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help needed: W124 Cabrio top wont open

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E-Class (W124) 1984-1995: E 260, E 300, E 320, E 420, E 500 (Includes CE, T, TD models)

help needed: W124 Cabrio top wont open

 
Old 07-13-2011, 04:50 PM
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help needed: W124 Cabrio top wont open

Hi guys,
My Cabrio is in closed position & it wont open. Does anyone know if there is a manual way of opening this thing?

Thanks,
Albert S.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:40 PM
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Anyone????
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:54 PM
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Albert, check the main fuse, passenger side, near the battery. That's what cause mine not to open once.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:41 PM
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Soft top instructions

Here's how your Owner's Manual says to do that:
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124 Soft Top instructions.pdf (839.9 KB, 5027 views)
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:04 AM
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Is the switch illuminated when you release the front latches and push the front up? If you can release the rear of the top you can lower it manually but I don't know anyone who has figured out how to do it

If the switch is not lit the controller is not getting the signal to open
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:06 AM
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A little more info

W124Extreme -

I little more description of exactly what or what not does happen when you try to lower the top might be helpful. But just in general:

Check all the fuses (there are many involved in the top system). I have attached the system schematic which identifies them.

Does the red light on the lower switch come on when you open the latches? If so does it blink or is it solid? Blinking indicates a fault, usually one of the many micro-switches that sense the position of various things.

Does the top move at all?

Can you hear the pump run when you try to lower the top? If so, check the hydraulic fluid level. The cylinders are very prone to leaking and you may not have enough fluid.

Try raising and lowering the foll bars with the dash switch. That system interfaces with the top controller. They must be down to lower it so a malfunction here will cause the top to fail (I have the same problem sometimes on my SL which uses the same the top controller system as this car).

Lastly, while no one but me seems to be a fan of this, you can read the blink codes from the top controller with a $5 home-made reader (search this forum if interested). This is particularly useful for tracking down micro-switch issues.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Floobydust View Post
W124Extreme -

I little more description of exactly what or what not does happen when you try to lower the top might be helpful. But just in general:

Check all the fuses (there are many involved in the top system). I have attached the system schematic which identifies them.

Does the red light on the lower switch come on when you open the latches? If so does it blink or is it solid? Blinking indicates a fault, usually one of the many micro-switches that sense the position of various things.

Does the top move at all?

Can you hear the pump run when you try to lower the top? If so, check the hydraulic fluid level. The cylinders are very prone to leaking and you may not have enough fluid.

Try raising and lowering the foll bars with the dash switch. That system interfaces with the top controller. They must be down to lower it so a malfunction here will cause the top to fail (I have the same problem sometimes on my SL which uses the same the top controller system as this car).


Lastly, while no one but me seems to be a fan of this, you can read the blink codes from the top controller with a $5 home-made reader (search this forum if interested). This is particularly useful for tracking down micro-switch issues.
Great advice

I am a big fan of reading the codes which is done from the passengers footwell

You may want to read this thread--it addresses many soft top issues.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w124...on-1994-a.html

Last edited by vexed; 07-16-2011 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:48 PM
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Thanks guys for all the info. I haven't gotten A chance to try all the posts that ppl suggested, but I'm working on it.

Here are more details on the situation of the top:

I have removed the entire rear seat with the roll-bar as well. I know this is one of my issues, but it still use to open before, the the the roll bar removed. I want to work all these issues out after I do the complete paint job. But I can't since the top is closed. I'm trying to temporary open the to for the paint prep for now but for some reason the rear part of the top is latched down & it won't release. When I press the button, the light stays on. The windows roll down, & the top starts to fold back, but the latch just doesn't want to release so the rear part can fold up as well...

Thanks again guys,
Albert S.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by W124Extreme View Post
Thanks guys for all the info. I haven't gotten A chance to try all the posts that ppl suggested, but I'm working on it.

Here are more details on the situation of the top:

I have removed the entire rear seat with the roll-bar as well. I know this is one of my issues, but it still use to open before, the the the roll bar removed. I want to work all these issues out after I do the complete paint job. But I can't since the top is closed. I'm trying to temporary open the to for the paint prep for now but for some reason the rear part of the top is latched down & it won't release. When I press the button, the light stays on. The windows roll down, & the top starts to fold back, but the latch just doesn't want to release so the rear part can fold up as well...

