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1985 280SL
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought my 1985 280SL 5 Spd Man w/ M110 engine.
When a friend and I tried to remove the hardtop it seemed stuck on the back lock. I tried the handle while trying to remove but, couldn't get roof off that lock. Anyone have any tips. Also my car sounds more like a eggbeater clickty clackity sound... Is this normal?
 

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1984 280SL, 5-spd, 25K miles
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91 Posts
The release cable may need adjusting. Do a search, that subject's been covered.

Clickety, clack. Valves need adjusting.

Have fun.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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31,991 Posts
Did you release both handles? Large toward the back small forward and down. Try pushing the small one down a little while pulling the back of the top.

A quiet M110 engine is one that needs the valves adjusted.
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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6,742 Posts
Facing the levers behind the drivers seat:

- turn the big lever fully counter clockwise to the 9:00 position.
- turn the small lever clockwise to the 5:00 position

Then see if you can lift off the hard top.

Carl
 

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1984 380SL
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192 Posts
Whatever you do, don't twist the stupid thing to try to disengage. You'll only end up gauging your top cover and needing a pro paint job. We learned this lesson the $600 hard way.

We found a thread here that help with disengaging the spring mechanism.....over time they get stuck and won't release even with the levers in the correct position.
 

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Monika '74 450SL and her lil sis BrownHilda '79 280SL
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2,006 Posts
Here is a trick I used to get mine to release.
If you can pull the top up an inch but the pin does not release fully, take a small screwdriver put it in the hole and move the lock latch by pushing the screwdriver to the right. Once you gat the roof off, follow the instructions on adjusting the release cable.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,259 Posts
Put a blanket on the trunk lid close to the top. When you first lift it you'll find out how heavy it is and it's easy to scratch the paint.
 

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1984 280SL, 5-spd, 25K miles
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91 Posts
A quiet M110 engine is one that needs the valves adjusted.

I know that's the assumption but not on my car. Valves have loosened. An adjustment is on the list but you know what, it's summer and it's hot and it's a heck of a lot more fun going for a drive than sticking my head under the hood.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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31,991 Posts
A quiet M110 engine is one that needs the valves adjusted.

I know that's the assumption but not on my car. Valves have loosened. An adjustment is on the list but you know what, it's summer and it's hot and it's a heck of a lot more fun going for a drive than sticking my head under the hood.
Not really. It is general rule posted by many owners. There are exceptions of course and you may have something else going on in the valve train like worn followers. A little clicking noise is normal. Clattering is not.
 

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1988 560 SL
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652 Posts
I had a similar problem removing the hard top and tried any number of tricks to do so: rotating it, jiggling it, pulling at the latch with a coat hanger, etc. In the end I found it wasn't worth the frustration and had a new cable put on. It was relatively inexpensive, at least as far as these cars go ($100–$125 as I recall), and now the system functions as intended.
 

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1984 500SL 107, 2006 E320CDI W211 sport wagon, 2009 320 CLS, 1993 E320 Cabriolet W124
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270 Posts
Here is a diagram drawn by a great friend of mine from Edinburgh Scotland I hope that it helps you........
 

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1984 500SL 107, 2006 E320CDI W211 sport wagon, 2009 320 CLS, 1993 E320 Cabriolet W124
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270 Posts
Usually it is the spring clip in the photo that springs apart and causes the problem. We drill and tap the spring clip and put a screw through it.
At the very least put a cable (zip?) tie round it to ensure it does not happen again.
 

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1989 560SL
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58 Posts
Ive had 3 107SL's and 1 of them had that same bitch of a problem with that pin.. You have to grease it and just pull on the fucker till it lets go..You wont hurt the car.. I know its a pain in the ass. the same car also gave me sticking problems with the rag top.. ugh .. A small price to pay for a truly classic gorgeous car
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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31,991 Posts
Ive had 3 107SL's and 1 of them had that same bitch of a problem with that pin.. You have to grease it and just pull on the fucker till it lets go..You wont hurt the car.. I know its a pain in the ass. the same car also gave me sticking problems with the rag top.. ugh .. A small price to pay for a truly classic gorgeous car
But there is no reason to continue to fight it when it can be fixed.
 

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1985 380SL
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19 Posts
This was driving me crazy, I could never seem to get the pin to release. I say never but I only had the car for a month. I found by rotating the little lever first then the big lever it popped up every time. No screwdriver or pulling! Thanks for posting this.

Here is a diagram drawn by a great friend of mine from Edinburgh Scotland I hope that it helps you........
 

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10 Posts
Really need some help! I have read every thread, looked at every diagram, tried every trick but I cannot ger this roof off! It is stuck at the rear pin. The small handle has no tension which leads me to believe it is broken. I have tried getting in from
 

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(Sorry sent early) I tried using a coat hanger in the right side of the pin, to try and get between the pin and the latch to release. With no luck! Any advice would be appreciated! It is summer in Australia and would love to enjoy this 'coupe' !
 

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Premium Member
1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
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9,867 Posts
(Sorry sent early) I tried using a coat hanger in the right side of the pin, to try and get between the pin and the latch to release. With no luck! Any advice would be appreciated! It is summer in Australia and would love to enjoy this 'coupe' !
Probably a broken cable. Wish I could help. All I can say is study the diagram in post #13. I believe you will be successful. But don't be applying upward pressure to the top while trying to pry on the leaver.
 
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