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1994 SL500 with 187,000 miles on it, 2007 E350 with 250,000 on the car and 700,000 miles on engine
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know most say use only Mercedes fluids but.... What are the alternatives? I have a leak that I will eventually fix, top right rear piston so it drips thru the jack plug, but in the meantime I need to refill the tank once in a while. Mercedes is $20 per bottle. So what alternatives are there?
 

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2000 Obsidian Black Metallic Mercedes SL 320 V6 (SOLD) 2012 E 350CDI Cabrio 265 PS
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4,546 Posts
lbarbish you could use the Febi fluid that's what the Mercedes Fluid is as per the 3rd sticky but nothing else I'm afraid. It's better not messing with the top hydraulics to avoid headaches.
Meanwhile please remember to fill your profile with your car year ad location to help us help you in th e best and quickest possible way.
Welcome aboard.

Cheers.
 

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1994 SL500 with 187,000 miles on it, 2007 E350 with 250,000 on the car and 700,000 miles on engine
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks MSBARSI, I've done both, updated my information and ordered the Febi Fluid. Thanks much.
 

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91 500SL, 93 600SL, 95 S600 coupe, 97 S320, 99 ML430, 2003 CL600, 94 SL600, 97 Kawasaki 1100 STX
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135 Posts
Old thread, I know.
But I needed some fluid for soft top to work and it was late night so I put in hydraulic jack hydraulic fluid. It worked fine but don't take my advise to use it. I have that fluid in my soft top system in 91 500sl for over a year and it works fine still. Bought fluid at Autozone for my jack. Prior to putting jack fluid in I replaced seals in few cylinders. No leaks developed yet in cylinders that have new seals but slight leak developed in one of cylinders I never replaced seals in.

One other guy here locally uses hydraulic jack fluid in his 93 500SL soft top system as he has big leak in one roof cylinders and doesn't want to buy MB fluid all the time. I will replace seals in his cylinders soon but for now he uses that fluid for about 6 months now. It works fine and no other cylinders leak.

Just wanted to post this as a guinea pig experiment I did on my own car and I think it is a substitute for MB fluid. Hydraulic is hydraulic and I think it should be fine in Mercedes roof or hydraulic jack. I could be wrong but it works for me.
 

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daily driver Passat variant 1995, Model A 1930 streetrod, '92Mercedes R129 300-24, Yamaha Diversion
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35 Posts
new seals for pistons

Hello, I'm new here, does anyone knows where I can find new seals to overhaul the hydraulic pistons. The main cilinder on the right is leaking and I will probably do them all at once

thanks

Old thread, I know.
But I needed some fluid for soft top to work and it was late night so I put in hydraulic jack hydraulic fluid. It worked fine but don't take my advise to use it. I have that fluid in my soft top system in 91 500sl for over a year and it works fine still. Bought fluid at Autozone for my jack. Prior to putting jack fluid in I replaced seals in few cylinders. No leaks developed yet in cylinders that have new seals but slight leak developed in one of cylinders I never replaced seals in.

One other guy here locally uses hydraulic jack fluid in his 93 500SL soft top system as he has big leak in one roof cylinders and doesn't want to buy MB fluid all the time. I will replace seals in his cylinders soon but for now he uses that fluid for about 6 months now. It works fine and no other cylinders leak.

Just wanted to post this as a guinea pig experiment I did on my own car and I think it is a substitute for MB fluid. Hydraulic is hydraulic and I think it should be fine in Mercedes roof or hydraulic jack. I could be wrong but it works for me.
 

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1999 SL500 Sport, Black Opal Pearl, Helios Leather, Pano roof, AMG Aero2 18"Split Rims, Rear Seats
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94 SL600, 89 Jag XJS conv, 85 Daimler Princess, 97 993 63 Avanti 16 Lincoln MKZ hybrid 16 Silverado
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721 Posts
"Lover"
In the USA, Klaus of Top Hydraulics has an excellent repair service and improved seals that he has developed. Many on the forum have used him as a source.
Top Hydraulics has an internet site and if you have space, tools and skills the cost is minor compared to a dealers labor and new cylinders purchase.
Welcome to the forum.
 

