How to open to R170 Top manually? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 04-22-2012
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How to open to R170 Top manually?

I've asked this before and everyone said "do reverse of what the manual said" or "look at the online guides".

EVERY GUIDE i've read says to open it with the button, and the manual says to just push it into place... well I bought the guides and I have the manual and I cant figure out how to open the top manually.

I tore apart the interior, loosened the screw the manual says to, I opened the trunk without a problem, I did what I think I should do to unlock the top (move from position 8 to position 7 with a hex wrench) and now what? I tugged, I pulled, I pushed, nothing.

Any pointers?

Thanks!
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#2 Old 04-22-2012
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I don't have my manual handy, but I recall there being 3 main things to do:

1) Release the pressure in the hydraulic system - turn counterclockwise the hex nut on the main hydraulic unit located in the right trunk. Use the supplied wrench that should be located nearby.

2) Pull the 2 metal cables to release the trunk lid latching mechanism - these are located in the trunk; one on each side.

3) Undo the latch where the roof contacts the windshield - use the same hex wrench as in #1 above

It is explained in more detail with illustrations in the manual.
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#3 Old 04-22-2012
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As brusby said . . . . and . . .

Although pulling the cables AND lifting the trunk is difficult for one person alone. (Was for me anyway.) I tended to pull the cable one side at a time, break the trunk lid latches loose, and prop that side up (1/4") to keep it from re-latching, then doing the other side. Then I could close the trunk and do the reverse open.

One additional thing to make sure of (particularly when closing the roof) is that you keep the latching bolt (middle of the roof near the windshield under the small hole in the headliner with the 6mm wrench) turned all the way over!! This is difficult to see with the headliner in place but you can watch the clamping paws as the pins start to engage. The paw position tends to drift a bit and you might have to reopen them. If they aren't all the way open they can jam up; in which case, forcing them or letting the roof "slam" could damage the latch system . . . Believe me it is very intricate!

Not only does the latch bolt work the latching paws at the front corners of the roof, it also pulls some catches along side the rear pillars to allow the top panel to fold. The roof should slide into place pretty easily if the latch bolt is turned all the way. (No brute force should be needed, though it's a bit cumbersome and a longer reach is helpful.) I was routinely doing this by myself when I was replacing my headliner and upgrading my cylinder seals. Another reason to be careful is that in automatic mode, the car puts all the windows down first. In manual mode, you can put the sides down, but the rear quarter windows would still normally be up. The roof/window seals have to fit properly into place and I've heard of people cracking the rear quarter windows if the roof slams down and everything isn't in alignment.

Note that my pictures are with the headliner and trim removed as seen from the driver's seat.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RoofLatchCylinder-a.jpg (28.2 KB, 166 views)
File Type: jpg LockCylHose-RoofPillarJoint-a.jpg (40.4 KB, 150 views)
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#4 Old 04-22-2012
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Thank you both for getting back to me. As I said, I got the trunk hinged open all the way. (takes care of 1 and 2), which only leaves me 3. I turned it all the way to position 7 in the manual- no luck. turned it all the way to 8 just to try again- still no luck. I guess the lock mechanism must be broken or sticking? or is there a special way to pull the roof back?

If not, I guess the only option is to take a knife to the headliner?
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#5 Old 04-22-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arachnyd View Post
Thank you both for getting back to me. As I said, I got the trunk hinged open all the way. (takes care of 1 and 2), which only leaves me 3. I turned it all the way to position 7 in the manual- no luck. turned it all the way to 8 just to try again- still no luck. I guess the lock mechanism must be broken or sticking? or is there a special way to pull the roof back?

If not, I guess the only option is to take a knife to the headliner?
So the trunk is reversed open, you've released the hydraulic pressure in the lines by opening (turning out) the screw on the side of the pump, and you have turned the wrench in the latch bolt until it stops. (I've forgotten which way to turn it at the moment. (I think clockwise while looking up?) If not turn it one way till it stops, try opening it, then turn it all the way to the other extreme till it stops, and try opening it. It might need a little working back and forth to get those rear pillar latches to totally unlatch.)

