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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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sl500mike,

welcome to the forum! I don't see mention of which model year you have - that would help us in being more specific. Please add your location and your model year to your profile, so that we can help you more effectively in the future... :)

Btw, do you have an owner's manual? While it shows you only how to raise the top, you can basically use the same procedure in reverse to lower the top. There are some complications with model years '95+.

If you are willing to spend some time on this yourself, then you can get all eleven or twelve cylinders upgraded for less than half of what Mercedes charges for a single main lift cylinder. Let's take it step by step and see which model year you have, and which cylinder you see leaking. Are you referring to the main lift cylinder 1298000272?



Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt and Upgraded Convertible Top Cylinders, Pumps, Hydraulic Lines - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

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1990 300SL-24 Mosselman Twin Turbo
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404 Posts
there should be a tool in the car toolkit that has a wrench at one end and a hex Allen wrench on the other use that tool to open the rear top storage hatch by looking for studs on both sides its easier to see if the roll bar is up but if not working its in-between the corners of the roll bar and the hatch using the wrench side of the tool turn both ends... after opening that up you can move the top up then behind the sun visor there's a plug there remove the plug and use the hex end to lock the top in after that open the trunk there should be rectangle covers on both ends by the opening for the hinges of the trunk remove those to find a piece to put the tool in and with the top in place you can push down to lock both sides of the top... now it should be complete if you need more help you can find it in the owners Manuel
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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944 Posts
unlocking the rear of the soft top in model years 95 and up

sl500mike,

duh, now I see in the title that you have a '99... In any case, please do update your profile.

To open the top manually, you want to always do the following:
1) lower the windows
2) release the rear locks
3) pull up the rear bow (the rear of the top that houses the window)
4) unlock and open the tonneau cover
5) unlock both front locks (they turn in opposite directions)
6) move back the top (hold up the rear bow as you are folding the top into the storage compartment)
7) lock the storage compartment

See page 2 of http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Tonneau Cover Lock Cylinders.pdf for an illustration on unlocking the tonneau cover.

A few important comments:

A) In model years '95+, the rear lock release requires some work. You need to remove some trim in the trunk and then pull up the small release levers. The one on the right side is hard to get to. See pictures below with instructions.

B) DO NOT think you can do this frequently without damaging anything. You can remove the leaking cylinders yourself and have them upgraded quite inexpensively. See the DIY instructions on Top Hydraulics' website: DIY Instructions - Top Hydraulics, Inc

C) Once you have manually unlocked the rear of a '95+, you will need to take special steps before you can operate the system again with the hydraulics, or the system will freeze up temporarily.

Let us know how it goes, and which cylinder(s) you find leaking.


Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt and Upgraded Convertible Top Cylinders, Pumps, Hydraulic Lines - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

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1997 sl500
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7 Posts
1997 r129 SL500 - Lower softtop manually

Hi,
I am trying to replace my right rear lock cylinder. The soft top is already raised and I need to access the compartmentunder the tonneau cover. I used the wrench supplied to access the release bolt between the roll bar and rear seat panel. but it is not releasing. I read that there is a way to release it through the truck? Has anyone done this because I cant locate the alternate release mechanism.. The part I am replacing is 1298002172..
Thanks

Juan
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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944 Posts
Hi,
I am trying to replace my right rear lock cylinder. The soft top is already raised and I need to access the compartmentunder the tonneau cover. I used the wrench supplied to access the release bolt between the roll bar and rear seat panel. but it is not releasing. I read that there is a way to release it through the truck? Has anyone done this because I cant locate the alternate release mechanism.. The part I am replacing is 1298002172..
Thanks

Juan
Juan,

did you turn the ignition off? If the ignition is on, it will block all valves and you cannot move any cylinders manually.

You cannot release the tonneau cover from the trunk.

For removal of the rear lock cylinder (and to see in which direction to move the soft top tool for tonneau cover release), see http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Rear Locking Cylinder Removal.pdf

Are you seeing only one rear lock cylinder leaking, nothing else?

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt and Upgraded Convertible Top Cylinders, Pumps, Hydraulic Lines - Top Hydraulics, Inc

 

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sl500
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3 Posts
I have released the rear locks, pulled the bow up, opened the hatch cover. My right rear
lock was my leaking cylinder. I've resealed it and ready reinstall it. What do I need to do
next as far as timing or sequencing to get the system back in operation???

Thanks JetOps
 

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99 SL500 Pano ADS II
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333 Posts
sequencing

I have released the rear locks, pulled the bow up, opened the hatch cover. My right rear
lock was my leaking cylinder. I've resealed it and ready reinstall it. What do I need to do
next as far as timing or sequencing to get the system back in operation???

Thanks JetOps

Manually close the top.
Synch the windows by pressing on the switch to close ,,over 6 seconds each.
Remove the key give it a minute or two,, turn the key on ,, then try the master switch.
If still no go ,, unhook the battery in right sequence ,, let it sit over night ,, attach the battery again right sequence ,, then try.
If still no avail ,, attach a diagnostics and clear the code.
Still not working?
Check the fluid ,, make sure the repaired cylinder is not leaking or blocked.
Check for other cylinders as well.
If I was in your shoes,, I would remove all 11 cylinders including the oil dispenser at the top window ,, send them all to Klaus for refurbishment, while at it. Rather then fixing one by one. Surely if one goes ,, others will follow.
Good luck.
Soft top is the life of 129s !
 

