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  #1  
Old 01-13-2010, 09:52 PM
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Question Need sunroof help.

87 300SDL. I have read the manual I have on CD and it's not much help.
The sunroof motor runs fwd and reverse and stops at either end but the roof does not move. I have a new cable because I am guessing the end that connects to the roof is broken because I can hear it move when I run the motor.
Now the problem: The manual says I need to have the sunroof half way open to remove the headliner. OK that makes sense but I can't move it..... The only thing I can do is push up on the back of it which will raise the back of it about an inch or two but that's it. It won't move backwards at all.
So how do I get it to open enough to get the headliner out? Is there some trick or secret gadget?

Steve

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  #2  
Old 01-14-2010, 01:23 AM
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You have a bit of a problem as you can't move the sunroof to the half open position since the cable is no longer attached to the roof. So, you have to pop the front edge of the roof liner off the sunroof outer, metal panel. It is held on by MB spring clip fasteners - little metal spikes with a head that have a widened shaft made of strips of spring steel. They squeeze together to fit in a hole, and once in the hole, spread back out so they won't come back out of the hole. I believe there are 4 or 5 them evenly spaced across the front edge of the roof panel. You have to get a blunt, wide, thin bladed knife and push it under the liner and pull/pry down to pop the clips out. The middle one is easiest. As you approach the outer edges, it gets more difficult as the liner is substantially wider than the inside hole in the roof, so the edges are trapped between the roof panel and rest of the roof liner (at the edges of the opening in the roof). Be careful, but if you deform the roof slightly is it not the end of the world.

Only pop the clips, do not try to pull the liner down, yet. Once the front edge is free the liner is free. Carefully push the liner rearward, into the space between the roof liner and the actual steel roof. Once you get it about half way or more back, you should be able to see the problem. The cable attaches to a device that locks and drops the roof at the rear, to let it open. Old, simple roofs that only had a retracting feature are much easier to work on - and my experience is limited to those. But the idea is to manually reach in there and unlock the roof, then shove it back. Once the roof is open about half way, you can pull the liner forward and then out the opening in the roof as the external hole in the roof is larger than the liner and it just comes out.

Hope this helps,

Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2010, 01:37 AM
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Smells like Diesel..
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Dog View Post
87 300SDL. I have read the manual I have on CD and it's not much help.
The sunroof motor runs fwd and reverse and stops at either end but the roof does not move. I have a new cable because I am guessing the end that connects to the roof is broken because I can hear it move when I run the motor.
Now the problem: The manual says I need to have the sunroof half way open to remove the headliner. OK that makes sense but I can't move it..... The only thing I can do is push up on the back of it which will raise the back of it about an inch or two but that's it. It won't move backwards at all.
So how do I get it to open enough to get the headliner out? Is there some trick or secret gadget?

Steve
DO NOT REMOVE YOUR HEADLINER !! REMOVE THE SUNROOF MOTOR..OPEN THE HOUSING ..........THERE IS A LARGE SOFT ORANGE GEAR INSIDE............

THIS NEEDS TO BE REPLACED BECAUSE THE TEETH OF THE LARGE GEAR ARE WORN DOWN NOW.........THE GEAR RUNS APPROX $80-$90 OR YOU CAN TRY TO FIND A NEWER ONE AT U PULL ITS....

DO NOT REMOVE THE HEADLINER !!!
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2010, 02:03 AM
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Caution is advised!!!

There is a good DIY available for this operation. I have it downloaded but don't have the link. It is entitled "How-to tips on W124 sunroof repair" and is in "BuyMBparts Mercedes Forum > Chassis and Suspension > Modern Mercedes." AFAIK, the W124 sunroof design is the same as yours. Although surgery on this sunroof can be done "at home," most forum members will advise against it.

The early slide-tilt sunroofs had some design problems that caused them to be problematic as well as difficult and expensive to service. Mercedes created some upgrade parts which, if all are installed, provide a reasonably reliable product but at a price that you will not like. Later designs such as are in the W210 and similar cars are much more reliable.

As an example, the sunroof of my '87 300D was broken like yours: you could hear the motor running and the cable flopping but that was all. As it happened, the local dealer's service manager owed me a favor. I asked if he would have his people fix my sunroof. He agreed to provide the labor for free if I would pay for the parts.

My sunroof was in really bad condition (you can't tell from the outside) and it took three separate trips to the shop for the sunroof to be finally and completely fixed. The mechanic, who had experience in this area and conferred with others in the shop as necessary, worked on the sunroof for hours and hours at no charge to me and even replaced some parts for free (after they broke again).

In the end, they replaced the plastic lift arms (broken), the inner trim panel or "liner" (was worn and sticking, has to match the headliner color, may be NLA), and the motor (clutch was not slipping properly), plus lots of little parts. If I were doing the job myself, I would have tried to get at least some of the parts from a junkyard -- 124s are fairly common and so are 126s. The dealer bought new parts from the factory, of course. Because they are getting rare, the price goes up. Oh well.

My cost for just the parts, even after my 15% MBCA discount, was almost $2000. Clearly, I should have left well enough alone and done without a sunroof. Live and learn. Your sunroof may not be as bad as mine but you need to know ahead of time what you might get into.

