[SOLVED] R129 Soft top replacement

Discussion in 'Bodywork' started by rajinder_1, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi,

    I have been avoiding replacing my soft top for about 2-3 years now and it is in need of replacment.

    all the folding points in the glass have small cracks and i have one medium tear in the center window along the seam.

    again the folding points on the fabric is very shabby and frayed.

    I have called a few places to have it replaced and have had varied prices...

    so for complete roof supply and fit:

    A local guy softtops ( the guy that Jay used ) was the most expensive at
    £1300

    european car trimmings (200 mile round trip)
    £915

    guy in birmingham details for them from above firm (50 mile round trip)
    £980

    Now wait for it the best quote i had was a fluke found by pure chance upon meeting a friend in town who suggested them again based in coventry!
    C.A.T Development consultancy
    £550........ Yes £550 supply and fit!!!!!!

    these guys are classic car trimmers and undertake most jobs relating to this field.
    He had a R107 top which they had stripped and were getting ready to make up and fit....

    Now here is the catch.... they would like the frame removed from the car and dropped off to them so they can strip it down make a pattern and prepare a new hood with windows and make it up.

    im a bit reluctant to remove the frame as im not sure about how to do it and how to re allign it all back up.

    i would be greatful for any suggestions and if anyone knows how difficult it is to take the R129 soft top off with the frame and put it back on again...

    I am fairly competent and do not mind getting my hand dirty, but i can see this as being a bit of a pain in the backside for some reason...

    i did however relay to the guy that i wasnt too keen on removing the frame and soft top and would they do it, to which he sort of said yes....

    but the refitting is what is bothering me and the reallignment of the frame to the locking points etc...



    thanks

    Raj
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  2. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm fairly sure there are some workshop videos of how to do it floating around the internet, I've got copies of them on my computer.
     
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  3. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    I've got the same videos at home. Pretty sure they are on YouTube now ... can't search as it's a 'blocked site' here :(
     
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  4. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Its not easy to remove the frame, aligning it is critical.... Its up to you but I wouldnt do it... The reason he is £400 cheaper is because most of the labour is removing and fitting the frame. there are loads of tweeks and adjustments to make, which really can only be done at the same time as fitting the new hood.

    Then if the hood doesnt fit properly once on the car, it will not be their problem.

    Also it sounds like they are using their own material? I wouldnt risk that... All the soft top companies buy ready cut hoods from Germany to ensure the same colour/quality as original.
    If you are removing the frame then you may as well fit the hood yourself! You can buy them direct from germany for £4-500.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Jay,

    he is more than £400 cheaper, Tony wanted close to £1300 last time i checked for supply and fit.

    so its close to £750 cheaper thats alot!

    yes you are right about the material, they buy the material on roll, double duck mohair with rubber lining just like the SL has now.

    then they will cut out the pattern from the roof they remove and fit it back on.

    these guys have been working on this kind of stuff for years 20 -30 years experience im pretty sure that they must have some sort of idea of what they are doing....



    i just watced the video on you tube.... man those guys make it look well easy..... which im pretty sure its not..... for a minute i thought i may as well try this .... NOT lol

    but the video shows them doing it on the car.... i think that the lack of storage space in the guys workshop is why he wanted just the frame.... they have a old classic car in there which is stripped down....
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  6. longhoughtonlad

    longhoughtonlad Active Member

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    rajinder 1- If I was you, I'd ask C.A.T to have the names etc of recent customers who has had similar work done. I've just brought a SL 320, 1995. thank God the hood is in perfect condition. Well, that is I suspect until the first shower. Thankfully hard top and stand was included.
     
  7. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    I dont doubt the company mate, im sure the hood etc will all be fine, just saying that you are doing the trickiest and most time consuming bit and this is the reason you are saving compared to those £900 quotes...

    £1300 is excessive, not sure why he quoted so much. I paid him £625 for my R107 and he did a first class job.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    thanks bill and dolphin i found the page on you tube:

    r129 softtop replacement01 - YouTube


    Raj
     
  9. OP
    OP
    rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    iirc tony was close to £1300 now this was a while ago and i may be wrong but this was what i think he said....

    i mentioned to the guy that i didnt want to remove the frame and would they do it, he said that shouldnt be a problem....

    so if they remove it they would fit it back on ......

    now the only thing was i thought that you should be able to do the roofwith the frame on the car which is right according to the video...

    i can only assume that the reason they want the frame is due to storing the car while they cut the roof out and make a new one etc....

    i have only enquired and have not booked anything in i will re visit tony again just to clarift his pricing.

    i may buy a roof and get these guys to fit it, it shouldnt take more than a day i think .

    the guys on the video done it well quick ;);););) lol

    Raj
     
  10. OP
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    rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi mate, as i said in the above post they were doing a R107 softtop when i went to see them, i will pop in again and see it they have done it

    Raj
     
  11. Setanta

    Setanta Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Interesting posts. Personally, I would make a holiday of it and get KHM in Stuttgart to do it. If I recall, one of the founders/owners was head of the design team for the R129 softop in any event so does not get much better than that.
     
  12. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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  13. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    If you went to the car hood warehouse they will do it while you wait for about £750 all in.

    For a couple of hundred quid I wouldnt risk what you are proposing. It sounds like they havnt done one a R129 hood before or they would already have the right pattern to make up the hood in advance of you arriving.

    Or to put it another way, they have as much experience with a R129 hood as you do.
     
  14. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    I'm with Sp!ke on this ...
     
  15. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm with Setanta - will be making a trip to KHM next year for a new hood. Mine is intact and weathertight, but very much starting to show its age.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi,

    Yes i thought about this before, but once you have added the fuel the cost of the roof and fitting, its not very economical in my view...

    and for whatever reason something is not correct what do you do?

    does anyone have the pricing for khm germany? cost of supply and fit then how long it takes etc.????

    Raj
     
  17. Setanta

    Setanta Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It depends on what you look as economical. I would be staggered if the work was not absolutely perfect - they do work for the Classic Centre; have access to the correct plastic windows which I have been told by them is not possible to get alone and as they designed the thing in the first place, it should be 100%

    Fuel...seriously? Hang your head in shame. You are bring her back home! A nice few days away, seeing the sights and not to mention stretching the legs on the autobahns.

    Drop them an email to see what the current pricing is.

    Cheers
     
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  18. Mr Nicey

    Mr Nicey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Fuel...seriously? Hang your head in shame. You are bring her back home! A nice few days away, seeing the sights and not to mention stretching the legs on the autobahns.

    Drop them an email to see what the current pricing is.

    Cheers[/QUOTE]

    -----------------------

    Beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. OP
    OP
    rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    LOL....

    i will see what they say....
     
  20. OP
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    rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    i spoke to the guys based locally and they have not done a 129 hood before but said that we can remove the hood with the frame on the car.

    this was a rleif as i didnt want the frame to be taken off in any instance.

    so £550 for a new roof custom made with new rear plastic windows and are based down the road.....

    doesnt sound bad to me...

    with regards to taking the car to germany i dont see that as a option for me as im not in a position to do so .

    Raj
     

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