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Y2K SL500 Silver
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

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1998 Mercedes Benz SL 500
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first you need a 5mm allan key for the front locks under the sun visor you turn one and then you reverse the wrench so it turns the opposite direction, Counter clock wise, To unlock the other. on the right hand side of the drivers seat

Now you should see the front 2 locks popped up, The second two locks closet to the door are dummy locks, They do not exist, You can simply pop the locks up by pulling on the hard top or using a screw driver to push it up.


third lock you have to play a fun game, you have to get in the back of the trunk, and

A. Cut up a bunch of the cardboard stuff that blocks your vision,

or
B. Remove it carefully using your knowledge of mechanics

I personally used a knife to remove a lot of the area hiding from me

You will see the hydrollics one on each side that have a little, I suppose, Nipple, i guess you can call it, it looks like the male symbol, its pointing to the ground diagonally on the top of the hydrolics, You push those up, and have some on pick up one side of the hard top, Then same thing on the other side, It's easier on the right side to push it up, you need a wrench or something sterdy to push up with. then your hard top can be removed,


I also, found out how to put the hard top back on manually ;) so let me tell you that, you could also put the soft top up manually if you wish

now, put your roll bar all the way up if you can, on teh passenger side theres a little Circle, that can be twisted, This will unlock the area your soft top comes out of, Now, you can put the soft top up manually, use the allan key to lock the front, and do the following


raise the area were the soft top is hidden
You will see that the locks in the back locks, are insde , kind of like, there able to be retacted a bit, well you need 2 people for this, have some one push up on the hydrolic in the back, and push the lock back in and release the hydrollic stop pushing up on it, it will stay locked like that, Now,

once you have done that for both sides, you can do 2 things

one put your soft top up
or 2 put your hard top up

either way you get the tops on the last back locks, and have some one push up on the hydrolic nipple in the trunk, push that side of the top down it will slip in, release the hydrolic, it is stabily on

doe the same to the other side, Lock the front with the allankey and you have your tops locked and secure! I know my hydrolics are fucked, So thats how i have to put my tops up in the summer.
 

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92 600 SL (LPG), 94 Subaru Impreza,02 Maserati 4200GT,97 Suzuki TL1000Sv, 02 Yamaha Fazer 1000
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It's a lot easier if you buy the correct wrench from Mercedes, as it has the 5mm allen key one end and the correct size spanner at the other for undoing the rear (trunk) latches. Then you don't have to cut anything in the boot, just pop the front locks (hidden behind the sun visors, under two round grommets), open the trunk, insert the other end of said wrench through the gap where the boot hinges go and release the rear latches. The wrench should go in at an upward angle and once locked onto the latch you lift the end of the wrench up. Opposite instructions to refit.
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,371 Posts
Manual Folding Top Wrench p/n # 129-581-00-66 . price $12.00 MSRP

How much to replace your trunk trim?
Hi Stuart,
I would not cut the trim panels.
Yes, I do use the wrench.
But I think Isaak is, on something good.
If you have a stuck hard top to remove.
He describes how to do it. ;)
Lets not forget he is only seventeen. :)
Regards.
aam.
 

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'97 SL500 & '01 ML320
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286 Posts
Isaac: you da' man!

I also, found out how to put the hard top back on manually ;) so let me tell you that, you could also put the soft top up manually if you wish
Isaac
I found loads of info on how to get the roof locked at the front but even the Mercedes Owner's manual said t was not possible to lock the rear portion in place manually. Wrong - your points gave me the rough idea which I fiddled with for awhile et voila! Anyway, I will write it up c/w photos but thought it would be good to note here that it's possible, as you have said, to have a fully locked soft or hard roof manually

Thanks for the tips!

Cheers

Alan
 

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'97 SL500 & '01 ML320
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Manual Roof Closure Pics

My 1997 SL500 users manual (extract attached) gives one details of how to manually lift the soft top but:

a) fails to mention how to install the hard top; and
b) specifically says "The rear section of the soft top cannot be locked during manual operation".

Kudos to Isaac for finding out the soft and hard top can be locked.

