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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so I've closed my sunroof, but its taken me 3 month's and I've learnt a lot so thought I would post it here incase anyone else struggles with this.

It was a wet and windy Feb when the sunroof jammed fully open. I watched a you tube video that showed a guy using an Allen key and ratchet to close the roof. I tried this and immediately damaged an Allen key, and then the spindle of the motor with the Allen key rendering it useless. Big learning here is don't try and fully close an open sunroof using the key and ratchet, with the amount of turns to fully close you are very likely to damage the spindle. Instead, fully remove the motor, it's fastened to the roof with three torx screws, unclip it from the connector, then you can very easily manually push the sunroof forward so that its almost closed. Then use the key and ratchet to bring it down (just a few turns).

I grappled with this on and off for three months as baby duties and British winter sunshine allowed, and managed to damage the internals of two spindles (at 60 quid each). So what do you do when you have buggered the spindle? I used a Tap and Die set to screw a screw into the spindle, then I found a local welder to weld the screw to the spindle. Then you can remove the sunroof motor cover, and all the cogs, and just stick the spindle in the main hole (see photos).

So key points are...

1) Remove the sunroof motor entirely and you can manually push the roof almost fully closed
2) Use ratchet and key just for the last few turns
3) If you bugger the spindle consider a weld job with a screw.

Hope that helps and obviously I'm no expert but wish I had know the above back in Feb :)

Two spindles with damaged internal barrels, one has the screw welded on
Auto part Metal Nickel Font Electronics accessory

Inserting the modified spindle in the main hole (technical term)

Automotive tire Tire Finger Bicycle part Bumper

In and flush, make sure your weld doesn't damage the cog teeth
Hand Automotive tire Light Tire Finger

modified spindle without ratchet
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle

Modified spindle and ratchet, photographed on a closed sunroof :)
Water Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bicycle part

8,066 Posts
Most don't realise there's a spring behind holding the shaft in the upper position where it's locked and won't rotate without causing damage like your photos show. You have to push down hard before turning. Welding a hex head bolt isn't a good idea because the wrench socket won't push down on the gear shaft to release it unless you fit a depth stop and somebody else won't know that. I did something similar but cut a thread and used an Allen hex head bolt. Instead of welding I Loctited the bolt thread then drilled and inserted a pin horizontally. At least there's then the possibility of the pin shearing if excess force is used. I assumed that internal part wasn't available without replacing the (expensive) motor?

In many cases where a sunroof has jammed on its rails and stuck open, It won't move even with the high torque from the motor. Forcing it to move and close still leaves the sunroof needing to be pulled apart for repairs. What might have been damaged sliders becomes replacement of the sliders and the Octopus Bowden cables.

AFIK the V.W workshop repair strategy is to replace the motor assembly, Octopus cables and guides if they caused the original fault. They have do it right to give a warranty on their work which is expensive labor time and they wouldn't want to go back twice.
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