Author Topic: Correct hard / soft top handles?  (Read 10853 times)

jhpcat

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Correct hard / soft top handles?
« on: December 21, 2020, 13:24:43 »
I am trying to determine if my handle is correct or not (69 280SL).  I know there should be two, but I only have one which measures almost precisely 4.75 inches end to end.  Before I go looking for another one, I want to confirm that the one I have is actually correct for my car.  Can anyone weigh in on this?  (Seems like there are several different handle designs and lengths out there).  Futhermore... were all pouches black vinyl or MB Tex or were the also leather and matching the interior color?  Thanks much!
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

mrfatboy

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2020, 13:42:09 »
Please post a picture of what you have. I believe all the pouches were a black vinyl.

1969 280sl (Aug 1968 build)
Signal Red
4 Speed

mnahon

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2020, 17:10:12 »
Beyond the length of the handle, there's also the length of the 'tang' to pay attention to. Have a look at this thread, and the others that it refers to.
https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=26869.msg192328#msg192328
Meyer Nahon
Montreal, Canada
1968 MB 280SL Auto Euro LHD Silver
2021 Tesla Model 3

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 19:59:30 »
Sorry for the delay. I've been away for Christmas in PA.  Here are two images I think you'll find helpful.  One notes the length of the tang and overall handle, the other highlights the bearing seat that the steel ball rests in when the handle is inserted.  The production number of my car is 60133 and I dont have a clue if that matters or not.  The long handles dont work work a lick, but the short one seats very well (thats the one in my images shown here). Certainly, I'm interested in comments which enlighten me on this unsolved mystery.  Would be nice to hear from a fellow club member who also owns a 69 model 280sl so I can compare what I have against what she/he has.  With great patience, I wait.  Best  --jp in GA
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

MikeSimon

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 23:26:28 »
I have a late (1971) 280SL and the handles in my car look exactly like yours.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 23:37:58 »
Thanks for chiming in, Mike.  Are they the same length?  12cm?
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

MikeSimon

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2021, 16:01:38 »
Thanks for chiming in, Mike.  Are they the same length?  12cm?

No. Actually they are not "exactly the same". They are 14cm long.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

LakisAkylas

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2021, 16:08:20 »
The posted photos show soft top handle for an *early* (up to chasis # 012192) 280SL.  Soft top handles for later 280SL are long-tang.

Lakis

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 16:13:34 »
Very interesting.  I wonder if it is German vs. US specs accounting for this.  Nahhhh.  I doubt it.  This is a really strange journey I'm on.  More variations to the handles than I thought possible. Most, however seem to be 5" like yours (aka 14cm). I am going to wait for more members to post what they have just so I can be sure.    Thanks Mike!
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

Jonny B

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 16:17:58 »
I just checked the handles for my 280 SL (VIN 12730) and they are 12cm. I believe them to be the ones that came with the car.

Curious as to the reference for a change at 12192? There was nothing noted in the Engelen book.
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904
1966 Morris Mini Minor

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 16:57:20 »
Hmmmm.  So I believe my chassis number to be 010701.  So you are saying that they should be 12cm long?  Some are 14cm.  (I am getting my chassis number off the data plate on the A-pillar, left side.  Is that correct?)
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

Jonny B

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2021, 16:59:13 »
These are reference to the VIN, which should be on a plate as indicate, in the door opening. I think the 280 SL is on what is considered the "B" pillar, where the door lock mechanism is. 113 044 1X XXXXXX format.
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904
1966 Morris Mini Minor

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2021, 17:08:51 »
On my 69, it is located on the A-pillar for sure. No plates on the door jam areas whatsoever.
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2021, 17:10:50 »
to be clear... that is where the plate is, not a stamping, as might be found on the frame or tranny, block, etc.
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

Iconic

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2021, 17:41:26 »
The posted photos show soft top handle for an *early* (up to chasis # 012192) 280SL.  Soft top handles for later 280SL are long-tang.
Lakis
Mine are ~12 cm and I believe them to be original to the car. My VIN is 113 044 12 012287. Please see the picture.

