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Discussion Starter #1
2010 R171

I've been having a loud cracking noise when I'm putting up my hardtop. It's happening right when the hardtop is done going into place, and the sound seems to be coming from the area between the rear window, roof panel, and the side panel between the back and side windows above the driver's head.

I've tried WD40 and lubricating the seals. I took it into the local MB dealership and I'm told that it'll have noises like this.

Does anyone else have or had this problem? It doesn't seem like something normal, and it annoys the hell out of me.

Any ideas?
 

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Founding Member #2 2008 SLK55 AMG
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19,407 Posts
Check the roof panel cover (grey plastic) to see if it is loose at near where the hinges are. Check the cable stays (metal clips) along the arm of the hinges as the roof is being deployed and it is being latched into its place.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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should be no cracking noise at all. sounds like the 'glass' side pieces not aligned. can u test with someone looking/listening at those points?
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG; 2005 SLK350
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I can't say what it is, but that's definitely not to be expected. The trunk is still fully open, right?
 

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I've had the same thing happen on a few occasions. It first started when I followed a suggestion about stopping the roof mid-way to make it easier to clean the glass. But then after a few times it worked itself out.

Then I got distracted once with the roof in motion and took my hand off the button so it stopped temporarily. Again, when it finished, it did that. It took another couple times for it to work itself out.

As a result, I'm rather reluctant to do the rear pillar replacement that I've been reading about in other posts since that involves stopping the roof midway.

So far, it seems to only happen when the roof stops midway and seems to work itself out after a few cycles. I don't have a clue as to root cause and hope it isn't a sign of an expensive repair coming my way.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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Stopping the roof halfway shouldn't cause any problems if everything is in order. It is designed to close by itself after a certain period of time. It is not uncommon to put your hand off the button. When lubricating the seals or cleaning the rear window and the roof is halfway, it is best to do it fast for no more than 3 minutes to avoid battery overload. The engine must be working too.

This operation is not completely silent, there are some minor noises. Are you sure it's that bad... Can you record it?

I am also wondering if the noise is mechanical or electrical. On other MB convertible models, if the battery is weak it is possible for the roof to crackle. The electrical crack could me mistaken with the mechanical one. If electrical, it is related to a depleted battery or using the roof numerous times in a row.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the tips

The gray plastic doesn't seem to be noticeably loose but when I push on it I do hear the cracking noise so the problem seems to be in there perhaps the clips as was suggested. I don't know how to or want to take it off to do any further inspection to not make anything worse unless there's something easy I can do with the roof halfway up (is there any way I can stop the roof there without only having a few seconds before it retracts?)

The trunk is still fully open when it happens - the cracking noise is when the roof is flexing to become latched.

Thanks again
 

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aka John
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What the others have said - there is no "risk" associated with having the roof stop in mid-movement. The broomstick/PVC method is exactly what the dealers do, just with a bit more expensive piece of kit! ;-)
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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I have my downstairs butler hold my roof.
 

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Founding Member #2 2008 SLK55 AMG
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Try this:

With roof engaged, you will notice a small round cover at the center of the roof lining. This comes out easily with a flat-head screwdriver.

Retract the roof (prolly best with engine running to avoid draining the battery), and after a minute or two re-engage/raise the roof (easier if you have smartTOP), take look through the central opening and listen as the roof engages and the latches lock. Observe for any looseness on the operation of the latching mechanism/linkages.

Also, with the roof partially retracted, inspect the 2 areas where the latch hooks are to make sure the "rubber bumpers" are in place and that one of them is not missing.
 
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I am also wondering if the noise is mechanical or electrical. On other MB convertible models, if the battery is weak it is possible for the roof to crackle. The electrical crack could me mistaken with the mechanical one. If electrical, it is related to a depleted battery or using the roof numerous times in a row.
You may have solved the mystery. I've been raising/lowering the top with the engine off. Since reading your comment, I've only done it with the engine on - and haven't encountered that noise since doing it this way. More time will be needed to confirm if this is indeed solved. But thanks for pointing this possibility out!
:rockon:
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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You may have solved the mystery. I've been raising/lowering the top with the engine off. Since reading your comment, I've only done it with the engine on - and haven't encountered that noise since doing it this way. More time will be needed to confirm if this is indeed solved. But thanks for pointing this possibility out!
:rockon:
:) No problem. I am just trying to help as everybody here on the forum has always been so helpful.

If you follow the above quidelines, I doubt that you will ever here it again because I am sure that we are talking about the same noise. Despite that, don't operate it a lot of times in a row, for example 6 times lowering and raising it in less than 5 to 10 minutes. Those cars are really sensitive to low voltage and the roof is one of the places which are most affected. Its operation drains the battery faster than you can imagine. It is best to wait 5 minutes after the engine has been started after a long stay, e.g. overnight.

That's the reason why when the engine is off, the gravity will close the halfway-stopped-roof after a minute or so, but with the engine running, it will last more. Here is one useful link regarding this topic:

http://www.mercedestechstore.com/pdfs/287_R171/287 HO 04 Vario Roof (CrullG) 08-17-04.pdf
 
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