Author Topic: Correct hard / soft top handles?  (Read 10854 times)

Pawel66

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2021, 11:43:29 »
It is my believe 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.

What I could find in the system that may help (up until the below chassis number the PN for soft top handles and PN for hard top handles are different; there are 3 types of PN for hard top handles that I see):

As of chassis number 044 0012193 the soft top handle is A 1077760017.
Same part number is the last PN of hard top handles (no info as of which chassis number). It has also become a replacement part for latch assemblies 9with additional parts).

It would be logical that when A1077760017 was introduced for soft top, it could also be introduced for hard top. They could start equipping cars with just one handle instead of 3 or 4 - saving. I do not know if they did that, but part list states as number required for a car: 1 in the hard top section, 2 in the soft top section.

I am very happy to have 230SL solution both in soft top and hard top.
Pawel

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

jhpcat

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2021, 11:52:03 »
Thank you gentlemen.  I believe that there is enough evidence to me to make rather certain the fact that my 69 280SL is to have the 12cm handles as per the images you have provided.  I really appreciate it and ask that you now keep yer eyes peeled for the one handle and pouch that I am missing for my car.  (I am amazed at how many people THINK they have the correct handles, when it is not actually the case.  Just because the handle fits in the socket, doesnt mean it's "correct".)  My gratitude to all who have contributed to this thread.  Happy New Year, and if every you are near Atlanta, I'll  buy you a hamburger, ...just as Wimpy would surely do!
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 #27 on: January 06, 2021, 12:33:13 »
I must add one final comment.  There is much talk about the "tang".  I really dont know for sure what that is, but I believe it to be the actual part of the tool that your hand would grip.  For example it might comprise roughly 10.5cm of a 12cm handle.  That being said, there is one other characteristic that very much stands out.  The 12cm handles posted here have a miter to the casting at the male end, whereas many (but not all) handles I have seen are not mitered in the same way at the male end.  They are squared off. I think this is very important to understand that it is not just about tang length, but also what the make end looks like.  And now that I've made this point, I must admit that I do not have any idea as to what is correct for those who claim their 14cm handles are correct.  Miter or no miter to the castings?
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 #28 on: January 06, 2021, 13:22:21 »
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 believe 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.

Ralph:
It looks like my handles - believed to be original - are identical to the lower set shown in your second picture. I will post a picture as soon as i get around to it.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
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LakisAkylas

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2021, 13:58:31 »
Hello Ralph and Mark,

The handles for my car (12/70, VIN ending in 22689) are exactly the ones at the bottom of the photo. They are original to the car.  The vinyl pouch looks the same.

Lakis







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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2021, 14:27:38 »
Lakis,
Is your pouch ~5.75 in (~14.6 cm)?
Or is it longer?
And, sorry to ask this, but how certain are you that they are original to the car?
Regards,
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 #31 on: January 06, 2021, 15:22:09 »
Here are pictures from my handles. Car 22774. Believed to be original. 3rd owner and have the car since 1982.
Length is 14cm. look at the ends that slip into the cam locks. The machined step is straight, not slanted, and they are missing the hole for a ball seat. That lends credence to the prior statement that the mechanism may have changed. I have ONE handle, which I cannot find right now, that seems to be for the same function, but it is not chromed and significantly longer.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

neelyrc

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2021, 03:30:22 »
I must add one final comment.  There is much talk about the "tang".  I really dont know for sure what that is, but I believe it to be the actual part of the tool that your hand would grip.  For example it might comprise roughly 10.5cm of a 12cm handle.  That being said, there is one other characteristic that very much stands out.  The 12cm handles posted here have a miter to the casting at the male end, whereas many (but not all) handles I have seen are not mitered in the same way at the male end.  They are squared off. I think this is very important to understand that it is not just about tang length, but also what the make end looks like.  And now that I've made this point, I must admit that I do not have any idea as to what is correct for those who claim their 14cm handles are correct.  Miter or no miter to the castings?

