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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Metal to Glass Sunroof Conversion DIY for Gen II Cars

****** ATTENTION!!! ******

Big props to Solid Snake for uncovering this very cool upgrade! Big Thanks Bro!

This thread will present two different methods of doing this upgrade, depending on what parts you have, or what method you may seek the parts for.

We have also modified it to cover both coupes and sedans now.

So please read the entire thread.

My good friend Dave (ElRojo) came upon this Mod from I believe Solid Snake and installed one in his own car. I saw his mod and began to drool all over it. I let him know of my desire for a pair for my coupe and sedan. C140 Coupes were pretty rare in every case and not many make into the JY's, but we do have a line on one. W140's are however in the Junkyards, and Dave came upon I believe three in one day.

Of course he called me and I called dibs on one for the SEL. Well he called me last week and told me that he could come up and we could do the install. Cool! Also, as bad luck would have it, my drivers side window had failed on our trip to San Francisco and Sacramento last weekend, and it was making a horrible cracking noise (NOT creaking) so I asked him if he could pull me a drivers window and regulator (Motor). He called me this morning and told me that he got the window and regulator and was on his way!

We first tackled the window which I will write up in a separate article. After that was completed we turned out attention to the task at hand. I had R&R'ed my sunroof in the coupe so I was well acquainted with the process. The sedan's motor and trans are blown and so it has been sitting for a year. I keep it clean, I wash it and keep it well vacuumed and condition the leather, and I have a battery tender that I hooked up to power the sunroof motor. Before the engine quit, the S/R worked fine and so there was no reason to think otherwise.

Here is the plan: Open the roof to remove the inner panel and then remove the metal panel and swap out the arms:

Here is the top outer metal panel that will go bye bye:







Inside looking up:





So the first thing you need to do is remove that inner panel. The scope of this article will assume that the S/R works and can travel freely and articulate in tilt.

The sunroof needs to be open halfway:





Say Hi to Dave! Dave is popping the 4 snaps that secure the front of the inner cover to the outer metal sunroof panel. You insert a flat blade screwdriver into the front seam between the liner and the panel and pry down GENTLY!



Until the inner panel separates from the upper panel:



You have to hold down the inner panel and then electrically move the upper panel back to full open. You have to pull the inner panel down and forward and it will come forward and then up and out of the car:



As you can see, debris can pile up in there too! You can see the 4 snaps, one right by Dave's thumb there.

More to follow! Please do not post until I finish.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Part II

You now want to slide the roof panel forward until it pops up:



Also you want to remove the forward wind deflector carefully and the two side mounts. They will not be used, yet. But do NOT damage these.



Now, inside you will see three screws on each side, two aft, and one forward:



Use an 8MM nut driver or socket with extension to remove the nuts.





Once you have done both sides you can then lift the outer panel up and off:





This is a view of the drivers side as seen from the passenger side. That is the side guide rail. The side rail is what guides the moving rails to "Pop Up" the rear of the outer panel. There is a guide pin that rides in that lower channel and then up that vertical slot towards the right side there. Blow out any debris and clean the track that is chrome and also the side rails of any old slide paste.



Here is the old guide:



And you can see where the guide bolts to the Transom there with three 8MM bolts. You next must unscrew those 6 bolts and remove the slides taking care not to break them. Also you must take care to remove the drip guard actuator arms, which are plastic and delicate. The trick to removing those is after you disconnect them from the Transom, push the slide all the way forward in tilt, and then the tab will align for removal.

 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Part III

Okay, next thing you want to do is to remove the 5 screws holding the top guide down. The forward one is a machine threaded screw and the other four are coarse thread so take note:



Once the top guides are off you can remove the slides, again, BE VERY CAREFUL! They can be re-sold.

Once the 126 slides are out, completely blow out and clean out the entire area.

Next you have to do a little grinding. The 140 slides are slightly different in the position of the slide pads. If you look at the picture above you will see that notch. That notch needs to be lengthened aft by a little over 1/4" and the front needs to be beveled.

