Sunroof (38" x 22") installed in LJ hardtop (pics!) - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General Technical Discussions > Paint and Body > Sunroof (38" x 22") installed in LJ hardtop (pics!)

FS: 2007-2013 Jeep Wrangler "HALO" Angel Eye KitFS: Wranger BRIGHT License Plate LED! Just $3! Great valueIntroducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

Reply
Unread 03-18-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Sunroof (38" x 22") installed in LJ hardtop (pics!)

I finally have decent pics of my Newport/SFC 38" x 22" sunroof in my LJ. First and only for me and NO LEAKS AT ALL in heavy downpours. If I can do it, you can do it! Sorry I didn't take but one install-specific pic but it was a one-man day for me and I just needed to get it done. I will answer any install questions you have and provide advice on tools. Please do not PM me but just ask in here for everyone's benefit and so my PM's don't fill up.

This is the exact sunroof model I installed and was the largest pop-up I could find. It fits PERFECTLY between the outer-most ridges of the LJ top and the glass can be completely removed from the frame pretty easily. It has two pop up heights ...about 2.5" and 4.5" If you use this sunroof and install in the manner I will show (on top of the roof ridges) you will need to get a few screws that are 1/8" longer than the ones provided in the kit for the backside of the sunroof (count the holes on the back and buy a few more screws than the number of holes, just in case):

"SFC/CRL 22 x 38 NewPort Sunroof Universal Trim Ring - Solar High Performance Glass by CRL Automotive"

http://amzn.com/B000K40QA0

First let me tell you that the CRAFTSMAN EVOLVE JIGSAW worked VERY well for me and is inexpensive/reliable:

http://www.google.com/products/catal...94528039504136

You must use a remgrit blade like this (I only needed one but you may want to get a 3-pack in case one would break or wear out in the middle of the project...available at Harbor Freight for cheap). This is the EXACT blade you want (always in green/yellow packaging):

http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...LAID=109380624

Basically I just did some searches on write-ups and tips and went from there, it is pretty much common sense. Every sunroof is a bit different so read your instructions carefully before proceeding:

1. Use the template from the kit and tape it to the roof (on the INSIDE with raised ridges like the LJ or on the OUTSIDE with recessed ridges like older TJ's) in the desired location (furthest forward you can go is best IMO). Use anything you want to mark the template line, you will be cutting there anyway and covering it up with framing so it doesn't matter if it's permanent marker or a grease pencil. Use some masking tape on the bottom of the Jigsaw and/or the outer perimeter of the cut line to prevent scratches. I will advise using painter's drop cloth on the interior and you may want to do additional masking of the roof. The reason for this is you will get lots of fiberglass dust (oh yeah, USE the vacuum attachment on the Jigsaw, another handy feature of the Craftsman Evolve saw ...my auto vac attachment slipped right in and helped a bunch). The white fiberglass dust is very difficult to get out of the paint of the roof if it gets rubbed in and it will lay a pretty thick coat on your interior if you don't cover it. You may not be able to use the vac attachment as you make your turns so some white dust is inevitable ...be prepared (it is best to wear a face/breathing mask and eye protection). FYI I did my cut while sitting inside the vehicle so that limited my ability to make the corner turns with vac-attached (I did it from the inside because my ridges are raised so the inside of my roof is smoother and flatter for the Jigsaw). If you cut from above (best if your top is removed IMO) you will be able to keep the vac attachment on at all times.

2. Drill a pilot hole somewhere in the middle of the roof where it will be cut out and removed anyway, that will be the starting point for your remgrit blade (any other blade will fracture and/or chunk the fiberglass, do not use other types of blades)! As you make your way toward the actual cut line you will be getting a feel for the Jigsaw...go ahead and force a few little turns and experiment with blade speed a bit before you actually reach your cut line. Slower speeds tend to be better control IMO. Rather than using the orbital setting set the switch to "0". The blade is thin enough that you can force it to turn without a lot of muscle and it's very controlled, as you adjust it toward orbital action is becomes "dancy" and not as controlled. I read write ups about people trying orbital Jigsaws and they wound up setting them to non orbital action anyway. There is some slight orbital action available on this model, I had best success setting it to 0, it's a cleaner/straighter cut and as I said it cuts curves in that setting pretty well anyway. By the way, DO NOT start the cutting of this sunroof opening by starting with a smaller generic rectangle. If you cut a perfect 90* angle into fiberglass it can fracture and split easily at the tip of the angle (the corner of a square) ...so DON'T! When you use the template BE SURE to error toward the inside just a tad, as it is MUCH better to cut the hole a little small and grind some excess off to get the frame to fit than to cut it too big. I was aware of this, but yet STILL accidentally cut it just a hair bigger than ideal. Luckily my opening was still small enough to fit the frame and I do not have any leaks (there is some margin for error with most kits but not much, ERROR TO THE INSIDE). You can use a dremel or similar grinding device or even sand it if you cut it a little too small. The smallest you can get it so the sunroof frame just barely snaps in is what you're really shooting for.

