SL350 (R231) Manual Opening Boot Using Gas Struts

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SLJCH

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Gloucestershire
Car
SL 350 (R231)
Hi everyone,

I am hoping someone can put my mind at ease as after speaking to my local Mercedes dealership today I think they have got my boot operation confused with the electric motor one instead of a manual opening. After looking for 18 months I purchased my SL 350 (R231) 2013 model last February from a Mercedes dealership and within a week it had to go back as the ILS lights needed leveling as I was blinding everyone and a key replacing. Anyway long story short I got my car back last week and started to enjoy it and I love it.

I am confused though regarding the boot operation as on releasing the boot with either the remote key or button on the driver's door the boot opens about an inch and just sits above the lock not fully springing open. I replaced the boot struts a couple of days ago with the same OEM gas struts from Stabilus and the boot will still not lift on its own. On talking to Mercedes today it seems the OEM gas struts have the same eject force as the genuine part which they agreed should spring open the boot. Of course, further discussion lead to suggesting I take my car in for a diagnostic.

I was reluctant to do a diagnostic as they couldn't actually tell me what the operation should be. Like the dealership I have read various forums with no actual conclusion of what the manual operation should be, is it meant to spring up, or do what mine does and open just beyond the lock so has to be lifted by hand. To me, it seems pointless to put a release button on the remote key & driver's door if it means when you get to the actual boot you have to lift it up? Why not just use the release button on the boot lid if it isn't going to spring up? In the owner's manual, it makes it sound like you should be prepared for the boot to spring open.

Since fitting the new gas struts the soft close feature seems to work every time when I push the boot down by hand and then seems to vacuum the boot lid into the lock. If it wasn't for this action I would say the boot opening/closing is fully independent on the gas struts but I am wondering if there is something mechanical I am missing that is hindering the boot from springing up. When I removed the old struts the boot moved freely up and down by hand with the roof mechanism, and with the new struts fitted it pushes up by hand and holds in position. The roof operates as expected so at a loss and really hoping someone can enlighten me that this is either normal operation for my model or there is a fault of some sort that I have not detected.

Any input will be appreciated.

Cheers James
 
My only answer to you is that my boot is the same, springs open just a little. The boot on my R230 was the same too. Not sure whether that is correct or not though but it hasn't really bothered me. Curious to see the definitive answer though.
 
The much more complex roof system on the SL means - I think - that the "spring up" from the saloons don't apply

see extract from on line manual

6C3188CD-BFAE-4CDB-8B31-DD517A5BB30C.jpeg
 
The much more complex roof system on the SL means - I think - that the "spring up" from the saloons don't apply

see extract from on line manual

View attachment 125629
SL Boot Inst.jpg
Thanks for the reply, But this is why I am questioning the boot operation (marked in yellow). I also don't see the point of adding a boot button on the driver's door/remote key which would make it more practical if carrying something with no free hands and the boot pops up, as otherwise, you have to put whatever down and then lift the boot up? I appreciate it's not a 1st world problem but I am intrigued either way especially when the few Mercedes garages I have contacted seem to contradict each other without giving a definitive answer.
 
If you replace "swings" with "moves" upwards, your issue goes away.

The wording highlighted is in the safety warning section which deals with where the lid goes, not how the lid gets to where it goes .. the latter is in the "opening/closing" section

plus, it's a translation from German into English so may not be as accurate

the key and door button is an unlatch button .. not the usual open and swing up of the saloon cars.

I have keyless go so mine does swing up and you hear the motors working away
 
If you replace "swings" with "moves" upwards, your issue goes away.

The wording highlighted is in the safety warning section which deals with where the lid goes, not how the lid gets to where it goes .. the latter is in the "opening/closing" section

plus, it's a translation from German into English so may not be as accurate

the key and door button is an unlatch button .. not the usual open and swing up of the saloon cars.

I have keyless go so mine does swing up and you hear the motors working away
Yeah, I appreciate it could be a translation thing as they have used exactly the same paragraph when mentioning the motor opening boot.

I spoke to a Mercedes specialist this morning and he said he has fitted struts that were 640N eject force to the R230 where the standard strut is the same 560N as the R231 and the boots sprang up. Never done it to an R231 model but couldn't see an issue trying providing the struts opening length/fit is the same. I see some German parts importers do an OEM strut at 640N that will fit the R231 so maybe a simple solution has been created unbeknown to us in the UK.
 
