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SSR Pit Crew
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Discussion Starter #1
Gary Medcalf had a roof lift cylinder fail, leak at bottom of cylinder.

As a result of his Dealer saying "NO longer available" we scrambled to see what was doable.

The following will be our Best Option, in my opinion.

I sent email to Top Hydraulics, Inc.

Here is what I got back from my email to:

Klaus Witte

Top Hydraulics, Inc.
90730 Southview Lane
Florence, OR 97439
(541) 902 3214

www.tophydraulicsinc.com

Top Hydraulics | Rebuilt and Upgraded Convertible Top Cylinders, Pumps, Hydraulic Lines - Top Hydraulics, Inc

Hello Dick,
Good to hear from you again. I am very impressed by the way you support forum and chapter members - you are a blessing for the SSR community!

We rebuild SSR hydraulic cylinders literally on a daily basis. It is quite normal for these cylinders to fail at this age. In warm climates, the life expectancy of the hydraulic cylinder seals can be even less than ten years. The first ones to fail are the left or right "Roof hydraulic cylinder", also known as main lift cylinders. They will normally start leaking on the bottom, where the mounting pin goes through the cylinder. Do your chapter member a favor, and recommend having at least left side and right side cylinder upgraded by us at the same time. They have identical seals, and those seals fail practically at the same time. Once the system has full pressure again, it is almost certain that the matching cylinder on the other side will fail instantly, within days, or latest within weeks. Unfortunately, these two cylinders involve by far the most work to remove from the car.

The cylinders need to be removed from the car and sent to us for rebuild/upgrade service - we do not stock them. Average turn around is currently one day. See Rebuild/Upgrade Service for Chevy SSR Convertible Hydraulic Components - Top Hydraulics, Inc. Ultimately, we end up replacing and upgrading seven seals per cylinder. I expect our seals to last about three times as long as the originals, under similar circumstances. $150 per cylinder (or $900 for all eight cylinders) plus $10 shipping per order.



Sincerely,

Klaus Witte

NOTE: Gary's roof cylinder DID start leaking at the bottom near mounting pin, just like Klaus said.


I email Klaus back and informed him the R in question was at the Dealer w/extended warranty.

His answer:


Dick,
I suppose the dealer will replace only one cylinder at a time, and they will cringe at the extra time it takes to send in the cylinder, but we are their only option. Most dealers are quite happy to find us... :)
I am surprised there is not more talk on the forum yet about failed hydraulic cylinders, since we are rebuilding a lot of them. We are probably dealing with the tip of the iceberg right now, and there will be a lot more chatter soon with Chevy being out of stock and these cylinders not being manufactured any more. I hope that Gary will report about his experience on the forum, and I hope that ultimately a hands-on forum member might work with us in creating step-by-step cylinder replacement DIYs.




Gary Medcalf aka GLMSSR04 is negotiating with the Dealer on repairing BOTH cylinders in his Roof Compartment.



This means, the roof cylinders are repairable. To me, that is good News.

Gary's Dealer has removed and is sending BOTH hyd cylinders to be updated and repaired.


Dicktator
 

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missing roof release tool

Hello I am currently having the Hydraulics replaced on my roof but i do not have the tool to release the roof and they are now no longer available to buy is there a tool that will do the same job that you can recommend or will i have to flag down and borrow one from a fellow ssr owner ....Thank You Mark
 

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SSR Pit Crew
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11,657 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hello I am currently having the Hydraulics replaced on my roof but i do not have the tool to release the roof and they are now no longer available to buy is there a tool that will do the same job that you can recommend or will i have to flag down and borrow one from a fellow ssr owner ....Thank You Mark
No you don't have to borrow one.

I have Roof Tools. We made some when GM stopped.

PM me with your address

I take PayPal: [email protected]

Tool is $70.00 plus $5.00 to mail

Dicktator
 

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I have a 1995 SL500 M/B and there is a leak in the rear of the car do you haveany information so as I can find where they are and how to get to them so as to remove and send them to you? R J Weber [email protected]
 

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I have a 1995 SL500 M/B and there is a leak in the rear of the car do you haveany information so as I can find where they are and how to get to them so as to remove and send them to you? R J Weber [email protected]
Hello R J,

You have a Mercedes R129 chassis SL-Class, and you posted on the Chevy SSR forum. That was probably an oversight while you were googling the subject, or you were trying to reach Top Hydraulics directly. I find that the best forum for Mercedes R129s is R129 SL Class - Mercedes-Benz Forum. This forum has a dedicated section with salient threads dedicated to hydraulic top questions: R129 soft top 'Hydraulic System' ultimate thread - Mercedes-Benz Forum. To contact Top Hydraulics directly, please email us at [email protected].

