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R&R of the Convertible Top Release Cylinders

on the 1998 SL500 (R129)

by snowbilt


My 1998 SL500 was leaking hydraulic fluid from the top of the windscreen. I determined that the problem was caused by the convertible top release actuators. These are the 2 cylinders at the top of the windshield that unlock the top.

Tools needed: image

Parts replaced image

Taking off cover be sure to be easy so not to break electrical plug under cover.






Once you get it set aside remove the three torx bolts that secure the latch and cylinder.

Then remove cylinder from latch by removing allen bolts unclipping and removing hydraulic lines and removing cylinder from latch with 7mm wrench.


Then install new cylinder to latch and hook up lines.
The lines and the cylinder are numbered make sure they match.
Be sure and use Locktite on bolts when re-installing.
I didn't unplug electical plug for latch I just worked on it over car.
It might be easier to take it completely off, but I didn't want to run the risk off breaking it.
You will not get much fluid from the lines but be carefull when you take the cylinder out you will get some out of it.
Overall the job isn't bad even for someone like me who isn't mechanically inclined.
The second latch will go much faster than the first.
The only thing I wish I would have had is one of those bendable screw drivers that you can put different ends on.
This would have come in handy removing the cylinder from the latch.
Also, be carefull with the hydralic lines and make sure they are under the metal clip where the cover attaches.
I put the top up and down 5 times and it worked like a charm.
I just want the thank everyone for the input on this especially Bob Terry.

Last but not least, it took me about 2hrs to do not including a trip to Pep Boys for a set of wrenchs and Locktite.

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