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1991 500SL
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

Hi

The hydraulics are leaking in my 91 500SL and I'm trying to work out how to get at the hydraulic pistons in the rear quarter (behind the door pillars). I'm trying to work out how to put the soft top down so I can put the hard top back onto the car until I can get the roof repaired. I've got the front and rear latches undone and can fold the roof part of the way but I can't figure out how to get the rear deck open so I can fold the roof into it. help :) I spent half a day gazing at it from all angles yesterday and got nowhere...

thanks

andrew
 

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1991 500SL
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

Hi

unfortunately I don't have a manual. I only bought the car a few weeks ago and my local mercedes benz office has ordered one from germany for me but apparently they're doing stock take at the moment there and he says it will take 4-6 weeks before my manual comes in. I've also searched this forum and other forums such as mbworld.org. I've tried my best to not waste peoples time by asking these questions but I've run out of options. If anyone else can help me out I'd appreciate it.

many thanks

andrew
 

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SL500 Silver Arrow
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162 Posts
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

This topic has been covered before recently that's all - also why buy a car without a manual? I wouldn't touch an SL without all the correct documentation.

There is a 'key' in the tool kit that you insert between the soft top cover and trim and engage a bolt. Turning this operates the tonneau cover.
 

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Registered
2005 S55; 2003 ML350; 1997 C280 Sport; 1991 300SL; 1986 190e 2.3 16V (2); 1968 W30 442
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583 Posts
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

Send me your email address.
I'll send you a 4.5 mb pdf file of the manual.
 

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1991 500SL
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

Thanks Fred

I posted my email address to you via a private msg. Appreciate the assistance :)

cheers

Andrew
 

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Registered
2005 S55; 2003 ML350; 1997 C280 Sport; 1991 300SL; 1986 190e 2.3 16V (2); 1968 W30 442
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583 Posts
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

Hi Andrew
I just sent the file to you. If you don't get it, let me know!
Good Luck!
Fred
 

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1991 500SL
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21 Posts
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

thanks Fred. For the benefit of others who might be searching for this info, in my 1991 500SL, the process is this:

Find the two plastic caps sitting behind the sun visor on either side of the car. Gently prise them out, be careful as years of sun may have made them brittle. Behind the caps you should see a hexagonal head that the manual roof tool fits into (failing that use an allen key). Turning these hex heads will unlock the front soft top locks. (can't recall if it was clockwise or anti-clockwise, so be careful!). I found that you need to start one side, then unlock the other side, then come back to the first side and finish the job off. At this stage you should be able to lift the top up slightly to see it's no longer engaged in the front locks. Now move to the boot.

In the back of the boot you should see two small pieces of the trim that will lift out. These will be located on each side near the boot hinge mechanisms. Lift the trim peices out and you should see a lever (mine is made from cad plated something or other, ie it's a gold colour) and it will have red paint on it.

Fit the spanner/wrench end of the manual roof tool, or otherwise a 10mm open ended spanner, onto the small nut welded into the end of that red lever. I started on the left side(passenger side), levering gently down will unlock, and gently up will lock). You may need to alternate between each side, undoing a little and then swapping. NOTE: I found the levers won't budge unless the soft or hard top 'pins' are physically sitting in the lock holes. Don't force the levers as they should move quite easily.

STOP here if you do not need to raise the soft top.

Now that you have both the front and back locks undone, the last part is to unlock the tonneau or rear deck (soft top roof compartment). To do this you need the 10mm spanner/wrench again. You will find two hex heads tucked down in between the roll bar and the side of the interior trim (about 6-8 inches from the door frames), fit the spanner onto the head and turn until the tonneau cover releases. You should now be able to fold the soft top down by first raising the rear section of the soft top until the back lip is pointing to the sky, then lift the front section along with the rear section down into the compartment. I guess getting it back out is a reverse of the procedure above. Hoepfully I've got it all right as I've done it from memory.

thanks to all those that helped me out when I didn't have the manual.

andrew

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keywords for search engine: sl500, 500sl, roof, top ragtop, softtop, hardtop, release mechanism, manual operation, verdeck, broken hydraulics, won't go down, won't go up, R129, raise, lower.
 

