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Old 05-13-2010, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Dec 2008
Vehicle: 1988 300E - Diamond Blue, 1997 SL320 - Black Opal
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Roll Over Bar - questions

Sorry in advance for the long post.

My 97 SL320 sat all winter in the garage and come spring the battery was dead - not surprising. I boosted the car and upon starting it up noticed the following lights that were lit:

roll over bar lamp in gauge cluster was on
red lights on roll over bar switch were flashing
convertible top switch was glowing red
roll over bar and convertible top would not operate

From this forum I deduced that I would need the soft top controller reset. I also pulled the battery and figured out that it was shot.

I live 200 miles from the nearest MB dealer so arranged for them to replace the battery and to reset what was needed. When I dropped the car off they said they would do an 'initiation' on the car after the battery was changed.

When I went to pick up the car, there was a new battery and the soft top now works and the soft top switch no longer glows.

However the roll over bar lamp is still on and the lights on the roll over bar switch flash when the bar is fully in the down position. The lights quit flashing (but the warning lamp stays on) when the bar is raised. It also seems that the roll over bar does not come up to its full position - seems to me like it only comes up to 75 %.

My question is - any ideas or thoughts or advice?

Did they simply reset the soft top and not the roll over bar? I could not ask the dealer as I picked up the car after hours. The service record says "further examination is required for the roll over bar".

One other note, when I was watching them work on the car, they changed out the battery, started then car and then tried to work the switches. When the soft top wouldn't move they manually retracted it. I would have thought they would have reset the codes first (which they did not do) before manually moving the top. Could this have added to the problem?

Wanting to raise heck with them in the morning, but want to see if I have a valid concern. Plus, am pissed that I have to drive 200 miles back to get them (or an indie) to fix the roll over bar issue.

jb
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1968 Triumph GT6
1980 Porsche 911SC
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Vehicle: 1991 500SL (Japan) - 133K KMS
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Your initial symptoms are inline with what happened to me when I had a dead battery. The rollbar issue, can't comment other than it sounds like it's not synched. Also, did they test your alternator while they were at it?

Try this (I copied pasted this in a text file from somewhere else on the forum -- thanks to them!):

1.Lock everything down (manually if needed), close the windows, get into the car and start engine
1A. Open both windows
2. Switch of the engine
2A. Get out of the car
3. Lock the car by the key (holding down remote-control) and hold it until the windows goes up and continues holding about 10 sec.
3A. Open the car (with remote or key)
4.Get in the car and switch on ignition - only don't run the engine
5. Hold the red switch in forward position for the 5 sec. then pull it back to open the top


Another thing to try is to disconnect the battery and allow the power to drain from the system (20min or so), then reconnect. What I do is I physically connected the positive & negative terminals together with a jumper cable (not the terminals of the battery of course! the ones on the car); left the ignition on stage II. Bobterry mentioned that this procedure is ineffective on '95/96 models and above. So just try a simple disconnect, iginition II, sit for 20 min, reconnect, and try again. But before doing this, wait for others to chime in with their advice.
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Last edited by infra; 05-13-2010 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: SL320 1999 WDB 129064 2F 177672 7 ENGINE 112943 30 333401 GEARBOX- 722607 0 1207121
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i know very little about the electrics but i had the issue of those lights illuminated and the added fright of the roll-over bar popping up (0.03 seconds) once i started the engine- when i replaced the battery everything went normal again-
in case you don't know- the reset procedure of depressing the roll over button for a number of seconds is detailed clearly in the owners manual -
i hope it all clears turns out to be nothing -
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Have you checked fuses? I think the ones for the rollbar are in the trunk
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Attempted the various fixes, etc. NO change.

The roll bar does work - I can raise and lower it with the switch.

But the gauge cluster warning light stays on. When the roll bar is fully lowered, the lights on the roll bar switch flash. When the roll bar is partially to fully raised, the lights on the roll bar switch go out. According to the manual, this indicates a malfunction in the system.

What is the position of the roll bar when it is raised? Is it vertical or is it closer to a 45 degree angle? Mine is closer to a 45 degree angle and it looks to low. Input (photos) appreciated.