Here is the after on the other side:



I used my bench grinder and it took all of 5 minutes. Take a pair of Vise grips and bend up the leading edge of the one you ground, and the other notch father aft. The second notch does not need any grinding, only to make the flares more pronounced.

Here is the aft notch:



You can see the slide pad fits perfectly.

Fit the new 140 guides in by first fitting the aft notch in the rail and then flatten out the back part and kinda shoehorn it in. It's a tight fit but work the angle forward is all I can say.

Once it is in and you have ground the top guide, fit the top guide and lube with MB slide paste. We did not have any so we used White Lithium Grease. Yeah, I know...




Make sure the front tabs and the after tabs fit and slide and work and then connect it back to the transom using some blue thread locker. Once the transom is back on, then you can try SLOWLY to move the assy back and forth and re-lube everything.



Here you can see it in tilt up mode:



Now you want to leave it in the Tilt Up mode and then fit the glass:



 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Part IV

So here it is:





And Inside:



You want to align the glass panel side rails to the raised slides using the 8MM screws. You want to make sure that the screws are NOT cross threaded and loose so you can adjust the panel. Get all of the screws in and close the panel and adjust with a gap tool and then raise the panel and tighten the screws. Then make any final adjustments after you cycle the roof several times. If it binds anywhere, you will have to find the source of the binding. We did and do still have a little binding in it, and I will take it apart again to massage out the kink. The drivers side rear is still just a touch sticky.









That's about it. I still have to get a new seal and get that in, but overall it was a really simple mod for Dave and myself. Now we have both a fair amount of experience with Sunroofs, so your experience level may be different, but this mod from start to finish took about two hours. This was not including the time it took Dave to pull it. If your sunroof is in good working order now, and nothing is rotted or broken, you can reasonable expect to do this in half a day or less.

The glass panels come in two different "Types" one in black and one in smoked/reflective. I chose the black one. I believe Dave has two complete Smoked ones left if anyone wants to do this. Dave has two complete Sedan roof "Packages" left all ready to ship if anyone else is interested.
 

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87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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Good write-up Mike with excellent visual pics.
I must try wearing gloves one day instead of turps
So for our Gen2 coupes we need C140 glass (no othe models can be sourced ?)

I should ask you to do a write-up on the rubber seal replacement as i need to replace the one in my white SEC and still not sure how to go about it and visuals make it so much easier to follow.
Great Mod that the guys discovered.
Of note i had to laugh at that tosser on the other website of his that bagged the crap out of the guys saying this mod could not done and BW members did not have a clue what they were doing.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #6
Good write-up Mike with excellent visual pics.
I must try wearing gloves one day instead of turps
So for our Gen2 coupes we need C140 glass (no othe models can be sourced ?)

I should ask you to do a write-up on the rubber seal replacement as i need to replace the one in my white SEC and still not sure how to go about it and visuals make it so much easier to follow.
Great Mod that the guys discovered.
Of note i had to laugh at that tosser on the other website of his that bagged the crap out of the guys saying this mod could not done and BW members did not have a clue what they were doing.
Yes Kim, they say a lot that isn't true, including if I may add, that my engine would never start, let alone squeeze out 40 more horses net, out of my engine.

But then again, I don't recall them doing anything other than bad mouth and tear down things. Do you?
 

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W126 500 SEL 9/85 W124 E320T Brabus
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Great foto lovestory, Mike! ^^

As Kim said, its much easier with pictures to follow the instructions. I´m getting crazy about the fact, that my 500 SEL doesn´t have a sunroof :(

My lack of english makes me ask some questions too understand some points a little bit better.

1.
Now, inside you will see three screws on each side, two aft, and one forward:
Where is the third screw? Can you offer a picture of it?



