Sun Roof Installation and Refurbishment

Last Updated on 01/30/2007

The Golde Sliding Roof system is somewhat of a mystery when it comes to documentation. The factory shop manual leaves a lot to be desired. I have been hard at work documenting this thing as well as installing the system back into the car, to some degree by trial and error.

Hopefully you will find the information you need here for your car.  I have plans to write a complete document on the sunroof that I will provide later when I have all the of this stage of the car completed.

Note: these photos assume you have your headliner out of the car. The bulk of what is here applies but the sunroof panel cover has not been installed until the end of this article.  In my learning and installation process, I fit the sliding roof BEFORE I put the new headliner in so it all worked. I would strongly suggest you do the same.

The sunroof parts were very anodized from years of neglect. I was able to find a local company who does metal finishing. They were able to polish these on a large scale buffing wheels to the polish level you see here.
For placement I installed them to ensure they were the way I wanted it to look.
They were!
There are 3 types of seals in the sunroof:
1) the rear (never seen in normal use) which is like a rubber squeegee
2) The rear which is sort of short and wimpy!
3) And the front, which on an original car is probably dirty, loose and/or worn out.
All of the seals are still available new from BMW.  The front one has the "P" shape which when the roof closes all the way forward, makes an air tight seal.
I found the easiest way to get it right was to fold it in half to find the center, then find the center of the sunroof and begin gluing at that point.
This can is your best friend. Don't start this project with out some. It blows that 3M weather stripping stuff away and it's clear, so no unsightly yellow stuff to clean up.
From a placement perspective, make sure yours is just below the roofline with the "P" pointed towards the back of the car. Done right, you should not see any grey sticking up.
Carefully, but liberally apply the Rubber Glue against the front edge of the cavity just below the roof line.  You can use blue masking tape to hold it in place while it dries in under 5 minutes. Do one side, then the next.
At the rear, run the strip inside the car as shown under the roof opening.  Then when you're done with both sides, apply the rear seal by placing the thicker edge just along leading edge of the roof. Bring the ends down to meet the front seal as shown.
Ok, it should look like this now. Ready for the next steps...
I neglected to take a photo so I'll repeat the shot of the old roof from before. The rear rubber seal is glued directly onto the roof. It spans the width of the roof. The "hump" of the gasket goes toward the exposed lip of the back of the sliding roof panel itself.
Hopefully you have saved your old roof gasket from the opening of the roof because I don't believe they are available anymore. This is fastened with the rubber glue also. It fits against the leading edge of the roof opening.
These are the sliders for the front edge of the roof. They are still available. The clear plastic part slides on the the track themselves.
The cables themselves fit into two round tunnels in the aluminum tracks. Shown below is the rear of the cable slightly installed into the track. The tab and bar piece lift the rear of the roof up to meet the top edge of the car when it's all the way forward.
NOTE: Strong warning here... if your cables are not broken or bent beyond repair, recondition them. The new ones are prone to breaking. Give them a good scrubbing with a brass or plastic brush and then lube them with moly type grease. I put a glob in a shop rag and pull each cable through it 2-3 times and wipe off any excess.
Ok, next you put the brown track gaskets down which sit between the body and the sun roof track cable tunnel shown below under the tracks.  Then attach both of the rear cable tunnel tracks to the body.  You can at this point slide the two sunroof cables, pointed ends first, not the tracks as shown.
After you get the cables inserted in parallel to each other, put the corner "J" pieces in and screw them down about 90% of the way.
Finish carefully placing each of the "puzzle pieces" down until the track is completely covered. In this shot below, you can see how the sunroof crank gear connects to the spirals in the cable to create a transport system.
From inside the car, you should be able to move either cable freely forward and back without the crank gear installed. Take the rear tabs connected to the cables and position them as close as possible at the same location just at the rear of the sunroof cavity as shown in this photo. These will be attached last.
From outside the car, place the sunroof on the tracks, with the rear of the roof entering first. Place the front of the roof to the front, where it would normally be at fully closed. From inside the car, at the front of the roof, there are two thumb screws. You can adjust the front of the roof with them on either side. Ensure that the thumb screws are level as you eyeball them.
Take the front sliders and connect them to the track as shown. Install the two phillips head screws and their retaining clip as shown.
At the back of the roof, slide these two "red" metal clips toward the center of the roof. Using the spacer and the two small M5 bolts, attach the rear of the cables to the roof.
Slide the red metal clips over the tabs as shown. You should now be able to freely slide the roof forward and back on the tracks. Be careful as to not scratch the paint!  If your cables were original, the adjustment should be correct at the rear. If not adjust the slotted screw as seen between the two M5 bolts until a gap of 1-2 mm below the roofline is created, per the factory shop manual's recommendations.
The sunroof crank can now be inserted and tested for proper fitting.
IMPORTANT: if it works freely, take the crank out and wind it all the way forward in a clock wise direction. When it stops back it off 1 turn and temporarily reinstall. Crank the roof as far forward as it will go now. When you have it snug against the roof, remove it. Then back it of 1/2 turn and reinstall it. You should be able to travel the full forward and rear length of the roof. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
At this point I removed everything and put it away in prep for the headliner installation. Things are done with the mechanicals.
Now comes the next tradgedy in the design. A piece of wood that holds the dome light and keeps the moisture out of the headliner. Unfortunately, they get wet and sag. It's a 1/8" piece of masonite with some clips on it to hold the hoops for the headliner. This is supposed to be covered with foam, but it all dries out and falls out with the headliner.
The water stains can be seen here. It also sags toward the floor board.. Not good..
I went to LOWE's and bought a piece of 1/8" marker board. It has a coating on one side to keep moisture out. It works perfectly.
With my good helper Randy, we cut down the piece to the right size. It's 17 1/2" by 31" in my car, but make sure you cut yours the same size as your old one.
You file down one edge to at an angle to make it fit into a sheet metal lip spot welded to the roof.
We then removed all the old clips, measured where they went and drilled new holes for pop rivets and the 5 door panel clips it uses to stay connected to the roof. You also pop rivet the dome light bracket in place.
The side that faces up towards the bottom of the sliding roof panel. Use a file and smooth down the edges of all the pop rivets so you don't cut or scratch anything.
Ok, here's your cavity before it goes in.
And when it goes in. You slide it in the front, fold the steel tabs on each side. Then press the back in with the door panel clips. You may need a rubber mallet to snug up all the fittings . You can see the wiring harness connections here to the dome light. Test them before you put the headliner in!
A shot of the rear. It fits really nice and snug now.
This is a close up view of the dome light receptacle.
More to come...



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