Anyone know how to fill the fluid for the convertible tops pump? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Old 10-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Oct 2011
Vehicle: 2002 SLK 230, 2004 Audi S4, 2008 HUMMER H3 Alpha
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 30
Anyone know how to fill the fluid for the convertible tops pump?

In doing some work in my trunk on my PSE I noticed that the fluid in the canister for the hydraulic pump that opens and closes the convertible top is very low and I have no idea how to put more in or what kind I should use or if I should add any at all and empty it completely and fill it with all new fluid instead of mixing two different types in there.
As always thanks for the help
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Sep 2008
Vehicle: 2003 SLK230 USA model, Auto Transmission, Stock, Firemist Red
Location: Southeast USA
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To fill hydraulic top pump:
Remove fill plug from the top of the pump. Use a squirt bottle with a long bent filler tube, or an oil can with a flexible filler tube to insert fluid. You can also attach a hose to a bottle to fill it. You can enter your car data, then search autohausaz.com to find fluids, parts, etc.
To depressurize top:
Open and close screw (use 6mm allen head wrench) on side of pump. Cycle top down and up… maybe repeat.
This procedure can tighten-up top closing hydraulics/mechanics.

The link below has extensive discussion of top leak resolution, and lubrication:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r170...intrusion.html
The link below has many pictures and shop manual images of hydraulic roof, bleeding, lubrication, and leaks:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r170...here-roof.html
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2003 SLK230 USA model
Automatic Transmission
No Alterations/Stock
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When you say tighten up do you mean that when closing thee roof it will seal tighter making, well for lack of a better term a better seal thus reducing the moisture that can get in? Or am I total misreading what you mean by it tightening up? Thanks for the reply
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kompressed230xs View Post
When you say tighten up do you mean that when closing thee roof it will seal tighter making, well for lack of a better term a better seal thus reducing the moisture that can get in? Or am I total misreading what you mean by it tightening up? Thanks for the reply
Correct... if you read those threads, you will see that 2 of us found that depressurizing can make the top seal better.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I couldn't get the filler plug to loosen with hex wrench (5mm as I recall) so I had to remove the trim and metal plate to get vice grips on the outer edge of the filler plug. Be careful not to loose copper washer. But the question is why is the fluid very low. Note the reservoir gets only about half filled (there are two level lines fluid show be between). If it's much below the bottom line there is probably a leak in the system , probably from the cylinder that latches the front of top to windshield frame. Any yellow stains or rippling on your headliner? It's easy to remove the headliner assembly to check and probably worth doing before fluid ruins headliner. I found the synthetic hydraulic fluid, Pentosin CHF 11S, under $20 USD at local auto zone or advance auto, forget which, but you can check availability on their websites not all locations stocked it, funny the one across the street from the MB dealer did. You can have the cylinder(s) replaced for core or use the ebay kit with o-rings and instructions (well worth it) I know cup seals used in the replacement cyls are more "correct" but o-rings have lasted for me and replacing the whole cylinder requires removing the hydraulic lines back to the pump since the lines are permanently attached. Replacing the 1 seal was about an 8 hr job for me. And I found the filler plug did need to be torqued down hard b/c I tried it reasonably tight with the hex wrench in case I had to get to it again but it squirted fluid everywhere! Luckily the synthetic fluid doesn't eat paint but it will unglue your headliner.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Fluid, labor, leaks, and seals

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLKSport View Post
But the question is why is the fluid very low. Note the reservoir gets only about half filled (there are two level lines fluid show be between). If it's much below the bottom line there is probably a leak in the system , probably from the cylinder that latches the front of top to windshield frame. Any yellow stains or rippling on your headliner?
Kompressed230xs, it is important to find the leak(s) before it destroys your headliner - hope it hasn't happened already! True, usually the front lock cylinder is the first one to leak because it gets exposed to more heat, which accelerates the chemical decay that all the main seals in the cylinders go through.

Attached below is a drawing with the location of the five cylinders in your car. Click on the drawing, and you will get better resolution. Go to our FAQ page Welcome to Top Hydraulics, Inc. to get a crisp image.