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Black SL 500 1994
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1,026 Posts
RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

Excellent post!
Thanks very much Andrew and welcome to the forum! [:)]
 

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RE: opening rear soft top compartment when hydraulics are dead...

My 91 500SL started spewing fluid today! I was out enjoying the day (Mid 60's in East Tennessee in January is rare) a storm blew in and.... no hydraulics.... Aieeee! Thanks to you guys for all of the great posts I know where to go and what to do!

Chris
 

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'97 SL500 & '01 ML320
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286 Posts
Urgent: gotta get hard roof locked down

In the back of the boot you should see two small pieces of the trim that will lift out. These will be located on each side near the boot hinge mechanisms. Lift the trim peices out and you should see a lever (mine is made from cad plated something or other, ie it's a gold colour) and it will have red paint on it. Fit the spanner/wrench end of the manual roof tool, or otherwise a 10mm open ended spanner, onto the small nut welded into the end of that red lever.
Unfortunately, my hydraulics have gone with the roof down. Big puddle of hydraulic oil near passenger rear wheel (have gone through the ultimate thread so I have a good idea what it is without even finding the leak). No time to do myself so will need my indy to fix it when I'm away on a business trip

I intended to leave the roof down and put the hard top on so I can drive it for a week before leaving it with my indy. I have got the front part of the roof on and locked (via the hex nuts behind the sun visors), but I'm struggling to find the 10mm nut in the boot / trunk. Does anyone have any photos of the boot / truck mechanism, which will enable me to lock the rear pins of the hard top down.

Also, can anyone advise where the locking nuts are for the side pins on the hard top - is this the one behind the roll bar?

Thanks in advance

Alan
 

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1995 SL500
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169 Posts
Lowering soft top manually.

I am starting this project from paragraph #2 "In the back of the boot......"
I have opened the two trim holes but my description does not match yours, is that because my top is up.
I have tried to proceed to your next paragraph and am not able to work the wrench down through the area described.The owners manual describes the same procedure. It seems the instuctions are to raise the top so I have to reverse the instuctions since I am going down.
What I am trying to do is lower the top enough so that I can get to the two top front cylinders. Originally I thought I would just use the switch after I unlocked the front and catch any oil pumped out of the blown cylinder.
One other question,I have removed the philips head screws. To remove this cover is it just a pry procedure. I did not want to force it. Any input would be appreciated.:thumbsup:

Find the two plastic caps sitting behind the sun visor on either side of the car. Gently prise them out, be careful as years of sun may have made them brittle. Behind the caps you should see a hexagonal head that the manual roof tool fits into (failing that use an allen key). Turning these hex heads will unlock the front soft top locks. (can't recall if it was clockwise or anti-clockwise, so be careful!). I found that you need to start one side, then unlock the other side, then come back to the first side and finish the job off. At this stage you should be able to lift the top up slightly to see it's no longer engaged in the front locks. Now move to the boot.

In the back of the boot you should see two small pieces of the trim that will lift out. These will be located on each side near the boot hinge mechanisms. Lift the trim peices out and you should see a lever (mine is made from cad plated something or other, ie it's a gold colour) and it will have red paint on it.

Fit the spanner/wrench end of the manual roof tool, or otherwise a 10mm open ended spanner, onto the small nut welded into the end of that red lever. I started on the left side(passenger side), levering gently down will unlock, and gently up will lock). You may need to alternate between each side, undoing a little and then swapping. NOTE: I found the levers won't budge unless the soft or hard top 'pins' are physically sitting in the lock holes. Don't force the levers as they should move quite easily.

STOP here if you do not need to raise the soft top.

Now that you have both the front and back locks undone, the last part is to unlock the tonneau or rear deck (soft top roof compartment). To do this you need the 10mm spanner/wrench again. You will find two hex heads tucked down in between the roll bar and the side of the interior trim (about 6-8 inches from the door frames), fit the spanner onto the head and turn until the tonneau cover releases. You should now be able to fold the soft top down by first raising the rear section of the soft top until the back lip is pointing to the sky, then lift the front section along with the rear section down into the compartment. I guess getting it back out is a reverse of the procedure above. Hoepfully I've got it all right as I've done it from memory.

thanks to all those that helped me out when I didn't have the manual.

andrew

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keywords for search engine: sl500, 500sl, roof, top ragtop, softtop, hardtop, release mechanism, manual operation, verdeck, broken hydraulics, won't go down, won't go up, R129, raise, lower.[/QUOTE]
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
There is more info in newer threads, and the stickies have links to manuals...

