Roof Hydraulic Pump Draining . . . - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 12-18-2011
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Exclamation Roof Hydraulic Pump Draining . . .

I couldn't figure out an easier way to do this, so I decided to pull the pump out of the car in order to fully drain it.

It's a tight squeeze to get out and you really need to loosen the support over the top of it. The support is quite flexible so if you take out the 2 screws (by the green X on my car's support) you'll be able to get the pump out reasonably easily.

First, you need to unplug the pump; electrically and hydraulically. You can leave the fill plug in. When moving the pump, you will need to keep it as level as possible since the fluid really wants to escape through any hole available. There are only the two flanged nuts holding down the rubber isolators in front. There is also a tang that hangs down in the back. Once the nuts are off, you will have to lift the unit till the isolators clear the studs and then tilt it in toward the trunk a bit while still lifting to clear the tang. It’s a very awkward, unbalance and slippery piece to hold on to. (I think "Mercedes" in German must actually mean "needs three hands!")

Once you have the pump out, the tang will always be in the way. I found working at the edge of the curb allowed me to set the pump down reasonably well. Undo the band clamp, until you can slip it off. The clamp really doesn't do much other than to keep the ridges around the top of the plastic reservoir engaged with the pump body. It will take a bit of working around to get the reservoir free, and be careful not to damage the seal. I got the reservoir to come off over the aluminum pan and had a lot of paper towels handy. (This is where a vise or that third hand would be really helpful!) Note the grit left in the reservoir and in the pan.

Tilting the pump around helps get more of the old fluid out. Just keep the paper towels around to hold the drips at bay and clear away the grit. When you're happy with how clean you've gotten it, slip the reservoir back into place. There are no alignment features that I can tell, just make sure you have the big arrow on the reservoir at top-dead-center. Be careful about the seal and then put on and tighten the band clamp.

I decided to refill the system out of the car, so I pulled the refill plug and, with a 1/4" plastic hose, siphoned the fluid out of the liter bottle and into the pump. The fluid is quite viscous in such a small tube, and fills very slowly; you don't have to worry too much about over doing it. If you are doing this on a bench, you can actually fill the cup with it sitting vertical. Just use the arrows on the fill lines as high and low. (See the pic.)

You can now remount the pump in the car. If you didn't fill it previously you can do that now. One reminder, there is a little metal seal on the plug which is easy to miss and lose.

Hope this can be of some help.

(NOTE!! > After working around with trying to get the hoses re-mounted to the pump - some hoses have straight-in fittings, some are elbowed, and I don't know why yet - I would strongly recommend not filling the reservoir till you have everything hooked up. All of the pushing and pulling on the hoses while you are working on them will tend to force hydraulic fluid out somewhere. Leaving it empty will prevent that from happening.)

Attached Images
File Type: jpg PumpAndSuprt-a.JPG (121.2 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg PumpParts-a.jpg (33.5 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg PumpRefilled-a.JPG (102.3 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg RefillScrewWasher-a.JPG (24.5 KB, 635 views)
File Type: jpg PumpDrainedAssembled-a.jpg (28.9 KB, 67 views)
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Last edited by lilred320SLK; 12-19-2011 at 05:21 PM. Reason: (Added better fully assembled picture. Added Note.)
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#2 Old 11-22-2012
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Draining the Hydraulic pump oil

