Specific Sunroof drain problem (1 Viewer)

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I know this is my first post and yes I have used the search function. I purchased a 96 about three weeks ago. The first order of business was the head gasket. Otramms videos are great. Walked right through it. Since I have finished that though I am turning my attention to the smaller issues. I have a very specific problem with my driver side front sunroof drain. I can send a coat hanger all the way down the drain until it bottoms out. It goes in several feet. I have also taken a zip tie along the seem of the frame rail which seems to be completely clear. Water still comes out at barely a drip though. I have also used compressed air without any luck. While doing all of this there is standing water in the sunroof area. The passenger side and both of the back drains work at a very steady pace. Just wondering if there's a way to get to where the drain tube dumps the water into the frame rail. I think this might be where my problem lies. Thanks for the help
 
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JOFS

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I had better luck with weedwacker thick monofilament I think I remember it being fairly long and the filament was able to get all the way down

Good luck
John
 
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Coat hanger?
Yes, If you take a coat hanger and bend it out straight it is perfect for cleaning out sunroof drains. Done this on many cars. Also used string trimmer string as well. Coat hanger seems to work better. I can try the string trimmer method for it though if it has to be that. I know the trimmer string would probably get around any sharp turns better but the hanger feels like its just bottoming out not necessarily getting stuck in a turn.
 
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Look for my media on the subject. (I'd post a link, but I'm otherwise occupied and it's not handy).

The root cause is a design flaw. The solution is the same one Toyota used (in the GX 470/460):

Remove the rear of the two body bolts holding the rear edge of the fender (it's under the front edge of the running board); you only need one there anyway. The two bolts are captured by weldnuts, inside the body panel. Yours are likely rusted, so back the bolt out halfway and hit it with a 4-lb hammer. That'll break the weld. You need to open the hole in the body panels; (both of them, the inner and outer - they overlap here) so that the drain tube can pass through. Replace the front drain with a (gently used, they're NLA) rear tube. The rear tube is long enough to reach from the front corner of the drain pan to the floor and hang out about two inches, which gets it just past the running board.

After this, the sunroof will not leak again, unless your seal is really eaten up, and then it still may be good. Not only that, but you'll never have water in your rocker panels again.

The front drains would have worked well, if Toyota hadn't fed them into a pocket that had to fill up in order to drain (the rear drains always work flawlessly - they're fitted this way; look in the inner rear wheel well). This is one of two design flaws (IMHO) in this model, the other being the lack of a replaceable sunroof seal (like the 100 series).

HTH
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
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Location
MS
Look for my media on the subject. (I'd post a link, but I'm otherwise occupied and it's not handy).

The root cause is a design flaw. The solution is the same one Toyota used (in the GX 470/460):

Remove the rear of the two body bolts holding the rear edge of the fender (it's under the front edge of the running board); you only need one there anyway. The two bolts are captured by weldnuts, inside the body panel. Yours are likely rusted, so back the bolt out halfway and hit it with a 4-lb hammer. That'll break the weld. You need to open the hole in the body panels; (both of them, the inner and outer - they overlap here) so that the drain tube can pass through. Replace the front drain with a (gently used, they're NLA) rear tube. The rear tube is long enough to reach from the front corner of the drain pan to the floor and hang out about two inches, which gets it just past the running board.

After this, the sunroof will not leak again, unless your seal is really eaten up, and then it still may be good. Not only that, but you'll never have water in your rocker panels again.

The front drains would have worked well, if Toyota hadn't fed them into a pocket that had to fill up in order to drain (the rear drains always work flawlessly - they're fitted this way; look in the inner rear wheel well). This is one of two design flaws (IMHO) in this model, the other being the lack of a replaceable sunroof seal (like the 100 series).

HTH
Hi Malleus, I was hoping you would respond. I have read your tutorial and while I understand most of it there are a couple of things I don't. The part where it talks about taking out the rear bolt. I think I can see the bolt you are referring to. It looks like you have to remove the running board to do this. Would this be the case?
 
