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There has been a fair amount information posted as well as a fair amount of mis-information posted regarding the roof panel noises that may present on the removable roof panel of the coupe. I wanted to take a few minutes and try to corral the facts in to an easy to use post for people to reference. I will be citing the work of others as well as what I've learned along the way. If I reference a post or thread of yours and you would like it removed please just let me know.

First a little background:

The Corvette coupe has a removable roof panel. The panel is comprised of either a opaque painted polycarbonate panel or a molded transparent polycarbonate panel. The panel is bonded to a magnesium frame. The panel assembly is attached to the car using basically four pins to locate it, two sliding fit clamps and a third latch style clamp as a safety retainer. The perimeter of the frame is mated with a rubber weather seal gasket to prevent wind and moisture from entering the drivers compartment. Half of the gasket seal is on the car at the windshield top frame and b pillar halo and half of the gasket is on each side of the roof panel. These four parts come together to form the complete weather seal.

The Corvette coupe panel is a fairly complex exercise in engineering. It must fit loosely enough such that it can be installed and removed with ease. It must fit tightly enough such that wind noise, moisture and the elements are not permitted to enter the ****pit. The complexity of the design continues when you consider the fact that the side gaskets of the roof panel become the upper window frame that would normally be occupied by a surrounding steel frame that encases the window on most every other car today.

The Corvette roof panel latch handle has undergone some changes during its life. From it’s introduction in 2004 until April of 2007 the latch remained unchanged from the factory and it was a steel roller that was free to roll and move within the handle. It looks like this:



In April of 2008 during the 2008 model year complaints of roof panel latch rattle noises were being received and a temporary fix was introduced at the assembly plant to help cure the customer complaints. It was found that by isolating the roller they could minimize and in most cases eliminate latch noise and a campaign of putting an epoxy on the current design roller while the roller was redesigned. I don’t have a photo of a early 2008 latch but it is basically the roller above with a mass of a whitish epoxy cementing the roller in place.

In June of 2008, still during the 2008 model year the newly redesigned latch handles were made available to the assembly plant and were incorporated on the line on June 10th. The new design latch handle uses a plastic roller and it is immobilized with a wedge shape that interlocks with the handle. The new latch handle looks like this:



A little about “noise.”

Noises in an automobile are generally perceived to denote poor quality or workmanship. One issue that we must keep in mind is that every owner is different. Each has a threshold if you will of what they consider acceptable. The roof panel being removable by definition means that it can move. Movement will contribute to sound as surfaces interact with each other. Most owners have never owned a car with a removable roof panel

Common causes of roof panel noise.

Latch handle rattle.

The latch handle design originally was a metal roller which engages a steel plate. Tolerance can allow the roller to vibrate which can produce a tapping rattle sound. Wear or tolerance in the roller itself can allow the roller to move side to side which can also tap the steel plate.


Thermal expansion.

The roof panel, the frame and the gasket materials all have a different coefficient of thermal expansion. All of these mating parts will heat up and expand at different rates. One by-product of this expansion causes to masses to try to occupy the same space and as such something must give.

Lubrication.

The gasket materials that support the removable roof panel are rubber and are prone to the effects of ozone, particle contaminants and wear. As the gaskets age they will become less compliant and less able to support the roof panel firmly and may contribute to movement and noise.

Fit.

Because the roof panel is a manufactured part it means that some allowable dimensional deviation or tolerance is going to be manufactured in. Most of this tolerance is accounted for in the engineering process but it is possible to have a component fall outside of that expected range. When this happens the parts won’t fit together as well as they were designed to fit together. A second contributor to this is an owner that may purchase an accessory transparent top that didn’t come with the car originally. These parts may not fit together perfectly. This will most commonly appear as a panel that sits too low or too high relative to the windshield frame and gasket. It is possible to realign the latch handle and the latch receiver by a simple adjustment of the torx bolt that holds each of them in place.

The next section will outline some of the areas that you can turn to in an effort to make your car as noise free as possible.

Paul :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Part II

Here is a direct post of some of the more common remedies to roof panel noise. Remember, each owner is different and each car is different. As such, not everyone reacts the same way to the sounds presented to them. Not everyone can easily assign a cause to the noise they are hearing. Not every car will have the same issues and as such not every car will respond the same way to the fix that some other car has neither for better or for worse.

Lubrication

In most cases lubrication is going to help any condition that you may hear and it should be your first step towards a fix. Lubrication of the weather seals is noted in the manual and it is considered a periodic maintenance item. The most important places to apply lubrication are the front and rear gaskets, the latch handle “roller”, the latch handle receiver (depression in the steel plate) and each of the pins on the roof panel (two at each front corner facing down and two at each rear corner facing rearward. Here are photos of each place that you should consider lubricating either with a GM Superlube or a Silicone based lubricant like that used for O-rings.

Roller



Plate





Front pins



Rear gasket



Front gasket



Rear pins




Rattles

Forum members have provided the owner with an exceptional method of binding the roller on the latch handle by the use of a 5/32” e-clip which can be purchased at Lowe’s. This fix will not work on a 2009 car nor will it work on a late build (April-June 9th of 2008). It is designed to work on the original design roller assembly.


A second fix that has proven effective is the addition of a small o-ring to the front pin as viewed in this photo:






The last course of action of course for pre 2009 owners is to have the latch handles replaced with the new design handle. These are becomming available through the service parts organization and can be ordered through you dealer. For those still under warranty it should be covered. The handle information is called out in TSB# 08-08-67-013A.

Here is a photo of the new design latch handle.



