Elevating Roof Issues

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Elevating Roof Issues

Post by AliB321 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:35 am

Have a 2005 California bought new. After about 3 years raised roof on a very hot day in Alps. RH side was broadside on to sun. After about 20 mins noticed a clicking noise and found RH side of roof was 'collapsing'. Ended up closing roof by means of emergency manual closing method as instructed in VW handbook. On arrival home a few days later elevated roof in cooler conditions perfect so thought problem would go away. It has now reappeared and roof will elavate but not stay up on RH side same problem as initialy described. I am assuming it is something like a worn clutch/brake master cylinder in that hydraulic fluid is seaping past the seals inside the hydraulic ram.
Anyone else with this issue? I assume that this means that the rams will need to be replaced, can this be done with the roof elevated or is it one of those real pain in the neck jobs?

AliB321

Posts : 2
Join date : 2013-06-26

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Solution Found

Post by AliB321 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:08 am

OK the solution was easy but expensive. The system consists of a pump and 2 hydraulic rams. Pump at front of roof and the rams on each side situated outside of the canvas. The rams can be removed without taking apart the rest of the system and can be removed independently.
The rams work on a push me pull you principal the direction is operated by the valve sensors. When the pump is not operating the system is balanced, i.e. no pressure in the system. (But I think the roof would need to be supported for this to be completely true).
Conversations with VW dealers ranged from, bring it in and we will diagnose it to there is not much diagnosis that can be done. Try replacing the ram first £225 + VAT if that doesnt work then its the pump. £900 + VAT. I have access to the official VW manual and that is of no help and is not precise with partial dismantling either.
So I bought the ram (both sides are identical and same ram used from outset) and worked out how the system was likely to work. Armed with that info here are the instructions for changing a ram.
It is a simple and clean job.
Tools needed.
Acro prop. 2 pieces clean plywood about 30cm square. Set of Torx sokets. Good pair of pliers. Usual screwwdrivers. Circlip pliers protective sheet about 1m square, Allen keys.set of good steps or work platform. 2 people are useful. Replacement cable ties.
Method.
Elevate roof about halfway. Prop using acro prop positioned between front seats using the plywood top and bottom to spread load. Protect trim further with clean cloth if necessary. Working on platform remove the 2 black plastic covers. Place some protective sheeting between the mechanical system and the canvas roof and have this ready to hang down under the ram when remove. Just in case of fluid spill. I did not experience any.Remove the 2 grub screws with an allen key from the rear hinge mechanism and also using circlip pliers the circlip from the from hinge remove the pin. This circlip does appear to be soft and bends/fatigues easily. Take care or have a new one for reassembly. It is in the inside and a pain!! Remove any further securing screws/bolts from the ram. Cut the cable ties securing wiring and hydraulic lines. Not the routing or take a photo first. DO NOT CREASE ANY OF THESE LINES. Take the new ram. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOVE THE PISTON IN THE RAM, I KNOW IT WILL BE IN THE WRONG POSITION!! IT is pre filled with fluid do not upset the balance. Using pliers remove the shiny metal hydraulic line securing clip by pulling along direction of ram on the old ram. Also slide out the electronic sensor housing. Gently pull out line from its location. Do exactly the same for the new ram except there will be a brass pin instead of the line. Place the line into the new ram and replace clip. Now do the same for the other end of the ram. Make sure everything remains clean. Carefully locate the new ram into position. Ensuring the acro stays in place operate the pump in "open roof direction" very carefully a little at a time to push out the operating arm in the new ram. When it lines up with the locating hole in the mechanism locate. Replacement is a reversal of dismantling. Take care with the circlip. Cable tie on the lines ensuring original routing and NO CREASES.
I then operated roof in the opening direction. The pump continued a bit longer than normal whilst the system purged and balanced itself.
For me the original problem solved and not necessary to replace pump so cheaper! Hope someone finds this useful. any question please get back to me. Sorry its long winded but!! If you have to force anything you are doing it wrong!
Ali B


Last edited by AliB321 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:11 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added a piece)

AliB321

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