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1997 SL320
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am getting ready to install my top cyliders on my 97 and when I went to the dealer for the fluid he gave me Hydraulic ZH-M fluid. Normally I would say fine but the last time they gave me transmission fluid, and that is what was in there. Is it o.k. or did they give me the wrong fluid? Any help would be aprecaited. Thank you, Billy
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
ZH-M Top Hydraulic fluid: either M-B 0009899103 or FeBi 02615

Billy,

the dealer gave you the correct fluid! ZH-M is the type of synthetic fluid that is used, and Mercedes approves two fluids available in the US:

1) M-B p/n 0009899103 (has a green dye in it)
2) FeBi 02615 (no dye, otherwise the same)

The latter is referenced in our website's FAQ section for online purchase (no relationship to the vendor, and it may be even cheaper elsewhere): Your Parts Search Returned 2 Part(s),

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinders - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 

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1997 SL320
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you,I hope no damage was done with the transmission fluid that I was given the first time.
 

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03 SL Kleemann, 97 SL320, 95 E320 cab, Tesla X, Ferrari 360, etc
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949 Posts
Top Hydraulics' seals can deal with suspended water, as found in transmission fluid

Thank you,I hope no damage was done with the transmission fluid that I was given the first time.
Billy,

The most important characteristics of top hydraulic fluid are low viscosity (being a thin fluid) over a wide temperature range, and the lack of additives that would make the seals in the cylinders swell up, or that would keep water in suspension.
Any water is supposed to sink to the bottom of the reservoir, so that it will not come in contact with the OEM seals.

I am not aware of M-B transmission fluid having strong additives that make the seals swell up. However, as far as I know, most or all transmission fluids have emulsifiers in them, which means they suspend (mix with) water. The problem is, water changes the chemical composition of the OEM seals in the hydraulic cylinders, as well as those of our best known competitor. (See http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1592184-soft-top-closing-problem.html - an interesting detective story... :), or http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1545322-another-dfsc-dennis-ficken-satisfied-customer.html; both kstreufert's and ulflei's seals from previous rebuilds showed chemical decomposition typical of hydration/water damage.)

The M-B transmission fluid you have been given before might be an exception, and all might be okay with your fluid, but I would flush it out very thoroughly if you have any OEM seals or similar in your system.

Water does not affect Top Hydraulics' seals, so you are in luck if you used our services. We do not limit our warranty based on which fluid you are using.

I hope this helps,

Klaus

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt Convertible Top Hydraulic Cylinders - Top Hydraulics, Inc
 
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