Secondly, is the roll bar supposed to be activated during the soft top opening / closing cycle? When I open the soft top, at the end of the cycle, the windows and the roll bar go up. When I close the soft top, at the end of the cycle, the windows and the roll bar go up. This does not seem normal to my memory.

Thanks again

jb
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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from google images-is this a relevant photo?
this is not my car but the way mine looks with the fully raised roll over bar-
http://blog.mercedes-benz-passion.co...F469-Kopie.jpg
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If my roll bar was up and the top was up, when I put the top down, at the end of the cycle the roll bar goes up. If the roll bar was down, and the top was up, when I take the top down, the roll bar does not go up. Seems to "save" the last position of the roll bar.

The picture darraghodonnell posted is what my roll bar looks like when it's up. So if yours looks anything like that, it's extending properly.


I'm totally guessing here, but since you've had some battery issues and all this, I wonder if a damaged OVP or a blown fuse on the OVP could play a role in this? Again, a total guess. Might be worth checking to see if the OVP's fuse(s) are okay. I say fuse(s) because the newer revisions come with two 10a fuse slots, albeit "half the pins" aren't connected anyway (on my 91 anyway). It's located in the relay compartment which is on the passenger side, against the firewall. Six screws fasten the cover down. You can't miss it. Almost in the middle with a single (or two) fuses on TOP of the relay. I'm sure if your OVP was buggered up you'd have some more issues, but you can't lose with an inspection right?

My Over Voltage Protection relay was damaged when my dad jump started another vehicle with mine. Wreaked havoc. ABS/ASR lights on, eventually jumpy idle issues.

Last edited by infra; 05-14-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Was back at the dealer on Monday getting them to check out the roll bar warning lamp and the roll bar toggle switch lights.

They reset the controller several times and actually removed it once and replaced.

No go. Sounds like the controller is fried.

Lesson learned for next winter - disconnect battery and do not boost the car. I do have a battery tender, but for 6 months I may as well just leave the whole thing disconnected.

Tis only money, but my 1968 Triumph GT6 just ate up this year's raise and the needed work on my 1994 GMC will eat up my holiday budget. Oh well, all the cars will be in good repair and parked in the garage cause I won't be able to afford to drive 'em.

jb

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Old 05-17-2010, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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JSBulmer,

Sorry to hear about you troubles. Hmm, well I don't think you're out of luck yet. Not sure if bobterry could be of any help. He's one cat that knows the R129 electrical system very well. PM him and see what he has to say before you spend the big bucks.

You should try to go to an MB wreckers and plug-in an OVP (Over Voltage Protection) relay. If it solves your problem, get it. If not, you can rule it out. The jump starting of a vehicle could easily damage the OVP. Mine was fried on a jump start as I mentioned above. For a new one (for my '91) it was like $40-50 CAD? I'm not familiar with the '97.

Don't think everybody that needs to see this thread has seen it yet. At least it's not a critical issue that's preventing you from driving your car. I've had more than my fair share of these "critical issues" than I'd like to remember.

It's also a good idea to run through the reset procedure (to the T!) several times. Do it 5 times even 10. I've read more than once where people had to do a reset procedure more than once to have it kick in and get things back in working order. Certainly worth a try

Last edited by infra; 05-17-2010 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dealer replaced the controller today - all is operational and I am happy.

Was surprised that there are three different controllers that could have been used on my car. I guess Mercedes upgraded the original controller twice, but you can still buy the original.

BIG difference in price: $ 1400 or $ 1700 or $ 2400. Each has its own part number, but I do not have that information - only have the part number for the one that I had installed.

I was supposed to get the $ 1400 controller, but the dealer forgot to order it in from Germany. Lucky for me they had the $ 1700 controller in stock which they only charged me $ 1400 for as that was my original quote (and yes, the dealer honored its original quote). An hour of labor ($ 135) and I was done.

So for those needing a new controller (or as it is officially referred to - Soft Top Control Module) then it might be worthwhile to ask some questions at the dealer or your indy.

jb
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