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    Thread: Phenoms Howtos : Sunroof gasket seal rebuild for only 10$

    1. Member JonnyPhenomenon's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 27th, 2005
      Lewiston, Maine (USA)
      88 Scirocco, 78 bus, 91 Vanagon
      01-31-2009 08:07 PM #1
      anyone who has a sunroof probably wants to check this out, as the gaskets wear out and soggy roccos are no fun.
      This post is a refined/abridged version of an earlier thread that can be found here. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3234527
      Sunroof seals cost way too much. . 120$ for a sunroof seal is BS. but the bastard companies know they have you over a barrel, and they charge whatever they want and snicker about it behind our backs.
      well not anymore!
      I decided I would rebuild my gasket, as there is no reason why it couldn't be repaired with a little time and energy. turns out it was really easy, and now that I've done this four times I can do one in about a half hour of actual work, plus drying time of course. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      here is how I did it:
      first I took the sunroof itself off. not the whole mechanics of it, just the lid. follow timbos guide to get it apart.
      bring the sunroof inside and place it on your couch/bed whatever.
      on my 88 rocco my sunroof had these two plastic trim bits that would keep me from removing the seal so I pulled those off.
      I pulled off the seal and examined it. not a whole lot too it. its really just a peice of "U channel" plastic with some felt wrapped around it. and a rubber strip inside to pad it out and make it squishy.

      a trip to the fabric store with a 10$ roll of quarters (yes I was that broke).
      I knew what I was after and went right to the ribbon section.
      they had the exact material in stock, and it was even in black.

      basically, you are looking for a black felt ribbon. it will have felt on one side and regular old fabric on the other. get 3 Full yards of at LEAST 1" wide ribbon. anything smaller will not work.
      IMPORTANT, make SURE you get THREE YARDS of it. I considered only getting 2 yards, but three yards was just barely enough. I ended up trimming only 8 inches off when I was done.

      NOTE: scroll to the end for a internet source for this material.
      I took all of the old crap fabric off the gasket and cleaned it up with a bit of sand paper. I didn't go over board here, just cleaned up a little.
      next, I tucked the edge of the ribbon into the groove of the gasket strip and put the gasket on the sunroof with the ribbon sticking up out of it. (felt side out)

      Trim the length as needed and wrap the rubber cushion strip around the gasket.
      (NOTE: I don't have any pics of that, because the first time I did this, I didn't have a rubber thing at all (it was lost). and I am editing this DIY to correct for the newly added rubber strip. )
      then I applied a bead of glue along the top edge of it and another thin layer of glue where the other edge of the ribbon would stick to the gasket.
      this is hard to describe, so I drew a picture to make it easier to understand.
      "Cliffnotes Version"

      the blue is where I put some glue. red is the edge of the sunroof. black is the gasket, grey is the ribbon. light grey is the rubber squishy bit, get it?
      fold the ribbon over the rubber. Pull it nice and tight. keep in mind, the sunroof gasket is not water proof at all, it is merely a water deflector. so keep it uniform.
      I used regular old GOOP silicone glue to attach it. it works really well. just a thin layer is all you need. you will want to work on one section at a time while doing this.
      the pics were taken the first time I did this and you see that I ducttaped it down. the ductape was totally unnecessary, and ended up leaving goo all over my nice felt ribbon. now I do it without using any tape at all and it works perfectly.

      in these pics i used a 1.5" ribbon and it was wider than I liked. I had quite a bit of extra ribbon overlapping the edge, so I just trimmed that off with a razorblade and called it good. now that I use 1" ribbon, I have had a nice clean edge and I am a lot happier. However. you might struggle with the narrow ribbon on your first try.
      so yeah, your mileage may vary.

      once the glue had time to set up, I brought the whole assembly out to the car,
      it works!

