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I have been searching for a way to install a Pop-Up Port or Sunroof of kind,
above the driver and passenger seats--to allow a little more light in, to
serve as a GPS port and for additional air flow. The concerns are to
maintain structural stability especially when flexing the frame --Off
Roading. There is also fear of the dreaded roof seam (they are spot welded)
separation causing interior floods (yeh Rich). Some have had leaks at the
driver's side headliner junction (just behind and to the right of the
driver's head). The dealer says they have to remove all the seam material
and reseal it and then repaint the entire roof. These seams run side to
side between the front and passenger sections and 2 other seams running from
the passenger section back. Avoid these seams with weight or alteration of
There are 2 structural roof rails which run front to rear, dividing the front seat area into 3 sections. There has been mention (in Beverly Hills) of cutting the roof rails to install a large electric Moonroof --but this resulted in center sagging and leaks. Without cutting the rails one is limited to a sunroof (or really a port) 17 x 17 in the 2 outer sections directly above the front seats. There is no other size that will fit, that is readily available. These ports can be found at RV stores.
The only company I could find that had a 17 square port was by Stretch Forming Company 909-677 2000. This is a decent unit. I used a 1 inch trim ring.
The key to the install is to align the Port-- center front to rear, in the front seat section-windshield to B pillar-roll bar and side to side - between the map light and roof supporting rail. Most installers want to place the port as far back as possible-so air does not fly in your face, but it looks better centered and the headliner will lie better.
That roof steel is a bear to cut. It is 2 to 3 times the thickness of a standard vehicle--(16 gauge for standard I think--Thicker goes higher in gauge number, I think --opposite that of medical application??-so maybe 22 gauge steel sheet I would guess)
Just a reminder--the headliner is made of sheet plastic (not cardboard), so handle with finesse--it cracks easily, does not contour well to variable heights and a little difficult to cut (with the covering on). Align your holes with a pilot and dont tighten your screws too much--no electrics--hand job here is better.
Good luck --is nice to be able to look up and see sky--but heck if I would want all the hassle of an open top. ms
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