3. Once you have the opening for the sunroof cut out you will need to fill in the gaps on the backside due to the ridges in some creative way that insures there will be no leaks. I used strap wrench rubber to fill in the large valleys between the raised ridges that was slightly taller than the ridges so it would compress down to the same height of the ridges when pushed on by the outer frame (you screw the inner frame to the outer frame as one of the last steps). I also covered/filled/sealed the strap wrench rubber and valleys/ridges with PLAIN "BLACK silicone" (NOT Ultra-black RTV ...it is gray and ugly). Auto/marine sealant (found at K-Mart) was used extensively on the ridge openings as well for an even more effective seal. To really take it over the top, I observed where the sunroof frame would interface with the roof and used the black silicone sealant on the frame itself (inside of it more or less, it was easy). I will add that I used the auto/marine sealant around the entire edge of the sunroof opening. I used the soft/tacky rubber strip from the kit (it's like a window seal) on the topside of the opening on the sides and front as intended by the manufacturer. The rear corners of your frame will transition from raised (by the rear ridges) to flat (on the side. For that area I used the tacky rubber seal provided by the manufacturer and filled in the area with black silicone very thoroughly.

Now that your sunroof opening is prepped and ready for installation of the frame it should look something like this if you want it to be free of leaks (note that the openings of the ridges are filled with auto/marine sealant and the roof panel in-between the ridges has strap wrench rubber cut to length and siliconed-in to fill the gaps). The entire edge of the opening is treated with auto/marine sealant and the frame (not pictured) is loaded up with sealant on the inside:
.....:



4. Once you have reached this point you're pretty much done! You will end up sandwiching the outer perimeter of the sunroof opening in-between the inner and outer sunroof frames that will screw together (WITHOUT drilling holes into the roof itself, no, you won't have to worry about that). The frames will be pre-drilled and shaped so that when they're screwed together they will sandwich the outer perimeter of the opening with a good bit of force. Stagger-tighten the screws as you go, as you would tighten lugnuts in a criss-cross pattern to gradually cinch the assembly together (I think the directions called for starting on the inside and working your way out, I don't think it's a big deal as long as you stagger it and take it a little bit at a time ...but read your directions)! To take the sealing to the nth degree, at your convenience after the install you can fill the ridges from the INSIDE of the vehicle as well where they interface with the inner sunroof frame. I used CLEAR RTV sealant for this and you cannot notice it by looking. SEAL SEAL SEAL!!! LOL ....it certainly can't hurt.

This is not an end all and be all guide to the install of course and I cannot guarantee you will not someday get leaks. I realize one day when/if my sealant/rubber wears out I may develop some, but I also realize it will be easy to take the frame apart, re-seal it, and put it back together so I'm good to go for several more years. So far I've had it in a few months and in several downpours ...NOT ONE DROP.

__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Here is a link to some installed pics and I will try to put the same in here as no-clicks:

http://s255.photobucket.com/albums/h...eep%20sunroof/
__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
A look at the strap wrench rubber sealed with plain black silicone:

__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
More looks so you get the idea of the combination of rubber and sealant, note the height transition of the rear to the sides at the rear corners (this is not a problem if well sealed):



.....

__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Gives you a good idea of it's size and what it looks like with glass removed, note that it's nearly the same size as the side glass of the LJ top ("dirty" Jeep):

__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
What it looks like from inside with glass removed:



Random shot from above. Note that I got some black silicone and white fiberglass powder on the roof that's stubborn to remove (avoid this by masking more thoroughly):

__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2012, 12:18 PM   #7
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Pretty good shots to give you a better idea:



__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Note the water pooling in the filled panels in-between the raised ridges. Even when I park downhill like this nothing makes it inside, not even a drop:

__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-19-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
keithert
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 2,022
Looks fantastic! How did you decide how far forward to go with it? I think I'd like it an inch or so closer to the front.
__________________
Current: 2005 Wrangler Unlimited - Past: 90 and 92 Trackers and 98 Wrangler SE
keithert is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-19-2012, 01:28 PM   #10
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by keithert View Post
Looks fantastic! How did you decide how far forward to go with it? I think I'd like it an inch or so closer to the front.
Thanks, I love it. IMO you could go another 3/4" forward and I'd recommend trying if you're good with a Jigsaw. This was my first time even using a Jigsaw and I didn't even practice on anything first (other than the center of the roof to be cut out when making my way from the pilot hole to the cut line).

