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Old 10-10-2018, 01:03 PM   #1
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Roof push rod - looking for clarification...

After I bought my 2000 5-speed just over a month ago I discovered some problems with the roof mechanics. The left side was OK, but on the right side the plastic cup on the forward push rod had broken. Someone removed both the forward and rearward (that lifts the clamshell) push rods and left it so the left side was doing all the work.
I bought a new end cup and started to reinstall everything. I noticed that the 2 forward push rods are not the same shape. I checked the parts catalogue and I see that there is one part number that is supposed to fit both sides. So, I figure that the right side rod got bent after the cup broke and it fell off, but I find no damage in the area where it would have fallen. As well it is not the same length as the left side rod i.e. the sliding adjustment is placed so that the right side rod is longer and there is no indication that the length has been adjusted.
I am going to try to bend the right rod back to the same shape as the left one and adjust it to the same length... but I am having trouble understanding how the roof worked with rods of different lengths and how the rod got seriously bent with no collateral damage. I have already tried to straighten it and it is not easily bent.
The roof seemed to work fine with just the left side connected.

Left side push rod on the bottom, bent right side rod above. The white cup on the lower rod looks funny because I strengthened it by wrapping wire around it and coating it in epoxy.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elgyqc View Post
After I bought my 2000 5-speed just over a month ago I discovered some problems with the roof mechanics. The left side was OK, but on the right side the plastic cup on the forward push rod had broken. Someone removed both the forward and rearward (that lifts the clamshell) push rods and left it so the left side was doing all the work.

I bought a new end cup and started to reinstall everything. I noticed that the 2 forward push rods are not the same shape. I checked the parts catalogue and I see that there is one part number that is supposed to fit both sides. So, I figure that the right side rod got bent after the cup broke and it fell off, but I find no damage in the area where it would have fallen. As well it is not the same length as the left side rod i.e. the sliding adjustment is placed so that the right side rod is longer and there is no indication that the length has been adjusted.

I am going to try to bend the right rod back to the same shape as the left one and adjust it to the same length... but I am having trouble understanding how the roof worked with rods of different lengths and how the rod got seriously bent with no collateral damage. I have already tried to straighten it and it is not easily bent.

The roof seemed to work fine with just the left side connected.



Left side push rod on the bottom, bent right side rod above. The white cup on the lower rod looks funny because I strengthened it by wrapping wire around it and coating it in epoxy.



Trick is to have the motors in sync.
Once you have the roof has a tolerance , maybe 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm on either side relative to each other . That's where they need adjustment - it's quite possible the arms are of different lengths ( slightly) from factory .
Hence you can't see the " adjustment ".
Critically, both sides have to be symmetrical

Hope that helps

KT
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:06 AM   #3
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Given they aren’t very expensive I would just replace both rods. The rubber bushing is prone to wearing out anyway. That way both are the same age and fully functional. Use the non bent one as a starter reference for length and go from there. Or, simply remove the entire system and go manual as others have done.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:15 AM   #4
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Just a note that the plastic end cups are designed to break if the roof system binds, thereby saving more expensive roof components (usually at the expense of the foam drain tray). For this reason you might want to reconsider using reinforced caps.

Be sure to check the drain trays to make sure they have not been compromised and Id order two identical rods ensure symmetry.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:17 AM   #5
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Just a note that the plastic end cups are designed to break if the roof system binds, thereby saving more expensive roof components (usually at the expense of the foam drain tray). For this reason you might want to reconsider using reinforced caps.

