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Diagnosing and Fixing Hardtop Roof Clasps
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Diagnosing and Fixing Hardtop Roof Clasps

Mike Holloway

Tools:

Special homemade release tool, 17mm wrench, Phillips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R107 (1975-86)

Hot Tip:

Work patiently

Performance Gain:

Working roof

Complementary Modification:

Replace the wiper blades

Your roof latch can be a finicky device. There are several parts that can fail. Using a series of diagnostic steps can help save you money and time. Your roof latch system has two front clasps, two side clasps and a rear hold down pin. Go through the series of steps to assess which component is compromised.

Before you do any work on your car it is important that you wear safety glasses and work gloves. If you have to jack up your car, make sure to use jack stands and chock your wheels as well as applying the parking brake. Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. Always disconnect the battery before working on your car.

The front clasp of the roof is held on by two clasps that turn.
Figure 1

The front clasp of the roof is held on by two clasps that turn. They can be corroded or worn with time. They are hand tightened by the wrench that was supplied with your car.

The side clasps are held down with the internal mechanism.
Figure 2

The side clasps are held down with the internal mechanism.

The rear hold down pin is held down with the internal mechanism.
Figure 3

The rear hold down pin is held down with the internal mechanism.

With the lock down lever up and the smaller lever down, the rear hold down clasp is raised.
Figure 4

With the lock down lever up and the smaller lever down, the rear hold down clasp is raised.

Here is what it looks like raised but not released.
Figure 5

Here is what it looks like raised but not released.

With the smaller lever raised up, the rear clasp is pulled down.
Figure 6

With the smaller lever raised up, the rear clasp is pulled down.

Here is what the rear clasp looks like down.
Figure 7

Here is what the rear clasp looks like down.

When both levers are down, the rear clasp is opened in order to remove the roof.
Figure 8

When both levers are down, the rear clasp is opened in order to remove the roof. 

When the levers are in the down position the clasp should look like this.
Figure 9

When the levers are in the down position the clasp should look like this.

The regular position for the side clasps are in this position.
Figure 10

The regular position for the side clasps are in this position. When the roof is on, the clips are held in place.

Pushing the lever forward will open the side clasp.
Figure 11

Pushing the lever forward will open the side clasp. The lever has to be kept in place with your hand.

The side clasp will open up.
Figure 12

The side clasp will open up. This will allow the side roof hold down pins to be released.

The rear hold down claps can be stuck over time.
Figure 13

The rear hold down claps can be stuck over time. I made a special tool that will push the clasp back so the rear can be released. This tool is a rod that I flattened out with a dead blow hammer. 

I am showing how to do this with the roof off.
Figure 14

I am showing how to do this with the roof off. Normally this can done with the roof on if it is stuck.

The front clasp can be removed and replaced with a large Phillips head screwdriver.
Figure 15

The front clasp can be removed and replaced with a large Phillips head screwdriver.

The side clasps can be removed and replaced using a 17mm wrench or 17mm crowfoot.
Figure 16

The side clasps can be removed and replaced using a 17mm wrench or 17mm crowfoot.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Toddgibbs Comments: Thanks Nick, After a long time looking and a few changes of torch I managed to squeeze a flat-bladed screwdriver into the latch mechanism and, with a twist, unlock it. Turns out the cable on that side was removed for some reason.
Todd.
June 26, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
toddgibbs Comments: Hi Nick

I have a problem - my soft top cover is stuck down and the latch in fig 12 does not release. Its the side opposite to where the leaver is. I have a feeling that the cable or whatever activates the latch isn't connected... Is there any trick to getting it undone? Ive tried everything.

Thanks in advance.
Todd.
June 18, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to get to the latch mechanical. Then find the lever the cable pulls on and release it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
GregJohnsondsm Comments: I would like to order the two handles that are part of the rear lock mechanism. 1982 Mercedes 380SL.
June 16, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Mon 9/25/2017 03:00:56 AM