Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help




Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum > Technical Information and Support > Tech Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-31-2006, 09:20 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
1995 E320 Cabriolet hydraulic top operation problem

I just had all eight of the hydraulic cylinders from my convertible mechanism removed, rebuilt, and reinstalled because of multiple leaks. Now when I go to operate the top, it keeps hanging up or stop moving. I was extremely careful to label and reinstall the hydraulic lines in the proper positions. The hydraulic reservoir is full and topped off with fluid as needed.

What's the magic that needs to be done to get the top to work properly after repair? What needs to be reset? I remember having a similar problem that last time I worked on the hydraulics. It seemed to work itself out after a while. I've tried everything I can think of... manually setting the top in the full up and full down position, then starting operation... disconnecting the battery in hopes of resetting the mechanism.... all to no avail.
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-01-2007, 12:57 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
I'm trying to read the fault codes to figure out this problem. These are the instructions:

"Power Soft top test connection (4 pole) at Socket 2. The connection is located at the right front passenger footwell. To avoid the need for an extension cable, connect the black lead of code scanner to any good ground and red lead to a battery + source inside vehicle."

Where at the right passenger footwell is this connection located? My information tells me the X11/4 diagnostic (16-pole) connector is not used to access these codes.
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-01-2007, 01:33 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,726
I have a diagram but reducing it to attachment size pretty much ruins it. I sent you a private message.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-02-2007, 09:14 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
Dean, thanks for the attachment. I found the socket, read the codes, erased them, then put the top through its paces until it faulted. I get:

Code 10 - Soft top fabric bow "raised" limit switch

What my top does... is from the top-up position, it unlatches and raises the compartment cover, raises the rear glass, then faults.

I took the three-in-one limit switch unit out from the driver's side rear quarter and tested them. All switches work fine. There's no adjustment, and I can feel the switch click when I raise the rear glass manually to the up position.

Am I checking the proper switch?
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-05-2007, 09:39 AM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
Fixed. I feel like a dolt. Careful as I was, I forgot to reconnect one of the electric leads to a microswitch that was hidden in the trim.

Thanks for the map. The codes from the diagnostic connector led me to the microswitch. The combination of your map, the 80 page booklet of diagnostic codes I downloaded from a member here, and the W124 CD service manual, helped me find the problem. It just goes to show that you can't have enough information for one of these cars.

The top now works perfectly.
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-10-2007, 04:30 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Hey Convertible Guys, I have an issue with my top also. The portion of the top with the rear window doesn't properly lower. It just drops like a cable is broken or detatched. I haven't tried to remove or pull back the canvas to see what's going on. Do you have any diagnostic advice?

Much appreciated, as always!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-18-2007, 11:06 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Let me run this by you guys again....
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-18-2007, 11:57 AM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
I thought I sent you a PM on this. Did you get it? I believe I mentioned checking the hydraulic fluid level in the reservoir.
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-18-2007, 01:06 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Kestas, I didn't get a PM but you did post a response to a previous thread I started on the same issue. Above you mentioned replacing or removing your top and a microswitch. I thought you might have additional information after going through that drill. Thanks for your help.

I have checked the fluid in the reservoir and it's fine. I went ahead and changed it out with new MB fluid, since it was a relatively easy procedure, in hopes that was the problem. No such luck. Any more ideas would be appreciated. Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-18-2007, 03:33 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
If I remember, during use, the rear bow comes down rather quickly. Perhaps something came out of adjustment and the rear bow now "bottoms out" in the folding top case, causing a jolt.

I'm not sure what determines the speed at which the rear bow falls. I thought it was something regulated by the hydraulic cylinders. Perhaps one or both of the cylinders are leaking internally.

Any external leaks?
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-21-2007, 07:02 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Follow-up and a new problem

I determined the problem with my falling top to be that the connector from the piston to the top had stripped out on one side. The connector, shaped like a keyhole, was not available as a separate part. The dealer needed $750 for the entire cylinder mechanism. I took the connector to a machine shop where they inserted a pin into the stripped threads and welded it in, then retapped it for me. I reassembled and it works good as new, at least until...

...today, when I noticed a puddle of what appeared to be hydraulic fluid on the garage floor in front of the passenger rear tire. I located the source as coming from the hydraulics, but not exactly sure of what seal where in the mechanism. I'm sure I can identify once I get in there, but can the seals be repaired by a weekend wrencher, or do I need special hydraulic parts and skills? How do you best access the cylinders? Removal of rear seat and side wall? Once removed, is it possible to repair the cylinder without special tools or parts? I don;t see any applicable parts on Fastlane.

Kestas, I know you are a DIYer. Did you rebuild all your cylinders yourself, or get some help? I see lots of W129 "front cylinder" repair posts, but I'm not finding anuy helpful information using the search function. Any suggestions from the group are appreciated!!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-22-2007, 09:09 AM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
It sounds like you have a leaky cylinder. Don't go to the dealer for new cylinders. They're over $150 apiece. If you can get the cylinders out I can get you contact info for Dennis Ficken, who can rebuild them for $30 apiece plus shipping.

This is a difficult DIY job, but it can be done. You have to detrim the back seat and sides. There are two cylinders at each side of the convertible top. I took the entire top mechanism out of the car because I couldn't get a fastener to budge. You may be able to remove the cylinders without taking the top out of the car. Small hands help here.

Don't replace just the leaky cylinder. The others are not far behind. That, plus the labor, overlap compels you to replace all cylinders you can get your hands on. You don't want to do this job twice.

Besides the four cylinders that control the fabric top, there are an additional four cylinders that are relatively easy to get at. They control the tonneau cover operation and locking. Might as well get those in for rebuilding also.

Here are a couple threads for additional reading:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/2027630-post11.html

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1307426-r129-soft-top-hydraulic-system-ultimate-thread.html
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K

Last edited by Kestas; 10-22-2007 at 09:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-22-2007, 12:57 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Sound do-able. Thanks for the advice. I have had the back seats and side panels off before, so that's not a problem. I don't have small hands, but do have fair patience. I hope I don't have to pull the whole top off though. That sounds like a fair amount of down time. I don't have a second car, so this will have to get done pretty quickly.

In reading over the weekend I followed links to Dennis' email and have contacted him already. I was surprised he didn't have instructions on how to get to the cylinders. I'll try to document for this BB. I had read enough to see that the recommendation is to do them all at the same time, so I'm taking your and others advice on that as well.

Are all the eight cylinders in the same vicinity? I guess the tonneau cover must have some cylinders back near the hinge mechanism.

I love this car and I love the satisfaction of doing the work, but it's getting a little old having to do something new every week or two. Oh well, I guess it's better than a stick in the eye and a car payment.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-22-2007, 01:27 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,801
Dennis is more familiar with the SL models, probably because they are much more plentiful than the E320 cabriolet. Also, they have 12 hydraulic cylinders for the top!!

Of the eight cylinders for the E320,
- Four are at the bottom of the top, hidden in the rear fenders (two on each side).
- Two are in the trunk, one at each side near the hinge behind the trim panels.
- Two are accessible from the open tonneau cover - one for the tonneau latch, one for the rear convertible bow latch.

Make sure to label all hydraulic connections so they don't get mixed up, otherwise you may have a nightmare on your hands. And careful not to lose the clips for the hydraulic connections. I'm guessing MB sells them only with the new cylinders.
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-22-2007, 06:05 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Kestas, one (okay, two) more questions just for fun. Start to finish, if you could have worked straight through, how long did this job take? (You can exclude the time spent tracking down the unplugged switch if you want.) Then, how long was the total down time? Thanks for your direction. I'm looking forward to getting another project underway.

David
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page