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Has anyone heard of recall on 2008 clk350 soft top? Bought CPO with extended warranty, but top not covered on extended warranty. First warranty ran out a few months ago and MBZ said they would split the cost of $7,000 to replace. The car is only 4 years old with 40,000 miles!
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Is it the seam above the rear window? That's the most common failure, but it's rare with so few miles and years unless there has been physical damage. The dealer will likely replace the "entire" top, with all new parts. You can buy just the canvas itself for about $1000 (check eBay for listing like this one). It's not a DIY< but I'll be you can find an indy or an upholstery shop that can do it for much less than $7K.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
soft top

Yes, it is the seam above the window. I've had the car for a little over a year and it has always been garaged. I can't believe that MBZ won't cover the whole cost. I didn't realize the extended warranty from the CPO didn't cover the soft top so didn't bring in for a few months after I noticed it coming apart. Also can't believe that it costs $7,000. Even if they split the cost with me, with the mark up, they wouldn't be paying for anything. I am waiting for a case manager from customer assistance at mbzusa to return my call within 24 hours, but my dealer already spoke to the factory rep and that was what he told him. Thanks for the info on ebay.
 

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When you talk to the MBUSA customer service rep, be nice, appreciative and non-confrontational. Use phrases like, "I am surprised that this sort of problem has cropped up at this low mileage, which would normally be within the base warranty period except that I am a few months outside of the 4-year time limit" and "I bought my Mercedes from an authorized dealer to make sure I would get the best care and service for my vehicle". These guys really do want to help, they just need a reason to do so.

As for the cost, it's because the dealer will replace the entire top - all three layers and the frame - because that's how MBZ sells it as one part. Only custom upholstery shops replace just the canvas. Oh, and Haartz is the OEM supplier, so that eBay item should be an exact factory fit.
 

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clk 350 top splitting at seam

I also have a 2008 clk 350 convertible and the top is splitting at the seam above the rear window. The seam is held together by glue only. Glue! A Mercedes Benz should have higher building standards than glue at a seam. My first call to the service department at the dealership resulted in a referral to a local car upholstery shop. The MB service department does not even repair the cloth tops. The car is only 4 1/2 years old with 30,000 miles. Is anyone else experiencing this problem?
 

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Many tops use a special adhesive - not just MB. Probably Rolls Royce does. They don't make the tops, they get them from a vendor - which Rodney says is Hartz - the leader in the field. I would not want a dealer trying to repair it - they would see the problem so in frequently that they would not do it right, or even have the tools. See if an upholstery type place can duplicate the original glue proess. If not get somebody to replace the canvas if you are not brave enough to do it yourself.
 

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I also have a 2008 clk 350 convertible and the top is splitting at the seam above the rear window. The seam is held together by glue only. Glue! A Mercedes Benz should have higher building standards than glue at a seam. My first call to the service department at the dealership resulted in a referral to a local car upholstery shop. The MB service department does not even repair the cloth tops. The car is only 4 1/2 years old with 30,000 miles. Is anyone else experiencing this problem?
So you are just barely out of the time warranty, and still well within the mileage warranty. I'd approach your dealer about a goodwill repair.
 

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I also have a seam coming open on my 2003 CLK 430 top which looks brand new except for this problem. I am trying to find a glue to use and will then try to sew it myself since no one will repair it. They say it can't be done. I have nothing to lose I figure. Any suggestions for glue?
 

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Hi Kmbz. I saw this write-up for replacing the soft top on an SL in a BenzWorld email a few weeks back. There is talk of a special glue during the installation process. I have a hem (for lack of a better word) on the side of the rear window where the glue seems to be dry-rotted and is separating. I'm hoping to have it glued rather than replacing an otherwise serviceable top.
 

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I'm trying contact cement from DAP bought at Lowes. Glued about 12 inches of the seam yesterday,let dry 20 minutes and pressed seam together. Going to let it dry in sun today before I check putting top down.
 

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Does anyone have any theories about what starts the deterioration of the seams. Is it cleaning products or waterproofing products??
Is there any "official" MB advice for the the care of the soft top?
 

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After 4 days ,this seam repair is holding. I had the top 1/2 down while gluing the seam using a toothpick to slowly and carefully add glue. Recommend using painters tape around work area as any spills won't come off fabric easily.
 

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After 4 days, this repair is holding. I had the top 1/2 down when gluing seam.i used tooth picks to slowly and carefully add glue to seam.also masked area with painters tape as glue is very difficult to remove once applied.
 

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Contact cement is pretty tough stuff. Hopefully this will work and maintain leak proofing.
 

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Can you take a picture to show the area you're describing?

I've repaired a separation on my 2008's soft top (near the window, the rain gutter area, where the top folds over the guide-wire) with black silicone RTV.. That was a couple months ago at this point, seems to be holding.
 

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Top seam repair

After 4 days, this repair is holding. I had the top 1/2 down when gluing seam.i used tooth picks to slowly and carefully add glue to seam.also masked area with painters tape as glue is very difficult to remove once applied.
Any update on how this top repair held over time? I'm having the same issue develop on mine. Any other members repair their tops with glue successfully?
 

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CLK 550 Cabrio '07, Ferrari 2000 360 Modena, Ferrari 328 GTS 1986, Mercedes 2010 GLK 350, BMW 740IL
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I used SEAM GRIP
"seam sealer and outdoor repair" six months ago
 

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Adhesives are temporary fixes...I got six months before things got worse. Here's the cure: My local auto custom trim/upholstery shop does soft top work. I took it to him and six hours later it looks like new and stronger than new since original seam was only glued. He took off the soft top and sewed it across the entire width of the top seam (above the rear window. It looks perfect like the factory did it. He used the same color braided nylon (outdoor) stitching. He also stitched the two frequent problem areas on both sides of the back window. He does work for dealers too, trade-ins, off-lease, insurance, etc. It was a piece of cake for him since he has the experience and one big strong sewing machine!
 

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Remember that the main problem is that the top has shrunk and so the seam has more tension on it than original and glue won't cut it long term.
 
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