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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My convertible top developed a leak in the drivers side hydraulic ram that physically moves the top. Thanks to a post by @zenish I found the joys of Pick Your Part and found a convertible about an hours drive from me. Having no idea if any parts were left I was pleased to find a number of the rams were still in the junked car, including the much needed replacement. Returning home I used some of what I learnt removing the parts to replace the leaking unit.

First I removed the trim covering the hydraulic pump so I had easy access and used a paperclip to short the pins in the sensor for the trunk cover. I topped off the hydraulic fluid with Pentosin CHF 11S (Available at AutoZone). I still had enough functionality to get the trunk to reverse cam to give me easier access to the rear of the rams that move the top. If you have limited functionality you may need to remove the hex grub screw that holds the rear hinge pin in place. With the assistance of 2 helpers, one to press the button and two of us to support and move the top I lowered the top so I could easily remove the drivers side rear trim that covers the drivers seat belt to the runner split that allows the top hinge to move. This gives you access to the front of the ram. At this point I returned the top to the closed position whilst leaving the reverse cam trunk open. Removing the rear hinge pin is now quite easy. There is s spring clip that secures the hinge pin at the front of the ram, it is a bit fiddly but I managed to get it off. Reaching from the rear of the roof along the side of the ram I was able to reach in and remove the front hinge pin. The hydraulic ram can now be removed into the trunk being careful of the hydraulic lines. The lines have a zip tie that needs to be removed and sliding retention clips than needs to be slid clear to remove the lines. Mine pulled out easily once the clips were fully clear.

Replacing the salvaged ram was a reverse of the above. I added a little white lithium grease to the pins and re-zip tied the hydraulic line. Loosened the relief valve on the hydraulic pump (no idea if this was needed but felt it might help if I had to extend or retract the ram to make it fit - was not a problem in the end). Once the hydraulic ram, pins, spring clip and grub screws were all in place I started to manoeuvre the top. It only wanted to go in the closed direction at first and took several attempts to pump fluid before anything happened (I also forgot to close the relief valve for the first few attempts, so don't forget this). After that everything returned to normal. Just had to top of the fluid again to cover for the original leak and fill the salvaged ram.

Hope none of you need to do this, but if you do I hope it helps. It sure is nice to have the top down again and know it will go back up!
 

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Pentosin 11S...we use that in the shop for the older Jaguar tops.
Thanks for posting this.
Hydraulic problems seem few and far between in these cars, but I am glad you did the walk through and photos in case anyone needs to do this In the future.
I love my top, and use it nearly everyday.


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Pentosin 11S...we use that in the shop for the older Jaguar tops.
Thanks for posting this.
Hydraulic problems seem few and far between in these cars, but I am glad you did the walk through and photos in case anyone needs to do this In the future.
I love my top, and use it nearly everyday.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


And so of courses few days after I post this, deck lid latches release at front, roof latches release, and......whiirrrrrrr......deck lid doesn't reverse open.
Damn.
I did get a few open and closes after that, but now more no more deck lids opening.
No obvious leaks, fluid level good.
I am going to see if I can hunt a Tech 2 to check DTCs.
I am guessing either that deck lid reverse ram is bad, or I don't know. Kinda bummed.


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Discussion Starter #4
When the drivers side roof hydraulic ram failed it was a rapid and clear leak. Green fluid dripping rapidly from the ram onto the plastic side of the trunk. The pump still made the correct noises and I was able to get the reverse clam to activate after several attempts. The roof would not move but the trunk was weak but functional. Whilst the drivers side was busy failing I guess additional load was placed on the passenger side and this failed in a spectacular display of car arterial spatter that would have made Dexter proud. With the passenger side failed all I got was the whirring sound. No descending tone on the pump as it built pressure. Fortunately I could still open the trunk the normal way with the release. With the drivers side failure there was a visible drop in the fluid level on each action as it was clearly flowing out of the hydraulic ram. When the passenger side failed there was no fluid loss with the whirring. My thinking was that the leak was so significant that the pump could not build pressure. Not sure if that makes sense or helps in any way. My commiserations and hope you get it sorted.
 

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And so of courses few days after I post this, deck lid latches release at front, roof latches release, and......whiirrrrrrr......deck lid doesn't reverse open.
Damn.
I did get a few open and closes after that, but now more no more deck lids opening.
No obvious leaks, fluid level good.
I am going to see if I can hunt a Tech 2 to check DTCs.
I am guessing either that deck lid reverse ram is bad, or I don't know. Kinda bummed.


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Mine is doing the same thing. Let us know what you find out.

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i would have loved to buy that car for parts but pull a part said no.im glad you were able to find the parts you needed.
 

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I am going to post this properly this weekend when I repair properly.
I borrowed a scanner, found error with lf deck latch.
Examined latch, no issues, examined wiring, found 3 of 4 wires to sensors/switches on poor condition.
Did a temporary repair until I get time to do it right.




