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Old 03-31-2000, 07:51 AM
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I have not surprised my daughter yet with the '81 300D I bought her for her upcoming 16th. birthday.

I have never had a 123 car with nan electric sunroof. Are these durable? I expect that if one breaks it would be a nightmare putting a cable or some such. For this reason, I am considering disconnecting the switch to ensure that it remains troublefree.

Is the electric sunroof on this model reliable? If something does break is it difficult to repair?

Thanks for the ideas,

Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles

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Old 03-31-2000, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
All of the sunroofs with only forward/backward movement were very reliable. If the cable/housing becomes a problem it can be expensive. The number of cable problems with these roofs (in all models)for all our 22 years was surpased in the first 2 years of 124 body lift back roofs.

Keep the tracks clean and slightly lubed and don't force it if it refuses.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 03-31-2000, 09:02 AM
Posts: n/a
Good point. Don't get lazy and wait for it to "squeal". As long as it is lubed, it should last forever. I would not disconnect the power, that would be taking away the luxuries of the benz.

'89 420 SEL
'90 300 SEL
'84 300 SD (sold it)
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Old 03-31-2000, 09:57 AM
fz500sel's Avatar
Happy now in paradise!
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Venice, FL - "sharktooth capital of the world"
Posts: 712

Where are the lube points for it and how easy is it to access? I have 2 MB's ('84 500SEL and '85 300D) and both are equipped with sunroofs and are "new" to me. Rather than wait for them to "need" attention, I would like to keep them in tip-top working order. (an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure!)


84 500SEL EURO 87K
85 300DT 267K (not my miles tho)
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Old 03-31-2000, 10:18 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 218

Out of the 3 123's I have been through in the last 1.5 years, only the 81 had any trouble, and just when cold (how often in Dallas?). It was slow when I got it. The other 2 as well as the other 123's I have been around have worked flawlessly.
My Question is...what is the best lube for the sunroof? I tried several different things with the 81, and they all got thick and caused the roof to be REALLY slow when cool.
An early Congrats to your daughter on her new beauty!!


R Talley
84 300D-T
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Old 04-14-2000, 07:44 AM
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Well it happened. I decided to let the kid play with the sunroof. The first day she drove it to school, the kids started playing with the electric sunroof and it stuck (open of course).

She covered it and then messed with it later and managed to get it to close.

She's now afraid to open it, so I guess I don't have to worry about disconnecting the switch now.

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Old 04-14-2000, 10:23 AM
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I have an '81 300D myself, I open the
sunroof all the time when it's warm.
240K miles and NO problems with it so far,
works like a charm. I just make sure to
keep the track lubed.
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Old 09-21-2000, 04:58 PM
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What is the best thing to lube the tracks with? The sunroof on my 280E has suddenly started to go reeeeaaaaal slow and needs a helping hand to get it closed.

1977 W123 280E
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Old 10-03-2000, 03:30 PM
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There is a tool that you can get to manually operate the sunroof. It looks like a socket. I got mine from Randy Steele at He also sold me the "official" lube. You can get at the motor by removing the plastic liner on the drivers side of the trunk. The electric antenna and the sunroof motor live right there. If you have something that will fit, like the tool, you can manually close the sunroof. My guess is that they like to stick open because it's easier to pull rather than push the cable.
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Old 01-01-2001, 10:07 PM
Dr. G
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Sunroof rocker switch

In my 1984 300D Turbo the sunroof rocker switch is bad. How do I get to it to replace it? I have disconnected the motor just to keep it quiet.
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Old 01-01-2001, 11:45 PM
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Larry on the slide

As said, my W124030 an '87 W124030 is thirteen years young. Twice a year I've cleaned and lubed the slides. When it's warm you do the same. Open a little and then close, open and close until it opens and closes easily. I use a spray and white litho-grease. Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston.

Here's shining in her Beautiful EYES.
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Old 01-02-2001, 12:05 AM
Larry Delor's Avatar
What, Me Worry?
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Sarasota, Fl.
Posts: 3,114
Dr. G
Those switches up on top pop into the delicate wood panel. Carefully pry the switch out, starting at either the top or the bottom, but not the sides.
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. Robert A. Heinlein

09 Jetta TDI
1985 300D
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Old 01-02-2001, 09:49 AM
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Look in Your Tool Kit

Larry, in your Tool Kit there is a 13 mm socket, or use your own, remove the cover on the left side of the inner trunk panel(on a '87 300E) and you will see the roof motor. Using the socket you can open or close the roof. There are direction arrows where you place the socket. You should help the roof to close with hand power. Ofcourse lube the track as you close the roof. All of us have had the same problem. M/B has a special wide mouth vise-grip for holding the roof in place and aiding the closing. Possibly some other members can help. Happy Trails Beep Beep from ben there Houston.

unstuck roof
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Old 01-02-2001, 11:07 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 388
123 Electric Sunroof


I've got to ask you. How does your 16 year old like the car? I've got a 17 year old daughter that I'd LOVE to get into a 123 or older 124, but she really isn't that fond of the '92 300E we have now... She drives my '89 truck. (she REFUSES to drive the 190SL - I swear she won't drive it - and it's not 'cause it's a stick, because my truck is also a stick). Also, if you would like some "official" sunroof lube, I still have a LITTLE bit left from my 1 lb can purchase...

Bill Streep
San Antonio
'57 190SL (toy)
'08 S5500 (mine)
'09 CLK550 (wife's)
'06 SLK350 (daughter's)
'11 GLK350 (daughter's)
'03 CLK310 (spare)
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Old 01-02-2001, 12:49 PM
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She actually likes the car very much in spite of some of the trouble I've had that has kept it off the road a few times.

If I had it to do over again, I would not have been in a hurry. I would liked to take my time and find a nicer, lower mileage, better cared for car. I knew better.

Have a great day,

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