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  #1  
Old 09-17-2006, 02:17 PM
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R129 - Soft top manufacturers

I'm having real difficulty in locating an authentic replacement top for my baby.
Large thread on UK forum - http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=26860


Here's the simple criteria

1. Must use Wopavin flex-glass at 1.5mm and 1.25mm thickness for rear quarter and centre plastic

2. Flex glass must be stitched

3. Must use Sonnenland canvas (or send me a sample to review)

4. Must have piping around the edges

5. Preferable to have the rubber strip that runs horizontally across the canvas between the front and rear sections.

Here are the companies I have reviewed:

Aresma GmbH
Eurotop GmbH
GAHH (US)
Prestige Auto (UK)

None of the above meet the min requirements so just wondering if anyone can suggest alternative manufacturers?

Cheers
Lea
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'93 R129 500SL-32
'89 190E 2.6 - sold in 2002

http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2006, 04:27 AM
BenzToy's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeaUK View Post
I'm having real difficulty in locating an authentic replacement top for my baby.
Large thread on UK forum - http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=26860


Here's the simple criteria

1. Must use Wopavin flex-glass at 1.5mm and 1.25mm thickness for rear quarter and centre plastic

2. Flex glass must be stitched

3. Must use Sonnenland canvas (or send me a sample to review)

4. Must have piping around the edges

5. Preferable to have the rubber strip that runs horizontally across the canvas between the front and rear sections.

Here are the companies I have reviewed:

Aresma GmbH
Eurotop GmbH
GAHH (US)
Prestige Auto (UK)

None of the above meet the min requirements so just wondering if anyone can suggest alternative manufacturers?

Cheers
Lea
The simple criteria may require a custom fabrication. Pricey, but sometimes you get what you pay for. Possibly a local?
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2006, 08:58 AM
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I suppose dealer supply is out of the question? I wonder whether this is why the dealer's part is so much more expensive than the those offered by other suppliers: are they cutting corners somewhere? Good luck. I have resolved simply to buy a new Mercedes hood in the spring. I've got plenty of time to save up until then!
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2006, 03:36 PM
Red SL
 
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I don't have an answer for you, but I do have a question.

I realize you have done extensive research; out of the hood you have sampled thus far; how would you rate them? Beginning with one, two, three, etc…. Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2006, 04:17 PM
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JJ

I am slowly coming to the same conclusion also, although I don't think it's down solely to cost as all the features I request are not particularly expensive.

I suspect that third party manufacturers simply don't think there is a market and that the customer either wont know or care - so why not save a few pounds/dollars!

Maybe next spring you would be so kind and post several pictures comparing the old against the new top as what happens if the new MB top doesn't replicate the old? That for me would be disastrous. Spend 4 times the amount on a MB hood and still receive something that only matches typical aftermarket replacements.

Would love to find a manufacturer's name inside the hood also, JJ, please do post as many pics as you can as I would be sincerely grateful. I've spent 6 months trying to locate a quality replacement hood and although some exist none seem to offer the full replication - maybe a market here after all?

Red SL

That's a tough question, and only because the problem I'm finding is that after the initial correspondence I can't get any further information from the suppliers! So frustrating.

Here's a summary of as much as I know (not in any particular order):

Aresma

Not Sonnenland canvas but the sample is identical and it's manufactured in their own facility

Flex-glass is correct thickness and Wopavin

Have no picture

Can't tell if flex-glass is stitched

Eurotop

Quote:
Our top is manufactured like the original one (with stronger
windows)
Their tops are advertised with the correct thickness Wopavin but this reply doesn't install much confidence and contradicts their ads.

They advertise Sonnenland but haven't confirmed it's use by email

Pictures seem to indicate flex-glass is stitched but cannot confirm

GAHH

Used by my local fitters.

Confirmed use of Sonnenland

Stitched flex-glass

Not Wopavin, probably Ultralite


Prestige Auto

Confirmed use of Sonnenland

Think flex-glass is heat welded

Flex-glass isn't correct thickness (it's 1mm), they will not reveal manufacturer

Recommend I purchase new soft top from Benz!

