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  #1  
Old 11-04-2005, 12:50 PM
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Location: Discovery Bay, CA
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lowering 129 convertible top manually

Hi All; On my 1998 SL500 the top latch cyls. have blown out and are leaking, so I've ordered 2 more. In the mean time I need to lower the top so I can drive it. I have the top tool but no manual (was able to un-latch the fronts to remove them). How do I get the back to open and hide the top?
Thanks for a great site, Richard
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2005, 02:58 PM
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Location: Denver,CO
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Smile

On my 1999 SL500 Sport the owners manual has the following info re the soft top storage compartment:
"Raising the soft top manually:
4.Unlock soft top storage compartment lock,located on vehicle right side: Place open-end (tool) wrench on bolt between roll bar and storage compartment cover. Turn (tool) wrench towards rear of car. Open storage compartment cover and place in upright position."

Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2005, 04:10 PM
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got top down!

Thanks for the help, I was able to find the little unlocking bolts (between roll bar and storage compartment) opened cover and lowered top by hand.
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2006, 02:09 PM
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where are these bolts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkite
Thanks for the help, I was able to find the little unlocking bolts (between roll bar and storage compartment) opened cover and lowered top by hand.

Did you have to raise the roll bar to find these bolts ??

thanks,
P.K.
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2006, 06:49 PM
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Here's some more info:

Raising Soft Top Manually
In case of malfunction, the power soft
top can also be raised manually. This
procedure should be performed with
great care by 2 persons.
A combination open-end/ Allen-head
wrench in the vehicle tool kit is
required for this job.
1. Open doors or lower windows.
2. Lower roll bar with roll bar
switch. If the roll bar cannot be
lowered, the soft top can be
carefully guided over the roll
bar.
3. For safety reasons from
steering lock.
Warning!
Do not place your hands near the roll
bar, soft top frame, upper windshield
area or soft top storage compartment
while the soft top is being locked.
Serious personal injury may occur.
4. Unlock left and right soft top
storage compartment locks: Place
open-end wrench on bolt between
roll bar and storage compartment
cover. Turn wrench towards rear
of car (1).
Open storage compartment cover
and place in upright position (2).
5. Pull soft top (3) together with soft
top bow (4) out of compartment.
6. Pull soft top bow (4) out of
compartment.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2006, 06:59 PM
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Additional info:
#7-#10
7. Place soft top frame (5) onto
windshield header.
8. Place soft top bow (4) in its
vertical position.
9. Pivot sun visors to side.
Remove left and right caps (6).
10. Using Allen-head wrench, lock left
and right of soft top frame (5) to
windshield header - turn wrench in
3 stages towards center of car:
1. Left lock to first notch
2. Right lock to second notch
3. Left lock to second notch.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2011, 11:30 AM
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I have the locking/raising procedure....is the reverse acceptable for lowering? I'm getting the other half of the cylinders (Thanks PO for half-assing the job before), but in the meantime, would like to use the car as it was intended this time of year

Any drawbacks to doing this? Don't want to cause damage
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2011, 11:37 AM
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How far along is the top operating?
Common scenario is the windows will lower, then one or none of the locks on the windshield header will release.
In this case you can "help" the locks unlock on the header, but then would recommend completing the cycle with the switch nstead of manually.
Sometimes just pulling down on the side of the top that won't unlock will release enough pressure that the top will unlatch by itself.
If the top hasn't been operated for awhile, just running it through the cycle a few times (if you can get it to go) will get air out of the system and it'll function normal as well, so don't order anything just yet!
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
How far along is the top operating?
Common scenario is the windows will lower, then one or none of the locks on the windshield header will release.
In this case you can "help" the locks unlock on the header, but then would recommend completing the cycle with the switch nstead of manually.
Sometimes just pulling down on the side of the top that won't unlock will release enough pressure that the top will unlatch by itself.
If the top hasn't been operated for awhile, just running it through the cycle a few times (if you can get it to go) will get air out of the system and it'll function normal as well, so don't order anything just yet!
Thanks Gilly for the quick reply. It's had 6 of the 12 cylinders rebuilt and it has worked fine for 3 months since I bought it.

The top will unlatch, and it actually goes completely vertical, the rear window flips up vertically, and the tonneau cover does the same - then it just sits. Won't fold down.

Oh yeah - I've been using it at least a couple times a week, so I don't think air would be an issue
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Last edited by Will_w202; 06-11-2011 at 11:49 AM. Reason: further info
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2011, 04:51 PM
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That sounds electrical to me, not hydraulic, you have to think of what the controller is probably "wanting" to see. I do or at least "did" have a schematic on the operation of the top, without seeing it, I would have to guess that the switch that tells the control unit that the tonneau cover is raised isn't working. Makes sense that it would not start dropping the soft top into the storage area unless it sees that the tonneau is open. I think that there is just one switch for this, not one on each side.
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2011, 06:41 PM
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Thanks - Dennis (the guy who rebuilds the cylinders) thought the same. Do you know what that switch happens to be called, and the approximate location?
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2011, 08:55 PM
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For the tonneau, I think there are 2, 1 is the "Tonneau Open" switch, the other is the "Tonneau Closed" switch, I can look a little to see if I can find any hard info.
It seems to me they are both on the right. The one you need is on the hinge, and i think you'd need to get the tonneau up and look sort of behind the hinge, if you don't see it on the right, look on the left. Should be just like a typical microswitch of the day, small plastic box, a white tab is what is actually depressed to close the switch, and has a metal tab that presses on the white plastic tab.
The Toanneau Closed switch I think is in the hydraulic latch that holds the tonneau closed.
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2011, 10:50 AM
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ok thanks - that helps and I'll look. FWIW, the thing worked last night. Ah, presonality...
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2011, 05:53 PM
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Yeah I guess we all know people with personalities like that, will do what you want them to do, but only whenever the are damn good and ready to.......
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