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Tool and Material Checklist:

  • Template 
  • Sell-adhesive spacing foam
  • Masking tape
  • Measuring tape 
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Drill
  • Work gloves
  • Metal rod 
  • Screwdriver
  • Jigsaw 
  • Glue
  • Shears 
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Butyl sealant tape

Sunroofs are a favorite automotive accessory, and you can save a good deal of money by installing your own. This booklet contains general installation Instructions for both the sliding and pop-up varieties. Read the sunroof manufacturer's instructions as well, since the specific directions vary from one manufacturer to another. Also, be sure to wear safety glasses or goggles when working with drills or any other power tools.


Begin by securing the manufacturer's template to the roof with masking tape. The template should be centered, with at least 7" between the windshield molding and the front cut line of the template. (This distance might have to be increased to accommodate the dome light or any other internal obstructions.)

Cutting the Aperture

Use the following procedure to cut the aperture in a soft Interior headliner:

1. Drill through the roof (from the outside) at the four corner markings on the template. Do not drill through the interior headliner.

2. Use a metal rod to push through the holes drilled in Step 1 into the Interior of the vehicle.

3. From inside the car, join the four holes together in a rectangular shape using a straightedge and pencil.

4. Starting at one of the holes, use a sharp knife to cut the headliner along the rectangular outline.

5. Remove the headliner cutout so that it does not entangle the knife when the roof panel is being cut.

6. From the outside, use a drill to make one of the holes drilled in Step 1 large enough to accommodate the blade of a jigsaw.

7. Place the jigsaw in the hole and cut to the marked cut line of the template. Cut all the way around the cut line.

8. During the cutting operation, have someone support the roof blank so that it does not fall into the vehicle. Be careful not to cut through the remaining headliner.

9. Remove the roof blank.

Use the following procedure to cut the aperture in a solid headliner:

1. Drill through the roof (from the outside) and the headliner at one of the corner markings on the template. The hole should be large enough to accommodate a jigsaw blade.

2. Place the jigsaw in the hole and cut to the marked cutline of the template. Cut all the way around the cutline.

3. During the cutting operation, have someone support the roof blank so that it does not fall into the vehicle.

4. Remove the roof blank.

Assembling the Sunroof

1. Apply butyl sealant tape around the aperture. Be sure to overlap the tape at the ends to create an unbroken sealing line.

2. Run the rail finishing beads along both side rails. Leave a 5 mm gap in the beads before they reach the rear of the top frame, This will allow surface water to drain freely from the roof if the vehicle is parked at an angle in heavy rain.

3. Run the secondary seal under the rear edge of the top frame, from one side rail to the other. Cut off any excess.

4. Insert the glass in the frame. It should be securely retained in the slot, while still able to slide freely forward and backward.

5. Place the frame assembly into the aperture, making sure that it is square in the aperture and down the side rails.

6. Loosely screw the Inner frame together, beginning at the corners.

7. Completely tighten all the screws, then recheck the frame alignment in the aperture and down the side rails.

8. Once the frame is properly aligned, drill through the holes in the end stops using a 5mm drill bit.

NOTE: To avoid piercing the headlining, you may find it helpful to use a drill stop.

9. Secure the rails to the roof with rivets. Until the rivets have been secured, exert downward pressure on the rails to hold them solidly against the roof. Do not press on the end caps.

Completing the Interior Trim

Use the following procedure to complete the interior trim on a non-trimmed, soft headliner:

1. After the frame has been placed in the aperture, pull the headliner over the inner frame.

2. Screw the inner frame up, while pulling the headliner taut.

3. Once the inner frame is screwed tight, cut off any excess headliner material.

4. Insert the finishing bead. Clip the finishing bead end cap over both ends of the finishing bead.

Use the following procedure to complete the interior trim on a fully trimmed, soft headliner:

1. After the frame has been placed in the aperture, screw the inner frame up.

2. Apply glue to the edge of the headliner material and to the face of the inner frame. When the glue becomes tacky, pull the headliner over the frame and press both glued faces together.

