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Power sunroof for 02 made by Nissan




Hi dear readers,

after years I managed somehow to let paint the roof of my car Jerome. Now, before installing the headliner, I wanted to reduce the noise of the electric drive because it's too loud.

The genuine e-motor is loud and the rubber shaft is loud, too. All 2nd hand shafts you can get are all worn out or stiff or both and shiver while rotating. The one in the pic below has already lost its outer coat. The new available BMW-spare is simply inacceptable. It looks like a gardening hose and only works when it's warm enough outside. Otherwise it is much too stiff and you can count each single rotation- while there's 4500 rpm written on the motor.

That's why I was looking for a better solution and I think I've found one that is also good for installing an electric power drive on a manual sunroof. Maybe the one or other guy is interested.

So here we have the regular e-drive-system, looking upwards:


Bosch motor, rubber shaft and Golde (BMW-) drive box. Then there's a tin bridge with a big round hole above leading from the mirror's socket to the subframe of the sunroof. The profile below is for the switch and two foam panels- or, if installed, there's the recess for the manual crank.

Let's remove all this. Any system that uses a shaft between the motor and the drive box makes too much noise. I tried out several versions, but all no good.


The hard papers are protection from sparks. In this status it doesn't matter if there is a manual or a power sunroof. Good space there for new ideas. I also removed the inner holder of the old motor because it's disturbing the new housing.

Now let me introduce my idea of upgrading a manual /improving the power sunroof.

This is a motor/drive unit taken from a 92 Nissan Primera bayed for 11$ shipped:


Units taken from Ford Explorer, Volvo 740 or Fiat Croma offered here look as good as the same. The distance between the two fixing holes right and left to the drive shaft is exactly the same (78mm) as it is in the subframe of the BMW 02-roof. Seems as if this unit was made for BMW 02's. I could easily drill threads M8 into the holes, there's enough material around- and the unit was (concerning this matter) ready for being installed in the 02:


Easy job! Here a new grey tin bridge with a holder for the unit at its front is already welded in. The opening in it above the motor is not really necessary, but this could not safely be seen before. However, now there's some space for the wiring.

The wiring is homemade with the correct colors (really important because it will never be seen again) because obviously Nissan used other cable colors in the 90s than BMW used in the 70s- and some cables were too short. The switch can not longer be located close to the mirror, where it normally is. I relocated it behind the shifter in the center console. I like it much better there because when it is near the mirror, you have to look for it. Having it in front of the handbrake lever, you just need to feel it.

Not any switch can be taken. The old motor has got three pins: +left turn, -ground and +right turn. Nissan has got two pins: +/-left and -/+right turn and that's why the old switch doesn't fit to the new motor. Indeed I don't know where the new switch is taken from, I guess E3 series. Found one in my grabblebox.

The motor is turned in the unit's housing for 180° to have better access to the pins. The two white 45°- angles are holders for the foam panels (appearing later).

These dark grey foam profiles left and right at the subframe are BMW/Golde power sunroof version. In case of upgrading a manual sunroof, the (manual) foam profile has to be replaced because the power drive box is higher than the crank drive box. BMW foam and Nissan housing fit quite well to each other. As far as I've found out, these foam stripes are no longer available.

Unfortunately the drive shaft of the unit is too long, so the cog for the ropes sits too high. This is the only thing of the project that needs real effort. To say it in a few words:

Disassemble the Nissan drive unit.

Disassemble an old 2nd hand manual 02- crank drive to have a crossover from Nissan- drive shaft to BMW-cog.

Shorten the Nissan-shaft to its new length:


The shaft must not be longer than the hump (or shaft tower) on the housing. Here the hump is already reduced to the frame's level, still centering the unit's housing to the frame (diameters fit perfectly). Please compare pic 3. Sorry, no more pics.

Here also the creating of the new tin bridge on a dummy-frame can be seen.

Drill the Nissan-shaft inside to a 6,00mm bore from above but not the entire length because the spare part taken from the old manual drive is not so very long.

Lathe or turn or machine (? Sorry for my english!) the BMW-shaft to about 6,05mm.


Press BMW into Nissan:


The new length of the shaft now should be about 30 – 30,5mm.

Drill this combi from below inside to 4,2mm, not too close to the upper teething for the cog. That's the space for the lock-spring.

Bore three holes 2mm crosswise and rasp to copy the slot for the emergency-lock bolt into the BMW shaft. In the pic above this is already done.

Shorten the spring for the lock.

Assemble the shaft with plastic cog, spring, its pilot pin and bolt.

Assemble the shaft into the unit and make sure the lock for the emergency crank can be released by pressing the pilot pin.


Background: combi shaft with metal cog for the clickwheel

Foreground: plastic cog to the motor with bolt, pin and spring.

To fix the old Golde drive box to the roof's frame, there are two special threaded sleeves, maybe made by Golde: slotted with a V-profile head, M8 outside and M4 inside. The M4 inside are for the upper rope guide on the top. But the foam panels now have to be fixed to these sleeves, too- no other way. That's why I had to lathe new ones in a longer version leading through the entire Nissan housing. So the panels can be fixed with M4 bolts from below and the rope guide from above like before. All this meant half a day at the lathe.


Foam panels to be fixed in the sleeves and a small aluminium shied to simulate the former Golde drive. Propably it's easier to fill the gap with foam, too. When there's a manual roof to be converted, there has to be created new foam somehow or other, then the drive housing can be hidden that way.

Ok, so far for the main action. The entire system is running really very quietly and the outfit doesn't differ very much from standard. Actually not at all:


Only the noise of the switches in the unit are well to hear- not that bad. Nearly ready to install the headliner.

Then here we have the counter cog inside with the humps to stop the panel in certain positions:


Obviously the Nissan panel can be popped up, the 02 panel cannot. But I absolutely wanted to keep the front stop position to prevent the small plastic levers at the ends of the ropes from breaking. And I had to relocate the rear stop position to prevent the inner panel from sliding behind the skyliner- a blog for itself...

Thanks for watching!



Edited by Henning

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