Soft top compartment lid malfunction - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Soft top compartment lid malfunction

Looking at a black 1991 SL500 is decent overall condition. I have inspected the hydraulic cylinders and they appear to have been worked on as there are no visable signs of leakage. That said the roof does not open or close correctly and must be operated manually.

If the roof is up, with the bow window and rear compartment lid in their respective raised positions, and the mechanism is activated to complete putting the roof up, the compartment lid will lower, close and lock, and the bow window will then drop and properly secure itself.

In contrast, trying to then put the roof down, the bow window will unlock and elevate to its up position, the compartment lid will unlock, however the compartment lid will not raise. My impression is that one side of the hydraulics is trying to raise the compartment lid and the hydraulic on the other side is trying to close the compartment lid. The compartment lid, while the roof mechanism is activated, cannot be pushed down or lifted up. Release the mechanism and the lid moves manually without a problem. If the compartment lid is then manually raised (while the bow window is already is the raised position,) and the mechanism is activated to continue opening the roof, the front will unlock and then immediately lock and the compartment lid drops down but does not lock. Obviously the compartment lid should not be dropping down.

I suspect the problem the problem is electrical and relates to the drivers side bow window mechanism and sensors. The four prong electrical clip on the left bow window hydraulic mechanism is broken, and the four electrical leads from the mechanism are have simply been pushed into the female receptacle. See pic attached.

Comparing wiring from both the left and right side bow window mechanisms is useless as the color of the wires on each side is not the same.

My questions are:
1. Can the black plastic wiring clip/housing be replaced? If so, from where?
2. Is there a wiring schematic showing the proper position for each of the four wires (both sides of the car)
3. Is there something else that might cause the symptoms described above?

Thanks
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:02 PM
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Looking at a black 1991 SL500 is decent overall condition. I have inspected the hydraulic cylinders and they appear to have been worked on as there are no visable signs of leakage. That said the roof does not open or close correctly and must be operated manually.

If the roof is up, with the bow window and rear compartment lid in their respective raised positions, and the mechanism is activated to complete putting the roof up, the compartment lid will lower, close and lock, and the bow window will then drop and properly secure itself.

In contrast, trying to then put the roof down, the bow window will unlock and elevate to its up position, the compartment lid will unlock, however the compartment lid will not raise. My impression is that one side of the hydraulics is trying to raise the compartment lid and the hydraulic on the other side is trying to close the compartment lid. The compartment lid, while the roof mechanism is activated, cannot be pushed down or lifted up. Release the mechanism and the lid moves manually without a problem. If the compartment lid is then manually raised (while the bow window is already is the raised position,) and the mechanism is activated to continue opening the roof, the front will unlock and then immediately lock and the compartment lid drops down but does not lock. Obviously the compartment lid should not be dropping down.


3. Is there something else that might cause the symptoms described above?

Thanks
The hydraulic lines are numbered and the cylinders also are. Check to see if the lines are correctly plugged in to start with.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 11:17 PM
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That said the roof does not open or close correctly and must be operated manually.
So, you state that the roof does not close correctly. But in the next paragraph you describe a proper finish to a closing operation:

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Originally Posted by akbigmac View Post
...with the bow window and rear compartment lid in their respective raised positions, and the mechanism is activated to complete putting the roof up, the compartment lid will lower, close and lock, and the bow window will then drop and properly secure itself.
Is there in fact a problem with the closing sequence; and if so, what is it?
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry. I was less than clear.

The mechanism will not run through the entire sequence for either opening or closing without manual intervention. The break in the sequence occurs with the raising and lowering of the rear compartment lid.

1. If the roof is up (closed) and the open sequence is initiated, the rear bow window pins unlock, the bow window will raise, the compartment lid unlocks, however the compartment lid will not raise - the sequence stops. Not only will the compartment lid not raise, but it cannot be moved up or down manually while the roof button is pushed - rather it is seemingly frozen in place presumably by the hydraulics. Release the mechanism button and the compartment lid moves freely.

