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Discussion Starter #21
Nice video. Glad you were able to get in there. Once it is in better shape you will notice there is a max fill marker on the reservoir to check you have the right amount.

As the pump is running I would guess at one of two problems:-
1) The leak could be so bad that the pump cannot build pressure. Normally you would be able to see the excess fluid somewhere. Also the pump usually makes a descending tone to my ears when it starts to build pressure and I seem to recall the tone stayed the same when I had a bad leak
2) Perhaps more likely you have a sensor / wiring issue. Check the wiring round the hinges as it becomes a weak point over time. Also check the micro switches (I had one of the metal bars come off - found it in the trunk and was able to re-attach it).

If you know someone with an advanced scan tool there are convertible top diagnostics that will show what the control module is sensing

Hope you get it sorted.
 

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Well... I got the pump filled. And... as boomer said, I donated some skin to the project. Unfortunately, the top hasn't moved.

I did make a video and posted it on YouTube for anyone else that needs to fill the pump with the top down. Here's the link:

After you watch the video (not too much giggling please), I would appreciate any ideas on what my next step should be. That is... next step besides the Margarita.
We may be in a similar situation, but, you are much wiser to go for the Margarita!!! Since it's a closed system, you shouldn't have been low on hydraulic fluid unless there's a leak somewhere. Did you check all the rams for leaks along with the pump itself? My RH ram was leaking and I replaced it yesterday. Hint, after removing the seat belt trim piece, lower the top enough so the front of the ram is accessible to remove the "S" clip and pull the pin out. I replaced the ram (the sliding clip that holds the hydraulic line in place on the ram is also a Pain in the A$$ to open). I (manually) let the top drop down into the trunk to complete the ram replacement, not before filling the pump reservoir with fluid and jumpering the cargo connector switch.

Now, thinking I'm done, the top and pump won't start the cycle at all...still get "top not secure" message. With the assistance of a helper (my wife), I lifted, out of the trunk, the top in hopes of automatically or manually closing, but, even with using the hex, I can't seem to get it to close all the way. Checked the fuse...OK. Disconnected the (neg) battery. Ummm...Margarita time!!!

I've attached the following pictures:
1) Top held in the "service position" with rope.
2) Pump with cargo connector jumpered so the trim piece and cargo top does not have to be in place while performing the repair.

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Thanks, Boomer. I know I have a leak. I saw the fluid coming from the right "main" lift area. I was moving the top up and down to see if it was a hose or the hydraulic ram itself. I couldn't be sure, but it looks like the ram. For sure, I could see the fluid coming from underneath the ram and running down into the trunk.

Yes, the pump always ran a little and as pressure built, I could hear it change tone (pitch). When it changed tone, depending on direction, things would "unlock" and something would start to move.

Now the pump just runs at the same pitch. As I mentioned (in the video) the pump ran for about 5 seconds and then quit. If I wait about 10 seconds, I can repeat... the pump runs for about 5 seconds again.

I'll post more when I figure it out.
 

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2) Pump with cargo connector jumpered so the trim piece and cargo top does not have to be in place while performing the repair.
I think there's a hint for me in there somewhere. Please explain your #2. Is the "cargo top" the cover that pulls out over the spare tire area and covers everything up? Also... which "trim piece."

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Update: I went out this afternoon to see if I could find out anything. I tried to close the top. This time, the pump changed tone (as if building pressure) and it sounded like something unlatched. But that was as far as I could get. I was able to "open" and it seemed to latch and I got a complete message. I did this a couple of times. Then I checked by the ram again and could see fluid running down near there. I checked all the other rams I could get to. Only the passenger side area is leaking. I still can't tell if it is a hose or the ram itself.

When I checked the fluid reservoir again I could no longer see any fluid. I know I overfilled it because the level was up close to the "cap." Now, I can't see any level. My next step is to order another hydraulic ram. I have to decide... ebay or Top Hydraulics.

Any hints on changing it with the top all the way down?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Truth is you will likely need to change both if my experience is anything to go by. Having one leak and go weak is likely putting strain on the other and it will probably fail. You may be lucky, I was not.

2) Pump with cargo connector jumpered so the trim piece and cargo top does not have to be in place while performing the repair.
If you can get the top out of the trunk you will be able to remove the trim you were moving to get to the pump. There are two connectors you will need to disconnect, one for the light and the other for the switch that senses the cargo top is in place (the pull out cover you mention). In order to be able to run the pump you will need something like a paper clip to bridge the two pins of the connector you remove from the switch (not the lamp!). I would always add a note that you are defeating a safety control whilst you do this so you need to be careful not to leave objects in the trunk that could damage the top.
 

