Changing sunroof to moonroof? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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#1 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 02:03 AM
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Howdy again, everyone!

OK, I have this wild hare up my ass and I'm wondering if this has been done before.

Has anyone changed the stock e36 sunroof to a clear/tinted moonroof? Got pics?

I just think it'd be fun to have. Not looking to make that kind of change right now. I'm pretty sure it would involve a custom-made glass or acrylic piece to replace the stock one. I've never opened insides of the sunroof, so I don't even know if there's any rails or not in there that would block it (and my Bentley's manual hasn't arrived yet to check).

Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 07:49 AM
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Hmmm sound like a cool idea...hmmm sounds like a custom install.....keep us posted.

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 09:48 AM
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I am pretty sure I've seen something about sunroof rails out there.

Anything can be done depending on howmuch time and money you want to toss as the problem.

But please keep us posted that would be schweeet.

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#4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Laxiepoo@Mar 14 2004, 01:43 AM

I'm pretty sure it would involve a custom-made glass or acrylic piece to replace the stock one. I've never opened insides of the sunroof, so I don't even know if there's any rails or not in there that would block it (and my Bentley's manual hasn't arrived yet to check).

Thanks!
Sounds very doable. Have an acrylic piece custom made to the specs of the OEM roof piece. Don't sound to hard to do. That would look cool, I am sure. Great idea!
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 04:18 PM
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the only proeblem that you have to overcome is the problem of the top of the sunroof ie the metal part. Moonroofs have glass tops. SO you would either have to replace and some how weather seal the actual sunroof with glass. Or you would have to install glass underneath maybe??? ie inside the car. I think it would be expensive to get glass cut and weather proofed to fit. Also i think it would be hard to find someone to do it. Alot of car places shy away from stuff like this because it potentially could take a long time and take away from their regular work. I wish you the best of luck. If you can figure out how to do it I'll prolly do it too. I love moon-roofs.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 05:20 PM
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another problem is the stock sunroof when opened goes into the roof of the car. Many moonroofs open over the top, my guess for this is to keep the glass from getting beat or scratched up while retracted. I could be way off on that though.

Perhaps getting a custom frame wtiht the weather proofing and all made that you can drop the custome acriclic sheet into and just seal down with some silicone. The acrilic maybe kind of spendy as you will most likey want to go with something with some thickness to it to help dampen sound and not have it flex around too much..

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#7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 05:39 PM
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most cpeah cars sunroofs open over the top of the roof! i know my old camry and my dads old 2001 cady all went inside the roof, but with bmw im not sure if that would work wirthout major chnage mainly becuase my moonroof is having problems right now that something is rubbing and took of some paintm that i need to buff out to make red again, so if that happened w ith glass that would suck huge olf scarth! so get that checked out before any mods!

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#8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigred318@Mar 14 2004, 05:19 PM
most cpeah cars sunroofs open over the top of the roof! i know my old camry and my dads old 2001 cady all went inside the roof, but with bmw im not sure if that would work wirthout major chnage mainly becuase my moonroof is having problems right now that something is rubbing and took of some paintm that i need to buff out to make red again, so if that happened w ith glass that would suck huge olf scarth! so get that checked out before any mods!

David
That is kinda where i was goin with it...

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#9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 08:11 AM
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Funny, I was just thinking about this last week. While on my spring break I redid my headliner and actually took out the entire cassette and sunroof to replace the headliner on the sunroof. I think the glass piece would be very duable. The sunroof has a rail on each side and that have metal rods that are "threaded". When the motor turns the rods sunroof goes back and forth. It is very easy to unhook the inner piece of the sunroof to have the manual control to slide back with the glass piece on top of it. The only problem I could think of would the thickness of the top panel. The metal piece is pretty thick and very heavy ( a bith to hold up by yourself). I think if you took out your cassette and took the sunroof apart and tok the metal piece to a glass place they could fabricate something to the same specs. The only problem would be atteching the rails.

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#10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 09:32 AM
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Or how about getting one from a newer car, like the m3, is the size the same?

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#11 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 10:38 AM
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Great feedback, guys - thanks for the discussion.

I'll be looking into this a bit more whenever I get the time/money/permission from the wife, etc. So don't expect pics this week =)

What I'm picturing is a custom machined/cut/fabricated piece of glass that matches the size of the current metal roof. I can't wait to investigate this more.

Most of the BMW sunroofs, like the newer e46s, slide straight back into the roof, not up and over it.

I have to open up my sunroof soon anyways - something's rattling in there, and it won't "pop up" when you press the switch forwards.

Bentley manual should be here next Tuesday. ;-)

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#12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 05:47 PM
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best of luck with it! can't wait to see some kind of progess.

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#13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 10:08 PM
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yeah laxiepoo definately keep us updated
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#14 (permalink) Old 03-16-2004, 01:41 AM
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Aight, here's the concept after a bit of photoshop, just to make sure I'd like the look of a black window in the roof of my car.

Top pic is the way it currently is, and the bottom is what I have in mind (along with some tint and some clears).

I'll try to get a pic up tomorrow that better shows the roof. I don't have a timeline for this project, so I'll just use a software developer point of view and just say it'll be done when it's done. =)
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#15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2004, 02:10 AM
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nice, then the sunroof would match your side skirts

it doesn't look bad with the black window on the roof, to me, although im used to seeing alot of cars these days with the glass moonroof so it just seems normal to me

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