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Sunroof Operation and Maintenance
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Sunroof Operation and Maintenance

Steve Vernon

Time:

10 minutes10 mins

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Hands

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 (1983-89)
Porsche 944 S2 (1989-91)
Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)
Porsche 944S (1987-88)

Hot Tip:

Work carefully around the old plastic pieces

Performance Gain:

Sunshine and moonlight

Complementary Modification:

Replace the weather seal

All sunroofs on the Porsche 944s and 951s are raised and lowered by two lifting arms at the rear edge of the roof. On Porsches produced before February 1986, there is a gear box between the two lifting arm mechanisms. This gear box has a single gear, which moves the lifting arms via two short lengths of drive cable. The guide tubes for the short sections of the flexible drive cable are routed such that the drive cables are directly engaged in the teeth on the lifting arms as opposed to using a plastic drive gear in each lifting arm housing. On cars made after February 1986, the lifting arms are operated by plastic gears (one for each lifting arm mechanism). The plastic gears have a small set of teeth that operate the lifting arms. They also have a large set of teeth that are driven by a flexible cable driven by the sunroof motor. The sunroof drive motor assembly is located in the rear hatch area on the left side behind the carpet.

This article will deal with the early sunroofs.

To operate the sunroof in the open or closed direction, the ignition switch is turned to the "ON" position. To release the sunroof the ignition switch must be in the "OFF" position. If the sunroof fails electrically, it can be operated manually. However, operating an early sunroof manually is difficult at best and should only be done if absolutely necessary. This is covered in the article on maintenance and repair of the sunroof.

The normal operation of the sunroof is run by the single sunroof switch on the center console (red arrow).
Figure 1

The normal operation of the sunroof is run by the single sunroof switch on the center console (red arrow). What operations the switch performs is dependent on the position of the ignition switch.

To open the sunroof turn the ignition switch to the ON position and press the switch down toward the rear of the car (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

To open the sunroof turn the ignition switch to the ON position and press the switch down toward the rear of the car (yellow arrow). To close the sunroof press the switch down towards the front of the car (red arrow).

To remove the sunroof turn the ignition switch to the off position and press the down switch towards the rear of the car (red arrow) to retract the lifting arms.
Figure 3

To remove the sunroof turn the ignition switch to the off position and press the down switch towards the rear of the car (red arrow) to retract the lifting arms.

Release the two clamps on the inside front of the sunroof by folding them forward (red arrow) with your hand.
Figure 4

Release the two clamps on the inside front of the sunroof by folding them forward (red arrow) with your hand.

You can now push the sunroof up and back towards the rear of the car and remove it from the vehicle.
Figure 5

You can now push the sunroof up and back towards the rear of the car and remove it from the vehicle. This photo illustrates how the lifting arms (red arrows) sit in the sunroof panel (yellow arrows).

This photo illustrates the end of the lifting arm (red arrow) that engages the rear of the sunroof panel.
Figure 6

This photo illustrates the end of the lifting arm (red arrow) that engages the rear of the sunroof panel.

When reinstalling the sunroof insert it into the front of the roof opening making sure that it is sitting in the appropriate guides on each side (red arrow) and fit the rear portion into the channel for the lifting arms.
Figure 7

When reinstalling the sunroof insert it into the front of the roof opening making sure that it is sitting in the appropriate guides on each side (red arrow) and fit the rear portion into the channel for the lifting arms.

The seals on the sunroof are not designed to be weather proof and water is expected to get past them and into the roof area.
Figure 8

The seals on the sunroof are not designed to be weather proof and water is expected to get past them and into the roof area. If your sunroof is leaking when it is raining it is because your drain tubes are clogged. There is a drain opening on each corner (red arrow). It is a good idea to run a piece of Weed Wacker line down each drain channel at least once a year to prevent them from clogging up.

The drain line that runs down the C-pillar and out through the bottom of the car by the spare tire is long.
Figure 9

The drain line that runs down the C-pillar and out through the bottom of the car by the spare tire is long. Make sure you have a long enough piece of line. Do not force it, or you run the risk of damaging the older brittle lines (red arrow).

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