How Do You Install a Sunroof on a Car?

The process of installing a sunroof on a car varies depending on the type of sunroof and vehicle. Sliding and fold-up sunroofs are usually more expensive and require professional installation; however tilting-glass sunroofs can be installed on most vehicles.

Choose a sunroof that fits your car, as fitment issues can arise if the vehicle has a curved or highly stressed roof. Aftermarket sunroofs are available from accessory shops, directly from manufacturers and specialty sunroof-fitting shops. Specialty shops usually sell sunroof kits and offer installation advice.

Choose the sunroof placement, and cover the area with masking tape to protect the paint. Place the template over the roof, and trace a line around the masking tape to mark the position. Drill four separate holes using a 4-millimeter drill bit at around 5 inches from each corner, avoiding the headlining. Insert probes through the holes, and pierce through the headlining. From inside the vehicle, use scissors or a craft knife to cut the headlining between the four holes. Use a larger drill bit, and widen the previous holes on the exterior. Cut out the metal roof using a nibbler tool.

Remove the masking tape, file down rough edges, and apply primer and top coat to the bare metal. Place the weatherseal strip under the main frame, and insert the frame in the roof aperture. Inside the car, align the inner frame with the main frame and screw in each side of the hinges. Apply trim adhesive and headlining between the main frame and inner frame. Install the glass, and connect the main handle opening to the latch bracket.