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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SJQckNfIjA

Video Tutorial on how to replace the sunroof rails on a BMW E39. This particular tutorial was done on a 1997 BMW 540i with a glass style sunroof. The sunroof rails do have plastic parts which can break over time due to a lack of lubrication, sunroof being forced open/closed, or just from the plastic fatiguing over time. I would recommend replacing both sunroof rails while you are doing this procedure. This can be a time consuming procedure and the old sunroof slider may break and put excessive strain on the new rail which could also cause it to break. You can only buy a kit from the dealer which comes with all the new parts rather than just the individual part you want to replace. I did use OEM parts for this repair as well. An easy way to detect if the sunroof rail is broken, you should be able to tilt the sunroof by hand, but the sunroof will not tilt on it's own by the sunroof motor.

Tools/Supplies Needed:
-flat screw driver
-T-25 torx bit
-small Phillips screwdriver
-brake cleaner
-lithium grease
-right control rail kit PN 54-12-8-202-296
-left control rail kit PN 54-12-8-202-295

Procedure:
-when doing this repair, make sure you don't get any grease on your headliner
-start my pulling back the rubber accordion pieces on each side by simply pulling straight out
-tilt the sunroof up by hand and use a rolled up cloth to hold it into place
-remove the 3 T-25 torx bolts on each side (total of 6)
-lift sunroof glass out and place in a safe area (I used my trunk)
-next remove the wind louver at the front of the sunroof opening by popping out the 2 springs on the front side, then pulling the louver straight up, and sliding out the arms on each side
-remove the stoppers at the front of each sunroof rail which are held in with T-25 torx bolts (1 on each side)
-remove the sliders from the rails on both sides
-now in this particular tutorial, we won't be replacing the rear sliders because that does involve removing the sunroof driver cables
-on the metal flat brackets at the rear, remove the T-25 torx bit (1 on each side), then slide the pin out
-slide the arm portion of the sliders from the rails out on each side
-clean sunroof rails out using brake cleaner or some other form of de-greaser, then re-lubricate sunroof rails with lithium grease
-split down new rear sliders and reinstall on existing rear slider
-re-installation in reverse
-as for re-installing sunroof glass, remove the brackets from the front slider rails by removing the Phillips screws (1 on each side) and install on the sunroof glass itself
-place sunroof glass back into place, then push front sliders forwards
-align sunroof and tighten bolts
-pushing sunroof back into roof, then tight Phillips screws on front sliders
-recheck to make sure sunroof is aligned with roof properly
-reinstall rubber accordion pieces

PS. Been trying to get the YouTube video thing to work, but it's not so I just left the link instead.
 

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Thanks for the details.

:cool:
 

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Thanks for the tutorial. Just got a M5 and the sunroof is stuck. Purchased new rails and hope to get it fixed asap.
 

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I'm having an issue with the sunroof on my 2003 540. Opens and closes fine, but doesnt tilt up. If i push the tilt button, the sunroof motors move but the glass doesnt. I can push it up by hand to the full height it would be open tilted.

I was looking through ECS parts site for the sunroof rail parts,.. the ones you listed arent on their page but do come up by a search.

See here: BMW E39 540i M62 4.4L Exterior Body Sunroof - ECS Tuning

I am getting a leak of water past the sunroof drains too so I may need to change the sunroof gasket also. It seems the drains cant handle a large amount of water gushing down them without overflowing and the gasket is allowing too much water to pass through.

Your video gets pretty dark after about the 9 minute mark, but it seems to have a lot of the info I need to do this. My only fear is realizing that the rear sunroof guides are broken or need to be addressed too. Wouldn't that mean that the ENTIRE sunroof cassette needs to come out? :confused3
 

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threepedals needs to see this..
 

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Resurecting an old thread from the dead for a nice update... I just repaired my sunroof tilt function for the second time... first time was about 4 years ago. I used the same video that the OP posted above...

Back then I could not find the part that broke individually - I had to buy the whole rail repair kit above - they ran at the time about $70 per side.

I don't know if it just didn't exist at the time or I didn't look well enough but I found the individual parts on ebay a couple weeks ago for a whopping $7 a piece.

BMW E36 E39 E46 E53 Sunroof Slider Rail Repair Clip - Fast Quality from Michigan | eBay

and sure enough when they arrived they did indeed have the BMW logo on the pieces just like in the pictures. Hope this helps someone out.....



- Matt
 

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Resurecting an old thread from the dead for a nice update... I just repaired my sunroof tilt function for the second time... first time was about 4 years ago. I used the same video that the OP posted above...

Back then I could not find the part that broke individually - I had to buy the whole rail repair kit above - they ran at the time about $70 per side.

I don't know if it just didn't exist at the time or I didn't look well enough but I found the individual parts on ebay a couple weeks ago for a whopping $7 a piece.

BMW E36 E39 E46 E53 Sunroof Slider Rail Repair Clip - Fast Quality from Michigan | eBay

and sure enough when they arrived they did indeed have the BMW logo on the pieces just like in the pictures. Hope this helps someone out.....



- Matt
Can you describe your exact issue? My sunroof will open fine, doesn't tilt. Have issues closing with about 4 in open gap.
 

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Can you describe your exact issue? My sunroof will open fine, doesn't tilt. Have issues closing with about 4 in open gap.

My sliding function worked just fine, but when I used my tilt, it would only open a small amount. I could manually push the rest open by hand but it would fall back down if I let go. Once I would close the sunroof, driving over any bumps or potholes would make the roof rattle, that was probably the worst part about having the broken tilt function. Hope this helps



- Matt
 

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My sliding function worked just fine, but when I used my tilt, it would only open a small amount. I could manually push the rest open by hand but it would fall back down if I let go. Once I would close the sunroof, driving over any bumps or potholes would make the roof rattle, that was probably the worst part about having the broken tilt function. Hope this helps



- Matt
were you able to verify the part that you posted were broken without taking off the glass?
 

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were you able to verify the part that you posted were broken without taking off the glass?

No. But it made sense to me what was going on. I just did a little research on the board and pretty much put 2 and 2 together. I didn't do it, but if you remove those accordion pieces you might be able to see whats going on.... Just pry them out slowly, but there are no clips or anything holding them in, just friction.


- Matt
 

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No. But it made sense to me what was going on. I just did a little research on the board and pretty much put 2 and 2 together. I didn't do it, but if you remove those accordion pieces you might be able to see whats going on.... Just pry them out slowly, but there are no clips or anything holding them in, just friction.


- Matt

i see, thanks for being up so early to respond!!!
 

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Has anyone been able to remove the rail pieces from the track? I cannot get mine out nor can I find good instructions on how to do this...
 

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