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Convertible top stopped retracting in my 2003 SL500. Could…

Customer Question
Convertible top stopped retracting in...
Convertible top stopped retracting in my 2003 SL500. Could use some help troubleshooting.
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Mercedes
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Answered in 23 hours by:
3/19/2018
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago
Lou P. master tech
Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 6,094
Experience: 20 years Master Certified excellent fix rate and have access to factory wiring, and instructions.
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Hello, my name is***** and i will do my best to assist you.I am going over your story now and will reply back soon with some info,thanks!

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

Hello Rick, I am very good with top issues, but they can be complicated at times.

I will see what I can do to help.

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

Rick i want you to close the trunk, and then open it as if you were gonna put stuff in the trunk, then check to see how tight the flaps are to the panel of the trunk.

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

ok that is the issue, i want you to either have a second person or tape them up gently so the tape can break free when the flaps go to move, let me know if this gets them to work.

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

we need to keep them tucked up against the trunk panel until the trunk opens 90 degrees and the roof detaches.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No luck. Had a person on each flap during the cycle. Same result.
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago
Ok still a factor, tell me what happened when the trunk went 90 degrees? What did the dash say or do
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Lever / switch blinks red when it gets to this point as well.
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago
Ok that is good it means that the top module does not recognize a fault. So there is a switch on the left trunk frame cylinder that needs to function correctly and let the top module know the trunk has reached full
Open. Also we may want to close the trunk and inspect the fluid of the hydraulic pump
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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

ok fluid looks good, here is the switch and cylinder I am talking about.

it is basically a few inches to the left of the license plate lamp,. using that as a reference.

there is a plastic rod that slides up and down as the trunk assembly opens and closes to let the roof module know that the trunk is open. the rod can break or come loose.

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

ok it actually looks intact

so now , look under all that near the floor of the spare tire well, you will see 2 connections side by side, disconnect them and look for corrosion in them.

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

can you tell me the build date on the drivers door sticker ?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I can see (and feel) the connections in the spare tire well near the hydraulic pump. Couldn't find a way to disconnect them. Everything is surprisingly clean.
- All the fuses in the rear fuse box show continuity
- Build date = 07/03
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

fuses show continuity? please explain?

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

ok, hard to tell but it looks like a continuity tester.

i would rather prefer a test lamp.

not a battery powered one. which is what a continuity tester would have.

even though the fuses are good we need to make sure they have power.

and no worries i help all walks of life :)

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The one I have does not have a battery. I saw some that did, but the auto parts store recommended the one without.Would you like me to test the fuses by other means?
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

usually with a test light we hood the clip to sheet metal and use the poker end to check the fuses, and if there is power the red light or light bulb inside the tester should come on

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
In watching this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFDM_N09AbQIt seems all about the flaps. That's the point in the cycle we just can't seem to get past.
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

correct, that is why we are checking these fuses.

also the connection i asked about.

Rick i can help, but i need feedback on what is happening over there. i am very good with top issues, i take all of them on the site and am 99% effective.

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

if the trunk opens then the tube switch should tell the module that it is open and then the flaps flip up as the roof unlocks and then pulls back into the trunk.

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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 4 months ago

so what i am after is making sure that the trunk cylinder switch is making contact also there has been multiple issue with corrosion in the connections at the bottom of the trunk as well as the pse lock module which also has ties to the roof function.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Understood.I thought we were good with the fuses. Do you want me to do something else with them?As discussed, I found the connection (harness?) you described. However, I don't see a way to disconnect and check for corrosion. Tight quarters and I do not see a union or break point. I'm not comfortable just pulling on the wires hoping for a clean seperation.
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 3 months ago

no worries on the fuses for now if they physically look ok.

as for the connections on each side of the longer ends there are releases, you squeeze them to release them.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I'll give it a go this evening when I get home from work. Do you happen to have a picture of the releases?
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 3 months ago

no, my photos dont get that detailed unfortunately.

they are levers so when you press on one end the other end flexes to release.,

nothing too complicated.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Finally got at the connection. The harness attaches to the body beside / under the hydraulic pump. Once you detach that it's pretty easy to get at. There was most definately corriosion present (see attached). I cleaned it with q-tips and a toothbrush. I then re-made the connection several times hoping that too would improve the interface.The top is still behaving the same, hung just before the flaps open. Tried holding the flaps against the trunck lid, no luck.Another observation for what it's worth - the hydraulic pump sounds like it's "trying" to do something. After everything stops (and the lever used to open the top is flashing red), if you pull back on the lever again you can hear the hydraulic pump cycle.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Just pulled fuses 62 and 63. They appear to be in good shape.
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 3 months ago
Ok, can you tell me the color of the wires that had corrosion on the pins? That way i can see if they are in fact in our circuit?
I will have to opt out soon if i cant get this goong quick mainly because i will be unavailable for the next week. Unless you want to wait for me let me know but i honestly dont think anyone else will pick this question up because top issues are not easy unless you have tons of experience with them like i do.
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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 3 months ago
next, once the trunk opens and stops i want you to pop off the plug of the center of the front of the roof interior headliner. There is a allen slot there, use a 6mm allen and rotate it to unlock the front of the roof once you unlock it fully (i think its clockwise so try both directions) then function the switch back to open to continue the process see if it then works.
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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 3 months ago
If those wires that had corrosion on then where blue and white and blue and yellow then those are for the flap drive
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Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 3 months ago
What i would do is have some one work the switch for the top and when the trunk opens and the flaps dont come out i would use that test light and make sure one of those blue wires have power . Of the two wires they work the motor for the flaps so when opening the flaps one wire will have power and the other ground. Then when closing the flaps the wire polarity changes to reverse the motor. So the wires will then flip flop from positive to negative and the other will go from negative to positive. If that makes sense.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Could not turn the allen wrench at all with the trunk open during the top opening cycle. I can turn it before starting the cycle and it seems to unlock the top. Didn't help with getting the top off / open though.
Mercedes Mechanic: Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician replied 3 months ago
Ok i will have to opt out at the moment, we started our vacation and i will not be able to be on this week. If you still need help when I return i will surely pick you back up
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Enjoy the vacation. Let me know when you're back.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hey Lou - Hope you enjoyed the vacation. Any thing else I should try with this retractable top?
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