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Truth is you will likely need to change both if my experience is anything to go by. Having one leak and go weak is likely putting strain on the other and it will probably fail. You may be lucky, I was not.


If you can get the top out of the trunk you will be able to remove the trim you were moving to get to the pump. There are two connectors you will need to disconnect, one for the light and the other for the switch that senses the cargo top is in place (the pull out cover you mention). In order to be able to run the pump you will need something like a paper clip to bridge the two pins of the connector you remove from the switch (not the lamp!). I would always add a note that you are defeating a safety control whilst you do this so you need to be careful not to leave objects in the trunk that could damage the top.
Boomer...spot on. RDennard, if you can lift the top out of the trunk (maybe with the assistance of your wife...still not telling her about using the funnel), you can easily remove the trim piece that you pulled away previously to get to the pump and reservoir. When removing this trim piece, you'll have to disconnect the light connector and the cargo top sensor connector. I jumpered the cargo top sensor connector with a short piece of wire. The cargo top IS the vinyl cover that pulls closed/open over the spare tire area.

You may find it easier to replace the main ram with the top in the "service" position...keeping in mind my hint for accessability to the front of the ram.

DISCLAIMER: I don't recommend using a piece of rope, although it worked OK for me, the top is heavy for one person to manipulate or lift and it is very easy for your fingers, hand, or arm to get in between the mechanicals.

FWIW, I purchased (2) used rams on ebay because I didn't want to remove, pack & ship, wait, replace...and I wanted an extra just in case I need to have rebuilt at a later time from Top Hydraulic.
 

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Ok... any hints on getting the top up. The trunk lid is there and seems to be latched. When I try to make it move it is rock solid. When I ran the pump and it sounded like it "unlatched" I still couldn't even make it wiggle. So, is there a trick to "unlatching" the trunk lid? Or... will I have to unbolt it to get it out of the way?

By the way, I already ordered "Folding Top Restraining Strap" from Ebay.
 

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Ok... any hints on getting the top up. The trunk lid is there and seems to be latched. When I try to make it move it is rock solid. When I ran the pump and it sounded like it "unlatched" I still couldn't even make it wiggle. So, is there a trick to "unlatching" the trunk lid? Or... will I have to unbolt it to get it out of the way?

By the way, I already ordered "Folding Top Restraining Strap" from Ebay.
Looking at your video, it seems your trunk lid is in the closed position and the top is in the trunk. If that's correct, and if there's enough fluid in the pump, you may be able to push the convertible top button to initiate the "close". You only need to have the trunk unlatch as if it's going to open to raise the top. You then can manually, slowly (since the trunk hydraulic ram has pressure), open the trunk to gain access and lift the top up and out.

RECOMMENDATION: While troubleshooting and/or repairing the convertible top, if the trunk can still be opened as if to gain access to the cargo area (not reverse as if to open/close the top), I suggest attaching a wire (that's what I did) or rope to the manual trunk release and keeping it outside the trunk, just in case you close the trunk and have to manually open it (pictures attached).
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Update: 21 Apr
First... it's Margarita time. It really is 5 O'clock here. And this Margarita is something of a celebration.
1. At first, I couldn't get the trunk to unlatch. I kept filling the pump (the hard way) and then trying to "close" the top. The trunk wouldn't move. The latches wouldn't release. Then I had my wife help. She pushed the button while I wiggled the trunk lid. I kept refilling the pump in between pushes.
2. In all this, I did confirm the right side "main top" hydraulic ram is leaking. More on this in a minute.
3. Finally, after umpteen attempts to get the trunk to unlatch, the driver's side unlatched. Umpteen more attempts but the passenger side wouldn't completely unlatch. After inspecting the unlatched side I realized the passenger side was about 3/4 unlatched... at least enough so I could feel a little gap in the hook that holds everything. I bent a screwdriver so I could get it into the gap and levered it the rest of the way. YAAYYYYYYYYY. I was able to slowly lift the lid to the fully open position.
4. I removed the trim panel covering the pump and filled the reservoir to the brim. I know... that's overfilled, but I didn't want to run out of juice if I could get the top moving. I have the backseat removed, so I climbed into the back and again with the help of my wife running the "close" switch, I was able to get the top up and out of the trunk. I almost ran into the house right then to pour a Margarita.
5. I closed the top, and the trunk lid most of the way but did not get it all latched because I want to be able to open everything manually.

