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Old 01-27-2010, 06:54 PM   #1
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Location: Westchester, NY
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My Ride: 335i xDrive Deep Sea
Year: 2011
Model: 335i
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Cool BMW E46 Sunshade Sunroof Final Fix COMPLETE Pictorial DIY!

BMW E46 Sunshade Sunroof Final Fix COMPLETE Pictorial DIY

As the title states let this be the final fix for all E46 sunshades issues.
By that I mean, I ended my DIY with questions that I hope will be eventually answered in this thread.

Unlike many of you who bought BMW with the sunshade that eventually broke, my 2001 330i had only 1 previous owner (a retired doctor in Long Island) who at some point just pulled out the shade and threw it out. So my car came to me with just the glass above my head. I was fine with the glass until last summer when my AC died on me whiles sitting in New York City traffic under the 95 F degree sun. The car quickly heated up as the sun poured in through the glass and I realized I would need to fix the AC and also get a sun shade eventually.
This winter we bought the 2010 C Class Benz that has the same sunroof (moonroof glass w/ sliding sunshade) system and I realized how much warmer the car is when the sunshade there to insulate the rising and escaping heat.
So last week I picked up a new used sunshade from BMWRECYCLERS on eBay and they were awesome in supplying all the four clips for free (about $71 at the BMW of Manhattan dealership)!

I followed this famous DIY because it came up at the top of ALL the online searches. So be sure to glance over it before following what I did here.


The difference with me is I began my DIY with NO sunshade in the car so my DIY is a straight run for anyone that wants to start from scratch.

Also my issue was not just broken clips (which is a relatively easy fix) but a mangled Sunshade Driver head (which can be an expensive/extensive DIY involving taking down the headliner-but I will show how you to get around that with a pair of needle nose pliers).

The Lincomatic DIY is great and worked for me, but towards the end I ran into problems following how he finished what he started.

My DIY will clear any of this up and will show you how to completely replace or insert the sunshade/moonroof from beginning to end.

2. When said and done your sunroof will operate like this:

3. Parts of the Sunroof System as I refer to them in the DIY;

Sunroof - Refers to the entire system of lower manual-sliding Sunshade and upper electric-sliding Moonroof glass.

Moonroof - Refers to the upper electrical-sliding transparent glass part of the sunroof. Positions are referred to as Fully Opened, Fully Closed, Tilt.

Sunshade - Refers to the lower manual-sliding opaque fabric/foam part of the sunroof. Positions are Opened and Closed.

Driver's Side Clips - Rear and Front Sliding Clips on left side of car or Clip #1 for Front and Clip #2 for Rear in my picture. These are most likely to break on the sunroof system and since they contact the sliding track and the Sunshade Driver's head they are more likely to suffer from lack of lubricant and damage inflicted by a broken driver.

Passenger's Side Clips - Front and Rear Spring Clips on right side of car or #3 for Front and #4 for Rear in my pictures. These are less likely to break on the sunroof system but most likely to stick or get stuck on debris.

Sunshade Driver - Refers to the electrical sliding tab that sits between the Driver's Side Sliding Clips #1 and #2 pushes the sunshade forward to expose the manual pull grip on the sunshade when the moonroof closes from full open position. Also pulls the sunshade all the way back into the roof cavity to hide it when the moonroof is fully opened. This is the least likely to break and even when the head of the driver is mangled and the head is off the track it will still slide with the moonroof glass. Which can be bad because the bare head is similar to a steel blade that will shred anything it contacts whiles sliding.

This is not easy to replace, nor does it come sold as an individual dealership part. You must either buy the repair kit at $150 to $200 and/or the entire sunroof replacement "cassette" at close to $1,000.

Now onto this fairly easy DIY:

Start with the moonroof tilted up and the T25 bolts exposed. Many of you may have stuck sunshades and may have a hard time getting to the bolts. But tilted the moonroof makes it easy to push back a stuck shade and access the bolts.

With the moonroof tilted it also makes it easy to lift the glass off especially if you are doing this DIY solo like me. Here you can see how easy it is to lift off the glass as I'm doing it with one hand whiles snapping pictures with my free hand. But it is also easy to drop it since the grip on the glass and edges are slippery. So be careful.

Last edited by delmarco; 01-28-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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