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U took the old religion from the woman on the hill.
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Discussion Starter #1
Just got a '99 Sl500 and the electric latches won't release the hardtop in the rear only, the front latches release fine. Finally got the hardtop off with two people pulling up on both sides in the back while holding the top button. The hard cover to the soft top won't release either so the soft top cannot be raised. Any ideas or thoughts would be really helpful. Thanks.
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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11,115 Posts
The latches are not electric, they are hydraulic.
If the front releases, then at least you pump is working.
Do a diagnostic scan and it might tell you what's wrong.
 

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Sith Lord
72 280SE 88 560SEC 92 E500 6.0 95 SL320 14 GLK350
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11,813 Posts
Try using the manual top latch release tool instead of forcing the top out.
You might also want to check if there is enough fluid in your pump.
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
There are several possibilities for this behavior. Since the car is new to you, let's start with the simple stuff. If you can read the codes, that's great, but check the fluid level in the pump (under the spare tire) first, as suggested. If the pump sucks air, it won't develop enough pressure. That usually affects the locking first, as opposed to unlocking, but it's possible.

To unlock the rear locks manually, you can still use your soft top tool or an open 10-mm wrench. It's a little more involved in your '99 than in earlier models, but no big deal. There is a small release lever on the back of the lock that fits a 10-mm open wrench (such as your soft top tool). You can access it from the trunk if you pull back the corners of the front trunk panel. To pull back the panel, you will have to remove some tabs on the panel first. Let us know if you need help with that.

Please let us know what you are finding so far, so that we can help you from there.
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
Also, synchronize the soft top controller. Good chance the battery was low on this car before you bought it, and the p.o. did not synch it...

Basically, with all soft top latches closed completely (that's most easily assured by having the soft top down, since the locks did not have to work on tightening the soft top), and the doors closed, consecutively hold the window buttons in the up position for five seconds after the windows have closed all the way.
 

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U took the old religion from the woman on the hill.
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Found some more interesting things out. The fluid to the top is full and happy. Got the hardtop off by holding the front part of the top up off the latches and then by pressing the top button to close and pulling up on the rear of the hardtop at the same time. It almost seems the rear latches are wired backwards.
The soft top cover does not raise, it just tries to close all the time. Have most of the carpet/spare/covers out of the trunk. What next? Thanks!
 

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Premium Member
U took the old religion from the woman on the hill.
Joined
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43,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just want to extend a hearty thanks to all and for the archives regarding this issue in this particular forum. After manually raising the soft top and greasing all the locations/latches the top is now working completely. Have not tried placing the hardtop back on yet but feel it should work too as the latches are working as intended in the rear. I raised and lowered the soft top about five times. Thanks again.
 
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