360 spider top question

Discussion in '360/430' started by michaelo, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. michaelo

    michaelo Formula Junior

    Mar 25, 2006
    Full Name:
    Michael O.
    The operation of the soft top on my car is getting slower every time I try to use it. Does this sound like a fluid problem or something else? It does go up and down, but it takes a lot more time. The closest dealer to me is Atlanta, so if someone can dispense any info, I would appreciate it. I might be able to avoid a 4 hour trip. Thanks
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  3. cmos

    cmos Formula Junior

    Sep 13, 2004
    Full Name:
    Johny English
    I had similar problem to the point where the top eventually didn't complete its full cycle. I checked the fluid level and it showed perhaps an inch of fluid left in the reservoir. I picked up the correct fluid at my local Mercedes dealership, filled up the reservoir to within half an inch of the lip and the top now cycles beautifully every time!
    Here's the link I followed. if I had to do it again, I believe it could be done without removing the reservoir, but even so, it was straight forward.

    Good luck!
  4. michaelo

    michaelo Formula Junior

    Mar 25, 2006
    Full Name:
    Michael O.
    Colin, thanks for the help. I will check on the fluid level.
  5. 360blue

    360blue Formula Junior

    Dec 27, 2007
    Hancock Park
    Full Name:
    Michael, I had exact same problem and Ferrari of Beverly Hills discoverd the fluid was low. They bled the system and refilled it twice but the problem persisted. In fact after the second trip I found the fluid had stained the garage floor behind the passenger seat level. As it transpired one of the pistons on the passenger side had a leaking seal. This would entail removing the soft top and installing a brand new piston. Pistons are 1K each and labour for 6 hrs adds up to a fat bill. Make sure that your pistons are not leaking and if so, do not try to operate the top at all as this my endanger your pump. I hope you are as lucky as colin. This was not the case with me. Good luck. Adil.
  6. Steve R

    Steve R F1 Rookie

    Sep 15, 2004
    MeSoNeedy, CA
    Full Name:
    TorQ Master
    Every time the top operates some of the hydraulic fluid also serves as a super-fine film of lubricant along the shaft of the "piston's" over time, all these tops will gradually run low on fluid and require topping-off the reservoir. It's normal. As for seals, some leak more then others and in some cases may require replacement (which is both costly & unfortunate). I believe regular use of the top will help ensure the seals stay moist and the shafts clean & lubricated. Infrequent use is your enemy!

    You don't have to remove the reservoir in order to re-fill it. Just get an allen-wrench back in there to open the top of the reservoir. Use the allen wrench to get it loose, then you can use your finger to twist/turn/spin the cap-screw out. Be sure to use the proper ZHM hydraulic fluid specified for the top. I used a syringe and fish-tank tubing...but the fluid will tend to drool-out if you try this while the car is level. I just parked on an area that put the passenger side of the car higher then the drivers side, that did the trick: all the fluid ran into the reservoir. Replace cap, you should be good! :D
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