Unusual Top Problem... - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Mar 2016
Vehicle: 1999 SL500 R129
Location: Memphis, TN
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Unusual Top Problem...

... I think. I used the search function, as well as a Google search.

Over the past 3 years, I have replaced all my top cylinders with rebuilt units from Klaus at Top Hydraulics (great outfit!!!) My IRS did the installations and everything has been peachy.

A few weeks ago I pulled off the pano roof and have been running mostly top-down; however, I have used the soft top once or twice. Last Thursday, I drove to an appointment and went to raise the top out of caution and got the dreaded red blinking light. I didn't have time to diagnose the problem before my appointment. Fortunately, no rain.

When I got home, I cycled the roll bar and checked the top fuses in the trunk. I then released the tonneau cover and raised the top manually. It was then that I noticed the rear passenger latch was in the closed position. I used the tool to open it, then secured the top manually. After this, everything has been great. My question is: how did the right rear latch move from the open to closed position by itself?

I guess I need to fashion a tool to throw in the tool kit to allow me to pull the latch back up in case this occurs again. Just to explain the situation further, I have had no fluid leaks and the hydaulic level in the reservoir has not changed.

Thanks for any insight that any of you may have.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 03:05 PM
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If I had to guess, I would say it didn't travel all the way to the full unlocked/open position, but did travel far enough last time to allow the top to become unlatched. Guessing still, then when the top was free, it went back to a locked/latched position. If there was something that would have tripped the latch to the lock position, it should have tripped both sides, not just one.

If I am not mistaken, this is the latch and the holes for the bolts that secure it to the body are slotted, allowing adjustment.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 05:22 PM
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One thing to check in the rear locks in on page 8 of the attached link. There's a spring that can become displaced and (if missing) this will cause problems with the rear lock potentially not locking in the open position or top operation in general because of the "closed" limit switch illogical status. For the rear locks to open correctly the hydraulic cylinder has to push up completely and the spring loaded latch plate has to rotate up and in the fully open position to mechanically lock the pawl in the lock mechanism in the open position. The latch plate is separate from the direct drive plate connected directly to the cylinder, there's a slot in the latch plate that allow some rotation, which is spring loaded. Just take a look and see if the spring is in place and that the latch moves freely, which can be checked when the lock is open and manually pushing down on the latch to see if it moves down some in the lock and also springs back up.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Mar 2016
Vehicle: 1999 SL500 R129
Location: Memphis, TN
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Thanks for your help! I'll see if I can detect if that spring is missing...
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