I don't want to bore SSR owners with Mercedes talk. The Mercedes R129 SL-Class has twelve hydraulic cylinders, they all fail at some point (using the same seal material as the SSR cylinders), and Top Hydraulics' upgrade should give them another 30-50 years of service life. You must have some serious leaks if you still have the original cylinders in your '95. There is much more info on Top Hydraulics' website, including detailed DIY instructions to check for leaks, R&R of cylinders, and FAQs.

Klaus
 

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SSR Pit Crew
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Discussion Starter #11
Who in the Tampa area can do the repair if the cylinders are ordered thru Top Hydraulics?
The total removal/rebuild/install can be done in Florida by:

Cabrolet Hydraulics
3007 62nd Ave East
Bradenton, Fl 34203
Phone 941-756-1300


Tell Zig (Owner) Dicktator told you to call.


Dicktator
 

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Rating on Top Hydraulics, Inc.

I have the same/similiar issue of a bad roof cylinder on my 2004 SSR, plus a bad hydraulic roof hose. I have been told I need:

hydraulic hose GM part #88980386
cylinder GM part #88980385

Anyone that has used Top Hydraulics, Inc. have anything good/bad to say about their rebuild quality? Or higher recommendations for obtaining this part?

Also, best suggestions for getting the hydraulic hose? Or best choice in getting one of OEM quality?

Thanks!
Celeste
 

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Cantankerous SSR CaretakR
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Celeste

I have been involved with several roof cylinder repairs where the cylinders were repaired by Top Hydraulics in Oregon. The rebuild work on each of those cylinders was of very high quality. I believe that Cabriolet out of Florida offers similar workmanship. It is more a function of location than anything else. Expect about a week to week and a half turn around. You will most likely not find OEM cylinders nor hoses available, so will have to rebuild your cylinder(s) and use aftermarket hoses if you need them.

While on the subject, you are way better off rebuilding all 8 cylinders while you are at it, because all will fail in short order after the first seal failure. Otherwise, you will be going back into the system time and time again if you fix just the single cylinder that is currently leaking?:thumbs
 

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Dr Who
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I did all eight of mine about a month ago. I used Cabriolet....shipped them on Monday, had them back on Friday. They even gave me a follow-up call.They also have the hoses and clips. I did not see a reason to replace the hoses and I think that would be a major job to do so. Also, they have extra clips for the hoses. lost one of mine during the install and had to wait for a replacement to finish the job. Therefore, I would recommend having a spare clip sent back with the cylinders....to play it safe.
 

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I had the 2 main cylinders rebuilt in April 2017, and every thing worked fine untill a few weeks ago when the top came up it tore my wind screen off. Apparently the cylinders are starting to fail or could it be another one is going bad ? I open and close the top every day and when it opens in the last second or so you can hear it drop or thud . Any advise would be appreciated Ralph Doerner as kloss
 

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I had the 2 main cylinders rebuilt in April 2017, and every thing worked fine untill a few weeks ago when the top came up it tore my wind screen off.
Whoa!!--what Windscreen do you have? OEM or aftermarket? Is it a new addition, if not, has there been any indication that it is that close to the top? I know, a lot of questions, but I can't imagine the top hydraulics or struts having anything to do with the top hitting it.
 

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If anyone needs a roof tool living close to Vegas I have one I can loan. Right now chasing onnaue issues and rattles that seem to be coming from roof mechanism? If you get a chance Dick I've me your take on the rattles I know we talked on the tonnaue cover..Jersey
 

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Hi,

I just had a wonderful conversation with Klaus concerning replacing all eight cylinders on my top. Although I have not experienced any issues with the top, I know that it is just a matter of time before one will leak and fail.

I am fortunate to live so close, less than 200 miles, to their shop. I will wait until later in the year when the shop is not so busy to have the work done. I will plan a trip down upon our return from Denison.

We can enjoy the Oregon coast around Florence while upgrading the roof to ensure years of Permagrin magic! :party :party :party

David :blur:
 

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The windscreen came with the R when I bought it in 2005. When putting the top down, now it seems like it flies lower, it could be my imagination? When it gets to the vertical position it wants to just drop. It comes down so quickly it makes a pretty loud thud. I try to stop the motion just before it hits bottom, hoping to stop the loud thud, but it doesn’t work. Is there a fix or am I just going to have to put new pads down?
 
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