Author Topic: Soft Top Jammed  (Read 685 times)


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Soft Top Jammed
« on: March 23, 2019, 17:12:53 »

Well the problem surfaced again whereby the soft top roof will not release from the base.  Last time this happened I had to bring to a mechanic

So it is not quite up, and can't put it down.

I pull the lever behind driver's side, but the back portion of the soft top does not release from the back.

What do I do now other than panic?  Is there another button/lever or mechanism to release the rear portion of the soft top?

Thank you


Cees Klumper

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Re: Soft Top Jammed
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2019, 20:55:57 »
There are quite a few posts on this issue, search will be your friend here until someone with the knowledge chimes in. Sorry, this hasn't happened to me (yet) so can't help.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic white
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD Colonial White


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Re: Soft Top Jammed
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2019, 21:27:57 »
If you open the trunk lid, you will see a factory access hole in the metal top well, right below the latch. You will feel a metal tab in and above the hole. The tab can be moved to one side to release the latch. Can't remember which way to move it at the moment. You need a tool to move the tab.  I used an allen "L" wrench clamped in a vicegrip as a the tool.
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
1969 Dark Olive 280SL
2002 ML55 AMG (tow vehicle)
2002 SLK32 AMG (350 hp)
1963 404 Mercedes Unimog (Swedish Army)
1989 flu419 Mercedes Unimog (US Army)
1998 E430
1974 450SLC Rally
1965 220SE Finback


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Re: Soft Top Jammed
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 23:52:55 »
James, I have not experienced it yet, so may not be of much help. I just wanted to check if you looked there:

And, as advised already, some threats on this:

280SL 1970 automatic 180G Silver
W128 220SE
W121 190SL


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Re: Soft Top Jammed
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 19:49:31 »
This has happend to me 2 times so i have a creative answer for you. What you will need to do is use a painters pole called a slim jim, it is a Handel with a slender wire stalk attached. It is the type that you can buy from your home care center, which has a head that is about 6 inches wide. You will need to heat the stem using a tourch and straiten the stem, then you will have to bend that same stem to make a hook. Once you have your new release tool you will have to open the trunk and slide the hook of the pole into the opening where the arms for the soft top lid travel. In the boot area is the release cable that runs around the boot, use your tool and give the cable a tug, that should do the trick.

Philly Mark
1967 250 (1 of 2 registerd)
1968 250


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Re: Soft Top Jammed
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 23:18:56 »
The release procedure through the trunk mentioned by JA17 is described in the Technical Manual, with photos!  :)
If the pin hook is already free then it depends on what kind of soft top you have, 230SL soft top, or 280SL - early or late?
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
1966 230SL automatic 334G light blue (sold)
1968 280SL automatic (now 904G midnight blue)