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UPDATE TO - Overly obsessive sunroof cleaning?


EcoAuto

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SURPRISING (to me) UPDATE - SEE MY POST LATER IN THIS THREAD

I'm doing the annual inspection of the manually opening sunroof on my '75. After removing the cover panels, I decided it might be a good idea to clean the two spring cables. From the looks of them, the cables are original and still in good condition, but there's this fuzzy stuff compacted between the spring wire. Is this debris collected over 36 years, or is it some kind of flocking to help the spring cables slide?

I'm reluctant to remove the cables, fearing I'll have trouble reattaching them, so I decided to clean the cables using a small screwdriver to chisel out the fossilized dusty gunk. But doing it this way is taking too long. I'm wondering if:

A. Anyone has cleaned the sunroof cables and found a better/quicker way to clean out the gunk?

B. Am I wasting my time cleaning the cables, or will this make the sunroof operate more smoothly and help them last longer?

C. Is there a FAQ somewhere on how to remove / reinstall the cables?

Ron Gompertz

Bozeman, MT
74 BMW 2002tii
Fjord # 037 / blue interior

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can leave 'em in place and squirt some WD40 along them to loosen up the gunk, then clean out the worst of the softened greasy dirt with a split popsicle stick or something similar, and finally put some fresh white grease on as much of the cable as you can reach. Working the mechanism will distribute the fresh grease to what you can't reach.

The owners manual says "don't grease the sunroof cables" but after I greased my very stiff sunroof, it worked a lot better...

mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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File this under "you must have too much time on your hands."

I'm doing the annual inspection of the manually opening sunroof on my '75. After removing the cover panels, I decided it might be a good idea to clean the two spring cables. From the looks of them, the cables are original and still in good condition, but there's 36 years of greasy, dusty gunk compacted between the spring wire.

I'm reluctant to remove the cables, fearing I'll have trouble reattaching them, so I decided to clean the cables using a small screwdriver to chisel out the fossilized dusty gunk. But doing it this way is taking too long. I'm wondering if:

A. Anyone has cleaned the sunroof cables and found a better/quicker way to clean out the gunk?

B. Am I wasting my time cleaning the cables, or will this make the sunroof operate more smoothly and help them last longer?

C. Is there a FAQ somewhere on how to remove / reinstall the cables?

With an 02 or any car for that matter, there is no such thing as overly obsessive. Here's a link, that's a good reference for several projects.

http://www.my2002tii.com/spring_2005/sunroof.htm

If you replace the outer seals on your sunroof, the short seal attaches to the sunroof panel, not the car. The long seal goes into the depressions at the rear corners. When the sunroof closes the seal on the panel tucks under the seal on the car.

Andrew Wilson
Vern- 1973 2002tii, https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/blog/304-andrew-wilsons-vern-restoration/ 
Veronika- 1968 1600 Cabriolet, Athena- 1973 3.0 CSi,  Rodney- 1988 M5, The M3- 1997 M3,

The Unicorn- 2007 X3, Julia- 2007 Z4 Coupe, Ophelia- 2014 X3, Herman- 1914 KisselKar 4-40

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As usual, lots of really great advice, along with the comforting knowledge that I am not alone; that my wife is wrong, that I'm not totally insane as I stand in my dimly lit garage at 1 in the morning, trying to pull out little bits of greasy fuzz from the spring cables with a tweezer.

Ron Gompertz

Bozeman, MT
74 BMW 2002tii
Fjord # 037 / blue interior

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Thanks to the terrific links above that show step by step how to remove the sunroof, I did so and removed the two cables.

http://www.bmw2002faq.com/component/option,com_forum/Itemid,57/page,viewtopic/t,294557/highlight,remove+sunroof+lining/

http://www.my2002tii.com/spring_2005/sunroof.htm

I spent some time soaking the cable and trying to remove the furry gunk between the spring with a wire brush. I made a few phone calls to one of the better know BMW suppliers and was assured by tech support I was on the right track - that new cables didn't have the fuzz. It was suggested brake cleaner would remove the debris.

Than I remembered a mechanic in town who'd probably know about older Golde sunroof systems. I took the cable to him and showed him my challenge.

He took one look at the cable and said - you DON'T want to remove that stuff. It's supposed to be there! It's to let the cable slide without using grease and keep it from rattling. Golde sunroofs are designed to work dry.

That seemed to make sense, given how difficult it is to remove the stuff. Slightly embarrassed at my mistake, I thanked him and slunk out of his garage.

Can anyone else confirm this - that the furry fibers are part of the cable? I've just posted a photo.

post-18606-13667645244066_thumb.jpg

Ron Gompertz

Bozeman, MT
74 BMW 2002tii
Fjord # 037 / blue interior

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Listen to your mechanic. They were made to function dry.

It is when they get old and the packing is gone when folks grease them to make them slide better.

Couple of pics of NOS in the bag cables.

100_9627.jpg

100_9632.jpg

100_9630.jpg

EDIT:

Forgot to mention... if you can find the original NOS sunroof gaskets get those also. The repops are just as cheap as the repop cables are.

100_9621.jpg

100_9640.jpg

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