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80 450SL 89 260E
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Discussion Starter #1
These are available on eBay off and on. Currently it's item 7974226048
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There's no information on it. Is the cable steel? Rope? Clothesline? Does it mar the rain gutter? Does it take a 3-arm paperhanger to position the straps? Any recommendations appreciated.
 

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Several years ago I went to a shop and looked at their hosts for my 88 560sl. Cost was about $400. It was made up of a Thule (brand of roof rack) single roof rack and block and tackle that you attached to the celling. I went out and bought the eaxact Thule Rack (They come in pars) for a little over $100. Went to a local sail shop that sold used stuff for sail boats and asked them to make me up a block and tackle. When I told him what I wanted it for he told me he gets requests for this all of the time and within 10 minutes he had it rigged. I think the cost was under $20.

I attached to the celling of my garague and without any problems I can remove and install my hard top without help. I also have a full roof rack set that I can use of other things such as halling lumber.

I would suggest you look at the Thule site or go to a roof rack dealer in you area that sells Thule and ask them for the rack that fits that car. It attached over the gutters and never leaves a mark. Then go to a boat or sail boat supply house and get a block and tackle. Don't bother with e-bay or any comercial setup.

Hope this helps

Bud
 

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80 450SL 89 260E
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Discussion Starter #3
Appreciate the info.
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No maritime shops of any kind here in central Virginia, though I could make up something at the hardware store. I already have a suitable rope hoist left over from the days we had a farm. Bulky and ugly, but suitable. It's the attachment to the top that concerns me.
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Elsewhere ( http://www.capitolwest.com/mercedes_hardtop_management.htm ) I learned of the Fritzi Hooker Hardtop Hoist, an all-steel hoist with a custom sling that does not attach to the rain gutter. It can be bought complete for $150, or just the Fritzi Hooker harness sling alone for $70.
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Likely I'll get one or the other. Cheap price not to have to re-invent it. A reliable hoist saves the price of a storage cart, and the headache of finding somewhere to put that.
 

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2001 S430
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I just bought a hoist from Adsit and it is nice. The price was just $180.00. Sturdy construction - heavy duty locking hoist with steel cable. Has 4 straps that connect directly to the hard top. Very impressed. Took about an hour to install. Here is their url:

http://www.adsitco.com/

If you can't find the item on-line you just have to call them. I ordered mine on-line and had it in three days via UPS.
 

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80 450SL 89 260E
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I've been looking at that one. If you get a chance, please describe how the harness attaches to the top. I have a newbie's concern with marring the rain gutter, etc. So many M-B hardtops on the used market are described as having "bends" around the side windows. There must be some top hoists out there causing this, though Adsit would be among the last to sell a bad one.
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I heard from the seller of the one on eBay that began this thread. He says, "We have been selling this hoist for years and our hoist is one of the most attractive around.
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"The cross bar is made of steel and the cable is made of rope. This is a very high quality hoist that will not scratch your top and is very easy to use.
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"If you provide us with a fax number we can fax you the instructions."
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I'm going to.
 

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The hoist that I have is attached to the hard top via four heavy duty nylon straps. The hooks on the end are made of metal covered in something that looks like lambs wool. So far I have not noticed any scratches or bending.
 

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80 450SL 89 260E
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Discussion Starter #7
Chuck sold me his Fritzi Hooker hoist (thanks!) and I installed it yesterday. Piece of cake. Off came the hardtop (no problems) and I'm back to an open roadster after 37 years.

Spent two hours tooling around the stix this morning re-discovering why it's called joy riding. Even went by to give a girl a ride, but it wasn't like old times. She was 31. And my daughter.

Anyone know a better place to put the central locking vacuum supply tank than under the right fender?

These just arrived today. You never know what plate is available until you ask the DMV.
 

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1977 450SL
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I have that hard top hoist, it works pretty good. It uses rope. Doesn't scratch or mar the rain gutter, has rubber ends. Don't know what you mean by "Does it take a 3-arm paperhanger to position the straps?"
 

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1988 Mercedes 560SL
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Rey - 5/16/2005 1:17 PM

Appreciate the info.
<p>
No maritime shops of any kind here in central Virginia, though I could make up something at the hardware store. I already have a suitable rope hoist left over from the days we had a farm. Bulky and ugly, but suitable. It's the attachment to the top that concerns me.
<p>
Elsewhere ( http://www.capitolwest.com/mercedes_hardtop_management.htm ) I learned of the Fritzi Hooker Hardtop Hoist, an all-steel hoist with a custom sling that does not attach to the rain gutter. It can be bought complete for $150, or just the Fritzi Hooker harness sling alone for $70.
<p>
Likely I'll get one or the other. Cheap price not to have to re-invent it. A reliable hoist saves the price of a storage cart, and the headache of finding somewhere to put that.
Been using the Fritzi Hooker for over ten years. Not one problem and can easily remove and attach the hardtop with one person operating the hoist. When I first attached the hoist in my garage, just for piece of mind, I had a large friend, over 250lbs. hang from the straps to test the strength. Once I saw it had no problems with my friend, I mostly have the hardtop floating over the car during the summer months. Great way of storing your hardtop without losing precious garage floor space. Also, I like the four point attachment design that doesn't require the use of the rain gutters. My mechanic has seen his customers use the rain gutter attachment hoists lose their grip and down goes an expensive hardtop replacement/repair.

