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Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Fri 24 Mar, 2017 12:59 pm
by CraigB
I'm not sure how many of the brains trust i will pick up with this post. My 1972 350sl with blue roof is still awaiting resto behind a number of other projects, but the roof is something that I know needs to be replaced and if it is best to come from the US or elsewhere then our dollars performance can make a big difference to real cost. So I figure could be time to buy one and store it if coming from OS.

I did do a search and this is all i could find from Joe:
"I still have the original 1987 canvas on mine and it lives in harsh conditions. Trick is to always put it away dry and clean - and correctly folded.
The original fabric is very robust. are you sure it's a genuine top and not a cheap aftermarket one? telltale is the clear vinyl windows will have the factory logo adn details in the bottom corners
Sonnendeck canvas is allegedly quite good, but I do not have first hand experience with it. One thing is for sure though. To replace the top, you should replace the straps, the rubbers and the tensioner cable, as well as make sure the little nylon sleeves on the intermediate crossbar stops are not flat-spotted. also the front lockpoints have nylon sleeve inserts that disappear. worth replacing those as well, then you go another 30+ years without issues.
Lube the release mechanism as well and make sure the cables are correctly tensioned.
Avoid URO brand seals. Genuine ones aren't cheap anymore, but will last 30 years if looked after. URO will last you 2 if you are lucky."

There are lots of claims about 'genuine' materials and the word seems to be used loosely. Is Sonnendeck considered better than Haartz? Have seen suggested Haartz is a good copy of original and perhaps more durable - but sellers will make all sorts of claims. This is all triggered by Dean putting up a link to Diamond Mall as a supplier and they seem pretty cheap at around $500.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mercedes-R10 ... 1344906864
Anyway, just putting it out there hoping someone has first hand experience and hopefully some answers that will be able to be searched and found in the future.

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Fri 24 Mar, 2017 5:05 pm
by T-Modell
Craig,

as I still have my original top from 1986, I can only tell you second hand. AFAIK the KHM tops with Sonnenland are supposed to be the best: https://www.cabrio.de/khm/en/softtops-m ... cedes-benz

Here's the text about the materials: https://www.cabrio.de/khm/en/softtop-materials

Regards
Thomas

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Fri 24 Mar, 2017 6:53 pm
by CraigB
Would they charge me the 19% sales tax? The few things i have had from Germany have had pretty good freight rates. 644 euro is 910 AUD at the moment.

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 4:09 am
by T-Modell
Hi Craig,

afaik they shouldn't charge the 19% as it is an export. You however should pay it when importing (it's 10% in Oz?). Send them an email and ask ...

Regards
Thomas

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 8:18 am
by CraigB
I will. Depending on freight, at the moment if the import is less than $1k including freight then it is free of Aus duty etc. but that is going to change soon. Another reason to get on with it!

I should have another look at the old roof, (just have to remove that bloody hardtop!) which had a crack through one of the old windows and i think there were other stitching issues etc. My memory was that i figured at $100/hr or so that it wouldn't take long to cost more than a new one. But from researching Joe's comments, I will now look at the windows and see if it is an original top. Given the history of the car and condition of seats etc, I think it is possible. And of course finding a local i can trust to do a good job, local freight fees etc etc will probably see me coming back to the new one, as much as i like to support local.

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 12:10 pm
by John Green
Given the recent surge in the value and appreciating of original examples, we are all of a sudden getting more interest in the genuine part with the small symbols in the windows. Make sense to me as the more cars are restored with non genuine parts, the more the cars with genuine parts will be appreciated.

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Sat 25 Mar, 2017 4:48 pm
by T-Modell
Well,
I'm really a fan of "original", but imho a softtop doesn't last when it is used. There might be a few examples of older ladies, who got the cars as a present and didn't find out ever, that it's a cabriolet ... in this case, you have a good "original" softtop.

Regards
Thomas

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Wed 26 Apr, 2017 10:05 pm
by edenning
Like Craig I might be in need of a new soft top soon. The photo below is the symbol on my current soft top. Is this an original ?
What is the likely cost of a new original soft top I wonder?

Image

cheers Evan

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Wed 26 Apr, 2017 10:10 pm
by T-Modell
Evan,

the KHM-top is 644 Euros without shipping or installation (original material). https://www.cabrio.de/en/softtops/car-m ... ial-detail

Thomas

Re: Which soft top to buy?

Posted: Wed 06 Dec, 2017 3:56 pm
by berntd
Just as something to keep in mind when ordering from far far away:
I often goes well but sometimes not so.
I once had a really bad experience with KHM (Klaus Hermann Meier GMBH) in Germany regarding some 230SL Pagode leather seats.
I was not able to get a satisfactory resolution and he simply refused to admit anything and simply would not respond. I eventually had to have the covers modified /corrected at great expense elsewhere.
That was years ago but I will never forget that.