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  #1  
Old 12-30-2002, 02:37 PM
lperei01
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Unknown body part (how to remove it?)

First of all, I don't know how this plastic part is called (please see photograph). When the soft top compartment "door" is closed, it is the "plastic piece" right next to it.

Could anyone tell me how to remove and fit it back again?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Luis Pereira
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2002, 08:01 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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There are two screws holding it on. Lift it up carefully and look around. One screw needs to be removed, the other loosened a bit. They're just barely below the top of the part in question. Look closely!
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2003, 08:30 AM
lperei01
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Thanks ILUVMILS.

Actually I ended up finding 3 screws... I remove that plastic part and put it back again but I remained with the same problem

The space between that plastic part and the soft-top compartment door is different on both sides of the car (approx. 1.5 milimiter diff.). The result is that the rubber seal between the two pieces does not fit as it was supposed to when I open or close the top (please see the diagram below).

Since the space between the two pieces was different I tried to "push" the plastic piece further to the left (unscrewing it and fitting it back again) in order to the rubber seal fit properly. I've found that there is not much freedom concerning the position of this plastic piece and I ended up not solving the problem... I need to push in the rubber seal (manually) each time I close/open the soft-top

I've also looked for some "adjustment" screw in the soft-top compartment door but it seems well in place, i.e., the distances around the compartment door and the body of the car seem O.K. and are the same all around.

As far as I know the car had no accident that justifies the approx. 1.5 milimiter difference in the space between the two pieces.

Any suggestions on how could I "adjust" this??

Thanks in advance
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2003, 12:18 PM
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If all else fails, you could trim the plastic part back until the seal fits properly. Use a file, sharp knife, abraisive paper, etc.
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Cheers, Neil
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2003, 12:47 PM
lperei01
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Thanks for your suggestion neileg but I wanted kind of a "clean"/ "structural" solution... like adjusting the softtop compartment or... hit the right side of the car against a concrete wall ()

It would help to know why/how has this distance difference arised in the first place. Does anyone noticed if it has also differences in the distances between eft and right sides of the car?

Neileg, if I trim the plastic its finishing will be different (different color/ brightness). I'm the kind of guy my friends call "obsessed" in having the car in perfect conditions, if you know what I mean...

Other thing I also thought about is to glue the bottom part of the rubber, which, I think, will force it to fit properly upon closing the softop compartment.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2003, 10:57 PM
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Hi Luis, very nice diagram. I wish all of my clients were as thorough as you in describing problems with their cars! I see nothing wrong with trimming a bit of the seal to ensure a proper fit, as long as the modification doesn't impair the function of the "boot" cover. Quite often, when replacing ornamental weather-stipping/trim, I've had to coerce the new rubber piece into place and let it "set" for awhile to let it attain some memory. This is often the result of the way the part was packaged and stored/shipped. I've seen it happen with valve cover gaskets, window seals, door seals, etc. Try a little careful trimmng before you replace anything. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2003, 05:01 AM
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lperei01

Have you read 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance'? There's a good bit in there about using a shim to stop handlebars from moving. The bike owner was really happy until he found that the shim was cut from a beer can!

Trimming the plastic is the easy part, regaining the original finish is where the skill comes. Messing around with glue and the rubber is no more 'pure' and I think more likely to cause a problem.

Mercedes build quality is not just about precision engineering, it's about careful adjustments and modifications during the build process. In the UK this is known as fettling.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2003, 11:28 AM
lperei01
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Thanks both for your suggestions

I'm still curious about this issue though,

Do you know what could have caused this difference in the distances between the left and right sides? I know the rigidity of convertible car chassis is smaller than "ordinary" cars. Could this just be "wear and tear"? Have you seen this knid of problems before?

I'm thinking about taking the car to a test center in order to check if the chassis is somehow twisted. Then I'll follow your suggestion and trim the rubber seal a little bit.

Bye
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2003, 07:58 PM
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It's not uncommon to see some change in size and shape over time when it comes to the part in question. Remember, some expansion and contraction must be allowed for with changes in temperature and humidity. As the piece ages it loses some elasticity until eventually it doesn't fit properly anymore. R129 soft-tops are a good example as are door glass seals on any of the MB coupes, which have no metal frame around the window. I doubt your car is twisted as you suspect. Perhaps a bit of "fettling" is all thats needed.
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