Everybody loves a convertible, but they’re not always affordable from the factory, and if you happen to want/need a four-door instead of a coupe (like our Project Nissan Sentra SE) they’re just not available period! Therefore, the only solution to letting the sunshine in is adding a sunroof.
Street Beat’s new electric folding ragtop makes it simple.
The stock steel roof on our Project Sentra SE (left) was replaced with an electric sliding ragtop from Street Beat Customs in just more than three hours.
There are several nice “Euro-style” sliding glass sunroofs available for an open-air feel. However, nothing comes closer to a real convertible than a huge 35×42-inch electric sliding ragtop roof, available from Street Beat Customs (in Phoenix, Arizona). The vinyl fabric roof, opening with both manual and electric power options, features classic European design updated to provide OEM quality and a convertible feel for modern cars.
Street Beat offers an exclusive line of their own and world-famous Inalfa sunroofs (ragtop and sliding glass) that fit most vehicles and include complete do-it-yourself installation instructions, all mounting hardware, interior trim panels and electricals. The kit even includes a full-size paper template to show you exactly where to drill and cut the metal roof. The ragtop also has a terrific safety feature that stops the roof from closing if there is an obstruction in the opening, like your dog’s head or your child’s hand.
A few power tools are needed for the installation, including an electric drill, heavy duty sabre saw or a “nibbler,” which is what we used for cutting the roof sheet metal and roof ribs and an electric die grinder. Nothing that can’t be bought at the average tool store or rented. A couple of screwdrivers and wrenches are required as well.
We took our Sentra to Sounds, Suspension & More in Montclair, California, where Dave Jelen and owner “Bear” made quick work of the installation. Actually, it took a little more than three hours from start to finish, and these men are professionals. The kit went in easily, and the instructions were very thorough. The interior trim panels make the install look clean, but you can also “soft wrap” the headliner around the trim for more of a “factory” look to the roof (detailed instructions for that are also included). Follow the photos now as we show you how to let the sunshine in the easy way.