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2001 SL600 AMG
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 sl600 and had not put the soft top up on it in several weeks as, the car sits in a show garage so, I decided to wash it.
As, I went to raise the soft top the top would only raise half way over before stopping. After I killed the ignition, It would slowly drop back down into the storage case. Everything else seemed to work good. After reading most of the forum posts, I did all the checks and found no oil leaking and oil level was correct.
I have just decided to take out all cylinders and have them repaired with new seals. I hope this repair works and isn't something more? I hope I can remember where all the oil:confused: lines go?
Any help would be appreciated!!!
Thanks
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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11,116 Posts
You may have internal leak (at the piston seal) ?
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
The flexible lines are numbered -- we can walk you through their locations, if needed. Be very careful not to mix up the lines going to the bow extension cylinders, as that easily results in one of the bow extension cylinder rods bending. Fortunately, the numbers for those lines are stamped on the cylinders, as well.

View our instructions for re-installation, as well, in particular the ones for the bow extension cylinders:

http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Bow Extension Cylinder Removal.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Front Locking Cylinder Removal.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Rear Locking Cylinder Removal.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Tonneau Cover Lift Cylinders.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Tonneau Cover Lock Cylinders.pdf
http://tophydraulicsinc.com/R129 Main Lift Cylinder Removal.pdf

It is a good idea to replace all cylinders before they are leaking if you want to avoid trouble at a time when you cannot deal with it. Our new generation seals with Teflon back-shell will likely last longer than you own the car... :)

Btw, have you synchronized the soft top controller lately (in case your battery was low at some point)? Aside from looking for hydraulic fluid leaks, synchronizing the controller is the first line of defense when your top stops mid-way.
 

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1991 300SL
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125 Posts
I had a similar problem with my 91 and it was a broken wire in the driver's side window down sensor. I don't know if the same routines need to be followed in your model year but in mine the window has to go all the way down and contact a switch in the inside bottom of the door before the operation can continue. My door check strap had broken and apparently tore the wire to the switch. I soldered the wire and everything worked again. Might want to check this first. When you manually raise and lock the top can you mechanically lower it the normal way or does it stop abruptly somewhere along the way? Good luck. (I'm not saying to not R&R the hydraulics as that will be inevitable anyway but it might not be the problem....YET).
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
window limit switches

I don't know if the same routines need to be followed in your model year but in mine the window has to go all the way down and contact a switch in the inside bottom of the door before the operation can continue. My door check strap had broken and apparently tore the wire to the switch. I soldered the wire and everything worked again. Might want to check this first.
Karas,

thanks for mentioning that. The window limit switches were actually omitted as of December '94. Instead, there were Hall sensors (magnetic) installed. They don't seem to fail as frequently. The changes were made together with the new controller that lowers the windows a little for opening and closing of the doors.

Agreed, the cause may well not be a leaking hydraulic system here, but it's good to know you won't have to worry about cylinders for a long time, if ever, with the upgraded cylinders.
 

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2001 SL600 AMG
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your help in determining what might be the problem. I have removed all but the last two cylinders before having them all repaired. Planning on sending them all to you for repair!
You mentioned synchronizing the controller? What would be the best way of doing that? I did have a very low to dead battery before I had the issue with the soft top only going up half way. Put a new battery in the car and still had the same issue.
What is the procedure for erasing codes? A MB scanner or battery disconnect?
Dave
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
Synchronizing '95+ controller

You mentioned synchronizing the controller? What would be the best way of doing that? I did have a very low to dead battery before I had the issue with the soft top only going up half way. Put a new battery in the car and still had the same issue.
Dave,

on R129's manufactured since December '94, the windows need to be synchronized every time the battery is dead or down. The reason is that the controller loses memory of which position the windows were in before it lost charge, and the '95+ controllers have the feature of dropping the windows for opening and closing doors. The top will not fully operate if the controller is confused about the windows' positions.

For synchronization, the doors need to be closed, and the soft top needs to be either up with all locks fully latched, or down in the storage well.

Close both windows consecutively, and hold the window buttons in the up position for five seconds.

I'll gladly try to walk you through any other issues on the phone once you re-install the cylinders.
 
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