In my case the soft top was down and I could not raise it - there is a major hydraulic leak in the passenger main cylinder plus I've spotted a couple of smaller leaks in some of the other smaller cylinders. The main one is obviously causing the problem with a serious leak at the front of the rear passenger wheel. I'm not going to repair this myself due to time and it’s my daily driver, so I needed to drive the car to the garage - in the meanwhile I needed to use it for a week, prior to going away for 2 weeks on business, hence needed a car with a roof on it for a week.

The stages to close the soft top are as follows:

1. Open the rear compartment and gently pulled the roof closed. I stood on the rear seats and pulled gently to ensure it moved centrally (to avoid eccentric loading).
2. Lock down front part of roof using a hex key in the holes behind the sun visors (see pic)
3. Remove interior panel within boot / truck (see pic) - there are 6 or 7 of these and then one can pull the trim forward to get at the latch mechanism. I didn't fully remove this to make it easier to replace.
4. Locate the piece of metal (see "metal tab" in pics) and move (up I think, but only moves one way). It's on a spring so difficult to move. It's easy to do one side at a time, if by yourself but I suppose you could do both sides at once, but it's not essential.
5. Whilst lifting the metal tab, lean around, close rear hatch and push rear portion of roof down into the hole. If you cannot push the roof down then you haven't released the mechanism via the metal tab. If it's released the tab at the bottom of the soft top should go into the whole easily.
6. Let go of metal tab and push down hard on the bottom of the soft top - you will hear it click when it is seated correctly. If you lift up the apron at the bottom of the roof and only the apron moves then it's locked correctly. If it lives too much then it's not locked properly hence push roof down again (with some force until you get a click)
7. Repeat 5 & 6 on opposite side
8. Replace trim in boot / truck and voila - done!

Whilst I did not try it the rear latches with the hard top, I think the same approach would work equally well with the hard top to lock it down.

Regards

Alan
 

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2000 SL 500
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I used your document to remove the hardtop. Extremely grateful for your knowledge and post.

While placing the hardtop on my 2000 SL500, it latched onto the front and wouldn't release. Back section was not in place and off 1/2 inch. I noticed the hydraulic leak at this point. A Mercedes dealer stated to have it towed to the shop and they would clear the codes to release it. The Panorama Top would not have made it in one piece during the tow; bouncing up and down. Mercedes was contacted, as well, and provided no information but to retry the soft/hard top button. I used your information in reverse order to pop the front latches. Then repositioned the hard top and used the button to lock it.

Again, can't thank you enough, especially for the pictures.
Robert C. Bruns
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
To lock the rear of the RST

To lock the rear of the RST it was brought to my attention that the following MPEG shows two people locking the rear of the soft at the very end of the file. So if you want to advance the showing to about the last 30 seconds please do so at R129F7.mpeg Top removal and replacement.
 

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HOW TO MANUAL OPEN 99 SL500 SOFT TOP

So i have searched for the past few hours and cant seem to find if there is a way to manually open the soft top. I cant get it to open from the control and the passenger side upper corner of the windshield is leaking fluid. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
 

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1992 MB 500SL
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223 Posts
Soft top

Hi,

Take your owners manual and look at the pertinent pages. If you don't have a manual, then get one from the Archived Topics and the beginning of the 129 section.

Make sure the roll bar is down.

1. To release the soft top, I would open the trunk and release the two attaching points- right side and then left. Now, you can partially lift the top from the car.

2. Now release the center two attaching points. This releases the cover and you can see where the top is stored. You'll be able to see the various cylinders as well- what fun!

3. Now, release the front two attaching points on the top of the windshield.

The way the top works (normally), is the top cover goes all they way up, and then the top goes into the cavity. Then the cover comes down. You now are ready to install the hardtop.

You'll probably will encounter resistance. You may have to force it- turn the car off, then turn it on (per instructions on how to lower the top in the manual) and then "help" the top down. Push! It's a heavy top, but once done, it isn't that hard. You'll see that it is fairly easy to do.

I have found that the center two attaching points don't lock when the top goes down- so be careful when you are cruising at 150 mph.

Peter C. Sessler
 

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95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
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So i have searched for the past few hours and cant seem to find if there is a way to manually open the soft top. I cant get it to open from the control and the passenger side upper corner of the windshield is leaking fluid. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
Lowering and raising the RST (roadster soft top) manually are actually very simple and straight forward procedures. With a bit of practice I have managed to lower and raise the soft top both in about 5 minutes all together. Note that you will need the MB soft top wrench as mentioned.

