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1985 300D Turbo
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Discussion Starter #1
I cannot get my hardtop off my 1989 560sl. I have been informed that the wire from the release handel does not have enough tension to release the back lock. How can I get this off. I have tried turnig the pin with pliers, but it wont turn. I need help on this one since it is almost the summer and still no luck!!
 

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380 SL
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31 Posts
I had the same problem with mine. How I got it off was, and it requires at least to peop...

I had the same problem with mine. How I got it off was, and it requires at least to people, lift the top as much as possible. Then rotate the top about the rear center pin. Once the pin and the catch are no longer aligned, the top should come off. Once the top is off, you can either adjust the cable or buy a new one.

Be careful not to drop the top on the body.

Good Luck.
 

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MB 450 SL 1973
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2 Posts
I have the same problem and have been thinking of this as a way to solve it. But I am afraid it will destroy all the mechanical "things" inside and have therefore choosen not to?

Did you have any mechanical problems after doing this?

How did you adjust the cable - opening the shield in the trunk?
 

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380 SL
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31 Posts
I experienced no mechanical problems once the top was off.

The cable is adjusted by ...


I experienced no mechanical problems once the top was off.

The cable is adjusted by raising the boot and pulling the rag top out. The cable is on the drivers side. The actual adjustment is a plastic nut which always jumps threads (slips). What I did was to adjust the cable, wrap the cable with electrical tape and then use a zip tie. This will keep the nut from slipping.

Been like this for over a year and have had no problem. When you do activate the release, do it slowly as not to reslip the nut.

Happy motoring.[8D]
 

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1986 560-SL
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57 Posts
What "The Black Guy" says is good. It is also helpful to lightly lubricate all pivot poin...

What "The Black Guy" says is good. It is also helpful to lightly lubricate all pivot points in the spring and fall.

If I remember right, this same problem appeared in this forum about a year ago. One person had also suggested going in from the trunk.

The best maintenance is preventive maintenance.
 

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This might help someone. I also had in that the safety latch would not release. When we tried to do the rotation of the hard top to free it, it looked like the hardtop would scrape on the metal boot. I did not want to risk this as the car was newly painted. Here's what I did. I removed the upholstry panel behind the driver's seat, drilled a hole in the sheet metal about an inch behind the handle, then proceded with a jig saw to cut an opening about 2 in. square. Sure enough, the plastic nut had slipped and I was able to release the latch by pulling on the cable. With the hardtop now removed, I adjusted the plastic nut and applied a fix as previouly discussed. Tested with the ragtop, latch worked fine. The ragtop fit was very tight and when I turned the handle to cinch the ragtop in place, their was a pop as the metal linkage to the latch broke. New problem, how to release and raise the boot as the mechanism was now gone. I then removed the upholstry panel on the right side, cut a similiar hole in the metal and tugged and released the catch for the boot. Once inside, I saw the ball connection on the latch mechanisim had broken off. MBZ dealer said a new latch was the only option and cost was $258. I replaced the broken ball with a grade 8 screw and presto all is well. Cost: $1.50. The upholstry covers the holes I made. Don't know why Mercedes didn't include access holes in this area.

Hope this helps someone.

MansArt[:)]
 

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This might help someone. I also had in that the safety latch would not release. When we tried to do the rotation of the hard top to free it, it looked like the hardtop would scrape on the metal boot. I did not want to risk this as the car was newly painted. Here's what I did. I removed the upholstry panel behind the driver's seat, drilled a hole in the sheet metal about an inch behind the handle, then proceded with a jig saw to cut an opening about 2 in. square. Sure enough, the plastic nut had slipped and I was able to release the latch by pulling on the cable. With the hardtop now removed, I adjusted the plastic nut and applied a fix as previouly discussed. Tested with the ragtop, latch worked fine. The ragtop fit was very tight and when I turned the handle to cinch the ragtop in place, their was a pop as the metal linkage to the latch broke. New problem, how to release and raise the boot as the mechanism was now gone. I then removed the upholstry panel on the right side, cut a similiar hole in the metal and tugged and released the catch for the boot. Once inside, I saw the ball connection on the latch mechanisim had broken off. MBZ dealer said a new latch was the only option and cost was $258. I replaced the broken ball with a grade 8 screw and presto all is well. Cost: $1.50. The upholstry covers the holes I made. Don't know why Mercedes didn't include access holes in this area.

Hope this helps someone.

MansArt[:)]
 

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380 SL
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31 Posts
Actually, if two people are used to rotate the top, the boot will not be scratched. This way you will not be cutting into the interior. Plus, you do not harm the metal latch. Once the top is off, you can make the adjustments.

Stan is right. Lubricating all pivot points in the spring and fall will keep the mechanisms operating smoothly. Just be careful not to stain the ragtop.
 

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'89 560SL
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47 Posts
One of the common problems on these cars, and the subject of numerous threads in other BBs. I've had mine stick in the past, and have had to rotate the pin; it's easier if you turn it in the loosening direction (rear moving toward the driver's side), and a narrow-jawed vise-grip has been the most useful tool. The top-rotating maneuver could perhaps be done by two guys, but be very careful not to overstress the latch. Others have been able to get a bent wire into the pin opening and pull the hook toward the passenger side to release the top, but I've never been able to make that work.
Having said that, I've never had to adjust the linkage, but instead have learned that there are two fairly tricky points: 1)Make sure the pin isn't loading the release so it can't move--not pulling up against the hook very much if at all, and 2)The release position for the handle is NOT where there's a slight detent; it happens before that, turned maybe 10-15 degrees beyond the vertical. It's instructive to watch the latch as you work the handle, once you get the top off. Once I got those points into my head, I've had no further problems.
 

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You can easily open it by first completely closing it (using the big lever) then SLOWLY moving the lever to open position just enough so that you can fit your fingers into the gap next to the lock. Continue, opening it SLOWLY (using the big lever)while pulling the hard or soft top UP.
At one point it should pop open. Once open the cable can be adjusted.

If it's not broken don't fix it !!!
 
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