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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Soft Top Source

Has anyone bought / installed a soft top from Sierra Auto Tops and Seats? I see they offer the "Original Haartz German A5 material" for $599. I am thinking about replacing my top at some point and see the prices from dealer are outrageous.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 07:18 PM
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I did this on my W209 CLK550. I bought the Robbins top (Haarts Sonnenland canvas) for about $1000. It was the same fabric as OE and the rear seam is both stitched and glued. It gets the best ratings for aftermarket tops. I spoke to a local installer and he said Robbins is the only one they will use.

It was not a job for the casual DIYer. The work around the rear glass is very tedious - lots of straps to work with as well as dealing with removing the glass. It took me every waking hour of a weekend. With the experience I have now, I could do the job in less time, maybe 12-18 hours.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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I did this on my W209 CLK550. I bought the Robbins top (Haarts Sonnenland canvas) for about $1000. It was the same fabric as OE and the rear seam is both stitched and glued. It gets the best ratings for aftermarket tops. I spoke to a local installer and he said Robbins is the only one they will use.

It was not a job for the casual DIYer. The work around the rear glass is very tedious - lots of straps to work with as well as dealing with removing the glass. It took me every waking hour of a weekend. With the experience I have now, I could do the job in less time, maybe 12-18 hours.
Thanks, I may pay a local shop to install it. What was your source for the top?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 04:43 AM
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Here's a link that includes an excellent instructional for removing and replacing the W208 convertible canvas top.

https://mbworld.org/forums/clk-class...anvas-top.html
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 08:50 PM
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https://www.convertibletopguys.com/ - they are an authorized Robbins top dealer in Rhode Island.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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https://www.convertibletopguys.com/ - they are an authorized Robbins top dealer in Rhode Island.
Thanks, were you happy with the fit and finish? When you spoke with the local installer did he give you an idea of what his labor cost would be?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:10 AM
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Keep in mind that my experience was with a W209, but I think the W208 is very similar, if not pretty much the same except for the shape of the top. My brother-in-law has worked over 20 years in the local auto dealer business, so I contacted him for a reference. He said there is only one shop in town he'd recommend and he called them for me. They gave me a "friends and family" price of $2500 (canvas and labor). Their retail price is $3000. I was ready to schedule it when their convertible top expert had some sudden health problems. Being an avid DIIYer, I decided to tackle it myself. It took me about 20 hours to do the job. If I did it again, I could do it in much less time, maybe in half. I'd sat $1500 in labor is fair.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Keep in mind that my experience was with a W209, but I think the W208 is very similar, if not pretty much the same except for the shape of the top. My brother-in-law has worked over 20 years in the local auto dealer business, so I contacted him for a reference. He said there is only one shop in town he'd recommend and he called them for me. They gave me a "friends and family" price of $2500 (canvas and labor). Their retail price is $3000. I was ready to schedule it when their convertible top expert had some sudden health problems. Being an avid DIIYer, I decided to tackle it myself. It took me about 20 hours to do the job. If I did it again, I could do it in much less time, maybe in half. I'd sat $1500 in labor is fair.
Was swapping in the rear window very difficult?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 06:51 PM
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On the W209, it was not hard at all. The glass is mounted in a frame that has studs on it that are bolted into the soft top frame. You pull the liner out of its channel around the rear glass to revel the nuts, remove them, and the glass lifts out. There is foam gasket to keep water out that should be replaced.

Looking at WIS, the replacement of the canvas for the W208 is much less detailed than with the W209. I don't know if that means it's easier, or if WIS just lacks much of the detail.

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