Stuck Sunroof - 1997 FzJ80 - Is there a manual bypass? (1 Viewer)

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Can anyone confirm if there is or is not a manual bypass for a sunroof that refuses to open on a 1997?

I found THIS THREAD (post #3) mentioning a manual bypass under the sunroof switch and map light...I'm not home to verify with my own eyes so I thought I would ask.

ISSUE: My sunroof is stuck-stuck and it's something I've been meaning to look into and clean the drains...with the nicer weather (See: No Rain), I want to get at this small project this weekend, BUT, I can't open the sunroof...I'm not sure if it's simply stuck due to dirt and lack of grease on the rails, or if a fuse has gone out in the electrical system.

If there's a manual bypass (Like in my old Tercel wagon), this would help.

Anyone have confirmation either way?



Thanks in advance!
 
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You turn a round thingy using a large, flat-head screwdriver. It's a real PITA because the screwdriver keeps popping out of the slot. I did it a few times when repainting my 80 while I had the sunroof controls removed.
 
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You turn a round thingy using a large, flat-head screwdriver. It's a real PITA because the screwdriver keeps popping out of the slot. I did it a few times when repainting my 80 while I had the sunroof controls removed.
Awesome, thanks!

And this round thingy...from your comment, I'm assuming it's under the tab for the sunroof control housing (since you had yours off at the time)?
 
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Here's what the FSM shows. I could have sworn it was on the left side, but I had the entire control module removed, not just the faceplate.

Screenshot_20220714-153555_Adobe Acrobat.jpg
 
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That's from the '94 manual, by the way. I'd be pretty shocked if they changed it on the later models. It's under Exterior | Mechanical | Sliding Roof.
 
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Here's what the FSM shows. I could have sworn it was on the left side, but I had the entire control module removed, not just the faceplate.

View attachment 3059186

This is great, thanks! It helps so much!
I was so honestly perplexed that I didn't see any kind of manual way to open it...I thought about cracking open the switch cover but I didn't want to break anything. Searching multiple threads yielded nothing...I was about to grab my buddy and just apply brute strength in an attempt to open it, so, thanks!
 
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Check to make sure you're cables are not broken. If they are, then it's stuck where it is.
 

JunkCrzr89

Competent Ignoramoose
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Check to make sure you're cables are not broken. If they are, then it's stuck where it is.
And you’ll have to drop the headliner and remove the entire assembly if you want to fix it.
 
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And you’ll have to drop the headliner and remove the entire assembly if you want to fix it.
Oh, no...don't tell me that. I am seriously hoping to avoid that.

BUT, it's good to know, thanks.
 
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Oh, no...don't tell me that. I am seriously hoping to avoid that.

BUT, it's good to know, thanks.
The good news is that you have a 97. The headliner in those are the easiest of all to remove and replace. Be thankful you don't have a 94 or older.......
 
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If you get the glass to move with the screwdriver, I'd love to see a video of how it works. I've worn the slot out of every sunroof I've tried this with and broken a few screwdrivers in the process. It is supposed to work as described above, but it's never worked for me. Good luck!
 
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The good news is that you have a 97. The headliner in those are the easiest of all to remove and replace. Be thankful you don't have a 94 or older.......
Yeah, this I know and I'm VERY thankful for it. I've seen some ill kept headliners from the earlier years and I just weep.

The headliner in my father's 60 is still good...I think even those are better/different material than the early 80 series...? But that's another project for way down the road (considering he passed). Right now, I'm just power washing it and occasionally starting/driving it to keep it running. 188K original 1983 FJ60 miles ;)
 
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If you get the glass to move with the screwdriver, I'd love to see a video of how it works. I've worn the slot out of every sunroof I've tried this with and broken a few screwdrivers in the process. It is supposed to work as described above, but it's never worked for me. Good luck!
When I tackle this I will DEFINITELY post a video!
 
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Alright, I read your OP twice now and hope I'm providing some assistance based on what I've done pulling my rack out and understanding how the system works. I'll try to explain it here as simply as possible, but bear with me;

Check your fuses, first. That's the obvious thing that prevents the sunroof from operating. If the knee panel fuse is fine, then continue.

The manual operation is as the guys mention - when you remove the light housing, it's a flat blade screw head which is LARGE and stands out. This screw is actually connected to the geared shaft which is powered by the motor, so you can get some torque on it to provide motive operation of the glass. Best bet is to get a geared electric screwdriver and find the biggest flat blade bit you own, and concentrate on keeping the bit centered in the slot while you use the electric drill to turn the screw. Go slowly, and determine which direction is the right way to open it. Don't force it. The gears in there are plastic and get angry if you try and teach them who's boss.
16579300311431209289741.jpg


You'll notice that in order for the sunroof to retract, it must first drop. There are links attached at the front and back of the glass track connectors which tilt down when retracting (*and up when closing, which seals the glass). These are plastic clips attached to the ends of the "pipe cleaner" flexible metal coil springs that move fore and aft to move the glass back and forth within the rack. The pipe cleaners use nylon bristles to center them in the tubes, brush dirt and debris out of the way, and hold grease to keep it moving smoothly. These coil springs form the linear teeth which interface with the 2 sides of the drive gear to move the flexible pipe cleaners back and forth.
16579301837811412294385.jpg

^ you can only see this part once the rack is removed, unfortunately.

This is what translates rotary motion of a gear to linear motion of the ends of the coil spring pipe cleaners. Look for damage to the small metal pinion gear teeth where the coil spring pipe cleaners run, as if they get out of alignment or jump their track, this can cause the middle of the metal gear to get worn down and slip it's teeth. The symptom of this is a sunroof that grinds when the controls are operated, but the sunroof may or may not move. The motor and electrical is working fine, but mechanically, the pinion gear is toast (*or, you've worn out the section of coil spring that sits here). Another symptom is that the sunroof glass closes, mostly, but one side may not lift into place to seal completely with the roof opening. It has run out of teeth.

The tubes which hold the pipe cleaner coil springs are L-shaped and go around the front and sides of the rack. Pay attention to the plastic clips which interface with the back edge of the sunroof, as these are the fastening points to motivate the sliding glass. If they're broken, you need new coil spring pipe cleaners, and the sunroof will slide by hand open and closed, because there's nothing attached to the motor mechanism. If one is broken, the mechanism tries to operate that one side, and it offsets the sliding glass and sticks open or closed. Symptom is that the motor binds up audibly, but the glass doesn't move, because it's getting cocked offset and bound up because it's only being powered on one side. This was the problem I ran into. The fix is finding a donor rack and pulling the coil spring pipe cleaner, tube assembly, and end links, and replacing your broken set.

Here is the attachment (*back) end of the tracks showing the plastic clips and links. Note that these are both tracks zip tied together for,storage. No, you can't have them. One is broken, anyway...
1657930312114249099453.jpg


Removal of the rack requires removal of the headliner, which is pretty staight-forward after you remove all the offending fascia and seat belt mounts. The headliner comes out the back cleanly and easily with 2 or 3 helpers to keep it from folding. Have work tables ready to set it on. The rack itself is probably 12-14 × 12mm bolts holding it in place to the underside of the roof. Conveniently, if you left your grab handles in place (*recommended), they will support the rack while you gently lower it out of position, so it can be chanted slihtly to slide out the back, once all electrical cables are disconnected. Note that the rain drains are exposed now, so inspect them closely and replace of they're torn or dry-rotted. At a minimum, grab a turkey baster and gently flush them out. This is also a good moment to decide if you want to add that 3rd row seat dome light fixture that's been sitting on your work bench for 5 years,...

As an interesting data point, the LX470 rack has an extra section of foam across the entire back edge which the LC80 did not have, and which seals the rack a bit better against the roof. Extra wind resistance for a quieter interior? Who knows. I didn't notice any interior sound difference, but my cabin is mostly occupied by gear whine from the transfer case intermixed with HAM radio static, so I got that going for me.

Installation is the reverse of removal! Haha,

I'm sauntered out to the garage and took those pics for you because I've got spare time, and can use the good LandCruiser karma, plus I didn't want the forum to lose this book that I wrote. Jeez,... it's 106F in my garage! Somebody owes me a beer,... cleaned up my post and put the pics where they belong. Good luck!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2021
Messages
370
Location
WA/OR
Alright, I read your OP twice now and hope I'm providing some assistance based on what I've done pulling my rack out and understanding how the system works. I'll try to explain it here as simply as possible, but bear with me;

Check your fuses, first. That's the obvious thing that prevents the sunroof from operating. If the knee panel fuse is fine, then continue.

The manual operation is as the guys mention - when you remove the light housing, it's a flat blade screw head which is LARGE and stands out. This screw is actually connected to the geared shaft which is powered by the motor, so you can get some torque on it to provide motive operation of the glass. Best bet is to get a geared electric screwdriver and find the biggest flat blade bit you own, and concentrate on keeping the bit centered in the slot while you use the electric drill to turn the screw. Go slowly, and determine which direction is the right way to open it. Don't force it. The gears in there are plastic and get angry if you try and teach them who's boss.
View attachment 3060094

You'll notice that in order for the sunroof to retract, it must first drop. There are links attached at the front and back of the glass track connectors which tilt down when retracting (*and up when closing, which seals the glass). These are plastic clips attached to the ends of the "pipe cleaner" flexible metal coil springs that move fore and aft to move the glass back and forth within the rack. The pipe cleaners use nylon bristles to center them in the tubes, brush dirt and debris out of the way, and hold grease to keep it moving smoothly. These coil springs form the linear teeth which interface with the 2 sides of the drive gear to move the flexible pipe cleaners back and forth.
View attachment 3060095
^ you can only see this part once the rack is removed, unfortunately.

This is what translates rotary motion of a gear to linear motion of the ends of the coil spring pipe cleaners. Look for damage to the small metal pinion gear teeth where the coil spring pipe cleaners run, as if they get out of alignment or jump their track, this can cause the middle of the metal gear to get worn down and slip it's teeth. The symptom of this is a sunroof that grinds when the controls are operated, but the sunroof may or may not move. The motor and electrical is working fine, but mechanically, the pinion gear is toast (*or, you've worn out the section of coil spring that sits here). Another symptom is that the sunroof glass closes, mostly, but one side may not lift into place to seal completely with the roof opening. It has run out of teeth.

The tubes which hold the pipe cleaner coil springs are L-shaped and go around the front and sides of the rack. Pay attention to the plastic clips which interface with the back edge of the sunroof, as these are the fastening points to motivate the sliding glass. If they're broken, you need new coil spring pipe cleaners, and the sunroof will slide by hand open and closed, because there's nothing attached to the motor mechanism. If one is broken, the mechanism tries to operate that one side, and it offsets the sliding glass and sticks open or closed. Symptom is that the motor binds up audibly, but the glass doesn't move, because it's getting cocked offset and bound up because it's only being powered on one side. This was the problem I ran into. The fix is finding a donor rack and pulling the coil spring pipe cleaner, tube assembly, and end links, and replacing your broken set.

Here is the attachment (*back) end of the tracks showing the plastic clips and links. Note that these are both tracks zip tied together for,storage. No, you can't have them. One is broken, anyway...
View attachment 3060096

Removal of the rack requires removal of the headliner, which is pretty staight-forward after you remove all the offending fascia and seat belt mounts. The headliner comes out the back cleanly and easily with 2 or 3 helpers to keep it from folding. Have work tables ready to set it on. The rack itself is probably 12-14 × 12mm bolts holding it in place to the underside of the roof. Conveniently, if you left your grab handles in place (*recommended), they will support the rack while you gently lower it out of position, so it can be chanted slihtly to slide out the back, once all electrical cables are disconnected. Note that the rain drains are exposed now, so inspect them closely and replace of they're torn or dry-rotted. At a minimum, grab a turkey baster and gently flush them out. This is also a good moment to decide if you want to add that 3rd row seat dome light fixture that's been sitting on your work bench for 5 years,...

As an interesting data point, the LX470 rack has an extra section of foam across the entire back edge which the LC80 did not have, and which seals the rack a bit better against the roof. Extra wind resistance for a quieter interior? Who knows. I didn't notice any interior sound difference, but my cabin is mostly occupied by gear whine from the transfer case intermixed with HAM radio static, so I got that going for me.

Installation is the reverse of removal! Haha,

I'm sauntered out to the garage and took those pics for you because I've got spare time, and can use the good LandCruiser karma, plus I didn't want the forum to lose this book that I wrote. Jeez,... it's 106F in my garage! Somebody owes me a beer,... cleaned up my post and put the pics where they belong. Good luck!

Just now getting to this as I was camping over the weekend without reception...I'd planned on getting to the sunroof but, well, the offer of camping superseded it.

This is an amazing write up and worth my weight in gold to m (and that's 275 lbs so...A LOT of gold, haha)...thank you for taking the time to not only write it up, but to take pictures, AND brave 100+ degree temps in your garage...I know what that last one is like; I lived in Phoenix for 22 years!

I definitely will follow this when cracking open the sunroof.

I'll have to check out the fuse diagram at the knee to see which one might be an offending fuse...I know the LC specialist who initially looked at it after purchase noted that fuses were blowing due to the janky stereo that the PO installed...so that might be the problem (Dash light only illuminating the teach side, windows no longer working, stereo no longer working, cigarette lighter not working, clock not working...but lights working except the dimmer for the dash...so, I'll check the fuse but in the end, the entire stereo is being replaced also and that system will be rewired.)

Again, thanks!
 
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Just my 2 cents, My sunroof started acting up 10 yrs or so ago. 1st the vent mode (part that goes up in the back not open) broke with a loud snap! but would still it still opened and close when activated only NOT to seal completely when closed. I was told there are plastic arms that get brittle over time. if looking from the roof, the back of it did not come up to meet the seal. major pia. I opened and closed it for the next 10 years or so until it completely froze up accompanied by another loud snap! :frown:. luckily I was able to close it manually by pulling it with my hand shut! I figured at this point its already messed up..

I've had the headliner down, looked at the mechanics of it. not too complicated, but not fun to replace either.

still does not seal, but at least its not fully open!:). looked into replacing the whole assy from yota, but with close to a $1300 price tag... maybe some day. lol
 
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Pepper - what was the conclusion of your thread?
 
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Pepper - what was the conclusion of your thread?
The fuses are fine...per the Land Cruiser shop I went to recently, the sunroof not opening/closing is an electrical problem. I can open it manually, per the instructions given...there's something that's causing the sunroof, ALL door windows, rear dome light (but not center or front dome lights), cig lighter, clock, stereo used to be intermittent but now it no longer works, and HALF of the lights on the gauge cluster not functioning. But all the button lights on the AC control panel work, glove compartment light works, shift lights work (Even "D"), map light works, bottom of the door lights work.

The shop actually ripped out a bunch of excess wires that the PO had installed by a big box audio store (apparently it looks like Car Toyz, per the shop) - The shop is going to look at it more tomorrow when I take it back in for an AC issue...they also pulled out an old Sirius satellite receiver from under the front passenger floorboard and an Alpine 4 channel amp (150 watts) from under the driver seat.

All of the wiring in the below pic was taken (if I'm correct) from under the driver side floorboard, the dash and and under the hood (Big red extra cable) - I stepped away for a few moments so it's possible the tech pulled some from the passenger side, but I THINK it's all DS.

D4D04822-4FCC-4CA8-A233-70BF01E7DCFE.jpeg
 
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It's always a treat to pull up the seats and see what you've inherited.
 
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It's alwys a treat to pull up the seats and see what you've inherited.
As a former server rack tech...IT MADE MY EYE TWITCH :D

I'm saving the treat finding for when I pull the carpet to replace it (or wash it). I might do the sound / heat dampening mod I've read about and get new carpet...but it's down the list right now.
 

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