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Side tension cables are part of the apparatus that raises and lowers your convertible top smoothly. They help keep the top tight and centered on your vehicle, with the top straight and flush over the windows. They also keep the top from shrinking side to side.

You can reuse your existing convertible top side tension cables when you are replacing the top itself as long as they are not damaged. Here is a quick checklist to determine if your side tension cables most likely should be replaced:

  • Does the top show signs of water damage?
  • Does any exposed metal show signs of corrosion?
  • Is your convertible top sagging?
  • Is your convertible top leaning to one side?
  • Is your convertible top not flush and smooth against the windows?
  • Is your convertible top hanging down?
  • Is your convertible top not going up or down smoothly?
  • Does one side of your convertible top get ahead of the other when putting the top up or down?
If you answered YES to any of these questions you should probably purchase new side tension cables if replacing your convertible top.

Most models have side tension cables, but if you own a Mercedes R129, then 1990 through 2002 SL models will have side and rear-quarter cables. When you shop for your car’s make/model/year on TopsOnline, the appropriate type of cable will be found on the page, so there isn’t risk of making a mistake.

One cable exception to note is for Mercedes R107 owners who have an SL model from 1972 through 1989. These models also have a center cable, which has nothing to do with the top cover, but it’s for lifting the rear of the top so the well door can be opened so the top can be lowered into the well. You will not need to replace this cable when replacing your convertible top. If this particular center cable needs replacing you can do so at any time and the center cable is available directly from Mercedes Benz.

If you’d like to read a bit more about cables, feel free to check out our latest blog on the topic, which is found at the TopsOnline Blog. And feel free to let us know if you have questions, here or at our Customer Service line (888-803-8505).
 

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Picture of center cable for R107 SL models (72-89)

In our previous post we mentioned that the Mercedes R107 SL model from 1972 through 1989 has a center cable that will not need to be replaced when you replace your convertible top. Here is a picture with the cable shown vertically in the center of the back window.

 
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