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  #1  
Old 07-25-2004, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Orland Park, IL
Posts: 37
R129 Soft Top Operations

Hello again everyone.

Many of you know that from June 03 thru June 04 I enjoyed an SL320. Ten days ago I replaced it with an SL500.

Maybe its just me, but to me it seems like the top in my newer car does not operate as smoothly as the one on my old car.
The new cars top operation seems to be slower, and at a mid-point the top hangs up on something momentarily, then continues to fold or unfold.

Does anyone have a checklist of things to check for AND for routine preventative maintenance for proper soft-top operation ?

Thanks…

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Deneal Schilmeister
MBCA Gateway 1991-2010
MBCA Cincinnati
1997 SL500 140k
http://homepage.mac.com/deneals/SL500.htm
http://deneals.com
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2004, 08:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
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If you received the car with the hardtop installed, try closing the soft top overnight or longer, I was told by an MB rep that this helps bleed air out of the hydraulic system. Another possibility with this symptom is one of the front locks could have a internal hydraulic leak. These are the locks on top of the windshield header. Not too hard to check, but the trim on top of the header would need to be removed.
I prefer the post 95 or so system with the front proximity switch, works much better than the original system.

Gilly
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:54 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Orland Park, IL
Posts: 37
Thanks, Gilly.

The hard top has been on the car for a couple weeks. Yesterday was the first time I took it off and operated the soft top, although when I went to look at the car July 3, I made sure to operate the soft top a few times to make sure the header latches did not leak.

This was a one owner car, and the soft top and the rear windows are clear, so I have the impression that the soft top was not used much.

You made reference to "post 95 system with front proximity switch. What does that mean? How were the systems changed?

Thanks again
__________________
+++++++++--
Deneal Schilmeister
MBCA Gateway 1991-2010
MBCA Cincinnati
1997 SL500 140k
http://homepage.mac.com/deneals/SL500.htm
http://deneals.com
+++++++++--
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:56 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
There is a proximity switch in the header above the windshield. It senses when the front bow is approaching the header. The top operation is such (and I can't recall exactly what the top does right now) that it will "help itself" latch the front latches. On the older system, MB even said in the manual that you may need to assist in getting the front latches to latch, that's why there is that molded plastic "handle" inside the car in the center of the front bow. I think the newer system just pauses momentarily when it senses the top bow is near the header.
Anyways, on your slow operation, I'd recommend just leaving the soft top closed (or "up" however you say it) overnight and see if you don't get some improvement.

Gilly

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