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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 11-25-2009, 06:57 AM   #1
BostonGreen318

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1994 E36 Sunroof Liner Difficulty

Hello, the sunroof on my 318 is slanted from left to right. The Bentley manual claims that in order to adjust it I must slide the liner back into roof cavity. The instructions suggest to "open sunroof slightly" and "slide sunroof liner slowly and carefully back as far as possible." This would be all well and good if I could budge the thing at all. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:58 PM   #2
3050rpm
 
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Sorry, this is a new one on me, about the only thing I've heard about is an actuator arm or some such thing breaking or becoming disconnected. My only guess is to follow what the Bentley says in opening it slightly, then crawling on top of the car and use no more than moderate force in attempting to pull it back as much as you can. Good luck.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:36 PM   #3
BostonGreen318

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Sunroof Alignment

Thanks for replying. I guess I should reword my question in order to be a little more clear. How does one push back the fabric covered sunroof liner so that the screws and other mechanisms can be adjusted from underneath? This is the method with which Bentley suggests to realign the roof. What I've got now is one side of the sunroof remaining slightly ajar allowing for rain to enter. I hope this isn't too confusing. Thanks for your patience!
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
3050rpm
 
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OK, things are clearer now, but I don't have much of a better answer, but maybe try this. Open the sunroof in tilt mode, in other words so that the rear edge tilts up. This will give you some room to play with the fabric liner. I'm not sure about this, but try gently pushing the liner up and then back, maybe that'll get you the access that you need. Beyond that, I'm out of suggestions, other than to say see if you can stop by an autobody shop, you might find a kind soul who'll tell you how to do it, or do it for you, for no money, stuff like this is probably quite common to them.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
BostonGreen318

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Bentley's Shortcomings

Thanks 3050rpm. I appreciate your suggestions and will certainly post whatever information I come across. Apparently, the Bentley manual is not as helpful as I was hoping for. Oh well, nothing comes easy I guess. I'll keep you updated.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:21 PM   #6
3050rpm
 
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Bentley is quite good, I wouldn't want to be without it, but understandably it can't cover everything in complete depth, unfortunately this is one such area. Anyway, good luck in your endeavors, I hope you can find a quick, easy answer to the problem.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:23 AM   #7
BostonGreen318

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Some Closure W/ E36 Sunroof Realignment . . .

Thanks to a mixture of information provided by the Bentley 3 Series Service Manual, generous advice from 3050rpm, and an article written by Karl entitled "BMW E36 Sunroof Repair" found on the bimmerdiy.com website, I've finally managed to align three of the four points of the sunroof with the rest of the roof. There would appear to be some anomaly occurring with the front left corner because it now juts out some.

Most importantly, when reading the Bentley manual you must realize that the language used - "Rear of sunroof should be 2 to 3 mm below surface of roof", really means - "open sunroof slightly from the closed position." I still don't know what is meant by "2 to 3 mm below surface of the roof" because when the roof is opened it's raised above the surface of the roof. Is it not? This minor language error caused confusion from the very start. From there, the interior cloth panel should be easily slid backwards allowing access to the sunroof mechanisms on each side.

The greatest challenge during this endeavor was the small torx screw on the passenger side track. I managed to strip the damn thing from the first turn of the wrench. I will warn anyone attempting this job, it is an awkward angle and requires extreme care! With all the tools and ingenuity I thought I had, I was still unable to remove it. Consequently, I was forced to abort the 'Sunroof Realignment' mission. So, word to the wise, be extremely careful with these torx-20 screws on each side because if you don't, you may end up having to abandon the project just like I did.

Last edited by BostonGreen318; 01-29-2010 at 07:27 AM.. Reason: Grammar
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:51 PM   #8
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Nice info
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:05 AM   #9
bigbump

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FYI...........To get the inside liner to slide back without opening sunroof so you can access the 3 nuts you need to loosen, all you have to do is use brute force and push in back while you're pushing it up. It goes staright back once you get it going. you know you are far enough back because you'll see the 3 nuts (17mm) (they look like they are almost like sliced in half)

Last edited by bigbump; 11-03-2010 at 12:06 AM..
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