Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
2005 CLK 320 Convertible
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
1. I was having some issues with the top and found that the fluid reservoir was low. I topped it off, and the top was working fine. Within about 2 weeks, i noticed that the reservoir was about two inches low. I refilled it, and within about 3 days, it was low again. There are no visible leaks in the trunk or through the soft top. Where should I check for a seal leak?

2. I noticed that the glue on the seam above the rear window is starting to come apart. Is this something that I should try to glue back now, or is it one of those things that "once it starts, you won't be able to stop it" due to the regular stress put on the seam?
 

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
Joined
·
19,463 Posts
The fluid is going somewhere. It doesn't just disappear into thin air. You need to locate and repair the leaking component. As for the separating seam, unfortunately, there's not a good fix for that except a new top. MBZ only sells the entire top in one large assembly. Check eBay - you can find a new Haartz (the OEM) canvas for under $1000. You'll probably want a good upholstery shop to do it for you.
 

·
Registered
2005 CLK 320 Convertible
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It appears that I may have acted with too much haste regarding the 3-day problem. In hindsight, I checked the reservoir shortly after I pulled in the garage and put up the top. It is likely that some of the fluid was still in the lines and had not yet returned to the reservoir. When I checked the fluid this morning (after leaving the top up for the weekend), the fluid was dead on.

My other "solution" was that the fluid, once filled to the right level, would eventually "settle" and any air bubbles that may have entered when the fluid ran low may have been displaced. That may have been the issue with the 2-week check.

I guess I'll just need to start checking the levels in the morning before putting the top in operation to see if I am actually losing any fluid through faulty components.
 

·
Registered
03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
Joined
·
949 Posts
You must find the leaking component - most likely the front lock cylinder

JEBAtlanta,

welcome to the forum! I will paste in some comments below...

The fluid is going somewhere. It doesn't just disappear into thin air. You need to locate and repair the leaking component.
Absolutely right! Usually, the first cylinder to leak is the front locking cylinder. (Eventually, all cylinders will leak. We are currently upgrading full sets in '06 and '07 models located in hot climates.) You may not find the fluid in the headliner yet, because it first drips into a trim panel. I would highly recommend checking out this cylinder. Attached below is a photo with simplified instructions written into it. Should be self-explanatory, and this is a 15-minute job. All you need is a small flat screwdriver to remove four rivet-style tabs (or a panel removal tool would be a luxury, if you have it). Pull out the center piece of the tabs first, then you can pull out the tabs easily without damaging them.

the fluid, once filled to the right level, would eventually "settle" and any air bubbles that may have entered when the fluid ran low may have been displaced
Yes, if your fluid level was very low, then the larger cylinders had already sucked in some air, which was eventually expelled back into the reservoir. Again, you must find the leaking component and have it replaced (expensive) or upgraded by Top Hydraulics (much more affordable and longer lasting).

Hope this helps,

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinders - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
hello,
i just replaced one of the hydraulic lines and put everything together. (Thanks Klaus ( tophydraulic.com) for the superfast return.)
Since I had to take the plate off with all the Hydraulic lines I assume I have to prime the pump ...?

what happens now when I try to open it : the rear windows open, the soft compartment cover opens but not the soft top itself ! It unlocks from the front window and comes up about .5 inch. I can hear the working but nothing happens. when I close it again everything locks in fine.

There are no leaks whats so ever. What else I saw is that the oil became white and and a bit foamy so I assume there is still air in it.

Any suggestion how to fix that problem?

thanks
 

·
Registered
03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
Joined
·
949 Posts
Replaced hydraulic line, foamy fluid, priming, micro switches

Hello Foreigner,

thanks for mentioning our service. We manufacture hydraulic lines for systems similar to the W209 (such as late model Saab 9-3, Infinity G37, VW EOS and BMW E65 convertibles), and were happy to custom make one for you. Our hydraulic lines have a Kevlar reinforcement inside, and hold up to some 10000 psi operating pressure. Burst pressure is much higher. Your pump will put out some 2600 psi at the peak. Our website address ends with ...hydraulicsinc.com, by the way.

In response to your questions, the pump is self priming. However, you have to add fluid to it if you see the fluid in the reservoir foaming up. The reservoir has markers for the recommended fluid level, and it has a fill screw on top.

It is a bit hard to fill the reservoir with a bottle; I would recommend using a syringe, squirt bottle, or turkey baster.

Your system probably has some air in it, which will later be vented into the reservoir. Thus, it is okay to fill the reservoir a bit past the high mark.

Your system not working properly could be a result of low fluid. Otherwise, you need to search for the micro switch that indicates to the controller that the previous step in the sequence was completed...

Hope this helps,

-Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
thanks Klaus,

i used a 100 cc bulb syringe to refill the reservoir. its on max right now and after the first test run it was foaming up. Now it looks like real oil.

just tried it again after couple unsuccessful trials. Now its working like before.

One more suggestion for the next person who wants to take it apart.

1.Get a star drive bit for your battery screwdriver it quicker to get the screws
out from the metallplate.
2. 1/4 Hexdriver with U Joint and flexible shaft. Otherwise your are not getting
the Hex screw in the back of the pump.
I tried without to take it out took almost 2 hours. Putting back in with the
right tool .....5 min.
otherwise its just regular tools and some new cable ties.

