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Stuck Sunroof

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Old 03-28-13, 10:33 PM   #1
shark13
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Default Stuck Sunroof

Does anyone know how to get access to the sunroof motor? Mine is stuck in the tilt position. Unfortunately it is stuck open. It opened up fine but when I attempt to close it it get stuck. It will go down about 1" but will stop. It will go back up to the top without a problem but again it won't close. Does this sound something may be in the track or perhaps another problem.

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Last edited by shark13; 03-28-13 at 10:44 PM..
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Old 03-29-13, 06:59 AM   #2
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Try some basic stuff first. Make sure inside roof panel is is pulled fully back, carefully examine as much of the track as you can for obstructions, try the door key held in the door lock closed position for a couple of seconds this bypasses the interior switches.
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Old 03-29-13, 11:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately check all on those things. I started just here and there seeing how hard it was to remove the headliner. To my surprise it was designed. At this point I feel confident I can remove the headliner without making it look trashy once I am done. I figure once I have access to everything without obstruction it will make it easier to diagnose the issue.

My guess would be that the track is either stuck, off, or broken. It seems like on side it is trying to close but that the other side is not moving quite as much.

If anyone might have a diagram of this whole area that would be really helpful. I am a little confused at this point how the track that runs inside the copper tubing closes the sunroof when it is in the tilt open position.
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Old 03-29-13, 02:51 PM   #4
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I dont know if it works on the RX but there is a procedure to reset the sunroof on other lexus models. Disconnect the battery for 10 min. After you re-connect hold the sunroof up button for about 15 seconds the roof is then supposed to auto cycle through all its functions.
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Old 03-29-13, 05:14 PM   #5
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Tried that too. I went full bore and took out the headliner and sunroof. It's setting in my living room. Here is what I noticed. After removing the motor I see how the two cables slide back and forth inside their tubes. The motor sits in the middle between the two cables and turn both when it spins. One would then think that if the motor was removed the cables should be able to go in and out freely when the glass is titled up and down.

In my case even with the motor removed the glass won't drop and the cables don't move. It gets me to think that something is blocking the closing process, but for the life of me I can't see where.
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Old 03-30-13, 04:21 AM   #6
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So after some more time it appears the plastic piece that rides in the track and is attached to the cable is too tight. On one side I am able to slide this piece and the attached cable back and forth. On the other side I cannot move it by hand and only by tapping with a hammer and a tool. Anyone know if just the cable can be purchased? If so, does it come with the plastic piece that rides in the track preattached?
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Old 04-06-13, 10:44 AM   #7
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Could you please post some pictures? That might help the next person faced with the same situation. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-13, 05:55 PM   #8
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Since you have the whole thing apart, is there a spot to insert a manual crack, and open/close the sunroof without the motor?
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Old 04-10-13, 03:33 PM   #9
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I ended up having to tap the plastic "slider" piece that is attached to the cable with a hammer and tool. I managed to tap it all the way to the very end and then it just would not move any further. Unfortunately in the end what I found was that the cable was somehow stuck in the copper tubing. Eventually the slider and cable broke apart. At that point the cable was useless. I went so far as to remove the copper tubing on the end that was stuck. I was still unable to remove the cable. I even straightened the tubing and still am unable to remove the cable. I have not idea what possibly could be stuck inside the tube that a grown man using every thought he has cannot pull it out.

So now not only do I have no cable but I have lost use of that portion of the tube (the part which is welded to a mounting bracket). To top it off it appears that my year of RX300 (99) along with all 99-03's do not have replacement cables. From 2004 on there are replacements but not for my version. I haven't actually looked at the parts for the newer models but I have seen the diagram and my guess is they are compatible. For now I manually closed the sunroof and reinstalled everything. If and when I wish to tackle this problem I will probably buy a used sunroof and start from there.

Last edited by shark13; 04-10-13 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 06-15-13, 04:14 PM   #10
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Mine is stuck closed(99 per cent) had piece caught in it need advice on how to fix. Not yelling by the way.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:14 AM   #11
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So lesson to be learned is don't just start ripping everything apart when you don't know the problem
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Old 08-19-13, 11:02 AM   #12
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No offense bags29 but I couldn't disagree more. Getting into something, learning along the way is how I have gained 95% of the knowledge I have. If you don't have the luxury of attending a school or knowing someone with more knowledge that yourself, then the hands on getting dirty approach is always the one I advocate.

Just for the record. Disassembling the tube is the only way to "fix" the problem. My issue is that whatever is blocking the cable from coming out of the tube is really really difficult to remove.
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Old 10-05-13, 09:15 PM   #13
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I had the same problem with my 99 last month. It was frozen solid. It had been left part open in a rain storm a month prior. I believe it might have rusted?

I sprayed some wd-40 and with one hand on the switch and the other pushing on it... I got it to move a few inches. After ten min of this back and forth game, I let it set in the garage overnight.

The next morning, it worked although slowly. Now open all the way, I sprayed the tracks from above with more wd-40.... It works good now.

Lesson learned: I won't leave it open again, pending rain.

DID YOU TRY WD-40 before busting yours all to hell?

Jerry
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Old 10-07-13, 12:43 PM   #14
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Yeah I did. I ended up pulling the copper tube from the rest of the unit...evening straightening it to remove any kinks and still nothing. I have sprayed WD-40, PB Blaster and let them both sit...and nothing. I have no idea what is keeping it stuck at this point.
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Old 07-28-14, 05:00 PM   #15
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Default Just In Case

Hey all,

Just in case this happens to someone else.. there is an easier way to do things instead of ripping your car apart...

Make sure there is no debris in the sunroof track. I have seen the motor and cables strip out and cause that noise. The sunglass holder/map light assembly will have to be removed to inspect them. There are 2 screws behind the lamp lens and 2 behind the covers inside the sunglass holder portion. Then it will pop out. Once removed you will see the motor.
remove the two bolts and motor. Once removed you will be able to see the nylon cables and gear on the motor. Look to see if the cables are damaged. Also look at the gear to see if it has wear. You will also be able to check proper motor operation with it unbolted.
To replace the cables the sunroof track will need to be removed from the car. It is a major repair. The headliner and all of the trim moulding on the sides will have to be removed. Most shops will charge at least $500 for labor plus parts. At times there will be a worn portion of the track that will start binding causing the motor to break the cables. If that is the case the whole assembly will need to be replaced. It is very hard to tell exactly how much of the sunroof assembly will need to be replaced until it has been removed.
PS... try getting a book
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Old 07-28-14, 05:00 PM
 
 
 
 
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2007, broke, cable, close, cycle, inside, jammed, lexus, open, roof, rx400h, sc, stuck, sun, sunroof, suv, track, wont

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