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Thread: 4th Gen 4Runner Sunroof/Moonroof Repair

  1. #1

    4th Gen 4Runner Sunroof/Moonroof Repair

    My mom's sunroof on her 2003 or 2004 4runner came down with the infamous stuck sunroof/moonroof syndrome a few years ago and the dealer quoted her $3000 to fix it. Needless to say, she declined since it was closed and opted to just not use it. There is TSB BO016-06 (that's an "O", then a zero) which describes how to fix the root cause, which is a sticky wind deflector. It doesn't address what to do if the gears are stripped or if any cables break. This TSB is out on the internet if you want to find it.

    In the TSB, it says to get repair kit 63207-35040. Don't bother with it. There, I just saved you $80+. This is what comes in the kit.

    The tygon tubing are not used, my plastic sliders looked like new, and I'm pretty sure the clear grease they supply is the exact same grease that caused the problem in the first place.

    First, the TSB says to open the sunroof about 75%, although I'm not sure why you can't just open it up all the way.

    Then remove the motor/gearbox assembly and that is hidden above the map light assembly. The map light assembly is just held on by clips in the front and a few tabs in the back. Pull down on the front and it should pop out. I had trouble with mine and based on seeing one other random picture on the internet, I wasn't alone. The clips in the front get stuck and you have to force the front down and overpower the clips. This ends up bending them, and hopefully not breaking them. This is what the top side of the assembly looks like and how the clips should look.

    Here's what the space looks like and you can see the two holes where the clips go in.

    This is the motor/gear assembly that needs to be removed by removing the two bolts you see.

    Here's the motor assembly removed.

    And here's where the pinion of this rack and pinion system goes in.

    I think the only reason to remove this is because it's really easy to accidentally push on the sunroof while you're working on it and potentially damage the gears. Or it could be for people who have had the gear teeth skip and it needs to be realigned. Fortunately for me, this sunroof was still tracking straight.

    Anyway, with this removed, I moved on to the rails. This slider is the cause of the problem. The grease hardens to a yellow solid glue that needs to be scraped off. I don't know what the white grease is, probably lithium grease that the dealer tried to slather on to fix it when my mom took it in.

    The TSB covers this in better detail then I am, but unclip the black holder from the aluminum rail on the left of the picture, then use a screwdriver to pry out the steel rod from the slider. Do this on both sides.

    Now you should be able to slide it completely out and also completely remove the wind deflector.

    That's pretty much it. Clean it up and grease all the plastic/aluminum interfaces, the pin groove and reassemble. If you don't use the repair kit grease, I'd just use lithium grease like they us on windows.

    After this, the TSB goes into how to realign the sunroof by lining up some marks, on the inside with the sunroof closed, but I didn't have to do that since this one was still tracking straight. The last thing to do is reinitialize the system by holding down the tilt up button for a few seconds, and once you do this, it auto opens and closes like normal.

    The moral of this story is if you have a sunroof, clean up the wind deflector mechanism every few years to prevent this from happening again.

    Anybody want to buy a sunroof repair kit? I'll make you a deal, only $40!
    1993 4runner, SAS, 3.0L, Auto Tranny
    2007 4runner, stock. For now.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the tech Steve. I know this is for a 4th gen but it's still very useful. My sunroof is nothing like the way it was when I bought it. I've tried to clean it many times and it's impossible to get all the dirt and sand out of there. Thankfully everything still works and I haven't had to pull the headliner but I worry about it.

  3. #3
    Thanks Mike. Hopefully this helps somebody in the future and saves them some money.
    1993 4runner, SAS, 3.0L, Auto Tranny
    2007 4runner, stock. For now.

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