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DIY - Black Vinyl Roof on e92
Published by dbjb
04-30-2010
DIY - Black Vinyl Roof on e92

After being unsuccessful with locating a BMW vinyl roof DIY, I decided to create one myself. By no means am I an expert but I can say it came out fairly well being my first time. So, here it is on an E92. Hope it helps. Special thanks to Ofmalik who helped me out.

Tools required:

- 4x5 sheet vinyl for roof
- 1x5 sheet for roof rails
- Torx T20 screwdriver
- Blow Dryer
- (2) Spray Bottles filled with water and a little soap
- Razor Blade (preferably X-acto knife)
- Scissors
- Plastic squeegee
- Old Credit Card
- Thin laminated card (ie library card)
- Plastic Pry tool
- Masking Tape
- Clay Bar
- Goo Gone
- Dawn
- Alcohol
- Paper Towels
- 2x3 Cardboard
- Finally, another person to help


1) First wash the car with Dawn soap. This will remove grime and old wax. Then, move the car in the garage. You do not want dust getting on the vinyl's adhesive. Using the Blow Dryer, heat up the bottom edge of the shark fin. Once hot, use your hand and the plastic pry tool to slowly lift the fin. Pry front to back and not side to side. Otherwise, you may damage the electronics underneath.



2) Now you'll need your Torx Screwdriver. Once the screw is removed, slide the antenna to the rear of the car and lift up.



3) Now it's time to disconnect the antenna. Push down on the clip and slide out each connector.



4) Now cover the hole with some masking tape.



5) Soak the adhesive in Goo Gone. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then come back and remove the tape. This took me 10+ minutes as there's a lot of tape. Use a fingernail to cut into the tape. DO NOT USE ANY TOOL OR CARD as it WILL scratch the paint.



6) From the rear of the car, use your pry tool to lift up on the roof rail. As you do this, you will hear popping as the clips release.





7) This is what the clips look like. Each clip has 3 plastic sections. I probably broke 1 section on 3-4 clips. However, they will still hold. Just go slow.





8) Prep the front windshield trim. You'll find that the section next to the roof rail is loose. But the remainder is glued down tight. Use your blow dryer and heat it up. Use the thin card to create a small gap under the trim. This will allow you to later tuck in the vinyl. 1/8" is sufficient.



9) Bust out the clay bar and start cleaning. If you're unfamiliar with it, Zainostore sells some good stuff and their tutorial is located here. Clean off all residue, wash down with dawn and dry. Alcohol works well if you have any clay bar residue to remove and it won't damage your paint.



10) Open the moonroof and hold the wind deflector down. I used a small tool in the track to keep it out of the way.



11) Insert cardboard into the moonroof opening and stuff paper towels into the shark fin opening.





12) Lay down the vinyl and ensure you have sufficient coverage. Now, tape down the front onto the windshield.





13) With your assistant, peel back the rear half of the vinyl. Do not allow the vinyl to fold as it may cause wrinkles or stick to itself. Mist both the roof and the vinyl. Cut off the vinyl backing. (NOTE: do not wet any vinyl backing as it will be a PIA to remove from the vinyl. There's less pictures here as we were focused on the install. Just be sure to first squeegee the center from center to side. Now, work your way towards the rear with overlapping strokes. Wetting the TOP of the vinyl will keep the squeegee from forming creases in the vinyl.



14) Getting closer.



15) Now use your scissors to trim the sides and rear of the vinyl. You should leave about 1/4" excess on the rear and 3/4" excess on the sides. Refrain from using the X-acto knife unless necessary. Otherwise, you have a higher probability of a) not cutting straight and b) slicing the roof / rubber molding. Tuck the rear into the weatherstriping using a credit card. Fold over the sides. Do not cover the roof rail clips or screw openings.



16) Now peel off the remainder of the backing and finish the front.

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  #1  
By dbjb on 04-30-2010, 10:50 PM
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17) Cut out the moon roof leaving about 1" excess all around. Remove the cardboard. Cut radial slits into the vinyl corners. Do not go all the way to the edge.



18) Grab the blow dryer and heat up 1 corner at a time. Fold the edges and wrap under the roof top. Let the vinyl dry a couple hours. Then, remove anything holding the wind deflector down and close the moonroof.



19) Here's the roof completely done.



20) Move to the roof rails. Here's a quick look. The vinyl will be trimmed and tucked between the side and the weatherstriping later.



21) The rail is curved so get a piece wide enough to cover it. You can always heat and stretch the vinyl to conform to the curve.



22) I highly recommend using a friend to assist here. Mine went home by now and I had to resort to masking tape being the assistant.



23) Use the same technique to wrap, cut and tuck the vinyl. Snap back onto the roof when done.



24) Here is the final product.








* The only thing left to do is wrap, paint or purchase a new shark fin. I could have used my AW fin but thought it looked goofy. So, I'm going without until I can get a new one. Everything works fine sans the SOS function which will appear as an error on the instrument cluster.

You may get a few bubbles. Let the car sit a couple weeks in the hot sun. Most will go away. Any left can be popped with a small pin.

Good luck on your install and like always, do this at your own risk. I accept no responsibility for your outcome... unless it looks good. Then you can pay me


EDIT 5/4/10

25) Here's an image of the painted fin with double-side tape applied. You can pick this up at most auto part stores.



26) Car is all done!









