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Discussion Starter #1
Does the E39 have these sliders/clips on each side like the E46?


My shade makes a light rattling sound when it's fully open. If I pull it an inch forward from full open it seems to stop. Wondering if I just need to replace clips/sliders on the shade. I had to do that on my M3 and it was pretty straightforward. Not sure if the E39 is the same or similar. Any help is appreciated.
 

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The shade sits atop it's own sliding rail on the inner track, secured by 2 screws on the top to each side to the front, with the rear of the shade snapping into the 2 rear brackets on the outer track to each side.

The shade most likely came undone from at the rear where it just snaps into the bracket. The side of shade just needs to be inserted into its clip on the bracket side. It's possible from underneath, easier from up top with a visual guide.

The other possible culprit for a rattle would be the wind deflector which is connected to the lifting arms and the rear bracket, since it also just snaps in place and isnt secured with anything. The sides snap onto the arm to each side.

The front brackets are the same for the E46 and E39, but the rest of the sunroof mechanism to each is different. The bracket needs replacement only if there is issue with lift or opening/closing the sunroof. Likely not the cause of rattling.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The shade sits atop it's own sliding rail on the inner track, secured by 2 screws on the top to each side to the front, with the rear of the shade snapping into the rear bracket on the outer track.

The shade most likely came undone from at the rear where it just snaps into the bracket. The side of shade just needs to be inserted into its clip on the bracket side. It's possible from underneath, easier from up top with a visual guide.

The other possible culprit for a rattle would be the wind deflector which is connected to the lifting arms and the rear bracket, since it also just snaps in place and isnt secured with anything. The sides snap onto the arm to each side.

The front brackets are the same for the E46 and E39, but the rest of the sunroof mechanism to each is different. The bracket needs replacement only if there is issue with lift or opening/closing the sunroof. Likely not the cause of rattling.
When you say rear bracket, do you mean there is one on each side of the shade at the rear? Or one central bracket? Are these metal or plastic and is it possible that one of them broke? Not entirely sure which part it would be here.

RealOEM.com - Online BMW Parts Catalog

Wind deflector seems to be fine. No issues with the operation of the sunroof either. Full open, close, vent... all good. The noise comes from the rear of the sunroof shade when fully open. I don't mind taking the glass out and working on it from above if that would be easier. I just don't want to have to pull the headliner.

The other fun thing I just noticed this weekend is that the alcantara on the shade is starting to separate a little in one area. Guess I need to re-glue that while I'm at it...
 

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Referring to the set of rear rail brackets shown in the attached pic. They are black plastic. Each side to the rear of the shade slides into the clip at the side of the bracket circled in red.

Forward is facing to the top in photo.

Probably a good time to remove shade and reattach anthracite using contact cement, or like. It's easier to see where shade attaches from up top sans glass. Refresh time.

It's possible that the clip/tab on the bracket itself may have broken off and needs replacement. See attached with an example of broken tab.

BMW doesn't sell them separately, I think. I think they do offer a sunroof repair kit for E39 that may include it. The bracket is sold elsewhere, non-OE, like Amazon:

Danci Parts Compatible Replacement Part for Sunroof Control Rail Repair Kit for BMW E39 5 Series - E53 X5 Series Left and Right, $9.99


940702
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, I understand now. So the shade can be removed out the top when the glass is out?
 

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Yes. Shade is secured with 2 screws at the top in front to each side to the inner rail and clipped to the rear outer bracket at the rear, which allows it to "follow" the sunroof. Once unsecured, it can be taken out. If you forget where components should be, take a photo before working on it, to help keep track.

Might want to replace all those plastic rail bits, in the repair kit, if the bracket is broken, as they are probably old too, may eventually give out, break, which they do.

Oh, if the bracket is broken, make sure to get the right one which come as 1 piece, bracket and metal joint, like this:

940753



Don't get the ones that come as separate components, as there is no way to assemble bracket as no rod comes included to secure the metal joint to bracket, like this:

940752
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't get the ones that come as separate components, as there is no way to assemble bracket as no rod comes included to secure the metal joint to bracket, like this:
That would include these, wouldn't it? Is it possible to re-use the old bits with the new slides?


