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Unread 03-29-2009, 01:40 AM   #1
NEVADAGARY
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Replacing the seal on a ZJ sunroof

The seal on a Grand Cherokee sunroof is something you want to make sure is good. I found out the hard way that when the seal is bad you wind up getting a shower in a car wash. I bought my 98 ZJ and the PO never mentioned a bad seal and I didn’t find out about it until I went through the car wash for the first time. I also found out that information on how to replace this seal is almost non existent on the web. Even the repair manuals don’t have it. So here’s what I did.

I purchased a sunroof seal from the Sunroof Dr for $80.00. The nstructions that come with it are not very good, hard to understand and in one case wrong.

First thing is make sure the sunroof is in the vent position which means the back of the glass must be up above the roof. Open the sunshade and close the sunroof completely and keep the button depressed until the back of the glass goes as far up as it can. On mine the broken seal was so twisted up behind the glass that it wouldn’t allow the sunroof to go all the way up into the vent position. I was lucky in that I could still see the nuts holding the glass in place. Here is the sunroof in the proper vent position.



Both sides are indentical so just do the same thing on each side.

Next remove the plastic side covers from the frame. You do that by sliding the cover TOWARD THE BACK OF THE VEHICLE, not forward like the instructions say, and pull them off. Your sunroof will look like this. You can see the three nuts securing the glass to the slide mechanism.



Just loosen those 3 nuts using a 10mm open end wrench. You could use a socket on the two back nuts but not on the front nut. ONLY LOOSEN THE NUTS do not remove them. Visible here is one of the posts the plastic snaps on to.



The frame has 6 keyholes in it (3 on each side) that allow you to simply slide the glass toward the back of the vehicle and lift it right out. (Only one keyhole shown here)



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Unread 03-29-2009, 01:40 AM   #2
NEVADAGARY
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After removing the glass, with attached frame, I removed the sun shade to reattach the fabric to the front and back by pushing the spring plungers on one side and lifting it out of its groove under the slide. You can see the spring plungers in the picture. I used two way trophy tape to hold down the fabric but it was so rotten in spots that I used Gorilla tape on the whole front of it. The back wasn’t bad so trophy tape worked just fine.




Next picture is the glass with the old seal on it. You can see how twisted the seal was and in the upper left corner how ripped and damaged it was.



Next step is removing the old seal which just pulls off no problem and installing the new seal. Start at the middle of back side of the glass which is the side with the trademark on it and put the seal in place with the rubber part on the glass side not the metal (frame) side. Use a rubber hammer and stretch it into place and wrap it around the corners gently pounding it into place. Pound it down good and secure. Be careful that you don’t roll the rubber part as you install the seal. Make sure it is flat against the glass. Make sure you have straight smooth edges that meet tightly. Follow the maker’s instruction on this. At this point I removed all the nuts and put a drop of non hardening thread locker on each one and screwed the nuts in place leaving about a 1/16 inch space between the base of the nut and the frame. That will allow plenty of room when installing the glass on the mechanism.





After you have installed the seal you are ready to put it all back together. If you pulled the sunshade you have to install that first. Just lay it over the opening and push the two spring plungers on one side to drop the sunshade into its place in the groove. Repeat on the other side and make sure it is seated in its groove and moves easily.

Next put the glass with nuts in place over the keyholes, line the nuts up and push down. When all three nuts per side are in place push the glass forward and tighten the nuts with your 10mm wrench. I just tightened good and tight but didn’t use a torque wrench.

Almost finished. Now you have to reinstall the covers. Note the clips and the pins they snap on to. There’s three on each side and you just line them up and push the cover toward the back of the vehicle.



Now you can enjoy the beautiful sunshine and stay dry too.
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Last edited by NEVADAGARY; 03-29-2009 at 11:34 AM..
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Unread 03-29-2009, 02:27 AM   #3
retroron
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thanks great write up got to do mine soon
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Unread 03-29-2009, 02:36 AM   #4
CULate
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Thanks Gary, great write up.
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Unread 03-29-2009, 02:47 AM   #5
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Very detailed writeup. Nice job Gar
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Unread 03-29-2009, 09:43 AM   #6
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Gary has some short legs..



Nice write up, just saved it in my bookmarks. needs to be in the faq's
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Unread 03-29-2009, 10:31 AM   #7
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Nice write up Gary. Ill be doing that this summer and that took a lot of the guess work out. Thanks
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Unread 03-29-2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.love View Post
Gary has some short legs..



That's not Gary .... that is as ghost !
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Unread 03-29-2009, 11:33 AM   #9
NEVADAGARY
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Kindly ignore the short fat legs...please!

Maybe a mod can move it to the faqs
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Unread 04-14-2012, 05:32 PM   #10
minimodes89
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Did you have to remove the headliner to do this?
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Unread 04-19-2012, 05:30 PM   #11
juvius
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i know this is an old thread, but are the little plastic corner pieces reused because they didn't come with the kit and weren't mentioned here or in the instructions that came with the seal.

thanks
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Unread 04-19-2012, 08:57 PM   #12
Tangfan
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Nice write up, my seal is fine, but sun shade needs to be redone. Thanks fir the help.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
leob1
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Great write up, this is on my to do list.
One kinda dumb question though, do you have to keep the ignition in the "on" position to keep the sunroof open the whole time?
Or is there a trick to keping it open with the key in the off position?

Thanks.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 02:47 PM   #14
Tangfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leob1
Great write up, this is on my to do list.
One kinda dumb question though, do you have to keep the ignition in the "on" position to keep the sunroof open the whole time?
Or is there a trick to keping it open with the key in the off position?

Thanks.
On my 93, there is a button labeled ASC with the other 2 buttons unlabeled. If you move the ASC button, in one position it shuts automatically, the other it does not.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 09:55 PM   #15
Maine1994ZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEVADAGARY View Post
Use a rubber hammer and stretch it into place and wrap it around the corners gently pounding it into place.
I'm new to the forum and I found this thread. GREAT WRITE UP!!! 2 THUMBS UP!!!
I'm not trying to split hairs, nor am I sure if it even applies here, but I worked at a glass shop for a few years and we were told to always compress a rubber seal into place, rather than stretching it into place.

Compressing it into place will help compensate for the rubber's tendency to shrink over time, helping it seal well for a longer time.
Compressing it TOO MUCH will make the seal bulge too much to let the glass come up though the hole, and it will remove the seal from the glass when trying to lower the glass into the roof.

You may have to shorten it SEVERAL times to make it fit perfectly, but if you make it too short you may just end up over-stretching it and it won't seal at all. Or in a year or two's time it may shrink so much that it no longer seals and you'll have to do it over.

I may be completely wrong and you may have to stretch the hell out of it to make it work right, but just remember to always cut these seals too long, rather than too short the first time.

My $0.02
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Last edited by Maine1994ZJ; 03-01-2013 at 10:00 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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