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1992 500SL 129.066
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354 Posts
vintagelover, you can get your cylinders repaired by sending to tophydraulics who, by all accounts do a very good job. they may also supply the seals but you'd need to check if that's still the case. you can also source them from a supplier in this post

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r12...draulic-cylinder-repair-true-confessions.html

the cylinders I repaired are currently working just fine after 2 years almost daily service - tempting fate with that statement for sure!
 

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Mercedes SL 280
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14 Posts
I had exactly the same warnings about never using anythging other than the recommended and very expensive oil for the hydraulic roof on my Alfa Spider. I did a little research and started using a T22 hydraulic oil. Had no problems whatsoever with it and I'll be using the same on the Merc's hydraulic roof.
 

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daily driver Passat variant 1995, Model A 1930 streetrod, '92Mercedes R129 300-24, Yamaha Diversion
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35 Posts
thanks

I know , I live in the wrong country,
I would not hesitate to send them to TopHydraulics but by the time they get back I have paid an extra set of them to our government.
Saw through your link the adress in GB to which I will adress.
gonna get them all out first and also do some measurements first.
Anyway thanks for the info !
 

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

Allow me to clarify some terminology:

Rod seals are the ones that fail first. They are cup-shaped and seal the rod (the chromed part coming out of the cylinder) from the housing. Obviously, it is essential to get them in the correct size, shape, and material. SOME can people do a decent job of replacing those seals without ruining the cylinders - MOST people will do more damage than good. I have seen over a thousand damaged R129 cylinders at this point.

Piston seals seal the piston from the inner walls. Essential to replace those in early model years, or you will get internal leaks, seizing cylinders, and/or plugged valves. You cannot buy the piston seals off the shelf anywhere, and sizes vary greatly between different model years.

Port seals are the ones that seal the hydraulic lines to the cylinders. Top Hydraulics replaces them all with tighter seals made of a more durable material. They are held in place by brass rings that are extremely hard to remove without damaging them. That is not a DIY job. On an early model year, it is important to change the port seals, as well. On later model years, it is important to do so in hot climates.

Klaus

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

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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1995 r129 sl500
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3 Posts
Against my better judgement I bought the o-rings on eBay 2 years ago. There were a lot of cylinders that I couldn't get the ends off but with the rubber o-ring I was able to break off the old one and slide over the o-ring on the new one. I thought, this will never work. But it did, on all of them, and it's been two years without a drip drip drip
 

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2015 ML350, 2010 ML350, 1999 CLK 320 (1992 500 SL gone, 2011 ML550 gone, C320 wagon gone
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614 Posts
Your options are limited to getting your old cylinders repaired or replace with new.
As far as I am aware there is still no retail source of the correct size and material seals
Dont be tempted by plain O rings for sale on e-bay
In the 2 years of ownership of my SL I have replaced the 12 soft top cylinders, one after the other, as they started leaking, plus the front distributor. Half of them were sent to Top Hydraulics for rebuilt. 4 were rebuilt by myself using appropriate seals I got from that web site Mercedes-Benz Convertible top hydraulic seals.. 2 of them were rebuilt by myself using O-rings. The reason I used o-rings for these 2 was because they started leaking really bad just 2 days before leaving for a week vacations in the mountains of North Carolina with my SL. I did not have time to get the right seals or send them to Top Hydraulics and I wanted to be able to use my soft top during this trip. I therefore replaced these 2 seals with o-rings approved for hydraulic systems and that saved my vacations. That was more than a year ago and they still dont leak after numerous uses of the soft top. If they do I will replace them but for now all is good. I am not saying that O-Rings should be used but in my case it did work well.
 
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