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Author Topic: Sunroof  (Read 5562 times)

Offline Seangie

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« on: May 22, 2013, 07:00:17 PM »
Was talking to a good friend today and we got on the subject of cutting sunroofs out of car roofs and putting them in the bus roof.  Seems easy enough.  Might have to mod the bus frame to make them fit but sounds like a fun project....3 or 4 sunroofs maybe?

Anyone try this?  Any ideas? 

Pros? Cons?


1984 Eagle Model 10S
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Offline Ed Hackenbruch

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 07:06:51 PM »
Cons, potential for leaks sooner or later maybe. Biggest one is that in warm/hot weather it will increase the temps in the bus unless you can open them. Pros, you can inspect the under side of overpasses as you travel.  ;D
1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA

Offline luvrbus

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 07:35:18 PM »
I installed a Taylor sun roof hatch made for the marine world in the Eagle Matt owns you could open it and climb on the roof a high dollar item and I think it has stared to leak now

 It wasn't all that bad with heat the transfer and living in sunny AZ I would have noticed it for sure, the motor home has one and you can feel the heat from that puppy it  looks to be made from some type plastic 
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Offline B_K

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 07:44:53 PM »
Mike Hill tried that with a limousine sunroof in his MC9 and last I heard he still never got that baby sealed up right!
;D  BK  ;D

(but he also hires $5-10 hr workers too!)

Offline Scott & Heather

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 08:52:16 PM »
We open our hatches when going down the road. Same diff :-) that being said, I want to put double pane glass up there..

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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
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Offline lvmci

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 10:04:14 PM »
Hi Sean, the Italian Greyhound has one in livingroom, one over kitchen, good quality, at nite very nice to look at stars and clouds, good light in daytime, heat however is bad, we have a heavy duty outdoor screen, to put in and take out, at times we put them both stacked to watch tv, then have to run air on high, to compensate for heat, size, about 3' X 18", double payned, lvmci...
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Formally MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643

Offline Jeremy

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 02:42:34 AM »
A marine hatch (which projects beyond the surface of the roof so doesn't collect water) is likely to be a better bet than a car sunroof. Not saying that a car sunroof couldn't be fitted, but it would be a lot of work to do it right due to the way they work and the fact that the car roof would have had a radius to it which the bus roof won't match.

The water drain arrangements on car sunroofs are quite sophisticated - the aluminium frame of the mechanism incorporates channels around each edge of the glass which catches the water, then long plastic tubes lead the water away across the underside of the car roof, down the window pillars and onto the ground. All that would need to be replicated, otherwise the water would overflow the channels and leak into the interior.

My bus has opening skylights (not hatches) as standard and I got two electric sunroof mechanisms (one from a Lexus 400 and one from a Range Rover) to fit into the ceiling underneath them. The mechanical mechanisms were so complicated (all that slide and tilt stuff, plus the little air deflectors that pop-up when the sunroof is open, that you didn't even realise were there) that I gave up trying to adapt them to the bus and eventually just removed the motors and drivetrains (long flexible 'chain' things) from them and have made everything else from scratch to suit the bus.

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Offline Low Class

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 05:36:49 AM »
My WL has one that I assume was factory installed.  It leaks.  It has an insulated cover on the inside that I have never removed in the almost nine years I have owned it except to try and stop the leaks.  Also, it is real glass.  Could not pay me to have another one. >:(

After 50+ years of riding non-cab farm tractors and motorcycles, I have gotten more than enough sun.
Jim Keefauver/1985 Wanderlodge PT36/6V92TA/MT654CR/East Tn.

Offline Jnbroadbent

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 07:55:34 AM »
Nothing to add but on our previous conversion, we turned the leaking hatch into a leaky sunroof and living in fl just let heat in. Current mc9 had a typically tacky 2'x4' bubble and I just removed it.
1980 Mc9 w/ veg oil
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Offline tjtheman007

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 07:45:48 PM »
I'll have to agree with most - A power sunroof... not the best of ideas. You can do it, but most likely it will leak depending on how it is done. - I am not a fan in the least of aftermarket installs on cars... much less on a bus.