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'99 SL500, '65 Corvette rdstr, '10 Volvo S80, '11 Chev Silverado
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763 Posts
Question to Klaus:
MY '99 SL500 has been leaking hydraulic oil from a couple of cylinders for some time. I wanted to spend this weekend removing all the cylinders to send to you for rebuilding. The problem I ran into is that the pump reservoir is too low to operate any of the cylinders to lower the soft top, hence my access to the cylinders is about nil. What can you suggest? My first thought was to refill the reservoir.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Stan
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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944 Posts
Question to Klaus:
MY '99 SL500 has been leaking hydraulic oil from a couple of cylinders for some time. I wanted to spend this weekend removing all the cylinders to send to you for rebuilding. The problem I ran into is that the pump reservoir is too low to operate any of the cylinders to lower the soft top, hence my access to the cylinders is about nil. What can you suggest? My first thought was to refill the reservoir.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Stan
Hello Stan,

I have already responded to your separate email. On a '99 in Bonita Springs, Florida, you are likely having leaks from more than two cylinders if this has been going on for a while. I am glad that you are sending in all eleven cylinders at the same time - you are avoiding lots of labor and aggravation. As I have written many times on this forum, if you find leaks in any one of the rear nine or ten cylinders, then ALL cylinders with original seals in them will fail in short order.

While you could fairly easily unlatch the top manually even on a model year '95 or younger, the challenge in your case actually lies in raising the roll bar. Raising the roll over bar is not required for R&R of all hydraulic cylinders, but it makes the job a lot easier. Raising the roll bar in a model year '95+ without using the hydraulic pump is tricky, and I would not recommend it. Do not unbolt the roll bar from its spring loaded supports, or they will come up on you unevenly.

Having said all of this, I would suggest filling the pump on the leaking system one more time to make your job easier. Obviously, you don't want hydraulic fluid pouring into your car, but it looks like you have been putting up with this for a while. UNlocking and lowering the top is when you loose the most fluid. If you are concerned about spilling any more fluid into the car's interior, then you may want to only raise the roll bar and subsequently lower the top manually.

If you are not concerned about loosing fluid on this one operation, then I would suggest that you do the following:
1) Add some FeBi 02615 or Mercedes A0009899103 to the reservoir.
2) Lower the top.
3) Raise the roll bar.
4) Remove the carpeted panels under the roll bar, as shown in our DIY instructions http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Main Lift Cylinder Removal.pdf.
5) (optional) Lower the roll bar again.

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 

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'99 SL500, '65 Corvette rdstr, '10 Volvo S80, '11 Chev Silverado
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OK. Received my hydraulic oil yesterday, and refilled the reservoir today. After a few moments waiting for the pump to recharge the cylinders, the roof and roll bar again are operational. I've got to work on the golf course for a few days this week, so it will be Friday before I get a chance to remove all the cylinders for rebuilding. Looking forward to eliminating those pools of oil on my garage floor! :wink
 

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'99 SL500, '65 Corvette rdstr, '10 Volvo S80, '11 Chev Silverado
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763 Posts
I finally found time today to start removing my hydraulic cylinders. Started on the passenger side and removed 3 cylinders while losing only one c-clip somewhere in the bowels of the car. Tomorrow should go a lot smoother now that I'm getting the hang of it. I'm hoping to get everything ready to ship to Klaus by Monday.
BTW, why is it that you always need to sacrifice finger blood to lubricate things when you're working in tight spaces? :devil
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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944 Posts
Way to go, Stan. Organic lube, huh? :wink

No worries about the e-clips (aka circlips or c-clips). We always try to include a few spares with the return shipment. We kept running out of them, because they are hard to get in the US, so we finally got a large enough batch made for us in Germany. :)

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 

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'99 SL500, '65 Corvette rdstr, '10 Volvo S80, '11 Chev Silverado
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763 Posts
Moving right along. I removed 6 more cylinders today, just have the two front soft top locks to remove tomorrow. Managed to lose one "H style" pivot pin end lock today. It just popped off the pin almost by itself and went like a bullet into one of the recesses under the floor. Also managed to break my telescopic magnet holder looking for this miserable lock. Oh well, maybe my local Ace Hardware will have something I can use in its' place.
If all goes well tomorrow (and why not?) the cylinders will be on their way to Klaus on Monday as planned. :grin
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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944 Posts
Stan,

don't waste too much time in the hardware store. If I'm understanding you correctly, then it is a fancy clip that we can replace for you (for free) with an e-clip. Just include a note in your shipment, telling us where exactly the clip belongs, or include the matching clip from the other side with your note.

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 

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'99 SL500, '65 Corvette rdstr, '10 Volvo S80, '11 Chev Silverado
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763 Posts
OK 11 cylinders all removed, packaged and ready to go out tomorrow. Nothing truly difficult so far and I expect the re-installation shouldn't be nearly as time consuming. :smile
 

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'99 SL500, '65 Corvette rdstr, '10 Volvo S80, '11 Chev Silverado
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Incredibly fast service from Top Hydraulics. They received my cylinders on Monday, and now on Thursday I have a rebuilt set back and ready to reinstall tomorrow. I was impressed how they were carefully packaged and labelled. Very professional. (No, I don't own shares in the company!)
Can't wait to get started on the job tomorrow! :smile
 

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CL500, SL500, ML320
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This is a question for my 99 SL500 soft top....I have read the posts and followed the steps on how to manually raise/lower the soft top. However, I'm sure I've missed key information.

Hi,

I have a stuck left side that is not allowing the closing cycle to complete. Using the tool, I tried to manually tighten and close, but it doesn't allow it. The lever is too far down and there seems to be no way to tighten it without running out of space at the bottom, etc. Although there is no oil leak visible nor there is any evidence of it, I am told the cylinder has leaked and must be rebuild/replaced. With the cycle not complete, the windows stay down and system beeps before stopping, which then continues to blink. There is a local shop asking $380 to remove, rebuild and install on the left side.

Beside removing the cylinder(s) myself or have the shop do it, is there anything I can do to at least close the roof and complete the cycle so the windows can rollup?

Thanks!!
 
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