A proper car has four wheels, a motor and… a sunroof! At first, we wanted to have a pop-top but eventually, we decided on another path.
We document our vanlife in Instagram under “Story Highlights” @littlewagen
At first we searched for a pop-top style roof but 1. they are hard to find in Estonia and 2. when you find one, they ask waaay too much for fibreglass top. So we decided to buy a Sliding Ragtop Sunroof from Legacy Products.
There was some doubts about the ragtop but after reading how some of the ragtop owners have made a trip to Alaska and survived the winds, rain, snow and cold, then we decided that this is just the top we need.
First of all I had to cut out the higher bits on the roof as they are in way for the sunroof frame.
Now it was time to find the center of our roof. Make sure you measure from the same location on both passenger side and driver side of the car. Once the overall width of the roof was located, divided the measurement by two and marked the center.
We used masking tape as a surface to draw the lines but masking tape also worked as a straight line guide. But still it took us about 2 hours to lay the measures down. Measure 9 times, then 9 times more and then cut once!
Lastly checked the distance between opposite corners, they have to be exact same lenght from each other. Then we can be sure that its a square with 90 degree corners. Nailed it on second try.
Time to cut
We used random sheetmetal to support the weight. Otherwise you stress and bend the last edge you cut.
For proper test fit I drilled the holes in the front side. So that we can assemble it and see if it slides. And badum-tshh it did! Everything else was quite straightforward.
Drilled all the holes, painted the edge for rust prevention, and finished the weld with a body-filler and some paint. Used some body sealant to seal the aluminum ragtop frame to the roof and started to bolt everything in.
We have a sunroof!
Tightened the headliner and trimmed the excess material.
When handling the top, ALWAYS make sure your hands are clean, or you are wearing gloves. The top material is the same as would be used to manufacture any convertible top. Keep clean with any mild car wash soap. Periodically lubricate the aluminum rails using a spray silicone.
More posts and stories about our sliding ragtop sunroof on Instagram @littlewagen