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1997 SL 320
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The soft-top had been working fine, but yesterday I tried to lower it.....The rear section worked fine, but the front doesn't disengage from the top windshield/visor area.

I tried re-synching the remote.

I checked the front visor area for leaks...no leaks found.

I removed the spare tire and checked for leaks...no leaks found and hydrolic fluid was at the proper level.

I checked the fuses and they are all OK.

Here's another piece of the puzzle: when I try to lower the soft-top and only the rear section goes down, well, I can't drive with just the rear open...so I push and hold the red button to get the rear widow section out of the boot...It works, but does not clamp down automatically like it usually does. I have to release the buttton and push it again to get the rear section to clamp down. (I don't know if this "double clutch" manuever is significant to the problem.)

OK...That's about all the diagnostics I can think of.

Could the front cylinders be bad even though they are not leaking?

Anything else I can try to diagnose the problem?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
Thanks in advance for your contribution.

Since there have been many others that have been in your shoes with regard to the soft top malfunctioning, and many more to come, this is a great opportunity for you to contribute to the Forum. May I suggest that you do an exhaustive "Search" of this Forum. After you have come up with a complete sequence of tests that you believe needs to be done may I suggest that you post ALL of them to the Forum. Even if you think there may not be a fit.

BTW, there is a fellow that goes by the handle of "bobterry99" that probably could give you a quick answer if you decide not to read and research all of the Posts that I believe will help you and posibly countless others in the future.

**Please read http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1318272-top-will-not-go-up-please-help.html and http://www.benzworld.org/forums/2184232-post33.html and http://www.benzworld.org/forums/1957141-post2.html and http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r12...windows-top-wont-goes-down-2.html#post2006524

Thanks in advance for your contribution.
 

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1997 SL 320
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Lynn,

I am aware of the clutter with regard to multiple posts, but I did do a search....nothing quite fit my problem....The other posts all seemed to deal with cylinder leaks, fuse issues, or top not rising fully.

My top won't go down (front won't release from windshield area.)

The windows work fine, the roll bar works fine, there is no apparent leak, I checked the fuses, re-synched the remote, checked the battery charge, etc.....All things I gathered from doing the search you recommended.

I apologize if I offended anyone with my post, but I do know how the forum system works...I do know where the "search" button is. This problem just didn't seem to "fit the mold"!!

I'll try all of the steps again...and will surely post any results. If all else fails I was thinking of using the allen wrench and maually disengaging the front from the windshield area and then trying to lower the top...and if that works then raising the top and doing the re-synch thing.

I'm just running out of ideas....Thus my post and request for help. Once again, no offense was intended....
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
StatManSL said:
Lynn,

I am aware of the clutter with regard to multiple posts, but I did do a search....nothing quite fit my problem....The other posts all seemed to deal with cylinder leaks, fuse issues, or top not rising fully.

My top won't go down (front won't release from windshield area.)

The windows work fine, the roll bar works fine, there is no apparent leak, I checked the fuses, re-synched the remote, checked the battery charge, etc.....All things I gathered from doing the search you recommended.

I apologize if I offended anyone with my post, but I do know how the forum system works...I do know where the "search" button is. This problem just didn't seem to "fit the mold"!!

I'll try all of the steps again...and will surely post any results. If all else fails I was thinking of using the allen wrench and maually disengaging the front from the windshield area and then trying to lower the top...and if that works then raising the top and doing the re-synch thing.

I'm just running out of ideas....Thus my post and request for help. Once again, no offense was intended....
Yes, I will agree that there is clutter in the posts. There are many who just throw in there two cents in hopes that that it might work. And ther are IMHO many who are looking for a free answer without doing any Searches. This is one of the most active 129 boards and there is plenty of good stuff here if a person is willing to Search it out and read between the lines.

Don't worry you didn't offend. Did you read the "**Please read" posts that I included above. If I'm not mistaken the last two of them had a similar problem to yours.

I think I would agree with you that helping the top release manually is an option. In my M-B readings it has been suggested that sometimes it is needed.

Please keep us posted on your findings.
 

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1997 SL 320
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well...I do have some results...and SUCCESS!

For me at least, the "Reset"/Re-Synch" sequence is not a one-shot (or 2 or 3 for that matter) deal.