2.
That notch needs to be lengthened aft by a little over 1/4" and the front needs to be beveled upwards.
As i couldn´t directly recognise, which direction it should be beveled, you maybe better us the term "upwards" or similar to make it easier to understand. Lots of people in our big family aren´t native english speakers ;)

For what is the front diagonal cutout? Did the diagonal cut start at the original positon of the former cutout?




3.
The second notch does not need any grinding, only to make the flares more pronounced.
Could you please explain, which flares you are talking about? I can´t recognice any changes on your photo.



4. Are there any covers for the technics, when the roof is closed and the sunshade opened? BTW - will you fit the sunshade and make another delicious write up? :D

Thx

Roland
 

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'02 E320 Wagon, '13 Chevrolet Volt
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Very nice. I get more and more tempted to possibly have this conversion done.
 

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Mercedes 300te
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Great write up with pics. So easy to understand...:)
I'll have to do this on our sdl since its not working properly already.. Might as well do the conversion too. Would like to find one for the coupe too someday..
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #11
I know we did not completely "Finish" this install. There were several reasons why:

First off there was not enough time since the most important thing was to fix my drivers window and regulator.

Second was we did not have the seal, and I wanted a new seal and Dave needs one too.

Third was that it was getting late and Dave had to run, and then Jon White, Mark and Sharif showed up to pick up Jon's SEL from Mauricio's

Fourth, and most importantly, was that the sliding cover was grey, and the interior of our car is white, so it does not match. Also, the existing headliner needs to be "Cleaned up" and so the two need to match and right now they don't. There is no motor in this car as I am dropping a new one in there too. So the slider can wait for now.

From what I see, the new sliding shade will drop right in.

Open the glass roof all the way, then slide in the shade from the front and it should go right in.

YES! The C140 Coupe glass panels DO fit the C126 coupes and I am doing the coupe replacement next weekend if possible. I have a line on one here, and will see if it pans out.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #12
The cutouts.

The "Cutouts" are those notches there in those two pics. Yes, those two pics are opposite sides, but you can see the before and after. Use that slotted screw for reference.

For the forward diagonal part, I just ground it to a 45 and yes, I used the existing front corner and did not lengthen it.

The rear cut of the notch needs to be ground back between 1/4" - 1/3" of an inch. You can see the difference in the two pics by using the slotted screw as a reference. That slotted screw is for height adjustment of the front of the roof panel. Our did not need any tweaking, but I have not done final fitment.

As far as the third screw, I believe it is forward of the two you saw. Dave did the fitment of those, and it's been a while since I undid those. When we were re-installing it, Dave had two screws that were Torx type, and had me looking for four more to match all of those screws. I didn't have those, so he re-used the 8MM's.

I am sure Dave will chime in here and correct any statements I have made that are in error.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #13
Very nice. I get more and more tempted to possibly have this conversion done.
What's to think about? Dave has two roof panel "Kits" left and if you bought one from him and bought the two of us lunch, I bet you would have one installed??
 

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W126 500 SEL 9/85 W124 E320T Brabus
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Thx Mike, that makes it clearer!

I will try something similar in the next weeks, but not on a W126 ^^
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #15
Roland - When you look at the top guides from a W140 and then from the W126, you will see the differences.

One important note that I did not mention earlier cuz I forgot: DO NOT use the top guides from the W140. They are longer than the W126 guides and because of the design of the 126 Sunroof assy., the 140 guide sits at an angle and catches the slides at the back. There is a metal piece riveted with a pop rivet, and that makes the top guide sit at an upwards angle and not flat. It has to sit flat so it does not catch on the rear of the slides.

You will see once you have it all in. Bottom line is you only use the slides that attach to the Transom and Roof panel.
 

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1988 560 SEL Euro (Japan), 1989 560 SEC,
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Great thread

Awesome upgrade.

My sunroof is toast. I can hear the motor working, but I assume the guides etc. are shot.

Your detailed process will be invaluable help in making the necessary repairs. I just need to track down the necessary parts.

