BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Apr 2003
Vehicle: 2003 CLK 430 cabriolet
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I had a roof cable problem, but after finding the back termination point of the cables with the roof partly retracted, it seemed to me that mine were not broken, but just loosened, or "stretched". After reading some posts, I decided to check the front anchor point for the cables to see if they were broken at that end.
I removed the handle with a 2.5 or 3 mm hex wrench (make sure the roof is not latched when you do this--its easier to work with it down, and lean over the back seat), and then took the four phillips head screws off the plastic cover, and lifted the cover off. There are four plastic clips that will release with a small about of force.
Then if you peel back the roof liner at the front corner of the roof, you can find the front anchor point of the cable. Its held by a 10mm nut. After removing the nut and taking the front part of the cable out, I got a nice surprise. The bracket that it sits in is adjustable. You can see the three positions in the photo below on the left. There is another thread that says this is not adjustable, but it is, in three discrete positions. The difficulty is that the part in the picture is underneath the mounting hole, so you cant see where it is positioned once you have the screw back in the hole.
So I put it back together and before tightening the nut, I pushed the bracket all the way towards the front of the roof in order to effectively shorten the cable by about half an inch. I then did the other side, and this time, having seen how the adjustment works, I simply loosened the 10mm nut and pushed the assembly towards the front of the roof. It seems that mine were installed so that there was room for adjustment.
After that I got it back together and it solved the problem of the roof not staying fully open (front-most joint on the convertible top must stay "broken" and cannot fall into the "locked-out" straight position when the hydraulic mechanism first lifts the rear window). It takes a little more force to close the roof with the handle now, but it is no longer slamming into the top of the windshield when its closed.
Note: getting the handle re-installed was tricky. I had to put the roof down, leave the lid cover up, and remove the plastic cover again so I could install the handle to see how it actually worked. The handle actually is a cam. As you pull it down to turn it, its base presses against a ring of metal that surrounds the shaft, and that releases the latch. You can't get the threaded pin that holds it into the hole except in the "turned" position as if you were unlatching the roof. So to re-attach it, work with the roof lowered into its compartment, (but the roof compartment cover still up so that you can get to it). Press down hard with the handle oriented at right angles to the panel, and the mechanism will depress and release and allow you to turn it so you can get the pin into the hole. If you're having trouble, put the handle back on with the roof in the boot, but with the long plastic cover not on. Then operate the handle and you'll understand what has to be depressed to allow you to get the pin back in when the plastic cover is installed.
Last edited by MBgrappler; 09-20-2012 at 08:43 AM.