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TOPIC: Sunroof still stuck closed

Sunroof still stuck closed 01 Sep 2010 18:47 #832


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Hi All,

The sunroof on my 83 is stuck closed. I have replaced the switch and have power to the motor. I removed the motor and transmission and it bench tested okay. I could not budge the sunroof with the motor out. I tried one of those round dent pullers with the suction cup on the sunroof and could not budge it. I finally wedged a small wood wedge between the sunroof and sorrounding body and got it to move a 1/2 inch, refused to move after that. I tried the link to RENNLIST from the 928 INTL web page and reviewed a years worth of sunroof issues but could find nothing on a stuck closed sunroof. Does anyone have a clue as to how I can get this sucker open ? Thanks.

Carlo :confused:
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Sunroof still stuck closed 01 Sep 2010 19:25 #835


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Greg's site has some tips: http://www.nichols.nu/tip805.htm & http://www.nichols.nu/tip359.htm

While it is about the 911, the photos look similar to what I recall seeing in my forays into sunroof mechanisms: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/911_sunroof_repair/911_sunroof_repair.htm

Hope that helps
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Sunroof still stuck closed 01 Sep 2010 19:58 #838


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Hi :)

I cannot remember how but I know there is a way of MANUALLY opening and closing the sunroof for emergencies....

All the best Brett :)
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Sunroof still stuck closed 01 Sep 2010 20:24 #839


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Brett928S2;873 wrote:
Hi :)

I cannot remember how but I know there is a way of MANUALLY opening and closing the sunroof for emergencies....

All the best Brett :)

Yes, but if he has the motor and transmission out of it, it should just slide. At least based on my experience.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 01 Sep 2010 21:28 #840


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Stan.Shaw@Excell.Net;874 wrote:
Yes, but if he has the motor and transmission out of it, it should just slide. At least based on my experience.

True. Maybe there was a slight leak in the sunroof area at one time causing the rails to corrode some. That could potentially lock it up, I guess. Try some penetrating oil.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 01 Sep 2010 23:06 #843


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All 928 with sunroofs came with a manual crank handle for just such an instance. If your is gone, quite common, you might find someone in your area with one. You pull the cover to the rear of the sunroof and it screws in. 928 Intl may carry them.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 03 Sep 2010 08:54 #849


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Thanks for the links and replys. I'll let you know how I do.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 29 Dec 2010 20:42 #2558


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Carlo - did you ever try the crank? Mine does the same thing. I don't want to mess with the sunroof until it warms up though. Motor tries to move but the roof won't budge.
1983 928S - 16v 4.7L L-Jetronic
Dark Grey w/ Blue Leather
85/86 exhaust manifolds
Y-Pipe
SS Hi-perf Cat
S4 springs
Bilstein shocks
Air pump delete
VIN: WP0JB0926DS861180
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Sunroof still stuck closed 29 Dec 2010 22:53 #2559


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Guys, he had the COMPLETE DRIVE MECHANISM OUT OF THE CAR!!! The hand crank IS NOT GOING TO WORK! If all the drive system is out of the car then the sun roof should be COMPLETELY FREE TO SLIDE ALL OVER THE PLACE! Something is binding it in place...surprised that he moved it a bit but can't move it anymore actually. I am guessing a rail has somehow moved and it is REALLY STUCK!
James
78 Silver / Black-white #295
84 Ruby Red / Black AO84
88 Dark Blue / Linen-Black
92 Polar Silver / Dark Blue 92EURO
93 Arrow Blue / Black
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Sunroof still stuck closed 30 Dec 2010 22:01 #2603


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Makes sense - hopefully it does not leak!. I will move that one down my list for a while and see how he makes out.
1983 928S - 16v 4.7L L-Jetronic
Dark Grey w/ Blue Leather
85/86 exhaust manifolds
Y-Pipe
SS Hi-perf Cat
S4 springs
Bilstein shocks
Air pump delete
VIN: WP0JB0926DS861180
- - Isn't Life great? - -
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Sunroof still stuck closed 30 Dec 2010 22:05 #2605


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I can't wait to hear how this turns out and what the problem ends up being! It is a VERY unusual failure...
James
78 Silver / Black-white #295
84 Ruby Red / Black AO84
88 Dark Blue / Linen-Black
92 Polar Silver / Dark Blue 92EURO
93 Arrow Blue / Black
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Sunroof still stuck closed 31 Dec 2010 14:10 #2614


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I remember seeing a how to remove the stuck closed sunroof somewhere.

ILL see if I can find the link.

OK I found it here

http://www.nichols.nu/tip805.htm

Brad
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Sunroof still stuck closed 31 Dec 2010 16:32 #2622


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Good work Brad! Lets hope it works for the OP!
James
78 Silver / Black-white #295
84 Ruby Red / Black AO84
88 Dark Blue / Linen-Black
92 Polar Silver / Dark Blue 92EURO
93 Arrow Blue / Black
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Sunroof still stuck closed 31 Dec 2010 16:51 #2623


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Thanks James it is in our tech tips under nichols tips
then exterior and then sunroof.

