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The Mercedes Benz W201 Sunroof
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

The Mercedes Benz W201 Sunroof

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$0 to $400

Talent:

**

Tools:

Trim removal tool, Phillips screwdriver, 16mm socket

Applicable Models:

 
Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)
Mercedes-Benz W126 (1981-91)
Mercedes-Benz W201 (1984-93)

Parts Required:

New parts as needed

Hot Tip:

Keep washing your hands so you will not get grease on the headliner

Performance Gain:

Enjoy the weather

Complementary Modification:

Clean your headliner

While the Mercedes-Benz W201 models are not known to have excessive issues with the sunroof, there are some basic maintenance and adjustment procedures that will help to keep your sunroof working in tip-top shape.

First thing's first: you will need to be able to do is open and close the sunroof. If your sunroof is stuck in the open position and will not move, there is an emergency access panel in the trunk that will allow you to manually close the sunroof. Open the trunk and on the driver side above the wheel well is a small access panel; open this and you will see two knobs. One is spindled and used for final adjustments and the other is a plastic 16mm nut. Using a 16mm socket you can turn this one direction or the other to open or close the roof as needed.

All of the adjustment issues involve removing the headliner panel on the sunroof. Begin by opening the sunroof 1/3 of the way. Gently pull the headliner down and away from the roof panel and you will see four clips that hold the front of the headliner to the panel. Pry these clips out of their holes with your trim removal tool. With the four clips undone, move the sunroof all the way back. Standing in one of the open doors, pull the headliner forward and out of the top of the sunroof opening.

To remove the roof panel, slide the roof all the way open. Remove the four screws on both sides of the rail and remove the rail strip. Close the roof and remove the two 8mm nuts holding the panel to the rail assembly. There are two nuts on each side. You can now lift the panel straight up and out of the roof.

There are two adjustments for the centering and height of the roof panel. On the front you will see two 8mm adjustment bolts on each side as well as three 8mm bolts on the rear. Loosen these bolts and you can adjust the panel.

If your sunroof is stuck in the open position and will not move.
Figure 1

If your sunroof is stuck in the open position and will not move. There is an emergency access panel in the trunk that will allow you to manually close the sunroof. Open the trunk and on the driver side above the wheel well is a small access panel; open this and you will see two knobs. One is spindled and used for final adjustments (red arrow) and the other is a plastic 16mm nut (yellow arrow). Using a 16mm socket you can turn this one direction or the other to open or close the roof as needed.

To remove the headliner panel on the sunroof, begin by opening the sunroof 1/3 of the way.
Figure 2

To remove the headliner panel on the sunroof, begin by opening the sunroof 1/3 of the way. Gently pull the headliner down and away from the roof panel and you will see four clips that hold the front of the headliner to the panel (red arrows). Pry these clips out of their holes with your trim removal tool. With the four clips undone, move the sunroof all the way back. Standing in one of the open doors, pull the headliner forward and out of the top of the sunroof opening. The green arrow shows the guide the rear of the panel rides on.

To remove the roof panel, slide the roof all the way open.
Figure 3

To remove the roof panel, slide the roof all the way open. Remove the four screws (red arrows) on both sides of the rail and remove the rail strip.

Close the roof and remove the two 8mm nuts (red arrows) holding the panel to the rail assembly.
Figure 4

Close the roof and remove the two 8mm nuts (red arrows) holding the panel to the rail assembly. There are two nuts on each side. You can now lift the panel straight up and out of the roof.

There are two adjustments for the centering and height of the roof panel this photo illustrates the two screw (red arrows) found on the front.
Figure 5

There are two adjustments for the centering and height of the roof panel this photo illustrates the two screw (red arrows) found on the front.

There are two adjustments for the centering and height of the roof panel this photo illustrates the three screw (red arrows) found on the rear.
Figure 6

There are two adjustments for the centering and height of the roof panel this photo illustrates the three screw (red arrows) found on the rear.