Can someone send me the pdf manual for the top for a 91 500sl. I would really appreciate it, my email is [email protected]
Ray32825,

welcome to the forum! It would be helpful to have your rough location and car model/year in your profile - that can make responses to future threads easier.

If you go to the "stickies" http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1409314-please-read-these-useful-archived-topics.html, you will find relevant posts to the most frequently asked questions on your R129.

In particular, you may want to visit the "soft top hydraulic ultimate thread" http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1307426-r129-soft-top-hydraulic-system-ultimate.html#post2262978 for functional questions about your soft top operation.

For an owner's manual in pdf version that covers the manual soft top operation, go to bayhas.com - /r129manu/.

For DIY instructions on how to lock or unlock the soft top or hard top with or with hydraulic cylinders in place, go to http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/maunuallockhardtop.pdf.

For instructions on inspecting, removing and replacing any RST convertible top cylinders, go to DIY Instructions - Top Hydraulics, Inc it has links to the following:
R129 Front Locking Cylinder Removal (PDF)
R129 Rear Locking Cylinder Removal (PDF)
R129 Tonneau Cover Lift Cylinder Removal (PDF)
R129 Tonneau Cover Lock Cylinder Removal (PDF)
R129 Bow Extension Cylinder Removal (PDF)
R129 Main Lift Cylinder Removal (PDF)

Below is a diagram showing the location of all twelve hydraulic cylinders for your roadster soft top.

Hope this helps,

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinders - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

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Registered
1990 AMG 500SL & 1995 C220
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62 Posts
manually lifting the roll bar?
maybe someone could help me here:
Im replacing all my selas on all 12 units and have done the front locks with ease. only problem is I can raise the roll bar to access the other units.
oil is spewing out really badly from the rear lock cyliders and the roll bar will not activate.
is there a way to manually raise the actual rollbar?
my car is a 1990 model...

thanks in advance guys!
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
hypo,

You are lucky that your cylinders kind of hung in there for such a long time. Are you really replacing ALL seals? How about the piston seals and the port seals? Those are an absolute must to replace on your '90 SL, and nobody sells them. Not even the jokers who try to sell o-rings in place of the cup seals, only to have folks ruin their cylinders or have those o-rings fail again after a short period... ;) Did you notice how the piston seals were swollen up, and it was hard to move the piston inside the cylinder housing?

The picture below shows an o-ring that was installed in place of the proper cup-shaped rod seal. The o-rings naturally try to twist and turn as the cylinder shaft slides through them, and the result is them wearing out very quickly.







If you ruin the front lock cylinders, then the loss is not so bad. They probably cost about $200/ea in Australia. Please think again whether you really want to work on the $1000-cylinders in the rear and risk damaging them, and how long you want your "fix" to work after all that labor.

There are ways to make the roll bar deploy, but you are probably best off either removing the main lift cylinders 1298000272 and the fabric bow extension cylinders 1298001772 and 1298001872 without removing the carpeted panels, or finessing the panels out from under the lowered roll bar. See http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Main Lift Cylinder Removal.pdf and http://www.tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Bow Extension Cylinder Removal.pdf.

If you are located in the Philippines, then I can understand you wanting to do anything by yourself if possible at all. The Philippines have a very strict control on imported parts. It would still be worth FedExing us your parts if you are in the Philippines. Shipping to and from Australia is fast and easy, with very accommodating import limits.

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt and Upgraded Convertible Top Cylinders, Pumps, Hydraulic Lines - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

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Registered
1991 300SL-Sold. 1998 SL500
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1,128 Posts
As usual, Klaus has the answers. Once I diagnose my top, I will be sending all my cylinders to be rebuilt. Unfortunately, it's not at the top of my repair list. I have to fix the over temp condition, the rough idle when hot, and my front struts before I tackle the top.
 
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