Carlo said he had the roof open a 1/2 inch and the tip says to get it open 3/4 inch and then you can remove the headliner screws.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 05 Jan 2011 16:51 #2699


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Any luck Carlo, In the words of a famous stand up, git-r-done ;)
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Sunroof still stuck closed 05 Jan 2011 18:23 #2703


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Great - thanks 928mac - will bookmark this one for my sunroof effort this summer since it sounds eerily similar.
1983 928S - 16v 4.7L L-Jetronic
Dark Grey w/ Blue Leather
85/86 exhaust manifolds
Y-Pipe
SS Hi-perf Cat
S4 springs
Bilstein shocks
Air pump delete
VIN: WP0JB0926DS861180
- - Isn't Life great? - -
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Sunroof still stuck closed 05 Jan 2011 18:41 #2705


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Mine is stuck as well.
I have just not got to it yet
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Sunroof still stuck closed 02 Feb 2011 11:05 #3254


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Thanks for the link and all your advise. Car is in storage for winter, I live in Aurora, Colorado and it's friggin -9 today. I'll get back on it in May.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 02 Feb 2011 15:35 #3259


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There are two generally reasons why a sunroof may stick:
  1. The drive is stuck
  2. The runner/slide mechanism is stuck
On the first, if you remove the plastic panel at the back of the roof headliner you can unbolt the motor and then the gearbox. The latter engages in the two drive cables (one for each side) with a gear. Removing it should allow the drive cables to move in their tubes without the motor or gearbox hanging them up - if that is the issue.

The second is more likely since typically screws loosen and or the plastic parts break, resulting in a jamb as pieces get out of place. You have to remove the sunroof headliner to get to these, and as noted in the referenced methods, you have to get to three screws at the front edge. To be clear, as I missed this initially, the screws are horizontal and deep in the gap between the sunroof top panel and the sunroof headliner where the wind breaker goes as the sunroof closes. Knowing that, if your sunroof is even open a bit, you can get a flexible shaft screwdriver in there to loosen the screws - they don`t have to be undone, but it does help. Once the sunroof headliner is removed, which is not a fun task, then it is easy to unbolt the sunroof and components from inside the car.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 02 Feb 2011 17:16 #3264


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Martin,

This second point is a good and important one...

On EURO85 I was noticing that the sunroof did not line up very well... It was WAY lower on the passenger side rear and was not properly flush even on the drivers side, so this time when I had it in the shop I asked them to take a look at it. Didn't even take them an hour to fix, but it was missing or lose screws all over the place and that is why it was funky. Now it fits PERFECTLY and looks AWESOME as the lines of the roof are now smooth as they should be! It also takes the risk out of damaging something because now it is all tight, straight and lubed up! YEA!

BTW, I pick the car up tomorrow and all that will be left are some interior and exterior cosmetic things and that car will be SO SWEET!!!! Exhaust in on and sounds MEAN! Car seems (according to the guy who owns the shop and has 2 928's of his own) running well too! Can't wait for better weather to start racking up the miles on that bad boy!!!
James
78 Silver / Black-white #295
84 Ruby Red / Black AO84
88 Dark Blue / Linen-Black
92 Polar Silver / Dark Blue 92EURO
93 Arrow Blue / Black
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Sunroof still stuck closed 04 Feb 2011 07:58 #3297


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I've discovered a couple of other failure modes from reading and personal experience:
  1. The ends of the drive cable can come off - but this just means the drive will not be able to move the sunroof, not that it will actually jamb
  2. The rear drip tray can break and cause a jamb. Mine was broken (see my car profile posting) but fortunately the broken piece was pushed to the back of the opening and only impaired the extent to which the roof could open, but it is easy to imagine that it could have lodged under the sunroof
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Sunroof still stuck closed 16 Feb 2011 12:02 #3510


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Thanks Martin. In the spring I will try again to get the roof to move more than 1/2 inch so I can access the screws. With the motor and gear out I can only get about a 1/2 inch movement. I will also try some wd40 on the sides to see if it will penetrate and help lube.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 16 Feb 2011 12:37 #3512


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CARLO;3631 wrote:
Thanks Martin. In the spring I will try again to get the roof to move more than 1/2 inch so I can access the screws. With the motor and gear out I can only get about a 1/2 inch movement. I will also try some wd40 on the sides to see if it will penetrate and help lube.

With the gearbox out, you can also access the rear end of the two drive cables - I'd suggest some WD40 or PB Blaster there too.

If the cause is dried or gummed/dirty lubrication I expect that the sunroof will move slowly but not necessarily stop in exactly the same place, especially if you are helping it.

On the other hand, if there is a loose piece jamming it, then a sudden stop is more likely. I found in mine that a piece of the rear drip tray had broken off, but fortunately it had been pushed to the end of the sunroof recess. However, it could easily have jammed up the roof just as it started to open.