Jeremy
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Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2010, 03:10 AM
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Smells like Diesel..
 
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Exclamation

WARNING!

UNLESS YOU HAVE ALREADY SUCCESSFULLY DISASSEBLED AND RE ASSEMBLED MERCEDES BENZ SUNROOFS AT LEAST 3-5 TIMES .......

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME !!!

THERE ARE MB MECHANICS ALL OVER WHO CAN DO ANYTHING TO ANY MERCEDES AND THEY WILL NOT TOUCH A SUNROOF....

WHY? THEY TRIED AND COULDN'T PUT THEM BACK TOGETHER!!!

IT COSTS 80-$90..NEW AND IS ORANGE . 99 OUT OF 100 TIMES THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH EVERY SUNROOF.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED NOW 2 X. SERIOUSLY THIS IS THE FIRST THING ANYONE SHOULD DO BEFORE THEY DO ANYTHING STUPID AND TRY TO REMOVE THE HEADLINER AND ENTER PANDORAS BOX..

IMAGINE HAVING TO DO 100 RUBIX CUBES WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED...THIS IS WHAT WILL AWAIT YOU.


...
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2010, 03:22 AM
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PICTURED............."......The reason that this gear usually goes bad is due to strain on the cable caused by aged sunroof lubrication paste........."
Attached Thumbnails
Need sunroof help.-sunroofgear.jpg  
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'87 924S
'81 280SEL

Sold ->

81 300SD -
93 300E w/ 3.2
85 300D-
79 300SD
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87 190E 5 spd
87 Porsche 924S

"..I'll take a simple "C" to "G" and feel brand new about it..."

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  #7  
Old 01-14-2010, 09:15 AM
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Sunroof issue

I need some info on a similar problem: our roof will go back about half-way then stops. Tilt feature ( 91 560SEL ) works fine. I 'm thinking that the rails need a good cleaning, then a correct MB grease applied. I had thought about trying to assist the roof to full open while someone operates the control but do not want to get this thing stuck in a full open position.
Best guess ?
And i have read many horror stories about headliners in these cars. If it fails, I guess I'm one of those owners with a non-working roof
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2010, 09:42 AM
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Wow.....Didn't think it would be that hard. Thanks for the warnings and help guys.

Steve
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin85 View Post
PICTURED............."......The reason that this gear usually goes bad is due to strain on the cable caused by aged sunroof lubrication paste........."
$90 for that little thing? seriously?
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2010, 10:31 AM
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I'm waiting for a few warm, non rainy days to tackle this project myself. The previous owner acknowledged that the sunroof moves if manually cranked. I have yet to verify this myself. I would hate to find that there is a bigger issue. Once it is open though does someone have a checklist of the items that need attention/lubrication?
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:04 AM
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I have removed my sunroof several times to replace seals, install deflector springs and lube the tracks. It is not that big of a deal. But, if it will not open at all I can see where you would want to be careful. Especially if you do not have access to a garage to keep it out of the rain, snow, etc... If you could not get it back together promptly.

I would definitely NOT try to remove the headliner panel with the sunroof shut. Those spring clips are really strong and that liner ban be easily damaged and bent if you are not really careful. Even with the sunroof half open it is a bit of a trick to get the headliner panel out. I would surely follow the advice above and find a way to get it open before you start "tearing into it".

If you ever plan to remove the sunroof from the car.... I would also recommend marking the brackets with a sharpie, so you can put it back and re-torque it into the exact position it was before removal.
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2010, 01:16 PM
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Horse of a different color

Quote:
Originally Posted by snookwhaler View Post
I have removed my sunroof several times to replace seals, install deflector springs and lube the tracks. It is not that big of a deal. But, if it will not open at all I can see where you would want to be careful. Especially if you do not have access to a garage to keep it out of the rain, snow, etc... If you could not get it back together promptly. . .
The W123 non-tilting sunroof is said to be much easier to work on than the tilt/slide model introduced on the W124. It's especially easy if the sunroof will open; even I can do the stuff snookwhaler lists above. Opening a broken sunroof without causing further damage is a class-5 DIY project. As Austin85 writes, many Mercedes mechanics are leery of W124 sunroof repairs and for good reason.

Jeremy
__________________

"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:31 PM
1984 300SD
 
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I agree with Austin85. First check the gear and the friction clutch therein.
I had a gear shop copy the original fiber gear for $65.00 Can. It took them one hour to set up and cut the gear in brass.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2010, 02:14 AM
compress ignite's Avatar
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W124 S'Roof

The 'Mogs headliner post will help visualize...
W124 Headliner Replacement Photos

Dave's "website" :http://www.w124performance.com/images/

AND Specific:http://www.w124performance.com/images/W124_sunroof/
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post
The W123 non-tilting sunroof is said to be much easier to work on than the tilt/slide model introduced on the W124. It's especially easy if the sunroof will open; even I can do the stuff snookwhaler lists above. Opening a broken sunroof without causing further damage is a class-5 DIY project. As Austin85 writes, many Mercedes mechanics are leery of W124 sunroof repairs and for good reason.

Jeremy

Dag Blast It!! Thanks Jeremy.... I'm going blind in my old age.

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