After repairing all 5 cylinders over the years, the oil looks dark like it is time to replace it. Has anyone figured out a way to drain the majority of the oil out without having to completely remove the pump? It is working great now but during my last cylinder job I indavertantly overfilled the pump oil.
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#3 Old 11-24-2012
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Originally Posted by dave33478 View Post
After repairing all 5 cylinders over the years, the oil looks dark like it is time to replace it. Has anyone figured out a way to drain the majority of the oil out without having to completely remove the pump? It is working great now but during my last cylinder job I indavertantly overfilled the pump oil.
I would suggest using a syringe with a flex tube attached to it.
Something like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydraulic-Pu...3583db&vxp=mtr
I was planning on doing my cylinders later. And I'm not going to remove the oil pump. I will just use the syringe to "suck out" all the old fluid. Then fill it up, run the roof a few times, suck it out again and refill.
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#4 Old 11-29-2012
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Originally Posted by dave33478 View Post
After repairing all 5 cylinders over the years, the oil looks dark like it is time to replace it. Has anyone figured out a way to drain the majority of the oil out without having to completely remove the pump? It is working great now but during my last cylinder job I indavertantly overfilled the pump oil.
I would pull the pump and clean out as much debris as you can. In mine, it was a very fine dark material. Not sure what it was, but at best it would do no good for your new seals, and at worst, it will begin to abrade them. An hour or two more work now an you will never have it on your mind for another 10+ years!! IMHO
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#5 Old 01-04-2013
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How did you manage to take off the big side paneling that covers the hydraulic pump???
It's a big piece of plastic and I unclipped every clip possible and it's moving a little bit... but to take it off it seems you need to unscrew the metal trunk holders... Seems almost impossible. Any suggestions?!
Update:
Managed to get this hydraulic pump out without taking this plastic panel off. Was a little bit "painful". Required some brain surgery! But I don't regret it! The hydraulic fluid was dark and had some residue on the bottom. Cleaned it out. Will get a bottle of electric contact cleaner and spray all the internals tomorrow! Will post pics also!

Last edited by JaysonM; 01-04-2013 at 08:00 PM.
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#6 Old 01-05-2013
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Originally Posted by JaysonM View Post
... but to take it off it seems you need to unscrew the metal trunk holders... Seems almost impossible. Any suggestions?! . . .

Err . . . you unscrew the metal trunk holder - if I get the drift of your question. (The bendy sheet metal form at the upper part, right side of the trunk in the first picture with the bumper on it?) But I only needed to do one end of it to get the needed flex. (For the life of me I can't remember which end though. I want to say the rear most end. Just don't do both, if one end doesn't work, tighten it back, then do the other end. That way you don't lose the position.)
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#7 Old 01-05-2013
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Here's a DIY https://www.slkworld.com/r170/hardtop1.htm


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Vario roof
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#8 Old 01-05-2013
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Here's a DIY Hard Top Removal
I've seen that. But I'm stumbled on how to get the trunk into "extended" position like in picture 6. Although I already managed to remove the pump without removing the side panel. It's a bit flexible and it gave me some place to play with it! But still it will be good to know how to get the trunk into that position... Any ideas?

Alright, got this sucker out! I must say it's a tight squeeze so BE PATIENT! And thin hands and fingers is a Must!
It's held by two bolts and there's a lip/arm extending to the bottom which fits into the opening somewhere "in the deep". If you reach your hand you'll feel it
Also disconnect the wiring harness (two connectors). Small flat head screwdriver might be handy!



[img]http://i1352.photobucket.com/albums/...0.jpg~original[/img]


http://i1352.photobucket.com/albums/...0.jpg~original




The hydraulic lines are secured by plates which in their turn are secured by three bolts! NOTE: Be careful when removing these! DO NOT drop it!!! Keep your hands dry from hydraulic fluid!


As you can see the hydraulic hoses are numbered and correspond to numbers on the retaining plates. But I would strongly advise drawing a diagram with the numbers. So when you plug it back in it makes things a lot easier, since you can't see the numbers on plates in this tight area.



Here's my diagram. NOTE: Yours may be different! I don't know whether MB adhered to some standard!


After you disconnect the lines put some rag or paper towel to catch all the drops:


Unscrew the retainer which secures the plastic container! NOTE: DO NOT Over tighten the retainer when putting it back in! Risk of cracking the plastic container! Just make sure it sits properly.
The plastic container simply slides off from the pump! NOTE: Be careful when taking it off! I used a flat head screwdriver to pry it a little bit! There's a rubber ring around it! MAKE SURE YOU DON'T DAMAGE IT!

