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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my 2004 SSR :yellow: about a month and a half. In those six weeks, the operation of the roof has degraded from working to the point where the hydraulics cannot seem to lift the tonneau cover. It started with having to manually lift the tonneau. The smaller panel would flip up and the roof would retract. Now the smaller panel will not lift up or it takes several time out cycles to complete. I can hear the roof unlatch but it will not retract. I can use the switch to close everything.

Nothing seems to be in a bind, it just sounds like the hydraulics don't have enough oomph (technical term) to get the job done. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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RedHotSSR
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605 Posts
04 In Louisiana

Very sorry to hear you are having trouble right at the start with your R. Bought my 04 in 2011 roof NEVER worked properly, jammed or just got stuck in the cargo deck while trying to open often stopped trying to open it for many years.
Didn't find the Forum till 2015.

Now to help you.

#1 Do you see any hydraulic fluid on the floor of the roof storage area? If a cylinder is leaking it's best to have all repaired / rebuilt
#2 The roof struts may be worn / dried out. This is the case with many low mileage R that just sat in a garage. The roof should be dropped at least once a week to keep the system in good condition.

I was fortunate to have found a Forum member who assisted me ( Last Year ) to finally fix the roof problems on my R.

#1 My R came with 03 hinges, these are not as good as the next generation hinges that chevy used on later models. A new set will cost you about $265 plus install labor
#2 My struts were also going bad and had to be replaced. The forum has a supporting member who sells both the hinges and struts for your R. ( Simple Engineering ) is their name / Arizona Mike is his Forum contact name.

Oh and there are a few other chronic problems we R owners have found that you will want to know about.
#1 OEM Transmission cable bushing will fall out and leave you on the road, Simple Engineering has a Stainless Steel bushing to replace the OEM that will NEVER fail.
#2 The ABS is very close to the catalytic converter and the heat will melt the circuit board / control if a heat shield isn't installed to protect it. Another Simple Engineering item.
#3 The plastic radiator mount has been found to crack and break, simple engineering has a steal replacement.
#4 Be sure you R has a air scoop mounted onto the radiator bracket, this sends aid directly up to cool the radiator, you can run hot without one. Simple engineering has that also.
$5 If you try to open the doors prior to them unlocking you can break the plastic brackets that hold the assembly in place. NEVER pull hard on to open the doors from the inside. If they do break Simple engineering sells a repair kit for that repair.

The forum also had a "How to library" on just about EVERY repair you may ever need to make, I f you can't do the repairs your self your mechanic will have a step by step instruction to follow.

Wishing you ALL the best. Please feel free to email me if you have any other questions but I am confident other member will be just as happy to assist you.
 

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Pat make sure you check the forum here at least once or twice a week, every so often Tech days are announced for different areas of the country so if one comes up close to you you can plan on going to one for assistance in answering any questions or help in fixing some things. Like RedHot listed there are a few things you might want to get looked at, I made a list up of priorities to get done before anything else was done shift cable, radiator support, heat shield, 4 bolt support, and air dam.
My roof sticks once in a while too but the more often you use it and cycle it up and down it happens less and less. I also replaced the little rubber hose tips that GM used on the earlier models with the Delrin Bushing kit #15775860 from Simple Engineering seemed to help. The worst thing for these trucks is to not use them and enjoy them.
 

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Premium Member
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1,954 Posts
Roof..........

Pat I live in Picayune,MS, 130 miles , 2 hours away on I-59 north of Slidell, exit 6. I would be glad to look at your roof. I am going up the Weatherford, TX Tuesday the 17th, but be back on the 23rd. Call me at 769-242-2309 before Tuesday or after the 23rd.
e-mail: [email protected].

Jack
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #6
Pat I live in Picayune,MS, 130 miles , 2 hours away on I-59 north of Slidell, exit 6. I would be glad to look at your roof. I am going up the Weatherford, TX Tuesday the 17th, but be back on the 23rd. Call me at 769-242-2309 before Tuesday or after the 23rd.
e-mail: [email protected].

Jack
Jack,

It will have to wait. I've got a round the clock shutdown starting Monday. Thanks for the offer.

Pat
 

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RedHotSSR
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605 Posts
All good

All good advice .

Jack's offer to assist you is something to seriously consider. Jack is a " Master SSR Mechanic" He repaired my roof and several other problems.

Dictators recommendation is a "MUST do for ALL first time owners" And don't let his name / title scare you, he is a VERY nice guy, who gave me help on replacing my shift cable and ignition switch myself.

