Top Hydraulics, Inc. - Upgraded and Rebuilt Hydraulic Cylinders for R129 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Top Hydraulics, Inc. - Upgraded and Rebuilt Hydraulic Cylinders for R129

Welcome to Top Hydraulics, Inc. or Welcome to Top Hydraulics, Inc. The website has step-by-step instructions for inspection, removal, and re-installation of all R129 cylinders.

Top Hydraulics upgrades and rebuilds all top hydraulic cylinders for all Mercedes convertibles. R129, R170, R171, R230, W124, W208, W209. They also work on cylinders for Porsche 911, Porsche Boxster, and BMW convertibles. There is a benzworld discount of $5 per cylinder, which currently makes their price on a basic upgrade for a set of 12 cylinders $500 for benzworld members. Payment by check, PayPal, or credit card through the website.

Top Hydraulics has developed their own seals for convertible top cylinders that feature a PTFE back-shell (PTFE stands for Polytetrafluoroethylene, which DuPont trademarked as Teflon). The PTFE provides outstanding chemical resistance, as well as very low friction. The U-cup portion of their main seals is made of enhanced material for better chemical resistance, heat resistance, and slowed decomposition, as compared to Mercedes' original Polyurethane seals.

Top Hydraulics offers a three-year warranty, and longer warranties or lifetime warranties are optional. Top Hydraulics has been a sponsor of this site since 2010, and Klaus Witte of Top Hydraulics has contributed to many threads as 'Lighthouse'.

Top Hydraulics, Inc.
90730 Southview Lane
Florence, OR 97439

(541) 902 3214 (main line)
(541) 870 9787 (technician on call)
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 08:48 AM
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highly recommend

I found Top Hydraulics on this site as i was leaking Hydraulic fluid. they saved me from a major expense at the dealer.

I chose the option of having the complete assembly sent in advance with a $100.00 core charge. this made the repair so easy and didn't have the car down for weeks. i did the replacement of both cylinders and lock asseemlies in less than 2 hours. this included flushing the system. took the car for a ride that night.

refund for returned cores was quick and easy. I highly recommend Top Hydraulics and they option of purchasing everthing in advance.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 05:21 PM
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I too found Klaus here. He gave me an excellent price and excellent service and support. I can highly recommend him!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 02:56 AM
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Top Hydraulics, Inc. - First Class Service

I am new to the R129 world - a recently converted Corvette enthusiast. As a retired engineer I fell in love with 2000 SL500. My thoughts were "how hard could it be to fix a inoperable soft top. The previous owner told me it was being sold as a "hard top" owner because he got an estimate of $12k from the MB dealer.

After perusing the R129 chat sites I found out about Top Hydraulics. I took a look at his site and found his repair documents. They were thorough and gave helpful hints! So with his docs on my iPad I tackled the job. In approximately 4 - 6 hours I had all 11 cylinders removed and the next day sent off to Klaus. Klaus rebuilt and reshipped the cylinders in less than 48 hours!.

Once I got them back I immediately started the re-install. Of course as a retired engineer I KNEW I could ignore the helpful hints and cut corners. WRONG! I almost immediately lost a hydraulic line clip into the frame as well as not taping the socket to the bottom bolt to the socket on the main cylinder thus dropping it into the frame. (both cautioned in Klaus' docs) With all the cylinders back in place and all hooked up I was ready to try it out. Tonneau cover up - and that's it!

Now back to my main point - Klaus @ Top Hydraulics. My first reaction was Damn - I need to rebuild my controller! Luckily for me I remembered Klaus telling me "Give me a call if you run into any problems." After having been "burned" over the years by various auto parts supplies I thought that maybe this was just another hollow statement. But - I gave it a try. Klaus couldn't have been more professional.

Over the course of the next few days Klaus - 3200 miles away - was able to systematically walk me through, step by step, the repair. Turns out I had a few problems left over from the previous "mechanic" looking into the problems (most likely the MB dealership).

Klaus convinced me immediately that although it might be the controller I should first check out other issues. The bottom-line is that Klaus saved me a few hundred dollars on a controller that didn't need rebuilding.

I hesitate to tell you the personal service that Klaus provided only because it shouldn't be expected from anyone. When I sent him an email on a Saturday night explaining what I'd done, what the car is doing and asked for any suggestions I was totally amazed when, in less that 3 minutes after hitting send on the email, my phone rang. It was Klaus telling me what he thought was the next issue. In every case he was spot on.

Top Hydraulics is by the most professional, knowledgable and customer service oriented company I've ever dealt with in my 40 some years of working on exotic cars!

Klaus - you are ultimate professional!!!!

(mod edit: I'd suggest you repost your testimonial to the R129 Section)
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 09:40 AM
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Top Hydraulics

I would not recommend. Its all about getting your cyinders and go for the upsale...I would use the man in Kansas
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 07:21 AM
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Top Hydraulics, Inc. - great service, very satisfied

I'm a new member here, haven't lurked for long but have found this resource helpful for years. I joined primarily to give props to Klaus & Top Hydraulics for their assistance in getting my recently acquired 1997 SL320 in working order.

I bought a Florida (live in Michigan) car in nice shape with multiple leaks in the top system, one was a gusher! I work at a dealership and looked into the costs of doing a proper job of bringing our new summer car to life, even at my cost for parts I got a headache.

Finding Top Hydraulics saved my neck. The $550 complete rebuild cost seems a bargain and even though my cylinders needed additional work it was very cost conscious and the process was quick and friendly.

I cannot say enough about the level of communication from this company, they are truly first class.

My top works like a charm and I'm looking forward to many seasons of use.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 11:57 PM
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The 'O' solution works just fine.

I've read these guys claiming in other threads that the 'O' ring self repair solution doesn't work as the other two seals in the cylinders need replacing too. I think that's a bit of a cheap shot. I did the 'O' job, it worked great and cost me $20. Taking the actuators out and replacing them is the hardest bit. Taking them apart without damaging them to replace the seals isn't easy but if you got them out, I'm sure you'll manage it.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 03:47 PM
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Does anyone know anybody who can do this job in the DC area? And how much is it? Both of my hydraulics are leaking.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kwame82 View Post
Does anyone know anybody who can do this job in the DC area? And how much is it? Both of my hydraulics are leaking.
I would like a response also! My top left locking cylinder is dripping fluid past the sun visor. First Indy called recommended buying new, not rebuilt. Second Indy said yes they can install remanufactured cylinders. Someone in the Washington D.C. area must be experienced in replacing R 129 soft top hydraulics? I'm thinking like Tire Rack has recommended installers for replacement tires. Any Indy shop that you can recommend ???
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