Thanks again guys,
Albert S.
System obviously has power. Did you check the hydraulic fluid as suggested above? Inside right corner of the trunk if I recall correctly.
Regards,
Jerry
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by gsfent View Post
System obviously has power. Did you check the hydraulic fluid as suggested above? Inside right corner of the trunk if I recall correctly.
Regards,
Jerry
I filled fluid in it.... Now the damn light isn't coming on? I don't get it... I checked the fuse under the hood... Everything looked fine.....
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:02 PM
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When you're pulling back the red button to retract the soft top, do you hear a sort of thumping click? That would be the sound of the rear roof latch mechanism unlocking from the tonneau cover. My guess is, if it's not clicking or making noise of any kind, it could be a blown fuse or electrical fault (not activating the switch) related to your removal of the rollover mechanism. But if you do hear the latch mechanism unlock and nothing happens afterwards, it may be a loss of fluid to the hydraulic cylinder that operates the latch.

I'm working on my top now, just finished extracting the main lift cylinders and the rear bow cylinders. When I got started, my top unlatched properly in the rear ... but the rear bow would rise only about a half-inch or so because of a leak in the rear bow cylinder. I got myself a 1" x 4" board and reactivated the red top button ... and when the rear bow started to unlatched and tried to rise, I slid the board in the open space to prevent if from re-latching. I then lifted rear bow manually and kept it held up with a bungee cord. Then I used the 10 mm wrench in the W124.6 tool kit and slid it behind the center of the seatback to unlock the tonneau cover and lift it up.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:10 PM
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W1224Extreme: I forgot to add ... I haven't yet pulled the hydraulic cylinders for the rear latch mechanism or the tonneau latch yet, so I'm not familiar with them. But in reading these forums, it seems a lot of people have suffered their first hydraulic leaks in the cylinder that governs the rear latch mechanism. I'll share what I learn once I find out more ...!
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:29 PM
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Remember there are 5 fuses that affect top operation. All must be good for things to work properly. They are:

Label ----- Location------------ Value

A --------- Main Box ---------- 15 Amp
None ----- Convertible Block --- 15 Amp
None ----- Convertible Block --- 30 Amp
6 --------- Main Box ------------ 8 Amp
5 --------- Main Box ------------ 8 Amp
None ----- Aux fuse holder ------ 8 Amp (this is the rollbar deployment solenoid first and may not be required for top operation)

If those are all good, try this. With the top header latches closed, disconnect the battery for a minute or two (be sure you have your radio code). Reconnect the battery and try the top again after un-latching them. This is to reset the controllers (top, roll bar, and convenience relay).

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:04 PM
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Also, try operating the top with the engine running. Sometimes battery power alone isn't good enough for top function.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:20 AM
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I got a 95 E320 cabrio, the top won't go down and the button is a solid red -_-. Is the button supposed to be red? Do I just un-latch the roof and pull the button back? WHere is the "convertible block? Where do I check the hydraulic fluid level?
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:14 AM
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Whoa, I guess no one gave you any top operating instructions!

To put the top down, do this:

Have engine on.

Pull down roof clasps atop the windshield, right and left.

Push the front roof up slightly.

Pull back on the top button and hold it back (solid RED is good).

Let the top go thru its motions --

First, the four windows go down;
Next, rear roof bow unlatches;
Next the rear roof raises;
Next, the tonneau shelf unlatches and raises and stands tall;
Then, the rear roof lowers itself into the shelf, followed by the rest of the top.
Then the tonneau shelf descends;
Then you hear it click and lock.
Then you can stop holding the red roof button.
But, if you don't, (if still holding back the red button) all four windows go up again.
And you're good to go.

Putting the top up is the reverse, except you push forward on the red button. Remember, the roof will slightly open when it is done; you need to pull down the front section to seat it. Then you click the two clasps back into place to lock it down. If you push the red button after that, all four windows will rise into place again.

Hope this helps ... been doing it so long (10 years) I forget how it could be a mystery to a newbie!

Tim
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:22 AM
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PS ... I don't know what you mean about the "convertible block."

But, to check the fluid, you:

Open the trunk.
Remove the protective felt/carpeting on the right side, where there's a sort of shelf (just below the trunk light).
Once the felt is removed, you'll see a black steel cover held down by four screws. Remove the screws, then remove the metal protective cover.
The pump and reservoir are revealed. Simply unscrew the cap to add fluid. Be sure to use the same OEM fluid, Febi. DO NOT add oil or transmission fluid.

