Cleaning your sunroof drains FAQ

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by tomatopants, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. tomatopants

    tomatopants

    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Sonoma, CA
    I've noticed a lot of threads recently about finding water on the passenger's side floorboards, and it is usually caused by your sunroof drains being blocked. I'm not sure how it ends up on your floorboards, but in most cases, cleaning these drains will help get rid of your problem. Not only will you have to tear up your carpet to get it cleaned and dried, you will have a hell of a time trying to defrost in the winter when you have a very large amount of moisture in the air because of the nice, warm water inside the cab.


    Here are some signs your drains aren't doing their job, below the pictures are links leading to the full sized ones for details.

    You may notice discoloration on your fabric, this is a good way to tell if you don't have people sitting in the passenger's seat or don't check to see if the floors wet. It will also feel like you have your own Hawaiian island inside your truck because of the large amount of humidity.

    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/andrewdw/sunroof/Photo0530.jpg

    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/andrewdw/sunroof/Photo0538.jpg

    This area is usually where you feel the water's highest point, and underneath the floor mats will be nice and warm and soggy. And eventually will start to smell if left unattended. Did I also mention this will make your defrosters useless? Of course I did.

    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/andrewdw/sunroof/Photo0539.jpg


    Here is one way to clean the drainage system:


    When water gets through the sunroof's weather stripping, it goes down into these drains, you have one on the front left, and one on the front right. To make sure they are clean of all debris, take a semi-thick gauged, strong, flexible wire, and run it into the drains as far as you can get them. Use something like lead solder or a similar size wire. It needs to be strong enough to push out gunk without crumpling up inside the drains.

    Here's a picture of the passenger side drain:

    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/andrewdw/sunroof/Photo0531.jpg

    You're going to want to have a wire long enough to reach as far down as it wants to travel, it's about the distance from the roof to the floorboards, about 6 feet should do fine.


    Once you're done with that, you should find the drain plugs that are underneath the rocker panels below the front doors. They're round and black and about an inch across. They'll look like this:

    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/andrewdw/sunroof/Photo0532.jpg

    Here's where they are located:

    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/andrewdw/sunroof/Photo0537.jpg

    And here's the view from underneath:

    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/andrewdw/sunroof/Photo0535.jpg


    Stick your pinky or any other finger that's small enough into the hole and see if you can feel any sort of gunk. With the drain plugs out, take some water in a bottle, cup, etc, and pour it slowly into the sunroof drain. With the drain plugs out, water should flow freely out the newly opened hole. Whatever gunk or grime had been accumulating up there should empty out with the water, leaving your drains clean. There are also drainage slits along the rocker panels which should be cleaned, because you have to put the drain plugs back on, and water has to get out somehow. I wasn't in the mood to crawl under the truck and see where they are located, so if anyone wants to contribute, feel free.


    To double check that everything is clean, put your finger back in the hole and feel around for mud or any sort of junk that the water didn't flush out. Replace the drain plug so no debris can go into the hole. Pour some more water into the drains and look underneath the truck, and if you're clean enough, the water should be draining fine. If you don't have puddles underneath your truck, your drains are still clogged. You can try to remedy that by removing the drain plug once again, using an air compressor on the drain and trying to force whatever's clogged out. Pour water back into the drains to see if you've cleared it.

    Remember that mud turns into dirt, which when hard can take a lot of time to make it liquidy enough for it to drain.

    Also, if your sunroof's weatherstripping/seal is old, dry, or cracked, it may be letting in too much water to handle causing it to not drain fast enough. Replace it or use moisturizers on it.





    If anyone would like to add/change anything, let me know so I can fix it. If anyone has any other methods that they'd like to write about, feel free.
  2. FirstToy

    FirstToy

    Messages:
    4,333
    Location:
    Socal
    there are also the drains in the pinch weld that you should keep unclogged. You can search drains, leaks, norcalsam, norcaldoug and prob hit some pics and descriptions
  3. cruiser80

    cruiser80

    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    so you dont have to take down the headliner? what about the rear ones? i almost had my windshield resealed before i saw some recent threads on this. good stuff to know. i am in the middle of doing this right now. thanks for the info!:cheers:
  4. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
    9,335
    Location:
    Centennial, Colorado
    This is great and we appreciate your stepping up and volunterring.
  5. phatairman

    phatairman SILVER Star

    Messages:
    441
    Location:
    Atlanta
    What's the best way to clean the 2 rear drains? I can never find them from the sunroof. I have to come up from behind the rear wheels. I am still getting water in the floor boards. I use weed eater line to unclog.

