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Does anyone have info, recommend or have an opinion on the factory installed sunroof vs a dealer installed sunroof?

I have been looking for a silver 4 door TDI manual with sunroof package, and I am unable to find one in So. Cal. I have been offered several times, a non sunroof with an option to install at the dealer.

Any help would be appreciated. If anyone has had experience with this please let me know.
 

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There are companies that will install the sunroof but go for a factory sunroof. It's more likely to be tight, rattle free, and if you ever need parts or repair at another location you don't have to worry about availability. Or are they cutting the roof and putting in their own OEM sunroof? The headliner is different, the roof is different, the wiring is different, the overhead console is different, so much is changed that I can't see how it would be profitable for them when an OEM sunroof is a cheap option.
 

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I was told that they would install an OEM sunroof/moonroof, not sure which, as if it came from the factory. They told me it would be under warranty, etc. I am skeptical of their ability to do this.
 

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I was told that they would install an OEM sunroof/moonroof, not sure which, as if it came from the factory. They told me it would be under warranty, etc. I am skeptical of their ability to do this.
Doubt the dealer will do this themselves. They\'ll probably outsource it to a subcontractor. To be honest I\'d probably find either a shop that does \'aftermarket\" sunroofs or find out who/what company the dealer is doing it form and see if you can find them directly. They\'ll probably charge a lot for something like that.
 

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FWIW on my last car I had a sunroof added after the car was purchased. I tracked down the shop that the dealership outsourced that kind of work to, I collected OEM sunroof parts, and the shop installed it for me. Looked perfectly OEM and I never had any leakage issues. OP, sorry this doesn't help as I'm on the right coast, but just know that if the shop is competent it is doable without ill effects.
 

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Doubt the dealer will do this themselves. They\'ll probably outsource it to a subcontractor. To be honest I\'d probably find either a shop that does \'aftermarket\" sunroofs or find out who/what company the dealer is doing it form and see if you can find them directly. They\'ll probably charge a lot for something like that.
Correct, they are done by a specialty shop. As for a dealer saying that they can install a roof with factory parts, that is not entirely BS. Both Inalfa and Webasto are OEM suppliers to VAG-they supply the sunroof "cassette" that goes in the car on the line, or the convertible top mechanism in the EOS. The difference is that at the factory, VW stamps out roof panels with openings that have rolled edges to mate with the sunroof assembly. An interior supplier makes sunroof-specific headliner cards as well. When it is done as an aftermarket application, the roof is cut and there is an outer seal attached to the cut edge that locks into the sunroof assembly from the top. There is very little difference between the two in terms of the "guts" of the sunroof assembly or its drain system. Externally, the 3/8" to 5/8" wide seal is the only way to tell it was not installed when the car was built.

It really comes down to the installer, who can do a beautiful job that will be trouble free for the life of the car, or turn your money into an expensive and troublesome mistake. I was shopping with a friend a while back and we stopped at a Hyundai dealer so he could look at the new Sonata. One of the cars had an Inalfa roof installed, and the car was ruined as far as we could see. Due to the curvature of the roof, the sunroof needs to be the right size, have appropriate front-rear arc in the glass, and be positioned correctly. This was not; the metal roof around the sunroof had ripples in it and the sealing ring didn't sit flat against the roof. Black silicone was used to fill the (up to 1/8") gaps.

You can find installers on the Webasto or Inalfa websites. If I were doing it, I'd call the companies and find who does the most installations within 50-100 miles. My reasoning is that the more you do, the better your chance of seeing problems with different applications, and they should also choose the right roof for the car. Sometimes installers will push a certain roof because they got a better price from the factory on a bunch of them, so they'll want to install that instead of the best roof for your car.

There's also a company called Classic Soft Trim that operates in about 20 states and is the biggest installer nationwide. On their site they don't say if they install both brands or only one.



http://www.classicsofttrim.com
http://www.inalfa-roofsystems.com/
http://www.webasto.com/home/en/html/homepage.html

I've been looking into this as I think I want a JSW with a standard-size sunroof, not the panoramic roof. From what I've researched, Webasto has a larger number of roofs in their line, but Inalfa has some very specific installations researched. For example they make a group of exterior trim rings that are molded especially for vehicles with ridges stamped into their sheetmetal. Webasto installers use a heat gun on their rings to shape them to the ridges. Also on some of the Inalfa roofs I've seen, the trim ring is narrower and a rigid material, where the Webasto roofs have soft seals that are wider.
my two cents
 

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Cool thread guys, and a wealth of information/research.
Thanks.
If you guys do it. Tell us all about it.
:D
 

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This is actually some good news for me... if the price is realistic.

When I bought my TDI, they were so dammed rare, I had to settle for one w/o a sunroof and very much miss this little commodity from my previous GTI. I assumed a sunroof would be an aftermarket option with aftermarket parts and was nothing but trouble.

So, may I ask for estimates on a a VW installation, or at least outsourced labor with all VW parts?
 

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Well my last 2 cars had sun roofs but living in the UK we don't get much sun so they were very rarely used. When I ordered mine I looked at the options and a sun roof was £600 and I didn't use it much so that was just a waste. The other thing is manufacturers never used to fit sun roofs to cars that had air con as its a bit pointless.

As mensioned I don't think the dealer would fit them they would sub contract the job. If you want one then I would check with the dealer how it affects the warranty. ;)
 

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bigheadsully,
I guess you have the Golf already? I would have ordered the Golf TDI the way I wanted it. Unless you are in a hurry you would have waited 3 to 4 months. I ordered my 2010 Jetta TDI Cup car and waited 3 months. This weekend I am picking up my 2011 JSW I ordered in August, they are really Golf Variants. I would not now have the dealer install a sunroof after the fact.
 
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