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  #1  
Old 7th June 2008, 06:16 PM
Lukas Lukas is offline
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Default W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Hi all,

One of the more urgent jobs when I got my 350 was making it watertight. A culprit in this area was the sunroof, so while waiting for other parts, I pulled the sunroof out. As I couldn't find any pics / guides on the www for how to do this, I thought I'd put up my "method" here. By no means guaranteed to be the best, but I find pictures at least are always helpful.

In my case, the sunroof motor works and tries to drive it, but because it hasn't been used in up to 15 years, it jams in the just open position. If the motor doesn't go, there is a manual winder in the top left of the car boot, apparently it fits the wheel nut remover. The slot to stick the winder is about 10cm to the left of the winder's little holding clip - see pic. The big tube hanging down is where the winding cable goes when the sunroof is retracted.



Remove Grab Handles

Flat head screwdriver to pry up the plastic ends of the handles, revealing 2x bolt heads underneath each end of the handle.



Remove Sun Visors

Simple philips screws.

Remove Ceiling Trim on Sides

The side bits of the ceiling trim (above the doors) should now slide forwards and then fall away.

Pic shows the other part of the slide clips in the C pillar.



Remove Ceiling Trim at Rear

Remove the rear dome light and unscrew the earth point for it. The rear piece of trim should now pull towards the front of the car, and then fall away.

Pic shows the removed trim piece, with the slide clips visible (3 per side). Make sure you don't lose any clips, and attach them all to the piece of trim.



Remove Ceiling Trim at Front

Need to open the sunroof so there's about at 15cm+ gap, so you can unscrew the small chrome strip at the front of the sunroof.

Then, remove the rear view mirror by grabbing the stem and pulling towards the rear of the car (need to pull fairly hard) - see pic of the springy clip that you need to dislodge.



Then unscrew mirror base bracket. Pull ceiling trim at front towards the back of the car - more slide clips. Unattach the rear part of the perforated ceiling liner by gently prying off the small black plastic studs.

Unbolt Sunroof

Remove bolts around sides and front of sunroof frame.



Remove Sunroof Drainage Hoses

There's one on each corner. I found this easier to do after the sunroof was unbolted and hanging down a bit - more room to move. The ones at the back can be twisted with loosely-applied multigrips to loosen, then wiggled off - the front ones were glued on and the hose got torn while removing. Should be enough spare length to cut the torn bit off when replacing, or buy a replacement. Other end of front hoses is visible when front doors are open (stand on the "outside" of the open door, look in the gap); rear hoses come out behind the rear wheels in the boot.



Do Whatever Works

At this point, the sunroof is probably resting on the front seat headrests. This is the tricky bit - the whole lot is still attached to the car via the cable, and is also heavy and bulky.

Drive cable going into back of sunroof:


Dropped sunroof:




What I did was:

1) Unclip the ceiling trim bit that moves with the sunroof, via the six clips at the front of the sunroof.

Clips on removed trim:


2) Slide trim back and metal sunroof forwards

3) Remove trim



4) Slide sunroof forwards again

5) Undo small C-clip at very front of sunroof, allowing the cable to retract while the metal sunroof stays put.

6) Remove metal sunroof from frame and car

7) Undo bracket where sunroof drive cable passes through frame



8) Separate frame from cable housing - frame is now not attached to anything

9) Get frame out of car - front passenger door, gear selector in rearmost gear to make room (seriously).

10) Hooray!

Removed frame:


Guides that pop the sunroof back up when almost closed:


Remove Trim from Sunroof Frame

In my case, everything was rusty and dirty, so I wanted to remove the ceiling trim from the sunroof frame. To do this, there are 4 clips at the rear of the frame (see above pic, clips are under the 4 round cloth stickers), which a flat metal bar attached to the trim is sitting in. Need to prise the bar backwards about 1cm to release.

Removed from clips:


Then, the front of the trim can slide out from just behind the sunroof opening.

Phew.

Now need to remove all the stuck on roof lining stuff that was under the trim, de-rust everything, rust converter, pirmer, spraypaint, clean or replace trim, grease rails, re-install everything.

Last edited by Lukas; 13th October 2008 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Fix image links
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  #2  
Old 7th June 2008, 06:19 PM
Lukas Lukas is offline
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

PS - now for some questions:

* What's a good soap / detergent to clean the ceiling trim with (the perforated stuff)?

* The inside of the car ceiling has some small surface rust spots, probably where water drops sat at some point - what's the best treatment for these?

Ta

Lukas
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  #3  
Old 8th June 2008, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Hi Lukas, that's a great thread on describing how to remove the Sunroof frame. It is not something that is done every day, and certainly not necessary if you're just wanting to remove the Sunroof itself only. I think you did very well getting the Sunroof frame out of the car as I had always been under the impression that either front or rear window needed to be out to get the frame out.