But frankly ... I had my car some 11 years and never did the above until I had a leak in one of the lift cylinders. It's a pretty tight system, not one you need to replenish frequently. Others may have different experiences. So, if the top is working, no worries.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:56 PM
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Thanks guys for the info. I have checked the fluid & it's fine. I think my problem is from sensors. Do to the fact that I removed the rear seat including the roll-over-bar, this caused the car to think the headrests are up & it triggered the brain & wont open. Still haven't opened the top yet...

kind regards,
A.S.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:02 AM
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I ran into a similar problem. When I was operating the roll bars, they looked retracted, but the fuse blew. I couldn't operate the top. Only after I read the codes did I understand where to look for the problem. The fuse is a satellite fuse next to the battery and diagnostic control module.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:55 AM
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It seems that my rear headrests/roll bars don't want to go down, I tried holding the button for almost a minute but didn't hear a "click".
My fluid is halfway between min and max.
Changed the strip fuse by the battery.
Looked in the main fusebox, fuse "A" is supposed to be 8 amps but someone had a 16 amp fuse in there. Where are the other fuses for the system? My rollbar light is lighting up, infact there is a rollbar light right next to the switch.


Awaiting my banana plugs in the mail so I can put together my $5 scanner. What else can I check in the meantime? This is driving me nuts.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by watut View Post
It seems that my rear headrests/roll bars don't want to go down, I tried holding the button for almost a minute but didn't hear a "click".
My fluid is halfway between min and max.
Changed the strip fuse by the battery.
Looked in the main fusebox, fuse "A" is supposed to be 8 amps but someone had a 16 amp fuse in there. Where are the other fuses for the system? My rollbar light is lighting up, infact there is a rollbar light right next to the switch.


Awaiting my banana plugs in the mail so I can put together my $5 scanner. What else can I check in the meantime? This is driving me nuts.
This is a longshot but---there are sensors on the rear axle that trigger the roll bar in the event of an accident. They are little arms, yours may have tripped and are preventing the roll bar from retracting. If you get under the car you can see them.


Otherwise when you start the car the roll bar switch will flash. Wait until it stops before trying to activate the roll bar. If the switch remains illuminated you may have thrown a code that needs to be cleared.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by vexed View Post
This is a longshot but---there are sensors on the rear axle that trigger the roll bar in the event of an accident. They are little arms, yours may have tripped and are preventing the roll bar from retracting. If you get under the car you can see them.


Otherwise when you start the car the roll bar switch will flash. Wait until it stops before trying to activate the roll bar. If the switch remains illuminated you may have thrown a code that needs to be cleared.

one of those little arms was broken. Will have to get a replacement switch. Dealer item? Where is the best place to pick one up?
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by watut View Post
one of those little arms was broken. Will have to get a replacement switch. Dealer item? Where is the best place to pick one up?
I can't access the parts catalogue on this iPad but I can get you the part number in the morning Should be able to get it from one of the sources discussed here:

Edit:I could not find the part number on the EPC, it's called a rear axle switch
Attached Thumbnails help needed: W124 Cabrio top wont open-axle-switch.jpg  

Last edited by vexed; 09-29-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:14 PM
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watut -

Here are some pictures of the convertible block and the associated fuses that I referenced in my post above. It is essentially a sheet metal bracket attached to the secondary firewall next to the right (passenger in the U.S.) side top strut mount and directly in front of the battery. There is a picture of it with the covers closed and one where you can see the fuses. The big fuse on the left is the 30 amp fuse that feeds the hydraulic pump. The two smaller ones on the right feed the top controller and the roll-bar.

Also, if the arm on your roll-bar deployment switches are broken, this means that you roll bar will never deploy! The way the system functions is, when the car leaves the ground in a roll over situation, both rear suspension arms fully extend, closing both switches (which are wired in series) which completes the circuit to cause the roll-bar to extend. A broken switch arm will prevent both switches from closing, but will not "fool" the controller into thinking the roll-bar should be deployed. You should fix the switch for safety reasons, but it is unlikely to be the cause of your issue.


Hope this helps.
Attached Thumbnails help needed: W124 Cabrio top wont open-convertible-_aux_fuse_block.jpg   help needed: W124 Cabrio top wont open-convertible-_aux_fuse_block_2.jpg  
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:13 PM
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watut -

One more thought - If your roll-bar is indeed in the "automatic deployment" state, have you tried the specific reset procedure in the Manual? I have attached a scan from my Manual. It says to "hold the roll-bar switch in the up position for at least 8 seconds until the mechanism re-engages, then press lower to lower the bar.

- FD
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