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99 ML 320 (dearly departed), 03 E 500, 05 FX35 (Sold), 07 Cayenne S (Sold), 06 Cayenne Turbo
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok....I have an idea...After speaking with my SA and a Service Rep I have formulated a fix to the sky view Jam Problem. At my father's shop they actually install sunroof's on older cars. From what I have seen they are seemless and do not leak (at least none reported).

What if....I take out all of the track and motor system, insulate it and install a moonroof over the entire panel(that does not covert). I think its about 3 feet. At 3 feet and at least .5 inches thick the glass will hold up well against wind and it will be sturdy enough to support large amounts of snow, as I live in Boston. I have not factored in added weight, but will not because I will have the existing system removed.

I presented this idea to the Sommerville Dealership here in MA and gave them the idea of using a similar system to the C320 Kompressor, obviously they shot it down and said see you with $4200 tomorrow?(Estimated cost of the repair).

Has anyone done this? I am going to work out the stress factors today and present it to my father and another custom developer in Boston. But if anyone has done this PLEASE PLEASE let me know how it worked out (pics, suggestions, etc...)

~The New Guy!
 

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sounds ok to me

I think your dad's shop would have better luck doing it than getting Herb Chambers to. Or maybe a custom glass shop. Only negative is you can't vent hot air (what I like about having a sunroof) in the summer.

You also might want to get an estimate of repair costs at Clair in Westwood...they're less expensive than Herb Chambers (though not much).

Have the rails been greased? The Skyview has had less problems than the regular sunroof on the ML, believe it or not...
 

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99 ML 320 (dearly departed), 03 E 500, 05 FX35 (Sold), 07 Cayenne S (Sold), 06 Cayenne Turbo
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Discussion Starter #3
I refuse to go to Clair! Ihave heard nothing but problems with them. On a brighter note, the custom glass shop is a good idea--but will they install it. I think there is a place on Dorchester Ave that a lot of people go to so I will check them out tonight on my way home.

The only problem I had with bringing it to my dad's place is that its in NYC...so just imagine trying to drive 50 MPH to NYC (not going to happen). If I can get this tow hitch working correctly on my FX I will tote it on the rear of that. Or even get a tow from Uhual (expensive?).

I'll keep the board posted.

In regards to the roof sun vs sky the sky is much worst, per the Sommerville MB loaction on McGrath (nice guys there by the way)
 

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I've had the opposite experience

Herb Chambers spent a while trying to fix rattles and couldn't. At least w/ Clair, they fixed about half of them. Clair's body shop on the other hand, really sucks :p

You could probably rig up some sort of cover for your roof if you want high speed travel. You should probably cover from the sky view deflector all the way over your roof...maybe strap a piece of plywood to the rails?

The standard sunroof had lots of problems w/ insulation falling off, bellows falling off, rails being crunched, etc.
 

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RE: sounds ok to me

kenyee - 4/4/2005 2:40 PM

I think your dad's shop would have better luck doing it than getting Herb Chambers to. Or maybe a custom glass shop. Only negative is you can't vent hot air (what I like about having a sunroof) in the summer.

You also might want to get an estimate of repair costs at Clair in Westwood...they're less expensive than Herb Chambers (though not much).

Have the rails been greased? The Skyview has had less problems than the regular sunroof on the ML, believe it or not...
You may be the only Skyview owner that feels that way!!
 

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99 ML 320 (dearly departed), 03 E 500, 05 FX35 (Sold), 07 Cayenne S (Sold), 06 Cayenne Turbo
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Discussion Starter #6
The plot thickens....I called everyone, I mean everyone and the numbers stay the same except some trade-offs with some smaller companies that I am really not sure will be here next year when their repair goes bad.

It seems the $4200 estimate from MB is the reference that most companies use as they are familiar with the repair (Automall had a women come in that was quoted $8300, they repaired hers for half that.)

I am throwing the numbers into this stress model program and I am getting positive feedback on strength. On the downside the insulation due to the weight is subject to constant updating.

Now my mini project has become a friggin thesis project.

Updates to come.
 

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gsj224 - 4/4/2005 8:39 PM

The plot thickens....I called everyone, I mean everyone and the numbers stay the same except some trade-offs with some smaller companies that I am really not sure will be here next year when their repair goes bad.

It seems the $4200 estimate from MB is the reference that most companies use as they are familiar with the repair (Automall had a women come in that was quoted $8300, they repaired hers for half that.)

I am throwing the numbers into this stress model program and I am getting positive feedback on strength. On the downside the insulation due to the weight is subject to constant updating.

Now my mini project has become a friggin thesis project.

Updates to come.
Wow,
That's really brave of you to attempt.
Before trying I would take the ML to another dealer to at least get a 2nd opinion...Did you try Foreign Motors West?
 

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RE: sounds ok to me

sosh - 4/4/2005 7:21 PM
You may be the only Skyview owner that feels that way!!
I have the regular sunroof. Insulation has been glued back on twice :p
I based those comments on the lack of skyview comments on the m-class mailing list...
 

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99 ML 320 (dearly departed), 03 E 500, 05 FX35 (Sold), 07 Cayenne S (Sold), 06 Cayenne Turbo
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Discussion Starter #9
There are two companies that make this part. It'll have to be a complete overhaul of the existing sky view. My attempt is a perm* fix to a reocurring problem.

My hope is that my attempt will give option to MB so that they can help other people out, in turn I would love to get a "stipend" for my work [:eek:)]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok--I did a little test yesterday. This was really risky.

I have a coffee table that is about the same size as the roof panel, with a removable glass top. I taped the entire glass in a circular motion to keep it from scratching (Children, please don't try this at home) the next part was really dangerous and well stupid.