Good luck.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 03 Apr 2011 11:36 #4273


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Sorry if I repeat someone else's answer to 928 stuck closed sunroof.
Here is what happened to me with my recently purchased 1984 Black 928S.
After fighting but trying not to damage anything, I still did not find why my sunroof would drop in back but not retract. The motor and gearbox work but with both out the sunroof panel would not move.
"My" mechanic (works extensively on Porsche) tried for nearly an hour, but finally found that the sunroof panel leather had stuck to the polished bar that crosses the rear of the opening (visible when the sunroof is open. He carefully used a somewhat hand made thin tool that lacked sharp edges or corners, that he worked at the back of the sunroof (inside) to "unstick" the leather from this polished bar.
Upon unsticking the leather the sunroof worked/works flawlessly. He recommends cleaning this bar regularly and a couple of times a year spraying it with silicon spray.
I can provide a picture of this polished bar if you need.
Hope this helps.
Porsche356
'56 356A, '99 996 coupe, '84 black 928S
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Sunroof still stuck closed 04 Apr 2011 00:43 #4281


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^^^^^
That is some VERY GOOD intel right there! Heck of a 1st post! Welcome and thanks for the info! That will help more than a few I suspect!
James
78 Silver / Black-white #295
84 Ruby Red / Black AO84
88 Dark Blue / Linen-Black
92 Polar Silver / Dark Blue 92EURO
93 Arrow Blue / Black
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Sunroof still stuck closed 05 Apr 2011 20:22 #4302


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Yes nice post! and it makes sense as well. Not sure how strong that motor is, but if something won't even start to move (like mine but I hear the motor start and stop etc.) You odds on getting it going are not good.
I will try that later this summer as well. Maybe one of those modified thin bars like they use to open locked car doors with. Will start looking.

Thanks 356
1983 928S - 16v 4.7L L-Jetronic
Dark Grey w/ Blue Leather
85/86 exhaust manifolds
Y-Pipe
SS Hi-perf Cat
S4 springs
Bilstein shocks
Air pump delete
VIN: WP0JB0926DS861180
- - Isn't Life great? - -
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Sunroof still stuck closed 06 Apr 2011 09:14 #4308


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Interesting. First I've heard of this and I researched sunroof posts quite a bit. In most cases the sunroof liner leather comes off. I even saw a guy posting one for sale on eBay: "This fell of my sunroof but I thought someone would find it useful" It was all dried and shrunk of course.

BTW, welcome to the OC!
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Sunroof still stuck closed 21 May 2011 21:49 #4911


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Mine just "magically" started working. And has not faulted one day in the 2 weeks since....wild. But I think I know what happened. I left the car out in the sun for a day while we were waiting to pull it in for some other work at a friends house. There were no clouds and it was probably in the low to mid 80's that day. I came over the next day around noon, still just as warm and nice outside. I was helping to pull the car into the garage and said to myself, what the heck, let's push the button again. SMOOTH as SILK it opened...... I did not close it and we left it that way until I picked it up about 6 or 7 days later.

Today I sprayed some silicon lubricant on the the rails (it is tight in there!) and it seemed to flow a little quicker.

Well I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth here. I think it had not been opened since it had been painted or something and maybe it just was stuck outside. But it could have been something internal as well I guess. My indicator was that the motor worked then stopped on it's own after about a second or less. Sounded like it was hung on something. But when it moved, (and ever since) there is absolutely no hitches in the travel. I love these cars....:) They are fickle beasts sometimes for sure.
1983 928S - 16v 4.7L L-Jetronic
Dark Grey w/ Blue Leather
85/86 exhaust manifolds
Y-Pipe
SS Hi-perf Cat
S4 springs
Bilstein shocks
Air pump delete
VIN: WP0JB0926DS861180
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Sunroof still stuck closed 17 Aug 2012 10:44 #10243


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One of the replays to my post seemed to be regarding the motor stopping. In my trying and trying to fix what was a stuck leather to the cross bar, I found that the motor drives a gearbox via a rubber connector. This connector "normally" drives the gearbox but with my roof stuck it would just slip. Perhaps it shouldn't slip but it DID act as a clutch by slipping and thereby did not damage the gearbox or burn out the motor.
I'm new to 928s but an old and avid Porsche Pusher. I still have my original 356A (56) and a 99 996. I'd rather take the '28 on a long drive than either of the other two. The '28 is 5 spd. and will run on log drives in the 23 mpg range. And I don't feel beatup when I return. Fab car, the 928. Now, to fix the recently failed A/C which burst and discharged all the freon upon starting on a (now warm) trip.
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Sunroof still stuck closed 17 Aug 2012 10:51 #10244


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Nice cars!
The 996 crowd might not like you preferring the 928 on a long drive though :)

I drove 1500 mile round trip one weekend in my '90 GT and the A/C broke 1 hour into the trip. My wife was quite a trooper as I don't think it dropped under 90' the entire time. The high speed runs helped a little getting the air into the car :)
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Sunroof still stuck closed 17 Aug 2012 14:01 #10247


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You do need to use caution in trying to move a stuck sunroof...

The drive cables end in a plastic piece on the front end. The plastic piece has a molded-in pin that actually drives the sunroof. If you apply too much force to the cable, it will break the plastic end -$60 each for replacement cables.
Wally Plumley
928 Specialists
www.928gt.com
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Sunroof still stuck closed 17 Aug 2012 14:25 #10249


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I need the plastic drive piece between the motor and gear box.
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