Hey comrades.. as promised here is my write up on how to RESTORE your sunroof to BRAND NEW condition! Literally.. (This write up is exclusively for W140`s, but It may also apply to W126 models.) Best part is, the whole restoration will only cost you $10!!!!
Does your sunroof hesitate to open? Does it make a "grinding" noise, and slows down at certain parts while opening / closing? Do you have to push it sometimes just so it can close all the way? lol.. If it is loud, slow, or just not working right, this DIY is for you!
I have included over 90 pictures, step by step of how I dismantled the sunroof, cleaned all the components, greased them up and re-installed them. I also included a video of how your sunroof should work after completing this DIY.
This restoration was done on my project S500, 1995 SWB.
You will need:
- Automotive grease (Any motor grease will do, available at all local auto parts stores.) 100g or more will do
- 8" spanner (Ratchet with 8" socket will also help)
- "Hex" screwdriver. (not sure what size)
- Normal star Phillips screw driver
- Small flat screw driver.
(When I mention "RHS" or "LHS," I am refferring to "Right Hand SIde" and "Left Hand Side") This whole restoration can take as long as 6, or as little as two hours. Depends on if you have help or not, and how good you are with the tools lol..
So lets get into it...
Before starting to work on anything that may require the doors / trunk to be open for multpile hours, it would be a good idea to go to the trunk fusebox and pull out fuse number "11". This will disconnect the circuit for the "convenience" lights in the doors. (And also central locking) This prevents the battery from being drained during the repair. I always do this.
From the inside, remove the black long cover that is at the front of the glass panel. Pull it gently dowards, so it unclips from the glass panel. Start one either the left or right side, unclipping as you move along. Next slide it out, and remove it form the vehicle. Also remove both of the rubber "boots" that are on the sides of the glass panel. Pull them out from the back.
Using the 8" spanner, loosen and remove the 8 nuts for the glass panel. 2 per side, and four in the front. Pop the glass panel out form underneath, and remove from vehicle.
Unclip Rail 1, both RHS and LHS.
Remove interior panel. (VERY EASY) Just slide out, up, and pull out. Remove form vehicle completely.
Unclip both RHS and LHS of Rail 2 (Rear rail). Then remove the entire rail (made of plastic and rubber). Very simple, one side at a time to get it out properly.
Now unscrew the 3 "Hex" screws on Rail 3. Once the screws are removed, you can un-hook Rail 3. Do the same for both RHS and LHS. (*** TIP*** If you not a heavy guy, it is very comfortable to sit on the center arm rest while you do this step.)
Now use the small flat screw driver to unclip the "White screw" (Refer to pics, hard to explain.) Once the white clip is removed completely, use the same flat screw driver to "unhinge" Rail 4. Do this for both RHS & LHS.
Next you will need to activate the sunroof to move forward a centimeter, so it uncovers one screw for Rail 5. Once you can see all 4 screws, remove them with the "Phillips" screwdriver. Then remove the ehole Rail 5 from the car. Do this for both LHS and RHS.
Unbolt the 8" bolts for the sunroof brackets. 3 bolts per bracket, found from inside the car. Now the remove the brackets from their "Guides." This will take some carefull twisting to lodge out, but completely possible. Do for both RHS and LHS.
Remove Rail 6 (front rail) by unscrewing, 1 Phillips screw per side. Very simple to remove.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!!! Clean EVERY component that you have removed during this DIY. Also clean the guides, and everywhere that you can see. The main purpose is to get ALL the old grease and dirt out. For best results, dont half-step this one. Make sure you clean both Brackets PROPERLY!!!!
Once you are happy that everything in the sunroof department is looking brand new again, (no old grease or dirt ANYWHERE) you can now re-install both brackets. Twist them back into their guides, and make sure they are sitting where they should be. Test them for movement before screwing the bolts back in.
Grease up EVERY sinlgle little moving part you can get to. use a tool to help you get grease into the guides. Dont be shy, rather over-do it in this case. It wont hurt anything. Infact, the more grease, the better. lol.. It must last at least anouther 15 years or more..
Once you have greased it up nicely, activate the sun roof to move all the way back and grease the part that the bottom of the bracket slides on. Stick your hand as far as it can go to grease the rails. Then Activate the sun roof to open and close 3 or 4 times just to spread all the grease and excersize the moving parts.
Re-install Rail 6 (front), by screwing in one screw per side, one side at a time. Just make sure the "spring" loaded function works once it is installed.
Grease up the underside of Rail 5, and then re-install it. Screw in all four screw. Long screw near the front. Do this for both LHS and RHS.
Re-install Rail 4, twist it in at the front. Make sure the prod is in it`s guide, and pop the end prod into the connection with the Bracket. Secure it with the "White clip" (see pics)
Re-install Rail 3. Secure with the 3 x "Hex" screws. Do this for both LHS and RHS.
Install Rail 2 - (Rear) Install one side at a time. Then clip prod into designated hole on Rail 3. Do this for both RHS and LHS.
Now re-install the interior panel.just slide it in, and all the way back.
Re-Install Rail 1. Clip in the front into designated slot on Rail 3, and the back part clips into the designated clip on the Bracket.
Now you fit the glass panel back on the car. Check that is it is sitting "flush" then screw the 8 nuts that hold it in place.
Install the rubber boots. Make sure they are sitting properly on both sides. They squeeze into the gap between the glass and metal. They connect to Rail 1 at the bottom.
If you broke your clips removing the long front black cover, no stress.. Just use "double-sided tape" and it will hold it in place
Mine was broken when I got the car, so I did not have a choice lol..
SUCCESS!!! The sun roof restoration is COMPLETE!!!!
Test your sun roof a few times, and enjoy how smooth, quick and quietly it move. Just like it did when it was BRAND NEW!!!!
Im sure this write up with detailed pics should help many W140 owners out there. It took me 4-5 hours to do this restoration properly. (I was alone, no help was around.) Also I took my time, wanted to make sure everything was done correctly. I also discovered why the sunroof would only open a tiny bit when I tired it once, before this restoration.
There is some kind of "Sound proofing" that is glued on the roof. The corner on the RHS got loose, and was sagging. This caught the sunroof, and would stop it from moving. I just broke off th epiece that was sagging, and now no more obstructions! (I could have tried to stick it back, but the the piece was so small it was not worth the the trouble.)
Much respect comrades..
(Just hold up before posting any comments / questions, I have to upload over 90 pics.)
Here is the VIDEO: