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Old 09 May 2014, 03:53 pm
Wineaux Wineaux is offline
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 4
Default Re: Topping off the hydraulic fluid in the motor for the top?

So, to answer my own questions after having visited a local convertible top repair shop...

1) Yes, you can refill the hydraulic fluid in the PT Cruiser's pump reservoir.

2) At the age of my Cruiser (2005), we should all be starting to see the seals and valves in our hydraulic cylinders (Which are indeed manufactured by/for Mercedes Benz) begin to deteriorate and fail like mine did.

3) Unless you are in the mood for a good belly laugh, or your Cruiser is still under warranty, don't even bother calling your local Chrysler dealership to ask about buying new hydraulic cylinders. They won't just sell you the cylinders. You have to buy not only the entire motor/pump/cylinder/hoses assembly, but a part of the frame of the car that they're bolted too! And what will that cost you may well ask? $2,000-2,500!!!!! Yet again driving home the expensive lessons that I've learned over the years to never ever ever ever ever own another Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep vehicle.

4) That when (Not if, but when...) the seals and valves in your hydraulic cylinders go south, you'll need to find a place that rebuilds hydraulic cylinders. My local convertible top repair shop (Tops Unlimited), has been using a company out of Oregon, but their turn around time is rather long, shipping is slow, and their prices seem a bit steep. I found a company located in Bradenton, FL who will rebuild them for $150/cylinder with a 3 year warranty on the rebuild the same day they receive your bad cylinders, and then ship them back out the next day! I got them to give me a 10% discount per cylinder for turning my local shop onto their business, so don't hesitate to ask them for a "bird dog" discount.

5) Labor on the removal of the bad cylinders, re-installation of the reconditioned cylinders, plus hydraulic fluid is going to run me $384 on top of the $270 to have them reconditioned.

So be prepared folks. Your hydraulic cylinders are going to fail at some point. Mine lasted 9 years. Your mileage may vary.
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