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1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

volvooh
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volvooh

1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by volvooh » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:25 pm

And I have no tools for manual operation.

Wife was closing the top, went through its normal cycle then stopped. Its about 3 inches from being closed on the back deck. The top will try and move back and forth, but there appears to be some sort of secondary latch that will not let it move forward or backward. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the battery with no success.

The tools for manual operation did not come with the car, so if anyone has any hacks it would be greatly appreciated.

Looks like the left one could be turned with a screw driver of sorts, the right one, I don't know.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

cuhfs
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cuhfs

Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by cuhfs » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:26 pm

top tool.jpg
top tool.jpg (160.55 KiB) Viewed 2209 times
One slot is like a flat head screwdriver. The other slot I believe is a hex "allen" wrench (I am pretty sure). I believe the owners manual should have instruction for that emergency procedure as to what direction to turn what. Not sure why the flat head screwdriver tool is shaped as it is.

The tops are very sensitive. If she was not on level ground that could be enough to potentially cause an issue. As a last resort i would suggest trying the battery cable disconnect again and touch the cables together for a minute to remove any charge in the computer or system. You may need a dealership to re calibrate the top if it does not close. let us know how you make out. What was the potential cause?
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98 V70 Manual Trans
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volvooh
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volvooh

Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by volvooh » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:17 am

Thank you. I was able to use an allen wrench to draw it down to the back deck, so at least its drivable now. I tried to used a screw driver in place of the other tool in the right side to put the top in "neutral" but I could not get it to turn either way.

I'd guess there is a microswitch, or series of switches in the back deck that have failed. The motor is still working, it just is being held up by what ever draws down the top to the rear deck to latch it. I am hoping that if its just the switches they can be replaced without calibration? I'll try the battery method as well.

jimmy57
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Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by jimmy57 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:37 am

The hex wrench is for the pelican beak latches that latch the coverplate down. Is that plate going flat? the position you describe sounds like when that is supposed to complete so the other motor that has the depress and turn flat screw can grab the two latch pieces and then travel down while latching those rear top bow latches. The motor the screw operates does the latching, lift and lower of the stowage compartment coverplate, and when top is down it serves as a top stack motion restraint.
The other stop action can be if the rear top bow latches do not enter the coverplate latches down in the rectangular openings. There are microswitches in those latches and they trigger top control unit to pull down the top bow using coverplate lift/latch motor (depress and turn flat screw). Once the top is reset/fixed, the large screw has to be turned opposite direction from last direction it was turne via depressing it. That will allow it to pop out and motor will be connected to flex shaft drives. If that is not done you will hear that motor run incessantly with nothing happening.

redc70
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Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by redc70 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:59 am

Hello, my 99 C70 has the same type of issues. i did read the CAB errors from VidaDice and the software has good info on the top opening and closing sequence as well as steps to replace the potentiometers. However it also says specifically that the only way to calibrate the top or truly test it is from the dealer who will use a stand alone VST2000 in order to calibrate it. Some owners have mentioned several wires that become frayed or break that stop the sequence and also the fabric of the top getting caught in the bows and the system stops in order to save the top itself.
BTW, my top survived the full force of Hurricane Harvey. We live 20 miles from the coast in Victoria TX and the car was in the driveway wedged between an F350 and Mercedes 300e. The car cover blew off early in the storm and spent the rest uncovered. The top stayed in place and didn't leak a drop! How's that for being weather proof! I just wish the opening/closing system was a little better thought out. Good luck with the top but let us know what the problem is once you get it sorted. I still have not taken mine to the dealer as the closest one is in Houston.

volvooh
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volvooh

Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by volvooh » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Great to hear you weathered Harvey.

I am going to be getting the Vida soon, but I am not sure how much good it will do me in this particular situation. The good news for me is that I got the system fully closed so its dried in and the car is usable. Not sure how I am going to move forward. I've had plenty of issues recently with this car and though its fun to drive in the summer, not sure if its worth the headaches. Rock and a hard place though...not sure how much a convertible is worth to someone when the top doesnt work, kind of like buying a boat that doesnt float.

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Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by kahl » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:27 pm

There is a Indy Volvo shop in Ravenna called Drennon Service. They are very knowledgeable with the operation of these convertibles. BIL has a problem similar to yours and they got it squared away. No problems for 3 years.

volvooh
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Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by volvooh » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:56 am

Thanks- I was actually in touch with them- gave advise on manual operation which helped me get it closed. Funny thing is they have done work on this particular car before for the dealer I bought it from, though unrelated to the top. I noticed looking through a couple of threads they come highly recommended. Assuming I cannot solve this one my one, its likely headed to Drennon. I am lucky that they are only about 35 min East of me.

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Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by volvooh » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:22 am

Turned out to be a front potentiometer (sp) and two micro-switches in the rear. $500 plus repair.

I hate this car.

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Re: 1999 C70 Convertible Top is stuck almost closed

Post by scot850 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:12 am

i hear you. They can drive us nuts, but if you were in my shoes with my 2000 V70R and $20000+ in parts and repairs before you add my many hundreds of hours of time invested in it, I have a major reason to hate this car. Thing is when it does run ok I really enjoy driving it. Even the 'boss' says she really enjoys driving it. The C70 has unique issues that affect them. Convertibles have potential roof issues and all C70's have the potential for window cassette failure and certainly up here they are few and far, so used parts are almost impossible to find for these unique items. Add to that the yougest C70 P80 is 12 years old then crap can happen depending as much on luck as how it has been maintained. I keep throwing out there, if you bought a new car, how much do you lose in value on the vehicle, even just driving it off the lot?

These cars go through a 'stage' where they pass through the rolling failure issues just like many other brands. It can be hard to get through this stage, but once you do, you can often get many years of further running with nearly nil depreciation. My brother in California can't wait to get rid of his Hyundai Sonata next year when the lease is up. He is happy to drive the 97 850 I repaired and we drove down for his daughter. Now she is overseas in university he plans to use this more, and definitely on longer trips where the old Volvo seats are way superior.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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