2. If the roof is down (open) and the close sequence is initiated, the compartment lid will unlock but does not raise - the sequence stops. If I manually raise the compartment lid to get past this point, and then restart the closing sequence, the compartment lid lowers but does not lock. Obviously what should happen is the compartment lid should stay open as the roof is raised to its up (closed) position. If the closing sequence is manually advanced further, so that the top is resting on the front, but both the bow window and compartment lid are raised, the front locks will lock, the compartment lid will lower and lock, and the bow window will lower and lock.

The hydraulic lines appear to be hooked up improperly. Also, if the hydraulic lines were hooked up improperly then neither the bow window or the compartment lid mechanisms should function as they do in the above description.

The break in both sequences occurs with the failure of the compartment lid to raise. To emphasize, the compartment lid will lower and lock, and will unlock - but will not raise.

Since my initial inquiry I have reviewed the soft-top diagnostic-function test diagrams which from my reading places issues with raising the compartment lid with "S84/5 - soft top compartment open switch". This switch, according to the diagrams, is located somewhere along the back edge of the rear compartment. Is anyone familiar with this switch and if so, can you take a picture of same and post?
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 07:53 AM
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...from my reading places issues with raising the compartment lid with "S84/5 - soft top compartment open switch".
From your description I'm not sure this is your problem. As far as identifying the switch, you can plainly see it at the right-rear corner of the top storage compartment slightly inboard of the lock for the rear bow.

I would read and erase all diagnostic codes for the convertible top controller. Then I execute either an open or close sequence, and once motion quits, I would continue to hold the control switch until either it flashes or 1-1/2 minutes have elapsed. Then I would read codes once again and consult the diagnostic manual.

A procedure for reading codes on a '95 and earlier car is given here. To read top controller codes you only need a wire or paperclip to briefly jumper together electrically the appropriate diagnostic sockets.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Reading diagnostic codes is new to me but I have found good descriptions on earlier posts.

I will follow up with my results once I have followed your directions.

Thank you bobterry99.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Read all codes (17 & 26). They appear unrelated.
Erased codes.
Activated sequence to open roof. Sequence stopped consistent with the description above.
Read Code - (12) which I believe relates to "Limit switch soft top storage compartment open".

The compartment lid switch was obvious as you stated. Raising the lid manually I can hear the switch click as it reaches its highest point.

Any suggestions as to next steps will be greatly appreciated.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by akbigmac View Post
Read all codes (17 & 26). They appear unrelated.
Erased codes.
Activated sequence to open roof. Sequence stopped consistent with the description above.
Read Code - (12) which I believe relates to "Limit switch soft top storage compartment open".

The compartment lid switch was obvious as you stated. Raising the lid manually I can hear the switch click as it reaches its highest point.

Any suggestions as to next steps will be greatly appreciated.
Have you checked that the lines are in the correct positions? They are numbered as are the cylinders.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hi John.

The hydraulic lines appear to be in their correct positions. Also, if the bow window and lid compartment are in their raised positions, and the closing sequence is initiated (to finish putting the roof up), the lid compartment will lower and lock, and the bow window will lower and lock, suggesting the hydraulics indeed are hooked up properly.

The compartment lid will unlock and raise about 2" above its closed position where it becomes "jammed" such that the lid can't be lowered or raised manually while the system is engaged. That suggests there must be pressure to at least one of the hydraulics. I see no evidence that the lid is being torqued as one might see if one hydraulic was pushing up and the other down.

Thank you for responding.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 06:48 PM
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Hi John.

The hydraulic lines appear to be in their correct positions. Also, if the bow window and lid compartment are in their raised positions, and the closing sequence is initiated (to finish putting the roof up), the lid compartment will lower and lock, and the bow window will lower and lock, suggesting the hydraulics indeed are hooked up properly.

The compartment lid will unlock and raise about 2" above its closed position where it becomes "jammed" such that the lid can't be lowered or raised manually while the system is engaged. That suggests there must be pressure to at least one of the hydraulics. I see no evidence that the lid is being torqued as one might see if one hydraulic was pushing up and the other down.

Thank you for responding.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest the bow extension cyl switch is not functioning properly...
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