Be sure to check the drain trays to make sure they have not been compromised and Id order two identical rods ensure symmetry.
Thanks fellow Oldcarguy, it seems I didn't do my homework on this one. Only after reading your comment did I see a customer review on the site where I bought the metal replacement cup explaining the reason for using plastic. I have ordered a set of plastic cups. My repair philosophy is to do as much as I can myself and reuse the maximum of old parts, so I was able to reform the bent pushrod. That's me not a reflection on others who prefer shiny new parts at all times. For example, against all advice, instead of buying a rebuilt unit I resealed the steering rack on my 928. No leaks yet so I am happy with that decision... so far.
I did repair the the right side drain tray, it had a hole in it that I assume happened when the end cup broke. The reason I started investigating the roof was that I was getting water on the floor behind the passenger seat.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:25 AM   #6
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Thanks fellow Oldcarguy, it seems I didn't do my homework on this one. Only after reading your comment did I see a customer review on the site where I bought the metal replacement cup explaining the reason for using plastic. I have ordered a set of plastic cups. My repair philosophy is to do as much as I can myself and reuse the maximum of old parts, so I was able to reform the bent pushrod. That's me not a reflection on others who prefer shiny new parts at all times. For example, against all advice, instead of buying a rebuilt unit I resealed the steering rack on my 928. No leaks yet so I am happy with that decision... so far.
I did repair the the right side drain tray, it had a hole in it that I assume happened when the end cup broke. The reason I started investigating the roof was that I was getting water on the floor behind the passenger seat.
While I appreciate your desire to use and rebuild parts, this is one area where that is a bit of a mistake. Once again, given that the rod is already bent, illustrates an issue. It is probable the bushings are shot and causing binding or some other issue. This is truly one area where new shiny parts are going to be your best end result.

Last edited by Geof3; 10-11-2018 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:50 PM   #7
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I reinstalled all the pieces and raised and lowered the roof, it seemed to be working OK, but I heard a slight pop at some point. I looked down into the left side after lowering the roof and saw that the pushrod (the reinforced plastic end) had popped off the ball (without damage). I lifted it up and it looked about a quarter of an inch too short to go back into place. After contemplating the situation I decided to take the easy way out and removed the 2 forward pushrods. The roof is now manual. The clamshell remains electrically operated so that it can be locked down.
Next spring I may consider doing the work to adjust the push rod lengths. Maybe.
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:57 AM   #8
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Trick is to have the motors in sync.
Once you have the roof has a tolerance , maybe 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm on either side relative to each other . That's where they need adjustment - it's quite possible the arms are of different lengths ( slightly) from factory .
Hence you can't see the " adjustment ".
Critically, both sides have to be symmetrical

Hope that helps

KT
You have one bent rod (the upper one in the pic.) You can straighten it with a hammer and a acetylene torch. I probably wouldn't, I'd be looking for one rod on Ebay. Then when you put it all back together with new cups, make sure each rod is exactly the same length from where it connects to the transmission to where it connects on the top. Both sides should be identical & interchangeable, same exact length for both. And synchronize the transmissions, you can turn the right transmission with an electric drill connected to the cable where it attaches to motor. Pelican's writeup about rebuilding the transmissions is pretty good and goes into all this stuff.

I will suggest this, when they go wrong, they can be a major pain in the butt to get back to correct. Mine had bent rods, at least one clamshell carrier, and a stripped gear in the right transmission. Still trying to get it so that it doesn't bind or pop. And trying to get the clamshell to close flat on the right side.

I feel your pain, good luck bro!
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brian in Tucson View Post
You have one bent rod (the upper one in the pic.) You can straighten it with a hammer and a acetylene torch. I probably wouldn't, I'd be looking for one rod on Ebay. Then when you put it all back together with new cups, make sure each rod is exactly the same length from where it connects to the transmission to where it connects on the top. Both sides should be identical & interchangeable, same exact length for both. And synchronize the transmissions, you can turn the right transmission with an electric drill connected to the cable where it attaches to motor. Pelican's writeup about rebuilding the transmissions is pretty good and goes into all this stuff.

I will suggest this, when they go wrong, they can be a major pain in the butt to get back to correct. Mine had bent rods, at least one clamshell carrier, and a stripped gear in the right transmission. Still trying to get it so that it doesn't bind or pop. And trying to get the clamshell to close flat on the right side.

I feel your pain, good luck bro!
I have been using it manually for a couple of days now, works fine with no stress about things breaking.
Thanks for the pointers... if I decide to repower the roof next Spring I will follow your advice for syncing.
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