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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #1
Group Buy: Power Sunroof Slider Repair - Retrofit Replacement Part

Hello everyone. Company closed and laid everyone off in effect of the corona virus, which finally frees me up for some personal projects I had staged for our community.
I would like to start a group buy on a part I designed to help facilitate repairs of the power sunroof assembly on 1997-1999 3000GTs without breaking the bank.

There are many of you out there that have resulted in no longer using your power sunroofs because of the inability to open/close the sunroof. This part will solve this problem
and allow you to enjoy your power tilt/slide sunroofs again. This has been tried and tested on my own vehicles.

Problem and Likely Causes

Power sunroofs rely on consistent lubrication of sliding assemblies. Most tilt and slide sunroofs utilize a wire cable which acts as a flexible acme screw; non-hydraulic boat steering uses the same principles. This is driven by a motor with a specialized tooth gear that pulls/pushes the cable equally on each side of the sliding rails. The majority of the tilt and slide characteristics are handled mechanically. The motor just pulls and pushes the wire. As you can imagine this wire and the parts that link to the sliders/rails see a fair amounts of stresses & forces. Hence why clean consistent lubrication is a MUST, both for the integrity of the cable / geared tooth and the attachment points. In our cars, the weakest point is where the cable attaches to the slider assembly. Seems as Mitsubishi may have tried to fix the problem, as early units were all one part (slider and cable). OR, they just made it so they only have to replace one part instead of three when the wire to assembly connection fails. Funny part is that because they moved to a new part, they had to provide the modified sliders which are now separate (maybe they thought they'd keep selling 3000GTs past 1999, who knows). Another reason could be for ease of manufacturing and/or service repair. Unfortunately it did not solve the problem, as the fundamental problem still exists that the plastic bits on the slider assembly are just too weak. Below I've summarized some of the obvious causes:
  • Lubrication fails on sunroof sliding assemblies which increases friction
  • Dust build up and attraction to lubricant within sliding assemblies which increases friction
  • Increased friction puts a strain on the injection molded ABS plastic parts crimped into the cable assembly
  • The plastic itself could also be fatigued from constant warm to cold temperature changes
  • Depending on environment and storage condition of car, sunroof may see very high temperatures for extended period of time, which may aggravate the deterioration and cause the plastic to become brittle
Part of the problem is that the wire and slider assembly is not available in the aftermarket parts world for our cars.

Possible Solutions
  • New OEM MR200678 - Regulator (alternatively called operating unit) ~$130-215+. Discontinued, not in stock at Cherry Hill, may be order-able if available at any other warehouse or warehouse in Japan (likely). This is the cable, copper guide tubes, and possibly the new sliders. Chances are the sliders are included but if not than MR236102 and MR23601 need to be ordered, which run at ~$15 / each. Although this shall solve your issues, the fundamental problem still plaques the power sunroof. With proper maintenance and attention to the lubrication you may get away with not having to complete another repair any time soon, but IMO this is just a ticking time-bomb. I would not recommend this route for those who daily or actively use their vehicles. The more you use the power sunroof the higher likelihood it will fail under this condition. The last thing you want is your sunroof stuck in the open position. Even if you go this route I recommend retrofitting my fix in place for good insurance down the road.
  • Metal Retrofit Cable to Slider Adapter (my custom engineered solution)
286992



Metal upgrade for cable slider portion which is crimped onto cable in the form of an insert which preserves existing cable / regulator assembly, assuming driving cable itself is not the problem in your situation (low probability). For new regulator assemblies (if you can buy it) I recommend retrofitting my solution into place. Otherwise you have to repeat the sunroof repair which is tedious and you risk the chance of scratching or damaging something from repetative removals. This is installed by carefully removing plastic piece that is sleeved onto cable and crimped into place at each end. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, but probably best with a dremel, vibrating saw, and/or snips. This retains the specialized crimp and existing cable that is otherwise fine due to the convenient keyed features of the existing metal crimps.

Currently working on securing a partner(s) and details to undergo one of the following manufacturing methods:
  • DMLS (Direct Metal Laser sintering) or SLM (selective laser melting) aka Metal 3D Printing
  • CNC'd out of billet
  • Possibly casting (although I may forgo this approach for this batch)
Depending on pricing, I may go with aluminum or stainless steel. May be anodized or plated (chromium or gold). My goal is to stay within the proposed cost for a pair as identified below. This part does not get wet while in operation, but my intent is to go with good corrosion protection, so it can be installed and forgotten about.

Proposed Ready to Ship Schedule
Mid to End of April ( tentative )

Proposed Cost (project goal)
$65/pair plus shipping

Target Group Buy Lot Size
50 units (pairs) sold

Please respond with your interests or comments.
Open to constructive criticism or discussions, but keep conversations on topic.

I will run this as traditional group buys go with a constantly updated list of those signed up to purchase.
This group buy does not require a deposit until details are finalized (only fair way to proceed). However if you
respond with interest or PM me in order to make the list and must have intent to purchase within 1-2 weeks.

