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Hello All,

This regards my 1989 300SE with 232k miles. The sunroof has not worked since I bought the car a few months back. Yesterday I was repairing the power antenna and thought, "Since I'm here, let me see if I can move the sunroof manually." So I did. I used the tool that came with the car, and turned it all with a 1/2 inch ratchet.

Rotating counter clockwise, I pulled the right rear corner down 1 - 2 inches, but the left side stayed where it was. I then rotated clockwise and had the right side rear rise up about 2 inches, and the left rear stayed in place. So I now know I have a tilt sunroof.

At this point, I went into the car and pushed upward on the left rear corner and it rose. (I read where this is ok with the tilt top). I then decided to try my sunroof switch. The right rear corner went up and down, so I know my motor works. But my left rear corner did not move at all.

I went back into the trunk to lower the top manually. I found I had left my MB tool attached to the nut, but it had fallen off. I reattached the nut, got a 1/4 turn counter clockwise, and heard a "crack."

It appears my nut was plastic and that it cracked. So I can't manually raise or lower my sunroof. At this point, the top is in the upward tilt position. And while I'm excited I have a working motor and such, I'm not excited to have the top stuck open.

Any suggestions on where I should start? And suggestions of errors? For example, was using the 1/2 inch drive appropriate or too much force? Is a plastic nut on the sunroof motor normal? Can I buy a replacement? Do I need to deal with my left rear corner not moving mechanically before anything else? Etc, etc, etc

Thanks,
Bill
 

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At least the car sits indoors… Every instruction starts with opening the roof first and then removing head liner by sliding it forward and up trough the opening at the roof. Left side being jammed it is quite tricky to get started. The instructions can be found at manuals in the stickies. If you were lucky only the seal is sticking.

 

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At least the car sits indoors… Every instruction starts with opening the roof first and then removing head liner by sliding it forward and up trough the opening at the roof. Left side being jammed it is quite tricky to get started. The instructions can be found at manuals in the stickies. If you were lucky only the seal is sticking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q84W7t_SMbo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR8kHMxiemw
Yeah. I'm glad its inside and can sit while I work on this. Thanks.

Everything I read (except 1 thread) also started with opening the roof first, which may be more difficult if I broke that nut. When I had the right rear corner down, I pushed on the left rear corner. It didn't budge. I'll take a look inside w/the corners titled up. If it looks clear, and I can get that right rear corner down again and I'll use a rubber mallet on that left rear corner. See if it drops and breaks that seal.

I read in one place that there are 4 clips for the head liner that can be accessed and popped off when the sunroof is tilted. And then the headliner can be removed w/out opening the sunroof. While I remember that being an earlier model (1984, I believe), I'll look for those.

I'd be elated if I broke that seal and the motor moved everything.

Thanks.
 

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Maybe it is worth buying Mercedessources videos before taking a big hammer… In the long run could be cheaper as parts are not easily available and are expensive too. The mechanism should first move back out of the way of the roof panel. Anyway not easy to think how to free that jam. Maybe it involves removing the whole head liner panel of the car. But to do that easily the sunroof should be open. Could the mechanism be helped with something between the roof panel and side seal as it is at closed position? Have you searched this forum for similar threads?
 

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Maybe it is worth buying Mercedessources videos before taking a big hammer… In the long run could be cheaper as parts are not easily available and are expensive too. The mechanism should first move back out of the way of the roof panel. Anyway not easy to think how to free that jam. Maybe it involves removing the whole head liner panel of the car. But to do that easily the sunroof should be open. Could the mechanism be helped with something between the roof panel and side seal as it is at closed position? Have you searched this forum for similar threads?
Ahahaha! The rubber mallet is a last resort. I've been thinking on this and I realized with the roof tilted I have access to the seals. I'll lubricate them from outside, particularly the left rear area's, and see if that'll help. And I should be able to move my headliner enough to see any obstructions in at least some of the tracks.

I did not know the parts are hard to come by. I'll be extra careful.

I knew I was going to work on it, so I spent the last few months gathering all the info I can on the sunroof. I've read every thread here (and elsewhere) I can find. I've watched hours of videos on replacements, lubrication, installs, etc, for this model and any that are remotely similar... That said, I'm always looking for more info. I may pay for that video, but I have a limited monthly budget for this, and other priorities (Wheel bearings, AC, ABS, paint job, ignition system tune up). So if I have to spend more than $50 on it, it may be a while.