Jhpcat, what I call the tang is the flat portion that is inserted into the top mechanism.  I understand that the tang of a knife is the straight portion of the blade that extends into the knife handle.  I do not know how the word came to be applied here but it seems to me to be descriptive.

The tang of my 12cm handle inserts fully into the mechanism of my 280SL top with the mitered surface flat against the mechanism. The tang of the 14cm handle has the same cross section as the 12cm handle and can be inserted into the mechanism on my top but can not be inserted fully due to the tang length.  It can be used to operate the mechanism but from the “feel” it seems clear that it is not correct.  I believe that the 14 cm handles are correct for LakisAkylas’ later car and for MikeSimons later car. Does the tang of this longer handle insert fully into the top mechanism on these later cars?

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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LakisAkylas

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2021, 15:07:41 »
Hi Mark,

The handles and pouch that came with my car are identical to those in the photos by MikeSimon above. This makes sense considering that the VIN of his car is very close to mine (22689).  I am the second owner of my pagoda — I bought the car directly from the original owner who claimed that the handles were original.

Lakis

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2021, 14:03:21 »
Thanks Lakis, Ralph, and others. I think I got it now.
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 #35 on: January 08, 2021, 15:49:52 »
  I believe that the 14 cm handles are correct for LakisAkylas’ later car and for MikeSimons later car. Does the tang of this longer handle insert fully into the top mechanism on these later cars?

Ralph: Yes, they do. At least on the hardtop, which I have on the car right now.
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 #36 on: January 08, 2021, 16:04:59 »
I think its interesting that the longer 14cm handles do not have seats for the steel balls in the latches.  Does this mean that on those later cars there are no steel balls?  I peeked inside the socket of the latches on my  69 280Sl which uses the 12cm handles and there are indeed small steel balls inside.
j prothero
roswell, ga
81 e12 bmw 528i
69 w113 mb 280sl
65 c2 corvette

Rahul

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2022, 18:03:12 »
Does anyone know where to source a decent black vinyl pouch for the handles?

My understanding is that OEM ones are no longer available.

The only place I have seen that offers similar pouches is the Authentic Classics site, but they have been out of stock of black vinyl ones for over a year now (I believe because their supplier was a one-man operation that stopped producing them).

Would there be any interest in a group buy if we could find someone that could reproduce them?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2022, 20:23:56 by Rahul »
1971 280SL auto #571 over parchment

mauro12

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2023, 23:50:10 »
Hi guys , I was curious if it’s a common problem to all of you or not . I do not have the front handles to lock in place the hard top . For the soft top they are attached to the whole piece and there is no problem , but for the hard top I’ve never had since I bought the car in 2001. I’ve always used a screwdriver   or a general tool to make a leverage in order to lock the front hard top .
Are you in the same problem ? I wanted to buy the set of 2 handles but the price is quite high and it can be easily replaced by a general flat tool.
Also is not clear why they sell 2 handles,  since is also possible to have the same effect by having 1 only , you just lock or unlock one at a time .
Mauro Pisani
250sl 1967 5speed zf manual

mdsalemi

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2023, 14:50:58 »
Of course, my car is a 1969 280SL, early build, -7262.
I have ONE set of handles. I think there is a set screw where one could leave the handles in place, but I use the handles for both hard and soft top, and when locked in place, put them in the nice original vinyl pouch and store in the glove box.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
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mauro12

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2023, 15:32:31 »
Mike , basically are you saying that the handles that I have in my soft top are the handles that could be used for the hard top too?
Those in the soft top are screwed inside the whole piece .
Mauro Pisani
250sl 1967 5speed zf manual

dirkbalter

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2023, 16:12:32 »
Mike , basically are you saying that the handles that I have in my soft top are the handles that could be used for the hard top too?
Those in the soft top are screwed inside the whole piece .

