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  #1  
Old 05-06-2000, 11:47 PM
spinedoc's Avatar
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Location: North Grafton, MA USA
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I am having some trouble with my sunroof that is kind of wierd. When I open it it opens all the way smoothly, but when I go to close it, it will close about 1/3 of the way, then hitch and make a grinding noise, then go to about 2/3 and stick there. If I press the button forward it wont move, but if I tilt the button up (as if I am tilting the rear half up) then it will finish closing, although very slowly and stubbornly.

Prior to this the sunroof worked perfectly. One other thing, the right rear corner sags down a bit, it didnt do this before.

My guess is either 1) There are 2 hydraulic units on either side of sunroof and the one on the right is gone, or 2) That right side is somehow off track. When it does move it moves very smoothly, especially when opening.

Also it will not tilt up in the closed position at all unless I give it a push. Previously it tilted up no problem.

I have been told that getting to the sunroof for repairs is very difficult. Whats your opinion? Is this something I may be able to fix myself? If not how much should I expect to pay just to get a diagnosis and estimate from a dealership?

Thanx much for your help.

BTW it is a 1987 300E

[This message has been edited by spinedoc (edited 05-06-2000).]
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2000, 12:07 AM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Not sure, but it sounds like drive cable/gear combo are not meshing properly. If I remember what I saw in my repair manual, the drive mechanism is in the trunk and the cable feeds to the right side of the panel. It looked like a long worm gear with a follower on the panel edge. I don't want to say too much b/c I am not really sure about how the mechanism works when in motion. I have also heard that sun roof repairs are a PITA to do. Maybe Donnie or Steve have some useful info for you. If a corner droops, then that's where I'd start looking. Maybe the right rear edge of the panel is out of the track. Good luck with this one..

------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2000, 01:00 AM
metricman
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It sounds like the lifting bridge may be broken or very dirty.
Since it has just recently begun to act up, it may just be a case of excessive grit or debris. A good cleaning and lubrication may do the trick, be I seriously recommend only using the Mercedes-Benz sliding paste for the lubrication. It can be tricky to take apart, but it is not rocket science. Lots of patience is required to do the job.

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  #4  
Old 05-07-2000, 01:16 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: LEMONT-CHICAGO
Posts: 412
THE 124 SUNROOF MECHANISMIS SIMILAR TO THE ONE ONE MY 201 CHASSIS. IN FACT,I USED A 124 SHOP MANUAL TO GRT HELPON HOW TO FIX MINE. MINE WAS DOING THE SAME THINE WOULD OPEN AND WOULDN'T CLOSE ALL THE WAY.
I POOPED THE SUN ROOF INTERIOR PANEL ( IT COMES OFF LIKE A DOOR PANEL) AND IT EXPOSES THE SUN ROOF SLIDING MECHANISM, A SINGLE CABLE HELD IN PLACE BY TWO SCREWS. MY SCREWS FELL OUT. I PUT IN TWO NEW WITH LOCTITE AND ITS BEEN SUN IN THE SUN. WORKS PERFECTLY.
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2000, 02:58 PM
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OK, I took off the headliner (very easy BTW) and I found the problem.

It seems that the cable has come out of its channel and is warped and slack. So when I open the sunroof the slack is taken out and it opens no problem. When I close the sun roof as the cable pushes out against the sunroof as it twists out of its channel. The grind I hear about midway is the sound of the cable grinding against the sunroof, once it overcomes this resistance it continues to open almost the rest of the way. It won't open all the way though bc there is too much slack due to the cable coming out of the channel.

So now my question is, assuming I need a new cable, can I do this myself? Does the sunroof need to come out for this? If done by a shop how much should I expect to pay?

I have tried putting the cable back into the channel, but upon closing it pops out again. Maybe if I could restrict it somehow from popping out of the channel, hmm... Or could I adjust the tension of the cable at the motor end?

Any help would be appreciated, thanx.

------------------
1987 300E
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2000, 05:11 PM
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By what you describe, the drive cable housing is worn out and the cable pops out when under a compression load. This will probably require a new head end housing. I am not sure if the drive cable is replacable as a separate item. What I have seen is pictures of the whole assembly, not components. The guide channels for the roof panel probably are dirty as well. If you've got the headliner off, then you're halfway home. Check on what's available for parts. Maybe someone else has more experience with these components. On my 87 300E, roof panel was noisy when operating. Removed headliner and cleaned/lubed the tracks. Problem solved. Good luck...

