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SL500 with Non-functional Vario Roof - Good buy?

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

SL500 with Non-functional Vario Roof - Good buy?

 
Old 04-13-2019, 09:22 PM
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2010 C300 4MATIC
SL500 with Non-functional Vario Roof - Good buy?

Hey guys,

As some of you know, I'm looking for an R230. I've found an SL500 (2003, ~60K miles) for a good deal. The car looks immaculate, however the various roof is "not working" and "disconnected."

It is in Michigan and I'm from WI. I'm trying to gain as much knowledge on the platform as possible but I'd like your input.

Also I'm a frequent on the forums with my W204 and DIY nearly everything so no worries there.

I didn't plan on using the roof (if at all) however, I'd like to know:

Will there be constant errors even without use?
Cost of diy range of potential fixes (ex. $5 flap/free to $1000 hydraulic system, etc)

I appreciate the help. If it's a good buy I'll try and jump on it, as I'm looking for it to be a project car.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:48 PM
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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2010 ML350, FORMER: 2007 CLK550 Cabriolet, 2002 C240, 2001 ML320, 1984 300TD
Get SDS and scan for codes. Also, there is a really good diagnostic guide published by MBZ:

http://benzbits.com/r230/Roof/VarioR...gnosticAid.pdf
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:17 PM
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Thank you, that PDF is very useful.
Overall, it is not an extremely difficult system to deal with?

As long as I am not getting errors everytime I would turn on the car, I'd be fine taking my time to fix it. If it does give error just by turning on car, it may be too bothersome to attempt buy and then fix it...
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:06 PM
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2003 SL500
Originally Posted by Adi-Benz View Post
Thank you, that PDF is very useful.
Overall, it is not an extremely difficult system to deal with?

As long as I am not getting errors everytime I would turn on the car, I'd be fine taking my time to fix it. If it does give error just by turning on car, it may be too bothersome to attempt buy and then fix it...
My roof is out for almost two years now. No errors are being shown if you do not try to open the roof. It is possible to open and close roof manually (I closed it when it initially failed), but not an easy job for one person, better have a helper. I was even considering to keep roof open and use a cover over the car when I park at work. I still might do it if I will not be able to fix the roof soon (I have been planning on doing it since it failed, but always something more important gets in the way). If the price is good and car is in good condition I would go for it.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:49 AM
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That's good to hear, I'll look it over and see if I can make my way over there. Thank you for the help!
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:35 AM
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All my cars are blown! '11 E350 Diesel P2 Sport; '03 SL55 AMG Pano
From what I’ve read, the majority of roof problems can be traced to:
the hydraulic pump, which gets wet and fails, or runs out of fluid from...
fluid leaks from cylinders, there are 11 I believe, but the main culprit is the top latch at the front.
Switches and sensors, which the Vario Diagnostic PDF walks thru. Most switches just need adjustment, like a zip tie attached.

There is less than $1000 in repairs for all of these, but you will have to purchase a $3-500 SDS to keep and work on this car.
Sounds like a great buy and fun project.
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