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1991 420SEL
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232 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Restoring 88 420 SEL for my daughters first car. She will be 16 in 10 months. Bought it for peanuts and she does not know about it but it needs a lot of work
Currently working on the sunroof. It was able to tilt up and down when I got the car, but that is it. After reading a bunch of threads, I was able to remove the liner and cover and essentially the left mechanism was shattered in about a dozen pieces. I have removed everything and taken a ton of pictures along the way so I hopefully can put it all back together when the new part arrives
Someone tell me about the cable sticking out
I can extend and retract it by cranking the knob in the trunk, although seems a little hard to me. But, it does nothing if I hit the electrical switch. Should I not be able to extend and retract it electrically?
Is this a motor problem or clutch problem maybe? Or is it normal?
 

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1993 300TE, 1995 E320 Wagon
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1,895 Posts
You said that the tilt function works? Then the motor is working-- yet you hear nothing when trying to open the roof using the switch. It sounds to me like you will need to replace the switch in the roof panel. The switch has two parts to it, and one can fail while the other still works. This would be an easy swap...

I recall the cable is hard to crank from the trunk normally... Doubtful that there's much of an issue there.

Another suggestion would be to simply put in a glass roof. I love mine, and I rarely open the sunroof because I don't need to! I have several glass roofs available, along with the correct arms to mount it. Given that you've already learned a bit about the mechanicals of these roofs, the glass swap is an easy one to do.
 

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current: 08 GL320 CDI, 05 ML 350, 98 E300, 84 300SD,
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494 Posts
That would probably be the worm gear. need to remove the top cover to access the damaged track. If working outside, can just set it in place till the new parts arrive.
Just take your time and keep track when you remove something.
One more thing. when you get it all reassembled, there is a set up procedure that is found in the service manual that resets the timing within the motor and worm cable in the trunk. I would have to look that up.
As far as your switch; get a meter and ck the voltage, fuse. Make sure key is in pos 2. ?:thumbsup:
 

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1991 420SEL
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232 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Have it all covered until the left track part arrives.
I just thought the cable should extend and retract by hitting the switch. Don't want to put it all back together just to find out I have to take it apart again to replace the cable or something
 

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1991 420SEL
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232 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Sunroof update.
I dont get people sometimes.
Was waiting on left sunroof tracts/etc to come in. Well it came in. About 4 obvious cracks all over the place. Bad enough, but the guy tried spray painting over everything to make it look like it was in good shape.
Anyway, after several expletives , sending it back and waiting on replacement.
Hoping it is in good shape, and I can get it all back together and working.
took about 50 photos while taking it all apart.:mad:
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,993 Posts
if you need help with rebuilding it, let me know as I have rebuilt several of them completely.
 

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1991 420SEL
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232 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks a ton. I will probably take u up on that. I am waiting for the part to come in to start. I got a small tiny container of the Mercedes grease to use as well. Quick question... I assume I can assemble things and put the roof back and see if it slides in and out smoothly before actually connecting cable and power. Am I right about that?
 

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current: 08 GL320 CDI, 05 ML 350, 98 E300, 84 300SD,
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494 Posts
Yes. After reassembly, you should be able to with little effort and worm cabled, t-bar not connected, the unit should slide front-aft smoothly.
 

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83 500 SEL, 69 280 SE Coupe, 62 220 Sb Saloon
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9 Posts
if you need help with rebuilding it, let me know as I have rebuilt several of them completely.
Hi There,

I am trying to remove the sunroof motor from my 83 500SEL as I inadvertently zapped it. The mechanism is fine just the motor needs replacing and am apprehensive about tackling it. Any help at all that you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Also, (this may be more suitable to a different thread) I am trying to track down a serious rain leak into the cabin. I want to eliminate the sunroof drains but am having trouble locating them. Again, any help would be appreciated.

Regards,
Mick
 

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One Smoke Silver '87 570SEC, one Black Pearl '87 560SEL
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4,504 Posts
Hi There,

I am trying to remove the sunroof motor from my 83 500SEL as I inadvertently zapped it. The mechanism is fine just the motor needs replacing and am apprehensive about tackling it. Any help at all that you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Also, (this may be more suitable to a different thread) I am trying to track down a serious rain leak into the cabin. I want to eliminate the sunroof drains but am having trouble locating them. Again, any help would be appreciated.

Regards,
Mick
If I remember, the sunroof drains are in the back corners of the opening. A couple rubber drain hoses. I would not recommend removing them but to clear them. The sunroof does not seal against the rain, just slows it down enough that the water can flow out the drains. Don't use compressed air as the rubber tubing is thin.

