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Pelican Technical Article:

Trunk Panel Removal

Tom Morr

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flat head screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, sockets, and ratchets

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Hot Tip:

The side panels can crack while maneuvering them around the trunk hinges. Be patient and don't force them.

Performance Gain:

Gives access to bumper bolts, fuel level sender and some Vario roof hydraulics.

Complementary Modification:

Inspect your brake lights

You need to remove the trunk panels to access various system on the car including the Vario roof's hydraulics, the rear bumper bolts and the fuel-level sender. On normal cars, this is fairly straightforward but the SLK's Vario roof makes panel-removal slightly more involved. The side panels are slotted to accommodate the trunk-lid sliding mechanism. Removing the panels requires moving the trunk to its rearward, vertical position. Assuming the Vario system functions as designed, the only trick to the job is triggering the trunk-blind limit switch so the trunk can be returned to its normal position after the panels are removed.

The panels are retained with bolts, and two-piece plastic rivets; which expand when the center pin is inserted in the base. The plastic rivets aren't identical, so noting the rivets' sizes and locations when removing them will facilitate re-installation in the proper position.

The upper panel is secured on top by two plastic nuts (green arrow).
Figure 1

The upper panel is secured on top by two plastic nuts (green arrow). Remove these.

A plastic rivet secures the side panels and top panel to the body, one per side.
Figure 2

A plastic rivet secures the side panels and top panel to the body, one per side.

One bolt on each side holds the trunk-blind support brackets.
Figure 3

One bolt on each side holds the trunk-blind support brackets.

The blind and brackets can then be removed.
Figure 4

The blind and brackets can then be removed.

The top panel can be shimmied out from behind the side panels.
Figure 5

The top panel can be shimmied out from behind the side panels.

This SLK has the optional CD changer.
Figure 6

This SLK has the optional CD changer. Three bolts secure it to the body.

Six rectangular clips hold the rear panel in place, and three rivets secure it along the bottom.
Figure 7

Six rectangular clips hold the rear panel in place, and three rivets secure it along the bottom. A flat head screwdriver makes quick work of these.

With the rear panel unfastened, the trunk light can be unplugged.
Figure 8

With the rear panel unfastened, the trunk light can be unplugged. The rear panel is then free.

Each side has a rubber buffer.
Figure 9

Each side has a rubber buffer. These can be pulled out of their sockets by hand.

A trunk support bracket on either side is secured with an Allen bolt.
Figure 10

A trunk support bracket on either side is secured with an Allen bolt.

After lifting out the floor panel, the all the plastic rivets are accessible.
Figure 11

After lifting out the floor panel, the all the plastic rivets are accessible. A flat head screwdriver can be used to carefully remove the center pins, and then pry the expanding bases out of the panels.

Install the blind to trigger the limit switch (arrow) so that the trunk can be retracted using the Vario roof's button on the console.
Figure 12

Install the blind to trigger the limit switch (arrow) so that the trunk can be retracted using the Vario roof's button on the console. Alternately, a screwdriver could be carefully inserted in the switch to actuate it.

The panel must be carefully maneuvered forward then inward around the trunk hinge.
Figure 13

The panel must be carefully maneuvered forward then inward around the trunk hinge.

Leave the limit switch wired, but unhook it from the panel.
Figure 14

Leave the limit switch wired, but unhook it from the panel. The right panel is then free.

The left panel follows suit: the plastic rivets are removed, and then the panel is carefully maneuvered around the trunk hinge.
Figure 15

The left panel follows suit: the plastic rivets are removed, and then the panel is carefully maneuvered around the trunk hinge.

To retain roof operation with the trunk blind and panels removed, use a zip-tie to carefully squeeze the trigger on the limit switch.
Figure 16

To retain roof operation with the trunk blind and panels removed, use a zip-tie to carefully squeeze the trigger on the limit switch.

The rear panel is connected to the body with six rectangular plastic clips (green arrows) and three plastic spreading rivets (purple arrows).
Figure 17

The rear panel is connected to the body with six rectangular plastic clips (green arrows) and three plastic spreading rivets (purple arrows).

Here are rivet locations for the right panel.
Figure 18

Here are rivet locations for the right panel. The two in the lower right are used for the factory CD changer, if equipped.

Rivets on the left side are nearly mirror images of those on the right.
Figure 19

Rivets on the left side are nearly mirror images of those on the right.

The panels are fragile, particularly in older cars.
Figure 20

The panels are fragile, particularly in older cars. Even when carefully working them around the trunk hinges, the outboard ears can crack.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Addy Comments: I need my rivets replaced on my all 230 convertible, I live in Ventura county, other than Mercedes any recommendations?
April 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Pelican Parts. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JS Comments: That's fine provided the roof is working. If it's closed and not opening that's why I want to take off the panels to check switcheshow to remove side panels - the trunk is only opening to front?
October 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll need to work inside the trunk to remove the panels, then release the trunk latch and continue to remove the panels. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rt1092 Comments: Thanks. Got the panels out. Now I have to figure out how to get switch off the pass side panel. I'll figure it out.
Thanks This really helped.
August 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bikerjoee Comments: thanks for help
July 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: no problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mickmm Comments: just what i wanted as i have problems with the roof not
working at all so needed to get to the switches etc
May 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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