In total should not not longer take than 3 hours.

C.K.
 

·
Registered
2005 CLK 320 Convertible
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Leaking Cylinder Identified

At last, the leak became bad enough to discover the source. I had the mechanic look around while replacing some suspension parts. The right main lift cylinder was leaking and needs to be replaced.

Now I need to determine whether to just bite the bullet and rebuild all of the cylinders and whether to pay the mechanic or do it myself. I am waiting on a labor estimate from the mechanic.

In the meantime, I wanted to close out this thread on the mystery leak.
 

·
Registered
03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
Joined
·
949 Posts
Replacing one or all cylinders?

JEBAtlanta,

thanks for following up. Unfortunately, it is a lot of work to remove and replace the main lift cylinders 2098000772 and 2098000872 - probably as much as all the others combined. The issue is that the rear seat and quarter panels need to be removed. If I recall correctly, then AllData budgets 3.4 hours for one main lift, and 4 hours for both. An experienced mechanic who has done the job before can remove and replace all cylinders in four hours, but you will not find anyone quoting you anywhere near as little, because it does not leave any room for error, and the time quoted would be a best case not counting administrative time and customer interaction.

I can give you some pointers if you decide to do the job yourself.

If you asked me which cylinders to replace, then I would have a very clear answer: replace them all, using Top Hydraulics' rebuild/upgrade service! I will skip explaining why our service makes the cylinders better than brand new ones - that's been covered enough times. What should make your decision on one vs all cylinders are the following points:

1) It takes practically the same amount of time to replace one or both main lifts, and it is an absolute must to replace them both. They fail at about the same time, because the seal cross section is the same, and they have been exposed to the same environment (most importantly exposure to heat).
2) In our experience, the other cylinders will follow failing in short order once you see the first cylinder in the rear leaking. If the top lock cylinder 2098001172 has not failed yet, that was a case of luck. Next ones will be the expensive tonneau cylinders 2098001272, then the bow tension cylinders 2098000972.
3) Add up the numbers of how much it will cost you to send us several cylinders one by one (not even counting your additional labor), and you will find our package deal for all seven cylinders to be an outstanding deal: Upgrade service for full set of W209 CLK convertible top cylinders



Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt and Upgraded Convertible Top Cylinders, Pumps, Hydraulic Lines - Top Hydraulics, Inc
Rebuild & upgrade of '03-'09 W209 CLK-Class hydraulic top components - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

·
Registered
2005 CLK 320 Convertible
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Estimate to Remove and Replace

I am disappointed to report that the indie shop estimated 12.5 hours to remove and replace the cylinders. Looks like it is time to make some more calls, as it appears that this shop hasn't done this too very often.
The shop also told me that they couldn't put the top up with the cylinders removed (at odds with posts that I have seen).
 

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
Joined
·
19,463 Posts
Yeah, I think you might want to find another shop. The top can most certainly be manually operated without the hydraulics. In fact, on earlier versions, you actually have to disconnect the hydraulic cylinders from the soft top cover in order to operate it manually as it's too hard otherwise.
 

·
Registered
03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
Joined
·
949 Posts
JEBAtlanta,

sorry to hear about your frustration. Top Hydraulics supplies many shops in the Atlanta area, so there are some good ones out there. I have no idea how much our customers are charging, or how many hours they are scheduling for a W209 full cylinder R&R. You could start out by calling some shops listed in benzshops.com.

There is a trick involved in locking the top without cylinders installed, and you will not find it in any manuals. Rudeney is right, it is very easy to move the top without hydraulic cylinders. The front can be locked manually with an Allen wrench, and the rear requires your choice of bungee, wire, or strap tied inside the trunk ( I would choose a wire, just to be safe).

Here is how the rear locks: when the rear bow (rear window section) is down already, the tonneau cover slides into it such that it locks down the fabric bow. Now, the tonneau cover needs to be locked down. That normally happens with the fancy tonneau cover cylinders, which have a locking mechanism inside (and that's what the release buttons on the bottom of the cylinders are all about). If the tonneau cover cylinders are taken out, then you can string a wire where the cylinders used to be, and the cover will not be able to pop up by itself. The wire is accessible from the trunk, so the top can be locked safely. :)

I hope this helps,

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt and Upgraded Convertible Top Cylinders, Pumps, Hydraulic Lines - Top Hydraulics, Inc
Rebuild & upgrade of '03-'09 W209 CLK-Class hydraulic top components - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

·
Registered
2005 CLK320
Joined
·
1 Posts
Cost estimate?

Can you tell me what your quote was to have all cylinders rebuilt. First of all my guy says there are 8 and then i get a quote for $2400




At last, the leak became bad enough to discover the source. I had the mechanic look around while replacing some suspension parts. The right main lift cylinder was leaking and needs to be replaced.

Now I need to determine whether to just bite the bullet and rebuild all of the cylinders and whether to pay the mechanic or do it myself. I am waiting on a labor estimate from the mechanic.

In the meantime, I wanted to close out this thread on the mystery leak.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top