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Comments and Suggestions:
John B Comments: 1980 Mercedes 450 SEL power sunroof gear in unit is not grabbing cable. Gear appears to be 2 sizes that run independently rather than as one unit. Do you have replacement gear?
September 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure if a repair kit is available. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Iankc Comments: Hello Nick, my 1990 300e . The tilting sunroof will tilt up but won't come down. When my sunroof is down it will open and close. I can hear the motor working.
July 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like something is detached. You will have to remove the panel and inspect the tracks to see what is damaged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Iankc Comments: Hi from Ian my 1990 tilting sunroof will open but not close the motor is working and when the sunroof is down it works properly, can you help please.
July 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like something is detached. You will have to remove the panel and inspect the tracks to see what is damaged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ELI Comments: Hello, my problem is that the sunroof dont drop down at all, the motor is working but the sunroof doesnt move.
my question is how can i repair it??
June 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cassette may be broken. Check the guides and tracks for signs of broken parts. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fird Comments: Hi! The article was really good. Actually, I am having issue with my w124 sunroof which heard the motor runing, but it do not open at all. I asked a mechanic who has knowledge on W124 sunroof, but he said probably because of the cable. And also, it cannot be repair, but only to replace it with the whole new part. Is that true? Sigh...I just bought this beautiful w124 as my dream car since i was 11 yr-old...
June 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it is likely you need to replace the faulty cables, and possibly the motor gear. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Marc Comments: Following up my comment on March 13, 2016. I did more research and these instructions apply to the tilting sunroof of the W124 too, but when it comes to reassembly, you will have to adjust the height at the rear of the sunroof. One way to avoid this is too mark the two 8mm nuts holding the roof see figure 4 with a scratch awl tool. When reinstalling, make sure these nuts and align with your marks.
April 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Marc Comments: Does these instructions apply to tilting sunroofs? According to Mercedes instruction manual 7730.3, I need special pliers to preload the sunroof and they sell for at least $100. Thanks for all you instructions, you guys saved me lots of money.
March 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe they do, or at the least are very similar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
elharraq Comments: hi everyone, i have a 190d turbo 1992 without sunroof, my idea is to buy the whole system of the sunroof mechanism and install it in my car, so is that possible?
December 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think a cassette should be available. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Scarface Comments: Thanks again, Nick! Much appreciated!
August 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nozepkr Comments: I really appreciate you guys what a relief my fuel lines are in and couldn't have gotten it for less im in process of getting sunroof now w126
August 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Scarface Comments: Hello Nick, thanks for your quick reply! To be sure: the motor isnt stuck, the mechanism in the sunroof is broken on the left part. It will not sink the left part anymore; only tilt is possible. Can I remove the complete sunroof without the sunroof slid under?
August 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, if you remove the headliner first. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Scarface Comments: Hello, I cannot open the roof because the part that lowers the roof on the left side is broken and now it will not slide under. Since I cannot open the roof, I have no clue how to do the repair. I would really like to hear your ideas on how to do it. Thanks in advance! btw, I drive a 1991 W201 2.0D
August 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can remove the drive motor and push it back. if still stuck, you may have to remove the headliner and remove it as a unit. Then repair it on a bench. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
brendan Comments: hi ,

thanks for a great write up , however i need to adjust my sunroof sitting low on rear passenger side rhd and was wondering which bolts adjust this position ?.

thanks in advance

brendan
May 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are two adjustments for the centering and height of the roof panel. On the front you will see two 8mm adjustment bolts on each side as well as three 8mm bolts on the rear. Loosen these bolts and you can adjust the panel. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
TriStarDanny Comments: As always, TIA and very informative. I've replaced every high wear or broken component using this and other guides on my Brabus tuned MY1991 w124.051. My area of focus are the two nylon pads that are responsible for the wind deflectors lowering. The new pieces are not identical to the old, my a large margin. In fact they era "L-shaped". Local dealer parts counter says "trim to fit." Utilizing the single indexing hole to mount them with hole facing down, they're positioned with the leg of the 'L' pointing inward, but in this orientation they don't fit because of breadth and height limitations as imposed by the bracket with the two felts. Evidently, ? the arms of the 'L' are intended to run against the bottom-side of the top cover. If trimmed to fit, there would be left of these, and only the portion of this nylon block that makes contact with the wind deflector would be operable. This brings me to another detail, in that the old blocks had the same profile, front and rear, in that they were both radius. The new block is only radius on one end.0, the opposite end being 90'. Would you please shed some light on this? I had everything working smoothly, but the wind deflector wasn't closing in time. A few openings later the roof jammed two inches from closed before a rain storm. Luckily nothing broke, but upon inspection, one of the nylon blocks had come off and jammed the mechanism. Since the 'L' couldn't be oriented pointing inside, I installed them pointing out wards, and course the tolerances being what they are, it caught and twisted it right off. Logically, that 90' profile end needs to be facing forwards, and that would solve my late wind deflector actuation. In so orienting, I'd need to trim nearly all of the leg of the 'L' off. After owning 3 Mercedes coupes over a forty year period and my 930 for 31 years, I have a very hard time thinking the Germans would design anything that's "Trim to fit", short of a Hugo Boss suit that is.
April 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
quesnoy Comments: Do these instructions work for the later model sunroof that has tilt? My sunroof tilts, but does not slide. I will need to disassemble and find out what is broken. Thanks in advance for your help.
December 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This tech article applies to:
190E 2.6 (1988-1994)
190E 2.3 (1984-1994)
300E 3.0 (1987-1993)
300E 2.6 (1991-1993)
W124 (1986-1996)
W126 (1980-1992)
Only the style of sunroof shown here. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dr Ravi Comments: your instructions were really of great help and accurate to dismantle the sunroof however reassembling are insufficiant.
July 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. let me see if I can get some info added to the assembly portion. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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