3. Tuck the excess material Into the recess created between the two parts of the frame.

4. Insert the finishing bead.

5. Clip the finishing bead end cap over both ends of the finishing bead.

To complete the interior trim on a glued headliner, first locate the spot where the headliner is glued to the inner skin of the roof. Cut the back 12mm from the edge and peel the excess strip away. Then screw the inner frame together.

To complete the interior trim on a hard headliner, cut the headliner back 12 mm from the edge. Place self-adhesive spacing foam between the headliner and the inner roof skin, then screw the Inner frame and frame together:

Finishing the Job

1. Attach the handle latch assembly to the glass.

2. Run deflector finishing bead around the edge of the deflector, with the sealing leg facing outward.

3. Place the deflector over the front of the sunroof assembly.

4. Align the holes In the def lector with the holes in the rails.

5. Loosely screw together one side, then the other. When satisfied with the alignment, tighten both sides.

WARNING: Be careful not to overstress the deflector. This could lead to splitting around the holes.


Instructions for securing the template and cutting the aperture are the same as for sliding sunroofs. Remember that the cutting procedure differs slightly, depending on whether the interior headliner is soft or hard. The rest of the installation procedure for pop-up sunroofs is as follows:

Removing the Glass

1. Place your thumbs on the sliding buttons located on the handle arms and push down. This will release the arms from the frame.

2. Locate the two cam levers at the front of the sunroof. Place your thumbs under the latch and pull backward; the cam levers will flip up to reveal tongues. The tongues act as keys inserted in the frame to hold the glass.

3. Slide the tongues to the left. The glass can now be moved back away from the front of the frame. When doing this, be careful not to open the glass more than 1", or the end still iii the frame might break.

4. You can now slide the glass out of the frame.

5. Unscrew the inner trim ring from the frame.

6. Place the frame in the aperture to check for fit, making sure that the handle and latch are toward the rear of the vehicle. If the aperture is too small~ file it down; never force the frame in-this can cause the roof metal to buckle when the screws are tightened.

7. Apply butyl sealant tape to the underside of the frame, approximately 1/16" to 1/8" from the outer edge to secure it in place.

Installing the Trim Ring

Most manufacturers supply trim rings in different sizes and shapes, depending on the specific application (size of the vehicle, soft or hard headliner, etc.) However, the procedure for installing them is generally the same.

1. Make sure the headliner and trim ring are compatible by placing the trim ring against the frame. The headliner should rest on the ledge of the trim ring, lithe fit leaves a little to be desired, trim the headliner accordingly.

NOTE: In some instances, the trim ring itself might have to be altered. Twist the trim ring at the first or second groove, snip the edge with metal cutters, and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to roll back the metal, similar to opening a sardine can. Be sure to wear work gloves to protect your hands when doing this procedure.

2. Working from the corners inward, screw the trim ring to the frame using the Phillips screws provided. Place equal pressure along the frame as you go, and make sure the split in the trim ring is facing the rear of the sunroof so that it will be covered when the latch is closed.

3. Cover the screws with the vinyl screw covers provided.

4. Apply the two-way tape around the entire trim ring.

5. Work out as many wrinkles in the headliner as possible, then bond it to the trim ring. Pull the remaining headliner over the edge of the trim ring and fasten the T-clips to the frame. Start at one of the hinges and work around to the other.

6. If you are working with a bonded or molded headliner, styrofoam spacer blocks must be used between the inside of the roof and the headliner. This is because these headliners extend 1/2' to 5/8" below the roof to achieve the proper fit.

7. Be sure to remove all metal filings from the windshield, or scratches will result when the wipers are turned on.

Operating the Sunroof

A pop-up sunroof is easy to operate from the driver's seat. Just reach back and hook your fingers under the handle; apply forward pressure until the handle moves toward the windshield and releases. Now push with your palm straight upward. The handle will click as the roof opens-stop pushing when you reach the desired opening.

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