Front Latch Quick Fix

Save time removing & reinstalling your front latch cylinder with the Cabriolet Hydraulics Front Latch Quick Fix!

The vario-roof front latch cylinder repair can be a time consuming job. This cylinder is located under the front edge of the roof on the Mercedes-Benz R230, R170, and R171 chassis and on the Ferrari 360 and 430 Spider. On this style of cylinders, the factory-installed hoses are permanently crimped to the cylinder. The hoses detach at the pump, which is located in the back of the vehicle. With our unique patented offering, the front latch cylinder can easily be removed from the car by cutting the hoses near the cylinder.  The front latch quick fix cylinder replacement method significantly reduces the labor that is typically required to remove and reinstall the front latch cylinder.

Our Front Latch Quick Fix cylinders are rebuilt and shipped back to you with the Hose Couplers* already attached to the hoses on the cylinder side, allowing for quick installation. Hoses are permanently reconnected via the Hose Couplers* with basic hand tools including a 10mm box wrench, vise grips, and pliers, which ensures a connection as strong as the original factory fittings. Hose repair couplers are NOT reusable.

Improperly routed hoses can interfere with the top mechanism and become punctured or pinched causing cylinder actuation problems. Using Cabriolet Hydraulics Hose Couplers* eliminates the need to remove and reinstall convertible top hydraulic lines all the way back to the pump, keeping the original hose routing intact and eliminating routing mistakes.

*Hose Coupler US Patent 9,482,375

Important aftermarket cylinder information

If you intend to use Cabriolet Hydraulics hose repair couplers to reconnect the front latch cylinder, do not cut the hoses until you confirm that the hose diameter is 4.5mm (.177”).

These hydraulic cylinders have shown up on the market recently; they are not Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). These aftermarket cylinders can be identified by the characteristics shown in the image on the right. Due to their larger hose diameter, our hose couplers will not fit these non-OEM cylinders.

Coupler Installation Method Examples

2000-2005 Ferrari 360 & 2006-2010 Ferrari 430 - P/N 66454700

Hose Couplers* on a 2004 Ferrari 360
Click photo to enlarge

2003-2012 SL (R230 chassis) - P/N 2308000872

Hose Couplers* on a 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL 600
Click photo to enlarge

1998-2004 SLK (R170 chassis) - P/N 1708000072

Hose Couplers* on a 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLK 320
Click photo to enlarge

2004-2011 SLK (R171 chassis) - P/N 1718000072

Hose Couplers* on a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55
Click photo to enlarge

The Cabriolet Hydraulics Front Latch Cylinder Rebuild includes the following:

Cylinder Diagram

Rod Seal Replacement: The original leaking rod seal is replaced with a high performance custom rod seal made from a hard-wearing elastomer that significantly increases its service life.

Piston Seal Replacement: Lazy or incomplete locking and unlocking symptoms are often caused by piston seal failure known as piston blow-by. We replace the original 2-piece piston seal with our improved version ensuring optimum piston seal performance.

Hose Swivel Seal Replacement: After many years of experience rebuilding these cylinders, we upgraded our service to include swivel seal replacement as part of the standard rebuild. If they are not leaking already, the original swivel seals will eventually leak. The top of the roof is exposed to the sun for long periods of time at elevated temperatures. Heat degrades the rubber seals in the crimped steel elbow connections causing the seals to leak. We replace the hose swivel seals with long lasting heat-resistant seals. We believe that the rebuild is not complete without replacing these seals.

Removable Hose Retainers: This added feature is a result of replacing the swivel seals. The hose connections must be removed from the cylinder by first machining away the crimps around the hose connection ports in order to remove and replace the swivel seals. We reattach the swivel hose connectors with screw-on retainers. In the unlikely event that future service of the cylinder is necessary, simply disconnect the hoses from the cylinder and remove the cylinder. The hoses remain attached to the car.

Two Hose Couplers: Our patented Hose Couplers* will come attached to the hoses on your cylinder for quick installation. The hoses are permanently reconnected on the car with basic hand tools. Hoses are crimped internally and externally the same way as they are with the factory connectors. Hose repair couplers are NOT reusable. Most hydraulic systems operate at a peak pressure of 200 bar or 2900 psi. Cabriolet Hydraulics Hose Couplers are pressure tested to 10,000 psi without failure.

Important Note:
Visit our Hydraulic Hose Repair Couplers page to view the installation requirements and instructions.

*Hose Coupler US Patent 9,482,375