      got a good fit with no gaps around the edge, and it is even nice and tight around the corners!
      one internet source was Hancock fabrics, which appears to have dried up, so here is another one I tracked down.
      try this link http://www.mjtrim.com/Catalog/....aspx but if it doesn't work go to http://www.mjtrim.com click ribbons, velvet, 36mm imported, black or whatever color you want.
      ...And that my friends is how you save yourself 110$ in 2 hours or less.
      any questions?
      EDIT: I would like to compile a list of everyone who has done this mod, where they got the ribbon, and what they used for glue.
      so to start,
      Me: I've got the ribbon from Joannes Fabrics, Hancock.com, and mjtrim.com. I used regular goop for glue.
      81S: used 1.5" fabric from Joannes and 3M 80 Spray adhesive.
      wgirnius: used 1" black ribbon from Hancock and permatex gasket maker for glue.
      rocconut: got his ribbon from Hancock fabric store after a long battle where the store people pretended he was an idiot for asking for such a stupid thing. did you ever get your seal rebuilt?
      1nsanevwfreak: tried and gave up with the 1" ribbon. ended up going with 1.5" ribbon with much success.
      MauG60: used this for his Corrado, but didn't give us any more details.
      Jay4: got his ribbon at Hancock after much searching, and used regular GOOP as well.
      third_attempt: used 1" ribbon from mjtrim.com and brush on waterproof cement. (and he recomends using 1.5" ribbon) Thanks Joel!
      thats all that I know of so far. I hope anyone else who has used this DIY will share results too.

      Modified by JonnyPhenomenon at 11:35 PM 1-31-2009

    2. Member third_attempt's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 10th, 2005
      Wilmington, DE USA
      06 Tacoma, 05 Ninja
      01-31-2009 11:01 PM #2
      Thanks for this, I rebuilt mine a few months ago and forgot to post my results in the original thread.
      I used the 1 inch ribbon from mjmtrim. I had some problems getting it tucked into the corners and wrapped underneath, though I'm fine with it and it's hardly noticeable. I would recommend the 1.5" ribbon and trim off the excess.
      For glue I used a bottle of waterproof cement. I can't remember the brand but it was a small brown bottle with the brush on the cap. Personally I thought Goop might be a little thick to work with carefully but that's just me.
      I found the first thread here after bidding $75 for a new seal on ebay. It sold for $150...wtf.
      So again, thanks for the DIY.

    3. Member JonnyPhenomenon's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 27th, 2005
      Lewiston, Maine (USA)
      88 Scirocco, 78 bus, 91 Vanagon
      01-31-2009 11:37 PM #3
      awesome man, thanks for the advice. Ive added you to the list of success stories

    4. Member impulse byer's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 8th, 2003
      98 5.9 Grand cherokee, VW other again...
      02-01-2009 12:52 AM #4
      Wow great stuff i think i need to come around here more.
      Quote Originally Posted by prasina2 View Post
      I thought the steps were:
      1. Buy car you're unfamiliar with 2. Buy turbo, having no knowledge of turbos or cars 3. Buy bolts and bolt on turbo 4. Tow-truck drivers and mechanics profit.
      Did I miss anything?

    5. Member JonnyPhenomenon's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 27th, 2005
      Lewiston, Maine (USA)
      88 Scirocco, 78 bus, 91 Vanagon
      04-20-2011 10:15 AM #5
      update: thanks to jreed and driversfound for checking ebay for "Scirocco Sunroof Seal", there is now a seller (townehotel) who appears to be selling them for 50-60$ and shipping them from Germany.

      here is the link http://shop.ebay.com/townehotel/m.html

      Note: Mk2 Jettas and golfs use the same gasket as the rocco.

    6. Member 87REDROCC's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 20th, 2009
      1985 golf 2door 8v 5sp
      04-20-2011 12:12 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by JonnyPhenomenon View Post
      update: thanks to jreed and driversfound for checking ebay for "Scirocco Sunroof Seal", there is now a seller (townehotel) who appears to be selling them for 50-60$ and shipping them from Germany.

      here is the link http://shop.ebay.com/townehotel/m.html

      Note: Mk2 Jettas and golfs use the same gasket as the rocco.
      the audi 4000cs also uses same gasket but needs to be trimmed 4-6 inches... i got mine on ebay for $46 last summer

    7. Junior Member pLx's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 25th, 2006
      Louisville, Ky
      1988 Scirocco 16V
      12-11-2011 11:10 AM #7
      Pulled my panel off today after talking to Mr. Phenom. And here was what I discovered.

