works first.push switch up- nothing- push down - nothing.

Check with multi-tester - have power at lead which connects to main assembly. Have power at the motor when switch is activated downward.. So I keep playing with the connections and start to get an intermittent motor movement...but only in the direction which makes the latch assembly move outward. Part of the intermittancy (real word??) was due to a grounding problem because I kept getting the internal switches clicking when I would move the assembly in the soft top storage compartment.

Right now this thing has me baffled.At one point I thought there was maybe a safety mechanism that would require the tonneau to be closed for the motor to work. I closed the tonneau and immediately the motor began running...without me touching the switch!!

This is what I know:

Have 12.24 vdc at motor when switch is activated up ( i think) When I push the switch in the opposite direction the voltage drops to -0 (who knew 0 volts could be negative :o)

Now with the assembly temporarily bolted on, it's back to a click (from the solenoid) and nothing else.

Could it be all my problems are just solenoid related?? Can I easily get a replacement solenoid for this application??? Thanks for enduring this lengthy (and confusing) explanation. (I wrote it and I am confused! smile.gif )

Any ideas??

As Always TIA

B

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I'm about 90% sure it's the relay (what I called the solenoid frown.gif )

I can unplug the motor, toggle the top switch in the downward direction and the relay 'clicks' then I plug the motor in and it starts running and keeps running until the relay clicks again.Doesn't matter if I toggle the top switch up or down, or move ,what I assume is a limit switch the mounted on the motor assembly,it keeps running. So how would I bypass the relay Lou? Would a dealer maybe still stock these??

Thanks,

B

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Ok, Let's see what I can give you. The silver relay is really a "Time limit switch" it's the same relay they used to delay, and turn off the interior courtesy lights. The motor/reversing switch/relay assembly, are the units that are bolted together on the Motor assy.in my experience they have all been black plastic. and they do as described, feed electricity to the motor and automatically reverse the polarity that in turn reverses the motor. the tollerances on the assembly are reasonably tight (not a lot of room for error). If the clear plastic gear housing is cracked that is usually enough to cause a malfuntion. The reversing switch is controlled by a little silver arm, that I have found to be bent, and thereby not click the reversing switch/relay. Best I can describe it must stick straight out. On the motor there is a slip connector (electrical) with 2 copper contacts. the simple test is to touch small jumper wires from a battery to these (+)pos. on right and (-) neg. on left, the motor will run (turn). Reverse the wires, the motor will turn in the opposite direction. now you know the motor is good. hook the reversing switch to it and see if the switch Loudly clicks and thereby reverses the motor. You can do this manually if you have to, I was always lucky enough to be able to run the assembly toghther and check it. The Black plastic relay that slides onto the assembly is in fact the original on/off unit that feeds from the switch. They added the silver one on later models because there was a problem wit occasional continuious rumming of the motor. the silver relay only limits the electrical feed time.. The silver relay is available from dealer, I got 2 prices $50.00 & $90.00. I am not absolutely positive but I think the Reversing switch is also supposed to shut off the system until the switch behind the seat is pushed in the opposite direction then it starts the process again, again shutting off until the switch is pushed opposite again. Good Luck, Lou

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Hi, Did you try it without the relay hooked up? It is a good test because everything should work. That relay is only an overrun (continious running) protection. ~ also ~ I replace the rivet by taping the housing 1/4x20 and using stainless 1/4"x1/2"long bolt and a couple of shakeproof (star) washers used to bite into the metal for good copntact.. Good Luck, Lou

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Between working 55+ hours at job#1 and 12-15 hours at a second job (helping out a local haunt for Halloween ) I have trouble remembering if I am coming or going...haven't had time (or energy) to even walk into the garage to LOOK at the car..LOL. Hopefully things will slow up after this weekend and I can start catching up around the house. smile.gif

I'll let you know how it all works out.. Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

ok...so here i sit out in the garage with my laptop...spitting nails and becoming my moniker...

Here's a step by step...

1)motor plugged into reversing switch (spare motor only, one that I know works) this is unplugged from the harness

2)silver relay is unplugged

3)black relay plugged into harness

4)When I plug the revesing switch/motor into the harness the black relay 'clicks'

5)toggle the 'top' switch up and down...nothing

6)I pinch the large paddle on the reversing switch shut and try the top control again...nothing

7)Next I flip the short little toggle on top of the reversing switch toward the motor and the motor runs CCW as you look down on the shaft.

8)I pinch the large paddle on the reversing switch...the motor stops. I release it...motor starts running in same CCW direction.

9)Next I pinch the paddle (motor stops)and toggle the top control down...nothing.Toggle it up and motor runs CCW.

10)I have tested the top control and get approx +12 on two leads when toggled up,and +12 on hot and remaining lead when toggled down...so control seems good.

So there you have my summation of 2 hours trial and error.

At this point I am thinking it's the reversing switch that the motor plugs into...either that or there's a gremlin in my car... smile.gif

Whaddya think guys (and girls)??

As always,

TIA

Brian

ps sorry for being long winded...

pps battery was dead when I came out to the garage and I have noticed the black relay gets warm if I leave the motor and reversing switch plugged in..