My fluid was soooo bad and dark and I had some shavings on the bottom. Probably from deteriorated rubber seals and old hydraulic lines.




Here are some pics of disassembled pump:






And here's the plastic filter which was fitted onto a small pipe inside the pump. I used electrical connector cleaner to clean it. Make sure it's rubber safe!


It fits right on this small pipe:


And here's the filler hole. It's on the right. (The big one ). It's secured with the bolt and the seal ring! MAKE sure you DON'T DROP it when unscrewing and putting it back in!!! Be Very careful!


After you have cleaned everything and are ready to assemble. Crack that bottle with the new hydraulic fluid open and apply some of it with your finger to the rubber ring. This will create a leak proof seal! Also Make Sure the "pointing arrow" on top of the plastic container is leveled with the top and the level marks are on the proper side You can feel the pointing arrow with you fingers. It really stands out!

Now put your roof hydraulic pump back into the car. HINT: I found it easier to do the following: The two rubber pads which slide onto the bolts have metal inserts. I found out that if you push those upwards a little bit, may be 2-3mm (don't push those out all the way or too far, otherwise it will be hard to get those back in and most likely you'll drop them into the "black hole" ) it makes it easier to sit the pump. Then push them back in. I used flat-head screwdriver! BE Careful Not to Damage the Plastic container or rubber supports themselves!
Reconnect all the lines and CAREFULLY screw 3 retainer bolts back in! Take your time! Again, you Don't want to drop these into nowhere!!!
I used a syringe with the small clear silicone hose to refill it. Took me 3 and a half syringes to get to the mark! Roughly 220ml. MAKE SURE You don't Over fill the pump!!! There's no way you can drain it (other than disassembling it)!
I would recommend using a bright flashlight to see the level of the fluid! The new fluid is sooo clean you can't see the level with bare eyes. Just bring it close to the plastic tank, play with the position and you'll be able to see the level! This is Very Important! As soon as you see that you're approaching the level mark stop, wait a minute or so till the fluid you just pushed in drains into the plastic container and settles. Wait a minute or so, since it's a slow process. Then I used 2-5ml increments to fill the rest. Right between the level marks!


Now close the filling hole! Again, Be Very careful not to drop the bolt with the seal ring on it! Watch the seal ring as it has a tendency to slip off if you don't secure it with you fingers!
Well, I think that's it! It's been raining for the whole day and I've been doing my work in between the rain and clouds =) So, didn't have a chance to test my roof. But I'll report the results tomorrow!
Update: I tested the roof the next day after it stopped raining! The first run was a bit slow. I think because the fluid was fully drained and the lines were empty. And then it got faster and faster =) Everything works fine!
I also gave my trunk and door hinges a slight treatment with lithium grease

Oh, btw there you will see the trunk cylinder. This is a long one... Fortunately these don't leak in %99 of cases. So, hopefully you are the lucky one!




Thank you lilred320SLK for you guide and a push to clean it and just be done with it! I'm glad I spent my time! This fluid was nasty...

I think I really deserved a cold beer today!

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#9 Old 09-14-2013
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thanks I will try this since I have a very slow roof after changing cylinder seals, draining the pump hopefully will help.
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#10 Old 11-24-2013
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The dark greenish color of the fluid in the above pics is what you would expect if the recommended hydraulic fluid is being used. The green fluid is Pentosin CHF11S or 202. It is aircraft quality hydraulic fluid and highly recommended, particularly if you are in a cold climate. I'm in Florida so cold is not a factor but based on my research the Pentosin CHF is the fluid to use. If you get clear fluid from a MB dealer then I would trust it, otherwise I would not use it.
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#11 Old 11-25-2013
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Originally Posted by corza View Post
The dark greenish color of the fluid in the above pics is what you would expect if the recommended hydraulic fluid is being used. . . . .
Don't want to say that your suggestion for an alternate fluid is incorrect (because we do know that MB's choice in ring material/design leaves a bit to be desired!) but the fluid as recommended/provided by MB is as clear as clear can be. Type ZH-M, part number A 000 989 91 03 10.

