Sunroof Rails

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Sunroof Rails

Postby rwmedia » Fri May 09, 2014 2:30 pm

Have not found a post relating to this yet so if I have missed it please redirect me to the proper place,thanks. I have an 88 Bill Blass and have just replaced the weatherstrip on the sunroof with the kit from The Sunroof Doctor and am ready to reinstall the glass but the rails on either side that are made of plastic are in terrible shape. They have cracked in several places and I actually had to punch out some of the side screws that are fastened into what looks like a brass threaded seat that is molded into the plastic, because the screws were so rusted that when they turned they just ripped the insert inside the plastic. In any event, does anyone know where these left and right side sliders can be sourced? The part numbers are E5LB63518A-18 and E5LB63518A-19 and a google search, search of eBay and search of the few Lincoln parts sites advertised on the web not only does not find anything, the diagrams on the parts sites are not correct and don't show this part and part number as specific to these cars. I was hoping I could find a matching part from another car even, like a Tbird or Mercury but no such luck so far. Sent emails to the Sunroof Doctor and to Tom (thread at the top of the welcome board) at his lincoln parts site but have gotten no responses. Don't want to leave the car with a big hole in the roof for too long so any and all advice is most welcome, thanks.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby LLFordman » Fri May 09, 2014 9:36 pm

I have a post/thread somewhere on here from a few years ago with this very same issue. I have yet to find any direct replacements. I had one or more of the screws break off and was able to very carefully drill them out and salvage the threads. I of course I never seized them real good before I put it back together. I was worried I was going to have to have some custom made lift arms (as I believe they are called) constructed out of aluminum or at least something more durable than the current piece. If you happen to find a solution post it up in this thread for others to see. I have looked at many other lift arms in the boneyard and have yet to find anything that has the same arm. My '97 Mark VIII had a sunroof in it that was specific to that car as well. I had to build one good unit out of two to get that one back working again.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby Falkon » Fri May 09, 2014 9:54 pm

Contact Tom Curry and see if he can assist you.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby rwmedia » Sat May 10, 2014 1:03 am

I have sent Tom an email, as mentioned above in the original post. I have yet to hear back but will let you know how that turns out.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby rwmedia » Sun May 11, 2014 3:52 pm

Just as an update, I have been to over 40 parts stores online that claim to sell sunroof parts for the 1988-89 LSC and Bill Blass and they all use the same exploded parts diagram and every single one of them has the wrong diagram and the wrong parts list. That leads me to conclude that they all got it from the same place to start with and that no one ever tries to source the parts I am looking for. I suspect I will have to find a donor car, which seems a shame for such a small need, or manufacture my own solution from angle steel, with a bit of creativity thrown in. That's the best I have some up with thus far.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby rwmedia » Thu May 15, 2014 2:40 am

OK so no response from Tom Curry or the Sunroof Doctor so I suspect these arms just aren't out there other than from a donor car. I am not that interested in putting old plastic back in but will if I have too. Right now I am looking at crafting an insert for each side from angle steel. I am replacing the liner on the sliding roof panel with a color matched piece of marine vinyl because the cloth is old and dirty and separating from the metal plate. Will use LePage's spray on glue (same stuff I used to glue the felt onto my pool table) and put that back in, then the 'recreated slider arms from the glass roof. I will take pix along the way and post them when I am done. Wish me luck.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby CDW6212R » Thu May 15, 2014 2:42 pm

Best of luck, that is tedious special work. I hope it works well, and maybe others can do the same thing. Mine is functioning okay for now, but I also need to replace the headliner fabrics. That's hard to do also.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby rwmedia » Mon May 19, 2014 6:23 pm

OK so I have finished the headliner portion of the replacement. Not so sure about uploading video to this site so I have posted it on YouTube at http://youtu.be/e7Ya8Yign9o so anyone can access it. I show the replacement weatherstrip molding on the sunroof glass, the broken slide rails, or whatever they are really called as I have yet to find an accurate parts image or document (they are parts number E5LB63518A-18 and E5LB63518A-19 respectively), and the sliding headliner with the vinyl replacing the original cloth. You will see that the vinyl is a slightly lighter shade, but so is the plastic trim that goes around the opening so it matches that really well. Exactly matching the original cloth just wasn't possible, but because this matches the trim and doesn't make it stand out so much I think it actually looks better color-wise. It certainly looks better as a finished product than what I took out of the car. Some of you had expressed an interest in just that part of the replacement, so I posted that video now, and it is already about 13 and a half minutes long. I will post the rail reconstruction and replacement when I get that done which will probably be next weekend. Sorry if the video is a bit jumpy but I recorded it on my phone so hopefully it will suffice. Please let me know what you think, and feel free to ask any questions, thanks. By the way, the cost of the repairs so far is $25 - $14 for the spray adhesive and $11 for the vinyl.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby CDW6212R » Mon May 19, 2014 6:52 pm

Great work there, that's perseverance. 8-)
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby rwmedia » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:07 pm

Sorry I never posted a follow up video about the sunroof rails. Trying to remake them from scratch proved to be more trouble than it was worth and I needed other parts so I ended up getting them from a local wrecker. Then I ended up buying another Mark VII for parts so there was no need to try to remake them anymore.
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Re: Sunroof Rails

Postby sammi92 » Mon May 23, 2016 10:43 am

Has anyone found a good place for the sunroof rails? My passenger side is broken and I would like to replace it. Can not find them anywhere.
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