How To replace the convertible top hydraulic ram - Pontiac G6 Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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How To replace the convertible top hydraulic ram

My convertible top developed a leak in the drivers side hydraulic ram that physically moves the top. Thanks to a post by @zenish I found the joys of Pick Your Part and found a convertible about an hours drive from me. Having no idea if any parts were left I was pleased to find a number of the rams were still in the junked car, including the much needed replacement. Returning home I used some of what I learnt removing the parts to replace the leaking unit.

First I removed the trim covering the hydraulic pump so I had easy access and used a paperclip to short the pins in the sensor for the trunk cover. I topped off the hydraulic fluid with Pentosin CHF 11S (Available at AutoZone). I still had enough functionality to get the trunk to reverse cam to give me easier access to the rear of the rams that move the top. If you have limited functionality you may need to remove the hex grub screw that holds the rear hinge pin in place. With the assistance of 2 helpers, one to press the button and two of us to support and move the top I lowered the top so I could easily remove the drivers side rear trim that covers the drivers seat belt to the runner split that allows the top hinge to move. This gives you access to the front of the ram. At this point I returned the top to the closed position whilst leaving the reverse cam trunk open. Removing the rear hinge pin is now quite easy. There is s spring clip that secures the hinge pin at the front of the ram, it is a bit fiddly but I managed to get it off. Reaching from the rear of the roof along the side of the ram I was able to reach in and remove the front hinge pin. The hydraulic ram can now be removed into the trunk being careful of the hydraulic lines. The lines have a zip tie that needs to be removed and sliding retention clips than needs to be slid clear to remove the lines. Mine pulled out easily once the clips were fully clear.

Replacing the salvaged ram was a reverse of the above. I added a little white lithium grease to the pins and re-zip tied the hydraulic line. Loosened the relief valve on the hydraulic pump (no idea if this was needed but felt it might help if I had to extend or retract the ram to make it fit - was not a problem in the end). Once the hydraulic ram, pins, spring clip and grub screws were all in place I started to manoeuvre the top. It only wanted to go in the closed direction at first and took several attempts to pump fluid before anything happened (I also forgot to close the relief valve for the first few attempts, so don't forget this). After that everything returned to normal. Just had to top of the fluid again to cover for the original leak and fill the salvaged ram.

Hope none of you need to do this, but if you do I hope it helps. It sure is nice to have the top down again and know it will go back up!
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Last edited by boomer; 05-22-2018 at 04:24 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 09:56 PM
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Pentosin 11S...we use that in the shop for the older Jaguar tops.
Thanks for posting this.
Hydraulic problems seem few and far between in these cars, but I am glad you did the walk through and photos in case anyone needs to do this In the future.
I love my top, and use it nearly everyday.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2018, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
Pentosin 11S...we use that in the shop for the older Jaguar tops.
Thanks for posting this.
Hydraulic problems seem few and far between in these cars, but I am glad you did the walk through and photos in case anyone needs to do this In the future.
I love my top, and use it nearly everyday.


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And so of courses few days after I post this, deck lid latches release at front, roof latches release, and......whiirrrrrrr......deck lid doesn't reverse open.
Damn.
I did get a few open and closes after that, but now more no more deck lids opening.
No obvious leaks, fluid level good.
I am going to see if I can hunt a Tech 2 to check DTCs.
I am guessing either that deck lid reverse ram is bad, or I don't know. Kinda bummed.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2018, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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When the drivers side roof hydraulic ram failed it was a rapid and clear leak. Green fluid dripping rapidly from the ram onto the plastic side of the trunk. The pump still made the correct noises and I was able to get the reverse clam to activate after several attempts. The roof would not move but the trunk was weak but functional. Whilst the drivers side was busy failing I guess additional load was placed on the passenger side and this failed in a spectacular display of car arterial spatter that would have made Dexter proud. With the passenger side failed all I got was the whirring sound. No descending tone on the pump as it built pressure. Fortunately I could still open the trunk the normal way with the release. With the drivers side failure there was a visible drop in the fluid level on each action as it was clearly flowing out of the hydraulic ram. When the passenger side failed there was no fluid loss with the whirring. My thinking was that the leak was so significant that the pump could not build pressure. Not sure if that makes sense or helps in any way. My commiserations and hope you get it sorted.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
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And so of courses few days after I post this, deck lid latches release at front, roof latches release, and......whiirrrrrrr......deck lid doesn't reverse open.
Damn.
I did get a few open and closes after that, but now more no more deck lids opening.
No obvious leaks, fluid level good.
I am going to see if I can hunt a Tech 2 to check DTCs.
I am guessing either that deck lid reverse ram is bad, or I don't know. Kinda bummed.


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Mine is doing the same thing. Let us know what you find out.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 08:14 PM
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i would have loved to buy that car for parts but pull a part said no.im glad you were able to find the parts you needed.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 10:45 PM
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I am going to post this properly this weekend when I repair properly.
I borrowed a scanner, found error with lf deck latch.
Examined latch, no issues, examined wiring, found 3 of 4 wires to sensors/switches on poor condition.
Did a temporary repair until I get time to do it right.




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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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...So having had 4 of the main hydraulic lift cylinders fail, I have sent two off to Top Hydraulics for new seals etc. Hopefully installing two repaired units at the same time will give me a better chance of longer term success. Once I get them back I'll let you know...
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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The repaired cylinders have been home for a while, waiting for a weekend to fit them. Top Hydraulics turned them round the day after they received them. Visible signs of the repair include a green seal where the front cover meets the piston and a new rear cover that is flat rather then the "twin dimples" of the factory unit. They also came with 3 O-Rings for the hoses (2 and a spare). They are installed and are working well.
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