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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, after an hour outside my fingers are numb and have a slight tint of purple to them - but I think I figured out how to fix my sunroof. Hopefully I can get this thing working, and then post a how-to for everyone! I'll let everyone know how it turns out, but here is where I am right now:

This is the sunroof removed from the car. It is now inside so that I don't have to subject myself to frost bite anymore!



For those of you who haven't ever taken your sunroof apart... This is how it works. The motor moves the part circled in the first picture. This part is attached to the arm assembly, and slides it along the track as it moves. The second picture is the arm assembly in place - attached to the piece that moves.





How it is attached to the arm, is by the piece that is circled in this picture. This piece has a tabs on it that fit inside the piece that is moved by the motor and another piece on the other side of the track - and the motor moves it back and forth to open and close the sunroof.



These pictures show what has broken. The first picture is the piece that was circled in the previous picture. The tab that fits inside the piece that holds it on the track (not the piece that is moved by the motor - but the one on the other side) has broken off. The second and third pictures are close ups of the pieces that the motor moves. Second = Driver's Side. Third = Passenger Side. 1/2 of the piece has broken off of each one. The pieces that are on the other side of the track look the same way. The same part has broken. The other broken piece's tab fits inside where the open space is, and then there is supposed to be plastic on the other side. See the last picture for a crappy drawing of how it is supposed to be. The blue part is where the other half of the plastic piece is supposed to be.









So this is where I am at. I know why it is broken, but not how to fix it. I am thinking that I can use a 2 part epoxy and form a new side to the pieces that are broken - but I am not sure that it will hold. That stuff is like cement when it dries - so hopefully it will work out ok. As for the broken tab on the piece that fits into it - I think that I can just epoxy this in too. There is a little bit of the tab left - so I think it will work. Any suggestions?
 

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Well, one side is done... I am waiting for the epoxy to harden right now. Then I will sand it down with my dremel so that it doesn't interfere with the movement of the pieces. I basically formed the missing plastic, and also covered the remaining pieces for support. Hopefully it will hold. I did run into one problem though. I am missing the piece that had the broken tabs for the other side! I don't know what happened to it - so I am kinda stuck. I wonder how hard it would be to make one out of wood? Here are some pics of the progress...


 

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Jeez... I feel like I'm talking to myself in this thread! Anyways - the epoxy has pretty much hardened so I sanded down the areas that were hitting the arm and it still seems to be pretty solid. The arm connects to it well, and there are no obstructions left after I sanded it. I am going to wait until tomorrow to put it back together so it has a little more time to fully harden. Now all I have to do is figure out what I am going to do with the other side. I looked all over the sunroof track for the missing piece - but it looks like it fell out. Slomoe said that he may have extra parts if the same thing isn't broken on his - so I am crossing my fingers that he has the piece I need. Otherwise I am going to have to get really creative on this one! Is there anyone with a broken sunroof that would be willing to send me the piece that I am missing? Unless you plan on fixing the sunroof yourself - you will need to replace the whole assembly anyways. It is the piece that is circled in the forth and fifth pictures down of my original post. I would need the driver's side one. Here is a pic of my sunroof's current status:

 

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sweet deal, good to hear you are actually fixing this yourself. this thread should get moved to the 'howto' section
 

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If it doesnt work for some reason Steve, you can borrow my sunroof track until I need to put my car back togeather (which should be a while). Dont know if this would be neccecary for ya but I figured I'd offer.
 

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I have the intact drivers side.. if i dont need it i will send it to you :) I cant remember what side is broke on mine.

I will try to check out my roof tonight but i am not sure if i will have time or not.. Great idea witht he epoxy it looks good :thumbsup: It should be stronger than the original plastic

For those that dont have all the peices and cant find extra parts i was going to look into making aluminum replacement parts when im done with a different project im working on.

Screw ford! :p
 

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So I checked out my work this morning... The side that I finished is rock solid. I can't even move it if I apply a pretty good amount of force - so it should definitely hold while operating the sunroof. For the other side - I am going to try to fabricate the missing piece out of a 4X4 post and a dremel. I think I should be able to make one - but it will be kinda tricky. It has to be exactly the same as the other one because there isn't very much room in there and the arms need to fit through it. Since I already fixed the other one - I can only look at the top of it to make the new one. I have a feeling that this will take a few hours of trial and error - but it will be worth it in the end. The biggest part that I was worried about was the epoxy breaking free, but there is no way that the sunroof motor is breaking that thing! One question that I have though... If I make the piece out of wood, and then put a bunch of grease in the sunroof track so it slides smoothly... Will the grease deteriorate the wood? If I spray it with clear coat will that keep the moisture out?
 

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Ok, I ditched the wood idea. I made the piece and it looked pretty good, but in order to fit it had to be so thin that it wasn't strong enough. I thought about cutting slots in it and then covering the whole thing in epoxy to build strength, but I still think that it would break. So... I went searching out in the garage and found this piece of left over gutter that was sitting in the corner:



I figured out the measurements and how to bend the metal to recreate the missing piece. Then I cut enough material out of the gutter and pounded it flat with a hammer and 2 blocks of wood. I then put 3 layers together and formed the missing piece. Here is the metal frame that I made for the piece. I put it next to the one I am copying as a comparison.



I dremeled the piece to make it the exact same size as the original one, and then covered it with epoxy. I am waiting for the epoxy to harden right now, and then I will sand it so that the little knob thing fits inside the arm and moves freely. Here is a picture of the piece next to the original one:



And here are two pictures of how it will sit in the track. It will be attached to the broken plastic pieces that are moved by the motor in the same way as I did the other side. As soon as it dries I am going to start to mold it into the track.





I can't believe this is actually going to work! I am so happy right now! I can't wait until I have a working sunroof again! It should be done by tonight because I have to work in the morning and I'm not driving around without a roof!
 

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The piece that I fabricated has now hardened and I molded it into the track. It looks nice and solid and slides along the arm very well - even without any lubrication. I am going to give it a couple of hours to harden and then go reinstall the sunroof. I plan on using wheel bearing grease on the track and in the arms to help it slide more easily. I am going to get the roof back on tonight so that my car is drivable for work tomorrow, but I probably won't test it until tomorrow night just in case it decides to open and not close back up again! Anyways, here are a few pictures of the final creation! Everything is complete - all that needs to be done is to fit the arms over the two pieces that I molded in and put the sunroof back into the car.


 

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That looks great.. hopefully it works out

I dont suggest wheel bearing grease though, it will get sticky over time and probably cause it to break again. Maybe try graphite powder or lithium grease? Graphite works great on plastic vs metal

EDIT: do you need the other side still? or did you make both peices work. The good side isnt the side i need on my spare :(
 

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I wont need the piece if my little creation works. The piece I was missing is the one that I made in my last post. I will let you know tomorrow though after I try it out. Hopefully it will go smoothly and I will be done. The last thing I want to do is rip it all apart again! I spent way too much time on this already! So, no wheel bearing grease? I didn't know that it got sticky after a while. I am glad that I do know though - because there is all kinds of dirt and stuff that gets in there that would probably make it stick pretty quickly. The only other type that I have is axle grease. Maybe that'll work. If it is a bad idea, let me know ASAP cause I'm going to install it in about an hour. Also, thanks for the offer Chris! I just might take you up on it if my fix doesn't work!
 
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Awesome Job!! I have to tackle this project when the weather gets warmer....you may have just saved me alot of cash! :) :thumbsup:
 

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I just finished installing the sunroof about a half hour ago. I was too impatient to wait until tomorrow to try it, so I crossed my fingers and hit the button for the first time in two years. I have three words to describe the overall results...

OH MY GOD AFTER 2 LONG YEARS MY SUNROOF ACTUALLY WORKS AGAIN!!!

Ok so maybe that was more than three words, but I'm a little excited here... The sunroof works perfectly. It glides back and forth along the track very smoothly and doesn't have any scraping or rubbing sounds at all. I tried it out like 30 times to make sure it wouldn't break - and it didn't give me any signs of trouble. After realizing that it actually worked and I am no longer deprived of my sunroof, I commenced with the happy dance and then went for a 1/2 hour drive with it wide open. Sure it was cold, but hey - MY SUNROOF WORKS NOW!!!! I am so glad that I decided to see if I could fix it. I refused to pay the outrageous price that Ford wants for it, so I was stuck without one forever. I could look at it, but not use it. It would just sit there taunting me... NO MORE!!! WOOT!

:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
 

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thats phukn cool :)

putting the ol' boot up fords ass hehe

this makes me way more confident that i can fix mine too.. and my cousins
IMO i wouldnt put any grease in except for lithium or graphite lubricant. I dont really think grease is completley necessary.. looking at the roof i have for spare parts, the grease ford put in is turned to tar so i am 60% sure that is one reason why it broke in the first place

Great job!
 

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Congratulations!
I tried doing that but my metal bracket would not stay epoxied in place (driver side). I could not get enough on it and still have the bracket drop into the slot so that the roof would close.

I also found trouble as the roof reached it's full open position. So much stress was put on the bracket, it is used to stop the roof, that it would shear of every time.

So what type of epoxy are you using?? I'd like to give it another shot. If you mentioned a brand, I missed it in you write up.. :flushed:
 
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