Clock Time to R&R ALL Top cylinders R129 ??? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Clock Time to R&R ALL Top cylinders R129 ???

I am sure I am going to have to go through all the cylinders for the soft top/roll bar for this 1996 SL320. Right now I am weighing my options as far as what I want to do once I get them out. I've read through a number of old threads but didn't see anyone put any number on the actual clock hours (not book hours) spent doing the R&R for all of them. So anyone who has gone through this, would you mind letting me know how many hours you spent doing it ???

PS. Does anyone happen to know what the material the factory seals are made from?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 04:25 AM
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As a complete novice, figure a few days.

Some are easy, while some require disassembly of the car to reach (see the procedures and locations at TH).

From experience, I'd swap them with Karl at TH rather than rebuild them myself which would make the repair EVEN longer.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 06:04 AM
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I did all mine in one shot. Took basically a full weekend to get them out. I would say I worked (at a deliberate pace - taking a rest, eating lunch, maybe a errand for the wife) from about 9 or 10 am until about 6 or 7 pm on both days of the weekend to get them out. And perhaps a few hours less to get them back in - being that the interior was already apart.

If I were to do it again, I would have done the core swap at Top Hydraulics rather than the 'remove, ship out, get them back, reinstall' method. Having refurbed cylinders ready to install would have been 'remove, replace' with no down time - and on to the next one. Little things like having the correct tools handy right then and the process fresh in mind, rather than coming back to it a week later would significantly cut the time to do the job - maybe even done in one long day.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 10:40 AM
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It's not something you want to rush because it deals with the interior (cause no damage, do no harm).
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 12:24 PM
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Exchange units with Top Hydraulics is the way to go, then you wont forget how to put the cylinders back in.

Easy but slow job and READ Top Hydraulics detailed instructions. I changed my cylinders and the front and rear parts of the soft top and it took me 3 slow days.

Take lots of pics as well.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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TH has a NASTY $300 "surcharge for inventory management", if you want to get them first and send cores in later. This is on top of their $600 REFUNDABLE core charge. A 40% charge for someone to "manage their inventory" is completely unacceptable and something I would NEVER pay !!! Shame because the idea of get now and send cores in later had me stop considering other options, which are now back on the table for me.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 02:15 PM
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TH has a NASTY $300 "surcharge for inventory management", if you want to get them first and send cores in later. This is on top of their $600 REFUNDABLE core charge. A 40% charge for someone to "manage their inventory" is completely unacceptable and something I would NEVER pay !!! Shame because the idea of get now and send cores in later had me stop considering other options, which are now back on the table for me.
I have 3 R192's. I did all at once on my 94 SL320 PITA. So now I remove the ones that leak on my 98 SL500 and 99 SL600 and send them in the brackets to TH. So far in 4 years only have had to do 5 on the SL500 and 2 on the SL600, been real lucky on the main and bow cyls those two are nasty. I would not try to rebuild them myself cause most of the seal kits you can buy are crap and you take a chance on damaging the shafts, but thats just me.
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John;
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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So far in 4 years only have had to do 5 on the SL500 and 2 on the SL600, been real lucky on the main and bow cyls those two are nasty.
Do you think you were replacing original seals, or could they have been done at least once before ???
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 12:59 PM
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Do you think you were replacing original seals, or could they have been done at least once before ???
I'm sure they were factory they are known to fail. TH has special ones made and gives you a forever warranty.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
TH has a NASTY $300 "surcharge for inventory management", if you want to get them first and send cores in later. This is on top of their $600 REFUNDABLE core charge. A 40% charge for someone to "manage their inventory" is completely unacceptable and something I would NEVER pay !!! Shame because the idea of get now and send cores in later had me stop considering other options, which are now back on the table for me.
refundable core charge is pretty standard on anything that the cores will be reused on. Only makes sense, return cores that aren't useable, someone has to pay. I have no issue with paying a refundable core charge up front.

TH is a very very quality operation, they are the ONLY ones I would even consider for top cylinder rework.

Now for the inventory management fee. personally when I rebuild my cylinders. (each winter I say this is the year) I will do the core exchange. One, I suspect it will save me time, next, by replacing a pair at at time, I will know if each pair was installed correctly and can make sure the the top is operating properly before going to the next pair. For me that is worth $300. For some others it may not be worth it, but at least it is an option.
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