Then I ran into the house and poured three Margaritas... one for my wife and two for me.

Now about that hydraulic ram:
The way I confirmed the leak was every time I let go of the "close" switch, I could hear the "burping & gurgling." While the top was still latched and my wife operating the switch, I was able to hear and then see where the gurgling was coming from. Indeed, it is the right main hydraulic ram. It's coming from a bizarre place... the aft mounting hole of the ram. I could see the fluid bubbling out of the ram.

JLondon: All your info was spot on. I especially like tying a cable to the manual trunk release. With the rear seat removed, I think I will figure a permanent way t do something like that.

Now, all I have to do is wait for the parts and "Folding top restraining strap" to get here... and to drink the second Margarita.
 

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Boomer, really good write-up and pictures. Looks like my passenger main is leaking. Is it even possible to remove the cylinder without putting the top in the service position? I have small hands, but, doesn't look like I can get to the front pin, clip or set screw otherwise. Do you know if I manually put the top in the service position, then remove the cylinders, can I then get the top back to the closed and locked position so I can drive the car while waiting for Top Hydraulics to rebuild? Will the trunk open/close with the remote or door switch...maybe if I pull fuse #12 (conv top)? Just trying to figure out the easiest and quickest method to replace the 2 main cylinders. Thanx again for sharing.
JLondon, I just removed the passenger side longer cylinder with out raising the top. I removed the trunk carpet across the back seat, the plastic trim from the passenger side of the trunk, the rear seat and the plastic trim panels passenger rear seat side except for the top trim that wont come out with out the top open. I disconnected the rear pin holding the cylinder. I removed the front cylinder pin by accessing from the back seat removing the pins retaining clip then pushing the pin towards the out side, using needle nose pliers I grabbed the pin just under its head and worked it out while using a large screwdriver to push the plastic trim out of the way. I've sent the cylinder out for rebuild so not tried to install yet, the front pin might take a few min to get in due to the plastic trim needing to be pried away but I don't think it will be a big deal. Drivers side looks like it has more room to work on it. I really don't see that the top would have to be put into service position to replace any of the cylinders how ever it would probably make it easier.
 

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I just received (2) rams from eBay on Friday and am planning on replacing today. My top is closed, I have already removed the passenger side trunk trim panel where the pump is mounted. Will jumper the cargo cover proximity switch connector and fill the pump reservoir in the hope that the rams have enough pressure to open the top and trunk without having to manually open to gain access to the front "S" clip and pin of the ram. Will try to take some pictures along the way.
You can change out the cylinder with the top up if you have access from the trunk and remove the back seat and side trim. Getting the front cylinder pin out is a little tricky due to the top side plastic trim that wont come out with the top up, but with a large screwdriver to push the plastic back and a pair of needle nose pliers you can get that front pin out thru the back seat access.
 

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Update: 21 Apr
First... it's Margarita time. It really is 5 O'clock here. And this Margarita is something of a celebration.
1. At first, I couldn't get the trunk to unlatch. I kept filling the pump (the hard way) and then trying to "close" the top. The trunk wouldn't move. The latches wouldn't release. Then I had my wife help. She pushed the button while I wiggled the trunk lid. I kept refilling the pump in between pushes.
2. In all this, I did confirm the right side "main top" hydraulic ram is leaking. More on this in a minute.
3. Finally, after umpteen attempts to get the trunk to unlatch, the driver's side unlatched. Umpteen more attempts but the passenger side wouldn't completely unlatch. After inspecting the unlatched side I realized the passenger side was about 3/4 unlatched... at least enough so I could feel a little gap in the hook that holds everything. I bent a screwdriver so I could get it into the gap and levered it the rest of the way. YAAYYYYYYYYY. I was able to slowly lift the lid to the fully open position.
4. I removed the trim panel covering the pump and filled the reservoir to the brim. I know... that's overfilled, but I didn't want to run out of juice if I could get the top moving. I have the backseat removed, so I climbed into the back and again with the help of my wife running the "close" switch, I was able to get the top up and out of the trunk. I almost ran into the house right then to pour a Margarita.
5. I closed the top, and the trunk lid most of the way but did not get it all latched because I want to be able to open everything manually.

Then I ran into the house and poured three Margaritas... one for my wife and two for me.

