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203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So 2 weeks ago the moon roof started to give me some problems.
On the 3rd day, my PT gave to me.....a gear jumping noise and only partial movement of thee! (Not a Christmas gift)

I had the PT at my fav dealer for an oil change and asked them about looking at it.
Just a quick look is all they did, and said that the lift mechanism was likely broke, a big multiday job, that I would probably have to leave with the for a week.
("A WEEK"??? Sounds like big money!)

And on top of that, because of waiting for parts on current work, they would likely not get to me for 2 months!
WOW! Glad they have that much work, because the car lot isn't very full.

So, I watched a few videos on YouTube, and outside of it being labor intensive, it didn't look like any big deal.
Ordered the OEM replacement rails kit on eBay for $43 with shipping.

Took everything apart on Tuesday, including dropping the headliner and window rail system.
Replacemnt kit arrived Wednesday.
BTW....the guy's video on youtube is correct in taking the rivets out of the rear end of the rails; versus the front.
Also allows access to clean the drive cables, and feed them down the rails.

As I said in the beginning, the last attempt to open the moon roof caused a gear jumping noise.
Now that everything is back together temporarily, I am testing it out.
Everything moves OK....BUT.....the drive gear on the passenger side is about 3 1/3 inches behind the passenger side.
When the switch is in the window "closed" position, the right hand rails are all the way forward.
BUT, the driver's side mechanism is still about 3 1/2 inches short of all the way forward.

So, I am assuming that when I tried to open the moon roof that last time when it broke, the drive gear at the motor skipped a little drive cable on the stuck/broken/jammed side.

I have tried pulling the drive cable out by hand with no luck.

Super Moderator
1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
24,231 Posts
Adjustments are limited. Is there a way to 're-index' the drive gear? Usually once they slip teeth, it's time for a new assembly. I don't think that the drive is serviced.
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203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm going to post a YouTube video eventually, about some of the quirks in repairing the Moon Roof mechanism, that other video posters ignored; or did not encounter.
Most of them are not complete (poster started a video and promised to continue....but didn't.
Or, running into drive issue like me.
Imperial Crown......
I am not sure that the drive mechanism is not serviceable. It may be from the standpoint of time and effort a dealer would justify replacing the whole assembly.
But, the whole assembly is not longer being produced or available either.
I saw one on eBay (it says is for a 2002-3), but the rear drive mechanism does not look anything like mine. (Could it be an upgraded part?)
And, for $300, I am not willing to take the risk.
Tearing one out at the salvage yard would be almost too much work for the risk the motor or drive assembly is not functional too.

1. The motor and drive cable seem to be intact.
And by looking on top of the rear plastic panel I can see the metal drive gear, which engages the drive cables on either side. It is open for viewing.
So, when the motor gear drives, both left and right side cables move, in opposite directions, for the opposite sides.
The cables lie within a plastic trough that is incomplete, in that you can see many sections of cable along the path.

2. The drive cables as they are viewed at the motor and drive gear have some room around them.
So, my intention is to push up/or down on the drive cable, or create enough room to push the shorter drive cable along the trough enough to even them out, while clearing the drove gear.
It might eve take an extra set of hands to do this.
Diagram of what I'm going trying to do is below.

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203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Final report on the Moon Roof drive system. My car mechanic son came buy to help me lift the rails back up in place this afternoon.
BUT....he recognized that the drive motor is only held in place by 3 screws. Once the motor is removed, the drive gear comes with it and wiggles out of place from the drive cables.
**With the drive cables free.......We simply pulled the control arms fully forward, equally on each side.
THEN, he put the gear and motor in place.

Back and forth works just fine.

But, by now my previously weakened battery, further weakened by having the interior lights running during test drives of the mechanism, seemed to now not have the juice to pop the window up.
As I reassemble the head liner, I will trickle charge the battery overnight, and hopefully see that function return also.

But, a dealer would likely charge you nearly $1,000 for the parts and labor.
So, at that point, it might be time to just seal in the window as a sun roof; rather than movable Moon Roof.

After a lot of searching I did find one Moon Roof rail system on eBay, used, in Oregon..
It said that it was for a 2002-2003. **But, it didn't look like mine in my 2003.
They wanted $300, Plus $295 for shipping!!!!!!
And, if it didn't work, I would get the $300 back....BUT NOT THE $295 SHIPPING?????
And pay another $295 to ship it back????? :rolleyes:
Doesn't make sense.
Not worth it!
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