Here is the text of the TSB and the new design handle part numbers:

Service Information
Document ID: 2182040
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#08-08-67-013A: Snap, Pop or Rattle Noise from Lift Off Roof Panel While Driving (Replace Front Lift Off Roof Panel Handles and Lube) - (Aug 25, 2008)

Subject: Snap, Pop or Rattle Noise From Lift Off Roof Panel While Driving (Replace Front Lift Off Roof Panel Handles and Lube)

Models: 2005-2009 Chevrolet Corvette

with Removable Clear Roof Panel (RPO CC3), Removable Sun Roof Panel (RPO CF7) or Dual Removable Roof Panels (RPO C2L)

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This bulletin is being revised to update the model year to include 2009. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 08-08-67-013 (Section 08 -- Body and Accessories).
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Condition
Some customers may comment on a snap, pop or rattle noise coming from the lift off roof panel while driving.

Cause
This condition may be caused by the nylon roller inside the left and/or right front roof panel latching handle becoming loose and causing the roller to move on the pin, creating the noise.

Correction

Replace the left and right front lift off roof panel handles (1) and lube. Refer to Roof Lift Off Panel Front Latch Handle Replacement in SI. The updated handles have a new design ramp insert in place of the nylon roller.

Technicians are to apply GM Super Lube® with PTFE, P/N 12371287 (in Canada, P/N 10953437) to both sides (left and right) at the following areas:

Apply GM Super Lube® around the entire guide pin ball (1) on the roof panel.

Apply GM Super Lube® inside the "pocket" of the stainless steel track (1).
Parts Information
Order the left and right handle for each lift off roof panel.

Part Number
Description

19206591
Handle, Roof Lift Off Panel - Left

19206592
Handle, Roof Lift Off Panel - Right

12371287 (US)

10953437 (Canada)
GM Vehicle Care Super Lube® with PTFE

Warranty Information
For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:

Labor Operation
Description
Labor Time

B9849*
Handle, Lift Off Roof - Front - Both - Replace
0.4 hr

Add
Second Lift Off Roof Panel Handle - Front - Both - Replace
0.3 hr

Add
Apply GM Super Lube®
0.1 hr

*This is a unique labor operation for bulletin use only. It will not be published in the Labor Time Guide.


Fit

As indicated you may find yourself in a position of having to adjust the fit of your roof panel. There are torx screws that hold the latch handle and the latch receiver plate in place on the car.

Here is a photo of the screw on the latch handle itself. It can be loosened and then retightened while it is in place and this may allow for the latch handle to shift in to a better fit on the plate.



Thermal Expansion

Unfortunately there is very little that you can do about infrequent noises due to thermal expansion. The good news is that in most cases it will cure itself in just a few miles. As the car goes from a cool garage to the hot sunny day or having been parked in the hot sun and then driven away it is bound to make some noise. Once each of the materials comes in to thermal equilibrium the noises should stop.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Paul :cheers:
 

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Good information as always Talon. Thanks
 

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what size is the O-ring? Does it stay on with a friction fit through repeated removal of the roof? I've done the c-clip and help cure about 75% so I need something else.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
what size is the O-ring? Does it stay on with a friction fit through repeated removal of the roof? I've done the c-clip and help cure about 75% so I need something else.

The additional o-ring is a 1/4". It is simply held on by friction. Here is a photo of it installed.



The other photo is showing the factory o-ring and not the additional o-ring.
 

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I just added a #5 O-ring to each side. 3/8 x 1/4 x 1/16 I'll post back in a week as to whether it helped.

UPDATE: The O-ring has helped, but not fully eliminated the problem. Much more tolerable than it was and it requires a rougher road to get the creaking now. It is worthwhile in the fight against the pops.
 

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I have found one way to help with the thermal expansion creaks, while I'm driving I will get a firm grip on the handle and release it then latch it back. I will do this for all three latches individually and it helps TREMENDOUSLY with the pops and creaks.
 

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The four O Rings and a little Lithium Grease stopped the roof panel noises for both the transparent and painted roof panels on my 2009 Coupe.
Thanks, I know where to look for answers.
 

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The noise from my roof used to drive me crazy but found an answer.I used a screw driver to change the pressures on the front swing locks untill they were equal.I have been noise free for months.
 

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Replaced my old O-rings. One was pretty torn up from use. This time I used silicon rings as they are less likely to compress.

I also used a 15mm socket to tighten the 4 posts that guide the roof into the car. None were super loose and I wanted to be careful on the the amount of force, so I used a small handled 3/8" ratchet and not my 1/2" drive. One post needed about a 1/4 turn, two needed an 1/8 turn, and one needed nothing.

Roof didn't make a peep after doing this. There is a tiny bit more noise from the drivers window seal, but once the roller compressed, that went away. A month later, I get occasional noise, but it goes away by releasing the latch, turning the roller, and relatching.

I haven't tried the screw driver idea yet.
 

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I recently picked up a 2011 Grand Sport and noticed one day after reinstalling the roof panel that I had a very annoying creak coming from the passenger’s side. When I had the opportunity to take a closer look I noticed a plastic insert sitting on the passenger’s side floor... Low and behold that insert fit right into the passenger’s side front corner of the roof... It snaps into place, but for some reason mine no longer holds and tends to fall out each time I remove the roof panel.

I just snapped the plastic insert back into place and locked the roof panel back into place and it’s as silent as can be.

So… take a look at your roof panel and see if it still has the plastic inserts that clip into the forward corners. If they are lost or missing I’m sure they could be picked up for cheap at the stealership.

SPEED SAFE, NICK
 

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Just a thought

I can remember many years ago my father using TALC (AKA Baby Powder) to stop the squeaks on one of the convertibles he had. I'll give it a try this Spring( if it happens ) and let you know how it works.
 
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