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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I believe the hydraulic cylinder in my SLK roof lock mechanism has developed a small leak. There is no sign of hydraulic oil around the headliner itself, but the other day I noticed a thin layer of oil like substance on the top of the A pillar around the the sun visor on the passenger side. This had travelled down the pillar to the top of the dash on and around the passenger air bag. This oil had also somehow ended up on to the top of the door leather where it meets the window glass in the region above the speakers. The weird thing is that there is no sign of the leak originating through the small gap between the roof and where it locks in place to the windshield frame as this area was clear. There was some oil in the very top left corner of the windshield glass itself (maybe the leak came through here?). Does this sound like a hydraulic leak, or would the headliner be saturated if this was the case?

I'm looking at buying the hydraulic cylinder o ring repair kit. But first I would like to know if its possible to rebuild only the top hydraulic locking cylinder without having to dismantle the boot. Could I just open the top halfway to remove the headliner, fully close the top again, take the ignition key out (presumably this depressurises the hydraulic system) and then take the cylinder out of the locking mechanism while the roof is still fully locked closed and work on it within the car with the lines still attached. Also can anyone recommend where to buy the kit in the UK.

Thank you for the help.
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG; 2005 SLK350
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4,604 Posts
You can rebuild the cylinder in the roof without doing much in the boot, but you must, at the very least, open the pressure relief valve during the process (the brass fitting on the side of the pump). It's easy to access the relief valve via the removable panel. It's more difficult to add fluid this way. The first time you add fluid you'll probably want to remove the trunk liner.

Learning to strip the trunk liners is a rite of passage - I say go ahead and learn how to do it now if you don't already know how.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone for the replies. I didn't realise there was a accessible hatch to view the hydraulic pump in the boot as the CD changer was covering it. All I need to do now is source the nitrile O-rings and start off by repairing the roof lock cylinder first, followed by the four others at a later date.
 

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I just got done having my cylinders rebuilt. . . .one at a time. As soon as one would be fixed another would start leaking. My last one was the roof header. I would suggest getting them rebuilt. I did an OK job on a couple rebuilding myself but you have to drill some ugly holes then fight the o rings out. But then one failed. It was worth it compared to what my time is worth to get them rebuilt, to get to know my car, strip the trunk, see where the lines run and patiently work with the cylinder clips in the very rear without mangling them, the cylinders by the headrests and lastly the roof cylinder. Do yourself a favor and get extra circlips and don't lose any of the pins. The extra circlips (Which can be found at Home Depot) are for when you lose the one you have and can't find it. It's Murphy's law. and take your time. Buy a rash of zip ties too to keep the job nice and neat and be certain to fill your pump while the plastic bits are out of the trunk. Easier to access and don't forget to buy the syringe to fill it. A regular medical one the fluid eats the rubber and it will come apart. Good luck.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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127 Posts
Hello everyone,

I believe the hydraulic cylinder in my SLK roof lock mechanism has developed a small leak. There is no sign of hydraulic oil around the headliner itself, but the other day I noticed a thin layer of oil like substance on the top of the A pillar around the the sun visor on the passenger side. This had travelled down the pillar to the top of the dash on and around the passenger air bag. This oil had also somehow ended up on to the top of the door leather where it meets the window glass in the region above the speakers. The weird thing is that there is no sign of the leak originating through the small gap between the roof and where it locks in place to the windshield frame as this area was clear. There was some oil in the very top left corner of the windshield glass itself (maybe the leak came through here?). Does this sound like a hydraulic leak, or would the headliner be saturated if this was the case?

I'm looking at buying the hydraulic cylinder o ring repair kit. But first I would like to know if its possible to rebuild only the top hydraulic locking cylinder without having to dismantle the boot. Could I just open the top halfway to remove the headliner, fully close the top again, take the ignition key out (presumably this depressurises the hydraulic system) and then take the cylinder out of the locking mechanism while the roof is still fully locked closed and work on it within the car with the lines still attached. Also can anyone recommend where to buy the kit in the UK.

Thank you for the help.
I just had the same problem the center lock ram started leaking. I found this company called Top hydraulics and once you have your car apart it’s best to do all the 5 rams because the other aren’t far behind in leaking. You can do this yourself, I did. You can order the rebuilt rams from TopHydraulics.com and talk to Klaus he is awesome. You will want to order the special hydraulic fluid for the pump don’t use anything else.
Many people say you can rebuild them using a o ring not recommended! will not last long. I recommend to get the kit which is all 5 rams, to do the pump that’s extra. The Price For the SLK 171 is $1125.00 plus shipping and the pump is $700.00
When you return the old rams you’ll get $600.00 back for core. not sure what the core charge is on the pump.
He has some DIY videos on his website. Plan on a good day or two to do the install.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
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127 Posts
Best
I just got done having my cylinders rebuilt. . . .one at a time. As soon as one would be fixed another would start leaking. My last one was the roof header. I would suggest getting them rebuilt. I did an OK job on a couple rebuilding myself but you have to drill some ugly holes then fight the o rings out. But then one failed. It was worth it compared to what my time is worth to get them rebuilt, to get to know my car, strip the trunk, see where the lines run and patiently work with the cylinder clips in the very rear without mangling them, the cylinders by the headrests and lastly the roof cylinder. Do yourself a favor and get extra circlips and don't lose any of the pins. The extra circlips (Which can be found at Home Depot) are for when you lose the one you have and can't find it. It's Murphy's law. and take your time. Buy a rash of zip ties too to keep the job nice and neat and be certain to fill your pump while the plastic bits are out of the trunk. Easier to access and don't forget to buy the syringe to fill it. A regular medical one the fluid eats the rubber and it will come apart. Good luck.
Best thing to do is get a magnetic dish for those tiny clips. It’s a life saver
 

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Registered 1997 SLK230 Kompressor
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217 Posts
Watch all the TopHydraulics YouTube videos. He explains why you shouldn't use an O ring kit. I replaced all my cylinders and pump - great company and Klaus is so helpful. It's going to cost you some but that's Mercedes (and Jag and......)
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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127 Posts
My trunk was a pain just because of carpet. But I found if you buy a 22” 1/4 flat screwdriver makes it easy to get the bottom clips loose.
on the main lift rams I found when reinstalling them take some small sewing thread a tie to the c clips then let it slide down to the pin then use your flat head screwdriver to push it on. Then you can remove the thread. Worked great for me.
 

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Registered 2001 SLK230
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123 Posts
I just had all 5 of my hydraulic cylinders rebuilt by Top Hydraulics, 1 week turnaround. $295 is a bargain considering the quality of work they do and I didn't have to mess with them. I took photos of every clip, cylinder, and zip tie locations so I could easily re-install everything as original. I used a long screwdriver to remove the bottom clips on the trunk cylinders and was able to re-install them by hand. I purchased the hydraulic pump fluid from my local MB dealer for $13.50.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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127 Posts
One thing I would say after doing this job myself is. Mark all screws and bags you keep the screw in so you know where to put them back. the pump bracket doesn’t need to be removed just slide the two black rubber groumblet off and then the pump is free. Double check your work that all screws for the pump hydraulic hoses are in and Torqued. Ask me how I know.
I found the trunk to be the hardest to do but buy a long Handel 22” long 1/4 wide flat screwdriver (harbor freight) has them $6 bucks and then file or grind them so it will fit in the c clips on the rams and twist to get them off was easy putting the back on was the hard part for me.
 
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