Welcome to a great family of R lovers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Pat,

When you have time, give me a call. There are a few simple troubleshooting steps that we can walk through that can help identify where to focus. You can reach me on my cell at 480-225-2123.

Regards,

Mike
Mike,

I left a message. I also skimmed the 75 page presentation on hydraulic cylinder removal. I looked in the storage compartment and noticed that there is no fluid in the hydraulic reservoir. The picture shows the reservoir with the plug removed. I don't see any fill lines.
 

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Premium Member
2005 Ricochet Silver
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1,000 Posts
Mike,

I left a message. I also skimmed the 75 page presentation on hydraulic cylinder removal. I looked in the storage compartment and noticed that there is no fluid in the hydraulic reservoir. The picture shows the reservoir with the plug removed. I don't see any fill lines.
Pat,

The green dot facing aft on the reservoir (you can see it in your picture) is the fill line. Do NOT overfill the reservoir!, you may be tempted to add extra fluid because, when full, the reservoir appears to be just about half-filled. This is because with the storage compartment lid open, much of the fluid remains in the cylinders and the lines. When the cylinders move the other way, the fluid returns to the reservoir. If you overfill the reservoir, too much pressure can build up with excess fluid that must go somewhere ... the excess pressure either pushes the reservoir off its mount, or the fluid finds a weak cylinder to leak from.

In any case, I recommend you ensure that the reservoir is properly mounted and the retaining clamp is properly situated and tight BEFORE you refill the reservoir to test your system. The hydraulic pump will do its best to push fluid to the cylinders, and you will likely need to run the pump and recheck/refill the fluid level a couple of times until you actually get movement from the cylinders (and the top components). Hopefully it is simply an issue of low fluid due to a poorly mounted reservoir ... that is an easy (cheap) fix.

Wish I were there to help, I've had good success troubleshooting/removing/installing a number of members' SSR hydraulic systems.

Be sure to buy and use the correct hydraulic fluid ... link below, but you can buy it off-the-shelf at Advance or O'Reilly Auto Parts stores.

Pentosin CHF-11S Hydraulic Fluid

Wishing you the best, Carl
 

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One of the SoCal Nuts
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28,460 Posts
I would suggest the oil can pictured below as the device to fill the reservoir because, as I am sure you have noticed, the fill hole is not in a convenient spot for pouring the fluid from it's container. Since I have been told it is a corrosive fluid so I would also wear gloves.
 

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ONE OWNER !!!!
2004 Smokin' Asphalt #11150
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This is a picture of the recommended fluid available at Advance Auto. Sorry carlbush I didn't see you already posted a Amazon add.
 

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Premium Member
2005 Ricochet Silver
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I would suggest the oil can pictured below as the device to fill the reservoir because, as I am sure you have noticed, the fill hole is not in a convenient spot for pouring the fluid from it's container. Since I have been told it is a corrosive fluid so I would also wear gloves.
... or one of these ... works great! and not affected by corrosive materials.

250ml squeeze bottle
 

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Supporting SSR Hobbyist
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10,107 Posts
After talking to Pat on the phone and seeing the photo of the reservoir, I agree that this is most likely a low fluid issue. The fluid had to go somewhere........ I would carefully inspect the area where gravity would take the fluid from each of the possible areas for leaks. That much fluid does not just dissipate without a trace......

My two cents,

Mike
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #15
Pat,

The green dot facing aft on the reservoir (you can see it in your picture) is the fill line. Do NOT overfill the reservoir!, you may be tempted to add extra fluid because, when full, the reservoir appears to be just about half-filled. This is because with the storage compartment lid open, much of the fluid remains in the cylinders and the lines. When the cylinders move the other way, the fluid returns to the reservoir. If you overfill the reservoir, too much pressure can build up with excess fluid that must go somewhere ... the excess pressure either pushes the reservoir off its mount, or the fluid finds a weak cylinder to leak from.

In any case, I recommend you ensure that the reservoir is properly mounted and the retaining clamp is properly situated and tight BEFORE you refill the reservoir to test your system. The hydraulic pump will do its best to push fluid to the cylinders, and you will likely need to run the pump and recheck/refill the fluid level a couple of times until you actually get movement from the cylinders (and the top components). Hopefully it is simply an issue of low fluid due to a poorly mounted reservoir ... that is an easy (cheap) fix.

Wish I were there to help, I've had good success troubleshooting/removing/installing a number of members' SSR hydraulic systems.

Be sure to buy and use the correct hydraulic fluid ... link below, but you can buy it off-the-shelf at Advance or O'Reilly Auto Parts stores.

