I purchased a 1999 Mercury Cougar with a sunroof Nov 2007 for my 16 year old daughter.
The sunroof would not open the motor ran and the passenger side tried to lift but the unit bound. The driverís side did not move.
Last week the first week of March 2008 we had some nice weather so I decided to see what the problem was.
I tried working on the unit in the car but soon found that the greasy sunroof was not something to be working on with the light grey headliner surrounding it.
Upon disassembly I found the problem a small cast piece of aluminum had broken so the driverís side of the roof had no way of opening.† This cast piece was inside a molded piece of plastic attached to the opening cable. There is one on each side. Now I see why the dealer will not fix it. The sunroof is not designed to come apart and repair would mean total replacement of the cable and both sides only saving the tracks and to get them apart I has to drill out 10 rivets, pry out two plastic pieced and† use solvent to get the† sealer† loose so I could separate the plastic for the aluminum track. Not an easy chore.
Since I had read of so many sunroof failures I wanted to make my repair stronger than the original so I did want to machine the replacement part out of aluminum. Where it has broken was on about 1/8 inch thick and 3/16th inch wide not very strong.
Steel would rust so I did want to use steel. I figured brass would be the best choice strong and would slide easily in the aluminum channel. But I did have any brass that was big enough. I did have some bronze left from so emblem sand casing I made during a restoration.
Yes the blob at the bottom of that scrap would be big enough to mill the need piece out of.† True bronze would be a lot harder to mill than brass but it would make a strong part.
The part on the right is the original aluminum part with all the plastic removed the part on the lefts to the Brass piece I milled nearing completion.
Same pieces from the other side. This was all done with a cheap $300 Harbor Freight three in one machine. Due to the limitations of the machine finishing of the part was done using a Drimel. Tool and hand filling.
This is the piece installed on the end of the cable with nylon attached to reduce friction.
This is a shot of the piece once installed in the track of the sunroof.
Once I got it all back together it worked.
My Daughter is very happy her sunroof works.†† Cost to repair $0
Time about 12 hours mostly in machining.