    How hard is it to replace the sunroof's weatherstripping? What is the cost involved? What is best to use to moisturize it?

    Tired of wet floor boards........
  6. Bluetribal

    Bluetribal SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,362
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo
    If you do happen to drop your head liner for a rear cargo light install for instance then be sure to check the hoses & clamps running to the drain pan. I had one that was a little too close to coming off although it may have never come off, just check them. And actually my 96' had four drains, two front & two rear. Unfortunately I don't have my cargo light installation pics up on line yet otherwise I would post them.
  7. cruiser80

    cruiser80

    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    El Paso TX

    well i did on the advise of a toy tech friend. i do have access to the rear drains and will clean all of them tomorrow as my shop closed before i could used compressed air. thanks for the info. cargo light?
  8. tomatopants

    tomatopants

    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Sonoma, CA
    No idea about the rear drains, I just did the front ones and my problem went away. When I install my rear cargo light(I don't know when) I'll do a write up on that too.
  9. cruiser80

    cruiser80

    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    what is this rear cargo light thing? curious minds want to know.

    you have to drop the headliner to get to the rear ones. not too hard.
  10. theyis

    theyis

    Messages:
    112
    First blow some air up from where they exit under your rear quarter panels (under the cruiser, 1 on each side, hose is about 1/2 inch or so and should have a tapered cut if I am remembering right). Then take a shop vac, the hose is too big to fit back there, tape a 1" dia x 3 foot long piece of heater hose inside the vac hose (to essentially make a 1" vac hose) and shove the heater hose back down the sides of the sun roof.

    When I did this I heard a thump go through the hose. The vac was already full of stuff so I didn't bother checking to see what it was. Would have been interesting to have seen what went through there...
  11. tomatopants

    tomatopants

    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Sonoma, CA
    The rear cargo light is adding an additional light to the very back of your rig so you can see when you're looking in the cargo area at night. The 2 lights that are in your truck already don't provide enough light for the back.

  12. corsair23

    corsair23 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,174
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    x2 on the drain slits - Also, as others have mentioned there are 4 drains for the sunroof (at least on later model Cruisers), 2 front and 2 rear. The rears are tough to see as they are way back there.

    Since this is the FAQ I'll add some pics of the slit drains I posted awhile ago in this thread: http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=152124

    .
    100_4112 (Medium).jpg 100_4113 (Medium).jpg
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2007
  13. semostickbow

    semostickbow

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Missouri
    Awesome!

    Thanks for doing this, we had a gully washer last week and I had water dripping in the exact spot you had a red arrow pointing at. I could figure out where in the world it was coming from.

    Great sight!

    Geoff
  14. Bluetribal

    Bluetribal SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,362
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo
    I have a full write-up with pics but I am at the beginning stages of re-building my website so I didn't want to put them up twice but who knows when I will get around to working on the full site so maybe I will post them up this weekend and add the pics that apply here.
  15. jimsmith1370

    jimsmith1370

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    10 guage electrical gournd wire works great-flexible enough to bend when needed but stiff enough not to crimp.
  16. dcFJ

    dcFJ

    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    Virginia
    Great post! Thanks for taking the time to put this all up with pics and explanations.

    Dave.
  17. stayalert

    stayalert SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,427
    Location:
    Norwich, VT
    I've goytta do this sounds like alot of sloshing after a rainstor currently for me....I've used string trmmer line as a reamer successfully in the past on other cars....
  18. Well put guys. I had to do this when I got my LX last April. Thanks for taking the time.
  19. e rock

    e rock

    Messages:
    1,601
    Location:
    Monroe, WA
    Just bought a 97 LX last night and when I went to put the kids' car seats in this morning, the driver's side back seat belt (middle row I guess) was wet. The webbing of the belt itself was wet, like the retractor was sitting in water. Could this be a roof drain issue? Where are the drains for the c-pillar?

    Thanks,
    Eric
  20. SF80

    SF80

    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    SF CA
    X2, but mine are the front passenger's belts, so it's the b-pillars. This started once i used some compressed air to blow out the drains when i was getting a little soggy headliner. I guess I just moved the problem (clog) lower in the vehicle. Next is use the wire, I think I have some 12 gauge romex sitting around here...

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