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Suggestions on fixing the vario roof latch hydraulic cylinder

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SL-Class (R230) 2003 -- 2012: Discussion on the SL500, SL550, SL600

Suggestions on fixing the vario roof latch hydraulic cylinder

 
Old 04-29-2018, 08:13 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by bobterry99 View Post
When you remove the c-clip (#4 in the diagram) you can simply pull the entire rod/piston/seal assembly out of the cylinder.

Klaus of TopHydraulics has warned forum members not to substitute an o-ring for the original seal in any of these top hydraulic cylinders. But a friend of mine has had success with an o-ring kit sold on eBay, and a local repair shop has been using the same o-rings on their customer's cars for several years. So when I purchased a '91 SL last summer with most cylinders leaking, I purchased an o-ring kit for under $20 and made the repairs myself.

Until recently I had operated the roof perhaps two dozen times since the repairs, and all was well. But in the course of testing a simple electronic circuit that duplicates the functionality of a "Smart Top" module I have operated the roof perhaps 75 times over the course of a few days. Now one of the repaired cylinders has a small leak.

If the front locks cylinder on my '03 car develops a leak I will try to locate the correct seal described in the link I posted earlier and do the repair myself. Otherwise I would surely use the services of TopHydraulics or CabrioletHydraulics.

The clip in number 4 is only the C-Clip holding the white plastic donut. Even after pulling the whole piston out, the bigger end of it would be too big to fit the O-Ring over, or is that how you install the ring, stretch it over the piston itself? Looks like we need to remove Number 2, the rod bracket and slips the seal over that end.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:58 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by FxFormat View Post
Even after pulling the whole piston out, the bigger end of it would be too big to fit the O-Ring over, or is that how you install the ring, stretch it over the piston itself?.
I didn't understand what you meant by "connector" in your prior post. Now it's so obvious I don't see how I missed the reference.

I had considered that the o-ring might stretch over the connector. But on no account would the bushing (#5) do that, so yes, the connector (#2) must be removed. This post on the other thread describes how one member (a machinist) dealt with the connector ("clevis"). Like you, I don't see an easy way to remove and replace it.

So as I mentioned before, I don't see how posting the instructions that came with that o-ring from eBay would be a disservice to its seller, since no solution to this problem will prevent potential buyers from making a purchase. That said, I believe that o-ring is likely to develop a leak within a year or two, and the proper-sized metric replacement seal that should work is very difficult to locate. So for me removing the bracket is moot, since TopHydraulics or Cabriolet Hydraulics seems to be the way to go.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bobterry99 View Post
I didn't understand what you meant by "connector" in your prior post. Now it's so obvious I don't see how I missed the reference.

I had considered that the o-ring might stretch over the connector. But on no account would the bushing (#5) do that, so yes, the connector (#2) must be removed. This post on the other thread describes how one member (a machinist) dealt with the connector ("clevis"). Like you, I don't see an easy way to remove and replace it.

So as I mentioned before, I don't see how posting the instructions that came with that o-ring from eBay would be a disservice to its seller, since no solution to this problem will prevent potential buyers from making a purchase. That said, I believe that o-ring is likely to develop a leak within a year or two, and the proper-sized metric replacement seal that should work is very difficult to locate. So for me removing the bracket is moot, since TopHydraulics or Cabriolet Hydraulics seems to be the way to go.

Sending it out to tophydraulics would still require you to remove the lock cylinder. At this point since the 2 hydraulic lines going into the cylinder are permanently attached, you have to trace it all the way to the pump and remove the entire unit to send out. Is that what we have to do?
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:43 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by FxFormat View Post
... you have to trace it all the way to the pump and remove the entire unit to send out. Is that what we have to do?
Yes, or you can cut the hydraulic lines at the cylinder and use couplers from Cabriolet Hydraulics to rejoin the lines when you install the repaired cylinder.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bobterry99 View Post
Yes, or you can cut the hydraulic lines at the cylinder and use couplers from Cabriolet Hydraulics to rejoin the lines when you install the repaired cylinder.

I don't want to cut the lines as they are still in good shape, I will take the cylinder off the roof and i'll put the seal in, will try to take pics and help those in need.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bobterry99 View Post
I didn't understand what you meant by "connector" in your prior post. Now it's so obvious I don't see how I missed the reference.

I had considered that the o-ring might stretch over the connector. But on no account would the bushing (#5) do that, so yes, the connector (#2) must be removed. This post on the other thread describes how one member (a machinist) dealt with the connector ("clevis"). Like you, I don't see an easy way to remove and replace it.

So as I mentioned before, I don't see how posting the instructions that came with that o-ring from eBay would be a disservice to its seller, since no solution to this problem will prevent potential buyers from making a purchase. That said, I believe that o-ring is likely to develop a leak within a year or two, and the proper-sized metric replacement seal that should work is very difficult to locate. So for me removing the bracket is moot, since TopHydraulics or Cabriolet Hydraulics seems to be the way to go.

I just got the kit in the mail with the paper instructions, it says you stretch the O-Ring over the piston side and get it in that way. If other user has no issue with his, i'll be doing it that way.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:20 AM
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Hi Steve,

I have the same car year model, 2004 SL 500, My truck cylinder and top locking cylinder are having issues. My truck cylinder is leaking and my top cylinder will not lock the top.

Please let me know how you fair out with this top issues.

Respectfully
Dave
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:22 AM
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can ou give me your feed back regarding the quality of TOP Hydraulic's work with the cylinder. Is that a good company to use to replace or repair the cylinders.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:33 PM
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Ho Dave, and welcome to the forum! Please take a moment to visit the User Control Panel and update your profile to include your car's model year and your location (at least country). This information will then appear below your name and avatar on the left side panel next to each post you make. This will greatly help others to give you better information. If you are using the mobile version of the site, you will need to switch to the "full" version to get to the User Control Panel.

as for Top Hydraulics, yes, they are a reputable company. Klaus is great to deal with - very knowledgeable. The challenge with the roof locking cylinder is dealing with the hydraulic lines. I know one solution is to cut the lines, then use special fittings to re-splice them. I am not sure if this is something Top Hydraulics offers or not, but I'd ask.
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