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1992 500 SL
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone, Just bought a car, there is a leak in the cylinder for the top. I managed to put down the top manually and there was no beeping then. I just put on the hard top and it is beeping. It appears to be locked down but still beeping. Any suggestions?

I was planning to have the cylinders rebuilt over winter but was hoping to drive it for a while with hard top.


Also, ASR button just came on as well. Not sure if it is related.

Thanks.
 

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E350 Sport
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1,454 Posts
one or more of the 4 latches aren't locking on the ht.

read the stickies about soft/hardtop issues and all about the many cylinders that raise/lower the top and latch the hardtop.
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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11,164 Posts
The light and beeping indicate the TOP operation cycle is not complete.
Try manually lifting the HT at the four corners one at a time, if it moves at all, check that latch as it may not be completely locked down.
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
Inspecting cylinders

The ASR light is unrelated.

As RKH and bearone say, for now, lock down the lock(s) that isn't (aren't) working.

Later, when it's convenient to take down the hard top, you'll have to inspect the 12 cylinders in your system. Checking which ones are obviously leaking takes only a few minutes, and you can make a plan from there. The ones above the windshield need the header cover panel removed for inspection, which takes only four Phillips screws. Anything shiny under the front lock cylinders is likely oil. The ten cylinders in the rear can be checked out with the tonneau cover up and the rear of the soft top up. Eight of them are mounted vertically, and fairly easy to check out. Just look for traces of oil where the piston rod comes out of the cylinder body.

For pics and a guide to inspection, removal, and re-installation, check out these links for the six different pairs of cylinders on your car:

http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Front Locking Cylinder Removal.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Rear Locking Cylinder Removal.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Tonneau Cover Lift Cylinders.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Tonneau Cover Lock Cylinders.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Bow Extension Cylinder Removal.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Main Lift Cylinder Removal.pdf

This inspection is not conclusive; there could be more leaks than is visible right away. In fact, most customers send us more or all of their cylinders after we have fixed the first pair or two. The good news is, our seals are far better than the original ones, and you will be able to forget about those cylinders for a long time. Probably longer than you will own the car... :)

Hope this helps,

-Klaus
 

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1992 500 SL
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. I tried for a while by myself to relock the top finally got it when a friend stopped by.

For anyone in the future who is having this trouble, It is not enough to just push up and then back down the manual latches in the back. You have to lift up the top and then lift up the latch until it clicks all the way open before you put it back down to lock.

I am planning to redo the cylinders over the winter. I may send them off to top hydraulics but I was curious about just buying the seals and possibly redoing myself. Most likely will not, but are the seals available?
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
Seals or rebuild?

Thanks for sharing the experience on re-locking the rear.

Someone is selling the seals only for about half as much as we charge for the full rebuild. We have sold seals ourselves in the beginning, and found that it was very time consuming to talk people through the process, and that more than 50% of our customer ended up damaging one or more cylinders. It is not likely to read those reports on benzworld...

Many people will tell you that it was easy to rebuild their cylinders, and that may be the case for some folks.

Imagine that you scratch up only one of the 12 cylinders you are rebuilding -- the damage is more expensive than if you had sent them in. Transit time by Priority Mail is typically 2 days, and we turn around most orders in one business day.

Lastly, our new generation of seals are hybrids with PTFE back-shells (PTFE is Polytetrafluoroethylene, the material that DuPont trademarked as Teflon). They are far superior to any plain Polyurethane seal, and harder to install. The latter is the reason we would not sell those seals at all.

Hope this makes sense,

-Klaus
 

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1992 500SL
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6 Posts
Hi guys, this is my very first post on this great forum. I am really sorry for posting on this old thread, but i have a similar problem on my '92 500SL. My top does not work and i took the hardtop off manually, but now i am getting beeping and blinking switch when the car moving. Please tell me if there is a way to stop the beeping. The weather is getting really nice and i wanna enjoy some top down driving without the beep until i rebuild the cylinders later. Thanks for your help!
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
Hi guys, this is my very first post on this great forum. I am really sorry for posting on this old thread, but i have a similar problem on my '92 500SL. My top does not work and i took the hardtop off manually, but now i am getting beeping and blinking switch when the car moving. Please tell me if there is a way to stop the beeping. The weather is getting really nice and i wanna enjoy some top down driving without the beep until i rebuild the cylinders later. Thanks for your help!
J.elshanti,

welcome to the forum! Where are you located? Please complete your profile by going to "quick links" in the forum's navigation bar and "edit your details".

Are you getting the chime/beeping with the top down, or with the soft top up?

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 

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1992 500SL
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6 Posts
J.elshanti,

welcome to the forum! Where are you located? Please complete your profile by going to "quick links" in the forum's navigation bar and "edit your details".

Are you getting the chime/beeping with the top down, or with the soft top up?

Klaus

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

Hi Klaus, thank you! Updated the profile.

I am getting the chime with top down. The red light is on when stationary but starts flashing and beeping as soon as the car moves. If i keep holding the button forward (as if i am closing the top) the chime stops.

