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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,143 Posts
Maybe that dude had a 1984 500SL...

Why would a 129 have a 107 issue?
Yes.

I mean no.


What?


He said 1994 500SL and the other guy who responded had a 107.

Almost the same....but not.
 

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Registered
1983 380SL 183,000
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56 Posts
What kind of water repellant do you suggest. My first trip with the soft top up and it is clearly absorbing water.
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1979 280sl 4 sp w/ac 1957 MGA 1998 volvo xc/70 2004 F150
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6,050 Posts
There are some threads on different products Ragg-top is the one I use.
 

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2003 S430 and a 1999 SL500 Sport
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2 Posts
Water repellant & vinyl window cleaning

Just ordered some 303 soft top cleaner and 303 water repellant treatment. Got good reviews by the BMW crowd.

1999 SL500 original soft top windows were so clouded that it was difficult seeing out of them during the daytime. I used Maguiar's PlastX to clean the haze from the small side windows. The large rear window was too much and too difficult to reach from inside or with the top loose at the back. I borrowed a friend's Griot Professional 3" Orbital buffer, ran it on the slowest speed, using the PlastX...the windows now look new. :thumbsup:
 

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Registered
1972 220 D, 1974 450SL, 1995 E300D 2002 S430, 1976 300D, 1986 SDL, 1982 SD
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2,708 Posts
My $0.02 on the topic of soft tops and window care.

I picked up Frosch in March of 2012. I waited until late May to free the soft top due to rain and lack of space to store the top until that moment. I am rather certain the soft top had not seen light of day since 2003, but was in quite good condition. I has also held off popping her up because I had no idea what was best for dealing with what I might find. So, I checked around the interwebs and with others who had convertibles. About twice as many opinions as people asked.

I ended up going to Griots main store south of me and asking them. They aimed me toward a plastic polish to handle the window and a fabric protectant. No soft bristle brush and they advised against harsh cleaners beyond a drop of baby shampoo if I planned on washing the top.

Armed with these products I went home and popped the top. Not bad condition. There was some rust stain on the window from the wire. A bit of dust/pollen on the fabric and no great amount of dirt or schmutz. I took my unused shoe buff brush and did the front to back sweep and adjusted the seams to line up with bows. Got a wash cloth and warm water with a drip of baby shampoo and went to town giving it a scrub to see if I could remove more dirt. A rinse with buckets of warm water (not hot) and I used the brush again followed by more water.

I let it dry in the sun and made sure it was as close to bone dry before I sprayed the protectant out of a rattle can. The can of stuff did not go very far. I got most of the top and down the sides around the windows before it petered out. I allowed it to dry on over night and the next morning. Then I got the hose out and gave it a short spray to see what had been missed.

The protectant was rather sad and did not bead the water much. At least I knew not to get more of the Griot stuff. I looked further afield and chose 303 over the FLAPS carried junk. I had to go to a sporting fabric shop (tents, awnings, boats, hiking) to pick it up, but also got to play with potential replacement top fabrics. Having acquired my product (this about a week after my initial attempt to clean) I repaired once more to my lair and gave the top another brushing for good measure and used a slow buffer to clean and polish the window material. It was rather scuffed and hazy. The Griot Polish product did a wonderful job removing the rust stain as well as reducing the haze and once given a good swipe with a micro fiber cloth, was very clear.

The 303 water proofer came in a squirt bottle and wanted a few passes for good coverage. I was tempted to saturate the fabric, but held off and did the misting, wait for dry, and mist once more for a few cycles. It took three days and about a quart of product, but I got every square inch of the top well covered and hit it full blast with the hose. It beaded right up and slid off the fabric like a pat of butter on a red hot skillet.

The 303 product did not render the top impervious to rain. It does an admirable job of beading up the water for about the first two hours in a rain. After that, the water molecules seem to win the fight and begin to dampen the top. In an all day event, the rain defeats all attempts to keep the top dry and it gets wet, not sopping, but good and damp through. Not enough that it seeps or soaks into the cabin. When this happened. I waited for the whole thing to dry out fully and gave it another spritz of product to reenforce the prior preventative.