Last edited by dbjb; 05-04-2010 at 08:50 PM.
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  #2  
By lawwailok on 05-01-2010, 12:18 PM
good job Dan!!!!! nice DIY write up!
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  #3  
By Ofmalik on 05-01-2010, 01:48 PM
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My take on the experience: you win some and lose some. I lost, you won. Looks great man, nice writeup!
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  #4  
By Hazard83190 on 05-01-2010, 04:33 PM
Wow
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  #5  
By PUMPD on 05-01-2010, 08:10 PM
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vinyl

Which brand vinyl did you use ? Is it better to go with a 2 mil thickness or 4 mil (like the 3M stuff) ?
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  #6  
By Dackelone on 05-01-2010, 09:12 PM
WoW! Really nice DIY!! I would not have thought about removing the rain gutters rails. Couldn't you have just wrapped over them?

IF you don't mind... could you post some close ups of the roof edges outside in the sun.

TIA Love your roof!
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  #7  
By fdriller9 on 05-01-2010, 11:20 PM
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Nice DIY. Wish you wrote this up before I wrapped my roof in Di-Noc though. What did you do about the shark fin? My shark fin is bubbling in the sun because I stretched it too much. I'm getting a cover and either painting it black or getting it professionally wrapped. BTW, you can use quarters to keep the wind deflector down.

This is the driver's side.
[IMG]http://i714.photobucket.com/albums/ww146/*********/IMG_0305.jpg[/IMG]
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  #8  
By dbjb on 05-01-2010, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PUMPD View Post
Which brand vinyl did you use ? Is it better to go with a 2 mil thickness or 4 mil (like the 3M stuff) ?
Good questions. I used Avery that was purchased from bmwshadowline.com. I do not know if it's 2 or 4 mil. I would imagine 2 is more plyable whereas 4 is more durable This was my first experience with vinyl so I have no idea which is best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
WoW! Really nice DIY!! I would not have thought about removing the rain gutters rails. Couldn't you have just wrapped over them?

IF you don't mind... could you post some close ups of the roof edges outside in the sun.

TIA Love your roof!
I highly recommend removing the roof rails. Tucking the vinyl into that channel means there's less chance of water or wind getting under the vinyl after installation. I'll take some new pics after I install my springs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ********* View Post
Nice DIY. Wish you wrote this up before I wrapped my roof in Di-Noc though. What did you do about the shark fin? My shark fin is bubbling in the sun because I stretched it too much. I'm getting a cover and either painting it black or getting it professionally wrapped. BTW, you can use quarters to keep the wind deflector down.

This is the driver's side.
Great idea using the quarters! I just installed the roof 5 days ago and am still driving around without a fin. I need to find one. I've seen some cf units but would rather get an oem unit painted Jet Black. Perhaps Tischer?
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  #9  
By fdriller9 on 05-02-2010, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsbj View Post
[b]Great idea using the quarters! I just installed the roof 5 days ago and am still driving around without a fin. I need to find one. I've seen some cf units but would rather get an oem unit painted Jet Black. Perhaps Tischer?
I know they sell covers somewhere but I can't find it. I don't know if Tischer paints but asking never hurt anybody so give it a shot.
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  #10  
By Syndicategt on 05-05-2010, 10:54 AM
Great write up, time to do my roof now if the wife lets me
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  #11  
By chemgeek on 05-05-2010, 12:57 PM
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Did you really not reseal the shark fin on the roof? It looks like to just stuck it back down with some double sided tape.
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  #12  
By dbjb on 05-05-2010, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemgeek View Post
Did you really not reseal the shark fin on the roof? It looks like to just stuck it back down with some double sided tape.
It's automotive double stick tape. It's the same thing used for trunk and lip spoilers. Also, same stuff used by BMW for the shark fin or trunk badge.

I'm not sure how else one would "seal" it down. Trust me, it's not going anywhere and no water will get inside.
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  #13  
By hasrice on 05-06-2010, 01:02 AM
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hows the gap between the shark fin now? I find that most 2bl sided tape is too thick.
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  #14  
By dbjb on 05-14-2010, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hasrice View Post
hows the gap between the shark fin now? I find that most 2bl sided tape is too thick.
No, it's actually really small gap which is fine as that will aid with future removal if/when I sell. It's still a 1-2mm thinner than a dime.

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  #15  
By ZuerstBMW on 05-14-2010, 11:05 PM
Very nice job.
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  #16  
By perrymaxima on 05-24-2010, 08:42 PM
Nice write up was looking for a diy for applying the vinyl to my chrome door molding when I came across this. Lets see you wrap your chrome moldings next and do a diy for me!
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  #17  
By hasrice on 05-24-2010, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsbj View Post
No, it's actually really small gap which is fine as that will aid with future removal if/when I sell. It's still a 1-2mm thinner than a dime.


doesn't look like your nromal 2bl sided tape. it's black. where'd u get it.
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  #18  
By lionheart90k on 05-28-2010, 02:18 PM
its the 3M double sided tape i think
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  #19  
By PUMPD on 05-28-2010, 04:51 PM
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I used a thin bead of clear silicone adhesive. Works well.
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  #20  
By fdriller9 on 05-28-2010, 06:13 PM
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My double sided tape was too thick also white in color so it was very noticable. I jud used black caulk around it to seal it/hide the white.
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  #21  
By Sp_e90 on 06-03-2010, 09:58 PM
you make it look so easy, mine was a total disaster hahah
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