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  #1  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:43 PM
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
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107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures

I was asked to make a post on how I fold the top on my 1988 560SL. The top I have was installed in 1995 when I purchased the car. It was NOT a Mercedes top. It was an aftermarket top but of course a Happisch material top.

Cleaning the top. Use lots of water and a mild detergent, very mild. Treat it like a suit. Woolite?? Any grime that I want to remove. Bird droppings, of any other material. I use lots of water, a mild soap and a Mushroom brush. Yes a mushroom brush. Steal it from your kitchen, of course after buying a new one as a replacement. The brush is very soft but the harder you press the more you get to the stiffer section of the bristles on the brush. I have found this to work quite well. It cleans a soft mushroom gently so I figured it would be OK on my top, and it is.

Dave

This is a view of my plastic window. Its 8 years old. I believe that the best way to care for this window is to keep it out of UV rays. I do this by keeping the fabric top retracted as much as possible and I never use the hardtop. Its a convertible. I like it with the top down.
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-01.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car

Last edited by dmorrison; 10-12-2003 at 09:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:44 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
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This is the cleaner for the window. Buy it at any Mercedes Dealer.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-02.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:47 PM
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Here are the tools of my method. An old hand towel and a normal size bath towel. They help protect the window and top. I store them as shown when the top is up.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-03.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:48 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
I remove the yellow towel, its use described later. and place it on the top well as shown.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-04.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:51 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
The yellow towel is rolled like a paper and place in the window. This prevents the plastic window from kinking and overflexing the plastic, which would produce stress on the plastic and a blemish.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-05.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:54 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
When folding the top back, make sure the second metal support bar folds towards the rear away from the frame. This will cause the center fabric section of the top to fold outward and away form the frame. If you don't make sure this occures, you could either cut the top or bend the second frame bar.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-06.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:56 PM
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
When the top is lowered into the well. make sure the center rear section of fabric is folded under the top latching mechanism. If its allowed to stay bent upward the center section of fabric will develop a curl. This curl will show when the top is up. The center section will not smoothly stay against the body paint.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-07.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2003, 08:58 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Fold the top part that is near the hinge section inward, towards the center of the car and away from the hinge which could cut the fabric. Do this on both sides of the car.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-08.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2003, 09:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Here is the top fully retracted. Notice the towel drapped over the well wall. The towel prevents any of the cables or mechanical units in the well from damaging the material.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-09.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2003, 09:01 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
I fold the towel over the top to protect it and to allow the well top cover to close properly.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-10.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car

Last edited by dmorrison; 10-12-2003 at 09:28 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2003, 09:03 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Make sure both sides of the metal cover latch and are secure. This would be expensive to repair if the wind got a hold of it while cruising down the highway.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-11.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2003, 09:06 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
One last photo.
I try to make sure that the outside edges of the bottom of the top are folded UNDER the mechanisms in the well. I showed a photo of the center unit. The sides are also important when folding the top. If you allow the edges to curl up due to the internal machinery in the well the sides will remained flipped up. This allows water to come inside and look cheesey. So make sure the edges of the top are stored in the posidtion that you want it to be in when its up.

Dave

This is the side of the top. You can see how it lays flat against the side of the car body, no curling here.
Attached Thumbnails
107SL top folding technique-- Large pictures-12.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car

Last edited by dmorrison; 10-12-2003 at 09:15 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-13-2003, 11:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 766
Dave, great job on documenting! I hadn't been quite able to visualize the towel layout. My current top is 13 years old and beyond hope; it's only been my car for 10 months. The new top next year will get the full treatment.
__________________
Craig Bethune

'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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  #14  
Old 10-14-2003, 01:59 PM
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Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
I fold mine up in very much the same way. It took me awhile to figure out why the center rear portion was curling up.

However, I heard that terry cloth towels will mark the windows, so I use the packing sheets that came with my new soft top. They look like really big fabric softener sheets.
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Mike Heath
1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2003, 02:15 PM
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dmorrison
Thanks for that excellent instructional. Very timely for me, now that I am about to put the hardtop on for the winter months.

Here's a question. My car is outside under a breathable all- weather cover. (My wife's car and my garage queen must occupy the garage, unfortunately) Would it be better to keep the soft top retracted with the hardtop in place all winter, or will my all weather car cover protect the soft top from extreme snow and ice while the top is up? I would rather leave the hard top in the garage if possible!
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1991 560SEL (254K miles)
1980 Lincoln Mark VI - Givenchy
1979 Lincoln Mark V Collector's Series
1979 Lincoln Town Car Collector's Series
1979 Ford "Effie" Pickup (in gradual transformation to a show/street truck)
1969 Lincoln Mark III (waiting for "Overhaulin" to call)
1989 Lincoln Towncar
2001 Lexus GS300 (spousal unit's daily driver)
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