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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I got 2003 Old Red in 2010, he had about 68,000 miles and the convertible top had rarely been used. Over the years, I have only put it down for parades and once in a while just to show friends and family what it looks like. He now has a little over about 75,000 miles. The top is quite noisy when I do put it down. Since the hydraulic cylinders are now 19 years old so I guess it is time to replace them.
My questions are:
-Where do I get them?
-Are their replacement instruction on our SSR Fanatic site?
Thanks! What would we do without this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Motor vehicle
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Motor vehicle
 

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You should cycle the top on a regular basis. I lower and raise mine about every two weeks. The seals in the cylinders need to used, as do the rods lubricated. The switches will freeze if not used. If your cylinders are not leaking it may be the pneumatic assist cylinders making a noise or the hinges need lubricating. When you lower the top, stop about half way down, turn the switch off and see if the top lowers quickly with bump. If so the assist cylinders need replacing. Each of the cylinders support 160 lbs of the top's weight when they are fully charged. Roof SSR Cylinder 82019.pdf ROOF PNEUMATIC STRUT INSTALL 82019.pdf

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I got 2003 Old Red in 2010, he had about 68,000 miles and the convertible top had rarely been used. Over the years, I have only put it down for parades and once in a while just to show friends and family what it looks like. He now has a little over about 75,000 miles. The top is quite noisy when I do put it down. Since the hydraulic cylinders are now 19 years old so I guess it is time to replace them.
My questions are:
-Where do I get them?
-Are their replacement instruction on our SSR Fanatic site?
Thanks! What would we do without this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jack. I think the issue and my concern is the roof cylinders are 19 going on 20 years old and from what I have heard about their life span being only 10 years from other members I am concerned enough to replace them. They are very noisy when I put the top down as if they are on their last legs. Over the years I have lubricated the hinges and cleaned the switches on each side. Do you have any contact information I am looking for?. When I click on the link you posted, all I get is page not found. Thanks!!!!
 

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When I got 2003 Old Red in 2010, he had about 68,000 miles and the convertible top had rarely been used. Over the years, I have only put it down for parades and once in a while just to show friends and family what it looks like. He now has a little over about 75,000 miles. The top is quite noisy when I do put it down. Since the hydraulic cylinders are now 19 years old so I guess it is time to replace them.
My questions are:
-Where do I get them?
-Are their replacement instruction on our SSR Fanatic site?
Thanks! What would we do without this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
View attachment 606619 View attachment 606619
Unless there's a visible leak, rather than jumping to replace the hydraulics (expensive and time consuming), it may just be a matter of lubrication, possibly replacing the hydraulic fluid and probably new roof struts.

There is a lot of SSR convertible top information on Mike's Simple Engineering website including, roof maintenance guides and videos, troubleshooting documents from Dicktator, tech session videos, R&R/DIY videos and links to the two companies that rebuild the hydraulic systems (Top Hydraulics in Oregon and Cabriolet Hydraulics in Florida).

He also sells the recommended LST roof struts. If they've never been replaced they almost certainly should be. Per @jackatg450, they provide a lot of assistance when raising the top as well as support when it's being stowed, both of which have a direct impact on the life of the hydraulic system. They can also "groan" or "howl" if they've lost their lubrication. If it feels like it's struggling to raise the roof and/or there's a "clunk" just as it finishes going back down they need to be replaced. That "clunk" as it's being stowed causes a hammer effect which will eventually damage the hydraulic system. It's an easy 30 minute or so DIY project to replace them that most anyone can do. Full instructions are on Mike's site and come with the strut installation kit.

Here's Mike's guide to test if the roof struts need replacing:

There are two tests for Roof Strut "goodness".....
1) With the tonneau cover open, wipe your finger across the bottom of the pneumatic strut on each side. If you come up with a very oily finger, you should consider replacing the pneumatic struts.
2) With the roof opened slightly (so that there is about 4" of daylight between the windshield and the roof), stop the operation and turn off the ignition. Push the roof toward the retracted position and watch how it falls into the storage compartment. If it drops fast and hits bottom with a resounding thud, you need to replace the pneumatic struts.

If your roof makes a howling noise when you do test #2 above, you need to replace the pneumatic struts.


So I'd start there, read up on everything on Mike's website and then you'll have a much better handle on next steps.


Hope that helps! I'm sure others will be along with some additional advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Jack. Will probably go that route. Old Red has only been driven around the block a few times this year.
 

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The only reason to replace the hydraulic cylinders is for a leaking issue. The noise you hear can be easily diagnosed. Just put a little bit of silicone lube on a paper towel and wipe the shaft of the pneumatic lifters. If the squeal goes away, you KNOW what the problem is.

Regards,

Mike
 

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2004 Silver SSR with Strips. Owned 16yrs. Start 9K, now 159K miles
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As said, 90% of the time the two main lift cylinders leak first. You can remove them, send to Cab Hydraulics to rebuild, next day usually.

Cab Hydraulics, LLC
2111 72nd Terrace E
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 756-1300
Zig Paul Owner also has RED 05 SSR

I rebuilt all eight of my hydraulic cylinders. I thought, if you rebuild an eight-cylinder engine, do you just to two cylinders?? We did remove them all, sent them out for rebuild and replaced them.

We have learned that rebuilding the two main lift cylinders usually solves the problem, BUT if your Pneumatic Gas Cylinders are bad or week, more hydraulic cylinders will fail.

If your top goes down the last 3 inches with a "THUMP", replace your Pneumatic Cylinders!!

Dicktator
Zig's Shop, me standing outside and RED SSR
 

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All great advice. One other thing to keep in mind there are 4 sets of cylinders that do different jobs and lift different weights. The main cylinders do the most lifting in the operation and usually are the ones that need rebuilt.
Think about what a hydraulic cylinder does and how it operates. It moves fluid under pressure to move the cylinder rod up or down. This is very different from say an engine where the cylinders use a piston ring that wears on the cylinder. The Hydraulic cylinder uses fluid against a set of seals to move the fluid and rod. So there is less wear on the cylinder sleeve. The wear happens to the seals. If an internal seal fails, it won't lift because the fluid goes past the seal. The most common failure is the seals on the cylinders ends, or line ends, which now lets the cylinders leak fluid and show exactly where the leak is coming from. One other big difference between this system and say an engine is the 8 cylinders are not all under the same load as an engine. So it falls back that many times the main cylinders that do the heaviest lifting are the ones to go out and need repair. While rebuilding all 8 won't hurt anything, it maybe spending extra money that doesn't need to be spent.

Keeping good assist lift cylinders on the trucks probably do the most to help keep down the wear and shock on the main cylinders. It sure does soften the drop on them anyway.

There are 2 places I have seen recommended for the SSR tops.
East coast is Cab Hydraulics. Dicktator has worked with them and are well known
Cab Hydraulics, LLC
2111 72nd Terrace E
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 756-1300

On the west coast there is
Top Hydraulics, Inc
3235 Pacific View Drive
Florence, Oregon 97439
USA
Call us:
541-902-3214
Email us:
[email protected]

I have seen several people have used them with very good service as well.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for your advice!!! Love the SSR forum. It is like having experts at your fingertips. I have restored dozens of collector cars over the last 40 years but the SSR is a different animal.
After reading all the comments, I am pretty confident now that it is just the roof struts. I will flip the lid and take a look just to make sure none of the other cylinders are leaking. Since it will take two people job to install them I will get my son to assist when he can. I will order those from Mike as I have always been satisfied with everything I have purchased from him!!!
 

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Just my opinion--like Mike said in post #9, try wiping lubricant on the shaft before you order them.

Nick
 
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