Lame Tech: Water in Rocker Panels

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Feb 25, 2002
My first 80 series tech. Sorry it is so gay!

Anyway, I parked my 80 outside in a rainstorm last night, and this AM the driver footwell was wet, an when I pulled the two small plugs in the front and back of the rocker panel, Niagra Falls erupted.

Where the hell did it come in? Sunroof leaking? Stock roofrack bolts? Anyone who has dealt with this, please let me know what to hit with my silicone gun, and what to clean/tighten/fix.

Thats all I got.
There are four drain ports in the sunroof, one at each corner, connected to small hoses that are routed down through the pillars, through the rockers and onto the street.

So... water in the rockers usually means the drains are just plugged. That would be the first thing I would check.

Below the drain plugs at the bottom of rocker at the seam there are small drain holes. Get a paper clip and ream the holes out. One of my holes was pluged so I drilled out the hole with a small bit. Now, how do I seal the metal so that it won't rust but not plug the hole???

The sunroof front drains empty into the rocker panels. there is one small drain in the pinchweld about 13 inches from the front of the rocker, in the bottom of the pinchweld. you can see it on the backside if you crawl under the vehicle. It's quite small, look hard. They are plugged up with dust that has turned to mud. The best way that I have found to clear them is with a large zip tie. Stick the pointy end up thru the hole and push the tie in and out of the drain several times. The debris will come out better if the rocker has some water in it.

If you pulled the plug and emptied the rocker, put it back in. Remove the front door sill plate and you will find a hole that you can use to fill the rocker up with water. I know this sounds crazy but a bunch of water will flush the crap out of the rocker. Fill the rocker up and give it a ream job with the zip tie. Do both rockers. You should regularly monitor them to make sure that water is not collecting, especially during the rainy season. If You turn down Led Zepelin you will be able to hear a slosh on takeoff and braking. If so, it's time for the zip tie again.

The water on the floor may or may not be directly related. Semlin has been fighting this problem recently as has Tennesee Cruiser. It may be that the rocker was overwhelmed, or you could have some leaking in the sunroof pan as Jim Phillips had.

Get the rocker drains cleared up and see if that cures your problem. If it doesn't get all of it you are going to need to take a hard look at the sun roof pan.

As Beo is out of town, this is me filling in with at least 4 paragraphs :D

I saw my name mentioned and thought I would add my experiences. (I am not much of a mechanic but spent many an hour working out how to fix my leaking sun roof) Try unblocking the drain pipes. If that doesn't work then look to see if any water could be getting from the gutter through to the roof lining. In the pic below the arrow points to where I used silicone to seal a hole that had appeared. It solved my problem...

Cheers, Jim
Thanks for the help. It now looks like I have some work to do on the sunroof. While investigating, I found the the B piller cloth trim was also wet, right about where the drivers seatbelt top mount is. I am assuming that one of the sunroof drain pipes runs down the B piller between front and rear seats? Can anyone confirm? When I have time, I am going to remove the trim and see what I can find, but for-knowlege is for-armed! :D Thanks
OK, OK, OK, I have to pipe in on this one. I have become somewhat of a learned mech on landcruiser leaks. I have FINALLY resolved my leak which was leaving a considerable amount of water in my driver side floorboard.

Here it goes......After testing the drain tubes (four in all, yes, FOUR, two front and two rear which drain behind the tires) I found that my front driver side tube was being crimped by my wiring harnesses in the kick panel. So, I cut out the wiring harnesses (kidding). Actually, I placed a hose clamp around the tube to reshape it. It was very crimped.

So, I was getting some water through the drains, which I thought was normal. However, it was not enough and would back up, causing the leak. I can assure you that with the drains operating as they should, the drains can handle a LOT of WATER.
Hmmm, now that I think of it my DS floor is also wet, I thought it was melting snow coming off my mats. Can someone post pictures of the sunroof drain location, and other areas to clear, pull plugs, etc?

Cheers, Hugh
I do not have any pics, but your front drain holes are in the front corners of your sunroof and visible from outside or easily visible by getting in backseat and sticking head out of sunroof. I would pull the kick panel off the driver side and pour water in the sunroof pan while sunroof is open. Watch to see if you get water down the A pillar area. It will pool in the trough by the door which has the plugs in the floor. You might have a plugged hole, or as in my case, I had a hose that was crimped that needed to be straightened. It was crimped by the wires by the relays in behind the kick panel. I was getting water behind the kick panel on the relays, so I am lucky that nothing shorted...OUCH. ThAT WOULD SUCK.

