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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-08-2007, 12:58 AM
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Sunfroof repair kit for E46 sedan

My sunroof started to malfunction by doing the anti-trap maneuver in auto mode. I inspected the inside of the mechanism while operating it and noticed a certain piece jamming inside causing the anti-trap feature to kick in. I could override this if I hold the button constantly in the forward position. My sunshade clips are also broken. I did a search on google and came up with a DIY this guy made, and it was helpful to a certain point. http://www.lincomatic.com/e46sunroof/e46sunroof.html

So I ordered part number 54107134072 to repair my sunroof. I didn't want to order the assembly because it is almost $700 vs. $90 for the repair kit. There were some major differences when I got into the job, namely removing the headliner...followed by removing the sunfoof assembly!!

First of all, don't be alarmed at the amount of work this is, it really isn't that bad. The hardest part is getting the headliner back in correctly (wash hands often to avoid greasy hand prints everywhere). This job took me 5 hours moving at a good pace and not making any mistakes, and unaware of what was next since there is no instructions for this in the Bentley manual or online.

Start with the C-pillars, you get these off by pulling inward in a straight line at the top and then unhook the harness for the lights. Make sure you get all the clips still stuck in the metal.
Next, pull the LED light cover down, it is held in place by velcro next to the window and clips on the other side...be careful there is a short plug! Once removed you will see a pin holding the headliner in place, pull center of pin straight out, then remove rest of clip. Take all of the handles off the inside of the car, the plastic comes off with slight prying pressure, then take the screws out.
Next is the vanity lights, they pull out from the window side first, unclip the harnesses.


I have to split up this DIY because I couldn't figure out how people imbed images in the text, I did ask a moderator, but was misunderstood. I will post thread number 2 now.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2007, 01:18 AM
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Sunfroof repair kit for E46 sedan continued...

We will continue with the visors, take one screw out in one position, then swing the visor to the door and take out the other screw. I wasn't careful when I put the headliner back in and I pushed one of the connectors back into the "A" pillar, be careful with these so you don't get them lost inside the metal (I did eventually get it through).

Next is the visor clip, there are hidden screws under them so you have to kind of slide the plastic pieces away from the center to get at the screws. One of my clips had the same kind of headliner pin fastener that was under the rear LED, the other did not.

Next, take the sunroof surround off, be careful of dirty fingers at this point, start with the long sides and pull towards the center of the opening to get this off.

Take the sunroof control panel and the center light loose, this will expose the motor and the last headliner fastener.
-a note on the motor: my sunshade actually got stuck inside the roof and I tried to manually turn the motor with the tool in the trunk. The gear cog sheared in two when I did this. The motor is now a discontinued part from the dealer, so I found a E36 at a junkyard and cannibalized the gear cog from that motor, tricky in its own way, but saved tons of cash-
Take the motor out by removing 3 T25 Torx screws, then the electrical clip.

I went ahead and disconnected my glass from the track before I got it out of the car. Again, there are 6 T25 Torx screws holding the glass on the track. Take those off before you take the track out of the car, it will be very heavy and awkward if you don't, sorry no picture...but there is one if you click the previous link in this post.

Take the headliner out from the front to the back of the car, you will see why later...headliner is held in place at the rear. Tilt the passenger seat all the way back and lower the seat as far as it will go and you should have enough room to get the headliner out through the right rear door. Follow the same route for the sunroof track (there is just enough space for these!).

Next, there are about 10 10mm bolts holding the track to the roof of the car, take these loose (there are these little black discs holding the bolts on the track, I tried to salvage as many as possible. They make the bolts remain in the track while it is upside down). I left one center bolt on the right and one center bolt on the left for last so I didn't bend anything, do this...it will be the best method.

Next post will deal with some of the overhaul...
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2007, 01:53 AM
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Sunfroof repair kit for E46 sedan continued again...

First picture on this post is the underside view of the left rear cup. You will have to take this off to overhaul the sunroof. Notice there are rivets on the underside.

