I fixed my roof problem - Heres how. - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 03-23-2011
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I fixed my roof problem - Heres how.

Apologies for the long post, but it may be useful to someone, so I will try to detail everything here.

OK, so my roof was sticking in the opening process. The roof did not want to leave the top of the windscreen. Boot opened, pump pumped but the roof did not move. Had to use brute force and ignorance to get it open.

I removed the roof lining (two screws either side and three on the leading edge.

I shut the roof with the lining out of the car and it became clear how everything works. Yesterday I was searching forums for suggestions and I came across a roof diagnostic PDF posted on this site by 'seanie' or someone. This was helpful - go read it if you have problems.

I had thought it was the microswitches as this seems to be common but on mine it was not these.

When you first pull the switch back, as the boot is opening, the hooks on the front of the roof release. These are done by cables which seemed very slack to me before they operated.

After forcing the roof open again, I shut it almost all the way so I could see how the hooks met the roof. It was clear that the hooks were not opening enough to clear the catches.

Followed the cables back and sure enough, near the middle of the roof, they can be adjusted. They are a bit like accelerator cables on cars, remove the holding clip, adjust cable and re-insert clip (I broke one of them by using pliers to remove them. I would suggest a small flat screwdriver to ease them off).

Then, bingo, roof opens and closes without issue.

However, if the cables stretch any more, I cannot adjust them further so I am wondering if the cables are available to buy anywhere so I can replace them?

Hope this helps someone.

Dave,
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#2 Old 03-23-2011
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Nice job Dave, did you happen to take any pictures of your project?
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#3 Old 03-23-2011
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I took some pictures of the problem, but got all excited when I realised the solution and forgot to take a picture of the offending part.

I will post them when they land in my inbox in a moment.

Dave,
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#4 Old 03-23-2011
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Originally Posted by rodge View Post
I took some pictures of the problem, but got all excited when I realised the solution and forgot to take a picture of the offending part.

I will post them when they land in my inbox in a moment.

Dave,
Pictures of the adjustment points/apparatus would be very helpful!

Thanks again!

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#5 Old 03-23-2011
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Here are the pics.

Firstly, the roof with the catch open (cable is therefore tight). I have marked where the wire connects.




Secondly, the cable direction (when tight)



Lastly, the catch not open enough as can be seen not clearing the windscreen catch.



Forgot to get a picture of the adjustable part, but I phoned MB and the cables are £24.60 + Vat each. I am going to get them because if they stretch more, I will be in trouble.

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#6 Old 03-23-2011
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Thanks Dave. If you can, please document the replacement. I haven't had any problems but it's always nice to know!

Cheers!

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#7 Old 05-01-2011
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Thank you so much, i had exactly the same problem on my '02 320!
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#8 Old 05-01-2011
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#9 Old 06-12-2011
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Thank you for posting your solution and photos. I'm having the exact same problem and will be looking forward to seeing your photos and "lessons learned" when you replace your cables.
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#10 Old 06-14-2011
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Thanks! Having similar problem on my '98 230K. Hoping this is the fix
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#11 Old 06-16-2011
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likewise, iam having the same trouble also, hope its the same fix, excellent post.
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#12 Old 06-17-2011
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Took the roof lining out today and had a look, it seems to me that the roof locking catches are driven directly off the hydraulic cylinder by the solid metal linkages, the cables it seems are some sort of feedback mechanism to do with the seqencing of the roof operation. My cables were indeed v-slack also. I opted to adjust the catch plates that live in the top of the windscreen frame (2 -10mm headed fastners) which seems to do the trick in my instance.
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#13 Old 06-19-2011
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UPDATE, and a humble apology to Rodge. I revisited my roof opening issues today as my original fix er wasnt a fix at all. I followed the cables mentioned by Rodge to two secondary catches on on either side just behind where the driver/passeneger sit. As the main roof latches come off the cables also lift the two secondary latches, adjusting the cables allow the secondary latches to lift further, mine were fouling the latch pins thus causing the original problem, all is now well.
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#14 Old 01-02-2012
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Markwade is right. The forward latches are driven directly of of the hydraulic cylinder. If you look closely, the hooks actually move sideways and forward about 1/2 inch. In my car, the forward hooks are not problem, the roof doesn't even move that 1/2 inch. The cables go from the drive arm off of the cylinder back to latches that lock the roof strut support mechanism when the top is up. The cables pull the lock open and allow the mechanism to fold. I think we have 2 problems after reading other posts. I think that 1st the seal on the windshield frame sticks to the roof. The hydraulic cylinders have so little leverage, that any stiction with the seal really causes problems. 2nd, if the afor mentioned cables are a little too slack, they will not completely disengage the locks on the side strut roof mechanism. As I was working on mine today, as mine sticks ocassionally, I looked the whole system over to see how it operates. The side strut locks don't completely disengage when the cable pulls it. The hook is still about 1/3 or more engaged on the pin and clears itself completely as the roof folds back. I adjusted the cables by one slot tighter on the adjustment ferrule. I also lubed the forward seal with some Dow Corning DC4 silicone lube. The top worked fine. The real test will be when it's hot this summer and the top has not been operated for quite a while.
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#15 Old 01-02-2012
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#16 Old 05-17-2016
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Hi Dave,
Re your first post, I have an SLK 1998 R170 and I am now having the same problem.

1) windows engage properly and go down
2) trunk lid then tilts back to the proper position
3) Hard top does not MOVE... and I can hear the pump running.

You said in your first post that you managed to force the roof open somehow. Can you please please tell me how you managed that? Was it by just brute force or using some small screwdriver / bent wire to push the hooks etc etc?

I can see the front two hooks move forward and sideways so they seem to be moving. I just want to be able to open the roof once so that I can take the lining off and investigate / adjust further.
Regards
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#17 Old 05-17-2016
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Hi Dave,
Re your first post...
Just FYI this thread was born in 2011 and Dave wasn't active from "Last Activity: 09-15-2014".
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#18 Old 05-17-2016
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Ahhhh another minion of mine doing a great job!
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#19 Old 05-31-2016
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Convertible top button flashes and beeps while driving

I have a 2003 SLK 32 AMG, and the top sticks when I take it down. Since I am not about to try to take apart the top to replace cables, I do it the easy way...2 thumps on the hinge area (drivers side) and the top goes down! However, I have another problem. If I go over a few bumps, the red light on the convertible top button starts to blink and beeps, until I move the button in the direction the top is currently in (happens with it up or down.) Seeps lie maybe something is not locking fully in place, faulty sensor maybe? Any ideas?Thanks!
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#20 Old 05-31-2016
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Try thumping the inside near the hinge, works for me!
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