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1998 mercedes benz Sl500
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30 Posts
Hi everyone read thru the whole scenario and I am having similiar problems . I cannot get my rear latches to lock the soft top. I can see the top moving down but when I release the button it pops up again or when I hold it for a little while it pops up.I also noticed hydraulic fluid on the ground when I hold the button there are two little ports one on each side of the car. Is this normal to have it come out when you hold the red button is it an overflow or does that mean I have a problem with the hydraulic pump? please help, thanks,Torchtamer57.
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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12,182 Posts
If you notice hydraulic fluid on the ground, that means some of your cylinders is leaking. Check the fluid level of the tank, it is located under a plastic cover under the spare tire. If the level is not at FULL, then you have a leak.
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
I cannot get my rear latches to lock the soft top. I can see the top moving down but when I release the button it pops up again or when I hold it for a little while it pops up.
I also noticed hydraulic fluid on the ground when I hold the button there are two little ports one on each side of the car.
Is this normal to have it come out when you hold the red button is it an overflow or does that mean I have a problem with the hydraulic pump?
As stated it sounds like one or more of your rear 8 hydraulic cylinders is leaking hydraulic fluid to the ground. Your hydraulic cylinder pump reservoir is probably EMPTY and unable to create the pressure needed to move the latches.

If you need to move the top you will need to fill the reservoir then move the top to where you want it until you can repair the cylinders.

This is the first time that I have heard of a 1998 needing it's rear cylinders rebuilt. The two windshield cylinders are usually the first to go and this will give you a heads up as to when you need to repair the rear cylinders.

You will probably want to DIY because of the Indy or Dealer cost. If so, please read http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1307426-r129-soft-top-hydraulic-system-ultimate.html and feel free to contact Dennis Ficken for rebuilt cylinders.
 

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1998 mercedes benz Sl500
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks,Lynns.Is this a job that can be done by someone other than a dealer or indy. I am pretty mechanically inclined.Thanks
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
1998 rear hydraulic cylinder leakage

How do I know it's that time of the year again?

Because Winter is over and I start seeing hydraulic cylinder system Posts that consist of latches not opening/closing, fluid on the ground, and dead batteries being recharged that lead to diagnostic trouble codes that need resetting.

So I really need you senior forum guys that have a clear understanding of the RST system to help answer questions or point them to the following posts :

R129 soft top 'Hydraulic System' ultimate thread

R129 soft top 'Controller' ultimate thread

Archived topics
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
You can do it. Just plan it out and take your time.
Well put, and may I suggest that as a part of your timing and plan you take notes as you read the major Threads. Collect the names of people that have done the rear cylinders before you so that you can PM them if you need help. After you PM them please point them to this thread for their response.

Set a course of action and feel free to update this thread as you move forward.

BTW, since we have not really had anyone build ONE DIY for the rear cylinders it would be great if you would take copious notes, as well as pictures, as you move through the project and detail and/or point people to the posts that helped you accomplish different parts of your DIY.
 

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1991 300SL
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125 Posts
Thanks,Lynns.Is this a job that can be done by someone other than a dealer or indy. I am pretty mechanically inclined.Thanks
Torchtamer, I just replaced all twelve of my cylinders after they were rebuilt by Dennis Ficken. Contact him and he will email you instructions on how to remove and replace each one. It takes a little creativity to get them out without losing any clips (which I am told cannot be purchased from MB). I took mine out one weekend, overnighted them to Dennis on Monday, got them back on Friday and put them in last weekend. Once you get the hang of it they go pretty quickly. I took a lot of extra pictures as I went in case the instructions did not cover it but they were thorough. From what I have read, and especially since your rears are going before the tops (traditionally the first to go) you might want to just do them all and be done with it.
 

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Torchtamer, I just replaced all twelve of my cylinders after they were rebuilt by Dennis Ficken. Contact him and he will email you instructions on how to remove and replace each one. It takes a little creativity to get them out without losing any clips (which I am told cannot be purchased from MB). I took mine out one weekend, overnighted them to Dennis on Monday, got them back on Friday and put them in last weekend. Once you get the hang of it they go pretty quickly. I took a lot of extra pictures as I went in case the instructions did not cover it but they were thorough.
Can I plead with you to put together a DIY, with pictures, of your R&R of the rear HC's?

Please feel free to add special notes that you learned. This would be a great asset to future members who need to do a DIY. I would then add to the Blue Stickies.
 
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