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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

My 1998 Soft top gives a SID of "Check Soft Top", when I try to lower the roof. I have topped up oil, its ok. One thing I do notice is that when I release the locks, the roof lifts up, and to relock it I need to drag it down. It might mean the roof hasn't actually closed properly. I'm not sure what to look at next.
Any ideas? hope this is the correct forum:D
 

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You are. There are multiple top TSB's posted on Townsend Imports web page. Does your top go up and down and latch when you put it down? If so, the hesitation when putting it up may be a synchronization issue. Does it make any noise when the tonneau cover is raising?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi
No noises, no movement up or down, just bong and "check soft top".

Soft top is in raised position and locked, get correct sid "check top latches", if I then unlock the top latches, the roof pops up about an inch - (suggesting it might not have fully finished its closing cycle?), then if I try lowering it bongs, or if I try raising it bongs. The suggested reasons for Check Soft Top SID in the Saab Workshop Information System are -1. Something has obstructed Hydraulics - (?but no noise!), 2. Softtop has not locked at the front on both sides ( I just unlocked it?) 3. Fifth bow has not locked to the softtop cover(what does this mean?).

I know I probably have to get diagnostic codes from dealer, but before that pain I'm trying any other suggestions.
 

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This happened to me once. When I tried to open it said check top. I pushed up on the top and hit the button again and it opened right up, it just needed a little help. I put it down to the quirky nature of this car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanx, tried it - no joy, pehapsa little more detail -


I bought a Saab 9-3 1998 with a Soft Top I knew to be not working.
I have the WIS System and have investigated many posts on this and other sites. I have checked the fluid level and it is fine.
The symptoms are: Unlock top latches and try to raise or lower gives the SID message -"Check Soft Top"
With the roof locked and latched the "Check Soft Top" bongs about every 2 mins, (so I'm running it with the fuse pulled!)

The WIS details why this message might be thrown:
1) Something is obstucting the hydraulic operation of the softop
(I take it means like someone left a person sitting in rear seats who is now getting crushed!)
2) The softTop has not locked at the front on both sides
(See my comment below)
3) The fifth bow has not locked to the softtop cover.

I noticed also that when the front locks were released, the roof raised an inch or so, and it takes quite a bit of force to relock them, so its not in its "touching the frame lightly" position.
Could this indicate that the roof has not CLOSED properly, bringing point 3 into play?
So it would seem 2 or 3 would be the most likely, with 3 being my guess.
If this is so, what can I do now?
Cheers
Tom
 

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The front of the top, where it latches to the windshield frame, is the 1st bow. 5th bow is the one that latches to the tonneau cover in back.

I am unsure if the operation is exactly the same from separate years; but when I release the front latches (1st bow) to lower my top; it pops up slightly as well. This is due to the tension in the top onces fully closed, and is normal. When operating normally and you put the top back up; it drops and latches the tonneau, lowers the 5th bow and latches it to the tonneau, then "pushes" the 1st bow forward and onto the windshield frame so you can latch the front.

From your description it sounds to me like a synchronization issue where the top is not being pushed forward. The motor/Processor thinks the top movement is done, but it isn't fully in place yet.


Try taking a look here: http://www.thesaabsite.com/900new/NG900faqs.htm in the body section. As your's is a 98, it should mostly be applicable to you ;)

Good luck!
 

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i have seen "Check Soft Top" in certain obvious situations on the SID but now have a "SOFT TOP FAILURE" on my SID in another thread. Just stopping in to point out the difference in wording -- is there any Saab literature we know of that tells what failures makes the SID post these certain phrases -- if so it could help the diagnostics.
_______________________________

EDIT = above link helpful!! check the "Convertible Top Diagnosis PDF"

thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Workshop information system gives possible sid messages and reasons behind them, also the diagnostic codes for the Soft Top Controller STC

SID
"Soft Top Failure - The STC has detected a serious malfunction and will not allow operation. Can be used manually"

Diagnostic Trouble Codes
If you can get to read the codes, this will help pinpoint the problem
e.g. B1811 Softtop valve 1 no response.
there are a boat-load of them, about 40 in total, so I can't list them all here.

I have been looking for diagnostic OBDII (On Board Diagnostic II ) scanners on Ebay, there is a cheapo for £3, $6, but I can't find out if it will read the STC as well as the Engine Control Unit, might be worth a try if it tells you the trouble codes.
 

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tom charnley said:
The WIS details why this message might be thrown:
1) Something is obstucting the hydraulic operation of the softop
(I take it means like someone left a person sitting in rear seats who is now getting crushed!)
This can also mean something in the trunk is obstructing the top from closing properly.
 

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Could this be a problem with the microswitches located in the top of the windshield? They are operated by the posts on the first bow and close the switches when the latches are fastened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think so, because when I try to open the roof with the top locked I get the sid "Check Soft Top Latches", which I dont get when I unlock the roof and try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More info. I was trying to see if the soft top cover microswitches were functioning, so was trying to unlock the softtop cover. I was following the emergency clolse procedure to try and release it. I released pressure on the pump as per manual, then trying to stick wheel brace into slot in boot, couldn't find the hole!. After peeling back upholstery, the arm with the hole in was almost horizontal facing the back of the car!. Inserting a smaller tool I managed to get it back to vertical. On watching the connecting rod at the top rotate, I followed it up to the horizontal square bar at the top of the boot. There is a universal joint at the right hand end. Moving the inserted wheel brace turns the rod, but the joint stays still. I can see the rod rotating in the end of the joint, so there must be some sort of pin sheared. Could this be my problem?
 

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What you describe is probably also a problem but I don't think it is your only problem. I suspect you have a problem with a microswitch and the top controller doesn't know where the top is so it won't do anything. Get someone to help you by sitting in the driver seat and pressing the top down button while you put some pressure on the left and right side of the tonneau cover to see if that trips the switches. Also make sure the bag in the trunk is fully flat (the pullups have to be released) and jiggle it around to make see if one of those switches is flakey.

If the switches are all working I would expect the hydraulic motor to run for a couple of seconds when you try to operate the top even if the top itself doesn't move.

Also the top material shrinks over time so the top doesn't drop down as close to the front latch on its own. You have to give a little extra tug. This is pretty much to be expected as they age and not a problem until it gets bad enough that you can't pull it down easily.


Steve B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Problem Solved

After taking car to dealers, tech2 confirmed drive pins were sheared. Replaced for $48 parts and an hours labour at $200. Fault code cleared and roof working fine. So although I correctly got to the root of the problem, (the sheared drive pin), without the tech gear I could not have read or cleared the fault code. Thanks for help and suggestions!
Tom
 

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soft top failure Saab 9.3 2001

Soft top stops half way down when top is closing. There is a noise like a motor or bear not meshing on the driver side trunk area. Pleas help
 
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