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Sunroof: Rebuild

I've shown you how to remove and store your Esprit Sunroof. Now it's time to Rebuild the front end tongues. These cause no end of problems with rattles and squeak's, making your interior feel like it's falling apart. It's quite a simple process to rebuild the front end. I decided to only replace the screws, washers and rubber washers. As the other parts are a little expensive and didn't really need replacing.


You will need the following parts:

6 x screws
6x washers
8x rubber washers

You will need the following tools:

x-head screwdriver

Parts were sourced from:



The sunroof is a simple design (probably why it rattles so much), and is easy(ish) to remove. Release the clips from their closed position and pull each clip gently towards the steering wheel. This will release the clips from the mounting (see above pic right).


Do this to all four clips (two either side). This will allow you to remove the sunroof. Now from outside the Esprit, lift the roof upwards and backwards. You need to release the tongues from their slits. This may take a little effort, so be careful as the roof weighs quite a bit and you don't want to be dropping it on your paintwork.


You can see from above the roof is now out. Leaving a large hole in the roof. Now time to fit the wind deflector. This has the same tongues as the roof, so simply push the tongues back into the slits and push down. Mine were quite stiff as a rubber surround has been fitted to reduce rattles. You may need to use a little controlled force!


There's a little piece of material to help fix the deflector to the Esprit. Can't see what it could possibly do, but it's there, so use it. You can see my wind deflector fits quite well. Apparently they don't all fit this well. So don't expect yours to.



As you can see from the pictures above, my tongues weren't in very good condition. As with what seems every screw and bolt in the Esprit, rust has had it's wicked way. One side was still firm, the other was moving easily, which was probably the source of the rattling. I ordered genuine Lotus parts, but I'm sure you could get something from the hardware store that would do the job.


I replacing the two top screws, washers and rubber washers, the next level rubber washers and the single screw holding the support to the sunroof. Firstly I checked and tighten the back end. As two of the screws were a little loose. Next it's time to remove those rusted screws. Two hold the tongue to the support.


Once the tongue is removed, you'll see another set of rubber washers between the tongue and support. You can now remove the screw holding the support to the glass. Once this is out you can remove the two pieces of the support from either side of the glass.


Don't forgot the rubber grommet that sits in the glass. Remove this and then clean the glass with some glass cleaner. You can now start to rebuild the tongue. Replace the rubber grommet and the bottom part of the support. Add the top half and use a new screw and washer to attach them firmly.


Now add the new rubber washers over the top of the support. Next you need to get the screw, washer and rubber washer together the line everything up. Line-up the tongue over the rubber washers and holes, with the tongue pointing downward (if you know what I mean). Now you can screw in the two new screws. Not difficult to do. Now before you tighten the screws, make sure your tongues are parallel to the sunroof. You can now fully tighten the screws to hold your tongues firmly in place. Be careful not to over tighten, as you'll split the rubber washers and could crack the glass (but that's unlikely).


Now you've just the other side to do! You now have a new sunroof, well nearly new! You can see above the old bits I've thrown away. 10 year old rusty screws that were holding my sunroof together just enough to let it rattle. May they burn in hell! Now all you need to do is put the sunroof back in and take it for a drive to see if you've cured you rattle.

LEW's Verdict

LEW's Verdict is anything that gets rid of rattles in the Esprit interior is worth the effort. I originally thought my chassis bolts were loose, until I went for a drive without the sunroof in. Rattle Free! The rebuild is simple enough to do, as long as you're careful, as a large sheet of glass isn't always easy to handle. My interior is now rattle free and will hopefully stay that way now. So if your sunroof is in a condition anywhere near the same as mine, then this is something you should be doing. Not overly expensive and takes under an hour.

Feel free to e-mail me with your opinion on this guide and I can add it to this page. kato@lotusespritworld.com

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