Author Topic: replacing convertible top  (Read 2996 times)

William Dabney

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replacing convertible top
« on: March 02, 2019, 19:05:09 »
i do not feel convertible replacing my top as a few yeas ago a local mechanic told me he thought my frame was bent. any thoughts or suggestions? i am looking for a shop near central VA or on the east coast of the US.  or some great encouragement to take this project on my self.   1968 250 sl      TIA,bill dabney

mbzse

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 19:41:47 »
Quote from: William Dabney
.../...thought my frame was bent. any thoughts or suggestions?.../...
The geometry of the soft top frame on our W113 cars is quite intricate. If a link arm in the frame is bent out of shape or the joints are not functioning, there is a risk the soft top will not have a nice watertight fit, and it may well be hard to operate (fold and raise).
There is quite a lot of information about soft tops and the soft top frame in our Tech manual.
In principle, all frames fit onto all Pagoda's. But lots of details differ between the early and late types of frame. Including the pattern for how the soft top fabric is cut/sewn.

Some info can be found by searching our Forum. See for instance
https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=20296.msg195533#msg195533
https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=4702.msg29253#msg29253
/Hans S

mrfatboy

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 21:25:38 »
I just recently replaced my soft top with the help of 66andblue(a member here). My frame was bent and the left side spring lever was snapped off.  It was a complete restoration. Replacing all screws,  straps,  rubber,  etc.  Everything new.

 I took the frame to a local weld shop to fix both problems. I also posted a template in the tech manual that I used to fix my specific bent frame.  I'm not sure where yours is bent and if that will help you.

My wife also created brand new straps, with built-in elastic. She has extra to sell if you are interested.  Even includes the correct size/color rivet.  Best price you will find👍

We took pictures of the entire soft top replacement step by step process and have it on our list to publish in the tech manual. We just have not gotten around to it yet.

If you are a DIY type guy, interested in learning or just want to save some money I would suggest doing it yourself. 

It's not brain surgery but you need to be a detailed oriented person and patient to have a professional result.

If you don't have the time or are not interested I recommend you just cut a check 😁


BTW, my top frame is the later style.
1969 280sl (Aug 1968 build)
Signal Red
4 Speed

Jordan

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 22:35:12 »
Bill, I too still have to replace my soft top (I have the canvas just not the time).  Here is a link to pictures for the job.  https://w113softtopreplace.shutterfly.com/pictures/8  I got it from Alfred (66andblue) and don't recall who supplied all the pictures.  Do a search as there is lots of info.
Marcus
66 230SL  Euro 4 speed

specracer

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2019, 02:43:31 »
My top is here. It's done, I just have to go pick it up. He has a body in his shop that he uses as a jig. Gernold has been great to deal with.

http://www.sltechw113.com/

mbzse

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2019, 09:52:22 »
Quote from: Jordan
.../...a link to pictures for the job.../...lots of info.../...
Yes. Be aware though, the first 140 or so pics show removal of a worn old top which was self made by some upholsterer, it had no connection to Mercedes and the factory. So beware if you use that as a pattern when fitting the new top
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 10:15:58 by mbzse »
/Hans S

Mike Hughes

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 21:02:53 »
If Gernold is doing this top there is nothing to worry about.  ;^)
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
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specracer

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2019, 00:31:43 »
My initial visit to drop it off, was very positive. I could see how one side of the mechanism was messed up, but could not easily figure out how to resolve it (stuff was very bent). Decided to have the expert solve everything. Added bonus, finished way ahead of schedule, and was also on budget.

If Gernold is doing this top there is nothing to worry about.  ;^)

BRYANH815

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Re: replacing convertible top
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2021, 17:24:08 »
Gentlemen.. I had my top replaced and I noticed the top is much harder to take out of boot and also to place back inside. Is there a thinner material available for Pagoda tops? Thsnks....Bryan Hepper
Bryan E. Hepper Sr.