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  #1  
Old 12-15-2009, 08:20 PM
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Location: St. Louis Missouri
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77 450sl soft top

From some of my previous posts, you may know I am currently the caretaker of a 77 450SL.

This might seem like a pretty basic question, but, I don't have an owners manual so.....

How do you raise/lower the soft top? There is a crank/handle on the interior side wall behind the drivers seat. I assume this is part of my answer? I found the lever and cap tools, I think I can figure out how to get the hard top on and off, but I'm not sure about the soft top? Can somebody point me in the right direction?

Thanks,

J. M. van Swaay
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1994 E500 Sedan, 79,000 miles
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2009, 08:40 PM
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There is the handle and a small lever behind the drivers seat. Push large handle toward the back and the small lever toward the front and down. Large lever also releases the soft top cover when the top is stored. Sitting as long as this one has you may have trouble with the small latch releasing the rear pin on the HT.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:35 AM
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If you get it unlatched, be very careful in folding it back down if you are unfamiliar with it. Rule 0: Don't force anything. There are some pretty good instructions with photos on this or another board. It's important to get the folds right or else the top or windows could be cut.

On the hardtop, the first time you do it, get THREE other people who are careful and follow directions to lift it off. My 560SL has scars behind the top where there were apparently not enough careful people the past to do the job.

Also, in my opinion, there is no safe way to store a hard top other than in a rack - either storebought or built yourself out of wood. The brightwork on the bottom under the rear side windows is extremely easy to bend if you lay it on the ground, carpeted, padded, or not (replacement parts: $200/side+, 2x more than a brand new storebought rack).
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:57 AM
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Thanks for the posts.

My nieghbors will probably think I'm a bit crazy (they are probably right) when they see me putting the top down--OAT was about 15F last night.
(think I'll do this in the garage with the door closed)

Just want to see what condition the soft top is in.

J. M. van Swaay
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1994 E320 Wagon, 230,000 miles
1995 E320 Sedan, 106,000 miles
1994 E500 Sedan, 79,000 miles
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2009, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. M. van Swaay View Post
Thanks for the posts.

My nieghbors will probably think I'm a bit crazy (they are probably right) when they see me putting the top down--OAT was about 15F last night.
(think I'll do this in the garage with the door closed)

Just want to see what condition the soft top is in.

J. M. van Swaay
The warmer the better for manipulating the soft top.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2009, 10:47 PM
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STOP - I would NOT mess with the soft top, period, under cold temperature conditions. I would say it would be _pretty darned likely_ that you will break the plastic windows.

However, I DID take my soft top down in a 40 degree garage, but before I did this I put a heater in the interior of the car and got the interior up to about 90 degrees, to soften the window plastic.
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86 560SL
With homebrew first gear start!
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http://juliepalooza.8m.com/sl/mercedes.htm
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2009, 10:19 AM
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Thanks, I had the same thought. Temp in my garage is about 60F.......I'll let it sit in the garage for a day before I try anything.

J. M. van Swaay
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1994 E320 Wagon, 230,000 miles
1995 E320 Sedan, 106,000 miles
1994 E500 Sedan, 79,000 miles
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