Anyway, out it is and you can now set to cleaning up the frame itself which is prone to rusting at the front and in the front corners. Also, don't forget that you can purchase a new Sunroof frame sealing strip from MB or spare part suppliers prior to re-fitting it to the interior of the car. you have taken on a pretty 'decent' job and it will take some time and effort to refit everything the way it should be done. Good luck with the job. Regards Styria
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Old 8th June 2008, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

I found for the interior roof lining, use a convertible top cleaner, squirt into a bucket of water, use a mild scrubbing brush and a clean rag. Ends up looking rather good (mine had everything from water stains to a crayon mark) some of the crayon marks were a tad stubborn.
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  #5  
Old 8th June 2008, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

The large foam seal for the frame is available from dealers for not much more than $30.

The rust perforation in the frame and the adjoining roof structure will need repairing and the rubber drains cleared or replaced if damaged.

The front ,rear and side seals are cheap enough to obtain - cheapest of all is http://www.autohausaz.com.

As for the problem with closing I would start by checking the state of the drive cable as the teeth in the cable can wear and slip when the pressure is on.

The sliding plastic runners or "Sliding Jaws" (there are 10 in total) can be purchased from the dealer and including replacement of the three anti-rattle felt lined rubber stops for the wind deflector are less than $90 in total.

The parts are
3 x Rubber buffers - 123 782 03 28
4 x Sliding Jaws - 115 780 00 83
2 x Sliding Jaws - 108 780 01 83
2 x Sliding Jaws - 123 782 05 30
2 x Sliding Jaws - 123 782 06 30

M-B use a special lubricant called M-B "sunroof slide paste" for the slides and the cable. Part No 001 989 14 51. It is a grease with a consistency like vaseline but the list price was $268 from the agent ($210 with an arm twist) and $150 from M-B Spares in Canberra. I am sure the white Lithium based grease that castrol make would do the same job.

Best of luck.

Bill

Last edited by WGB; 9th June 2008 at 07:58 PM.
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  #6  
Old 9th June 2008, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Hi Bill, what's your opinion as far as using Lithium grease for lubricating all moving Sunroof parts ? I would have thought it'd do the job perfectly well. Regards Styria
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Old 9th June 2008, 08:12 AM
Lukas Lukas is offline
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Thanks all,

Re cleaning the roof lining: Have tried cloudy ammonia, sugar soap, SuperCheap's Vinyl Interior Cleaner, regular soap, and even Domestos and CLR. The first 2 do an equally fair job of removing the surface grot, mould spots, etc.; but there is still a noticeable difference between the exposed parts of the lining (darker colour) and the parts that were hidden under other bits if trim, and are thus presumably as they were when the car was made (light coloured).

Will have a look at some convertible top cleaner - if the active ingrediants are significantly different to sodium chloride that is in most of the others, will try it out - thanks Bill.

Perhaps I'm expecting too much in trying to get the whole lot back to factory condition / colour?

Re rubber seals: Making another trip to MBSpares soon anyway, so will try them for the seals. AutoHausAZ has them for US$34.95 for the side brushes (don't know if that's each or for a pair) and $10.97 for the front, don't seem to stock the back one.

For the foam strip that sits between the sunroof frame and the ceiling of the car, Clarke Rubber sorted that for a bit under $25.

Re other parts parts: The rubber buffers are in good condition, and I think the drive gear is OK - will see how it goes when the refurbished sunroof is back in the car. Thanks for the part numbers + tips. That website is great.

Re lubricant: $268! Tell them they're dreaming. Theat's more than 1/4 the cost of the car. The lithium stuff sounds good.

Lukas
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Old 9th June 2008, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Styria View Post
Hi Bill, what's your opinion as far as using Lithium grease for lubricating all moving Sunroof parts ? I would have thought it'd do the job perfectly well. Regards Styria
Hi Styria I have been away for a few days and on returning home today realise I was incorrect when I said Lithium Grease.

I withdraw the Lithium grease statement and change it to Zinc Oxide Grease as used on doorlocks. It seems to be about the same thickness and similar lubricating qualities and probably doesn't attract dust anymore than the original M-B stuff. Here is a picture of the castrol Zinc Grease sitting on a tub of the original "Gleitpaste".



If I knew what I know now I wouldn't have two lifetime supplies of the original stuff sitting in my shed.

Lukas -
1) I use Ranex as a rust converter because it will work with or without using water to wash it off. Many of the products require the area to be washed with water and sometimes this isn't easy to do as in the roof of your car.

2) Check your drive cable very carefully as wear in the teeth is not readily apparent and will probably only be two or three teeth in one side right at one or other end of the driven part of the cable at the motor end. It can probably be fixed by turning the cable through 180 degrees when putting it back in to use the other side and save the cost of a new cable. If it doesn't work it is not hard to remove the panel and the cable and fit a new cable later.