Quote:
I found the synthetic hydraulic fluid, Pentosin CHF 11S, under $20 USD at local auto zone or advance auto, forget which, but you can check availability on their websites not all locations stocked it, funny the one across the street from the MB dealer did.
SLKSport, I have done a lot of searching to check CHF 11S' compatibility with the system, and haven't found any conclusive answers. Do you have anything you could share with us all?

Chances are that it's okay. What we are looking for in the fluid for the top, is something highly refined with fairly equal viscosity over a wide temperature range (and the thinner the fluid, the faster your top will move with the fluid going through 1.8-mm ID lines), and without damaging additives. I remember that a long time ago, some fluid was taken off the recommended list because the dye in it was chemically active. Plus, the fluid cannot have emulsifiers in it, because we want all water to stay on the bottom of the reservoir.

My recommendation is still to get FeBi 02615 (aka ZH-M), which is basically the same as MB p/n 0009899103 without the green dye. These are the two MB-approved fluids for the top.

A little shopping trick with autohausaz.com: type p/n 0009899103 into their search box, and you get FeBi 02615 for $10.23 instead of $11.48 if you type in 02615... Discount OEM Brand Name Auto Parts for European and Asian Cars

Quote:
You can have the cylinder(s) replaced for core or use the ebay kit with o-rings and instructions (well worth it) I know cup seals used in the replacement cyls are more "correct" but o-rings have lasted for me and replacing the whole cylinder requires removing the hydraulic lines back to the pump since the lines are permanently attached.
Top Hydraulics indeed has a core exchange program (aka up-front shipping) for the complete set, with a $1,000 refundable core deposit. The core deposit is so high, because we got burned too many times by people sending their damaged DIY cores back, and we were stuck searching for replacements.

We also rebuild any SLK cylinder you send in (provided it hasn't been damaged in a DIY attempt) for $55/ea, plus $10 flat shipping fee. Turn around two days; we average one day.

Quote:
Replacing the 1 seal was about an 8 hr job for me.
SLKSport, thank you for being honest about it. The first time I took ALL five cylinders out of an SLK, without instructions, it took me five hours to remove and install all of them. Granted, I've worked on a few cars, but the majority of the work is removing and re-installing the panels from the trunk, and that is not difficult. We are working on a very detailed set of DIY cylinder removal instructions, but meanwhile we are posting on our website what a happy customer has put together:

http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R170%20S...%20Removal.pdf

Folks, please do the math:
The current dealer price without tax for all five cylinders is over $2,500. The rebuild/upgrade service with a 3-year warranty is about 11% of that.

How high do you think your chances are of damaging the cylinder shaft by slipping a tool just once during the DIY seal replacement process? Let me tell you, they are huge! We get damaged cylinders in on a daily basis, and it is the worst part of my job to tell people that they need to buy new cylinders. I personally think that the chances of people scratching their cylinders during DIY seal replacement attempts are actually higher than 50%. Of course, few people will come back to this forum and report that they just made a big mistake, after so many others seemed to be successful...

SLKSport, thanks again for being honest about how much time it took to replace the one seal. We rarely have people send us only the front lock cylinder and then not come back to have the rest done. Again, most of the work lies in removing the paneling in the trunk, so you save a lot of time doing it all at once, and not risking to spill fluid all over the interior when the other cylinders fail, or if you goof during the DIY repair effort.

Lastly, it's a great feeling to pull that red switch knowing that all cylinders are fine and your pump is not going to burn out on account of running dry!

Hope this helps,

-Klaus

klaus@tophydraulicsinc.com

(Click on the image below to get higher resolution)
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone know how to fill the fluid for the convertible tops pump?-slkdiagram.jpg  
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Klaus Witte, Top Hydraulics, Inc.

We upgrade and rebuild hydraulic cylinders for Mercedes R129, R170, R171, R230, W124, W208, W209,
as well as Audi, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Chrysler, Ferrari, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mini Cooper, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Saab, VW


Also rebuilding pumps and ADS valves...

www.tophydraulicsinc.com

Convertible top hydraulic system diagrams and DIY instructions:

http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/en/c...y-instructions


Last edited by Lighthouse; 10-21-2011 at 10:44 AM.
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