Hi Lakis ! I hope all is well.
Where did you get the VIN # cut off you posted? Is it out of a book?
Take care,
Mark
1970 280 SL Automatic, USA version, Grey-Blue (906G/906G), Blue leather (245)
1968 SS396 Camaro Convertible (owned since 1977 -- my first car :D)
1984 Porsche Euro Carrera coupe, LSD, SlateBlueMet/Blue
1998 BMW M-Rdstr Estoril Blue
1970 280 SL Automatic, Anthracite Grey-173G, Red Interior-132 - sold

MikeSimon

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2021, 17:55:31 »
Chassis number of my car is 22774 and upon closer inspection, the front end of the handle is slightly different also.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

Jonny B

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2021, 19:34:06 »
The VIN plate changed locations at 280 SL VIN ending with 10704 in July 1969. moving to the B Pillar under the door latch mechanism. Jhpcat, so yours is just before the change. Sorry about that.

It is stamped on the front chassis under the intake manifold .

The other body stampings (hood, transmission plate, softtop case, and hard top are the body number that is on the plate inside the engine bay by the secondary hood release.
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904
1966 Morris Mini Minor

LakisAkylas

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2021, 22:01:12 »
Well, the cut-off VIN I posted may not be exactly accurate (I believe it was stated in an earlier discussion of this same issue in this forum). At any rate, my car (VIN 022689) has the long-tang handles and they are original to the car.

Lakis

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2021, 23:12:30 »
Jonny, as you can see, this is a genuine MB plate on my A-pillar. Might be one at the intake manifold, but this is easier to get to (unless I am confused about what plate you have in mind)
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2021, 23:13:44 »
and a second angle...
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

Jonny B

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2021, 16:39:27 »
Aha, should have recalled this. This is the "visible VIN" a requirement in the US to have the VIN number observable from outside the car.
From the list of changes:

VIN ending 7114, 23 Dec 1968 USA cars with the additional VIN plate on the windshield frame, to comply with US requirement for “public” view, per 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 565

The VIN under the intake manifold should still be in place.

To get back to close two topic. The two piece soft top handle was put in place for the 250 SL on VIN ending 5089, near the end of November 1967
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904
1966 Morris Mini Minor

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2021, 17:05:08 »
Thanks Jonny.  Can you please tell me how long your pouch is, or better yet, send me an image incase the bottom of the pouch is mitered which is the case with some of the pouches over the years.  (assuming you believe your pouch to be original).  I need a pouch so this will help me to know when I am looking at the correct pouch for my 69 280SL.  I very much appreciate all the attention you are giving me.
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

Iconic

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2021, 17:45:05 »
Guys,
Isn't it true that the same handles that started when Jonny B states (250 SL VIN 5089 November '67) went to the end of production for W113?
I thought I learned years ago that the longer handles (~14 CM with a longer case) were from the R107. The picture I posted a few replies ago are what I believe to be original on everything W113 Pagoda after the VIN that Jonny B stated. Am I wrong?
1970 280 SL Automatic, USA version, Grey-Blue (906G/906G), Blue leather (245)
1968 SS396 Camaro Convertible (owned since 1977 -- my first car :D)
1984 Porsche Euro Carrera coupe, LSD, SlateBlueMet/Blue
1998 BMW M-Rdstr Estoril Blue
1970 280 SL Automatic, Anthracite Grey-173G, Red Interior-132 - sold

Jonny B

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2021, 04:56:18 »
I think there is one style handle and the one type of pouch. Pictures attached as requested.
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904
1966 Morris Mini Minor

neelyrc

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2021, 05:14:05 »
Mark, the handles in your post 14 above are identical to my original ones delivered with the car at the factory (007749 January 1969 production).  As indicated in the referenced threads above, I also have a a set of the longer tang 14cm handles.  I ordered these from MB in 1970 and they came without the pouch.  It is my belief
 that these are for late 113s which I understand had a different latch mechanism at the windshield.  I don’t know when the change took place.  The handles for my 107 (560sl) are even longer than the 14 cm long tang handles. I don’t know if earlier 107s had different handles.

Perhaps MikeSimon can advise if his late 113 handles are the same as my 14cm long handles pictured here with my original handles.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 02:41:28 by neelyrc »
Ralph

1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL 4.5
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
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