Replacing Sunroof Weatherstripping
Some of you may remember my sunroof adjustment trials and tribulations. I
never mentioned, though, that in the process of all the fuss I determined
the weatherstrip was shot and I ordered a replacement. I was in the right
mood today to install it and I will detail the simple job in a few moments.
I discovered something that may be interesting to some of you as it relates
to s/roof leaking and rust. The weatherstrip is hollow inside, a tubular
affair. The underside of the weatherstrip....the "cabin side", lets'
say......has openings in the tube at the corners. This is a little hard to
put into words....but, if the outer portions of the weatherstrip (the
"weather side") have splits (as mine did) water actually enters the
weatherstrip "tube", travels along, and exits the "tube" at the two rear
corners...or any other place where the tube is split open from age. The
"corner leaks" are not that big of a deal as the water would drip into the
sunroof tray and be carried away via the drains. But the areas where the
weatherstrip is split where it is seated against the panel itself are likely
to develop rust. I know this to be true........... ! Just something to
Replacement is easy. Open the sunroof about 10 inches and remove the four
screws at the forward edge of the panel. Now partially close the sunroof
....leave it open about 4 inches or so. Grasp the leading edge and pull the
outer panel forwards and upward to disengage the panel from the rear-edge
hold down clamps. It takes a good tug so don't worry about breaking
something. Once the rear is disengaged you can wriggle the panel out.
I used my blanket-covered coffee table as my work bench. You'll see that
three sides of the weatherstrip are held in place by retaining strips. Lots
of tiny screws to remove here...be careful. They are very soft and I
couldn't find I couldn't find a Posi-drive or Phillips screwdriver with
exactly the right head for a good purchase on the tiny screws . Remove the
screws and retainers and peel away the old weatherstrip.
You'll see that the trailing edge of the weatherstrip doesn't use a
retaining strip but, instead, the w/strip fits into a small channel. I
started here and found it very easy to work the rubber into the channel
using my thumb nails. I made mistake, though, with my choice of lubricant.
Being out of silicone spray I used Armor-all instead and it worked fine
but........it dawned on me that I was introducing a water based product into
the small channel ! Not a good thing ! I redid that section using (don't
laugh) a small amount of vegetable oil. Hope this doesn't hurt the
rubber.....I don't see how it would.
Anyhow, you'll also readily see how the steel retainer strips actually
engage the weatherstrip and it's a very simple matter to slot the retainers
and the w/strip together and screw the retainers back onto the panel. There
is some sliding adjustment available so you may draw the w/strip tightly
onto the edge of the panel. Of course you'll want to just get all the screws
started into their holes first....then drive them home when the fit looks
proper all way round.
Reinstalling the panel is easy. There are two tabs at the rear edge which
are slid under the spring loaded retainers of the sunroof mechanism. Holding
the panel at a rather steep angle eases the task of engaging the tabs under
the retainers. Wriggle the panel in place, slide the roof rearwards a few
inches and reinstall the four screws on the leading edge. Voila ! You're