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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2008 ForTwo Cabrio decided to somehow jam some roof drive cable into the gap at the rear of the passenger-side removable roof rail. Note to self: pull the cabrio top fuse (#29, 30A, green) in October to insure the top doesn’t accidentally operate in the middle of winter. I’m thinking it must have munched the drive cable pretty good, I'll probably need to install a new soft top sliding roof cable kit.

BTW: Over the years, when the roof had misaligned, I’ve removed the rear spoiler & other screws to get access to the drive motor, removed the drive gear (so the cables move freely) & simply repositioned the roof evenly, reinstalled the drive gear, then buttoned everything back up. Don’t know if this is the best way, but it has worked for me. Don’t expect it to work this time.

I’m not afraid to tackle replacing the sliding roof cables, a procedure would be nice.

Looks like the roof cable kit might be part# A4517800089, a.k.a. Drive Cable Assembly.

Anyone here replaced their sliding roof cables? Surely someone has by now…

Can anyone point me to a detailed procedure for doing it? Or a video? Or share your experience?

Can anyone confirm the step-by-step procedure is in a service manual I can buy?

Relocate my post if not in best forum - Thanks in advance, Den
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bob & Jo e Lefors: Thanks for the suggestions. That video would be helpful to someone with a normally operating top, where the drive cables can fully retract into the folding rear portion of the top. Unfortunately, my drive cable on the passenger-side is somehow jammed twisted into the gap & hung-up there. Operating the switch to retract the top just causes the gear to slip rather than engage that cable. I need to either free or sever (a last resort) the cable in the gap. I've tried poking around the gap with an awl, maybe not the right tool, haven't moved the cable yet. Not much room there. It is 10 degrees outside (heading to 30) & still dang cold inside my garage.

I did find a very interesting YouTube video titled: 2008 Smart Fortwo convertible- how to replace broken front slider latch

It shows a cabrio that someone purchased & was able to get the roof system fully working again, but he inherited a working motor & drive cable system that had a broken passenger-side latch. As inherited, the roof latch was inoperative, so previous owner had used a pull tie to keep the latch locked closed.

Worst-case, I think I can sever the cable (but hope not to), then manually move the passenger-side top fully forward so the locking latch engages, then put a heavy-duty pull-tie there to insure the locking hook stays latched until Spring, when its warm enough to finish the job properly. Then pull the fuse to insure to top remains forward.

Near-term, I'll work on freeing the cable from the gap. If I can do that, then disengage the motor-drive gear, I can manually move both sides fully forward to engage the latches. I'd really like to use the car the rest of the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hello the big e: Are you saying you can look up & share the procedure to replace the drive cables?

If so, that would be fantastic !

I pm'd you to share my email address.
 

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I I’ll check and see if it has it and email them to you.
I see your pm has came through so soon as I can check I’ll email them to you.
I would post them on here but I’m not sure the admins would like it(did it on a different forum and nearly got banned for it)
 

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^ that’s true.
I figured when I got mine that most of the stuff would cost as much as I paid for it(not that I mind as I didn’t buy it for resale)
I priced the parts for the entire top at my local Mercedes dealer and it was around 4 grand with tax.
I’ve got the print out that the parts guy gave me.
 

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I have tried but no luck.
I do know of a place that may be able to get ahold of one but I would be concerned about if the fabric has shrunk or not(keep in mind most cars at a pull a parts place generally will be sitting in the sun which isn’t good)
 

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Btw the whole assembly can be removed from the car without having to work it electronically(remove the rear part that mounts to the car chassis and the whole thing should slide free providing its not latched shut)
 

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I just had the same problem last night (drivers side and my cable squirted out the top between the back and the rail) leaving for moab tomorrow, so this is super inconvenient..
i did manage to get the rails out and get the top down..i'm waiting for mercedes to open so i can see if they might accidentally have a cable kit..
heres how i got it to come down..
i pulled the back of the top off and popped the cables out of the gear box, then i put a screwdriver between the little cup and pin where the top latches in the back (just to get a bit of room)
i used a pair of big needlenose pliers and a grinder to cut the cable (actually had to cut it in 2 places where it was straight)
i was able to get ahold of the end of the bad cable at the gear box with pliers and pulled it out. then for the other end, i kept fiddling with it and managed it get it go go back through the crack by prying the back of the top and pushing on the front of the top so it pulled the end of the cable back into the track (through the crack between top rear and rail)
since the cables are disconnected at the motor, the other side slides freely.
after getting the cable back into the grove, i was able to manually push the front part of the top back into its cassette thing (back of top where it folds up) pushed it back enough for the latches to open when they passed over, then i was able to push the button and lower the back part of the top.
from here, you can follow the same procedure you would follow for replacing sliders and remove the top..
(only instead of letting the motor push it out, just pull it manually by hand once the top is out a bit it will release from the cables (do both sides) then pull the whole top out and sit it aside.. now you can pull your ruined cable out (and the other one if you're changing both) put the new ones in by just pushing them in..when its just a bit sticking out, slide your top back in, put the pins in the holes and push the top into the cassette. now you can set your cable alignment and put the gearbox back together..
you should be able to take it from here.. good luck, wish me luck on having a set of cables in stock.. :D
Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
After I was able to cut the "looped" passenger-side drive cable, I removed the rearward portion of that cable from the guide-tube by pulling it out at the gearbox. I had to cut the drive cable a 2nd time to sever the permanently bent loop, so the straight cable could re-enter the track in the rail. Then I manually positioned the roof equidistant about an inch from the windshield, positioned the remaining drive cable into the gear box, then powered the driver-side roof forward to latch. On the passenger-side, I manually moved the roof forward to seat, moving the latch-hook forward enough to lock it in place with a couple pull-ties, good enough to last until Spring, with better weather to replace the drive cables.
 

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As long as rain doesn’t get in your good.
At least you didn’t have to do like I did with tape till I can get a replacement top and cable.
It may not look the best but at least I don’t get rain in the car.
 
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