Lay your track assemly out on a floor that is easy to clean (the track is a black, greasy mess!). Gently lift the foam rubber around the left rear white cup to expose the rivet heads. Use a Dremel tool or file to get the head off the rivets.

Tap the rivets out with a nail or a special punch, take care when using any force on the track, don't bend it...I put a few large sockets under my track so when I tapped the rivets out, I wouldn't bend my track.

next is the cup removal, and is probably the second most difficult thing about this job (first most difficult is getting the headliner back in). It is glued inplace by this really sticky black glue, I was VERY careful not to bend the track at this point. I would have used a hair dryer to heat the glue up first, but didn't have one. I worked this for a while to get loose, all I can say is be patient and mind where your hands are at all times and make sure you don't bend anything on this step.
I will have pictures of the removed cup in the next post...

You must release the splash guard from the track by taking loose the connection points. Use a pair of pliers to press out the connector, not to pull the connector. If you pull the connector you might break something when it releases! Keep focused on saving $700!

One of the pictures in this post is what comes in the repair kit 54107134072, the parts department at my dealer didn't even know what was in this kit, they called me later and asked me what was in it!! The mystery is revealed: 2 new rivets (I will use metal screws, thanks), 2 new sunshade guides (I had to drill new holes in my shade because they changed the hole positions on me), a new guide (the complicated looking little piece), glue strips (to re-attach foam rubber to cup), a new left rear cup, and a new splash guard.

see next post.....
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2007, 02:04 AM
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Sunfroof repair kit for E46 sedan continued yet again...

The new design of the guide assembly is very different from the original, it is beefier and there is a new way it guides in the track. This will fit in the old slots so don't worry.

Next picture is of the cup once I removed it from the track, notice the black glue used to secure this to the track and keep water out. You will need to reseal the new cup later (I used common household silicone caulk).

To get the old guide mechanism out, you must take the splash guard out first, slide one of the arms out the new opening with the cup removed and you will be able to get the other side off by pulling it out the opposite track side. I think when you put the new splash guard in, it goes in before the guide mechanism...pay attention to which one comes off first and last.

I cleaned all the leaves and debris out of the tracks with a small whisk broom, and there was a lot of black goo and pieces of plastic that came out. Next, I applied some WD40 to a new paintbrush and applied a thin coat to the tracks and the rails and everywhere something was going to slide on.

Next post will be getting the cup back on and securing it.
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2007, 02:36 AM
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Sunfroof repair kit for E46 sedan end of task

There is a channel provided for the sealant on the new cup, put some inside the channel, next guide the 2 white tabs into the slots and line up the holes where the rivets should go. Rivet these if you have the means, but I don't have a rivet gun so I used some black sheet metal fasteners and then cut off the points with my Dremel tool when it was secured. Use the glue strips to put the foam rubber back in place.

Once that is all done, go ahead and get the sunshade installed...it will be easier on the kitchen floor than leaning over your car in the hot sun. I don't have any pictures of this process because I had to hurry to beat the rainstorm. There is a couple of sliders on the passenger side which have 2 slits each, take these out of the track and click them on to the sunshade clips on the passenger side, face the holes of the sliders so the metal bumps of sunshade click into them (you should see what I mean when you get to this step). Place the sliders in the groove and now it is time to secure the driver's side sliders.

This is important: make sure the guide mechanism is BETWEEN the 2 sunshade sliders! Be patient, securing the sliders to the sunshade is tricky, put them in the tracks BEFORE you try to mount them to the sunshade. Once you have them in the track and lined up, secure the slider with one screw each (centermost hole first). My car has a build date of Nov 98, so I think I have the old sliders, the new sliders have the screw holes in a different spot, so I had to drill new holes. Be careful, you can only drill once!

After everything is secure, attach the splash guard pins to the track mechanism and mount track to roof. Go in reverse order for everything, starting with installing only the right and left center track mount bolts so you don't bend the track. After getting the track mounted, make sure all bolt holes are filled so you don't forget any bolts. Re-attach all the rubber hoses for the drain tubes. Install the headliner starting at the rear where it curls under and get it lined up, follow install of "B" pillars and "A" pillars last. A trick that helped me is once I got the "B" pillar lined up on one side, I mounted the rear handle to hold it in place. I used a plastic spatula to force the headliner into the "B" and "A" pillars and was careful about doing it.