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Discussion Starter #8
...So having had 4 of the main hydraulic lift cylinders fail, I have sent two off to Top Hydraulics for new seals etc. Hopefully installing two repaired units at the same time will give me a better chance of longer term success. Once I get them back I'll let you know...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The repaired cylinders have been home for a while, waiting for a weekend to fit them. Top Hydraulics turned them round the day after they received them. Visible signs of the repair include a green seal where the front cover meets the piston and a new rear cover that is flat rather then the "twin dimples" of the factory unit. They also came with 3 O-Rings for the hoses (2 and a spare). They are installed and are working well.
 

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Can you please tell me that part #?
My convertible top developed a leak in the drivers side hydraulic ram that physically moves the top. Thanks to a post by @zenish I found the joys of Pick Your Part and found a convertible about an hours drive from me. Having no idea if any parts were left I was pleased to find a number of the rams were still in the junked car, including the much needed replacement. Returning home I used some of what I learnt removing the parts to replace the leaking unit.

First I removed the trim covering the hydraulic pump so I had easy access and used a paperclip to short the pins in the sensor for the trunk cover. I topped off the hydraulic fluid with Pentosin CHF 11S (Available at AutoZone). I still had enough functionality to get the trunk to reverse cam to give me easier access to the rear of the rams that move the top. If you have limited functionality you may need to remove the hex grub screw that holds the rear hinge pin in place. With the assistance of 2 helpers, one to press the button and two of us to support and move the top I lowered the top so I could easily remove the drivers side rear trim that covers the drivers seat belt to the runner split that allows the top hinge to move. This gives you access to the front of the ram. At this point I returned the top to the closed position whilst leaving the reverse cam trunk open. Removing the rear hinge pin is now quite easy. There is s spring clip that secures the hinge pin at the front of the ram, it is a bit fiddly but I managed to get it off. Reaching from the rear of the roof along the side of the ram I was able to reach in and remove the front hinge pin. The hydraulic ram can now be removed into the trunk being careful of the hydraulic lines. The lines have a zip tie that needs to be removed and sliding retention clips than needs to be slid clear to remove the lines. Mine pulled out easily once the clips were fully clear.

Replacing the salvaged ram was a reverse of the above. I added a little white lithium grease to the pins and re-zip tied the hydraulic line. Loosened the relief valve on the hydraulic pump (no idea if this was needed but felt it might help if I had to extend or retract the ram to make it fit - was not a problem in the end). Once the hydraulic ram, pins, spring clip and grub screws were all in place I started to manoeuvre the top. It only wanted to go in the closed direction at first and took several attempts to pump fluid before anything happened (I also forgot to close the relief valve for the first few attempts, so don't forget this). After that everything returned to normal. Just had to top of the fluid again to cover for the original leak and fill the salvaged ram.

Hope none of you need to do this, but if you do I hope it helps. It sure is nice to have the top down again and know it will go back up!
 

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Boomer, really good write-up and pictures. Looks like my passenger main is leaking. Is it even possible to remove the cylinder without putting the top in the service position? I have small hands, but, doesn't look like I can get to the front pin, clip or set screw otherwise. Do you know if I manually put the top in the service position, then remove the cylinders, can I then get the top back to the closed and locked position so I can drive the car while waiting for Top Hydraulics to rebuild? Will the trunk open/close with the remote or door switch...maybe if I pull fuse #12 (conv top)? Just trying to figure out the easiest and quickest method to replace the 2 main cylinders. Thanx again for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did not put mine in the service position (half way open with the strap that holds it in that position) as I did not have the strap at the time. At the time my top would still reverse open the trunk and I could move the top if I gave it some assistance. It is far easier if you can move the top enough to remove the two plastic covers that run from the front seat belt exit points to the slits where the hinge of the convertible top goes. As far as I know you can only get the covers off if you can move the top. They were fairly easy to pull up on mine. I dropped them into the car as the seat belt bets were still attached. Part of the problem leaving the plastic covers in place is a plastic safety piece that prevents the front hinge pin from falling out. With the covers off I did make one attempt from the rear and I recall a lot of swearing and skin loss was involved for me. I did get it done, but that was with the covers I mentioned removed.

By far the easiest way was to remove the front hinge pin when the top was in the trunk. The ram is extended forwards and out of the way of other metal work. I guess it would also be true of the service position, but I did not try that.

Recently some have had success with ebay replacement parts, I sent mine off to Top Hydraulics for repair. I would suggest you get both done as I think I mentioned in the original thread I got a spare from a breakers yard and the other side went soon after. I believe, in retrospect, that having one weak cylinder puts more load on the other and thus they kind of fail together. Just my experience - you may be more lucky :)

Hope it helps and you manage to get it fixed.
 

