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How-to Replace PT Cruiser Convertible Top Motor

 
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Old 24 Apr 2016, 04:58 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Default How-to Replace PT Cruiser Convertible Top Motor

This is a how-to for replacing the convertible pump motor and cylinders. My wife’s PT top would go down very slowly and whine but not raise up at all. There is a lack of specific info on how to accomplish replacing the unit, so I assembled info from various sources and muddled through the job. It took me the better part of a weekend. Hopefully what I learned will help someone.

I recommend replacing the pump, cylinders, hoses and relay as a unit, as Chrysler recommends. You can send the cylinders or the pump out to be rebuilt, but I think breaking apart the system and dealing with adding fluid adds an unneeded layer of complexity. I purchased a used unit off eBay for $450 with a one year warranty. I’ve seen a new one from Chrysler go for over $2,000, ouch!

I don’t have pictures, but hopefully my description and the pictures and sketches available on this site and elsewhere will suffice, so here goes:

Tools needed:
10 and 13 mm sockets, 13/16 socket, (a spark plug socket will do), Torx 50 socket, 5mm allen socket or wrench, a small pry bar or tack puller, a rubber mallet, wire cutters and splice connectors, and a right angle phillips screwdriver.

The top must be raised, windows lowered if you’re indoors, disconnect the negative battery wire, and slide the front seats all the way forward. Empty the trunk. Remove four plastic covers for the seat floor latches by spreading them apart and pulling forward. Push forward the two rear seat back sections by pulling the strap from the trunk. Pull up on the seat’s strap and tumble the seat forward. Remove the 13mm bolts holding the web straps from the seats on the trunk wall. Pivot the seat as far as it will go and lift straight up to remove.

Lift up to remove the carpet in the rear window well. It is tucked under around the edges and velcroed to the roof. Lift off the foam cover to reveal the pump.

Now we have to remove the side trim panels, a multistep process. Start with the roll bar trim. Pull down, (it will take some force), the center section enough to pull out the two dome light bulbs and the connector. Flip up the plastic covers and unbolt the upper front seat belt mounting bolts, (T50 Torx). Now we can unsnap the two side roll bar trim pieces.

Remove the two bottom front seat belt anchors, (T50), and the bottom rear seat belt anchors, (13/16 socket). Remove the rear headrest, two bolts in front, two in back, all 13mm. I just move it out of the way so I don’t have to fish the seat belt out. Pull off the plastic covers under the front seat tracks and lift up the door sills. They just unsnap, but it may take a prybar for persuasion.

Hooray, now we can finally remove the side panels! They are held on with three push pins on the trunk divider, one very small, hard to see pin through the rubber door gaskets near the roll bar, (use a tack puller or screwdriver) and the metal snap at the rear window, (phillips). Pull off starting in the front. Unsnap the belt trim from the panel and snake the belt through. It may take a yank or twist, but it should come off.

In the back corners are the seat brackets. Mark their location with masking tape. They have two nuts on the side and three bolts on the back. Actually two bolts remain as one was removed earlier for the seat strap. Remove all fasteners, 13mm.

Now we can remove the pump/cylinder assembly. Start with the pump in the rear window well, two nuts, 10mm. Use the tack puller to unsnap the cable/hose clips, three per side. Unplug the main harness connector, I get that pain in the neck red slide lock off and leave it off. There is one more two wire cable to the rear defogger. If that cable is included in your new assembly you can fish it around the back window and connect the two plugs. I chose to cut it, (don’t leave it too short!), and splice to the corresponding wires on the new unit. Match the wires for polarity! The harness plug needs to be gently pried off its snap.

The cylinders are on the side walls, held by 5mm allen bolts. There are 4 bushings in each cylinder, keep track of them. Once those are removed the whole assembly can be lifted out.

Follow the steps in reverse for the install, with a few comments. Once the pump assembly is installed, drop in the foam cover over the pump and temporarily reconnect the battery. Make sure the top works and the windows roll down if they are up. Make sure the seat brackets line up with the tape marked location before final tightening. Use the rubber mallet for the push pins and to install the door sills and roll bar trim. Reassembly took me half the time of dismantling.

Good luck!!

Last edited by thefaf; 24 Apr 2016 at 05:05 pm. Reason: added more info
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Old 26 Apr 2016, 07:21 am
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Danville, PA
Posts: 121
Default Re: How-to Replace PT Cruiser Convertible Top Motor

Thank you for this. This is an area where there has not been a lot of firsthand discussion up until now.
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