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Sunroof Weather Seal Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Sunroof Weather Seal Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Hands, razor blade

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 (1983-89)
Porsche 944 S2 (1989-91)
Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)
Porsche 944S (1987-88)

Parts Required:

New seal, 3M adhesive

Hot Tip:

Take your time and don't get frustrated

Performance Gain:

A good seal

Complementary Modification:

Clean the drain channels

The sunroof seal on the Porsche 944 is an area of complaint from owners and has only gotten worse as the cars age. The seals lose their ability to function and are not inexpensive to replace.

If you are having problems with a leaky sunroof seal there are a few things you should understand and check before replacing the seal. First, the seal is not designed to completely keep water from getting into the roof section of the car. The seal is designed to seal up the gap between the roof and sunroof panel and prevent noise from the air caught in the seams, reduce the amount of water that gets into the roof section and divert the water that does get in to the drain tray.

If you find water dripping into the cabin of the vehicle, the first thing you should do is check the drain tubes in the roof. There are four drain tubes, one in each corner that diverts the water down through tubes in the A and C-pillars and back out of the car. Use a piece of Weed Wacker line and clean these tubes out every six months.

If the seal has failed to the point that the water is not being diverted to the rain tray section of the roof or allowing weather directly in or causing whistling noise at speed, you will probably have to replace the seal.

Remove the sunroof and lay it on something that will protect the paint while you are working on it.
Figure 1

Remove the sunroof and lay it on something that will protect the paint while you are working on it. The seal is one long piece. The best place for the seams to join is in the center rear (red arrow).

You will need to remove the old seal from the roof.
Figure 2

You will need to remove the old seal from the roof. If you are replacing it there is a good chance that the seal will come off easily. If not make sure not to damage the paint when removing it.

With the old seal off use a good adhesive remover and remove all the old gasket material; make especially sure to get the corners completely clean.
Figure 3

With the old seal off use a good adhesive remover and remove all the old gasket material; make especially sure to get the corners completely clean. Make sure to spot test the adhesive remover in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it will not damage the paint. Use a good soap and water and get all of the adhesive remover off and let the roof section dry.

The new gasket will come rolled up.
Figure 4

The new gasket will come rolled up. It helps to lay it out in a straight line before installing it. Another idea is to get it warm by laying it out in the sun for a while. This will make it more pliable and easier to work with.

The gasket needs to be installed in one direction.
Figure 5

The gasket needs to be installed in one direction. The channel (red arrow) sits over the ridge in the roof panel. The felt section faces the roof (yellow arrow) while the circular section faces the inside top of the sunroof panel. Pre-fit the seal to the roof panel. The seal should be several inches too long. You can do a preliminary trim of the seal at this time. Don't trim it too short.

You are going to need to use a good weather stripping adhesive to install the seal.
Figure 6

You are going to need to use a good weather stripping adhesive to install the seal. I have found 3M Black Super Weatherstrip to be the best. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Install the new seal beginning at the center front of the panel under the center latch (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

Install the new seal beginning at the center front of the panel under the center latch (yellow arrow). There have been lots of issues with the new seal being too large or fat for the roof to close properly. If you firmly press the seal in place and lightly stretch it as you go, it should fit snug and cause you no problems. I like to use a dowel and roll it along outward as I install the seal (red arrow).

When you have the seal fully installed you can do the final trimming of the joint with a new sharp razor blade.
Figure 8

When you have the seal fully installed you can do the final trimming of the joint with a new sharp razor blade. Remember, you can always cut it shorter but you cannot cut it longer.

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