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I don't write manuals for a living but being in the tech industry for 20 years has taught me the value of GOOD instructional material. ;-)

I sent a note to the eBay seller asking for dimensions of his AE92 sunroof track. He sent me these pics and measurements for two different models:





I now need to check the track measurements of the MA61 and see where we land....
 

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I'll buy one for sure if this happens. I use my sunroof daily here in the summer and just invested a bunch in the carbon sunroof.

Maybe collaborate with George as he is in charge of the sunroof deal. It would be nice for him to be able to sell a complete replacement panel with hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
This is what I picture the adapter to be like.

This is in no way dimensionally accurate. I need to get a hold of a real sunroof track and cable to measure things up.



The cylinder on the left of the adapter is internally threaded for the heli-coil which allows the sunroof to push and pull the adapter. The walls of this cylinder will be extremely thin, but I think still adequate to hold the cable without breaking.


This is a real sunroof cable (although not for the Celica Supra) showing the external drive heli-coil and the inner cable. The blue plastic Swage would be replaced with a larger diameter part at the end of the drive cylinder.

The clearance between the heli-coil and the cable slot in the sunroof track (not shown) is pretty small, but I think that there is enough room to drive the roof assembly without breaking. One of the materials that Protolabs.com uses is 7075-T651 heat treated aluminum which has a shear strength of 48,000psi and a tensile strength of 78,000psi. Given the weight of the sunroof and a 'fudge factor' of 10 to account for blockage of the sunroof, one can measure the cross-sectional area of the aluminum cylinder and see if this "should work" for this application. Again, I would have to measure the track and cable to see what the cross-section really is.
 

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I've got a set of these in route now. I'm hoping to start on it next week
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Woo hoo!
Is this one of the broken ones? Also, could I look at (but not modify or otherwise butcher) one or both of the track sides?
I'm going to be in Montreal next week, so my schedule is in, how do we say - a state of flux...

I'll PM you to see about when I could have a look or temporarily collect the parts.

Many thanks

Dale
 

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You can have the whole thing, rails included. They are not mounted to a tub.

My contribution to the cause. I have a long term keeper sunroof car too lol. Actually, thats the very car that these rails are from, the sunroof was broken on it when I got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Seamus, I really appreciate it.

My (actually my wife's!) sunroof is working, but I figure sooner or later it may break and I want to be ahead of the curve.

Looking at attachment styles for other cars, most have the same issue. BMW, Mercedes, Ford, GM, Volkswagen, Alfa Romeo; they all have variations of the same attachment and none look really reliable.

I think that eventually most will break.

Who knew?
 

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If these are ever reproduced I really need a set. Mine have been broken for years so I manually flip the lock up and down to release sun roof but it rattles like hell.

I tried making some using the old ones, no luck. My cables tore right off the plastic "slider"
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Time for an update.

I have been trying to find a source for the cable itself. There only appears to be one supplier in the world which is an English/German company that manufactures sunroof cables for the car manufacturers. They mold the end-fittings onto the ends of the cables and are not in the business of selling to end-users or low-volume manufacturers. If the original cable is intact, it certainly could be reused, but it would be nice to have a new cable available.

The end-fittings which ride in the sunroof track and have the link that attaches to the roof panel are quite simple. As expected, the most difficult part is attaching the cable to the end-fitting with the limited diameter available. I think the only feasible way is to trim the outer helically wound coil off the end of the multi-strand wire core which will feed through a simple hole in the end-fitting and to crimp on an aluminum ferrule at the end. Again, not difficult, but I am trying to find a standard diameter ferrule which can be used. This would allow one to use a standard crimping tool to secure it in place. Again, not luck here either.

I'm not giving up on the idea, but it's not first priority.

Dale
 

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That's basically the solution I have. You won't find an off the shelf ferrule that fits though. I need to buy a crimper to assemble everything for a trail fit up.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Making an aluminum ferrule isn't too difficult. Anyone with a metal lathe can make them.

Then it's a case of getting a crimper that will work on odd sized ferrules. You need enough compression to hold, but not too much so the ferrule starts to deform enough to foul the track channel. one could file any excess off the ferrule, but that is messy, so finding the right size crimper is important.

There are crimpers available that have replaceable dies, but one then needs to have the appropriate die made. The size of the crimper is also at issue so that it can fit close to the end fitting. The devil is in the details.
 

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Still in the same boat on my end, basically its a very low priority back burner project. I just need to make a set of prototypes to see if they work. I just don't want to drop the 800-1000 bucks to do it right now. I kind of seriously doubt anyone would buy them anyways versus just buying a used set from the junkyard for $40.
 

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I kind of seriously doubt anyone would buy them anyways versus just buying a used set from the junkyard for $40.
Except that there pretty much isn't any such thing anymore for most of us. Plus we all know its just a temporary fix. I think you might be surprised how many of these will sell if they become available for a reasonable cost.
 

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Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but I think for a few hundred dollars and the hassle of cores it's a tough sell. If someones welling to take the risk I'll share the cad files though.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I'm still working on this, although at a snail's pace.

I'm trying to find the easiest most effective way of attaching the cable to the end fitting. An aluminum crimped ferrule may be best, but I am also looking at epoxy resin cast ferrules which may be easier to apply effectively.
 
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