Before you select the right size of moonroof, the first thing you should do is measure the flat part of your roof (right to left) until it starts to curve down to the end of your roof side’s end. This will tell you how wide of a roof you can install. Most roofs from the traditional rides of the ’60s, and especially the ’70s, can handle a size 42-inch moonroof. Don’t listen to the installer when he says it wont fit — that’s because it just requires more labor to install and reinforce it.
Though the big 44-inch is becoming more scarce to find today at wrecking yards anywhere, you should always push the size limit to fit on your ride because there is a difference between the 42- and 44-inch, especially if you have a large roof like this ’68 Super Sport that looks like it could handle a 48-inch.
Once you have the size allowed that would fit down on your roof, head on down to a yard or look up someone who has a collection of moons and get this modification done to your ride. This definitely improves the looks on any car and it’s the last extra accessory you should have. Now follow along as we take you down to Sunroof Performers in South Gate, California, as they show us how a roof is first checked out, repaired, and maintained before it’s installed.
Cruz Yanez, owner of Sunroof Performers, has over 36 years of experience as a craftsman who loves his job and classic cars. He goes the extra mile when it comes to his work compared with other bigger sunroof install companies. He treats each car install as if it were his own. Once you get ahold of your moonroof and it’s taken apart, always have your cable lubed because if it gets old and dry it can break off the die-cast guides from the tracks and then get stuck. Even if you already have a moonroof, you should always use Lucas oil lube for the cable from time to time. The next thing that may need to be replaced are the switches, because they always go bad eventually when they are used enough. Next it is wise to replace the “clutch” screw to give your electric motor more torque. Lastly, be careful over the years not to get wax on the felt weather seal because it will dry and crack, and then you will have leaks. OK, let’s install this 44-incher!
1. We begin our first step by routing our hoses for rain or a car wash water when it does seep through the felt seal. Note: There are two hoses for the rear of the roof and two for the front. When the car is level or going down hill, water will leak out from the roof’s front inside frame, and if you are going uphill water will empty from the rear.
2. A rubber template is placed for the proper fitting of the roof so it can be marked by a grease pencil before cutting. Also, the cut pattern includes the fold down jamb that the moonroof has.
3. The pattern marked out on the roof is then cut out very carefully with electric shears.
4. Once the large piece of metal that was cut out is removed, a “Flenching” bar is placed on top of the outside of the roof pattern. Then the original part of the roof that was cut and came with the roof is then siliconed and placed as an inside wall for this Super Sport’s headliner.
5. Before the “Flenching” bar and the inside wall are held in place by about 10 Vise-Grips. Silicone seal is used between the two.
6. Cruz then takes a ball-peen hammer and carefully hits the excess metal that is formed as a jamb. He is also very careful near the corners not to try and break or tear the metal.
7. After a while of patient hammer usage to massage the metal into a fold to complete the jamb, rivets are drilled all along the side to hold the outside lip and inside original frame of the roof.
8. Cruz adds reinforcement brackets all around to make sure the weight of the roof and frame are strong and stabilized.
9. The moonroof glass is then placed and mounted to the roof’s now-installed frame and track. While adjustments are done to raise and align the glass so it sets flat along with the roof’s flat body angles.
10. The roof switch is wired and run to the car’s fuse box. The roof is hooked up and the button is pushed to open this large piece of glass.
11. The halo is then installed as a cover and it also helps the sunshade retract when closed if the roof should be opened at the same time.
This ’68 Impala Super Sport now Sports a 44-inch moon at the push of the button. Please do no try this at home, as this job should be performed by specialists like the ones at Sunroof Performers. What you can do though, is measure the right size roof on your ride, take our tips for repair and maintenance, and if you aren’t close to South Gate, do some research and find the right guys to do the right job for your ride.
Lucas Oil Products Tech Tip Of The Month
This month’s tech advice is for all of you car lovers to apply a “fast and easy” speed wax also known as, Lucas Oil’s Slick Mist Speed Wax. This product has a polymer paint gloss intensifier, which can be used on other surfaces besides your paintjob such as glass and chrome. Use Slick Mist as a traditional wax, quick detail spray, or spray it on your vehicle between rinsing and drying for the easiest polish job ever. That’s right! Just spray it on a wet or dry surface and wipe it off to get that gloss finish look. Slick Mist outperforms the competition and will leave your finish slicker and shinier than any product on the market, with longer-lasting protection. You and Slick Mist can give any machine exterior an extreme gloss finish, real fast!
- Premium paint gloss intensifier
- Great for cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles
- Shines and protects in one easy application
- Excellent results on chrome, glass, and vinyl decals
- Use on wet or dry surfaces
- Quick and easy