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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Or, sliding roof as Toyota calls it has been broken on my 2000 rav4 since I bought the rav about three years ago. It doesn't slide back and it won't tilt up to seal. I have a stick pushing up each of the back corners to seal it off.

Long story, long...

The repair manual shows how to remove it, but it looked so time consuming that I held it off until now.

Two days ago, I dismantled just about the entire car and pulled out the sliding roof just as the repair manual describes. It took hours.

The next day I decided to explore uncharted territory and rip everything apart, clean it all up, fix anything broken, lube it up and put it together to enjoy my new sunroof!

What I found was the (actual) drive cable cracked free of what the repair manual calls the drive cable (I guess they don't expect anyone to disassemble it thoroughly), which is the mechanism that slides in the tracks when the (actual) cable pushes or pulls.

There is a little plastic U shape which the drive cable pushes or pulls. The cable is connected to the bottom by a tiny channel of plastic that becomes the bottom of the plastic U. The plastic U moves the sliding mechanism and is connected to that mechanism by a pin going through each leg of the U. The pin is nearly the size of the leg! So basically, the engineers designed all the force of the sliding roof movement to rely on this minuscule plastic connection.

Both the square leg and the round drive cable slide through VERY fitted grooves, leaving no chance to fix it when it breaks. I tried to epoxy the minuscule ends together and waited the full cure time... It snapped off in my fingers. The only thing I could do is superglue them together and sand the edges back to the original width, assemble everything and hope that being encased in the track channel would provide enough strength.

The next day I put it all back together, crossed my fingers, and it worked! It sounded nasty like plastic chewing sounds near the motor's gear (maybe?), but there is no plastic anywhere near there. I spent the rest of the day putting the car back together.

First test drive out and it broke and is now acting just like before. What a spirit crusher!

Anyway, this stupid little sunroof is not going to outsmart me, so tomorrow I will pull everything to pieces again and fabricate something out of nylon and metal reinforcement that works. I have a couple questions about how it is supposed to function:

It seems like the motor continues to run while the button is depressed, after it is all the way tilted or slid. It doesn't sound right. Is this how it functions? I don't believe there is any initialization for the 4.1's, correct?

Also, when going from down and ready to slide, to closed, to tilted all the way up, it never stops. I can't believe that it doesn't automatically stop at the closed position and move to tilted up only after releasing and repressing the switch. How does this operate normally on the 4.1's?

Also do they normally have chewing up plastic sounds? :wink: ...or is it all quiet beyond the hum of the motor?

Oh, and in the repair manual it says to be careful not to lose the spring washer or shim under the "large screw" (the big screw that is under the switch cover). I found out pretty quickly after reassembling that if that screw is not tightened the motor will not engage. When I bought the car, there was no spring, shim, or washer under that large screw. what important function do they have that i'm not seeing? The only thing that I can think of is that maybe that creates the "stop" when the roof is at its endpoints by not turning the gear when the force becomes greater than the spring's tension. Anybody know for sure?
 

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Discussion Starter #2


Can someone please unscrew this "large screw" (not losing any springs or washers) and take a picture of these washers, shims, and/or spring next to a ruler for me?

Toyota does not sell any such parts. It must be attached to the motor that they sell for $700.

I'll need to buy a similar spring from the hardware store, but I need an idea of what the spring should look like.
 
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