Webasto sunroof experience

Hi all

I’m curious about the experiences people have had with Webasto sunroofs. At the all British car show, there was an old mini that had one and it REALLY opened the car up nicely. Much more so than a steel sliding roof, and it got me thinking…

My FHC needs a new headliner anyway, and maybe a large sunroof would be an option. I know that some think it ruins the lines of the car, but I’m not convinced of that. Also I’m 5’10” so headroom isn’t an issue.

So I’m asking: Do people who actually have them like them? Tell me about your experiences.
Thanks!
Robert

I had a 1967 Aston Martin DB6 with Webasto sunroof. It was a pleasure to have this in Southern California in a car with no chilled air (which we call air conditioning) in hot weather. Since we get little rain, I don’t know how well the sealing works. Also, the ceiling should be considered even if you think there is sufficient headroom.

The Webasto seemed secure enough, when closed, against higher speed driving to the degree I did that. After two experiences with tire blowouts from insufficiently true wire wheel issues, I rarely drove the car over 90 mph.

Thanks Roger. I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area so the rain is not an issue here either. And I’ve yet to take the car over 90mph, and may never get around to it, so wind/ noise intrusion at speed shouldn’t be an issue.

I fitted a Webasto myself to my ‘68 Cooper S. It totally transformed the car and I wouldn’t have kept it without the sunroof.
It was a very big job though, with the hardwood frame to trim and all those wires and bars… but once you’ve cut the hole there’s no going back!

My experience?

They leak like sieves!

Thanks Roger. That was what I saw on the Mini Cooper It really opened it up. And I’m thinking it might do the same to a FHC

Paul here in California it never rains from April through October so leaks are really not an issue

And look like you’re carrying a mattress on the roof when closed and a crumpled up bed spread when opened.

Regards,

Bill

I would not do it myself. Too much of my enjoyment of the FHC is with the purity of line. It is not terrible looking but not as good as a FHC without it. If I was anxious for an opening top I would get a OTS instead. Plus I have never been in a 60’s or 70’s sunroof car that worked really well. My 2 cents. The one in this link looks very well done though.

David
68 E-type FHC

Well, it certainly rains now and then here in the UK, Rob!

Mine has never let a drop through in 6 years. However - one problem you might find is that if you are considering a genuine Webasto, they use a bespoke hardwood frame that is fixed to the steel roof by two offset rows of woodscrews at around 1" or 2" (can’t remember) centres. These wooden frames are made specifically for each model - I bought my kit from a company in London who held a lot of old stock kits for classics from when they were current. I don’t think anyone’s making them now, not sure. These frames are really substantial - they have to be, they’re giving the car back all the rigidity making a hole in the roof takes away. I’d check very carefully that the correct frame for a fixed-head XK is available. That roof is very domed and would need a very unusual-shaped sunroof - in fact it’s so domed I don’t know how you would get a vinyl skin to adapt to it well. The last thing you want is an XK with an odd flat section to the roof. I may be wrong - you may have a supplier already. Just be careful - you can’t go back!

Hi Robert,
I would not go there.
My first E was a series 2, 2+2 with a Webasto roof. Yes, it was a little noisy, opened up the car nicely and all that.
However, the structural integrity of my car was compromised. I don’t know if the tub was damaged, corroded or crashed in a previous life. It certainly did not look like it and I have owned various classic and sports cars.
All round, quite a nice car, but you could actually see the “square hole” above you changing shape while driving. Some of the corners had hairline cracks and I seriously considered having the hole welded up.
I fortunately got hold of a Series 1 FHC and sold the 2+2.
Regards
Chris
Cape Town

image

That roof cannot have been installed correctly. The hardwood frame is extremely solid and robust and doesn’t allow any movement of the sheet metal. Part of the installation procedure for a genuine Webasto requires the spot-welding in of four right-angled corner gussets that are part of the kit, so hairline cracks shouldn’t be happening either.

Be aware there are a lot of period sunroofs around that are not up to the standard (and, therefore, price) of a Webasto and are probably a lot flimsier. Webastos were fitted to DB Astons, with a thin aluminium roof panel, and they don’t flex in those…

1 Like

My thoughts exactly, shortly after I bought my S3 2+2 I was seriously considering installing a Webasto sunroof but I’m really glad I didn’t.
Cheers,
LLynn

Thanks Rodger and apologies to all.
However I clearly remember the name, BUT mine did not have the gussets or the wooden frame that Rodger describes. It was therefor, most probably NOT a Webasto product or else part of a second hand one passed on from another car. This was also the one and only ‘soft top’ sunroof I ever had any experience with.
Regards
Chris