Hello and welcome.
The noise you heard was either the left side lift cylinder or attaching bracket has snapped off.
Lift the top half way so it is pointing straight up. Look down into the rear quarter interior trim panel. See if you see a lot of fluid in the bottom. Or listen for the pump in the trunk to be grinding. You can also lift the rear of the trunk floor trim to get to the pump and look in the reservoir to see if it is empty. I am guessing there is still fluid since the other side works for now.
If the reservoir is full and no fluid in the bottom of that interior trim area, then you are going to have to inspect the lift cylinder shaft and attaching point to see if is broken. If any part is, you would have to try to match it up with one from a junk yard, as these parts are not available anywhere.
thank you very much,you'll get the highest rating! I have seen used pumps with what appears to be two hydraulic cylinders -- I'm guessing one for each side -- for sale on ebay. I guess the hydraulic cylinders are the lift shafts you mention. The car is in the shop right now for annual state inspection, so will look in the next day or so as you have advised.
Another question -- this one about the temperature/fan, and audio control buttons on the steering wheel. These are no longer lit. Are these simple snap out-snap in items or would I risk setting off the airbag. Of course, this assumes I can even find them.
Yes, the shafts are part of the lift cylinders. One for each side. One of the brackets that the top of the cylinder connects to may have broke.
Yes, the switches just pop out. Very short wires behind them. No chance to blow airbag, but always a good idea to remove SIR fuse.
I hope your top does not leak on your left leg like they all did. GM never had a good fix for that. Spent a lot of years trying !
Attachments are only available to registered users.
thanks again. If the bracket is broken I may be able to have a local machine shop manufacture a new one (I know the owner's father). I didn't ask if this is something I'll be able to reach easily, but I will find out when I look.
Don't know about finding the replacement switches, but can probably find them online.
I'm determined to keep this car going as long as possible, especially since it is mostly used as a second car for local driving only.
I DID get a leak on my left leg every now and then, but never much. Most of the time it didn't leak. The top is still in good shape except for the piping around the edges which has cracked.
You definitely get the highest rating, and I'll close out the whole top motor/cylinder thing with you when I get a chance to look at the car.