First, I auto cranked the sky view open. This was easy, there is a dead motor arm in the rear over the third row seats. Then I placed the taped table glass over the opening (It was about a 3 inch slack all the way around.

When I noticed the extra space I began to think of another plan, what if I slide the glass in directly under the panels and into the grooves of the roof shaft. EUREKA! there is a small space that it fit into without any poking and proding (it did take a while to get it out though)

This is where STUPID took place. I wasn't convinced that this would hold so I drove around the block with the glass table top working as my sky view, tied in the Y and X centers to the rear middle seat.

After my driver around the block (I got caught by my fiance) so I thought of one other test since I heard ZERO noise (but only topped 30MPH). Stupid me thinks to stand on the table top glass to see if it would buckle (this is only stupid because honestly if I have 180lbs worth of snow on my rooftop, I need to get a H2. That went better than I thought so I I concluded my hands on investigation, cranked back the rooftop and jimmy'd a wood wedge in between the first two planks to keep it closed.

Now that I KNOW there is this area of space, I have no reserves on doing a PIMP MY RIDE conversion to this 163.

Worst case scenerio--I will be selling a roofless 163 for 15K. 50K miles and all 2001 upgrades--MCS DVD Nav, CD Changer, rewired FO Bose System. Side View Mirror Blinker Caps and the soon to be installed Sirius Radio (ANYONE KNOW THE THREAD FOR THIS INSTALL)

Updates to come.
 

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gsj224 - 4/5/2005 1:23 PM

Ok--I did a little test yesterday. This was really risky.

I have a coffee table that is about the same size as the roof panel, with a removable glass top. I taped the entire glass in a circular motion to keep it from scratching (Children, please don't try this at home) the next part was really dangerous and well stupid.

First, I auto cranked the sky view open. This was easy, there is a dead motor arm in the rear over the third row seats. Then I placed the taped table glass over the opening (It was about a 3 inch slack all the way around.

When I noticed the extra space I began to think of another plan, what if I slide the glass in directly under the panels and into the grooves of the roof shaft. EUREKA! there is a small space that it fit into without any poking and proding (it did take a while to get it out though)

This is where STUPID took place. I wasn't convinced that this would hold so I drove around the block with the glass table top working as my sky view, tied in the Y and X centers to the rear middle seat.

After my driver around the block (I got caught by my fiance) so I thought of one other test since I heard ZERO noise (but only topped 30MPH). Stupid me thinks to stand on the table top glass to see if it would buckle (this is only stupid because honestly if I have 180lbs worth of snow on my rooftop, I need to get a H2. That went better than I thought so I I concluded my hands on investigation, cranked back the rooftop and jimmy'd a wood wedge in between the first two planks to keep it closed.

Now that I KNOW there is this area of space, I have no reserves on doing a PIMP MY RIDE conversion to this 163.

Worst case scenerio--I will be selling a roofless 163 for 15K. 50K miles and all 2001 upgrades--MCS DVD Nav, CD Changer, rewired FO Bose System. Side View Mirror Blinker Caps and the soon to be installed Sirius Radio (ANYONE KNOW THE THREAD FOR THIS INSTALL)

Updates to come.
Are you for real??? Dude just sell the piece of junk and call it a day!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1! its not a piece of junk.
2! its a second car to my FX35
3! I purchased it for a small amount 11.5K so a little experimentation won't hurt.
4! I am enjoying myself
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ryan listen, you have to read everything. The "The Table Top" was made of a quarter inch thick smoked glass. Its rated to hold 500 pounds of pressure.

Now back to the experiment....When I have an idea I try to see it out as best possible. As an engineer, you will and can use ANYTHING to "see" something happen/work. I can see this happening but I spoke with someone and something came up I never thought of.

No matter how much tint or smoke the glass has....There still needs to be a cover or shade. How the hell would that work in?

Maybe a Roll and pull system like a typical window shade?
 

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gsj224 - 4/5/2005 10:57 PM

Ryan listen, you have to read everything. The "The Table Top" was made of a quarter inch thick smoked glass. Its rated to hold 500 pounds of pressure.

Now back to the experiment....When I have an idea I try to see it out as best possible. As an engineer, you will and can use ANYTHING to "see" something happen/work. I can see this happening but I spoke with someone and something came up I never thought of.

No matter how much tint or smoke the glass has....There still needs to be a cover or shade. How the hell would that work in?

Maybe a Roll and pull system like a typical window shade?
As a fellow engineer I quite admire your willingness to try to engineer a solution.

I say go for it.

I think it can't hurt, and will be ultra cool if it works.

Forget about making it open. Just make it a fixed glass roof.
 

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I did read everthing,you didn't say that in your prior posts,you killed me when you said you were jumping on the roof and also how would you keep water out of it,I guess thats further down the road though....ok,It's still good for a laugh...carry on.....[;)]
 

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I'm a fellow engineer (electrical/computer) as well, but ya gotta admit, that was some pretty wacky testing...as long as you have health insurance ;-)
 

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As an engineer, have you considered the worst case scenerio: Accident --> broke glass --> sharp and/or heavy objects falling down to your head. In that case the coffee table should be out. However, it should be fine if you use the glass that approved for automobile
 

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Discussion Starter #19
what the hell are you guys reading? I used the glass to see how a glass roof would look. I had a feeling the sense of what I was doing was going to get lost in comments.

Please do not question my engineering as the glass was only used as a visual aide. It's one thing to mathematically work something out and make it work its another to simply "like it".
 

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Hey you're the one who said"So I decided to stand on the roof to see if it would buckle" don't get upset with us....if you're that much of an engineer repair the problem instead of trying to gerry rig your ML... [:(]
 
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