Slbenz
 

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1974 450SL, previously 1986 420SEL
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Resurrecting an old thread as I am looking into this for my new-to-me 74 450SL. The PO really never took the hard top off.

The Fritzi/Performance Products hoist is still available from ecklersmbzparts.com. It's the one with a strap arrangement that appears to clip to the top at the front, back and sides under the side windows.

The toplift.se hoist appears to be from IMC (removabletops.com) here in the US. They have a cradle variant, but for the 107 theirs uses a crossbar to avoid compressing the window weather stripping.

The adsit.com hoist might be similar to the IMC with a cradle that runs underneath the top, so I wonder if it might have the same issue with the window weather stripping on the 107.


Obviously I have never done it, but I bet the tricky part is installing the top with one person using a hoist without damaging the car. It seems you would have to have the car positioned pretty closely to the exact spot, and then have fine-grained up and down control with one hand while positioning the top to line up the pins with the other hand. I can see how a powered hoist with a remote would be handy if money were no object. I guess you would also like to control the suspended attitude of the top so the front pins contact first.

From the pictures, the hoist offered by URO Parts looks like it has a simple block and tackle that would drop the hard top if the user lost the line. I have asked IMC whether theirs is the same. Harken Hoister is not purpose-built for a MBZ hard top, but it is interesting because it has a self-locking block, plus it is yachty.
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
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Resurrecting an old thread as I am looking into this for my new-to-me 74 450SL. The PO really never took the hard top off.

The Fritzi/Performance Products hoist is still available from ecklersmbzparts.com. It's the one with a strap arrangement that appears to clip to the top at the front, back and sides under the side windows.

The toplift.se hoist appears to be from IMC (removabletops.com) here in the US. They have a cradle variant, but for the 107 theirs uses a crossbar to avoid compressing the window weather stripping.

The adsit.com hoist might be similar to the IMC with a cradle that runs underneath the top, so I wonder if it might have the same issue with the window weather stripping on the 107.


Obviously I have never done it, but I bet the tricky part is installing the top with one person using a hoist without damaging the car. It seems you would have to have the car positioned pretty closely to the exact spot, and then have fine-grained up and down control with one hand while positioning the top to line up the pins with the other hand. I can see how a powered hoist with a remote would be handy if money were no object. I guess you would also like to control the suspended attitude of the top so the front pins contact first.

From the pictures, the hoist offered by URO Parts looks like it has a simple block and tackle that would drop the hard top if the user lost the line. I have asked IMC whether theirs is the same. Harken Hoister is not purpose-built for a MBZ hard top, but it is interesting because it has a self-locking block, plus it is yachty.
The one I use and recommend...

Convertible Top Hoist/Lift MB107TH - On Sale at CPD!
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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I didn't buy it from Ecklers, but I have the Fritzi HT sling. I use it with an electric hoist (similar to Harbor Freight 800# unit).

It works, but I have damaged my car when I have done it alone. What happens, when removing top, is that either the front or rear pins "catch", then release. This causes the whole top to oscillate and the rear pin can contact the soft top cover just behind the socket.

A wall mounted boat trailer type winch might work better in that you should be able to operate it more slowly.
 

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1985 380 SL
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Hardtop hoist

I also got the Hoist-107 from adsit $170 with 10% off. It works great, especially since the 4'11" helper at home is not built to help lift it offand on. I mounted it perminently on the side of the garage and wrapped a piece of foam around it when not in use to avoid damage to whatever runs into it( like me)
 

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I didn't buy it from Ecklers, but I have the Fritzi HT sling. I use it with an electric hoist (similar to Harbor Freight 800# unit).

It works, but I have damaged my car when I have done it alone. What happens, when removing top, is that either the front or rear pins "catch", then release. This causes the whole top to oscillate and the rear pin can contact the soft top cover just behind the socket.

A wall mounted boat trailer type winch might work better in that you should be able to operate it more slowly.
Could you adjust the Fritzi sling so it lifts the back of the hardtop first? I was thinking this might be a big advantage.

Interesting comment about the electric hoist vs. a brake winch. Several of these hoists are offered with a brake winch, but I thought an electric remote (or a pulley line) would have the advantage of allowing the operator to get close enough to the top to nudge it around. Not so?
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Could you adjust the Fritzi sling so it lifts the back of the hardtop first? I was thinking this might be a big advantage.

Interesting comment about the electric hoist vs. a brake winch. Several of these hoists are offered with a brake winch, but I thought an electric remote (or a pulley line) would have the advantage of allowing the operator to get close enough to the top to nudge it around. Not so?
I don't know if adjusting the angle that the top lifts would help. But once released, I do want it as horizontal as possible so it can be lifted close to rafters. I have no ceiling, and have electric hoist mounted well above rafters so just hook protrudes below.

The angle is not the problem, it is the oscillation when the pins catch. Having one hand on hoist button leaves one hand to guide or prevent oscillation. Doable alone, but still better with someone to help. I have twice damaged the paint on my car doing it alone - needs fixing - again :(

Same may be true with trailer winch. But it would have ratchet so you can leave it with some up-force on it while you guide the top. Having rear come out first would help.
 
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