Alright people! It's true! Leaking hydraulic roof actuators CAN BE REPAIRED! All you people in this group rock! With the advice from the threads herein, Marty Ewer and a few others in the group and a dozen or so hand tools I managed to rebuild the two actuators that raise and lower the roof. Sucker works better than when I bought the car (which may explain why I got such a good deal on it). All told the whole deal, including buying a few extra hand tools and the long difficult search for M15x4.5 (!!!) o-rings, cost me no more than $75.00! Beats paying 350.00 plus per actuator or even Thousands to a dealership! This was all done with the actuators still in the car. Thanks again to all for your help and support! You know who you are! I hope to post the procedure with photos in the near future. See you all on the road!!
..... All you people in this group rock! With the advice from the threads herein, Marty Ewer and a few others in the group and a dozen or so hand tools I managed to rebuild the two actuators that raise and lower the roof. Sucker works better than when I bought the car (which may explain why I got such a good deal on it). All told the whole deal, including buying a few extra hand tools and the long difficult search for M15x4.5 (!!!) o-rings, cost me no more than $75.00! Beats paying 350.00 plus per actuator or even Thousands to a dealership! This was all done with the actuators still in the car. Thanks again to all for your help and support! You know who you are! I hope to post the procedure with photos in the near future. See you all on the road!!
I agree, this site saves you time and money.
Procedure with photos are most welcome and appreciated.
Sorry for the delay in replying to you. Filling the roof pump is not as complex as it appears. Don't waste your time (as I did) with the fill screw on the side of the pump facing you. Here is what you need to do.
1) depressurize the system using the hex wrench that is attached to the plastic access panel. If it isn't there you'll have to find one that fits - I'm sorry, I forgot the size. Follow the owner's manual instructions and rotate the brass colored screw (I don't have it in front of me, but I think it says counterclockwise) all the way.
2) on the top of the pump where all the hydraulic lines go in there is a filler hole that makes life so much easier. You can't really see it very well because it lies on the upper far right hand side on the top of the pump in that same area. I think it takes a 5mm hex wrench. If you feel with your fingers you will find the cap screw there on the far side of the lines. It loosens counterclockwise and it may take some effort as it is torqued down kind of tight. BE VERY CAREFUL WHILE LOOSENING. Once it is loose remove the wrench and unscrew it with your (dry non-greasy) fingers making sure that when it is finally free you don't drop it in the pump access cavity. If you do you will never see it again as it will drop way down into the car body interior.
3) Home Depot sells 1/4 inch OD rubber tubing (20ft for 2.00) get it and find a baby syringe at a grocery/drug store. The nipple of the syringe should fit perfectly into the tubing.
4) cut about a 2 ft length of tubing, insert it into the filler hole (you should be able to go in a few inches), take out the syringe plunger, pour a portion of the special hydraulic fluid into another small shot-glass size container and pour that into the syringe that is attached to the hose a little at a time. Repeat procedure until the fluid level is between the two lines you see on the plastic pump reservoir. It shouldn't take much fluid.
5) once at the level VERY CAREFULLY reinsert the filler screw and hand tighten with the hex wrench. Now you're good to go.
6) find out why you are loosing fluid - I understand headliner droop is a tell-tale sign. Also look for run lines inside the trunk under the two roof actuators.
Sorry again about the long reply delay - out of country since Saturday. The only hydraulic fluid that I have found to date is the Mercedes proprietary offering at $30.00 per quart! I'm not happy about it either, but I value my car and don't want to take any chances. I've been trying to research an equivalent, but so far no luck. The upshot is that it doesn't take much to top off the pump, so you should have plenty left over for later unless you've got a serious leak somewhere. Check out all your actuators (the 2 for the roof and the one that latches the roof to the windshield). You'll know if you're leaking! Fluid ZH-M part number A 000-989-91-03-10. Good luck!
Ya know, Sulley007, I have been meaning to publish this procedure on this site, but life keeps me running. I have pictures and all as I did it, but I want to make a few more to make things more explicit. For starters I got my basic, and most helpful, info to rebuild the two roof-moving actuators on this site from posts by JmarkoA. Together with his info I put together a Word file with pictures from workshop manuals that helped me immensely throughout the process. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward you what I have as well as some tips to make life somewhat easier. A kit to rebuild the single actator under your headliner is available on e-bay by Marty Ewer. It comes with very clear and concise instructions. For the two roof actuators you are going to have to find two M15x4.5 Buna-N (Nitrile) type o-rings. This will take some time since 1) it is metric and 2) it a wierd size. Once you find those all you need are a few hand tools and the patience of Job and you will save hundreds if not thousands of bucks. It's been a month since the repair and I haven't found a single drop of leakage yet. Drop me a line!
Well, Seiya, looks like you make out well and that the MB dealer saw me coming! I too hope to post the same procedure along with the rebuild and headliner replacement soon. Glad to hear things are working out!
All was good, and I did as you told me... following exactly your indications. No need to add anything else. THANK YOU SOO MUCH. ...just that I do have a leak somewhere... so now this is a different story.
Glad to hear things worked out! Two places to check for leaks are: around the headliner near the manual roof lock access hole (if you feel like it you can take your headliner off and check out the single actuator there - it only takes about 15 minutes to remove the headliner) AND look up inside the trunk to the back in each upper corner you will see the two roof actuators. This is where my big leak was. A tell tale sign are run marks on the top of the wheel well from the hydraulic fluid. You can have someone work the roof while you look inside to see the leak in action. Just watch your head!! If you're fairly handy with tools and patient the roof actuators can be rebuilt in your spare time. Good luck!
Hey 320 Dreamer,
Are you sure its ALL the actuators? I spend an eternity trying to find the same deal and all I could find was the Top-locking actuator repair kit from (I think) the Sundown Project, or something like that. I bought the kit and he was the one who gave me the info for the right size of o-ring to use for the roof actuator, which is all that is needed for those actuators, really. An yes, the package I got from them comes with excellently detailed instructions. It's a must for the do-it-yourself-er!
Other Toys: Van's RV-6, '99 BMW R1100RT, '03 BMW R1100S, 1964 230SL
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Hello SLK World,
First time poster here. Googled "leaking 230 SLK" and was happily surprized to see I'm not alone, by a long shot! What a great forum!
Here's my issue in short. Bought the car in October. Mechanic who checked it out for me noticied the headliner pucker, indicating a leaking actuator. Didn't think too much about it at the time but with warm weather here and the top going up and down every day the leak's worsened and I need to take action. I'm 99% sure it's coming from the locking actuator up front by the windshield and I'm about to go over to E-Bay to find the rebuild kits from Mary Ewer.
Thud 57, I read below about a word doc you put together...any chance I can get a hold of that? Anyone have a good source for the M15x4.5 O-rings?
Hey there, Husker93! Marty Ewer is the place to go to fix the roof actuator! His package is very informative. The most reasonable place I found that could make the o-rings for the two roof raising/lowering actuators is Arizona Sealing Devices (Azseal@qwest.net). Their minimum order is $20.00 but it beats paying thousands to MB for a repair or even hundreds for each actuator on e-bay! Remember, you need a weird metric size (M15X4.5) BUNA-N or nitrile o-rings for this deal. I haven't posted this deal yet, so if you want a copy of the document send me your e-mail address at email@example.com. If you're fairly handy with hand tools you will do just fine here.
Husker93, This is my 3rd year with my slk and the top started showing signs of leaking on the headliner last week. So this appears to be a common problem. It is time to make the repairs. I hope it does not require anything too special.