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2005 convertible top problem

 
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Old 06 Apr 2012, 11:30 pm
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Default 2005 convertible top problem

This is my first time on a site like this, but everyone I've talked to, says, it's the way to go if you have car problems that you want to try and fix yourself. My wife has a 2005 convertible PT, and in the 4 years we've owned it, drives 90% of the time with the top down, here in sunny FL. A week ago, she notice the top was a bit sluggish in both directions. Well now, it doesn't move at all. When you hit the button, you can hear the motor running, however, no movement. Any suggestions...thanks
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Old 13 Apr 2012, 04:55 am
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 97
Default Re: 2005 convertible top problem

I will make a response to your question, as nobody else here has a comment. There doesnít seem to be any history of top motor problems. Eventually this will probably change. I have not had any problems of this sort and do not have a service manual; the ones that are available are for pre-05 models it seems. I have had to work on other convertible hydraulic systems, so I can make a few general statements that may start some discussion. Most of what could be causing your problem will be something you can probably not fix for yourself.

As a generalization, If the motor runs and the top doesnít move, you have a hydraulic problem. Every convertible top mechanism I have seen that was not 100% electric consisted of a pair of double acting cylinders, one on each side of the rear seat, a pump unit, and a few plastic tubes. Some but not all cars have had a valve that can be opened to bypass the pump which will allow manual top operation. The PT convertible has such a valve which is operated from inside the trunk. When the pump runs normally, the oil on the top (or bottom) of each cylinder is moved to the opposite side of each cylinder. This flow path eliminates the need for a large oil tank, as the oil is just shuffled around in place. If you can easily lift and lower the top by hand using one person on each side, The oil is bypassing somehow, Iíve had other convertibles in the past where the top could be moved slowly and steadily by hand, and had ones where it could be done, but would take five minutes to do so, as the oil had to slowly push past the seals to do the lifting. Both these cases had normal motor operation. If you can just whip the top up and down like itís a manual top, then there is excessive hydraulic bypassing going on, or the system is very low on oil. (And where did it all go?) Slow, jerky motor operation is also a low fluid problem.

I would first locate the top bypass valve control which is shown in your ownerís manual. If the bypass valve has moved from the close position, which is fully clockwise looking up, it will allow the oil to move around instead of forcing it to work the cylinders. If that isnít the problem, I would next expect it to be a low fluid level. If the fluid is low, itís probably because of a leak which would lead to seeing oil residue down on the sides or possibly dripping into the trunk from the area above the trunk.

Getting to the pump unit on a PT is an area that has not been discussed here yet. The pump is on the lid over the trunk, but is under what I would call a package shelf. The cover over the pump will be delicate and will need to be removed for any further investigation. It will most likely be serviced best with the top up and possibly with the non moveable section of the rear seat removed. There will be some snap clips and possibly some screws required to be removed. If anybody has an 05 or later shop manual at home, they can chip in here at any time.

The method of filling the hydraulic system as a general rule is to pry a small rubber plug out of the top of the pump. I would use a toothpick or lollipop stick as a temporary dipstick to get an idea of where the standing level would be initially. You add auto transmission fluid using a turkey baster of some sort of squeeze bottle. You will have to cycle the top up and down a few times after it's back together to get the air all out of the system followed by adding more oil until it all works. If the reservoir is full, then the pump has probably failed or possibly, is sucking in air from a loose fitting.

If the system is bypassing oil, it could be going though a manual bypass valve that has become open, or through a burned out pump or through a hydraulic cylinder that has a bad piston seal leak. The cylinders are normally not a problem, and normally will not fail in pairs, so If one hydraulic cylinder moves and the other one lags behind, then that cylinder is bad.

If you have to replace the hydraulic pump or other components, you will need to break the hydraulic fittings. I havenít done this sort of work, but they are probably swage type joints that can be loosened and retightened. If not, you will have to piece the system back together using tubing fittings from an automotive store or Chrysler dealer. After system is reassembled, refill and purge air as described above.

I would just take my time and go slow and be careful handling the hydraulic tubes, they are probably delicate.
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Old 16 Apr 2012, 09:55 am
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Default Re: 2005 convertible top problem

Thank you very much for taking the time to explain in such great detail. I'll take your advise and go slow.
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Old 28 May 2012, 07:57 pm
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Default Re: 2005 convertible top problem

I am having a similar problem with my 2005 however my motor sounds as though it is dying then the top wont go up. i think i need to replace the motor for the convertible to but i cant find where it is located.
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Old 29 May 2012, 06:35 pm
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Default Re: 2005 convertible top problem

well I think i have same trouble but .. i speak french and the google translator d'ont translate some of your word.
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Old 29 May 2012, 06:40 pm
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Default Re: 2005 convertible top problem

in the car behind, panel,.. where the top going when is closed,... remove the felt
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Old 15 Jul 2014, 08:03 pm
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Default Re: 2005 convertible top problem

Does anyone have the instructions for disasemble the hydraulic cilinders from the top.
I just refilled the motor but the cilinders are leaking.
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Old 16 Jul 2014, 06:46 am
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default Re: 2005 convertible top problem

We haven't seen this here a lot yet, but the hydraulic system is sourced from Mercedes and not serviced by Chrysler in any useful way. The cylinders can possibly be reworked by a local hydraulic cylinder vendor if you have one, but the two best options are to get a complete hydraulic system from a junkyard PT, or to deal with a German top specialist. One post in the past claimed success for $150 a cylinder with an unnamed company in Florida. (Probably top hydraulics inc.com which advertises that price). cabriolet hydraulics.com also advertises rebuilt cylinders for the PT, no price listed. Both these companys specialize in German convertible parts which is what you want and both claim better than new performance and work on an exchange or rebuild your own basis. The rebuilt option is the one I will pursue when the time comes.
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Old 16 Jul 2014, 06:53 pm
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Lightbulb Re: 2005 convertible top problem

This may be just another option,this company advertises 'Convertible Top Motor Pump Rebuild/Repair Service' for $149.95(It does require sending your pump in,though.)2004-ON Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible Tops and Convertible Top Parts
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