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Installation Instructions

Some World Upholstery products can be installed by an amateur restorer. No instructions are provided for products that we feel require a professional trimmer.

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Mercedes-Benz W113 Top « Installation « Home   

Questions? Call (805) 921-0100 or (800) 222-9577, Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST. Click to e-mail us anytime!

Mercedes-Benz W113 Roadster (230SL, 250SL & 280SL)

Mercedes W113 Roadster

Mercedes-Benz W113 Convertible Top Installation Instructions
For Product #: 113-3040

To Order this product by Phone, Call (805) 921-0100 or (800) 222-9577, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST

The following information is supplied as a customer service guide only. World Upholstery & Trim recommends professional installation of all our products. No guarantees are granted with regards to the use of this guide.

Tools required:

  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Marking Pencil or Chalk
  • Metric Socket Set
  • Blunt Stuffing Tool (i.e. Rounded Putty Knife)
  • Awl
  • Contact Adhesive
  • Pulling Wire or Hooked Tool
  • Weatherseal Adhesive, Black (#9412)
  • Protective Blankets
  • Masking Tape
  • Small Paint Brushes
  • 1/8" Rivet & Rivet Gun

Additional parts not included that may be required:

  • Pair of Top Straps (#113-3056)
  • Pair of Top Cables (#113-2195)
  • Top to Windshield Weatherseal (#113-0098)
  • Top to Left Door Window Weatherseal (#113-0104)
  • Top to Right Door Window Weatherseal (#113-0105)
  • Upper A-post Weatherseal (#113-0106)
  • Top to Rear Deck Weatherseal (#113-0099)

General Preparations:

  1. Inspect contents of box against your invoice, especially color and material.
  2. Protect car with fender covers or blankets to avoid damage to finish.
  3. Tape protection over inside and outside of plastic window on new top.

Pre-Installation Preparations:

  1. If your soft top frame is in need of adjustment, now would be a good time to do this job.
  2. Add or remove shims where the frame meets the body of the car as this helps the moldings to line up perfectly with the roll up windows
  3. Before starting, decide if you are going to replace the rubber seals and order them. The front seal above the windshield will most likely be destroyed during removal. The rear seal is easily removable but check for cracks and fraying ends.

Top Removal:

  1. The first step is to remove the rubber seals and metal retainers. You will need a small phillips screwdriver for this. Label everything you take off. Keep the screws to each metal retainer together.
  2. Make notes; for example, one of the screws for the side window moldings goes under the metal retainer and must be screwed in prior to reinstalling the retainer when the time comes.
  3. Remove your old top. Loosen the nuts holding the side wires above the roll up windows. Measure and note the distance between the rearmost frame bar (the free floating one) and the forward frame bar (stable one). Remove the old inner cloth listings and drill out the pop rivets to the front bar.
  4. Protect the paint. Use the 1/2" brush and lightly dab on adhesive remover to remove the old glue. Do not allow the adhesive remover to come in contact with any painted surface.

Before you begin, please take into consideration that the installation process will take approximately 4 hours!

Top Installation:

  1. Lay your new canvas top on the opened, but unfastened, frame. Start with the center bow. Line up the inner cloth listings, using your measurement for the rear frame bar. Compare this measurement to the corresponding inner seams of the top. Pop rivet the front bar in place.
  2. Slide the side wires into the new top but leave them loose for now. The front wire fastener will be positioned right at the front hole with all of it hidden except the part where the screw goes through. Be sure to center the top from side to side.
  3. Apply glue to both surfaces with your small brush, working from the center outward. Pull the front beading forward and down so it is just at the lower edge of the front frame. Pull snuggly to the sides until the bead rounds the corner of the front. Don't be afraid to pull the top loose and re-glue if necessary until you have it right.
  4. Use an awl to punch a hole for the first chrome screw which will go through the fastener for the side wire and into the frame. Repeat the other side. The glue holds the fabric in position until the metal retainers are installed. When you're happy with the front fit, install the metal retainer along the front.
  5. Use an awl or ice pick to locate the screw holes in the frame. Don't install any rubber moldings until the very end of the job. Fasten the front frame down to the car. Do the rear bow next, using the same procedure as the front. Start in the center and work your way outward. Pull the bead down so the top will lay nicely against the car. Allow for some slight stretching back later.
  6. Install the metal retainer. Fasten the rear bow to the car. If the top is too tight, loosen the front fasteners, attach the rear first and then fasten the front. Have an assistant help pull the frame forward so it can be fastened.
  7. Next, do the sides. Roll the windows up and down from time to time to check alignment. Glue (with weatherstrip or contact adhesive) the side rubber top to top frame seals to the top now. These rubber seals are installed with the large end fitting into a pocket in the front bow.
  8. The thin flat edge of the seals lays against the top of the frame acting as a "weather strip". The flat side of the strip is glued to the top along the inside edge of the canvas. Pull the side wires snug and fasten the nut to hold the sides down tight. Disengage the rear bow from the car. Apply glue and pull the sides down tight and forward.
  9. Install the metal retainers. Fasten front and back frame bows to the car. Check window alignment. Next, glue the inner fabric listings to the frame. Protect the inside of the car with plastic sheets. Start with the front bar. Glue the flap furthest to the front of the car first, gluing it towards you, then glue the flap closer to you overlapping the other flap. This will hide the glue edge and look nice.
  10. Do the opposite for those flaps behind you so that you donít see the glue edge. Glue the flap furthest from you first, and then overlap with the flap closer to you, and, therefore, the visible flap. Trim excess canvas material and install the rubber moldings. I didnít use any glue on the rubber moldings except the front.
  11. The fabric may stretch during the first few weeks of usage. Do not be afraid to disassemble and re-glue. Lacquer thinner will remove minor glue accidents from the fabric.

Elapsed Time: Approximately 4 hours

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Over the years, different terminologies have been used for the same parts. To minimize confusion we've collected many of the different names to give customers some reference to the different Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Fiat and Jaguar trim parts that vary in terminology around the world.

Convertible top = soft top, rag top, head, hood, hooding, soft window Targa top, retractable top, vinyl top, top boot, convertibles arriba, converteerbare boven
Carpet = rug, rugs, carpet kit, carpet set, molded carpet, cut and bound carpet.
Seating = seat kit, upholstery kit, leather upholstery, sport seat, recaro seat, vinyl seat, cloth seat, sitzkissen, perforated, perforiert, embossed, sitzpolsterung, imbottitura sedile, asiento tapizado
Sealing = rubber seals, weatherstrips, weatherseals, door seals, window seals, gaskets, dichtungsrahmen
Panels = door panels, linings, trimmings, coverings, sun visor, sunvisor, sonnenblenden, headliner, himmel bespannung, encabezando
Trunk = boot


Leather = hide, side, skin, cowhide, leder, cuero, Connolly, Roser, Bridge of Weir, cuoio, split
Carpet = Abetone, Dorsett, FTV, feintuft, loop, cut pile, Wilton, perlon, tufted, automatico de alfombras, teppich, tapijt, tapis
Vinyl = Spradling, China General, Freudenberg, MB Tex, ambla, leathercloth, rexine, hardura, ICI, vinyle, naugahyde
Topping = Happich, Stafast, STF, Aresma, Sonnendeck, Sunfast, dobby, lienzo, leinwand
Seat Pad =  rubber fiber pad, foam pad, gummihaarauflage, almohadilla
Sunvisor = sonnenblend, pare soleil, domenica visiera, zonneklep