1992 SL500 Convertible top - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 09:19 AM
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1992 SL500 Convertible top

Help!!! I just got my 1992 500SL last October with the hardtop installed. I removed the hardtop the other day, just as the manual instructed. When I hit the switch to raise the top everything was fine until the roof reached the windshield, then stopped. In the owner's manual, there was a highlighted paragraph with instructions to manually pull the roof to the windshield if the latches don't engage by themselves. Since the paragraph was highlighted, I assume the previous owner must have run into this problem. Anyway, that worked and the top finished closing seemingly fine. But, the next day when I went to lower the top, nothing happens except for the red light blinking on the top switch. Any ideas???

Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:14 AM
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Hi,
I had problems with my 91 300SL like you the red light blinks annoyingly when it feels something ain't right! I've a feeling the top may well have gone up because ity was happier letting you close it before it deciding to show you something is wrong!

Your best bet is to search this forum for soft top operation threads, The soft top is the only thing on the car which you can read fault codes from without any tools! The system makes the soft top switch flash out fault codes, which correspond to specific problems. There are 30 different codes, so the system is quite specific at telling you what is amiss! Basically if the switch flashes 20 times, code 20 corresponds to a particular fault.

Look at the soft top operation threads here and it explains how to get the codes to flash out. All you will need is a paperclip or perhaps slightly better a wire with two banana plugs.

My problem was ABS brake system related. The front left wheel was not giving a speed signal to the soft top controller, I had a break in a wire to a front ABS sensor. If you're ABS light isn't coming on it will most probably be a switch sticking or something like that.

I'm not a huge expert on the system but if I can help with giving code descriptions PM me.
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:17 AM
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Yes, a couple ideas to start with. I have the same car.
1. I ALWAYS have to help the soft top latch when it gets to the windshield. That is not an abnormal situation, so don't think you forced something you shouldn't.
2. Most likely, your battery may be a little low. It doesn't take much for the top to decide not to operate as it does sense battery voltage available. The exact same thing as you describe happened to me last week. I had not driven the car for about a week. I turned the ignition on, but did not start the cart. The top would not move and the switch just blinked at me. I started the car and kept the engine at about 1500 rpm. I activated the switch and the top worked perfectly.

Mike

I don't downshift often, but when I do, it is next to a Prius so I can show them how I am hurting the environment! -

'07 CLS 550
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:45 AM
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I also meant to say I always have to pull the top home from inside the car, in fact you've just taught me too that it's OK to have to do that!
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 10:34 AM
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Glad I was of some help, Silver50. These wonderful cars are quirky enough to begin with. It is always good to know when somethings are normal.

Mike

I don't downshift often, but when I do, it is next to a Prius so I can show them how I am hurting the environment! -

'07 CLS 550
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 11:39 AM
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As stated, if there is not enough battery to start or complete the soft top cyscle there will be problems. To make sure this doesn't happen have your car running and the battery charging when trying to engage your soft top.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 11:44 AM
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When I combined the Sticky's I was concerned that people would not read them as before and I think that has been happening on a frequent basis so I may need to make some changes at http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129...ew-thread.html

Welcome to the R129Forum and please know that the problem that you are expierencing happens quite often. Please read the blue Sticky at the top of the forum. Especially 'soft top control module'.
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 11:22 AM
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Hi All,

Out of all the problems I have had with cars, the roof not workingon my SL took the biscuit.

I spent countless hours phoning people, getting diagnostics/quotes (£2000 was the highest to replace the control unit and hydraulic motors) as the roof didnt work at all and I had to put up and take down manually.

Then I spent 4 hours in the Benzworld forum and found this link. I can confirm that the thread that recommends holding the rev's at 2,500, winding down the windows and putting your right hand in your left coat pocket, then popping the hard top worked!!!!! Not only did it work, but once the hard top was off and I had taken my hand out of my coat pocket I was able to amazingly raise the soft top and the full process was working again!!

I just want to say thank you to the geniuses in this place!! I have no idea why this worked and would love to get an explanation, but even if there isnt one, thank you still!!

I hope to improve my knowledge and return the favour.

Cheers and happy new year
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SL Z4K View Post
Hi All,

Out of all the problems I have had with cars, the roof not working on my SL took the biscuit.

I spent countless hours phoning people, getting diagnostics/quotes (£2000 was the highest to replace the control unit and hydraulic motors) as the roof didn't work at all and I had to put up and take down manually.

Then I spent 4 hours in the Benzworld forum and found this link. I can confirm that the thread that recommends holding the rev's at 2,500, winding down the windows and putting your right hand in your left coat pocket, then popping the hard top worked!!!!! Not only did it work, but once the hard top was off and I had taken my hand out of my coat pocket I was able to amazingly raise the soft top and the full process was working again!!

I just want to say thank you to the geniuses in this place!! I have no idea why this worked and would love to get an explanation, but even if there isn't one, thank you still!!

I hope to improve my knowledge and return the favor.

Cheers and happy new year
Hi SL Z4K and happy we could help you solve your soft top problem.
For the future tho I'm asking you to update your profile with your car and year and you location to help us help you better.

Good luck.

Cheers.

I drive like I stole . . . YOURS
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmmboston View Post
Help!!! I just got my 1992 500SL last October with the hardtop installed. I removed the hardtop the other day, just as the manual instructed. When I hit the switch to raise the top everything was fine until the roof reached the windshield, then stopped. In the owner's manual, there was a highlighted paragraph with instructions to manually pull the roof to the windshield if the latches don't engage by themselves. Since the paragraph was highlighted, I assume the previous owner must have run into this problem. Anyway, that worked and the top finished closing seemingly fine. But, the next day when I went to lower the top, nothing happens except for the red light blinking on the top switch. Any ideas???

Thanks!
Unless your battery is completely drained the soft-top mechanism should complete the entire cycle.

I was also the proud owner of Mercedes version of the “Money Pit”; the 1992 500SL, and most of the problems were related to hydraulic fluid leaks from the windshield latches, and progressively the entire system required periodic solenoid replacements and eventually the Master Hydraulic Pump under the spare tire went south. There are other issues with the Master computer that orchestrates the process. I would have personally been happier with the simple 560SL manual labor format. I was eventually quoted $8,000 to replace the entire system.
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