Pentosin CHF-11S Hydraulic Fluid

Wishing you the best, Carl
Carl,

What constitutes a poorly mounted reservoir?

Thanks,

Pat
 

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Premium Member
2005 Ricochet Silver
Joined
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1,000 Posts
Carl,

What constitutes a poorly mounted reservoir?

Thanks,

Pat
Pat, the reservoir must be fully seated (aligned) right up against the pump where the reservoir mounts. I have seen 3 instances, including on my own SSR, where the reservoir is slightly displaced from the hydraulic pump, on the lower edge, even with the hose-clamp in place. In each of the 3 instances, the hose clamp was slightly loose likely allowing the reservoir to move slightly forward on its mount. Once the reservoir is properly aligned and pushed ALL THE WAY against the hydraulic pump, and the hose clamp properly aligned and fully tightened, it will seal properly. Unfortunately, these types of hose clamps appear to be prone to slight loosening over time. The reservoir has a slight incline when in place, it does not sit LEVEL with the ground, and some may place the reservoir on the pump with an exaggerated incline instead of pressing the reservoir all the way back against the pump. When installing the reservoir onto the pump, I highly recommend using a small hand-held mirror to view the mounting area and to ensure the reservoir is completely flush against the hydraulic pump. There is a rubber ring that seats into a groove on the inside of the reservoir where the reservoir mounts onto the hydraulic pump. Ensure that ring is seated into the groove as you slide the reservoir onto the hydraulic pump. The ring helps seal the system. If the rubber ring is damaged, replace it.

Hope this explanation is clear.

Cheers, Carl
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #17
Pat, the reservoir must be fully seated (aligned) right up against the pump where the reservoir mounts. I have seen 3 instances, including on my own SSR, where the reservoir is slightly displaced from the hydraulic pump, on the lower edge, even with the hose-clamp in place. In each of the 3 instances, the hose clamp was slightly loose likely allowing the reservoir to move slightly forward on its mount. Once the reservoir is properly aligned and pushed ALL THE WAY against the hydraulic pump, and the hose clamp properly aligned and fully tightened, it will seal properly. Unfortunately, these types of hose clamps appear to be prone to slight loosening over time. The reservoir has a slight incline when in place, it does not sit LEVEL with the ground, and some may place the reservoir on the pump with an exaggerated incline instead of pressing the reservoir all the way back against the pump. When installing the reservoir onto the pump, I highly recommend using a small hand-held mirror to view the mounting area and to ensure the reservoir is completely flush against the hydraulic pump. There is a rubber ring that seats into a groove on the inside of the reservoir where the reservoir mounts onto the hydraulic pump. Ensure that ring is seated into the groove as you slide the reservoir onto the hydraulic pump. The ring helps seal the system. If the rubber ring is damaged, replace it.

Hope this explanation is clear.

Cheers, Carl
Carl,

Thanks for the detailed answer. All of y'all (you guys for the Northerners) are great!

Pat
 

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SSR Pit Crew
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12,780 Posts
Thanks Carl, here are some pictures.

I have Machined NEW pump reservoirs in stock.

Larger, stronger and more pliable.

Dicktator

1. New Dicktator Reservoir and OEM
2. Show how to install on bench
3. On over "O" ring, seated against pump.
4. Installed new reservoir.
5. What is in your OEM reservoir from seal deterioration.
 

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Premium Member
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498 Posts
My passenger side roof hydraulic cylinder was leaking so recently replaced both sides along with Simple Engineering support struts. It is easier to replace the hydraulic cylinder with the support strut removed first. One at a time!
Many thanks to Larry and Bob who installed these for me along with help from Tom and Alan.
Having black struts and clips in a black box makes it even more difficult than working on a lighter color SSR.
Everything then worked better than before.
But two days later all the fluid leaked out overnight? This turned out be from the base of pump reservoir.
Removed this and as Dick shows cleaned out black crud. Refitted correctly, tightened clamp and roof operation back to normal.
Maybe worth other owners checking the clamp tightness as a preventative measure?
Another way of checking clamp is to use smartphone camera.
See my pictures.
As a result of losing fluid, ROOF AJAR message appeared along with an annoying chime.
Read the information in Dick's how to info as this message mean many things! There was no obvious problem wrong.
Following Dick's advice I opened and closed the roof several times over a few days also checked the reservoir fluid level, took around a dozen complete cycles to make message go away.
At 70mph the chime repeats around every half mile!
Thanks to Larry, use of his garage and everyone involved, info available to solve problem.
2004 with 38000 miles.
 

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