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How to remove my top 99 500SL

 
Old 01-15-2006, 01:32 PM
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1999 SL500
How to remove my top 99 500SL

I just bought a 1999 500SL with a removable hardtop but the seller could not tell me how to remove it. This is my first MB SL so can anyone tell me where to go to find instructions? Is there a special tool needed? Is there also a soft top on this model?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Ben
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:51 PM
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500 SL R129, Blue - 1991. Mini Cooper S, Works Kit Silver - 2007. Mitsubishi FTO, Silver - 1996.
Originally Posted by bahd17
I just bought a 1999 500SL with a removable hardtop but the seller could not tell me how to remove it. This is my first MB SL so can anyone tell me where to go to find instructions? Is there a special tool needed? Is there also a soft top on this model?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Ben
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There is a red button on the gear shift facia.

Start the car up. PULL the red button back. The windows will drop, all the latches will release and the roof will lift up a few inches. Unplug the heated rear window wire, on the left side (drivers side in the US). Get a friend, and gently lift the roof off, and store it. Be careful of the pins at the rear, as they will put a dent in your bodywork if you don't lift the top properly.

To activate the soft top, start the car. PUSH the red button forwards and the top will lift from under the graphite coloured panel behind the jump seats. When it's almost at the windscreen it may hesitate and stop. Sitting in the car, grab the top, at the two indented handles either side of the centre and pull down until it clicks... not much force required! Push the button forward again and it will lock.

To open the soft top, PULL that red button again, and the whole thing will fold away automatically in about 25 seconds.
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:57 PM
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1999 SL 500 & 2011 E 550 4Matic
Did you get an Owners Manual?

There are easy step by step proceedures outlined there.

The Owners Manual may be in a leather pouch in a storeage bin under the arm rest (flip the top up, it is hinged) of either the drivers or passenger's door.

I mention this becaise it is not obvios thait there is storeage there if no one pointed that out to you.

If you do not have an owner's maual ... I could type a post with those instructions.

Let me know.

PS: You are going to love this car! Congratulations!
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by b4mmy
There is a red button on the gear shift facia.

Start the car up. PULL the red button back. The windows will drop, all the latches will release and the roof will lift up a few inches. Unplug the heated rear window wire, on the left side (drivers side in the US). ...

To activate the soft top, start the car. PUSH the red button forwards ....

To open the soft top, PULL that red button again ...
A couple of things I would add:

Before starting to remove the hard top. Shut the radio power off to drop the antena. It gets in the way otherwise.

The red button is not 'one touch".

Once you pull it back for releasing the top, you hold it back untill all the mechanisms have done their thing.

Once you push it foreward to raise the soft top, you hold it foreward untill the top has latched at the wind screen.

You can stop any operation (to pause or reverse the operation) by letting the button go. But do not expect it to operate as "one touch".

Last edited by ChrisB; 01-15-2006 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:14 PM
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500 SL R129, Blue - 1991. Mini Cooper S, Works Kit Silver - 2007. Mitsubishi FTO, Silver - 1996.
Originally Posted by ChrisB
A couple of things I would add: The red button is not 'one touch". Once you pull it back for releasing the top, you hold it back untill all the mechanisms have done their thing. Once you push it foreward to raise the soft top, you hold it foreward untill the top has latched at the wind screen.
You can stop any operation (to pause or reverse the operation) by letting the button go. But do not expect it to operate as "one touch".
oops yes, thanks ChrisB. I made the mistake of thinking it was one touch when I first got mine.... :-)
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:20 PM
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I just tried your method. The red button flashed but the windows never went down and the top never released. Is there something that I have to do prior to pulling up the button?

Thanks for responding so quickly! Obviously I'm anxious to get the top off and start enjoying!

Ben
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:24 PM
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Somehow, I realized it was not one touch and held the button up and back and watched as the red light flashed but NOTHING ELSE!

And no I didn't get an Owner's Manual; though I would look for one on eBay or buy one from the local MB dealer.

Thanks to both of you for your help!