I did the re-set/re-synch deal at least 5 times before it worked (same order, exact same sequence.)

So what I have learned is persitance and a bit of patience.

That's easier to have when you want the top to lower....I am always concerned that I might have difficulty geting the top up if it starts to rain suddenly....That's why I always keep that dual-end tool handy!
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
Great news! Congratulations.

So when a top won't release it is a good idea to re-synch the windows, possibly multiple times, as the owners manual outlines. If necessary get the soft top tool out and release the top to start the sequence.

Did you do the window re-synch with the engine running?
 

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Registered
1997 SL 320
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
<<Did you do the window re-synch with the engine running?<<

Yeah...I tried both ways. I initailly did it with the engine running, because I did not want to run down the battery (I read in other posts that a slight drop in voltage could cause soft-top problems), but then after checking the battery, I did it with the engine off.

Man I love this car, but some things that you would ordinarily think would/should be simple and/or intuititve are frequently not.....
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
lynns said:
So when a top won't release it is a good idea to re-synch the windows, possibly multiple times, as the owners manual outlines. If necessary get the soft top tool out and release the top to start the sequence.

Did you do the window re-synch with the engine running?
Because the dead/weak battery issue has come up soooooo many times I have decided to post http://www.benzworld.org/forums/2371141-post7.html
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
StatManSL said:
I initailly did it with the engine running, because I did not want to run down the battery (I read in other posts that a slight drop in voltage could cause soft-top problems), but then after checking the battery, I did it with the engine off.
FWIW, look what I found out about the Soft Top (see attached).

From the M-B R129 CD, Removing and Installing the Soft Top Control Module

"the soft top control module is active for about sixty minutes after the ignition is turned off"

I wonder if information like the windows not being synchronized is kept until approx. one hour later?
 

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Registered
SL500, CL55, E350, E320
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3,205 Posts
You might want to check the soft top switch. I had similar problem with my car as the rear "flap" would not close down on its own.

I brought to the DonPool Mercedes shop which charged me $1100 and didn't fix it (the WORST MB shop ever on earth!) because I thought I would save some money ... they had no idea what they were doing and lied about what they did.

I ended up bringing to American Service Center MB dealership and they fixed for less than $400. It turned out to be the switch as mentioned.
 

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Registered
1987 560SEC, 1971 280SE, 1990 500SL
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3 Posts
Hi, many thanks for all of the posts and especially on the soft top operation. So far, I have not seen a post where the DTC error code of 20 was returned (hard top installed) when in fact the hard top is not on the car. Cannot be erased.
The soft stop stopped mid cycle when I had to stop for a rainstorm. It had to be closed manually and has not worked since. I am looking for clues on why the error code 20 is returned...what sensor tells the control module the hard top is installed?
My car is a 1990 500SL RHD.
Cheers!
 

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Outstanding Contributor
2003 SL500, 2003 SL55, and four R129s
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4,470 Posts
what sensor tells the control module the hard top is installed?
Code 20 is determined by the state of switches on each of the four locks and a switch at the top's pivot point by it's left-side mount.

If the top is open, ensure that all of the locks are in their open position. If the top is closed, then check the switch on the pivot point.
 

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1987 560SEC, 1971 280SE, 1990 500SL
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3 Posts
Many thanks bobterry99. For this and your wealth of posts over the years. Now to check those switches.
 

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Premium Member
2002 Black SL500, 1998 Red sport SL500, 2005 Silver (A209) CLK500
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1,075 Posts
Does not help you perhaps...
When I have soft top issues...I have 2 SL's...When one sequence stops midway...I'll use the soft top tool and either manually finish the closing sequence or open sequence. Then I'll disconnect the battery overnight and reconnect in the morning and bingo. All is fine. Some quirk in the system that can't be explained...
 

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Registered
1987 560SEC, 1971 280SE, 1990 500SL
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3 Posts
Does not help you perhaps...
When I have soft top issues...I have 2 SL's...When one sequence stops midway...I'll use the soft top tool and either manually finish the closing sequence or open sequence. Then I'll disconnect the battery overnight and reconnect in the morning and bingo. All is fine. Some quirk in the system that can't be explained...
Willing to try anything.
 
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