In my car it took a bit more than 400 ml to recharge the unit from totally empty; which includes the lines and cylinders.
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#12 Old 11-28-2013
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Excellent detail Jason!!
As for the Fluid, I'll stick with the Dealer provided clear fluid.
It's also easier to tell when it starts to get contaminated. I imagine some residual "contaminated" fluid still remains in the cylinders and lines that purges back to the reservoir after a few cycles of the top.
Great help.
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#13 Old 11-28-2013
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As I said in my previous post, if the hydraulic fluid you have used is clear and you bought it from the parts department at an MB dealer and you were specific as to what MB model and system you are applying the fluid to, then use it. (Clarifying my previous point) There was a statement in the thread that the fluid was "dirty", the owner implied at least to me that he had a belief that the fluid was dirty due to it being dark when he drained it. However it wasn't dirty, it was dark because the original fluid used at the assembly plant for the R170 hydraulics for the roof system was a dark green color. The fluid I mentioned is made by Pentosin, it is NOT an "alternative" but is in fact the fluid that the factory used when the cars were assembled. The Pentosin is an excellent aircraft quality hydraulic fluid. It is especially recommended in cold environments on this planet. Pentosin hydraulic fluid is available from Pep Boys stores in the US for $25 per 1 liter can of Pentosin 11S. If you read a post from me on this forum or any other forum I can assure you that I have fully researched the topic before I place a comment on that topic. Just sayin.
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#14 Old 11-29-2013
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. . . The Pentosin is an excellent aircraft quality hydraulic fluid. It is especially recommended in cold environments on this planet. Pentosin hydraulic fluid is available from Pep Boys stores in the US for $25 per 1 liter can of Pentosin 11S. . . . .
Just saying . . . The two pictures you see in this thread show "dirty" fluid because it is dirty, you can see the grit in the system. Now, whether MB uses Pentosin or not is not really a concern for me - I typically get what the MB parts system recommends for the car, or an industry accepted alternative, i.e. I don't buy MB motor oil to top off the car. The part number as I posted it is what I used, was provided by MB and it is very clear. So if you think they provided me with the wrong fluid that would be an interesting discussion. (Maybe they intend to use a different color to know if the system has been serviced?)

It also only cost about $12-14/l from the dealer. So, either MB service doesn't use the same fluid they use when they assemble the vehicle, or, Pep Boys is making a lot of money! (And in my experience, building equipment for automotive manyfacturers, they typically don't buy the more expensive/better component when the cheaper one does the job well.)

Not arguing with you opinion or your chops. But what I've presented both followes the recommandations for the car, and is what I actually did; and my car has worked fine ever since. JaysonM seemingly had a smilar experience though he got the "syringe" refill; which I can't speak to.

Honestly, discussion is a good thing, but my point has always been and remains this; if you are in the position to replace/repair the cylinders because of seal failure (a known weakness!) you should go ahead and drain/replace the fluid in the system as a whole. The seal material will remain in the fluid otherwise. (And no matter the color/make/brand/type of fluid, that is not a good thing!)
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#15 Old 12-10-2013
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Obviously I didn't make myself clear. Here's my point more simply. The Pentosin is the original Hydraulic fluid used at the assembly plant. It was chosen by Mercedes because they are building Mercedes! It's the best hydraulic fluid for automotive application available. It cost $10 more then the clear stuff and since we are all driving Mercedes cars I don't get why if once we know what fluid is the best for our Mercedes why we would use the reasoning that saving $10 on the cars hydraulic fluid would be being respectful to the car. Some of us did not know about the Pentosin until now, fine, now you know, I am just saying that just because the clear stuff is available and will work it does not mean as Mercedes owners that we should consider using something for these cars that works.

If I give my dog ok dog food he may live acceptably for 5, 6, 7 years. But I love my dog and I want him to feel his best for a long time so he gets the best dog food I can give him. My Dog is my best friend and my Mercedes SLK320 is my second best friend.

