'03 Convertible top stuck

Eilermoon

Member
Dec 18, 2019
15
1
13
24
Chicago, IL
'03 GT Convertible! My top has been really sluggish lately and just today stopped working at all-no sound coming from it, no movement when pushing the button to go back up (Yeah, it's stuck down right now). I imagine this may be due to the common issue of being low on hydraulic fluid, I filled this up due to a very slow top when I first bought it back in June of '19. My question is more if this is the issue, does that mean there is a leak somewhere? Should I be replacing parts of the hydraulic system so I don't have to deal with this again in just 6 more months?
 
  • Sponsors(?)


wmburns

SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
5,811
499
164
Houston Texas
just today stopped working at all-no sound coming
Just wondering. How do you know your problem isn't electrical in nature? It seems to me that IF the only thing wrong was low on fluid that you would still hear the motor run.

There are raise and lower relays under the rear back seat cover.
 

Eilermoon

Member
Dec 18, 2019
15
1
13
24
Chicago, IL
Just wondering. How do you know your problem isn't electrical in nature? It seems to me that IF the only thing wrong was low on fluid that you would still hear the motor run.

There are raise and lower relays under the rear back seat cover.
Yeah I've had this thought as well, I'm not sure as I haven't looked at it yet. Do you have any more info on these relays? I've spent a good amount of time under and behind those back seats but am not sure where those are.
 

Eilermoon

Member
Dec 18, 2019
15
1
13
24
Chicago, IL
My side lifter went bad. After it was replaced, the top raised and lowered normally.
I don’t remember if the top made noises when I tried to operate the top.
The main motor could be bad.
My car is nearly 20 years old. Looks like a pretty straight forward job to replace.
I imagine it's rare for both sides to go at the same time though? Neither side budged or made noise. In the meantime, does anyone know if one is able to manually pull the top back up without damaging anything?
 

Eilermoon

Member
Dec 18, 2019
15
1
13
24
Chicago, IL
Quick update: got the top up the other day manually, just had to push the button to go up while pulling up the top, otherwise it would lock.

That being said, the motor does whine when pushing the button still, I must not have heard it before as it's relatively quiet and I could only hear it in my garage yesterday as opposed to outside. So I can likely rule out electrical problems.

Still guessing it's just very low on fluid. I should get a chance to work on her this weekend, I'll update then.
 

Brian 01 Cobra vert

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
7
0
1
California
Only one of my side RAMS failed and the top was stuck open until it was replaced under warranty. It smelled like WD40. I once tried to pull up on the top to close it unsuccessfully. It’s an awkward angle, standing on the backseat. Two or three people might be able to carefully lift it to close it.
 

Eilermoon

Member
Dec 18, 2019
15
1
13
24
Chicago, IL
So I was able to get into it this yesterday and filled up the hydraulic rervoir, worked fine after that. But I decided to look for a leak around the whole hydraulic system.

Specifically, one of the hydraulic cylinders was leaking from the seal between the extension rod and the exterior cylinder. The top also will not hold itself halfway up, but will slowly fall down as if the hydraulics lose pressure.

Is there a way to fix this cylinder? Maybe replace an O-ring? Or is the fix simply to replace the cylinder?
 

Franklino

New Member
May 3, 2020
3
0
1
58
Austin TX
Hey all. I am brand new to StangNet, just got an 04 GT Conv, nice, <50K miles.... Same problem, stupid question: Where is the hydraulic reservoir, and what do I fill it with? My conv top quit closing too. Thanks very much for any help.
 

Franklino

New Member
May 3, 2020
3
0
1
58
Austin TX
Oh super! Of course! Thanks @Eilermoon ! Really appreciate it, bud! This car is relatively new to me. I inherited it. It's been a ball though. Very clean, zero rust, loaded, 47K miles, lifetime garage queen. It's 110% stock too. I'd like to upgrade it some with suspension and performance parts but try to keep everything reversible. Body stability is good but not great--it torques a little, totally unsurprisingly. I am thinking strut tower brace and roll bar? (any suggestions? :) ) Anyway, thanks so much for the info amigo.Yee haw
 
Last edited:

Brian 01 Cobra vert

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
7
0
1
California
Eilermoon,
I don’t know about rebuilding the side RAMs. Mine were replaced Under warranty when they failed. Sorry brutha.

I looked up a few local convertible shops, some rebuild the cylinders. Try shops in your area for rebuild service and an estimate.
 

Brian 01 Cobra vert

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
7
0
1
California
Oh super! Of course! Thanks @Eilermoon ! Really appreciate it, bud! This car is relatively new to me. I inherited it. It's been a ball though. Very clean, zero rust, loaded, 47K miles, lifetime garage queen. It's 110% stock too. I'd like to upgrade it some with suspension and performance parts but try to keep everything reversible. Body stability is good but not great--it torques a little, totally unsurprisingly. I am thinking strut tower brace and roll bar? (any suggestions? :) ) Anyway, thanks so much for the info amigo.Yee haw
Welcome brutha,
I’d skip the roll bar and instead move forward on your suspension plans. Steering Rack polyurethane bushings, Ball Joints and bushings, sway bars...all of that fun stuff. YouTube has a cool channel called: Warhorse Racing. He’s big into autocross racing and is knowledgeable about New Edge Mustang suspension workings.
 