I appreciate the help.
 

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Maybe it is possible to pull down the liner at the front of to sliding roof so that it gets disconnected from the panel and then slide it back. Then you would see more of the mechanism.
 

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All righty... Here's an update. I read that the difficulty of these sunroofs is waaaaaaay over-rated. At least so far as accessing them.

In my situation, I found that even though I can't manually move the sunroof, my motor still works. When I activate the sunroof switch, I can hear something moving forward and backward. So I used the motor to fully retract whatever it retracted. I then pulled down on the front of the sunroof headliner. The headliner is held in place there by 4 plastic pins that push into the sunroof, and by pulling the front down, I disconnect the headliner from the sunroof. Since I had placed whatever retracts into the retraced position, I then pushed the disconnected headliner toward the rear of the car (FYI, with my motor having pushed everything all the way forward, the headliner did not move backward). This is the space the headliner normally retracts into.

This gave me access to the rails/guides from inside the car. There are 2 copper bolts and 2 copper nuts (8mm), per side, that can be removed. These disconnect the sunroof from the guides. Initially I disconnected the copper bolts (they are horizontal to the ground). I found accessing them via an extension from the other side of the car was easiest, and gave me the best visibility. I also found that when reinstalling the sunroof I had to remove the 2 copper nuts per side and loosely connect all of them to get the sunroof level. This may be because my guides are broken, and my left side took some comparison to the right to get to line up everything proper.

With the sunroof disconnected from the guides, you can lift the rear upward (tilt), and slide the entire sunroof toward the rear. There is a notch in the rails about an inch from the front. If you lift the sunroof upward while moving it back, the plastic piece from the sunroof slips out that notch. And VIOLA! You have removed your sunroof. Not only that, but now you can remove the headliner by pulling it forward, up, and out. And have easy access to everything.

As for the mechanical workings of the sunroof, that I don't know. I just know once I had the top out, I found several broken pieces. And I have yet to actually see my cable or anything. I'll look into replacing them down the road. For now, I'm just happy to have the sunroof back in a solid, closed, non-leaking position.
 

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Thanks guys.

I'd like to make a correction. I never re-attached the clips on the front of the headliner to the sunroof. So the next morning I checked on sliding the headliner. I was able to slide the headliner back with the motorized part all the way forward.
 

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I just tried to tackle this on my 88 560sel. Passenger side would not go up for tilt. However sunroof in general seemed to work and slide in and out no problem.

I noticed once I took the inner lining off the sunroof itself and the mechanism runs so much faster and smoother. I didn't notice any broken parts though. I did notice the same piece that you found broken is not in the same position on both sides. I'm assuming the left side is correct but right side isn't since that is the side not going up. Anyway I put it all back together and couldn't get the inner liner to go up with the sunroof when tilted. It just remains flat. BTW it's still won't go up on the passenger side. To tell you the truth I think it got worse. Sliding inward and back still works though.

1hr later:
ok I took the inside liner out again and tried the tilt function but this time I loosened the four nuts holding the panel to the bracket. The ones that go straight up onto the panel. I actuated the tilt function and it worked flawlessly tilt up and down but noticed the nut position in relation to the bracket was moving around few mm. I just tighten back the nuts with it fully tilted up and it was working great. I put the inner liner back on and seriously the sunroof struggles to open and close with the inner liner on. As far as I can see the liner is a fabric sliding on the rail with another contact point being that tube guide and foam strip that goes down the middle of the liner. How do you lube that?

Can you try actuating the sunroof without the inner liner and see how yours function? Try keeping the four nuts that go straight up into the panel loose and see if yours functions better too. That piece you broke is to help tilt the inner liner along with the tilt of the panel.
 

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I pulled the SR in my 123 due to a bad motor. I figured while I had it all apart, I may as well check everything and get it right for the next decade.

I busted one of the NLA clips which holds the cable tube to the SR motor bracket. DO NOT DO THIS. haha. I cut a groove into the bracket to hold a hose clamp as a replacement.
It works great but took a lot of cussing. Getting the cable to feed into the new motor was a royal pain and I have no idea why. Getting into and out of the trunk over and over with my old back and gut was probably the most irritating part since I kept trying to find out why the cable would not mate up with the gears.

I am told the 126 roof is more difficult due to the tilt mechanism. This is absent on the 123.

Next job for me is to replace the steel SR with a glass panel from a w140.
 
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