Now here may be a bit of helpful trick; I usually leave the allen type wrench in the latch bolt pointing toward the driver side at 90 degrees to the axis of the car so I can use it as a handle. (I have longer "L" wrenches than most so I can get a good grip on it.) So normally, while I'm sitting in the driver's seat, and keeping the wrench twisted, I'll pull the wrench/roof backwards (rearwards) with my right hand (US car) and then reach back with my left hand and push upwards on the back of the roof panel. (Just watch your fingers around the hinges.)

If the roof hasn't been operated in a while, the seals might be a bit stiff and sticky. You should feel some "resistance" when you turn the wrench in the latch bolt since you are also moving the cylinder as well as the linkages and cables. It should feel like a bit of a "spring" when you're turning the latch and it's at the end of travel and latching, where as it just stops turning when it is fully open.

Hope that helps.
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#6 Old 04-24-2012
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Thanks so much for the pics and the explanation. One of the latches was getting stuck, and once I saw how the linkages were working, I was able to work it open!
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#7 Old 04-24-2012
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Originally Posted by Arachnyd View Post
Thanks so much for the pics and the explanation. One of the latches was getting stuck, and once I saw how the linkages were working, I was able to work it open!
Glad to hear you got it. Did you have to cut the headliner or did the explanations help/allow you to work through the sticking?
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#8 Old 04-25-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred320SLK View Post
Glad to hear you got it. Did you have to cut the headliner or did the explanations help/allow you to work through the sticking?
The left side was separating, but not the right side. Makes sense when you know there are two latches, but I was under the misconception that there was only ONE latch in the middle... so I pushed forward, and then did what you did (using the hex wrench as a handle) and got the right side to open without having to cut the headliner, so thanks!
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#9 Old 04-25-2012
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Originally Posted by Arachnyd View Post
. . . Makes sense when you know there are two latches, but I was under the misconception that there was only ONE latch in the middle... . . .
Sorry it wasn't clear, a bit of terminology confusion. There is one "latch cylinder" in the front center of the roof and this normally operates the two sets of actual "latches/catches" . . . The main latches at each of the front corners of the roof, attaching the roof to the windshield frame. And then the two "catches" that locks the hinges in place between the roof and the back window frame.

Glad you got it working.
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#10 Old 04-07-2015
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All points mentioned
1) turn clockwise looking up the hex roof latch bolt
2) unscrew pump nipped in boot trunk, right side brass, you can't undo it and lose it, so back it off good
3) pull cables either side, you should hear them release, close the trunk, then pull on boot, it will ease back, mine I get my paws under the front near rear window.
4) When fully open (boot/trunk, sit inside the cockpit, gently push up at the rear, but not on the joint, just 10 to 15 cm, raise till window is in a vertical, get out and push back, till fully closed, push boot/trunk forward, all done except the latches, now that is the only bit I'm not sure of?
Tell me how you get on, cheers

Vic
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#11 Old 06-09-2015
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Can the trunk be latched closed manually too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicppl View Post
All points mentioned
1) turn clockwise looking up the hex roof latch bolt
2) unscrew pump nipped in boot trunk, right side brass, you can't undo it and lose it, so back it off good
3) pull cables either side, you should hear them release, close the trunk, then pull on boot, it will ease back, mine I get my paws under the front near rear window.
4) When fully open (boot/trunk, sit inside the cockpit, gently push up at the rear, but not on the joint, just 10 to 15 cm, raise till window is in a vertical, get out and push back, till fully closed, push boot/trunk forward, all done except the latches, now that is the only bit I'm not sure of?
Tell me how you get on, cheers

Vic
Can the trunk be latched closed manually too?
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#12 Old 06-11-2015
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Just an add to bit, the latches can be locked, this is how I manage it, if like mine the side panels in the boot are it's not difficult, the 2 rams for the boot/trunk have slots in the bottom, these have to be pulled in to release the tension in the cable that lock in the latches, still a pain but the boot is shut tight and ok to drive, I know you can't do this with panels in place.
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#13 Old 01-19-2016
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if you open the roof manually...how do you lower the rear small windows??? my red button is not lowering them
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#14 Old 01-20-2016
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It will be easier to fix or patch the original problem than to roll the windows down manually. It can be done but it is risky since it requires hotwiring the window motors to the battery.