      At least 65% of my rubber bead is missing. Now to find that elusive rubber thing at a craft store or a junk yard.

      I also discovered that the driver side guide bracket had snapped from being misaligned and the PO forcing it open.

      I even got Johnny with this one, looks good right?


      Last edited by pLx; 12-11-2011 at 11:17 AM.

    8. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 22nd, 2011
      Pottsville, Pa
      84, 86, 87 rocco's 89 cabriolet, 99 x2 passat, mk3 jetta/golf, 02 jetta&golf, 00 beetle 72 camper
      02-21-2012 01:05 PM #8
      i have the same broken bracket. i just bought the car a month ago and pulled the sunroof off about 20 minutes ago and i'm not sure what to do about the bracket or what it's called or how to get another/repair but i don't think i can repair it since it seems to hold the properties of cast aluminum. my local junkyard never has mk2's for more than a day so if anyone has suggestions please let me know.

    9. Member MustangluvR1967's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 13th, 2012
      Bellingham, WA
      1985 Golf GTI
      02-23-2012 11:54 AM #9
      Awesome thread

    10. 10-14-2013 01:26 AM #10
      Broke my sunroof down today. I found the rest of the rubber squishy piece that I was missing up in the back of the sunroof. I will get my parts tomorrow. I will look for 1.5 ribbon. I rather trim than struggle. I will also reclue my headliner on the piece that attaches to the sunroof. Will post results when done. SOOO glad I found this thread!!! Tired of the puddles after a rain!!


      oh, '87 Golf GTI 16v

    11. Junior Member t16vtricks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 5th, 2006
      port st. lucie, fl
      10-17-2013 12:17 PM #11

    12. 08-20-2014 05:01 AM #12
      Hi...what type of rubber is that goes between the fabric and roof panel? Mine is broken and I don't know an alternative to that...any suggestion? Thanks. Jem

    13. Member superloaf's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 4th, 2005
      Los Angeles
      87 scirocco 16v, 86 porsche 944 turbo, 77 alfa romeo alfetta sedan, 87 alfa romeo milano
      04-02-2015 01:05 AM #13
      Just did my seal renewal today so some questions and experiences: I didn't have the rubber part; how big is it? Anyone come up with a substitute for the rubber? I tried filling it with silicone but it's kind of a mess and I didn't put enough in so I still have quite a big gap, mostly at the back. Anyone have a pic of the rubber part from the end so I can see how big it is?

      So I guess it's better than before but still not going to be a 100% seal due to the missing rubber part. It looks better though as my old seal was split and grey. One other problem I had was cutting the excess ribbon off as it was hard to get a perfect cut and then it frayed and left threads hanging down.

      One thing I did right was to use 3M Weatherstrip cement which really held well and was pretty easy to use. The silicone kind of went all over and made a mess especially on the corners. Also, it's not easy to get the ribbon in the groove when first starting but just keep at it and you'll figure it out. Kind of slow going and tedious but that's what you get for saving $100!

      Anyways, thanks for the how to and info in this thread. I'll have to find a junkyard seal with the rubber still intact and try this again but for now it's much better than it was.

      Oh, and I used MJ trim, 3 yards of 36mm, 1 3/8" velvet ribbon. I couldn't find it anywhere else and the local Joann's had nothing even close or online.


      Happy sealing!
      Last edited by superloaf; 04-02-2015 at 01:16 AM.
      87 Scirocco 16v-9A block.PL head.Delta cam.TT exhaust.8lb. FW.Peloquin 80% LSD.22 & 25mm ST Swaybars.Bilstein Sports.400# F & 350# R DIY coilovers.Poly bushings.Porsche 16x7&8 Phonedials.Falken RT-615k 205/40-16.Powerslot Rotors.Hawk HP+ pads.SS brk lines.Porsche Carrera steering wheel.euro lights
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