I have yet to pop the top for 2013, as the hard top has no home yet and the weather is inclement.
 

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Premium Member
1989 560 SEL, 1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible, 2014 Jeep GC Overland, 2015 Porsche 911 GTS
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276 Posts
Any suggestions for glue?

I have read through many of the soft top posts and I can't find anyone who has recommended the right glue to use to re-glue the seams on the sides that were originally glued. Out here in the desert, the heat is not kind to those seams. I need to re-glue both side seams (on the inside). Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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1989 560SL
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58 Posts
I have an 88 560SL and i just recently put a new soft top on.. the installer suggested somethig that i have been doing and it really works!!

1. first clean out the compartment where you fold down the top thoughly with soap and water and dry completely
2. when you start to fold your top down place 2 rolled up towels right on in the outer fold where the windows are. make sure you wrap them around and protect the side windows.. then proceed to fold down the top and close the boot
3. this totally protects the wondows and keeps the top looking new forever
 

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1994 SL320
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1,812 Posts
This article was written by my wife Zhenya, who's owned nothing but convertibles since age 16.



Plastic or vinyl tops are especially susceptible to breaking at the window side of creases. Make sure that when the top folds, you only have one crease on the window sides per fold. If you see wear marks that appear to be the forerunner of cracks, lubricate the plastic with something that will not degrade the vinyl or plastic.
Great write up. :wink

Q. What do you lube the plastic windows with with? Silicon lube?
 

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1989 560SL
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58 Posts
thank you for your response. you opened my eyes to something I forgot! i let my detail guy wash the car ad the top and windows always look good! but the top is still pretty new.. I am however seeing what you re talking about the piping on the side windows are already starting to split.. ugh.. it pisses me off
 

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Registered
2000 R129
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1 Posts
Water repellant & vinyl window cleaning

Just ordered some 303 soft top cleaner and 303 water repellant treatment. Got good reviews by the BMW crowd.

1999 SL500 original soft top windows were so clouded that it was difficult seeing out of them during the daytime. I used Maguiar's PlastX to clean the haze from the small side windows. The large rear window was too much and too difficult to reach from inside or with the top loose at the back. I borrowed a friend's Griot Professional 3" Orbital buffer, ran it on the slowest speed, using the PlastX...the windows now look new. 👍
I used a drill attached DA and the PlastX...amazing results. I have a 2000 and was initially scared it was hydraulic fluid stained as the hard pano top had RARELY been off, so I was confused as how it got so clouded.
 

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1982 380SL
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21 Posts
I used a drill attached DA and the PlastX...amazing results. I have a 2000 and was initially scared it was hydraulic fluid stained as the hard pano top had RARELY been off, so I was confused as how it got so clouded.
I believe that mild polish like PlastX or Meguiars 205 (Ultimate Polish) would be safe for any vinyl convertible top windows. My '82's windows were a little cloudy and had some slight scuff marks, but no major damage. To clean them up, I used a drop of Meguiars Ultimate Polish on a microfibre towel and gently rubbed the windows doing a small section at a time. The results were great; the cloudiness was gone, the windows were clear again and it reduced the severity of the scuffs. I didn't want to be too aggressive and risk some damage, so I am okay if they are not 100% corrected.

As for the canvas top, I would suggest a product specifically designed to clean it. Previous posters have mentioned 303 and RaggTopp cleaners and protectants and those are both solid products.

I used AutoGlym convertible top cleaner and protectant and achieved great results. Essentially, you lightly mist the canvas with water to get it wet, spray on the cleaner and gently agitate the canvas with a soft bristle brush. Work in small sections and rinse the cleaner off when you're done, don't let it sit. Then when the entire top is clean and rinsed, pat it dry with a microfibre or any lint-free towel, leaving the canvas is damp to the touch. Then apply the protectant by misting over the entire canvas top. Be sure to wipe it off of any surfaces that aren't canvas immediately after applying (windows, trim, panels, etc). Let it sit inside overnight to penetrate and then you're done. Water just slides right off of my canvas top.
 
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