Mauro,
That's interesting. My (66 230) has permanent handles in the hard top as well.
Dirk
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mauro12

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2023, 16:38:42 »
For this reason I have to use a screwdriver or a flat tool to put the hardtop on .
I don’t know if the handles have been lost from the previous owners of the car or maybe they are in the soft top and could be removed to use for the hardtop too.
Good question .
Mauro Pisani
250sl 1967 5speed zf manual

mauro12

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2023, 16:40:35 »
Anyway , 2 handles cost around 200€. I don’t think it’s worth to spend this money . You loose probably 30seconds more with a general tool but the effect and result is the same .
Mauro Pisani
250sl 1967 5speed zf manual

mdsalemi

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2023, 20:20:04 »
I can only speak about my car, which is a 1969. Other cars may be different. As I mentioned, it has one set of handles which you use for both the hardtop and the soft top. The very fact that there is a pouch to store them indicates that you remove them and use them as necessary. Attached are photos of the hardtop and the soft top fittings. The first photo on top, is of the hard top. The photo below that is the soft top, which is up and fastened. Note that the "receiver" for lack of a better word, is basically identical.

Again, this is only on my car. I cannot speak to others.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
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BobH

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2023, 22:39:50 »
As far as i know all cars had fixed, non removable handles in the soft top and hard top until November 67, just before the end of production 250's changed to removable handles, so assume one pair was supplied for both tops.  I guess if a later 280 hard top was bought for an earlier car, it won't have fixed handles and will need a set of removable handles, or as Mauro says, improvise
« Last Edit: December 12, 2023, 15:19:56 by BobH »
February 1965 230SL Automatic
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Jonny B

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2023, 03:17:16 »
The soft top handles were made removable at 250 SL VIN ending in 5089. This is in the list of changes for the Pagoda from Frank Mallory's listing in the Mercedes Collector magazine.
Jonny B
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rwmastel

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2023, 05:58:47 »
Mauro,

You probably have an early style soft top (230, or early 250) with fixed handles.  You probably have a late hard top (late 250, or 280) with removable handles.

I would assume you could buy a set of handles from a member for under 200 Euro.
Rodd

Did you search the forum before asking?
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mdsalemi

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2023, 13:00:52 »
Don’t the [considerably more plentiful and less costly] R107 handles fit into the W113 receivers? I seem to recall in the past that these were readily available, but not perfectly “correct”. Certainly this is better than using a screwdriver…!!!???

http://tinyurl.com/3d4yatj7  From Etsy. OOPS SEE BELOW*
http://tinyurl.com/cesm23fz  From eBay

One of our better known suppliers, Vintage Euro, also has them for W113. https://vintageeuroparts.com/?s=soft+top+handles&post_type=product&dgwt_wcas=1 Don’t know if used or reproduction.

*Sorry, Etsy is one of those poorly designed websites that doesn't allow easily sharing a link. The link I have above takes you to the general Etsy website, NOT the product I had discovered. See the photo, and go to Etsy and search for "R107 Soft Top Handles" and you'll find the photo below unless they have sold out.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2023, 14:09:24 by mdsalemi »
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

Pawel66

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Re: Correct hard / soft top handles?
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2023, 13:18:36 »
The soft top handles were made removable at 250 SL VIN ending in 5089. This is in the list of changes for the Pagoda from Frank Mallory's listing in the Mercedes Collector magazine.

Soft top change is also reflected in the spare parts catalogue, confirming your finding. In addition, some 6 first 280SLs went back to one-piece handles and then as of VIN 000007 to VIN 012192 back to two-pieces ones, to be replaced again by a 107 handles after.

But I am not responding in this discussion because I could not figure out what happened to the hard top handles. Were they replaced at the same moment? No clue. We can speculate that yes, but I am not sure.

All in all my car was ordered without a soft top. One of the POs installed a late soft top with one-piece locks - I am grateful for that! My hard top also has one-piece locks, most likely replaced by a PO as well - and I am also grateful for that! It is so much more convenient! I have read here on the forum that this change was due to safety regulations. It has nothing to do with comfort, I am afraid.

Back to earlier question from Mauro - a set was two pieces as per the parts list.
Pawel

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