1994 SL500 Soft Top

Hello everyone...
I brought my 1994 SL500 to the dealer because the soft top switch light and 'beeping' would not go off (the top was up and locked, but
it wasn't recognized as being up). They said that it was the soft top control unit, whcih would cost about $1500.
Also while cycling the top up and down a few times to get the light to go off and the beeping to stop, the plastic window tore. This was quoted to cost another $2,000 to fix.
So my questions for you all are-
1 - do you have any suggestions for aftermarket sources for a soft top control unit, and is it a difficult item to replace myself?
2 - is there a source and would you recommend replacing just the plastic window, or does the whole back part of the top need to be replaced.
Thanks for your help!
Todd
email address is not real, I will check the newsgroup for responses!
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I see them advertised for $500 complete with plastic rear view screen... or $700 for genuine German material... both look same.
As far as putting them on... most people say let a pro do it... but if you are very handy and patient, try it yourself.
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sl snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (SL Mercedes) wrote in

I've seen the CU on eBay recently - do a search and if it wasn't relisted search Completed Items and you might spot it.
Don't know about the install.

Might want to check with an auto upholstery specialist. If you can't get just the window, you'd probably want to replace the whole top so the color matches. The labor is VERY intensive and you want a pro to do it!
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The soft top limit problem could easily be a dirty or defective microswitch in the roof mechanism that's failing to tell the controller unit when the top is in fact secured.
The thing about replacing electronic control units as a first-try resolution is that the same people recommending that solution will also refuse to take back the electronic part should it fail to fix the problem they diagnosed. I don't blame them -- who wants to buy an expensive controller unit that has been used as a tester elsewhere, not knowing if it was swapped with the defective unit or possibly damaged in testing?
Still, it wouldn't hurt to go through a roof operation troubleshooting chart (like from alldatadiy.com) and see if there's not a more logical and simpler cause for the problem first, because it might only be a microswitch that needs cleaning or replacement.
As for the rear window, an auto upholstery shop can resew a new plastic panel into the existing top. My 190SL window was fixed for about $100 total. The entire top was replaced later for about $1,000, also done at an auto upholstery shop. http://www.gahh.com/mercedes.html is a good source for the replacement kit. It's a lot of work to fit a top properly, with stretchers and adjustments of all kinds. It's a good deal to have it done, considering what they have to go through to get it installed.

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