My Scenic has non-moving sunroofs that are stock. I have 4 total. 1 on the lower level and 3 on the upper level. They are all cracked.  :(  They are all the dual pane. Solid glass that does not move you will have better luck with. Moving sunroofs... your in for a big challenge. Heat is an issue as well... I highly recommend adding tint to them.

They sunroof seals on my scenic do not leak, but the cracks in the glass do. Some replace the glass with a vent with a fan while others panel over them to not have to deal with the headache all together.

Back to your original question though, I have seen my share of car sunroofs leak after time. Sun and weather take their toll.

The piece about how intricate car sunroofs are is correct. I am currently replacing THE ENTIRE roof on my 2000 Ford Explorer that Had a sunroof and I wanted to retain that. (A tree fell on a portion of it and I wanted to try my hand at body work... its a fun learning experience :)  )
There are 4 drains on my explorer sunroof, one on each corner, not to mention the track and mechanical aspect of it. I have pictures if you would like to see just my roof replacement as an example.

I'm not here to tell you you can't. I myself am stubborn and will do something just despite what people say, but it will be a challenge. Your best bet if you really want the sun coming in is just a solid piece of glass or better yet, double pane.

If you really really really want to pursue this, my opinion of the best option would be to go to your local u-pull-it lot and find an automobile that has the same (or very very close to the same) Pitch and curve to the roof as yours. Then rip out the ceiling fabric to reveal the tracks, motor and gearing (along with the wiring), and drains that run down the pillars. Then cut AROUND the entire sunroof and track area and be sure to give yourself as much extra material as you can. cut everything even all the metal part of the roof that the tracks attach too and then some... basically the entire roof short of the pillars depending on vehicle.

Now I'll be honest, I'm a little naive as to what material the roof of your eagle is made of, but on my scenic it is all aluminum... so welding in steel onto the aluminum roof is NOT an option. You would have to rivet it in... and even then, you have aluminum and steel touching/rubbing rust and corrosion magnet!!... If you have a steel roof, well that makes it easier - weld the thing in... then you have the trouble of routing the drains lines, but at that point its the easier part. Just keep in mind the make, model, and year of the vehicle you got the sunroof(s) from so when you need replacement parts for seals, glass, motor, etc, you can stop by your local auto dealer and order them. Way cheaper than a whole custom job.... well it can be in some aspects.

It almost be easier to take a car that doesnt have a sunroof and use this method to add a sunroof by welding in a new roof from a junked version that did have one..... you get the idea.

If you decide to tackle this, start a build thread!! I for one want to see how you end up implementing this.

Take care!!

Scenicruiser PD4501-848


Offline Don4107

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2013, 12:13:14 PM »
Looked at a 4106 that had a skylight in the bathroom and really liked the way it made it feel open.  I think it was nothing more than a sheet of plastic overlapping the roof. 
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Offline chessie4905

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2013, 02:44:45 PM »
  Sooner or later they will leak, just like an oil filled hub. ;)The closest thing to a sun roof that I would install is a roof vent with a fan. They use to make a 2x2 foot one that also could be used as an escape hole. We installed on in our Brill and bungeed a box fan in it on hot days and evenings. Too poor to afford a roof AC in those days. Boy did that move the air....It had a translucent cover, so it let in a good deal of light into center bathroom;no windows.This was our first conversion, done by previous owner.
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Offline Bill B /bus

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Re: Sunroof
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 05:54:33 PM »
We installed a used Bomar marine deck hatch in the bathroom of the 102A3. No leaks in five years. Lamps on only at night. Adds great ventilation w/o running the AC. The greatest benefit is roof access without a ladder for crawling onto the roof.


Bill & Lynn
MCI102A3, Series 50 w/HT740