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  #1  
Old 03-11-2008, 09:22 PM
Philip Justice's Avatar
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S.O.S Hydraulic Leak 500 SL

Phil Here, I removed my Hard-Top on my new 1992 500SL today, This is the first time I put up the Soft-Top since I got the SL last mouth. The soft-Top went up flawlessly and everything worked as it should. I nearly "Crapped my Pants" to find a 10" puddle of what seemed to be Hydraulic Fluid at the Left Rear Wheel area of my car when the Hard-Top was released, I cleaned the mess up off my garage floor. The same thing happened when the Soft-top "Locked Down" 10" Puddle on the floor.

I don't think the Soft-Top Cylinders are the problem but I really don't know
I don't want to go to MB Shop with out knowing whats going on! With my limited knowledge on this SL I think and hope its only a Broken Line that works the Top, Locking/Unlocking mechanism. Can any one help me on this problem. Thanks In Advance..............

1992 Sweet 500SL Phil Justice
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2008, 09:42 AM
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Most likely a bad main cylinder, lines NEVER cause a problem!
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2008, 11:40 PM
aam aam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Justice View Post
Phil Here, I removed my Hard-Top on my new 1992 500SL today, This is the first time I put up the Soft-Top since I got the SL last mouth. The soft-Top went up flawlessly and everything worked as it should. I nearly "Crapped my Pants" to find a 10" puddle of what seemed to be Hydraulic Fluid at the Left Rear Wheel area of my car when the Hard-Top was released, I cleaned the mess up off my garage floor. The same thing happened when the Soft-top "Locked Down" 10" Puddle on the floor.

I don't think the Soft-Top Cylinders are the problem but I really don't know
I don't want to go to MB Shop with out knowing whats going on! With my limited knowledge on this SL I think and hope its only a Broken Line that works the Top, Locking/Unlocking mechanism. Can any one help me on this problem. Thanks In Advance..............

1992 Sweet 500SL Phil Justice

It is very common on our cars.
You have six hydraulic cylinders for the top.
Two for the roll bar.
The top cylinders are the trouble most of the time, welcome to the club.
It is not your hydraulic lines.

Take your flush light and look in the trunk from the openings, at the two
hydraulic cylinders where the rod comes out for leaks.
The other two are harder to see.
Check the easy ones first.

Under the spare tire is the pump make sure you have oil in it, use Mercedes hydraulic fluid only..............

Do not crapp pants it is more work.

You can lock the top manual with the special tool, in your tool bag.
There is a guy who repairs them for $30.00 each.

Regards.
aam.

You are all over the place.
Please stay on one thread.
It is confusing.

Last edited by aam; 03-12-2008 at 11:50 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2008, 06:27 PM
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Phil Here, Thanks again MB people. The Hydraulic leak was from the Large Pistons that make the Top go up and down, both of them are leaking and spraying fluid everywhere. I cleaned up the Storage compartment and spent most of the day cleaning some fluid off my new Soft-Top. For now I will work my Top manually, It's no big deal! It is reminiscent of the 107 days. We here in Sunny Fla. use our Rag-Top 9 Months a year, The summer is brutal with heat, So than comes the Hard-Top and plenty of A/C. I will remove the Two bad Do-Hickeys and send them out to be repaired [ New Seals]. Thanks again to you guys for all you help. I will going to Walmart to replace my " Crappy Jeans" Tonight.

1992 Sweet 500SL Phil Justice
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2008, 06:43 PM
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Slight correction, there are actually 8 hydraulic jacks in the soft top control system.
Me too went through the experience.
Everybody owning a 500/600sl of about 10 years old and driving ina hot climate will go through the motion.
I was so sick of it that I overhauled all the jacks and installed polyuretheen seals(custom made)
The seals used are not industry standard sizes.

Regards

Eric
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2008, 01:41 PM
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I'm leaking too

have a 91 500 sl and the same thing happened to me today. Oil at rear of car. Thanks to this site I went out and checked the cylinders. Mine are the ones that are reachable from the trunk. Are these hard to replace? How much for rebuild vs. buying new? Any other hints? Thank you
Ron Watson

Last edited by Ron Watson; 03-21-2008 at 01:52 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2008, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Watson View Post
have a 91 500 sl and the same thing happened to me today. Oil at rear of car. Thanks to this site I went out and checked the cylinders. Mine are the ones that are reachable from the trunk. Are these hard to replace? How much for rebuild vs. buying new? Any other hints? Thank you
Ron Watson
Ron,

Here's the contact information for the cylinder rebuilder many of us have used. Dennis is quite experienced with these, turns them around quickly, warrants for 3 years and is incredibly reasonable in pricing (compared to buying replacements from MB)

Mercedes Hydraulic Cylinder Rebuilder

Dennis Ficken
16285 S. Chester
Olathe, Ks 66062
(913) 390-0506
mercedescylinders@sbcglobal.net

Bob
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2008, 12:10 PM
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I have a full set of used ones available from a 1996. PM me if interested.

