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  #1  
Old 03-11-2003, 11:24 AM
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Location: Deerfield, Illinois
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Top Storage

Top storage season is coming soon so I thought I would ask: how do you store your top?

Someone put a business card in my car door (not the SL's) yesterday for a top storage company. Anyone in Chicagoland heard of or used these people? Top Store. They have a web site at www.topstore.com and charge $350 to store the top between March and December and $450 for year round storage. You can drop it off or they will come get it (I wonder if there is a charge for pick up and delivery -- I would expect so). The note was left on my car at the Highland Park train station (a good 20 miles north of Chicago) -- so they must have quite a range for their pick-up service. (I would suspect if a place like this goes out of business, it might be difficult to get your top back?)

THis will be my first summer with the SL, so if anyone has any info on off-site storage of tops and their experiences, I would be interested in hearing about it. Do the dealerships offer top storage?

Thanks

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1986 560SL (52.5k miles) sold 11/24/04

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  #2  
Old 03-11-2003, 11:37 AM
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Location: Far west chicago suburbs
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Consider a cart or a hoist...

as a way of storing your top. Our 97 sl500's top is sitting vertically on a wheeled cart (genuine MB part) under wraps for the summer. It does not take too much room, perhaps 5 ft wide by 1.5 ft deep and length of top (height). BTW, we're 40 miles west of Chicago - can't wait until this weekend when warmer weather is forecasted and can drop the top.

97 sl500 triple black
Sport Edition 1
24K miles
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2003, 11:43 AM
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I have a cart and had planned to use it until I got this card and started wondering about the ease of having someone come, take the top off and then return it in November or December -- while $350 is a tad steep, the top is out of the way and is someone else's concern -- vis-a-vis damage (I would only store it with a bonded company). I was just wondering if anyone here had used off-site storage and what the results were.

Yes -- we're looking at 60 degrees this weekend (but some rain too) -- can't wait -- its been a long long winter.
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1986 560SL (52.5k miles) sold 11/24/04

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  #4  
Old 03-11-2003, 04:33 PM
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Hard top storage

When we had a garage it was easy to put it in a cart and store. I had a friend in the auto businessin Chicago I suggested the the same idead 5/6years ago. he checked into it and the idea had some reals pros and cons. Our plan was to remove the top service the car and store the top, and do the reverse in the fall. His insurance company prooved to be a problem, any small accident, scratch or fire would be impossible to insure. Our Mercedes dealer in Palm Beach provides the service at a similar cost, you have to purchase the cover and the cart. They store them in the parts depatment, the only concerns would be a "loss" from a private party storage company
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Old 03-11-2003, 04:33 PM
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I have a hoist...you can buy an electrically operated hoist for the cost of storing the top!

Mine is mechanical...can't justify the 4x cost of the electric version for as little use as it gets...wife HATES the hardtop, so it's only been on twice...once when we drove the car home for the first time!

So it is suspended via hoist above the car for the rest of our ownership...

As far as off-site storage is concerned...I have used it several times with no incident...the most recent was to store two other vehicles when we relocated and our new home was under construction.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2003, 04:45 PM
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G-Benz -- thanks for your input, I like the idea of suspending the roof of my car from the ceiling of my garage-- but I don't think we have the space for it (our garage door track and spring are located in such a way that it would be hard to configure). I would go with the mechanical winch as well, for the reasons you indicate.

Peter, your story is intersting -- and brings up another fear, when it comes time to put the roof back on the car I can foresee the dealer saying "what roof?" or "That scratch was in it when you brought it here" -- I guess taking detailed photos would be a necessity!

Any one else have some history with off-site roof storage? Is $350 the going rate? I would guess that Miata owners and Thunderbird owners are now looking for solutions too?
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1986 560SL (52.5k miles) sold 11/24/04

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  #7  
Old 03-11-2003, 06:31 PM
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Dan, you might double-check where you actually need the top to be. I'd expected the same problem, but found that when the car's backed into the garage the top sits clear of the door, thanks to that short rear deck. A simple roof hoist worked out fine.
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'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)


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  #8  
Old 03-11-2003, 11:50 PM
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I prefer to have the hard top in my own garage. Put it on whenever I am in the mood of seeing it turns from topless to coupe just tickles me!!

Seriously though, I think there have to be some risks of damaging the top transporting back and forth. More importantly, the damage on the seal may not be so obvious till it rains.
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2003, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DanielG
G-Benz -- thanks for your input, I like the idea of suspending the roof of my car from the ceiling of my garage-- but I don't think we have the space for it (our garage door track and spring are located in such a way that it would be hard to configure). I would go with the mechanical winch as well, for the reasons you indicate.
The winch and cable mechanism resides several feet in front of the garage door hardware. With the top in place, it is suspended just inches from the actual garage door motor. I use a couple fo bungee cords to keep the top from teetering around.

Because of that configuration, the top is suspended with the rear window facing the back of the garage. So in order to install the top, I need to back the car in first...
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2003, 07:12 PM
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I'll probably just go with my top cart -- may move it down to the basement - and may never use the top again -- (this will be my first summer with the car -- and the car will remain in the garage in the winter during inclement weather and salty street days) -- thanks for the advice!
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1986 560SL (52.5k miles) sold 11/24/04

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  #11  
Old 03-18-2003, 11:14 PM
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Dan, you can certainly have fun that way; my car spent four years with its last owner and never wore its hardtop except when he bought it and when he sold it. In my short time with it, I've found I like having the hard top readily available as well, and a simple manual hoist has worked easily. But then the car I almost bought (instead of the one I did buy) hadn't had the hardtop off in years!
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'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)


SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2003, 05:46 AM
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I took the top off my new R129 for the first time last night and stored it on my MB cart (which is cheaper than most third party alternatives and comes with straps and a bag). I was surprised by how easy this process was, although the bag is a little tight.

I have put the top in one of our stables (along with a load of other crap). I like the idea of having the top close at hand; I think I will mount and dismount it several times a year (we are having a spring-spell presently, but that will change before summer, and the top will have to go back on).

I have thought about putting the top in storage (my local bodyshop offers this for about GBP15 per week). However I think they will get irritated by me constantly wanting it back.

What I am concerned about is this. We have mice in our stables (unavoidable). Will they eat the hardtop lining? They eat everything else.
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2003, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jjrodger
What I am concerned about is this. We have mice in our stables (unavoidable). Will they eat the hardtop lining? They eat everything else.
Probably...and the wiring harness that goes with it, not to mention they will leave little "gifts" while they enjoy your hardtop!
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2003, 11:36 AM
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What has not been said...

...is that the hardtop removal and installation process is IMHO a two person job. Care must be given to lifting it and holding it aloft of the body so that protruding latches (menacing as it looks) does not scrape the paint. In my experience, the best approach to installing is to lift over and move parallel to car towards the front ; or in removing, is to lift over and move parallel to car towards the rear - anything else is awkward. You may also wish to stuff the crevasse over the rear glass with clean rags so dust, dirt or droppings does not lodge itself as top sits in the cart. Wrap rear defroster cord in plastic to protect cord and connector.
I hope this helps.

97 sl500 triple black
Sport package 1
24K miles
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2003, 04:30 PM
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There's an excellent post on this subject. Even explains a couple of ways to assemble a hoist from readily available parts. Hardtop hoist

Personally, I'd rather have my hardtop close at hand. I received a cart and cover for my top and it was very easy to remove and store. However, I think I'm going to go for a hoist which makes it a one man operation.

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