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Thread: Sunroof Explosion

  1. #1
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    Sunroof Explosion

    Hey-
    So I'm driving home from work in my daily driver 2002 coupe, and suddenly there was a huge Boom! And it was raiing glass bits. My sunroof exploded. I didn't see anything hit the roof, and nothing came through that I found. There were no chips or scratches in it before it exploded.

    So what happened? Has this ever happened to anyone?

    Phil

  2. #2
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    Damn, that must have been a scary experience and could have definitely caused an accident. Hope you didn't get cut up by the glass.

    There have been several cases throughout the years and the causative factors were all theories, not definite reasoning.

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  3. #3
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    This can happen with heat cycling of tempered glass, due to nickel sulfide inclusions. Mostly early on though, not after 10 years!
    http://failures.wikispaces.com/Glass...ide+Inclusions

  4. #4
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    It's been quite a while since I've heard about this happening, but yes, you're not the first one.

    So, are there any replacements available?

  5. #5
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    I don't even know what I would do if that happened. Sorry to hear it.

  6. #6
    Terry F.'s Avatar
    Terry F. is offline ONLY BMW Content is + Moderator
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    Phil,

    Was the sunroof tinted with aftermarket film? If so, what kind?

    Thanks,
    Terry

    Stuff. I got stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry F. View Post
    Phil,

    Was the sunroof tinted with aftermarket film? If so, what kind?

    Thanks,
    Terry
    Great question, Terry. I'm curious as well.
    The search box is awesome..try it!


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry F. View Post
    Phil,

    Was the sunroof tinted with aftermarket film? If so, what kind?

    Thanks,
    Terry
    I say not, as the film should've held the fragments together.

    I sure hope that never happens when I'm driving somebody else's Coupe...

    ... nobody's ever heard of a Rdstr's hdtp glass blowing out, have they?

  9. #9
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    Hey-
    Thanks for the replies. The sunroof did not have any film on it, the car is completely stock. It was kind of scary, but luckily we were not going very fast so we were able to pull off the road safely. After surveying the damage and dusting glass bits out of our hair and clothing, we decided to limp on home being only a few miles away.


    I've started the claims process, i"ll see how it goes.

    Thanks again,
    Phil

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    holy crap! glad you were ok, that is nuts.

  11. #11
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    Time for a sunroof delete! I read about this happening years ago...and i thought there was mention of no more sunroofs being available. Is a sunroof delete the only other way to fix it then?

  12. #12
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    Can you have it replaced with lexan?

    Chris

  13. #13
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    This happened to David Paris:

    http://www.davidparis.org/coupe/log05.html

    It does seem that the sunroofs are NLA, but you should be able to find one from a wrecked coupe.

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    Look on the bright side, now you have a roadster. I KID! I KID! It's good your safe and there was no accident involving physical injuries.

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  16. #16
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    i ran an auto glass shop for about 6 years and i have personally seen this happen about 50 times.
    tempered glass reacts funny to hot/cold. do i know why it happends....no ha.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by breetime View Post
    i ran an auto glass shop for about 6 years and i have personally seen this happen about 50 times.
    tempered glass reacts funny to hot/cold. do i know why it happends....no ha.
    Yes, a buddy of mine used to be in the glass business, and he's said that sometimes (he used the word defective) tempered glass would have stresses built up in them that caused them to expload. His father and co-worker were carrying a piece of glass when that happened and it cut his hand badly, took a few micro-surgeries to make everything nearly work again.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmcfad01 View Post
    Time for a sunroof delete! I read about this happening years ago...and i thought there was mention of no more sunroofs being available. Is a sunroof delete the only other way to fix it then?
    I quoted the sheetmetal to a guy today; looks like the non sunroof panels are still available...

    41 31 8 400 045 @ $573.05



  18. #18
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    Really sorry to see that. I hope everything goes smoothly with your insurance company. Will be looking forward to updates.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post

    I quoted the sheetmetal to a guy today; looks like the non sunroof panels are still available...

    41 31 8 400 045 @ $573.05


    Add the cost of a non-sunroof headliner to that, part number 51448407107, about $450 at the 20% off dealers.

    I'm not sure if the sunroof glass is actually available, but it still comes up on websites, part number 54108410690, about $382 at discounted prices.
    Last edited by Kenn; 08-31-2012 at 07:13 PM. Reason: add glass info

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
    41 31 8 400 045 @ $573.05
    I was quoted around $1700 to do the roof swap by a competent body shop.

    Can Randy Forbes do it cheaper?
    I like Coupes.

  21. #21
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    Hey-
    I thought I would update this story as a datapoint for others. I just got the car back today, so I was 3 weeks without it. (I have more cars than I need, so not a huge issue). After talking to my insurance co, the car ended up at my local BMW dealership body shop. They quickly discovered that there are none (new or used) in the US. So they ordered one from Germany. It arrived in a week and a half. When they tried to intall it they found that the sunroof tracks (rails?, not sure they correct terminology here) were bent/twisted just enough so the glass would not seat properly and they were afraid of breaking the new glass if they tried to make it work. After going around with my insurance co on that, the dealer found a used sunroof assembly (just the tracks, no glass) fairly nearby. Once that was shipped up to the dealer they were able to install it and everything looks and works fine.
    As for cost, my insurance co agreed to pay for the glass, minus my deductable. But using some tortured logic, they refused to pay for the used sunroof assembly. So as it stands, I'm out about $400 for the repair.

    I guess it could have been worse. But I'm happy to have the car back.

    Regards,
    Phil

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