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I did not put mine in the service position (half way open with the strap that holds it in that position) as I did not have the strap at the time. At the time my top would still reverse open the trunk and I could move the top if I gave it some assistance. It is far easier if you can move the top enough to remove the two plastic covers that run from the front seat belt exit points to the slits where the hinge of the convertible top goes. As far as I know you can only get the covers off if you can move the top. They were fairly easy to pull up on mine. I dropped them into the car as the seat belt bets were still attached. Part of the problem leaving the plastic covers in place is a plastic safety piece that prevents the front hinge pin from falling out. With the covers off I did make one attempt from the rear and I recall a lot of swearing and skin loss was involved for me. I did get it done, but that was with the covers I mentioned removed.

By far the easiest way was to remove the front hinge pin when the top was in the trunk. The ram is extended forwards and out of the way of other metal work. I guess it would also be true of the service position, but I did not try that.

Recently some have had success with ebay replacement parts, I sent mine off to Top Hydraulics for repair. I would suggest you get both done as I think I mentioned in the original thread I got a spare from a breakers yard and the other side went soon after. I believe, in retrospect, that having one weak cylinder puts more load on the other and thus they kind of fail together. Just my experience - you may be more lucky :)

Hope it helps and you manage to get it fixed.
Thanx for the add'l info and insights. Since I don't want to "go at it" more than once (it's my wife's DD), will likely buy (2) used off of ebay and remove/replace all in one session as opposed to removing, sending to Top Hydraulics, waiting several days, replacing. This way if the ebay ones fail as well, I'll have the original OEM I can then send to Top Hydraulics if need be. Don't have the service position strap kit, just going to try using rope.(y)
 

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Don't have the service position strap kit, just going to try using rope.(y)
There are a couple of the strap kits on eBay now. Here are links:


There's nothing magical about the straps and they could be fabricated from some suitable webbing. You might have seen the thread on these from last year. In any case, be very careful. - Mark
 

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I'm posting this here because all the convertible top wizards seem to be on this thread. I'm sure the admin will move it if needed. Here's my problem:

I'm pretty sure my hydraulic reservoir is empty. My right side top hydraulic ram is leaking. The roof is fully down and stowed in the trunk. The trunk lid is "latched." The top won't go up... the trunk lid un-latches but doesn't move. I was able to get the trunk to latch again so I can open the trunk like a "regular" trunk lid. With the trunk open, I can see the little access door that has been mentioned, but I'm not sure I can even get that door open,

My question is this: Is it possible to add fluid to the reservoir with the trunk open, but the roof fully stowed in there. If I can get fluid in the reservoir, I can take it from there to replace the hydraulic ram.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Inconveniently the convertible pump fill port is not directly behind the access door you mention. That seems to give you access to the pressure release valve (a hex head screw). In the past I had been able to fill the reservoir with the roof down, but it was a bit of a challenge and once again some skin was lost in the attempt. Basically you need to flex the top of the plastic trim out of the way enough to get a socket and small flashlight in to see and remove the fill plug (brass colored and sitting on top of the plastic bottle). I was then able to feed the tubing for one of those hand pumps you can pick up in Walmart into the top of the reservoir and pump in the Pentosin CHF 11S. If you have a long transmission fluid funnel that may also be worth a try. The fill plug does not need to be replaced to operate the top. Mine dropped inside and I fished it out later once I removed the plastic side panel.

Hope this helps and you get it fixed.
 

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Inconveniently the convertible pump fill port is not directly behind the access door you mention. That seems to give you access to the pressure release valve (a hex head screw). In the past I had been able to fill the reservoir with the roof down, but it was a bit of a challenge and once again some skin was lost in the attempt. Basically you need to flex the top of the plastic trim out of the way enough to get a socket and small flashlight in to see and remove the fill plug (brass colored and sitting on top of the plastic bottle). I was then able to feed the tubing for one of those hand pumps you can pick up in Walmart into the top of the reservoir and pump in the Pentosin CHF 11S. If you have a long transmission fluid funnel that may also be worth a try. The fill plug does not need to be replaced to operate the top. Mine dropped inside and I fished it out later once I removed the plastic side panel.

Hope this helps and you get it fixed.
Thanks Boomer... I figured you would have some good info. I'll give it a try. I'll try to post some pics as I go along.
 

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I just received (2) rams from eBay on Friday and am planning on replacing today. My top is closed, I have already removed the passenger side trunk trim panel where the pump is mounted. Will jumper the cargo cover proximity switch connector and fill the pump reservoir in the hope that the rams have enough pressure to open the top and trunk without having to manually open to gain access to the front "S" clip and pin of the ram. Will try to take some pictures along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good luck with the swap. If you can get the pump running you can also use a couple of helpers to lift and support the roof through it's range of motion if the hydraulic rams are a tad weak. Just make sure they are careful with their hands and any other extremity that could get caught in the mechanism
 

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Well... I got the pump filled. And... as boomer said, I donated some skin to the project. Unfortunately, the top hasn't moved.

I did make a video and posted it on YouTube for anyone else that needs to fill the pump with the top down. Here's the link:

After you watch the video (not too much giggling please), I would appreciate any ideas on what my next step should be. That is... next step besides the Margarita.
 
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