Please so intent by asking to be added to the list or sending me a private message.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Group Buy List

48 sets remaining

1) Project3SI - 2 sets
2) add your name
 

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42 Posts
Nice work!, I actually just bought a spare sunroof assembly for my car because I know parts are going to be hard/limited. Put me down for this group buy please!
 

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1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT SL Solano Black Pearl ~120K
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I'd love to stock up with 1 set for myself. Count me in.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all the positive comments. VR4Joe, I have more projects coming after this group buy. BusterBrown, that is an achievement, most of those parts are long discontinued. Guessing from a used vehicle? People don't realize how hard finding replacement parts is going to be in 5 years, especially when aftermarket support is limited and where it isn't the parts usually do not meet OEM quality and performance.


Group Buy List

45 sets remaining

1) Project3SI - 2 sets
2) stjredstorm12 - 1 set
3) BusterBrown - 1 set
4) Mr.I. - 1 set
 

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42 Posts
Yeah I think the guy was just parting out the car. It came out of a 98 SL. Got it for $75! Shipping was twice as much lol.

Thank you for all the positive comments. VR4Joe, I have more projects coming after this group buy. BusterBrown, that is an achievement, most of those parts are long discontinued. Guessing from a used vehicle? People don't realize how hard finding replacement parts is going to be in 5 years, especially when aftermarket support is limited and where it isn't the parts usually do not meet OEM quality and performance.


Group Buy List

45 sets remaining

1) Project3SI - 2 sets
2) stjredstorm12 - 1 set
3) BusterBrown - 1 set
4) Mr.I. - 1 set
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Beautiful weather today on the east coast. Perfect project while being quarantined in; a manageable project.
If it would help, I could put together a separate thread or step by step guide on how to replace/install this part.

If you are interested please respond with interest. Others owners, I ask you share this to your FB groups or auxiliary 3S forums to help spread the word about the group buy.
Lots of people with no functionality of their otherwise fine sunroof. Goal is to reach at least 50 for the group buy. 45 pairs to go.
 

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Beautiful weather today on the east coast. Perfect project while being quarantined in; a manageable project.
If it would help, I could put together a separate thread or step by step guide on how to replace/install this part.

If you are interested please respond with interest. Others owners, I ask you share this to your FB groups or auxiliary 3S forums to help spread the word about the group buy.
Lots of people with no functionality of their otherwise fine sunroof. Goal is to reach at least 50 for the group buy. 45 pairs to go.
I would recommend having you be the poster to the Facebook groups as many folks do not use 3SI and would eliminate a middle man. Unfortunately, I do not think 50 sets would be feasible unless you were able to get 3SX to purchase some. Just food for thought. Appreciate everything you are doing to make this happen!
 

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I agree, a lot more viewership on the facebook groups.

I would be interested in the isntall/removal of the part thread!

I would recommend having you be the poster to the Facebook groups as many folks do not use 3SI and would eliminate a middle man. Unfortunately, I do not think 50 sets would be feasible unless you were able to get 3SX to purchase some. Just food for thought. Appreciate everything you are doing to make this happen!
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
updated thread title - bump
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Update: working with a long-time well respect member/owner to get these CNC'd. Really exciting news as this is the best case. Stay tuned. I anticipate to have information on availability within a week.


I've updated the group buy list below

Group Buy List

43 sets remaining

1) Project3SI - 2 sets
2) stjredstorm12 - 1 set
3) BusterBrown - 1 set
4) Mr.I. - 1 set
4) MarioG - 2 sets
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Update: sorry for the delay everyone. This pandemic is definitely slowing things down. Hope to have parts sometime next week in order to test fitment and operation.


I've updated the group buy list below

Group Buy List

42 sets remaining

1) Project3SI - 2 sets
2) stjredstorm12 - 1 set
3) BusterBrown - 1 set
4) Mr.I. - 1 set
5) MarioG - 2 sets
6) Black Beauty 95 SL - 1 set
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Post on the Facebook Groups to get the group buy to increase. Put me in as interested for one set.
Paolo163629, wish I could. Been in FB jail for weeks. Apparently Facebook doesn't believe in free speech and will censor you if they disagree with what you are saying. I posted on my Instagram story that Facebook blocked me and they increased the sentence. Lol bunch of dummies. Soon someone will replace them or there will be a decentralized social media standard. I can't be the only one experiencing this type of bullshit and I'm sure there are other capable software developers/programmers out there willing to invest the same time I would. I know Congress is trying hard to fix this on both sides of the isle, as Facebook has become its own government and is technically a monopoly. Rant end.

I've added you to the list for a set!
 

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Robotics Engineer
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I've updated the group buy list below

Group Buy List

41 sets remaining

1) Project3SI - 2 sets
2) stjredstorm12 - 1 set
3) BusterBrown - 1 set
4) Mr.I. - 1 set
5) MarioG - 2 sets
6) Black Beauty 95 SL - 1 set
7) Paolo163629 - 1 set
 
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