Thank you everyone. (My email was sending these responses for some reason.) I usually keep the red ring in the trunk permanently 'out and turned' so that the roof can be opened and closed manually. For some reason it's getting harder and harder. But if having LESS fluid would make it more difficult than it must be something else. I'll check on a stuck bypass valve or having someone manually pull the red ring even more while I try the roof. If none of this works maybe the aluminum C channel is the way to go.
I'll update when I check everything, thanks!