Why did you have to put it down manually?
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#15 Old 01-21-2016
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because it doesnt work and i dont care about fixing it, i just want to open the roof.
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#16 Old 01-23-2016
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Maybe I'm lousy at searching but I have tried many times to find a thread about "hot wiring" the rear windows. Can someone point me to a thread that shows how to do this (R170). I haven't given up on fixing but I think it may be a while before it is fixed and I can't get the back window to go down.
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#17 Old 01-23-2016
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Not for the R170, but there is one for the R171. Not sure if it is also valid for the R170. The roofs for both models are not completely different, so who knows?

https://www.slkworld.com/2500066-post12.html
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#18 Old 01-23-2016
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Thanks for the post. If I had an R171 it would be a definite possibility but I think it is very different than what I have. I think I would prefer a solution that connects to the wires at the controller under the hood if possible. I could probably work with a variation of this diagram if the motor connectors are reasonably accessible in the R170.
Does anyone have a step by step process to access the window motor connectors on the R170? I will try searching for motor replacement and maybe get the steps that way. seems like it might be a lot of effort
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#19 Old 01-23-2016
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I just looked at a Pelican Parts guide for the window replacement and the plug is behind the seat. Maybe not too bad. I'll have to look at this when it warms up a little.
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#20 Old 03-12-2018
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May I add a few observations that should be obvious, but weren't to me? 2001 R-170

My roof was fully retracted with the trunk portion in the very beginning of the close sequence (trunk open from the rear hinge, but roof fully retracted) when we experienced cylinder failure. I could just snake my hand around to the pump location in the passenger side of the trunk with a flashlight to find the access hatch with the pump underneath. Once I had the hatch door off, no Allen wrench was evident and there were three possible Allen bolts in the center of the pump. Only after reading every post I could find did I discover that the GOLD colored bolt is the one you are after, and it turns counter-clockwise to release pressure. It won't come all the way out, so don't worry about turning it too far. The Allen wrench, of course, was in an extrusion on the inside of the hatch door, as I discovered when replacing it. Sunglasses on top of your head moment.

Once I had the pressure released, I (with BOTH doors open) gently but firmly lifted the black rear deck cover over the roof (which was still in the retracted position) until I had it at a 90 degree position to the roof. This raised the roof slightly, enough to snake my hand to the front center of the headliner to feel for the release latch cover. CAREFUL! IF YOU DON"T SUPPORT THE ROOF, IT WILL CLOSE ON YOUR HAND! I removed this, then (again by feel) inserted the same Allen wrench used to release the pump pressure in the release mechanism. This operates catches on both sides which release the roof enough to manually raise it. Be aware of stress on any particular point, and try to equalize the force across the rook to avoid bending or strain. When you have the roof up, turn the Allen wrench in the release mechanism and observe the silver catches on both side corners of the roof where it contacts the receiver sockets on the top of the windshield. Make sure these are fully opened before very carefully lowering the roof into place against the windshield. It may be heavier than you estimate, get another person if manual dexterity or upper body strength are limited. Once in place, use that same Allen wrench to lock the roof in place.

The trunk assembly was still hanging open, and the only way to shut it was to firmly, but gently, with even force across the entire assembly, push it against the mechanical/hydraulic assembly that cause it to be open. Once in place, I was able to open and firmly close the trunk, assuring me that the area was locked and sealed. Then I closed the doors, rolled the windows up, and used the roof operating button pushed forward to roll up the back windows. Now I'm out of the weather and safe to drive until my cylinder rebuild guy gets back from Sebring.

All of this was probably covered elsewhere, but I couldn't piece it together in a single narrative, so please pardon any redundancy.
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