I believe I have a motor in my '87 560SEC that I'm parting out.
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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14,453 Posts
Mike has it right. Two drains at the back corners. Also there are two at the front corners. Worth trying to ensure they're clear, you could use an old bass guitar string or something similar.
Unfortunately rust can get them but they are easy enough to bodge up if you need to.
If clearing them doesn't sort your leak you'll need to have a peep behind the headliner. Don't be scared of that, it's not bad to take down the back or front.
 

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83 500 SEL, 69 280 SE Coupe, 62 220 Sb Saloon
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9 Posts
If I remember, the sunroof drains are in the back corners of the opening. A couple rubber drain hoses. I would not recommend removing them but to clear them. The sunroof does not seal against the rain, just slows it down enough that the water can flow out the drains. Don't use compressed air as the rubber tubing is thin.

I believe I have a motor in my '87 560SEC that I'm parting out.
Thanks for that. I actually found the leak. The front lefthand drain has rusted and now has a big hole in it just under the roof. My plan is to fill it with silicon sealant at the cartridge and hope the other 3 drains can handle the rainwater. Repairing or replacing seems to be a massive task and not one I am contemplating at the moment.

I may get back to you for the motor. I have sourced one locally but must test it first. Any tips on how to remove my own from the car would be great. Undoing the screws is fine, but how to disconnect it from the sunroof tube (presume there is a better name for it) is causing a problem.

Regards,
Mick
 

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83 500 SEL, 69 280 SE Coupe, 62 220 Sb Saloon
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9 Posts
Mike has it right. Two drains at the back corners. Also there are two at the front corners. Worth trying to ensure they're clear, you could use an old bass guitar string or something similar.
Unfortunately rust can get them but they are easy enough to bodge up if you need to.
If clearing them doesn't sort your leak you'll need to have a peep behind the headliner. Don't be scared of that, it's not bad to take down the back or front.
I actually used weedeater line to feed down through the hole and when found no blockages I had to investigate further. After pouring water into the channels with the sunroof open I was able to locate which corner was the suspect. I pulled back the front left hand corner and sure enough, the drain was completely rusted with a hole into the cabin. I'm planning to bung it up with silicon sealant but if you have any other suggestions, I am all ears!!

Regards,
Mick
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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14,453 Posts
At least you found the cause. Be careful to use silicone for cars and not household stuff that has uber corrosion effect on metal.

Duct tape would probably be tempting for me. Pipe repair tape of some kind maybe. Mastic is good and stays softish.
 

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218 Posts
Mike has it right. Two drains at the back corners. Also there are two at the front corners. Worth trying to ensure they're clear, you could use an old bass guitar string or something similar.
Unfortunately rust can get them but they are easy enough to bodge up if you need to.
If clearing them doesn't sort your leak you'll need to have a peep behind the headliner. Don't be scared of that, it's not bad to take down the back or front.
HI IAN, YOU'VE BEEN HELPING me on a different thread, but same issue. I'm glad to see you say the headliner removal is not scary. It is, however, not obvious. I posted photos of the dented sunroof. I have another full sunroof on my transmission-crippled ''79 300 SD and I've raised the Gen 1 sunroof compatibility to Gen 2 sunroof question. (Into my 560 SEL, 1988). Supposing that is possible (or even if it isn't and I'm replacing the 560 SEL with another W126 Sunroof) how the heck does one remove the headliner? Then I deal with "How the heck would you approach removing the entire sunroof that is dented from the top?"
2626679
 

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218 Posts
if you need help with rebuilding it, let me know as I have rebuilt several of them completely.
Dear MClare, here's what I'm up against. my 560 SEL sunroof dented by the hood flying up at 40 mph. Need advice on How to Remove sunroof that is dented from the top. Very happy to hear you've rebuilt several of them completely. Sounds like gold info to me. D Day in Maine
2626680
 

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Moderator
1991 500SEC 55K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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4,765 Posts
Dear MClare, here's what I'm up against. my 560 SEL sunroof dented by the hood flying up at 40 mph. Need advice on How to Remove sunroof that is dented from the top. Very happy to hear you've rebuilt several of them completely. Sounds like gold info to me. D Day in Maine View attachment 2626680
Here's a ton of sunroof infos from the MBCDs for ya. You're gonna need reading glasses soon man! :p

Granted, not bent examples, but I bet at this point, you're willing to read between the lines' as it were.

Good luck and above all: Stay Safe man!

M
 

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Moderator
1991 500SEC 55K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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4,765 Posts
Doug? You might have to cut it off, you know?

If that avenue becomes apparent, I'd look to Dremel vs Sawzall.

M
 
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