Folks these are not just cars, they are Mercedes and we should take care of them as such. In my opinion the SLK forum is a way to communicate what is the best for our cars, not just what will work. Did I really read that one of us said that to fill the hydraulic fluid reservoir they did so by punching a hole through the plastic to fill it because they found it difficult to fill it properly. Is that a joke? I've been repairing and restoring cars for 45 years and I have to plead with those on this forum that don't have the mechanical capacity to work on their Mercedes, please just take your Mercedes to someone that can treat the car with respect.

These cars are special and as their owners we should take care of them to the best of our ability.
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#16 Old 12-11-2013
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Obviously I didn't make myself clear. . . . .
Sir, you have made yourself very clear, (as to the information about the fluid) but what is somewhat unclear is what you expect the rest of us to do with your . . . discussion? I did not pick the "clear" hydraulic fluid because it was $10 cheaper; I picked it because it was the recommended fluid provided by my MB dealer. You have brought this other fluid to our attention which is good for thought, and perhaps might be good for consideration for those contemplating this task. (But mine is done, and I expect it to last for 10 more years at least!)

I appreciate that you love your dog and your car, but honestly, these really are just cars! And unfortunately they're not anywhere near the best cars MB has ever built. (For example, it would have been nice if MB had put better seals in the roof cylinders more so than worrying so much about the fluid if you are indeed correct. This is in fact what I have done with mine by having my cylinders rebuilt with new cup or "U" seals made of a more appropriate material* as opposed to just doing the "O" ring fix.) But like all things, there are pluses and minuses to every choice. You might want to look at some of the other threads on dealing with the cylinder seals.

Notice that I have not criticized your choice of hydraulic fluid other than perhaps to note the difference in cost; and it might well be the most fantastic fluid in the world. (Sometimes you do get what you pay for.) But remember that I did mine 2 years ago with the best, though imperfect, information I could find, I utilized a dealer supplied replacement, and choose to provide my experience to the rest of the group to the best I was able.

So if you would, take a deep breath, relax, lighten up and enjoy the posts.

*You can speak to Klaus Witte @ TophydraulicsInc.com if you would like to learn more about this subject. Not only does he rebuild the cylinders, he's a physicist. He is a very helpful and interesting gentleman, if a little tutonic.
Cheers.
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#17 Old 08-21-2016
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The wife put a few drops of food coloring in the new fluid some 30,000 miles ago and still easy to see and top operates well. Cheers
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#18 Old 08-21-2016
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The wife put a few drops of food coloring in the new fluid some 30,000 miles ago and still easy to see and top operates well. Cheers
Thanks for adding tip to the thread Mick

FYI, that thread is 3 years old


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#19 Old 03-17-2018
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I did the repair on the hydraulic cylinder on the roof, now I want to drain and refill the fluid in th reservoir in the trunk. As you can see in the picture, it is a little bit below the min line and looking pretty dark. I can't seem to get the fill plug out, and I really don't want to enbark upon disconnecting and removing the entire assembly. First off, the fill plug is the silver one more or less right in the middle of the picture, right? I have given it shots of penetrating fluid three times and given it a few taps with a hammer. When I try to turn it, my allen wrench is practically bowing with the strain. I'm sure that plug hasn't been touched since the car rolled out of the factory 15 years ago. Anyone got any bright ideas? I don't want to strip it.
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Originally Posted by mko9 View Post
I did the repair on the hydraulic cylinder on the roof, now I want to drain and refill the fluid in th reservoir in the trunk. As you can see in the picture, it is a little bit below the min line and looking pretty dark. I can't seem to get the fill plug out, and I really don't want to enbark upon disconnecting and removing the entire assembly. First off, the fill plug is the silver one more or less right in the middle of the picture, right? I have given it shots of penetrating fluid three times and given it a few taps with a hammer. When I try to turn it, my allen wrench is practically bowing with the strain. I'm sure that plug hasn't been touched since the car rolled out of the factory 15 years ago. Anyone got any bright ideas? I don't want to strip it.
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