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Removal of Hardtop

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Old 04-22-2003, 09:38 AM
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Removal of Hardtop

Just bought the SL500 before the winter with the Hardtop mounted. Spring is here and would like to remove the hardtop. Any good advice (and detail description) on how to remove the hardtop? I would like to do it myself (with help) and not take it down to the local MB dealer or other garage to avoid the cost if possible.

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Old 04-22-2003, 10:55 AM
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I think most of us remove the tops ourselves. I know mine comes off with no problems; although you'll need two people to get it from the top to the stand. I do recommend the MB hard-top stand if you don't have one already. Mine just sits in my garage during the summer months. Do most MB dealerships remove and store tops for SL owners?
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Old 04-22-2003, 10:59 AM
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And while I'm here, here's a quick description of what to do:

1. Pull back on the top button until the hard top is detached and the big-red-top-button stops blinking.
2. Remove the connector from the defrost socket (on the driver's side door opening next to the seat back.
3. Get another person to help you lift the top UP and back over the trunk and onto the stand if you have one, or wherever you're going to store the top.
4. Push the top button forward until the soft-top is in place and the button stops blinking.

That's it...hope I didn't forget anything important :-)
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Old 04-26-2003, 09:12 AM
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I have an EZ-Top electric winch which I bought direct from the US supplier which allows the hard top to be hoisted into the roof of my garage. One handed, one person operation, it's easy.

I even park my SL55 AMG underneath the hoisted hard top. That's confidence for you!!

Last edited by blueSL; 04-26-2003 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 04-26-2003, 09:16 AM
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And this is the winch. The white box is the transformer to provide 110v from our 240v supply. The winch is operated by a cable attached handset which allows simple attachment and removal of the hard top without fear of any damage.
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Old 05-26-2003, 01:20 AM
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I just got an SL500 yesterday, it seems the red button for removing the hard top is not working. It does not light up and nothing happens when I push or pull on it. Any things I can check on before I send it off to the shop to be fixed?

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Old 05-26-2003, 01:59 AM
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Check the fuses. There's an extra fuse box in the trunk on the "front" wall of the trunk, high up, near one of the trunk lid hinges.

The pump which raises and lowers the hood (and works the latches which retain the hard top) is in the spare wheel well. Remove the trunk floor mat, the spare wheel and the plastic molding underneath it and - voila - $1500 of compressed air pump. Check the connector to the pump is fully plugged in.

If that looks OK, you probably need to take it into the shop. If you do not have a warranty, you need to start hoping it's not the control unit which is silly money.
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Old 05-27-2003, 12:19 AM
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Thanks for the info, will check it out later. You mentioned a control module? where is this located?

The SL has a real lousy sound system for such an expensive car, how many speakers does an SL have? Mine seems to only have a total of four (2 per door), but some magazines say it has a "6 speaker system". What speaker upgrade would you recommend?
What sizes are the stock speakers?

Thanks alot.
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Old 05-27-2003, 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by amgmercedes
Thanks for the info, will check it out later. You mentioned a control module? where is this located?

The SL has a real lousy sound system for such an expensive car, how many speakers does an SL have? Mine seems to only have a total of four (2 per door), but some magazines say it has a "6 speaker system". What speaker upgrade would you recommend?
What sizes are the stock speakers?

Thanks alot.
What kind of stuff are you looking for? I might be able to provide hints and stuff but not exact things because i'm no car audio expert
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Old 05-27-2003, 01:23 AM
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Well, I already replaced the head unit with a mini disc/cd player plus a 6 cd changer in the trunk. The speakers in the doors sound really crappy. Would you know what size speakers fit in the doors? Any specific brand/model of speakers that work well?

Are there anymore speakers in the SL's sound system aside from those in the doors?

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Old 05-27-2003, 03:36 AM
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From memory, the speakers in the doors are made by Nokia of all people, and I'm sure it would be simple to replace them with better quality. They sit in plastic frame screwed to the door. There are 6 speakers, two in each door and two tweeters on the extreme edges of the dash, behind the grillles.

The control unit is a mutli-way hydraulic valve, since the whole roof mechanism works by hydraulics fed from the pump in the wheel-well. I believe it is inside the trunk, but you have to take the trunk liner out to get at it. There's also an electronic module somewhere - maybe under the rear seat - which controls it all.
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Old 05-27-2003, 12:44 PM
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The electronic module in our 97 sl500...

which controls the soft top operation, latches for hardtop and rollbar is located inside rear deck behind the passenger seat. It could cost you up to $1200 US at an MB dealership. That was what our extended warranty had to pay following service for what I suspect was just replacement of battery plus resetting codes. Interestingly enough, the mfr date on new part was only months after build date of car. Hmmm....

97 sl500 triple black
sport pkg 1
25k miles
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:42 AM
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How to I get access the electronic module? Should I remove the backseat? Or can I access it from the trunk?
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:30 PM
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Blue SL,
Nice collection of cars there, doesn't it suck to have a convertible in UK since it's cloudy and raing all year long. U can't really unjoy it to the fullest... but I'll bet when the sun comes up, it's On...
Happy Motoring... V.
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:39 PM
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As it happens, the UK has the highest proportion of convertible sales of any country in Europe - contrary to what you might think. The weather of course is not as good as the Mediterranean, though the last time I was in San Jose, it was raining continuously.

This is the great advantage of the new SL - any time the weather is good, even if it's cold, you can lower the roof, turn on the heater and enjoy the fresh air and the engine noise. With the 129, there have been times when there's been a glorious spring day and I haven't gotten around to removing the hard-top yet.
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:49 PM
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1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible
here is the link to the EZ-Top site:

http://www.eztop.com/ftoper.htm

Pricing Page:
http://www.eztop.com/pricing.htm

They apparently make these for other makes, and models.
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