Franklino

New Member
May 3, 2020
3
0
1
58
Austin TX
Welcome brutha,
I’d skip the roll bar and instead move forward on your suspension plans. Steering Rack polyurethane bushings, Ball Joints and bushings, sway bars...all of that fun stuff. YouTube has a cool channel called: Warhorse Racing. He’s big into autocross racing and is knowledgeable about New Edge Mustang suspension workings.
Fantastic! Thanks so much Brian! Will do!
 

Eilermoon

Member
Dec 18, 2019
15
1
13
24
Chicago, IL
Quick update: About a week ago I installed a used hydraulic cylinder in place of the one that was leaking pretty bad. Seems to work well and doesn't leak, I got it for ~$45 on ebay.

Unfortunately after filling up the system again, the top was still extremely slow going up and actually wouldn't go up at all after doing so once. The good news is no leaking from the cylinder, the bad news is that has to mean the pump is old and not doing it's job well anymore. It's trying and making noise when prompted, but isn't lifting the rams at all anymore. Gonna start looking for a new motor that won't break the bank or places that would rebuild it for relatively cheap. Any advice on where to look would be great! Would love to not have to drop another $200 into this problem.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
chikosneff Stuck Changing The Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinder SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 1
C 2005 convertible top won’t go back up 2005 - 2014 Specific V6 Tech 0
T Disable parking brake for convertible top 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 1
1989FoxFan Interior and Upholstery How to replace convertible top frame rails Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 2
1989FoxFan Interior and Upholstery Are there any good videos or guides for replacing convertible top Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 9
1989FoxFan Electrical How to Remove Convertible top Motor? Also where is a good place to send it to be rebuilt Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 14
cadeblade99 01 GT Convertible Top Replacement 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 3
D Convertible Top Replacement - Charlotte Other Auto Tech 0
C Instructions on how to replace my convertible top. 2005 - 2014 Specific V6 Tech 4
MrPerfect2 Fox Convertible top motor compatible 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 0
L Paint and Body How do I remove convertible top hydraulic cylinders on '92 LX Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 0
MrPerfect2 Fox Can convertible top be lowered and raised manually 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 8
C 87 convertible top replacement manual 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 6
T Rag Top has a sticky residue 2015+ Specific Tech 0
T Convertible Top vs. Rear Window Issue 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
D Can 2006 convertible top be put up manually? 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 3
S Expired 95 mustang gt covertable 5.0 new top 115k all stock union mo SN95 Mustangs For Sale (1994-04) 4
don ruggles Replacing bad convertible top hydraulic cylinder. 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 4
H For Sale Convertible top boot-White Interior Exterior Parts 3
Fab Stang Convertible Top Missing Part Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 0
C 05 convertible top adjustment 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 2
L 2005 mustang v6 Convertible top wont go up or down.. 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 3
Z ‘95 Convertible Top Replacement 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 0
G Looking for Convertible Top Help 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
D Difference between hard top and convertible driver seat 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
M Help regarding convertible top 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 1
S Convertible top not working 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
L Replacement of convertible top with frame 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 2
H Interior and Upholstery 93 Convertible-Top of rear seat frame 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 6
K SN95 Convertible top rear tension cables 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
J 2007 v6 - Convertible top goes down, won’t come back up 2005 - 2014 Specific V6 Tech 2
John Dirks Jr convertible top boot material 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 3
Chieftain 1990 Mustang convertible power door window guide bar bushings. Bottom is replaceable, what about top Bakelite type? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 8
S Convertible Top will not go up all the way 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
A 2017 mustang v6 convertible top not working 2015+ (S550) Mustang -General/Talk 2
Nadine9516 2002 convertible top 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 7
J Adjusting rear convertible top bracket 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
C Paint and Body 89 LX Vert - rear glass separating from top Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 7
M Interior and Upholstery 98 Mustang GT convertible top part SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 0
D 1994 Mustang Convertible top cables 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 1
M Convertible top 1992 mustang 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 4
P 2006 Convertible top rebuild 2005 - 2014 Specific V6 Tech 0
L 02 convertible top problem 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
F Convertible top leaks into area behind backseats. (1999 Mustang GT) 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 5
S 05 convertible, how do I detach the rear seat from the convertible top so I can remove it. 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 0
Edbert Convertible top frames 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 0
9 98 gt convertible top help? 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 3
F Bad convertible top motor Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 4
J Looking for a new convertible top 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 1
H Convertible top issue 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
Similar threads