When headliner is installed and all handles and sunvisors and mounts are installed, attach the glass to the track securely but loosely, then mount the motor and secure the motor. Plug the switch in and re-orient the sunroof computer. Remember, my build date is Nov 98, so I have the old style re-orient procedure which is holding the button in the "roof up" position until 20 seconds when it gives a "pop up" confirmation movement. Once the sunroof is oriented, mount the center light and switch panel and align the glass to your roofline. CROWZ had a TSB for the alternate motor design for re-orient procedure if I'm not mistaken. My way is easy....read on.

Wedge 2 Blank CD-R's between the paint and the seal at the front right and front left of the glass, force the sunroof forward against the CDs to line up the glass perfectly. Working from the passenger side, loosen center and front screws and tighten front screw as you push up on the glass with your other hand to get the glass to match your roofline, then snug it when it is where you want it (don't finish the tightening, just snug it), follow the same procecure for the rear passenger side bolt. When you are happy with the fit, secure the center screw and finish tightening the other two on that side, repeat steps for the driver side and you are done!

Hope this DIY helps some people...
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2007, 05:26 AM
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Wow. That's pretty in-depth. I'd say it deserves a permanent spot somewhere.
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  #7  
Old 08-08-2007, 06:33 AM
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Awesome write-up, I've added it to the wiki?
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:53 AM
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Awesome write-up, I've added it to the wiki?
Are you unsure about something, Kris?
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2007, 07:56 AM
eflayer2 eflayer2 is offline
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yes, it deserves a permanent spot in germany...

at the factory so they improve the sunroof assembly so the rest of us don't have to endure this repair. nice job, hope i never have to do it.
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2007, 09:24 AM
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Great write-up!
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2007, 09:37 AM
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Are you unsure about something, Kris?
I see it already added to the wiki..Great in depth write-up.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index...nroof_problems
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:44 AM
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I see it already added to the wiki..Great in depth write-up.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index...nroof_problems
Yes - I added it this morning, right before someone switched the question mark and period on my keyboard.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:55 PM
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Absolutely Fantastic!!!!

THANK YOU x 10000000...........
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  #14  
Old 08-10-2007, 11:35 PM
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Absolutely Fantastic!!!!

THANK YOU x 10000000...........
No problem, there are a few things I left out, but if you need clarification when you do the task, just let me know.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:42 AM
aliguori aliguori is offline
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Thanks for the great write up! I just ran into the issue where the passenger side track moves, but the driver side track stays put. Do you know if the tracks are connected independently or is it a single drive worm gear that operates both? Are the drive mechanisms accessible once the sunroof assembly is out of the car?
Thanks
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:15 PM
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Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. =)
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:17 PM
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I almost want to do this just to make use of this awesome write up!
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:44 AM
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Thanks for the great write up! I just ran into the issue where the passenger side track moves, but the driver side track stays put. Do you know if the tracks are connected independently or is it a single drive worm gear that operates both? Are the drive mechanisms accessible once the sunroof assembly is out of the car?
Thanks
It's been a while since I changed the cassette. I didn't pay too much attention to the worm gear. I had to switch my motor out and I saw the worm gear when I did that because I had to fish all the broken gear parts out. Have you popped your panel down and checked the condition of your motor drive gear yet? Just take the little panel off by your main light panel and take the torx screws out, then disconnect the harness and pull it straight off. If that gear is broken, I can help you through a repair...because I don't think the motor is available anymore.
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:53 AM
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I just looked at one of the pictures I took and it refreshed my memory. The worm gear is built in to the cassette, but it still might not be the problem...becasuse the worm gear is fairly tough. You might have the exact problem I did with broken track parts. One more question...is the sunroof shade the item that is moving to the side, or is it the glass? If it is the glass, ensure the screws are tight on the edges, you might have to adjust if they are found to be loose.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:26 AM
aliguori aliguori is offline
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I pulled the glass from the sunroof to inspect the sunshade assembly. Everything was in proper working order. I inspected the glass guide mechanism and noticed that only the passenger side is moving. Are both sides suppose to move?
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  #21  
Old 07-22-2008, 07:56 PM
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I think so, sounds like your track might be broken...not sure
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:46 PM
krosselle krosselle is offline
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July 2008 Experience

Ok, I've just installed the sunroof repair kit, after numerous attempts to jury-rig my 2000 323i Sedan's sunroof. This was a great write-up but I learned a couple of things and thought I'd add to the thread.