Thanks for your help!
Elshanti
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
Chime with top down

Elshanti,

beeping/chiming when the top is down is fairly rare. Normally, people hear the chime with the soft top up, if one of the front locks needs adjustment on the micro switches. (See http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1716408-soft-top-closed-switches.html)

The chime indicates an unsafe situation regarding the top, which is usually the micro switch in one of the latches that are supposed to be locked indicating that it is not locked. In your case with the top down on a 1992 SL, there are only the two tonneau cover locks needing to give the CLOSED signal.

Since you have manually opened the top and manually latched the tonneau cover, please check the status of your tonneau cover latches (next to the roll bar) first. Maybe one of them is not fully closed. Use the soft top tool, turning it forward. If both tonneau cover latches are closed and you still get the chime, then inspect the front locks and the rear locks to see if they are both open, as they are supposed to be. Hint: with the top down, you should not be able to move those four latches, but if you can move them then they were accidentally closed.

The next step would be code reading and examining micro switches, but let's first see if the above doesn't take care of your problem already. Please let us know what you find.

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com

 

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1992 500SL
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6 Posts
Hi Klaus, appreciate your follow-up.

I have never put the soft top on since i bought the car, it sits in its compartment. I only take the hardtop off and back on, but now when i took it off the chime came on.

I'll check the tonneau latches and report back. Btw the front latches are open and rear ones are standing upwards since i pulled them up to release the hard top.

Thanks again.
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
I have never put the soft top on since i bought the car, it sits in its compartment. I only take the hardtop off and back on, but now when i took it off the chime came on.

I'll check the tonneau latches and report back. Btw the front latches are open and rear ones are standing upwards since i pulled them up to release the hard top.
Elshanti, my apologies, I was jumping to conclusions when I thought you had manually moved the soft top before. Since there was no faulty signal coming from the tonneau latches previously, and you apparently haven't moved the tonneau latches at all, this is not likely the problem. You may want to check whether the electrical connectors on the rear latches are still in order.

Next step would be reading codes: see http://www.benzworld.org/forums/1386728-post12.html in the RST Electrical Controller archived threads http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1324795-r129-roadster-soft-top-electrical-controller.html#post2419223, for example.

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 

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1992 500SL
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6 Posts
Dear Klaus,

I fixed it! No more light and chime!

Turns out it was the tonneau latches! The tonneau was never locked in from the previous owner because i've seen him putting the soft top down.

Anyway, i picked the tonneau up and found the latches on lock position, this is why the tonneau was not locking in place. Simply i unlocked the latches backwards then closed the tonneau down and locked it.

Thank you very much Klaus for making me check the tonneau. I will finally enjoy some top down driving without noise (hope it'll never chime again). The weather is finally better in this part of the world (at night at least).

Thanks again all the best.
Elshanti
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
Elshanti,

that's great news, congratulations!

Obviously, all original cylinder seals are fried in your climate. Please do not fall into the trap of trying DIY rebuild of the cylinders - it would be a disaster. You need all seals replaced in all twelve of your soft top cylinders.

Rebuilding these cylinders is NOT a matter of changing o-rings. Every R129 cylinder has one o-ring, and those rarely ever fail. What fails most frequently, are the other seals, which have special shapes for proper function. Top Hydraulics replaces and upgrades ALL seals in the cylinders with superior material:

1) Rod seals. They are cup-shaped and seal the piston rod from the rest of the cylinder. When they fail, you will see fluid coming out next to the chromed shaft (rod). These are usually the first seals to fail in the cylinders.
2) Piston seals. They seal the input and output sections from each other, as the piston slides through the cylinder. The piston seals have been made of different materials and sizes even in the same p/n cylinders throughout the years. Failing piston seals will cause internal leaks, which result in a pressure drop in your hydraulic system. Early model years have the added problem that the piston seals swell up and make it very hard to move the piston inside the cylinder. Crumbling piston seals can block valves or pinholes inside the hydraulic system, and it can be difficult to diagnose a piston seal failure without testing several cylinders once you find that your top is moving slowly or not at all.
3) Cap seals (also known as gland seals). These are just o-rings that seal the top cap of the cylinder from the housing. They are usually the last seals to fail, but these o-rings are penny items.
4) Port seals. They seal the hydraulic lines where they are pushed into the cylinders. Port seal failure is becoming more and more common as the R129s age. It also applies to the front distributor p/n 1298000022. Port seals have a special shape that makes them seal under pressure. O-rings wouldn't do the trick. They are secured by precisely machined brass rings (accuracy about 1/100 mm). DIY removal of the brass rings will almost certainly destroy the brass rings. Top Hydraulics installs port seals that are tighter than the originals, just in case the hydraulic line fittings have been scratched.



Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 

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1992 500SL
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6 Posts
Thanks Klaus for sharing the info. I'll keep these in mind . I'm fairly new to r129's and i wouldnt go DIY for such complex tasks.

You have been great help!

Elshanti
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
Elshanti, where you save the big money, is by removing the cylinders from the car yourself. Paying a shop to do removal and replacement of the cylinders is expensive. Forum member spitfire980 is in Abu Dhabi - maybe he can help you one way or the other - he has swapped quite a few cylinders already. ;)

Klaus

www.tophydraulicsinc.com
 
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