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Sunroof Stuck!


borgpj

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Boy, this really sucks!  My sunroof seems to be stuck in the closed position.  I have tried to work the crank back and forth to break it loose, but nothing moves, and I don't want to strip anything by forcing it.  Any thoughts?  I will be stripping out the old headliner.  Will this create access to whatever might be jammed? 

 

Thanks,

pb

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I suspect the cables are either jammed, or the bracket on the cable's end is broken on one (or both) side(s).  You can access the sunroof mechanism by (first) removing the headliner on the sunroof panel itself.  It's held in place by metal clips/snaps; pull down and they should pop out of their holes.  Then slide the headliner panel (the material is glued to a metal frame) back as if it were the sunroof.  

 

Then you can unbolt the sunroof panel from its mechanism  by removing the two phillips screws (don't disturb the knurled nuts; they're height adjustment).  Towards the rear, each side has a bracket held by two small bolts.  These brackets are part of the control cables and attach them to the sunroof.  If one of them is broken or detached from the cable, that's most likely your problem.  Now remove the bolts, carefully noting the position of any clips, washers etc.  Slide the sheet metal bail out of the way to release the bracket from the sunroof.  Lay a blanket on the back part of the roof, and lift the sunroof panel straight up and back onto the blanket.  Now you can access the cables, which are under the aluminum trim pieces along the front and sides of the sunroof opening.  The gear that the crank turns is accessible by removing the crank and the aluminum trim piece directly above it in the sunroof opening.  

 

That'll at least help get you into the mechanism to see what's wrong.  Hopefully just stuck/gummed up cables.

 

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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Before you take things apart, I would  - unless you did this already - push down on the rear of the sunroof (outside) and at the same time try to move the crank carefully. This is because the rear of the sunroof moves down and then slides under the roof panel. Sometimes that downward move is stuck and needs to be lubricated.

Good luck!

Dieter

Edited by BMWonly

Current:

- 1970 Colorado 2002, 1982 323i, 1972 Porsche 914, 1956 Porsche 356A Coupe replica, 2003 Mini Cooper S

Past:

- 1980 320is Turbo, 1972 Malaga 2002tii, 1973 Polaris 2002tii, 1973 Sahara 2002, 1981 Alpina C1 2.3, 1989 M3, 1984 Hardy & Beck 327S

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Good thoughts, all.  I do see a bunch of tree seeds and junk stuck along the rear edge of the sunroof.  I will try bouncing the rear edge and gently cranking to see if anything moves.  This car sat uotside for 8 years under a tree in New Orleans, so it's not surprising that things are stuck.  I found lots of seeds and junk squirelled away if different places.  It was a high-rise for rodents apparently. 

If nothing moves andmore drastic action is needed, I will follow Mike's plan of attack.

 

Thanks,

pb

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  • 1 month later...

OK- the final word: I tried carefully to break loose the sunroof, but it wouldn't move. I could pry the sunroof back about 1/4 ", and was able to pop loose the sunroof headliner panel on the inside (it attaches only at the front). Once I slid this panel back to the rear, the 4 attachment points for the sunroof were exposed. Once undone, I slid the sunroof up and out. When I removed the cable guides, I found the cables were corroded in place, and would never have budged. Glad I didn't force the crank- I would have stripped something for sure. The left cable end glad broken free of the cable. I got a pair of VW Golf cables from U-Wrench-It, and removed one of the cable ends. I was able to attach it to the left cable with epoxy. Both cables cleaned up OK as well as the cable guides. I think the whole assembly will work like new once reinstalled. Just need lots of cable lube. Thanks for the advice.

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