Haven't gotten around to this yet since some other stuff came up, but I am looking to order parts now. So, is it better if I just order the full refresh kits? This...


As I mentioned earlier, the sunroof still functions well, it's just the shade that rattles a little. But if I'm already in there, I'm not opposed to preventatively replacing any brittle plastic pieces that are likely to break.
 

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Yes, that one is a good example of the rear bracket not to get and pretty much all of the non-OE ones come like that unassembled. The pin/rod that doesn't come included is peened, permanently affixing the metal joint with the bracket. It may be possible to remove the peened pin from another say broken bracket and use the pin for the new one, but I couldnt manage to get the pin off the old metal joint, so it wouldn't fit onto the bracket. Probably, need a punch machine.
941949



Eventually, I ended up just purchasing the same OE repair kit, pretty much the only kit that includes that bracket in proper fashion. However, replacing all the rest of the parts included does indeed make good practical sense as a forward looking measure, as all of those provided pieces, particularly the plastic ones, lose its' structural integrity. The arm with plastic end grommet, the forward and rear plastic brackets, should and will all be need to be replaced. And if one side is being replaced, probably good sense to replace both sides. Yeah, I know, sucks.

I still have a couple of those rear brackets, unassembled, if you want to take a crack at it, I can send them to you. You can also try to PM Ryan on this board to see if he has any extras of that bracket for sale. Every once in a blue moon, used brackets, but proper, can be for sale on Ebay, as I was able to get a good pair. So, now I have extra non-OE brackets and an extra kit, still in the mailed package unopened for 2040, I guess.

Again, the shade mounting points are easy to get to and re-adjust. However, to replace the rear bracket.. not so much. That entails work under the roof, not only from just above, and will require the headliner to be partially dropped (complete removal not necessary). Particular attention is required in re-aligning parts, to ensure all working parts are properly moving together, or else the bracket will crack. If you know how to remove the glass panel, you likely won't have too much problem doing this rest.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it's good now, don't mess, cause, you know, it might broke and you still might not be sure how to make it right.

You need to find out what is causing the rattling by doing a visual inspection by first removing the panel. The problem should be able to be seen from above, as the 4 shade mounting points, 4 corners, will be visible. Just look and see which mounting point is not set and reset it. The front is screwed (check those to see if they are loose) onto the a rail each side, see below, so it's likely the rear, which clip into the side of the rear bracket, that has come undone. Done. Or just press up on the shade at each corner from the interior while moving and see if the rattling stops. It should and that will be the corner at issue.

941950


Probably broken and will need to be replaced, but still, thinking that far ahead is not needed. Just check, inspect. Proceed from there.

Oh, firstly check the rail channel for debris and make sure they are cleaned out and smooth. This, obviously, can cause rattling, too, while in motion.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the detailed explanation, that is very helpful. I will check it first as you said, try to pinpoint the rattle, then decide what to do from there. I agree that I probably don't want to take the whole sunroof apart if I don't have to, as it is working perfectly fine currently (aside from the shade rattle).

One other question... Is there a certain type of grease you recommend for the sunroof slides? White lithium, wheel bearing grease, dielectric, etc. I would guess it should be fairly low viscosity so as not to add too much resistance/stickiness.
 

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Lithium grease is suitable in most cases unless you live somewhere with high moisture and rain, then silicon may be more apt as it's waterproof. Either works. I used dialectic, cause it was on hand.

Apply sparingly. What's more important is having the channels clean and free of debris for the sunroof to operate smoothly.

Those plastic rail brackets aren't completely flat, they are actually somewhat lifted, wavy and move moreso on its edge which are like skies. Too much grease in the middle may cause more resistance, then help add less resistance. It's also one of the reasons those 3rd party 3D printed bracket copies don't work so well. Usually, not exact copies and flat. Maybe they are better now.

If you do end up needing to do the rear brackets, there is a fairly recent thread related to sunroof repair that further details removal of the rear brackets and also the crucial alignment process in reassembly, which I replied to. Search or check my history for it.

👍
 
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