Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Longview, Tx
Vehicle: 2012 SLK350
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SLK350 Vario roof gap repair
2012 SLK350, the roof panel was pulling away from the support bar and created about a 1/4 inch gap between the top of the windshield frame and the roof panel. Did not leak, but created tremendous wind noise.
- Took it to the dealer and was told solution was replacement of the roof panel for $5,000
- Took it to a body shop and they would not touch the roof, recommended the dealer
SOLUTION: There' s a support bar that the roof panel attaches to and it is glued from the factory. Appears it is only attached on the edges, thus the lack of mechanical integrity. This can be repaired with 3M Panel Bond or PlioGrip Panel 60, available from Amazon for about $70 with applicator. Do not use Epoxy or Gorilla glue as they do not have the resiliency to hold under stress. (I tried this first!) . You will also need a clamp with at least 9" deep jaws. Purchased this at Harbor Freight for $9. This clamp works like a Vise Grip and was easy to adjust.
1. Remove the headliner (Just snaps out and has a rubber retaining strip on each side)
2. Find the 3" bar that runs across the front of the roof. The roof release mechanisms are attached to it on each side. The Bar has a "honeycomb" design.
3. Put a drop cloth on your seats and dash in case of any spills.
4. Adjust your clamp so it pushes the roof back into place. Be SURE to not put pressure on the roof release mechanism by positioning the clamp so it goes into one of the honeycombs. You will have to fabricate a method of pushing the roof down as it is curved and a flat surface will not apply equal pressure. I put a pad on the roof then used a piece of wood with various size wedges across the surface area. This pushed the roof down equally across the area. ALSO, do not put so much pressure that you bend the roof.
5. Release the pressure on the clamp.
6. There's about a 1/4" to 1/2" gap between the roof panel and bar. Apply the bonding material in this gap as deep as possible. BE SURE TO NOT GET THIS ON THE ROOF RELEASE MECHANISMS. Also do not put so much that is leaks out the front. I think down the middel of the abr is fine.
7. Re-apply pressure with the clamp and let setup for recommended curing time
I let mine setup overnight. So far has worked perfectly. Cost me about $80.
I hope this works for you!