John Roncallo
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2008, 05:05 PM
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Thanks

SunGuy thank you for the info. Does he still do it? Are they difficult to take out and put back in? How about bleeding the fluid?
Also Roncallo, I really don't know if they will fit. Also heebies if used and not rebuilt. Thank you both Ron Watson

Last edited by Ron Watson; 03-22-2008 at 09:46 PM. Reason: More info
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2008, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Watson View Post
SunGuy thank you for the info. Does he still do it? Are they difficult to take out and put back in? How about bleeding the fluid?
Ron Watson
Dennis is still in the business of rebuilding these cylinders. On R&R difficulty...in my opinion on a scale of 1-10,(least to most difficult) getting the cylinders out is about a 4 for anyone with average ability. If you have the 129 DVD. the steps with pix are in there. If you don't have the DVD, you can go to most public libraries and log into AllData for free to get the same information. Also, this topic has been discussed alot, so do a search/advanced search using the tool here and looke for 'hydraulic cylinder'. I'm sure you'll get quite a bit to read thru.

No the system does not have to be 'bled' as it is self-bleeding when used. You will need fluid to replenish what you've lost. Either MB's 'Special & expensive Hydraulic fluid from the Dealer or the same thing from Febi, the OEM for this stuff...P/N 02615, from Phil or most of the good on-line parts suppliers for about half the cost delivered to your door. And yes, you can co-mingle the two fluids meaning that the system doesn't have to be bone dry before you add fluid. Just top it off to the line on the pump canister.

Bob
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2008, 09:22 AM
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Got them out

Sunguy,
Thanks, those were a breeze. Got them out in @30 min. Thank goodness it was the ones that lift the cover. Those looked to be the easiest. Just the trunk lining had to be removed. Do you know if I can drive my car with the hydaulic lines disconnected? Does Dennis do good work? I've not done too much of this online.
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2008, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Watson View Post
Sunguy,
Thanks, those were a breeze. Got them out in @30 min. Thank goodness it was the ones that lift the cover. Those looked to be the easiest. Just the trunk lining had to be removed. Do you know if I can drive my car with the hydaulic lines disconnected? Does Dennis do good work? I've not done too much of this online.
Hey Ron,

Glad that worked out for you, and those along with the front latches are the easiest. In fact, the fronts will probably be next for you sometime in the future. Florida sun is tough on the fronts.

Yes, you can drive the car and not worry about further leaks from the open lines. MB recommends putting small rubber caps over the ends of the lines as much to keep dirt out than fluid in. Just don't use the top button until the cylinders are reinstalled.

About Dennis' work...all I can tell you from personal experience is that he did my front latches 1 1/2 years ago, they've worked flawlessly since, and only cost $40 or so + shipping compared to $125-$140@ from the dealer for replacements. He must have done close to 1000 +/- of these cylinder rebuilds for owners around the world, and I've never seen anyone post a complaint....nothing but raves about the guy. You can trust him. Call or email him and he'll give you the instructions you need for shipping, payment, etc.

Re online...the hydraulic fluid should be orderable from Phil, by clicking the buy parts icon at the top of the forum page. Phil/FastLane is a sponsor here and pays to support the free use of the forum. If he doesn't stock the Febi fluid, I know that www.*************** does; also a very good supplier.

Bob
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2008, 08:31 PM
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Phil Here, Hi Guys, I'm the one that started this Post. My Hydraulics were leaking badly, With you help I was able to locate the bad cylinders although all the Fluid came out of the weep hole under the trunk.
I was going to un-install and have them sent out to be rebuilt. Just by chance, I called the Dealer who sold me the car [Zimm Motors] Miami. I explained my problem to him and he suggested that I take the 3 hour drive down to him and he would take care of any problems. He wound up replacing Six Cylinders for me at No charge, He even bought me lunch while my Baby was being worked on! Now my Soft-Top works like a charm
with no Fluid on the floor. Now I will say that I will [Exercise] my Top to keep everything working properly.

On the Plus side! The 368 mile round trip to Miami and back with the A/C on My well tuned 92 SL only cost me 18 gal. of 93 Octane, not to shabby!

The Dealer also gave me a used Wind-Screen wich did not come with the SL when i bought it. I will ask for repair help on this item in another Post.

1992 Sweet 500SL Thanks again, Phil Justice
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2008, 11:14 AM
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Talking how to......go topless!

Now that I have gotten your attention, here is the deal. We just purchased and drove home from Florida a wonderful 1995 SL500. For 4 or 5 days, the soft top went up and down like a charm. Then we noticed the hydraulic fluid on the passenger's side in front of rear tire. Further reading on this site to determine that these cylinders appears to go bad after some time. While we are going to send the cylinders to Dennis to rebuild, I am wondering how difficult it is to manually raise and lower the soft top?
Shoot, I am Atlanta and the weather is perfect for driving with the top down. Our kids don't believe that this is a convertible! Do I need a special do-hickie-tool or should I just leave the soft top on and stick my head out the window and pretend?
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2008, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laura9797 View Post
Now that I have gotten your attention, here is the deal. We just purchased and drove home from Florida a wonderful 1995 SL500. For 4 or 5 days, the soft top went up and down like a charm. Then we noticed the hydraulic fluid on the passenger's side in front of rear tire. Further reading on this site to determine that these cylinders appears to go bad after some time. While we are going to send the cylinders to Dennis to rebuild, I am wondering how difficult it is to manually raise and lower the soft top?
Shoot, I am Atlanta and the weather is perfect for driving with the top down. Our kids don't believe that this is a convertible! Do I need a special do-hickie-tool or should I just leave the soft top on and stick my head out the window and pretend?
You need the special do hick tool "10mm wrench" and the owners manual to tell you how to do it.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:33 PM
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