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I did, and it makes the work goes much faster (and easier) but the only part of the running board that's really in the way is the rubber flap. The real time saver is running the tube from the top down, and not the bottom up.

By the way, I can't take credit for the solution, someone beat me to it years ago, and Toyota came to the same conclusion themselves.
 
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Juneau, Alaska
Didn’t feel like doing anything involved, so I did the super simple “mod” of running the existing tubes through the floor drain holes right next door, as the rocker panel drain is a poor design as noted above. Plastic footwell trim still covers them fine. Driver side is a little more difficult to get out of the cavity with all the wiring, but if you can do a head gasket.... haha

I don’t get in deep water, the underside at drain hole always seems dry even in all my rain and snow, and the hose is only a hair smaller than the hole, so I didn’t seal it... might later. Would be easy to run a bead around the “seam” to do so.

D4DBE405-6A21-4F61-B8BE-42F2FF24D71F.jpeg
 
Joined
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Didn’t feel like doing anything involved, so I did the super simple “mod” of running the existing tubes through the floor drain holes right next door, as the rocker panel drain is a poor design as noted above. Plastic footwell trim still covers them fine. Driver side is a little more difficult to get out of the cavity with all the wiring, but if you can do a head gasket.... haha

I don’t get in deep water, the underside at drain hole always seems dry even in all my rain and snow, and the hose is only a hair smaller than the hole, so I didn’t seal it... might later. Would be easy to run a bead around the “seam” to do so.

View attachment 2473432
This definitely looks like a viable option. I'm keeping it pretty stock, maybe some light off roading. I'm in Mississippi though so I doubt this thing will ever see water or snow levels like you see in Alaska!
 

enox

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Check out my recent fix...I also had to replace the screw covers on top of the Sunroof in the front corners. The new ones actually come with foam to seal better.

Short version:
My drains were clear.
Moved front drain tubes to the other body holes.
Replaced screw covers.
Added bicycle tube to inside of sunroof seal.
Shimmed up the sunroof to make a better seal.

 
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Keep in mind that the "seal" design was never intended to preclude water intrusion; if it had been, there would be no need for the drains. The "seal" on the glass is a dust exclusion seal. It also serves a secondary purpose of minimizing the water infiltration rate. When everything was new, the system worked. Unfortunately, most of the components are flexible rubber (or foam) when new and stiffen or compress, or both with age. This almost guarantees the secondary seal function will fail, and too much water will enter the drains at any given time. It has to go somewhere, and in my experience at least, it ends up on the firewall and then on the floor.
 

enox

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In my case it ended up overflowing front drain corner area, it would then make its way under the headliner to the top of the A pillars (get those wet) then back up the rocker panels and get the floor wet.

This one sure was a doozie. I ended up putting the drains in the floor board plug then surrounding that with butyl..

I'll get those "screw cover" part numbers and post a pic. The new ones aren't warped and have foam to help seal. (Still available at the dealer)
 
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Again, to be clear, the main reason I chose this solution was that when I removed the body bolt to clear the drain pocket, the weld holding the weldnut failed. Since I couldn't replace the bolt as intended, I decide to use the failure to my advantage.

I did not make any other modifications to the sunroof system and it drains better than new.

Hindsight being what it is, if I had thought about it, I would probably have used the solution that @SpenserAK used.

Either way, you have to use a longer front drain tube; the OEM tube won't even reach the floor, much less go through it.

HTH
 

enox

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Again, to be clear, the main reason I chose this solution was that when I removed the body bolt to clear the drain pocket, the weld holding the weldnut failed. Since I couldn't replace the bolt as intended, I decide to use the failure to my advantage.

I did not make any other modifications to the sunroof system and it drains better than new.

Hindsight being what it is, if I had thought about it, I would probably have used the solution that @SpenserAK used.

Either way, you have to use a longer front drain tube; the OEM tube won't even reach the floor, much less go through it.

HTH
Oh ok that makes sense.
 

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