Thanks again. Good luck with the conversion. It will look amazing.
 

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'02 E320 Wagon, '13 Chevrolet Volt
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What's to think about? Dave has two roof panel "Kits" left and if you bought one from him and bought the two of us lunch, I bet you would have one installed??
That is a very nice offer, thank you. First on my schedule is however to finish my Euro headlight conversion, and then, new wheels and tires is next on the list...
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Some words on repairs:

I had wanted to start "The Definitive Sunroof Thread" for repairs, but I guess this would be good too, to combine them into one thread, "Repairs and Glass upgrade".

I say this because my Coupe's sunroof jammed 2 years ago right before the motor blew, and now that that's sorted, it's time to tackle the next biggest project, the non-working sunroof.

I will limit this to "Late Gen II's" since that's all I have and know:

The late Gen II's sunroofs are of a sliding/tilt, cable driven type. You operate a switch, which operates a motor in the trunk, which turns a worm gear, which moves the cable, which is connected to the "Trolly" which is connected to the "Transom" which is connected to the two side rails, which move forward and backwards, and which articulate upwards for tilt.

Here is a pic of the old, partially removed motor:



The 2 bolts holding the motor to the bracket have been removed and it's "Hanging" loose. That red knob is the manual actuator. It is a 19MM nut connected to the drive gear. Turn one way, open, the other, closed.



The cable is made up of several components: The wire cable, the coiled spring on the trunk end to act against the worm gear, and then on the sunroof side, metal and plastic spacers alternate to provide a bearing like action inside the guide tube. On the sunroof side a metal bracket called the "Trolley" or "Shuttle" is what is connected to the Transom on the sunroof itself.



In the pic above you can see the Teflon bushings and the metal spacers, and in the one below, a closeup of them. What happens is those teflon bushings get worn from wear and heat and swell up and go conical. Cones no workie in a cylinder.



Here is a pic of the "Shuttle":



And a pic of the "Guide": (From the top of it)



And here you can see it go all the way back to the rear of the roof:




Okay, here is a pic of the Motor end:



This was taken with the Shuttle pulled out about 6 inches from the end of the guide tube, with the cable JUST poking out. THe cable MUST be in this position to EASILY remove the guide tube from the motor assy.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Some words on repairs:

I had wanted to start "The Definitive Sunroof Thread" for repairs, but I guess this would be good too, to combine them into one thread, "Repairs and Glass upgrade".

I say this because my Coupe's sunroof jammed 2 years ago right before the motor blew, and now that that's sorted, it's time to tackle the next biggest project, the non-working sunroof.

I will limit this to "Late Gen II's" since that's all I have and know:

The late Gen II's sunroofs are of a sliding/tilt, cable driven type. You operate a switch, which operates a motor in the trunk, which turns a worm gear, which moves the cable, which is connected to the "Trolly" which is connected to the "Transom" which is connected to the two side rails, which move forward and backwards, and which articulate upwards for tilt.

Here is a pic of the old, partially removed motor:



The 2 bolts holding the motor to the bracket have been removed and it's "Hanging" loose. That red knob is the manual actuator. It is a 19MM nut connected to the drive gear. Turn one way, open, the other, closed.



The cable is made up of several components: The wire cable, the coiled spring on the trunk end to act against the worm gear, and then on the sunroof side, metal and plastic spacers alternate to provide a bearing like action inside the guide tube. On the sunroof side a metal bracket called the "Trolley" or "Shuttle" is what is connected to the Transom on the sunroof itself.





Here is a pic of the "Shuttle":



And a pic of the "Guide": (From the top of it)



And here you can see it go all the back fro the rear of the roof:




Okay, here is a pic of the Motor end:



This was taken with the Shuttle pulled out about 6 inches from the end of the guide tube, with the cable JUST poking out at this end. The cable MUST be in this position to EASILY remove the guide tube from the motor assy.
 
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