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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to put my 1997 SL to bed for next few months here in the frozen north. I do all the normal stuff, stabilizer, battery maintainer, tires etc but I would like some comments on whether I should remove my hartop or not for this extended period. I have no leaks and my top and hydraulics are working normally. Will having the soft-top folded down harm the plexiglass or create any other issues..thanks
 

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2005 CLK500 black,2012 E350
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391 Posts
Read someone's suggestion to put down top in steps and put soft cotton? in between the folds of the rear window-

haven; tried yet myself--getting ready to try since I bought my 96 SL320 this summer
when puttiing on my hardtop because I will drive it this winter
 

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2010 SL63 AMG, 2001 SL500, 2012 Corvette Z06, 2013 Lexus RX350, 2012 Cadillac CTS Coupe, 2015 Ram
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488 Posts
The problem with putting the soft top up is it eliminates the best place to store the hard top.

DALE.M and I live about 1/2 mile apart. I suspect he will put his soft top up for the winter, and I won't listen to good advice and I'll put mine down instead. In spring when we take our cars out of hibernation, Dale can laugh at my hideously wrinkled and cracked top.

Cheers,
Dave
 

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95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
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10,980 Posts
The problem with putting the soft top up is it eliminates the best place to store the hard top.
Tell me about it Dave. I will need to make room for the storage of (2) hardtops after the winter is over.

One is my original Standard hardtop and the other a Panoramic glass roof from a 98 SL500.
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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11,108 Posts
Tell me about it Dave. I will need to make room for the storage of (2) hardtops after the winter is over.

One is my original Standard hardtop and the other a Panoramic glass roof from a 98 SL500.
I also have 2 HTs, just store them on vertical rolling stands at far end of the garage.

But the masked man may have plans for your Pano.
 

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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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235 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Looks like the HT is going to come off. Now If I wudda only gotten off my ass and installed the power hoist...maybe I will sneak over to Dave's and dump it there !! Thx for all the tips ...cheers, Dale
 

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2010 SL63 AMG, 2001 SL500, 2012 Corvette Z06, 2013 Lexus RX350, 2012 Cadillac CTS Coupe, 2015 Ram
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488 Posts
Here's another thought: The forecast is for cold weather around here this week. Is it perhaps more harmful to raise the soft top when it is stiff from cold, than to just leave it alone? Its already folded, and it isn't moving, so what damage can be done by leaving it untouched? I think any wear and tear will occur during opening and closing, not while it is stationary.
 

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95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
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10,980 Posts
Here's another thought: The forecast is for cold weather around here this week. Is it perhaps more harmful to raise the soft top when it is stiff from cold, than to just leave it alone? Its already folded, and it isn't moving, so what damage can be done by leaving it untouched? I think any wear and tear will occur during opening and closing, not while it is stationary.
Looking at the weather forecast at Calgary Weather Forecast and Conditions today's highs are 45 degrees F.

I don't believe that raising your RST (roadster soft top) in these conditions should pose a problem under normal circumstances.
 

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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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235 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Looking at the weather forecast at Calgary Weather Forecast and Conditions today's highs are 45 degrees F.

I don't believe that raising your RST (roadster soft top) in these conditions should pose a problem under normal circumstances.
Read the forecast, called Dave and we removed the HT. It is about 50F in my garage so the system worked fine, I wouldn't want to try it @ something below freezing though ! Thats probably it for the year given snow and shit in the forecast, sort of a teary eyed moment when you shut 'er down for another year !
 

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1991 SL500
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I live in Calgary as well, have wintered with the HT on for the last 3 yrs,. I will be replacing the top next year as two large cracks in the side windows, plus the top is starting to show wear. Anyone have any suggestions where to take it to have the top replaced next year?
 

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2010 SL63 AMG, 2001 SL500, 2012 Corvette Z06, 2013 Lexus RX350, 2012 Cadillac CTS Coupe, 2015 Ram
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488 Posts
I live in Calgary as well, have wintered with the HT on for the last 3 yrs,. I will be replacing the top next year as two large cracks in the side windows, plus the top is starting to show wear. Anyone have any suggestions where to take it to have the top replaced next year?
I wish I had a good answer for you. I have small cracks showing in the side windows on mine. I was talking to Marc at Alpine Autowerks this summer, and asked him who I could go to for soft top work. He pointed me to Chinook Auto Upholstery in the building right next to his.

They quoted me 18 hours at $75/hr plus materials to sew in new windows. Total: about $1500. They claimed they have to remove the entire top to do it, yet I have read posts here that say the rear portion can be removed by itself. If they were to replace the whole top it will be roughly the same labor plus the cost of the top. Their price for the top seemed steep as well.

I haven't looked elsewhere yet. If you find a better deal, keep us in mind and let us know.
 

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1997 SL-500; 2002 ML 500 sold; 1999 ML 320 sold; 2003 E 500 Sport sold
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235 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I wish I had a good answer for you. I have small cracks showing in the side windows on mine. I was talking to Marc at Alpine Autowerks this summer, and asked him who I could go to for soft top work. He pointed me to Chinook Auto Upholstery in the building right next to his.

They quoted me 18 hours at $75/hr plus materials to sew in new windows. Total: about $1500. They claimed they have to remove the entire top to do it, yet I have read posts here that say the rear portion can be removed by itself. If they were to replace the whole top it will be roughly the same labor plus the cost of the top. Their price for the top seemed steep as well.

I haven't looked elsewhere yet. If you find a better deal, keep us in mind and let us know.
I would consider doing a roadtrip to LA or somewhere on the west coast that does a lot of this work( check out some threads for some vendors) . The cost will be less than here and you can have a nice cruise thru the mountains, maybe stop into Oregon and see "Lighthouse" and replace/overhaul your top cylinders at the same time. The problem here is there are so few of these cars locally that the upholstery /canvas places don't have any experience so they charge the hell out of you to cover their butts. You might also check with Lonestar and see who they use to do their work as I am sure they would farm it out.
 

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2010 SL63 AMG, 2001 SL500, 2012 Corvette Z06, 2013 Lexus RX350, 2012 Cadillac CTS Coupe, 2015 Ram
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488 Posts
Well, after our last discussion about this we got some very, very cold weather here, so I wasn't going to mess with the car at all, especially the soft top. I think I had pretty much decided that I was going to leave it down anyway.

So, soft top down, hard top on the car, some fuel stabilizer, a trickle charger,
and now:
a custom-fit car cover to keep my garage queen cozy and safe from dust and scratches while it waits out the winter months.
 

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2000 SL320, 2001 CLK320
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As long as the soft top is bone dry when it is folded down all should be fine for your winter storage. It has being suggested by many that to prevent cracking of the plastic windows, raising and lowering should not be done when temps are below 15 deg C. I make it a habit to let the sun shine on my windows for a while to make them nice and flexible. A good plastic cleaner polisher also helps to get all the crud off too.
 

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2011 GLK,2007 S550,2003 S55,2008 CLK,2009 C300,1996 E300,2005 E320,2002 E3
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1,355 Posts
speaking of raising and lowering the soft top. where is the place where the soft top can be raised manually. Im am still waiting for a duplicate owners manual that I ordered on Ebay and was unsure where to raise the soft top without using the electronics. The PO stated that I have a leak somewhere by the drivers sun/visor.
 

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2011 GLK,2007 S550,2003 S55,2008 CLK,2009 C300,1996 E300,2005 E320,2002 E3
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CEC96..THANKS A TON!
Dont mind the Porsche pic.LOL I have a name for all of my cars. The name for my Porsche is "The Mistress". I dont take her out much, and she is very expensive to have.
 
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