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91 CRX Si sunroof replacement notes.

I needed to replace the sunroof on my 1991 Honda CRX Si (U.S.) because it had rusted through. This is more common than I would have thought. Prior to replacing the sunroof, I searched the web for information.
Here are my notes, maybe they'll help the next person.

If you don't want to read all of this, the main thing I learned, is to not glue the gasket to the sunroof. The manual says to do it but it caused me problems and the old gasket wasn't glued on anyway.

The first obstacle was how to remove the sunroof. The manual tells exactly how to do this. Here's my description. Open the sunroof and locate the two 10mm bolts (1 per side) that hold the arms of the sunroof to the tracks on the car. Remove the bolts.

At the rear of the car are two 8mm nuts on studs. The studs are in the sunroof and are pointing down. The sunroof has tracks on it. The tracks are capped with plastic ends. These ends are held on by the 8mm bolts.
To see under the sunroof better, use a mirror placed on the roof of the car (obviously with the sunroof open). You need to remove the nuts and the plastic end caps (1 per side). Make sure not to scratch the roof of the car as you remove the nuts.

Now the sunroof can be slid forward and removed. As you slide it forward, make sure not to scratch the top of the car. The idea is to move the sunroof forward enough so the rear arms come out of the tracks (where the end caps were).

My sunroof was rusted badly enough that I had to replace more than just the sunroof. The outer gasket is held on by 4 metal surrounding pieces (1 front, 1 rear, 2 sides) Three of the 4 were badly rusted and I could only get one of many screws out to remove the pieces. I bought all four pieces and new screws. Other parts were ok and I reused them except for the gasket. I bought one of those. Looking back, I didn't need a new gasket, but figured incorrectly that it was glued in and that I wouldn't have been able to remove it. More on that below.

Painting: The sunroof comes painted black. This is probably some type of simple finish so it doesn't rusting in transit. The old roof was not pained on the inside except for this finish. I primed both side (not sure if that was necessary) and painted the outside. I could not match the color of my car, so I tried to match the black plastic around the window.
Since the sun had faded this to many shades of gray, I didn't need to be that exact. Fortunately I think the dark gray I chose looks ok as it is in the neighborhood of the other (now faded) black pieces on the car.

This repair could have been perfect, but one thing went wrong. In the owners manual it says to glue the gasket to the sunroof. I knew this was going to be difficult without making a mess, so I used as little glue as possible.
Unfortunately, the glue ran out in places and lifted the paint in 2 small spots. It also made the top of the gasket raised up in places rather than lying flat. Upon looking at the old roof, I found the gasket was not glued in!
I think the manual may be wrong. I recommend not gluing in the gasket. It is clamped down tightly by the metal surrounding pieces so it should be ok without glue.

Another reason I bought a new gasket was that I didn't think I'd be able to get it off because I couldn't get the surrounding pieces off. After the fact (unfortunately) I found that it was ways to use a pliers and bend the surrounds enough to remove the old gasket without causing any damage to the old gasket.

Swapping the remaining old parts to the new roof was easy except the liner.

I think it is some type of Styrofoam. It is held on by 2 screws, and plastic fasteners. The plastic fasteners ripped through the Styrofoam, and 2 broke. Fortunately the material covering the Styrofoam was intact, so the piece looks fine when mounted. I didn't bother replacing the plastic fasteners as the panel holds well enough without them.

All in all, I got what I paid for. Sufficient for the car that is aging rapidly. I can't imaging what this would have cost to have done.
The parts alone were expensive.


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Total messages: 2

posted by: Nosis on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 09:25 AM
just wondering where you bought the sunroof frame and other parts at?
Nice work
posted by: Slickim on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 08:00 AM
This message is very helpful thanks