Yeah, I appreciate it could be a translation thing as they have used exactly the same paragraph when mentioning the motor opening boot.

I spoke to a Mercedes specialist this morning and he said he has fitted struts that were 640N eject force to the R230 where the standard strut is the same 560N as the R231 and the boots sprang up. Never done it to an R231 model but couldn't see an issue trying providing the struts opening length/fit is the same. I see some German parts importers do an OEM strut at 640N that will fit the R231 so maybe a simple solution has been created unbeknown to us in the UK.
Mine is also keyless go and the boot lid does spring up from the key or from the door button. Mine is 2016 version
 
Mine is also keyless go and the boot lid does spring up from the key or from the door button. Mine is 2016 version
Couldn't do me a favour please and take a photo of the strut and post it on here showing the part number/model/make so I can see if it fits my 2013 model as going by fitment specs all R231 are the same sized struts except the two AMG models which are slightly longer by a few mm. Thanks in advance.
 
Couldn't do me a favour please and take a photo of the strut and post it on here showing the part number/model/make so I can see if it fits my 2013 model as going by fitment specs all R231 are the same sized struts except the two AMG models which are slightly longer by a few mm. Thanks in advance.
I'll try to that tomorrow
 
Couldn't do me a favour please and take a photo of the strut and post it on here showing the part number/model/make so I can see if it fits my 2013 model as going by fitment specs all R231 are the same sized struts except the two AMG models which are slightly longer by a few mm. Thanks in advance.
Some not very good pics - not sure they will help. The struts are awkward to photograph. I'm not sure if you yet have enough priveliges to message me. If so I could send you higher resolution versions by email.
 

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Some not very good pics - not sure they will help. The struts are awkward to photograph. I'm not sure if you yet have enough priveliges to message me. If so I could send you higher resolution versions by email.
Thanks for this even though I can't identify a part number. Just dawned on me the name sort of suggest it might lift the boot automatically, well thats my logic. The difference being yours has a mercedes logo on whereas mine are OEM stabilus brand part so it could be they are not the same? I basically replaced the struts with what was already there so that could be my error. I hate to say it but maybe I need to try the genuine part but won't be parting with money until 100 % reassured by Merc it will lift boot.
 
So the update/conclusion from Mercedes technical is that my SL350 2013 boot is not designed to "spring up" on opening. My mind can now rest :). I have to say Mercedes were so apologetic in their response, which was nice in this day & age.
 
Thanks for this and your dogged patience, I have just acquired my R230 and you have solved a problem quickly for me.
 
I'm just coming back to this tread as I needed to go into my boot on my SL400 R231 last night and it just reminded me what a pain in the **** it is.

As described earlier, release the boot and it pops open (just) then you have to lift the boot manually it doesn't spring open any further at all.

But lifting mine is a major operation it weights a ton is everyone else's like that?

Cheers
 
I'm just coming back to this tread as I needed to go into my boot on my SL400 R231 last night and it just reminded me what a pain in the **** it is.

As described earlier, release the boot and it pops open (just) then you have to lift the boot manually it doesn't spring open any further at all.

But lifting mine is a major operation it weights a ton is everyone else's like that?

Cheers
Your gas struts are knackered, it’s not expensive to replace. I bought mine on line £70ish per pair, then got my Mech. To fit them, not a big job.
Btw your description of boot opening is all normal, the boot lid is not designed to spring fully open.
 
Your gas struts are knackered, it’s not expensive to replace. I bought mine on line £70ish per pair, then got my Mech. To fit them, not a big job.
Btw your description of boot opening is all normal, the boot lid is not designed to spring fully open.
Yes, I realise it just pops open it was just the fact I have to heave the bloody thing open with great gusto and then sometimes it doesn't even stay right open enough to trigger the microswitch which allows the stowed boot to be electronically lifted with the red button in the boot.
 
Yes, they are very heavy indeed, I also have a C class, the boot on that springs open like magicians trick box!
 
Do you have a link?

I have the same issue, my bootlid is really heavy to lift - and I have the Carbon Fibre bootlid!
Yep mine has the carbon fibre look internal as well and I cant believe how heavy it is.

 

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