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AJ Hartman Carbon Fiber E46 Roof Panel Install

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  • AJ Hartman Carbon Fiber E46 Roof Panel Install

    Vorshlag installed one of these AJ Hartman built Motorsports grade carbon E46 roof panels in 2016. This post will act as our installation instructions. This is a race car part, not a street car / show car part, and that means there are some compromises. We will explain below.

    We were building a lightweight 2003 BMW M3 CSL clone so we wanted to use the CSL's full carbon fiber roof panel. We knew AJ Hartman made an exact replica of this CSL carbon panel, which fit perfectly for this build. We started the roof swap by removing the two roof seam covers, then both the front and rear glass. Then it was time to drill out spot welds that held the steel roof panel in place with a spot weld cutter.

    Two technicians removed the 150+ spot welds around the perimeter of the factory steel roof panel, prying the glue loose after these spots were carefully cut through. The front and rear glass removal was crucial in this step; the roof came off in a little under 6.5 hours.

    The OEM roof weighed 96.1 pounds (24.1 for panel + 72.0 for sunroof cassette). The new AJ Hartman carbon fiber roof came in at 6.9 pounds, for a total savings of 89.2 pounds - way up high in the roof! Not only did we lose the equivalent mass of a "young adult" the interior gained about 3" of headroom. We also had ample access for building the roll cage.

    The CSL carbon roof panel went on easily and bolts in place using 4 factory threaded bolt holes, which fit the roof section perfectly. We had to do zero adjustment, custom fitting, or hole enlargement - it just fit.

    We will come back and bond the roof panel to the chassis with the appropriate epoxy once the cage work is finalized on this project. The panel should be bolted and bonded to the chassis structure just like the factory E46 M3 CSL roof is. Again, this is not an easy installation - mostly due to the roof panel removal - and should be handled by a qualified body shop.
    Last edited by Fair!; 06-07-2017, 07:17 PM.
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev