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cdeasy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ireland
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Sunroof Woes

Hi guys,

A question for the sunroof gurus (if such a thing exists?) My sunroof will open when I hit the open button and it does it's normal thing of raising up at the back by 1 or 2 inches. However, when I try and use the procedures in the manual and those found on the net I find that I can't actually open my sunroof to take it out. It is like the locking lugs or whatever they are at the back of the sunroof won't unlock. Is this a common problem and if so how do I fix it?

Thanks,
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Colm Deasy,
1987 Porsche 944S with 101K on the Clock!
Old 08-23-2004, 03:35 AM
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I'm not a gear head, but I had the same problem on an '85.5 944 NA. I had no idea what the procedure was and the manual was not detailed enough.

Try this:

Sunroof up, unlatch both forward locks, place your thumb on the plastic lifting gear, and push toward the centre of the car on either side. The lifting gear should pop out of the sunroof and you should be able to lift it straight up.
Once both lifting gears are free the sunroof will slide aft off of the hinge mechanism.
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:03 AM
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My sunroof does absolutely zilch.. need to repair it..wish I could help..
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:15 AM
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Colm,

Turn ignition key to first position (just one click).

Now the sunroof button works exactly opposite of what you'd expect - push the button for "up roof" and watch over your shoulder in the crack as the lifters retract.

Unclip the front, and lift the back of the roof, and slide it away from the hinge. Adjust the wind deflector by hand till you like it.

Hope this does it.
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:51 PM
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GTroth,

That is exactly it! The lifters don't retract. Now that I have the right terms...what can I do to fix the problem?

Cheers,
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Colm Deasy,
1987 Porsche 944S with 101K on the Clock!
Old 08-23-2004, 11:03 PM
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Yeah, ok, I guess it's broken. So many of us don't know how to work the roof (including me, at first), that I thought you should be sure you're doing it right. I can't be much more help I'm afraid. Search around - there is a good tech article somewhere that I found a while back, I think referenced on this board.

Cheers,

Tom
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Old 08-24-2004, 04:02 PM
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Not to hijack the thread, but my sunroof is also acting screwy. It doesn't care where the key is, as long as it is at least turned to the first click. I can open it and take it out. It makes it difficult to judge when its closed and not free to be taken out. Every time I close it, I have to press the sunroof from underneath to see if it pops up. Any ideas?
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Old 08-25-2004, 05:50 AM
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Cool

The sun roof lifters work like a cam.
The lifters themselves have a tab on the outer side that rides in a groove on the rear of the sunroof lifter guide. As the lifter lifts the roof, it moves forward along the groove and at its highest, most forward point it can be popped out of the lifter guide, you can then lift the sunroof free and slide it off the hinge/wind deflector.
To retract the lifters, there is a button on the forward part of the roof (right above the rear view mirror) that must be depressed while activating the sun roof switch, the lifters can then be raised or retracted.

The sun roof lifters work on a cable and tandem gear mechanism (excuse all this technical jargon, I discovered all this repairing a lifter that came free of the mechanism and had to pull it all apart to put it back together). The cable runs from a motor that is located in the drivers side rear fender wall, accessable behind the carpeting in the rear hatch. The cable runs up to the after end of the roof and turns the tandem gear mechanism, both lifters have to be aligned so that they lift together. This took a little adjusting for me to fix.

For Daxdog, ensure that the lifter tab has popped into the cam groove when reinstalling. It should snap in audibly.
Inspect your sunroof lifter guides to ensure the groove is not damaged.

Enjoy the sunshine.
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Last edited by db-951; 08-25-2004 at 08:13 AM..
Old 08-25-2004, 08:09 AM
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Open the back hatch.
Pull the carpet up on the left side, exposing the "hole" underneath (wheel well) - then pull the "side carpet" away from the side - it is held plastic with clips that just pull in and out. Unplug the wire that leads to the hatch interior light (two wires - big one with plastic clip at end and one small brown wire) - it makes it easier to pull the carpet all the way back. Once both pieces of carpet are pulled back, put something heavy on them to keep them from moving (makes it easier to work).
There should be a black plastic cover to the extreme left with some screws on top and on the front/bottom - remove the screws (I think there are 5 or six of em'). Pull the black plastic cover off.
Now you see the motor.
If you look at the top area of the motor, you will see two retangular boxes that should be white and red. They are about 1 inche by .75 inches big. These are the microswitches. They should have wires leading to them.
There should be a small screw holding them on.....this screw is almost impossible to get at without removing the motor....but don't worry about that right now.
These switches both get "hit" when the motor spins - there is a white plastic gear that spins and it has grooves that hit the lil' "wheels" on the microswitches (look at the front of the switches). When both switches are hit, they click. The top switch will get hit first, then the bottom one. Once both are "clicked" - the motor stops in what should be the locked roof position.

What happens is this "hard to get to screw" (the one that holds the switches to the motor) gets loose and the switches move out towards the hatch area. A movement of a mm will cause the switch to not be hit correctly, thus making the motor spin past the "locked" position and this is your problem.

Now before worrying about removing the motor - try pushing on the side of the switches with your finger - pushing them more towards the left. Only push ever slightly. They can only move as far as the hole that hold the screw will allow, but if you push them in too far, this will cause the roof to think it's "closed" to early and you will end up with a slightly raised roof when it should be closed. Try pushing the switches....they should move because they have to be loose in the first place in order for you to be having this problem. If they move, try moving them just a tad (as you push them, you should start seeing the hole under that screw - you can see how the hole is wide to allow the switches to be moved in and out), then try the roof out. If it keeps going past the closed position (the problem you have), then try moving them a bit more until it is just right. This should fix the problem.

If the problem comes back, you can just do this all over again......but if it comes back, this may mean that this lil' screw that hold the switches to the motor is too loose. You will have to remove the screws that hold the motor to the side of the car and pull the motor out some and then get at that screw and tighten it. Remember to set the switches where they work correctly before tightening this screw.

Try that out and if you have any questions as you're doing it, post back.
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:51 AM
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Here is some additional info I type in a thread a while back...

Let's look at the sunroof of a 944....

Parts...

1. Motor
2. Plastic gear on motor
3. Spline cable that runs around plastic gear and up into the cars roof to turn the gears, which move the metal arms up and down to raise/lower/remove the roof
4. 3 microswitches on motor assembly, one above visor in car

Here is how it works.....

With the sunroof closed and in the "start" position (meaning the roof is closed and the arms are holding it closed) we can start.

When the sunroof is in the "start" position, the motor has spun the big white plastic gear to the "top" position. What this means is that the part of the motor gear (plastic piece) that is "pointy" is hitting the top microswitches. There are two microswitches on the top of the motor assembly - these are those little rectangular boxes that have what looks like small wheels coming off them. When the roof is closed - switch #2 is hit. So, when lining up the roof - spin the gear by hand until you hear it "click" the switch. The motor gear MUST be stopped exactly at that point....a mm forward or back will mean an inch or two difference in the sunroofs position. Switch #2 is the "start point" switch. When this switch is hit, the car thinks the roof is in the closed and secured position.

Now, with the car's ignition in the #2 spot (like you're going to put the roof up and down) - when you hit "down" (the bottom portion of the sunroof button) on the sunroof button (the position it works for in Franks case), the motor spins the plastic gear forward (thus opening the roof) and it spins till it hits the microswitch on the bottom of the motor assembly. If you remove the motor assembly, it is at the bottom (kinda across form where the spline cable goes in). This is switch #3 and all it does is stop the roof in the "open" position. This switch can be moved back and forth (just loosen the two screws holding it on and it will slide) to fine adjust how far open you like the roof. Mine is set so there is about a 6.5 inch opening when the roof is fully open. Slide the switch away from the plastic gear for more opening and closer for a more closed roof at max.

When you push the "up" (top part) of the sunroof button (making the roof close) - the motor spins the plastic gear back around till it hits microswitch #2 again (back to the "start" position). That's about it for opening and closing the roof.

Now there is another microswitch right next to #2 (the one that senses the "closed" position). This switch is hit when you put the key in the ignition in position #1 (like when you want to back the arms off so you can remove the roof). With the ignition being in the #1 position, when you push "down" on the sunroof button, the plastic gear now spins the opposite direction - this causes the arms that open and close the sunroof to back off into the roof of the car so you can remove the roof. This #1 switch is meant to let the motor know to spin which way. Once the arms are backed off (so you can remove the roof) - a slip clutch lets the motor spin, while not moving the plastic gear. If the torque is not set correctly on the motor, this is how gears get stripped. When you push "down" on the sunroof button (while the key is in position #1), the arms will back off and stop (and you will still hear the motor spinning) - but if the torque is two high, the slip clutch won't work and the plastic gear will keep spinning, moving the cable and busting the plastic gears in the roof because they cannot spin anymore because the arms they move are back as far as they will go. They should have installed a forth microswitch to stop the motor - I don't know why they didn't.

When the ignition is in position #1 and the sunroof arms are backed off, pushing "up" on the sunroof button will make the gear spin forward now, but it will hit switch #2 and stop in the "start" postion (this is the act of locking the roof down after putting it back in). The gap between switch #1 and 2 is so minimal it makes fine adjustment hard.

This isn't even really needed - because if you have the roof out and simply place it back in - locking the doors of the car automatically sets the motor gear back to the "start" position. The roof locks itself. Also, if you forget to lock the roof and didn't lock the doors, as soon as the wheels start moving, the roof will also automatically lock....listen for the gear movement - it's cool!! I never use my sunroof button to lock the roof down. I let the car do it.

The last microswitch is the one inbetween the visors. This is only there so the motor will not move at all with the roof out. If this switch fails, the car doesn't know the roof is in and the motor will not work.

There are many other neat tricks - like how to change the gears and adjust the arms to match up to what the motor is thinking. Another tip when changing gears or working on the adjustment of the arms is to take the roof out and just push the microswitch in the car (between the visors) with your finger. This way you can work on the motor adjustments without having to keep putting the roof in and out. Leave the roof out at all times (so you can watch the arms move better) and just "fool" the car into thinking the roof is in.

Also, none of the above applies to how I have my roof set up. I bypassed the "start" switch so that when I push the "down" sunroof button (as in opening the roof), the roof opens normally, but when I push "up" (to close the roof), the motor spins to close it and it spins past the #2 microswitch and the arms start retracting into the roof. This way I do all the sunroof "stuff" with the ignition key in only the #2 position. I stop pushing the button when I see the arms starting to back away from the sunroof. This way, I can remove my roof at any point by pushing "up" on the sunroof button and backing off the arms just enough so the roof can be pulled out. No "ignition position #1 or 2" for me!!! It's all done on position #2.
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:53 AM
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Wow!

I wasn't expecting replies as long as that. Thanks a million. I'll let you know how I got on when I get a chance this weekend to work on the car (weather permitting).

Regards,
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1987 Porsche 944S with 101K on the Clock!
Old 08-25-2004, 10:56 PM
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