I was a little concerned about going "too far" forward because the roof gets thicker toward the center of the front and I didn't want to screw up structural integrity or have the saw get hung up on a thick part and cut the hole too big. Also if you're doing it from the inside the side clearance of the saw is an issue. I went about as far forward as I was comfortable with, most installs have it further back than mine if you take a look at some others' jobs. I, like you ...figured the furthest forward the best. I think I could have gone another 3/4" up but that's it ...any more and you'd be in risky territory for sure.
__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-22-2012, 01:29 AM   #11
karlo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,534
Wow. That's a clean install dude!
karlo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-22-2012, 06:27 AM   #12
keithert
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 2,022
Is the rear of the sunroof frame in line with the back of the door window frame or the hardtop rain gutter? Based on what you said about the structure I'll probably go for the same position as you used.
__________________
Current: 2005 Wrangler Unlimited - Past: 90 and 92 Trackers and 98 Wrangler SE
keithert is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-22-2012, 07:24 AM   #13
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by keithert View Post
Is the rear of the sunroof frame in line with the back of the door window frame or the hardtop rain gutter? Based on what you said about the structure I'll probably go for the same position as you used.
Funny you ask that, I was observing it in the driveway from a window (from above) and was trying to figure out that exact thing. I think it's really close anyway, although that is by sheer coincidence ...I wasn't using that as a means to line things up. I'll let you know later on when I go out and use it this afternoon. I can tell you that the edge of my inner sunroof frame lies about exactly 1" from the part of the roof that starts to angle down as it gets close to the front. There's a crease you can feel with your fingernail in the front center above your sunvisors, that's the one I'm referring to. I'd say my actual cut is about 2" from that since the sunroof frame is 1" from it. If I had it to do over again I'd go forward a tad more, I had a perfectly clean cut and had not gotten into a "thicker area" 2" out from that crease. If I were you I'd cut it so the sunroof frame will be 1/4" from that crease. You'd have to carefully measure the distance from the outer edge of the sunroof frame to where the cut line would be; add the measurement you just checked to 1/4" (eg 1.25+.25 = 1.5") and that will be your distance from the crease to be the front-most part of your cut line (it will be furthest front in the center).

I only errored to the "safe side" a little because it was unknown territory and I was nervous about cutting up an expensive top anyway. But knowing what I know now I wouldn't hesitate to use the above method to get it ~3/4" further toward the front for maximum sky while driving. Up to you but I'd give it a try, you can only do it once and now I wish I had mine up as far as possible, but I'm very pleased with it anyway.
__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #14
05Unlimited
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlo View Post
Wow. That's a clean install dude!
Thanks! ...like I said if I can do it you can do it, not really difficult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithert View Post
Is the rear of the sunroof frame in line with the back of the door window frame or the hardtop rain gutter? Based on what you said about the structure I'll probably go for the same position as you used.
I finally observed this closer and my sunroof is about an inch shy (it's an inch further to the rear than the doors) of being even with the back of the door window frames. So once again, I feel that when/if you do yours you should shoot for 3/4" - 1" further forward than I did mine. It will be lined up better with doors and be as far forward as you can go IMO....may as well get it as far forward as you can as it's a one shot deal.

Still lovin' this thing and not a drop of water yet

It's not nearly as windy and noisy as the sunrider but nearly as open. Pop the sunroof glass completely out and raise the rear glass open, but leave the windows up; you get a very light breeze that won't blow your woman's hair around like crazy.
__________________
2005 LJ, NSG-370 6-spd (close-ratio), 3.73's, three tops incl. custom Sunrider-Safari top, 38"x22" hardtop sunroof, OME 2.5", JKS 1.25 BL/1.0 MML, seats 2"^, 285/75/16 Duratracs, Ion 171's (16x8), Alpine CDE135-BT/KTP-445/Polk521Db/650Db, full soft/hard doors, Harley L.Stms, "I swear my Jeep is staying stock"
05Unlimited is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-12-2012, 08:20 AM   #15
keithert
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 2,022
I've never driven with the rear glass up. How is that? Does it bounce around? With just the sunroof open is there a lot of wind buffeting? I've had other cars do that when the sunroof is open but the windows are closed.
__________________
Current: 2005 Wrangler Unlimited - Past: 90 and 92 Trackers and 98 Wrangler SE
keithert is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.