Also don't be too quick to dismiss the large genuine gasket Part No 115 782 00 78 between the frame and the roof. It really only did cost me either $31 or $32 from the local agent and is the correct thickness and density to make sure the joint is sealed with the correct clearances. It also comes with all the bolt holes already formed in the gasket, is one continuous piece with no join and is probably even cheaper from M-B Spares.

Here is a photo of the "Gleitpaste" with the top open sitting on the packet containing the M-B Genuine gasket with part number visible.



I know you might think this is expensive/pedantic but you have gone to a lot of trouble to get to this point if you are really not going to do the job in some depth.

If I had wanted to do a cheap job I would have left the frame where it was, removed the sunroof panel (Which is a very easy job), removed the cable, filled any holes with filler or silicon in the frame, blown through the drain pipes, cleaned and greased the rails , replaced the cable turned 180 degrees (so that the drive gears on the cable are fresh and new) and then re-installed the roof panel.

Bill

Last edited by WGB; 9th June 2008 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 10th June 2008, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Lukas, is there any chance you'd be able to weigh the unit for me and provide a figure?

I'm talking about the whole frame, sunroof & assembly??

I'm guessing it's a pretty heavy unit. With the whole frame and sunroof removed, would alluminium plating be sufficient to close up the gap in the roof?

Cam.
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  #10  
Old 10th June 2008, 08:57 AM
John S John S is offline
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

If you are thinking of taking out the sunroof and filling the empty space with an aluminum panel, don't do it - you will quickly have electrolysis corrosion set up by the two dissimilar metals. If you must fill any section into a car always use the same material that you have to weld / bond the repair too.
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Old 10th June 2008, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

The sunroof opening has it's own welded frame around the opening so it has it's own integral strength and you would save several kilo's by removing the bolt on frame and metal panel.

Bill
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Old 11th June 2008, 07:53 AM
Lukas Lukas is offline
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Hi all,

Bill: Ta for that, will try to get the other grease too. Any ideas what I should do with my newly acquired Lithium grease? Came in a WD-40 style spray pack with little red straw, so could be useful.

Will pursue the original foam seal too, although comparing the old one I removed and the new stuff from Clark Rubber, the Clark stuff looks like it will be far more water / weather resistant, and compresses just as well.

Re the cable: any tips on removing it from the car? I can't figure it out, except where I've detached it from the back of the sunroof. If I remove the drive motor now, will it all come out via the car boot?

Cam: Will try to weigh this weekend. I'd hazard a guess of about 15kg at least - that's how it felt when it landed on my head. The sunroof frame attaches to the car roof above the doors on the sides and above the windscreen at the front, with no attachment at the back. There is nothing structural around the sunroof opening itself.

So, if you're gonna remove it, my (amateur) opinion would be to just put the metal sunroof panel back into place, get a ~5mm strip of metal to fill the gap between panel and roof, weld that all up and then bog over the gap on the outside of the car. May then be worth considering putting some bracing under the roof, otherwise you will have one big wobbly bit of sheet metal.

Other part that I was waiting on (fuel pump) has arrived, so this project may get second billing for a while. On the other hand, I have a car in my front yard with a large hole in the roof, and the drought has broken in Canberra - we shall see.

Lukas
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Old 11th June 2008, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Cheers Lukas.

If I shouldn't use Aluminium to bond and fill the roof hole, how's about Perspex?? So, i cut a shape of perspex, lay it over, get some shelley's gap filler, squirt-squirt and i'm done?!

Lukas, in the coming weeks, do you reckon you'd be able to spare an hour or so to help me get started on the removal of my sunroof? I'll make it worth your while and you can keep any parts of it you may need.
My other 2 w116's don't have sun-roofs, so i don't need the parts.

Cheers,
Cam2.
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  #14  
Old 11th June 2008, 12:33 PM
Lukas Lukas is offline
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Hey Cam,

Am guessing you're in Canberra somewhere? If so then no worries, even if it's all the way to Tuggers. If you're a professional mechanic, you may be offended by my methods.....

Thing with Perspex would be that the sunroof panel has a 2-dimensional curve in it, which would be very hard to match with perspex (can only bend in one plane). Mind you, if you only matched the main curve (the one with the axis down the centre of the car, parallel with the tail shaft), that may just do it.

Dunno how you'd attach the perspex though - perhaps you could put a little L-shaped bracket around the existing edge of the sunroof hole, and sit the perspex in that, with appropriate fillers etc. Or get a fancy rubber seal for my friends at Clark Rubber.....

Also, can you get perspex that is properly UV-stabilised? All the stuff I've seen eventually goes a cloudy colour.

Will try to get some photos of the sunroof hole to show what I'm talking about tonight - stay tuned.

Lukas
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Old 11th June 2008, 12:39 PM
Lukas Lukas is offline
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Default Re: W116 Sunroof Removal for Dummies

Just read the other post - you are indeed a local - north or south? I'm north - in Higgins, the one with the w116 with a tarp over it in the front yard (classy, I know).

Lukas
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