I hope this helps. The pans should be able to take on a lot of water without any leaking into the headliner. If it is not draining correctly, you most likely have a drain problem and remember that there a are FOUR drains, two front and rear.

Also, make sure that none of your drain plugs are not unplugged under your carpet. I think that some of the other (not so luxurious models sold elsewhere) were made to run without plugs so the floors would readily drain after crossing rivers.

That bit about the pinched hose is a PEARL.......I will remember that......I bet semlin needs to check his RH front for the same thing........... :bow:

Regards....Dan :beer:
Any idea on the location of the rear drain hoses? Are they in the B piller between front/rear seats, or also in the A piller by windshield. The reason i ask is I took a quick look in the ds B piller and saw only three wires, no drain hose. ???
Rear drain hoses come out behind the rear wheels, I think it comes down the C-pillar. If you open the DS panel with the jack and tools in it, you can find the drain hose passing through and out to the outside where it ends.
The fire truck be right on......

Unlike the front hoses, the rear ones exit behind the rear wheels and you can see them exit the inner rocker......

I still think that the kinked hose was am important clue for others who suffer from this problem......... :beer:
Tenn, glad to hear you got it, but I thought your water was on the passenger side floor pan, so I'm surprised it was caused by a driver's side crimped hose??

From what I have exposed without dropping the headliner, my p-s drain hose is clear. My d-s side drain may well be crimped as I haven't looked -- I have aftermarket alarm, stereo and fog wires plus the unbelieveable OEM clutter jammed in over there so that I can barely put that panel back on.

My P-S and D-S floor is slightly damp right now. Spent the weekend fixing my fog lights and trying to deal with the rattle in my catalytic heat shield so I din't have time for sunroofs. This week I've got bigger fish to fry as another post will attest. If I get the truck back by Friday, I'm putting in diff breather extensions next weekend in prep for an easter camping trip so unless that's a quicker job than I think I'm still another week away from full on sunroof fixing.

 Check both front drains for kinks........I really believe that this is the key to the puzzle..........

 Regards...Dan :beer:
Hmmm, now that I think of it my DS floor is also wet, I thought it was melting snow coming off my mats. Cheers, Hugh

Hugh ! That is uncanny ... because it's precisely what I said to myself a few weeks ago when I pulled my 80 into the garage at work to do some electrical stuff . I had to get below the dash , so I pulled out the Huskyliner . I felt around the floor ( can't remember why ) , and to my surprise it was slushy ! I too just thought .. hmmm , I guess some snow from my boots got over the mat and melted . But this thread confirms a gut level sense that something was amiss . SOmething I better deal with now , before the spring rains come !

Good info guys !

Went home last night and pured a half gallon of water in the pan around the driver front side drain in the sunroof. NO LEAKING INTO THE FLOORPAN. It is incredible how much water can be displaced with all drains working.

As for the rear drains, put your cruiser on a very slight incline and pour water into the sunroof pan and then look behing each rear wheel. You should have water draining onto the ground. Remember the lesson I learned....the drains must be working (which mine were) and they must not be crimped (as mine were) to work efficiently. The drain tubes are remarkably large.

Also, check the plugs in your floorpan as a high pressure washer in just the right spot can knock them loose.
First I guess I need to get my sunroof fixed - not opening and then I can start to test the drains. I had a quick look myself, but I think I need the Lexu$ dealer to deal with it $$$ :(

I'm also going to have a look at the floor pan, I have been using a pressure washer to wash the winter salt off the truck and I may have blown a few!

Hey Tyler - stay safe up there - SARs in Toronto is getting a bit crazy. Something like 25% of Toronto paramedics are in quarantine now and I'm assuming you are now under full infection control as well.

Cheers, Hugh
I would not mess with the dealer on the sunroof issue. I spoke with mine and it was obvious they did not know SH_T!! I looked in the phone book for an aftermarket leather/ sunroof shop who were most helpful.

The manual has wiring diagrams for sunroof which might help. I can send them to you if needed.

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