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  #1  
Old 03-06-2002, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: kansas
Posts: 47
Question 300D sunroof question?

Hi forum! I have a '81 300D with a power sunroof. The sunroof will not open. When I depress the switch on the console it makes a "whirring, clanking" noise up in the ceiling area...Question: how does one go about checking out the tracks, linkages etc. without destroying the headliner?...Anyone else have this problem? Is there a common fix?...I do hear noise when I push the switch, so I know, at least, it's getting power to it....

thanks!
sean hilton
silver on blue 300d
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2002, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
sean 300D,

I have only worked on a 1986 190E sunroof, one that only slides the movable panel under the steel car roof (no tilting feature) so take this information knowing it does not directly apply to your car, and may not apply at all.

To figure out what is going on you need to remove the interior fabric liner from the movable panel. On my 190E the cable is connected to a cross beam at the rear of the movable roof panel. This connection, a galvanized sheet metal clip screwed to the cross beam with two screws, rotated when one of the screws fell out and I tried to open the roof. When I closed the roof it allowed the cable to push out of the guide tube a little too far, and really mangled the clip. It also allowed the cable to become disengaged with the drive screw down at the motor end.

I got some help on this site to fix it, which ended up being to replace the clip and buy a new screw. I installed the clip and screws and the job was done. Total cost was $0.38 for the clip.

To get more details this subject is often posted, so try doing a search. If that doesn't work, ask some more questions about the specific things you find.

By the way, can you move the roof panel at all?

Good luck, Jim
__________________
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 03-06-2002, 10:12 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Sounds like the drive cable is off sunroof or the drive gears are broken.

There is a manual crank in the trunk -- there is a flexible cable from the trunk to the sunroof.

My bet is the cable is broken, but I can't tell you how to get the liner out on a W123, only a W124.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2002, 11:45 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
sean 300D,

Getting the liner off should consist of prying the front edge of the liner down to release some spring clips that hold it in place. The rest of the liner should be loose, but it is bigger (wider) than the openning in the inside of the car. You can push the liner back into the place it normally goes when the sunroof is openned and then you can fiddle with the connection from the cable. If you need to get the liner out, and you cannot open the roof, you have to force it by bowing the center down until the edges release. If you are careful you can do this so it does not damage the liner.

Put the liner back in only after you get the roof open. With the roof open you will see the liner is smaller (narrower) than the openning in the steel roof, so it goes right in. If you can open the roof, which may be possible if you disconnect the cable entirely, and then manually push the cross beam back so the roof drops into the retract position, and then you can slide it back by just pushing it.

Once again, I caution that this is data from cars other than the one you have. Good Luck, Jim
__________________
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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  #5  
Old 03-07-2002, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: kansas
Posts: 47
I'll try this wknd.

Thank you, once again for the info!...it's supposed to be pretty nice here this wknd. 65-70 deg. I'll try to mess with it then...I just want to be really careful with the headliner, as it is in perfect condition! I'll follow up with you guys on this..

thanks
sean h.
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2002, 12:55 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: kansas
Posts: 47
how do you do that?

Mine won't open or close...you can open/close them with a "crank" located in the trunk?...where?...
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2002, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: kansas
Posts: 47
I'll try that..

Thanks Carla, I'll try that on my lunch hour...Where's Burneby?

sean
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2002, 12:56 PM
Panzer
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Posts: n/a
According to the owners manual, there is an adapter, attached to the plastic liner on the Driver's side of the trunk next to the manual drive point. It looks like a hex or flat screw driver head on one end and a nut (13mm?) on the other. The hex end is inserted into manual drive. The manual says to use the spark-plug wrench (like we've seen one of them lately! ) to then turnthis adapter.

I can't confirm all of this by experience, 'cause when i bought the car the motor didn't work, had been RIPPED out (and I MEAN ripped out) and the manual mechanisim installed.

Bottom line, it'll take more than a 13mm wrench, I think.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2002, 05:02 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: kansas
Posts: 47
yeah...panzer, I know I definately do not have one of those adapter tools in mine...I'll have to look at it all a little closer this eve. There is some strange tubuler thing clipped to the plastic liner that I can't identify??? It's like 1/2" round metal tube that makes a few bends towards the seat back in the trunk...then it's clipped to the plastic liner (drivers side)??

do you have this thing?

sean
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2002, 05:31 PM
Panzer
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Posts: n/a
I think that is the drive? tube from the motor to the sunroof. I don't think that it will do any good with the way you described the problem. I agree with psfred, the cable/gears are messed up at the sunroof. The adapter and stuff in the trunk are for electric motor failure and it sounds like yours is still working.

Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2002, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: London,England
Posts: 495
Warning

Sean the tube your describing sounds like part of the vacuum tank so be CAREFUL with it ie. dont break it.Bear
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W123 '82 300D red 202,000 miles

G460 '83 280 GE LWB 69,000 miles

Mercedes-Benz Club member
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2002, 10:53 PM
D Norton
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The tire tool should be 17MM and fit the manual retraction nut
at the left driver's side trunk accessed wheel well. Some
models were also provided with a custom hand-key designed
only for this purpose. This information would be found in any MB
Owners Manual. It is printed for emergency retractions of that
sunroof. Check the plastic trunk liner plus the glovebox for a
specialty key. If one is not found dont panic. Later models seem
not have those keys. A recycler is a good source to find one.


In any event this is a Dealer repair item. Very quickly damages of $6-700. even $800. can be gathered by an incorrect invasiveness never envisioned by the factory. Now I am all for the DIYer, but this one accessory is very finely constructed thus needful of specialty tools and experience. Besides, once the headliner is
removed rarely will it be the same again. Not impossible to replace
but hard to replicate factory conditions. Also, what makes one to think that the headliner would be necessary to access a possible
broken cable? Better rethink this one. Check with the MB dealer.
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2002, 12:14 AM
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Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
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Sean300D and D Norton,

The cable is connected to the sunroof in the area hidden by the sunroof liner. The way you get the cable out is by breaking this connection and running the sunroof as far as it goes in the closing direction, then, once it disengages from the motor drive mechanism you pull it out of the guide tube with your hands. To replace the cable, you do the reverse; you feed the cable in by hand as far as it goes, then use the motor to "open" the roof and draw the cable into the guide tube.

If the cable makes a clunking or scratching noise when you try to operate the roof, it is an indication that the cable to sunroof panel connection is failing or failed. Noises from a failed drive mechanism in the trunk are not likely to sound the same as the cable and its connection to the roof mechanical equipment failing at the rear of the roof panel.

I just went through this with my son on my (now my son's) 1986 190E 2.3-16 that has a simple, non-tilting, electrically operated sunroof. On this vehicle, the connection is via a stamped, galvanized sheetmetal clip that wraps around the "head" feature on the end of the cable to capture the cable, and by two screws that go through two holes in the clip on either side of the cable that connect to the cross beam at the rear of the sliding steel panel. The failure I experienced presented itself when I tried to open the roof, I heard some noises that sounded like whipping of the cable a little, and some metallic clanking, in the roof area at the rear of the steel sliding roof panel.

When I took the liner off, it was relatively easy. It went back on, and other than a good cleaning that it got while it was out, it looks exactly like it did before it came out.

The problem I had was clearly revealed when the liner came out. One of the screws that held the clip to the mechanical operating lever (a cross beam at the back of the sliding steel roof panel) had come out. This allowed the cable, as it goes through the last bit of designed travel which lifts the rear of the panel and locks it in position, to extend a little further and twist around, as the clip rotated around the pivot point created by only having one fastener left. It also bent the clip so it would not feed back into the slot on the bottom of the cable guide tube. All this is hard to describe in words, but get the liner off and it is readily apparent.

Ultimately, the cable came out far enough to become disengaged from the motor drive mechanism in the trunk and it would no longer do much when you tried to open or close the roof. All you would get was a very audible sound of the motor running and some light clicking that came from the trunk and not the roof area.

Changing the clip cost $0.38 and took about an hour once my son and I had the new part (clip) and knew how the system was supposed to work. The cable guide tube, with the slot in the bottom was the hardest thing to figure out as the clip was so bent up the concept of it sticking out of the slot was not that apparent to me or my son.

So, the reason to take the roof liner off the sliding steel panel is to figure out if you will be spending $6-700 or even $800 to fix the problem or $0.38 for a clip and a few more pennies for a new screw if you can't find the one that fell out.

And, I later determined the best way to get the liner out is to pry the screw clips loose at the front edge, and once it is free push it back into the roof far enough to see the cross beam, cable and clip connection. Unscrew the clip and free the cable, then manually push the cross beam rearward so the roof panel drops. Then slide the steel panel rearward. Once the roof is open, you can pull the liner back forward, past the front edge of the sliding steel panel and then feed it out of the roof opening without any damage. Putting liner back is the reverse.

All this applies precisely to a simple, electrically powered sliding roof arrangement on a 190E. It may not appy exactly to a 1981 300D. However, my past experience with Mercedes is that they are very likely to reuse the same arrangement that has been proven on a previous chassis unless they add some feature that requires a change. So, I seriously doubt it all applies directly to a roof with the tilting up feature which is common on later 190E's and other newer models. I suspect it does apply to the W123 chassis cars as they did not have the pop up/tilt feature.

Good Luck, Jim
__________________
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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