1) This is NOT a small undertaking, it took me over two days and a lot of frustration BMW's TIS lists this as a 46-50 FRU task (I believe a FRU is around 10 minutes of a BMW shop tech's time). So we are talking about 7 1/2+ hours, with all the proper tools.

2) I ended up removing the A and B pillar panels in addition to the C pillars to get the headliner back in the car. They are both a pain to remove, so be fore-warned. The A pillars have four Torx screws under the side airbag covers which are hard to reach (I used a Torx bit, in an adapter on a rachet). The B pillar requires the removal of the front door sill piece, pulling the bottom B pillar trim piece off from the bottom and then removing the top B pillar piece.

3) The sunroof-headliner gasket comes right out (nice surprise), and the door window gaskets come out and goes back in really easy. Just grab the interior flap of the gasket in the middle of the frame and pull down, this makes getting the headliner back in much easier.

4) BMW dealers use a special cordlike tape, starts with a 'b', to secure the new cup to the rail assembly. I used bath & kitchen caulk, but it was messy.

5) After removing the headliner, I now realize why a BMW costs more than the average car. They are very well constructed and organized... the fact that the sunroof assembly is such a high failure item is disappointing. They would probably last a lot longer if the groves were cleaned and lubricated every 6 months, but most people (me) don't pay any attention to it until it f's up.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:49 PM
alain330i alain330i is offline
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I'm having the same problems - I did replace the guides once (outrageous $60 from the dealer for all 4 before I realized I can buy single ones here for a lot less - not all were broken I recall) and it's messed up again.

Maybe I should try that again now that I have more info (mayeb I have a bent rod issue ?)
http://www.lincomatic.com/e46sunroof/e46sunroof.html

BMW mechanics who does work on the side also quotes me 8h for this work (but for a lot less that the shop) for the kit 54107134072 which matches what you describe here....

However I ran into this thread saying 'baskarans' had his mecanics put in the new kit in under an hour - so I assume they took the glass off and somehow fit in the new sliding system in (he mentioned $230 for the kit which has the new shade as well since apparently the new guides screw holes don't line up!)
http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=387603 check the last msg

Does that sound possible as at to you guys who took the entire thing out ?

Last edited by alain330i; 08-29-2008 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:33 PM
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Posts: 516
Mein Auto: 99 E46 328i
It took me 5 hours to do it with no mistakes, I am an aircraft mechanic so am well versed in removal and replace actions. There is no way to take the entire track out through the sunroof window hole. You must take it out after taking out the headliner. It is fairly easy to get out, but don't see them doing this in an hour. The 8 hr job from the dealer seems more realistic...but I would save my $115 an hour X 8 and do it myself on the weekend. Some parts of this DIY are tricky, but you can ask me if you get stuck on any part of it.
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  #25  
Old 08-29-2008, 02:47 PM
alain330i alain330i is offline
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2001 330i
thanks for the help - the DIY info seems detailde enough.

I lucked out as I was able to fix it this time taking the glass off and the rear wiper off to see the entire track - my slider glides poped out (didn't break this time) of their tracks probably due to the fact I had 1 on the right side upsidedown (made it thicker) and my track had a rough spot (small metal chip) which I cleaned up and greased all the way. Also the guide needed to be pushed down a bit to make betetr contact with the track.

No need for the kit for me at this time...

One other recommendation I heard was to keep the old shade with the new kit, and just buy the old gliders again if they were damaged - cheaper than the new shade.
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