Now about that hydraulic ram:
The way I confirmed the leak was every time I let go of the "close" switch, I could hear the "burping & gurgling." While the top was still latched and my wife operating the switch, I was able to hear and then see where the gurgling was coming from. Indeed, it is the right main hydraulic ram. It's coming from a bizarre place... the aft mounting hole of the ram. I could see the fluid bubbling out of the ram.

JLondon: All your info was spot on. I especially like tying a cable to the manual trunk release. With the rear seat removed, I think I will figure a permanent way t do something like that.

Now, all I have to do is wait for the parts and "Folding top restraining strap" to get here... and to drink the second Margarita.
I tied a cord to the manual trunk release and ran it between the trunk lid and the lid liner all the way to the front side of the trunk lid. Now if the trunk release dose not work I can get to it even if the top was stowed in the trunk. Also I was able to remove the passenger side main cylinder with the top in the up position working from the trunk and with the rear seat removed.
 

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UPDATE: I replaced the leaking ram with one I purchased on ebay, to only find out that the replacement leaked worse than the original...ugh. Bit the bullet and sent the original to Top Hydraulics for a rebuild. Top Hydraulics was excellent. They turned it around the same day (Tues) they received it, and I received it back on Thurs, installed on Friday, and all seems to be working again...Yay!! (y):cool:
 

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UPDATE: I replaced the leaking ram with one I purchased on ebay, to only find out that the replacement leaked worse than the original...ugh. Bit the bullet and sent the original to Top Hydraulics for a rebuild. Top Hydraulics was excellent. They turned it around the same day (Tues) they received it, and I received it back on Thurs, installed on Friday, and all seems to be working again...Yay!! (y):cool:
Bummer on the Ebay cylinders. From what I've read failures are related more to age then use. My 2006 G6 only has 20k and the passenger side hydrophilic ram blew out while roof was stowed in trunk, the trunk would not unlatch for reverse open, ended up taking to dealer to have them put the top up so I could service it....$975!. So with that in mind all of the used G6 cylinders out there that have not been rebuilt would be subject to age deterioration. After hearing about TOP HYDRAULICS on this site I chose to order both the main Right and Left cylinders from them. Had them in 2 days after ordering, pulled the stock cylinders out, installed the rebuilt's and am shipping the cores back for core refund. My hydraulics showed no signs of leakage prior to failure, I had inspected them carefully less than 60 days prior. Hindsight, I wish I had removed them and sent out to be rebuilt as a service maintenance item prior to failure, would have saved $1100 !
 

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....After hearing about TOP HYDRAULICS on this site I chose to order both the main Right and Left cylinders from them. Had them in 2 days after ordering, pulled the stock cylinders out, installed the rebuilt's and am shipping the cores back for core refund...
Good to know that Top Hydraulics will do a core exchange for the G6. Their web site says core exchange is "Not Available" for the G6...that's why I decided on a used one from ebay first. I really didn't want to remove the ram without being able to replace during the same repair session. As it turned out, I would've saved some aggravation if I just pulled it and sent it to them immediately.

Really stinks about having to take it to the dealer to lift the top. I suppose I was lucky enough to get the top to unlatch. I then could open the trunk lid and have my trusty assistant (my wife) help lift the top (too bulky and heavy for one person) out of the trunk...I could then secure it in the "service position" to work on removal and replacement of the ram.
 

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The dealer charged you $975 to put the top up? What exactly did they do for that?
Yah I Know $975 right, seems excessive. The top was locked down in the trunk, trunk would not reverse unlatch but it would open from the bumper end. I think they removed the trunk lid, and manually raised the top...then filled the pump reservoir. It took them a few days to get a mechanic that was familiar with these tops. Once the top was up I could see how to get to the passenger lift cyl and I could see it was leaking very bad, the seal had blown out. GM should have designed the interior rear side top panels to come out when the top was stowed, that way I think the cyl's could be replaced while the trunk lid is locked down. All working well now, in fact the car is now quieter when driving over RR tracks.
 

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I'm having issues with my top as well, if any one has pictures of their journey of fixing their top I would appreciate it. Unfortunately, I am a visual person so I have to see a picture along with the instructions. Don't get me wrong, I do comprehend while reading, but if pictures are available that would help me out even more.
 

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Uchavez, there is no one thing we can call "fixing their top". There are many different things that can, and do, go wrong with the tops. Each problem has its own solution. It would be impossible to post one procedure that solves all the problems. You should start your own thread, describe the problem(s) in as much detail as you can and hopefully we can all help you fix it.
 
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