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Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2000, 08:02 PM
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OK so can I replace this cable assembly by myself? If not how much will a dealer charge me to do it?

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1987 300E
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2000, 08:50 PM
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If you've got the headliner off, that's the hard part. You've got to be sure that there aren't problems with the roof panel and the tracks, and panel hardware. In other words, what caused the drive assy to break down. Steve or Donnie will have to guesstimate dealer cost parts, etc., for you. I have no idea on that. If you are savvy enough to get the headliner off w/o problems, then you can probably replace the motor-cable assy.

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Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2000, 10:29 PM
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If you have to replace the cable, that is easy. If you have to replace the outer covering that holds the cable (the little pipe), that is hard. You have to take out the whole interior I think. (rear section)

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Benzmac:
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2000, 10:36 PM
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How do I know if I replace the cable vs. the outer assembly? As far as I can tell the outer sleeve is in good condition, its the cable that is messed up.

Also, it would really help if I could get a ballpark on how much the cable runs, and what it might run if installed by a dealer or shop.

Thanx
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2000, 09:09 PM
Radioman
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Hey Metricman,
You mentioned a lifting bridge farther up this thread. My sunroof will open fine, but when I go to close it the drivers side misses this little black plastic piece (lip on this piece appears to be broken off) that raises the panel into the closed position. Is this black plastic piece called a lifting bridge???

Tom Johnson
Dallas Texas
'85 Euro 280se
W126 / M110 / 5spd
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2000, 05:09 PM
Thomas Vilhelmsen
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Hei Spinedoc.
About the outer pipe (Cable guide)you can't know. You have to test. The pipe have to very sharp turns one at the top middle rear window and one at the topl
left side of the window. The turns get worn out and there will then be a hole in the pipe and the cabe will get stuck in the hole. The only way to test this to put in a new cable and see if it works.

If you have to change the cable guide.

1. remove rear window
2. remove head lining in the rear and along the sides.
3. You are now able to change the guide.

It is very difficult to put ithe guide in under the chassis and down to the trunk. Be careful not to bend it too much.

Make sure to seal the rear window well during assembly.


Regards Thomas
(from a country were it rains a lot)

P.S this procedure goes for W124 and W201


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  #13  
Old 05-14-2000, 12:06 PM
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Thomas, thank you for the reply. I am assuming the outer pipe is fine, since the damage to the cable is in the front almost where it attaches to the sunroof.

Can you tell me briefly how to install the cable. I am confident I can install it myself if it's not too hard. This is one of those things not included on my Haynes manual.

Spring is blooming here and I am very very depressed without my sunroof, so it's a priority right now.

BTW if anyone can answer my previous question, if I get the dealership to replace the cable how much should it cost. And how much does the cable run to purchase separately?

Thanx
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2000, 02:53 PM
Thomas Vilhelmsen
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I have bought a cable for 20$.

Because of the two sharp turns you have to use your muscles - so be prepared.

The cable has to be very well lubricated whith silicone based grease else it will be slow or malfunction.

Put it in the guide from the roof when you feel resistance you have come to the first turn, just keep forcing it in. Continue with that until you can't do it anymore. You should now hav hit the sunroof motor.

There are two kinds of cable.
Old model: is a steelwire with a spring shaped wire around it. This is hard to put in.

new model: is a steel wire with a lot of nylon bushings on. This is really hard to put in.

I hav heard some people attaching a drilling machine (eletronic speed control) to the end of the wire in order to right hand turn the wire upon putting in, but that i have not tryed.


good luck.

'85 190E (sunroof change)
'87 300E (sunroof change)


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  #15  
Old 05-15-2000, 11:05 PM
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Excellent, it seems that all that is involved is basically feeding the cable in from the roof to the motor.

The only problem afterwards is adjusting the tension. Am I best off to let the dealer adjust the tension? I know the method, but dont know how to tighten or loosen as the directional words on the tension knob are in german. I only ask because I have heard that you can ruin the cable if you dont adjust the tension correctly.

Thanx again, BTW the dealership wants $55 for the cable, and estimates 2 1/2 -3 hours (at $75 per hour) to replace cable, and thats if the guides are intact.

Thanx (sure wish someone had gotten back to me with cable cost so I could have ordered it from this site).
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