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I'm sorry this is just one of those days. I have tried, but I just can't get the picture. We have the annual hydroplane races here this weekend and downtown(3blocks) has "Harvest Days" i've just got too much going on, I can't free up enough little grey cells. If no one else gives you the answer I will get back to you Tuesday, (I hope) Lou

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Another addendum to the saga...

As I sat and contemplated this...stuff... I took inventory and realized I have replaced everything in the soft top pulldown assembly ,with the exception of the 'TOP' control toggle (next to the tonneau switch) and the silver relay. I have a new motor assembly that came with a reversing switch and black relay, and have purchased an additional black relay (that I was told was the silver relay >:( )

Sooo....if no one has any ideas, does anyone have the silver relay and/or the 'TOP' control switch??

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The low mileage '91 I just bought has a Soft Top Latch problem so I'm going up there tomorrow, I will pull my mechanism to check it out, ~ and ~ I will refresh my recollection so that I can better picture what you are trying to describe.. Lou

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Lets start from the begining.. This is a reversing DC motor With the reversing switch removed there are 2 copper contacts exposed if you put + Pos. power to 1, and - Neg. power to the other the motor should spin good in 1 direction.. If you reverse both leads, the motor should reverse and run freely (run good). If that's ok Install the Gear assy. bearing free??. next gear check all teeth (the motor pinion rides on the large gear and it often is missing some teeththen comes the wavey washer and then the plastic housing (check the housing carefully they crack badly)... Let me know, I'll be back later Gotta Go.... Lou

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Hi, Here is some more. the toggle is a shut-off.....

Put the whole magilla together... The silver colored oval that screws into the center of the gear and goes in & out only goes 1 way, the wider side slides in the slot of the plastic housing.. Hook up all relays. The Black plastic ones do not have to be grounded but the metal ones must be grounded,, the Ground lead that connects where the silver solenoid mounts must be connected.. bolt the motor housing assy to the metal top latching assembly.. The brass colored hook latch must be hooked to the silver latch that goes in & out.. Now For Electricity.. At this p[oint I always bench test the assembly.. I have a cheap lawn mower battery and I connect light ga. wires as feed.. The + pos. hot wire is always hot, that goes to the blue wire at the 3 wire main connector. This switch system is backwards The ground - Neg. is switched, not the + pos. if you ground the center connector the motor goes one way. if you ground the other contact the motor goes the other direction; but the + pos (blue wire) never changes and always has power.. Good Luck,, Lou

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As far as testing switches, remember that both top switches, the door lock switches and the single window switch all have the same part number. You can always use the tonneau switch to hook up to the top switch wires and see if you still have the same problem or if it goes away. Getting the switches out to have access to the wire connectors is the tricky part, plastic bezels can break quite easily.

David in Riverside

with no TC right now

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Hey David, you are absolutely correct as to the fragility of the old plastic, that's why I want him to bench test it before he does any of that. So far every time I have attempted to pull out a switch assembly the result was the old escusion is now held in place with double sided tape. crazy.gif Lou

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Ok... Put it all together , motor on the assembly, relays all plugged in, brass actuator arm hook on the silver oval which is driven by the motor. Took a couple of leads connected to a battery charger (12v 2amp, same thing I used to check motor previously)with the main plug from the switch unplugged, I held the positive to the blue lead on the 3 wire main connector... drum roll please touched the center connector.. nuthin' frown.gif (except the black relay 'clicks') touched the other connector and the motor runs (pushing the silver oval away from the motor assembly) Switched the black relay with the brand new relay I purchased...same thing. I then plugged in the main leads to the harness (so the switch is now connected) as soon as I plug it in, the relay 'clicks' but the 'TOP' button gets no response in either direction... frown.gif this post is getting really long... lol soooo... next step??

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Guest Joe F. O'Neill

I took the easy way out when one of mine failed - I just shipped it out to hemi Anderson and he rebuilt it for me. Just had to put it back in - works fine now.

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It sounds to me as tho it should work "OK".

When you test it, or when it is installed, the cycle must complete. The reversing switch will not complete the circuit, if it has not completed it's directional run..If any p[art of the assembly is out of sequence the assembly must be recycled. Do you have the Top opperation Booklet? (Part of the owners operating manual stuff) If you do it will describe how to cycle the system. Lou

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SUCCESS...I think..

I used the battery charger to complete the cycle in each direction.Then I tried to run thru the cycle with the switch.It seemed to work in one direction only, but I may not have completely cycled all the way thru. Then I used the switch to lock down the soft top. On the first try it seemed to attempt to lock the top then reversed itself and released the top.So i tried it again and it seems to have worked. It locked down the top so I could latch the front. And that's how I left it so I could work on cleaning the soft top. hopefully all is well now and I have an extra soft top pulldown motor and gear assembly smile.gif

p.s. Any advice on the best solution/cleaner to use on a soft top?

As always,

Thanks for the help,

Brian

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Hey Brian,

The one major thing you must keep in mind is:

These cars are 17 yrs. old, many of them have not been used much lately, and just like anything else that "hibernates" you have to "wake it up". Electrical contacts get a little coating that resists contact, that seems to clear up after a little use. Good Luck, Lou

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