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1999 Magma Red SLK230
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've researched post after post to try and determine the Best remote roof controller? I would like to know your opinion as to which one to purchase.
I would also like to know any problems you might have had with a unit.


The owners manual recommends when putting top up or down to have the car running because of the battery drain?

Will I be draining my battery by operating the top as I walk to my car or away from it after parking?

Thanks!


John T.
 

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2003 SLK230
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653 Posts
I'm not yet an SLK owner, so others may have a more informed answer. But, generally speaking, when the engine's not running, any electrical devices you operate will draw the battery's charge down. If the battery's fully charged, it may not be a serious issue. But if the battery's weak, you could run into problems starting the car.

I also don't know how much current the roof motors in an SLK draw when operating, but I'm sure it's considerably more than the headlights (which should also not be turned on until the engine's running).
 

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SLK32
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915 Posts
I have the BVRC. Don't know if that is even for sale anymore. I've never had any battery problems due to putting the top up or down remotely with the car turned off. I would imagine that as long as you don't sit there playing with it...up, down, up, down, up, down...you should be fine.

As for the unit itself, I really like the features it has. Can operate the top at up to 25mph. Can operate the top hands free from inside (hold for like 2 seconds). Can operate the top remotely(obviously).

Setup was not too complicated, instructions were pretty clear.
 

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2002 SLK 32 AMG, bone stock. 1987 190E 2.3-16 valve (destroyed). 2005 E320 new toy.
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14,926 Posts
You can operate the roof a few times before you run into trouble, seems to me I read that up to 5 full operations are not a problem with a good battery.
Once, while your walking to the car will not run the battery down..
 

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1999 Magma Red SLK230
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
BVRC & Smart Top are both available. I wouldn't be playing with the top however unless it is raining the top goes down. My family gets frustrated however I think 23 seconds for my Magna Red Valium to kick in is a worthy cause. I just didn't know if it would over the course of a day being put up and down 10-12 times would cause draining. Now that I hear myself any drain would be recharged by the alternator.

The local dealership is against it of course and is not offering any information. The way I figure it is since I'm not able to change out the pulley and am not really sure about all the cold air intake discussion I would get the remote, add a chrome exhaust tip, change out the grille and just continue my stress relief.

When I want to hear myself driving fast I drive my sons Mustang GT, when I want to drive the fastest in my family I drive my wife's BMW 740iL and when I want to look and feel great I drive my little Magna Red Valium.......
 

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'99 SLK230
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116 Posts
I put in the SmartTop a few weeks ago. Installation was only complicated by the fact that since it's dealing w/ wiring (that's packed tight) I actually triple checked each wire against the diagram / instructions before tapping. There are two wires you cut so I think I checked those at least 4 times. Because of my time consuming anal install it's worked flawlessly since day one.

I've opened & closed a couple/three times to show it off inbetween starting w/o any issue. Since I can use the remote from my office desk it will be used every day I have the car at the office.

I would think as long as your battery / alternator are up to snuff you shouldn't have any problems. It's a great mod.
 

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1999 Magma Red SLK230
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
dkpnkc The Bipes Vario Roof Commander (BVRC) control box is 4-1/4" x 2-3/4" x 1" and goes behind a panel in the passenger (left-hand drive) footwell. The relays and fuse go in the fuse box under the hood. When installed it is totally out of sight.

Is your Smart Top similar in size, location or is it less obtrusive?
I'm not too mechanically inclined and live a lot by The "Equilizer" motto of knowing when to call in the favor.

My daughter is not getting married yet however keeps telling me the current countdown 13 days until her Sweet 16 and the fact that between her brother's Mustang GT, mother's BMW740iL and my SLK230 that not just any old car will look good or appropriate in the driveway.

Just celebrated 19 years of marriage on the 15th, 19 years ago it was Easter and not the tax day, my wife's B-day is Thursday, yet she is not as excited for me to buy accesories for my car as an anniversary gift or to celebrate her B-day.

The Difference between Men and Boys is not the size of their toys but Knowing when to Purchase and Play with them........
 

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'99 SLK230
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116 Posts
The SmartTop module & wiring stay under the hood so it sounds like it's not as hard of install as the Vario - but I'm sure they both have their installation quirks. Here's a link to the SmartTop & on this page there's a link to get a copy of the installation manual. I read it a couple of times before starting.

https://www.wit-usa.com/sms/shop/index.php?mode=view&idlistpos=1

The hardest part is when tapping the wires because it's so tight that there is very limited room to maneuver.

Electronic's don't worry me too much but messing with the wiring box like that did have me somewhat nervous. One suggestion - either have your laptop w/ you or print out the instructions w/ a good color printer - I referred to both during the install.

I'm an April groom myself - the 19th for me. The comment regarding buying accessories & men/boys reminds me of a saying someone here or on slkworld.com uses as their signature, so I can't take credit for it - it's something like "The thing I worry about when I die is my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I paid for it." Classic.
 

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1999 Magma Red SLK230
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Awesome! I checked out the site and it definatley looks like less trouble and nothing in the floor board. Very appealing to just be under the hood. It looks to be the better of the two. Thanks for the advice and information.

"The thing I worry about when I die is my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I paid for it." So true.

Now I just have to see what I can actually get..........
 

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05 E55 AMG
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611 Posts
I have the EasyRoof installed in my SLK32. You have nothing to fear by putting your roof up or down as long as your battery is in good health. I have put the roof up and down 3 times each way in succession with no issues. Plus every time you drive your car a little bit, any juice used is automatically recharged back to the battery by the alternator.
 

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1999 Magma Red SLK230
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Not to sound stupid but is Easy Roof another unit? Of is it the SmartTop? 2 contenders or 3? Thanks
 

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1998 SLK 230
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20 Posts
I don't know the answer between the Easy Roof & SmartTop, but I know that the Bipes and the smartTop are not the same.
I got one from x-t-c in Germany (is just like the SmartTop) and it works very well; like everybody mentioned before no problems with the battery as long it is healthy.
This is a link if you want to check it out and also send me a PM i youwant the instructions, so you can see how simple is the installation.
XTC X-TREME TUNING CENTER
 

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2004 SLK320 Special Edition
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86 Posts
I went with the Smart Top because all of the wiring hookups are done under the hood. You don't have to mess with a module under the carpeting or running a wire through the firewall. The power relay is contained in the fusebox under the hood and the control module is contained in the roof control box which is covered. Just double check all your wiring. Mine works great and I love it. Glad I went with the Smart Top.
 

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1999 Magma Red SLK230
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the input I still have a few weeks before I choose between the unit and or which grille or both just to get everything I want for now.
 

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2010 C200 CGI /W203/SLK230/W202/230E/280SE
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3,301 Posts
Agree that there is no need to run the engine while cycling the roof, I just get a bit anal about what a <40 amp drain on the battery for 25 seconds does to it !!

If I had a BVRC or Smart Top, I would happily ignore the issue and enjoy it

Good luck with your choice

Bruce
 

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1999 SLK 230
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937 Posts
I ran the BVRC wiring in that fashion because it is the way Mercedes did it. The stock wiring to the fuse box is through the bottom into the passenger compartment; likewise the CCM. I did no like the idea of breaching the seals on the fuse and CCM boxes by running wires past them, but if you’re careful it can certainly be done. Some customers have wired the BVRC completely under the hood – there’s no inherent reason it cannot be done.
 

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05 E55 AMG
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611 Posts
The EasyRoof was a unit made by Dirk. He only made a few as he had a baby, and it appears his child has taken up his free time. You can check out his homepage at: simpleroof.de - WELCOME The EasyRoof is listed under Projects.
 
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