Sunroof questions


1986RangerXL

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Hello! I am performing a body swap on my first gen Ranger this weekend, and I am wondering if it is possible to remove and transfer the sunroof. I was told these have braces, is it removable or welded in? I already have all the trim pieces and headliner free, if anyone has experience removing one any help is greatly appreciated
 


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Bird76Mojo

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Ranger's never came with a sunroof from the factory, so if there are any braces for it, then they're aftermarket.

My 87 has no center support in the roof. That much I know.
 

Dirtman

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So friggin big!
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Why destroy another cab?
 

1986RangerXL

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Why destroy another cab?
Sorry, let me clarify. The rusty cab has the sunroof. I know it seems silly to cut up another cab for a sunroof but I think it's a neat option, and I would probably have a professional shop reinstall it
 

1986RangerXL

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Ranger's never came with a sunroof from the factory, so if there are any braces for it, then they're aftermarket.

My 87 has no center support in the roof. That much I know.
Yeah I've read up on them and I know they weren't factory, but I've seen a couple people mention them on here and I figured someone might know
 

RobbieD

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I installed a lot of sunroofs "back in the day". It is an aftermarket sunroof, and swapping it is doable, but . . .

How old is the donor sunroof, and does it leak now? How good is the condition of the gasket? Sunroofs will need the gasket replaced at some point. Replacement gaskets were available when I did installations, but finding a replacement now could be like finding a needle in a haystack, or trying to adapt what you can find.

To remove the donor roof, if it's a typical older one, there should be a lower ring or surround piece on the underside. Remove all of the phillips screws and drop the ring. Pry the top frame piece upward from the roof panel. Most installations used tacky tape, a few called for RTV silicone. Either way, it'll be a wrestling match, and don't bend the frame or tear the gasket.

It's probably not braced. I used to add bracing if the roof felt weak, which was simply side panels wedged under the sunroof frame and then screwed to the car roof side framing (this was quick-fabbed from the metal removed).

Are you putting this in the '86? I think that yours has a double-panel roof, which is a real pain to cut for a sunroof. On double panel roofs, use shears on the outer panel, then stuff rags in the gap and jig saw the inner panel. You need to cover the interior, and don't let the raw metal shavings get loose between the panels. Shavings will cause rust rot to start from the inside later on, and that's why you stuff rags in the gap back from the jigsaw cut, so the shavings get trapped and can be cleaned out.

Finally, it is a valid concern about cutting a large hole in a truck that's survived 33 years. There are less and less of these trucks every day, and clean survivors will only become more valuable. That being said, it's your truck, so make it like you want it. I like sunroofs, although none of my current RBVs have one. If you really want a sunroof, consider investing in one of the higher-quality new ones, with spare parts support, and make damn sure that whoever installs it knows what they're doing.

Good luck!
Robbie
 

Uncle Gump

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I know there are two different kinds of sunroofs...

One's that leak and the one's that are about to leak.

Seriously... looks like RobbieD has been to the rodeo a couple times and provided solid advice. I know if I couldn't procure new seals/gaskets... not a chance I would cut up a nice cab.

But that's just me... never been a fan.
 

stsalvage

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My friend bought 1992 with a 4.0 5 speed nice truck someone put a hack job in and it leaked Trust was in good shape
 

ret_Marine2003

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My 1998 has a sunroof that was probably dealer installed, but the gaskets failed long ago ago and caused damage to the floor. I am going to take it apart and reseal it soon. Until then, I cover it with a big magnetic fender cover to keep the water out.

Someone in the past tried to reseal it with household roofing tar.
It was a mess.
 

19Walt93

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Our old body shop manager told me you should never cut a hole in a roof that doesn't leak. I agree with him. Save yourself the work and just leave the window down when it rains if you want wet carpets and seats.
 

Dirtman

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So friggin big!
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Sunroofs are dumb.
 

1986RangerXL

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I still have the parts, but as of right now no intention of putting them in. Everything looked in pretty good shape, sealed with the same stuff they do windshields
 


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