Detailed instructions with photos as well as illustrations from the owner's manual can be found if you look under the the above blue sticky thread titled as Please read useful Archived Topics before posting a new thread. Then scroll down to R129 soft top 'Hydraulic System' ultimate thread. Click on that topic and you will find the threads you see below which covers the procedures.

 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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MY 95 and up: Manual rear RST lock release

It is often believed that the rear locks (for soft top or hard top) on model years '95 and up cannot be released and locked manually. Not true!

The release and lock lever is not quite as accessible as in model years '90-'94, but it does not take much. Pull back the corner of the front panel in the trunk (pull out some tabs first, of course), locate the small lever on the lock, and use a 10-mm open wrench or your MB soft top tool from the tool kit. Photos are attached on the bottom.

Moving the lever up releases the lock; moving it down fastens it.

The MB parts catalogue indicates that the newer style locks are used starting from chassis number 97252, which would be a '94. I find that to be untrue, as my '94 SL600 is past S/N 100,000 and still has the old style locks... ;)

This lever does not quite have the range of the old one, and it takes some navigation around the fuel tank fill pipe on the right side, but it does the job!

Hope this helps,

-Klaus
 

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how to put on the hard top manually

All the hdraulic fluid ran out and now my soft top won't go up or down. Could someone tell me how to put on the hard top using the wrench tool. I have tried to put the hard top on but I'm not sure what part of the top locks down first, the front first or the rear.
 

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95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
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Could someone tell me how to put on the hard top using the wrench tool.

I have tried to put the hard top on but I'm not sure what part of the top locks down first, the front first or the rear.
I find it much more easier to lock down the front latches first and then the rear latches after.
Otherwise you will have difficulty locking down the front latches if you lock the rear first.

Detailed step by step instructions with DIY photos, MB illustrations are archived the Blue Stickies.
There is also a video that shows you how to manually lock down the rear latches.
 

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1991 560SEC / 2013 GL550
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All the hdraulic fluid ran out and now my soft top won't go up or down. Could someone tell me how to put on the hard top using the wrench tool. I have tried to put the hard top on but I'm not sure what part of the top locks down first, the front first or the rear.
Hi there,

Like Ken said, there are some videos you can check out. I have a bunch of links on my website:
Info about the R129 SL

Here is a direct link to the exact video you need. It shows how to manually close the hard top:
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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Locking the rear

Mr. Clifton, that is a beautiful collection of MB videos!

bondxxx3, could you add some more info to your avatar, such as your car model and location? It helps us help you better.

The manual locking process is straightforward, as shown in the video, if you have a '90-'94. Check out the following thread for later models:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1574147-quick-softtop-question.html. On late models, you can manually push the rear of the soft top down and use the emergency lever to pull the locks down, but the final locking is best done with the hydraulic system. However, this thread started with the manual procedure, and ahmorris created an excellent summary on how to do this on '95+ models.

If your rear lock cylinders are leaking, you might have a problem with keeping the rear locked on later models, since the '95+ rear locks do not always provide a positive lock without the cylinders holding their liquid when the mechanism is compromised, which happens frequently...

-Klaus
 

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1992 sl500 r129
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1 Posts
I have removed the hard top on my 1992 sl500 but do not know how to pop up the bow shaped cover manually that is on top of the soft top roof. I have the roof tool and have no problem removing the hard top. I have drivien the car convertible and whenit rains i am in big trouble. I had these kids laughing at me since i sitting at a red light and rain coming down on me.......long day. Thank you
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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Procedure for putting up the soft top manually is in your Owner's Manual.
 

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1995 SL320
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Soft Top Manual Locking....HELP!

Winters is here, close her up! - my ‘95 SL320 Ragtop wouldn’t fully complete the opening sequence: After 3 careful cycles, the opening sequence completed thru Locking down Front Corners and stowing the Storage Cover......but would NOT close & lock down the Rear Ragtop corners. Inspection shows the ‘Lockdown Pins’ are still inplace, blocking the Rear Section corners fully closing and being locked down. Can these pins be “manually opened” and then closed, to lock down the Rear Section? Ops. Manual on ‘Manual Raising’ doesn’t help. [BTW, in the Spring, I will rebuild & lube the whole system - am a Cert. Acft. Mechanic]. ThanX 'n Havva Merry Christmas
 
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