Ben
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:27 PM
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500 SL R129, Blue - 1991. Mini Cooper S, Works Kit Silver - 2007. Mitsubishi FTO, Silver - 1996.
Have you tried dropping the windows before pulling the button back?
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:33 PM
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500 SL R129, Blue - 1991. Mini Cooper S, Works Kit Silver - 2007. Mitsubishi FTO, Silver - 1996.
The manual says that if the indicator lamp flashes when operating the the switch the voltage may be too low - run the engine. Make sure the parking brake is applied. Open the doors or windows. Try detaching the heated rear screen plug first. Make sure the roll over bar is retracted.
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Old 01-15-2006, 03:26 PM
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some
try opening the doors all the way,

and then doing what is posted above (holdhing teh buton back, etc.)
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:11 AM
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And make sure your car is parked straight and not inclined...good luck...
Sometimes,it takes a couple of seconds to start,be patient....
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:53 PM
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SL500 2001 Formula 1 Edition;
Top Down and Owner's Manual

If you an electronic copy of the owner's manual, with the top removal instructions and everything else, go to:

www.mbusa.com

Click on the "owners online" link on the left. Sign up for an account (free). Put in the info. The it will let you download an owners manual in PDF format. Not as good as the printed one, but it works.
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:44 PM
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'03 CL500,& '18 GLS63. Gone: '83 500SEC,'99 500SL,'07GL450
Here's the message from MB when I entered the info for my 1999 SL500:Your manual is not currently available online. However, manuals for vehicles prior to model year 2004 can be ordered through the Customer Assistance Center. To obtain a document for your model year, please contact a Mercedes-Benz representative:
By phone at 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES (1-800-367-6372) or e-mail.
The manual contains information that will assist you in operating your vehicle, including:
Details on vehicle controls
Safety information
Technical data
Practical hints
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:01 PM
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03' Merc G-500, 04' Merc S-600 AMG, 95' Merc E-320 Cab, 05' Jaguar Super V8, 00' Jaguar XK8
Originally Posted by bahd17
I just tried your method. The red button flashed but the windows never went down and the top never released. Is there something that I have to do prior to pulling up the button?

Thanks for responding so quickly! Obviously I'm anxious to get the top off and start enjoying!

Ben
Alright...I have a 95' W-124 E-320 Cabriolet, with the same exact button used in your R-129.


Now, I haven't been in a SL of your model year in a long time, so please for give me if I'm off a bit.

In my car, before putting the roof down, I have to release two latches on the top of the A-pillar, then I hold back on the red button. After a short ding, the windows go down, the back of the soft top flips up, the toneau cover goes up, the roof folds back, and the cover closes.

I can't remember if the SL has the manual latches to release the roof. If it does, release them, if Not, have it checked out. Beyond that, I'm of no further use.

And...invest in a nice hard top rack. They are sold my Merc, and are custom racks on castors which helps to neatly and safely story your hardtop.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Paganis Zonda
Alright...I have a 95' W-124 E-320 Cabriolet, with the same exact button used in your R-129. ...

In my car, before putting the roof down, I have to release two latches on the top of the A-pillar, then I hold back on the red button. After a short ding, ...

I can't remember if the SL has the manual latches to release the roof. If it does, release them, if Not, have it checked out.
The SL does not have "manual" latches that need to be released. The SL top release at the A-pillar is all hydraulic and automictic when functioning properly.

Also there is no "ding" sound generated. So don't worry about that missing..

There often is a loud "Crack" or "Pop"" noise when the hydraulics release those A-pillar latches. Not to worry about that loud and rather shocking noise. It is typical.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:49 PM
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1991 MB 500sl
1991 SL500 Hardtop stuck!

I have the same problem. My hardtop stuck. I have a manual tool but I dont know how to use it. can someone to help me? can I do this on my own or put in to the shop?
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:43 AM
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First, please go to this site and download a copy of the 129 owners manual for your model year...

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129...ml#post2391320

You'll notice from the instructions on how to manually remove your top, that a 'special tool' is required that should be in the toolkit that came originally with the car. If you search and don't have one, you'll need to get one from the dealer. These 'tools' run about $12-$15, and along with the instructions in the manual, this is a simple task.

Bob
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:58 PM
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I would say there is trouble with the top and the previous owner knew it and played stupid. How could you own a convertible and not know how the top comes off.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CHolmes View Post
I would say there is trouble with the top and the previous owner knew it and played stupid. How could you own a convertible and not know how the top comes off.
This thread was started 10 years ago, the newest posts were 6 years ago--they probably have it sorted out by now
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cliffyk View Post
This thread was started 10 years ago, the newest posts were 6 years ago--they probably have it sorted out by now
Oh man, sometimes I get wrapped up in reading these and I always seem to miss the dates!! I really really have to get better at that
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