Metal to Glass Sunroof Conversion DIY for Gen II Cars
****** ATTENTION!!! ******
Big props to Solid Snake for uncovering this very cool upgrade! Big Thanks Bro!
This thread will present two different methods of doing this upgrade, depending on what parts you have, or what method you may seek the parts for.
We have also modified it to cover both coupes and sedans now.
So please read the entire thread.
My good friend Dave (ElRojo) came upon this Mod from I believe Solid Snake and installed one in his own car. I saw his mod and began to drool all over it. I let him know of my desire for a pair for my coupe and sedan. C140 Coupes were pretty rare in every case and not many make into the JY's, but we do have a line on one. W140's are however in the Junkyards, and Dave came upon I believe three in one day.
Of course he called me and I called dibs on one for the SEL. Well he called me last week and told me that he could come up and we could do the install. Cool! Also, as bad luck would have it, my drivers side window had failed on our trip to San Francisco and Sacramento last weekend, and it was making a horrible cracking noise (NOT creaking) so I asked him if he could pull me a drivers window and regulator (Motor). He called me this morning and told me that he got the window and regulator and was on his way!
We first tackled the window which I will write up in a separate article. After that was completed we turned out attention to the task at hand. I had R&R'ed my sunroof in the coupe so I was well acquainted with the process. The sedan's motor and trans are blown and so it has been sitting for a year. I keep it clean, I wash it and keep it well vacuumed and condition the leather, and I have a battery tender that I hooked up to power the sunroof motor. Before the engine quit, the S/R worked fine and so there was no reason to think otherwise.
Here is the plan: Open the roof to remove the inner panel and then remove the metal panel and swap out the arms:
Here is the top outer metal panel that will go bye bye:
Inside looking up:
So the first thing you need to do is remove that inner panel. The scope of this article will assume that the S/R works and can travel freely and articulate in tilt.
The sunroof needs to be open halfway:
Say Hi to Dave! Dave is popping the 4 snaps that secure the front of the inner cover to the outer metal sunroof panel. You insert a flat blade screwdriver into the front seam between the liner and the panel and pry down GENTLY!
Until the inner panel separates from the upper panel:
You have to hold down the inner panel and then electrically move the upper panel back to full open. You have to pull the inner panel down and forward and it will come forward and then up and out of the car:
As you can see, debris can pile up in there too! You can see the 4 snaps, one right by Dave's thumb there.
More to follow! Please do not post until I finish.
You now want to slide the roof panel forward until it pops up:
Also you want to remove the forward wind deflector carefully and the two side mounts. They will not be used, yet. But do NOT damage these.
Now, inside you will see three screws on each side, two aft, and one forward:
Use an 8MM nut driver or socket with extension to remove the nuts.
Once you have done both sides you can then lift the outer panel up and off:
This is a view of the drivers side as seen from the passenger side. That is the side guide rail. The side rail is what guides the moving rails to "Pop Up" the rear of the outer panel. There is a guide pin that rides in that lower channel and then up that vertical slot towards the right side there. Blow out any debris and clean the track that is chrome and also the side rails of any old slide paste.
Here is the old guide:
And you can see where the guide bolts to the Transom there with three 8MM bolts. You next must unscrew those 6 bolts and remove the slides taking care not to break them. Also you must take care to remove the drip guard actuator arms, which are plastic and delicate. The trick to removing those is after you disconnect them from the Transom, push the slide all the way forward in tilt, and then the tab will align for removal.
Okay, next thing you want to do is to remove the 5 screws holding the top guide down. The forward one is a machine threaded screw and the other four are coarse thread so take note:
Once the top guides are off you can remove the slides, again, BE VERY CAREFUL! They can be re-sold.
Once the 126 slides are out, completely blow out and clean out the entire area.
Next you have to do a little grinding. The 140 slides are slightly different in the position of the slide pads. If you look at the picture above you will see that notch. That notch needs to be lengthened aft by a little over 1/4" and the front needs to be beveled.
Here is the after on the other side:
I used my bench grinder and it took all of 5 minutes. Take a pair of Vise grips and bend up the leading edge of the one you ground, and the other notch father aft. The second notch does not need any grinding, only to make the flares more pronounced.
Here is the aft notch:
You can see the slide pad fits perfectly.
Fit the new 140 guides in by first fitting the aft notch in the rail and then flatten out the back part and kinda shoehorn it in. It's a tight fit but work the angle forward is all I can say.
Once it is in and you have ground the top guide, fit the top guide and lube with MB slide paste. We did not have any so we used White Lithium Grease. Yeah, I know...
Make sure the front tabs and the after tabs fit and slide and work and then connect it back to the transom using some blue thread locker. Once the transom is back on, then you can try SLOWLY to move the assy back and forth and re-lube everything.
Here you can see it in tilt up mode:
Now you want to leave it in the Tilt Up mode and then fit the glass:
So here it is:
You want to align the glass panel side rails to the raised slides using the 8MM screws. You want to make sure that the screws are NOT cross threaded and loose so you can adjust the panel. Get all of the screws in and close the panel and adjust with a gap tool and then raise the panel and tighten the screws. Then make any final adjustments after you cycle the roof several times. If it binds anywhere, you will have to find the source of the binding. We did and do still have a little binding in it, and I will take it apart again to massage out the kink. The drivers side rear is still just a touch sticky.
That's about it. I still have to get a new seal and get that in, but overall it was a really simple mod for Dave and myself. Now we have both a fair amount of experience with Sunroofs, so your experience level may be different, but this mod from start to finish took about two hours. This was not including the time it took Dave to pull it. If your sunroof is in good working order now, and nothing is rotted or broken, you can reasonable expect to do this in half a day or less.
The glass panels come in two different "Types" one in black and one in smoked/reflective. I chose the black one. I believe Dave has two complete Smoked ones left if anyone wants to do this. Dave has two complete Sedan roof "Packages" left all ready to ship if anyone else is interested.
Good write-up Mike with excellent visual pics.
I must try wearing gloves one day instead of turps
So for our Gen2 coupes we need C140 glass (no othe models can be sourced ?)
I should ask you to do a write-up on the rubber seal replacement as i need to replace the one in my white SEC and still not sure how to go about it and visuals make it so much easier to follow.
Great Mod that the guys discovered.
Of note i had to laugh at that tosser on the other website of his that bagged the crap out of the guys saying this mod could not done and BW members did not have a clue what they were doing.
But then again, I don't recall them doing anything other than bad mouth and tear down things. Do you?
Great foto lovestory, Mike! ^^
As Kim said, its much easier with pictures to follow the instructions. I´m getting crazy about the fact, that my 500 SEL doesn´t have a sunroof :(
My lack of english makes me ask some questions too understand some points a little bit better.
For what is the front diagonal cutout? Did the diagonal cut start at the original positon of the former cutout?
4. Are there any covers for the technics, when the roof is closed and the sunshade opened? BTW - will you fit the sunshade and make another delicious write up? :D
Does the C140 Coupe glass sunroof fit the SEC?
Very nice. I get more and more tempted to possibly have this conversion done.
Great write up with pics. So easy to understand...:-)
I'll have to do this on our sdl since its not working properly already.. Might as well do the conversion too. Would like to find one for the coupe too someday..
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