See, a nightmare!

CarHood Warehouse

Are only fitters and purchase their hoods for US.

Rear windows are not Wopavin

I guess they buy their hoods from GAHH!

Recommend I purchase from MB!

Cheers
Lea
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'93 R129 500SL-32
'89 190E 2.6 - sold in 2002

http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg

Last edited by LeaUK; 09-20-2006 at 04:36 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2006, 03:09 AM
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I will expect perfection at the dealer's price: GBP800 for the rear section alone with fitting on top. I just will not be able to afford a new front section at the same time, notwithstanding the advice that I replace both at once. As well as this, I'm looking for new (stock) wheels, new engine and transmission mounts, and a possible suspension overhaul...
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2006, 07:05 AM
Red SL
 
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LeaUK thanks for the information.

Fall months are approaching (demand should drop) best time to get good labor prices. I will purchase a hood from the information you provided (within a month or two). I will provide feed back on quality.
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2006, 03:11 PM
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here is another place to contact, I don't know if this meets all your specs. -- good luck.

http://www.performanceproducts4benz.com/productpage.aspx?pid=110427&name=German+Replacement+Tops
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2006, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielG View Post
here is another place to contact, I don't know if this meets all your specs. -- good luck.

http://www.performanceproducts4benz.com/productpage.aspx?pid=110427&name=German+Replacement+Tops
Stay away from Performance Products. They are inept, lying crooks!
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2006, 03:04 AM
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Hi all

Many thanks for your posts and advice.

After 6 months it's really starting to heat up with KHM as my current choice meeting ALL the requirements.

As I've cross posted on to multiple forums I need to minimise the updates, so for those interested you may find my review of hood manufacturers and rating of interest:

http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showpost.php?p=280640&postcount=100

Red SL - A big thank you for any information you can provide about the hood you purchase, although maybe worth just hanging on for 2-3 weeks as hopefully within this time frame we'll have a definitive choice of manufacturer. Pictures and your comments are welcomed with open arms.


Cheers
Lea
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'93 R129 500SL-32
'89 190E 2.6 - sold in 2002

http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg

Last edited by LeaUK; 10-04-2006 at 03:40 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2006, 02:33 PM
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You maybe interested in the near-conclusion to the research in soft top manufacturers...if so read from around this post:

http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=26860&page=8
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http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2006, 05:53 AM
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Lea,

Have you tried this outfit?

http://www.verdeck-express.de/mercedes/129_sola.htm#oben

They suggest that they use OEM Sonnenland fabric, with a choice of beige or black on the inside, stitched windows and flexible polyglas rear window with correct thicknesses of 1.25mm and 1.5mm (but does not state Gurit Wo Pavin). It also appeared to have the appropriate beading around the bottom.

Price is £499 for black or blue, slightly more for one of a wide range of other colours.
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2006, 02:47 PM
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Hi jj

These guys escaped my audit so I can only say no. I've chosen KHM as per my UK thread's conclusions.

Beige or black is intemitly linked to either Sonnenland 'Standard' or Sonnenlad 'Plus' respectively. According to KHM (and it seems to be correct on the small sample of 129 owners I've spoken to) MB changed from Standard to Plus in '94 so I will too. 'Plus' ie Black backing is the preferred choice due to durability.

Many thanks for the comments and assistance.

Lea
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'93 R129 500SL-32
'89 190E 2.6 - sold in 2002

http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg

Last edited by LeaUK; 10-04-2006 at 03:41 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2006, 06:35 AM
Red SL
 
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LeaKU
Could you post the link to KHM on this site, thanks. I am ready to purchase!
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2006, 03:45 PM
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Cool, me too... :-) although I'm waiting for a reply re how to pay etc..

Haven't you access to the UK forum? I would hope for you to read my findings and make your own conclusions rather than assume mine - would hate to recommend a pup!

If you do purchase from KHM http://www.cabrio.de/Englisch/navi.htm PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do post a selection of pics here as I would be extremely keen to review - as I'm sure several others would be too.

Cheers Red SL
Lea
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http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg
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