Sunroof Leak

Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
New member here. Yes I have searched this issue and read numerous posts, but I can't find my solution. I have a 99 Cruiser with 176k miles on her which I have owned since new. I park outside on a driveway which slopes upwards. When I park nose inuphill the carpets in the rear near the tailgate get wet when it rains...I have seen it pouring out of the rear AC control panel. When I back the truck into the driveway with the nose downhill, the front carpets get wet when it rains...apparently running down the A pillars. I removed the sunroof glass, and have snaked out all four drains. I poured water in each one and they flow fine. One of the front drains was a little slow, but once I snaked a 14 gauge electrical wire in the exit it runs fine. I can fish the wire from both rear drains all the way out to the exits. The front drains get snagged up on something when fishing from either direction but they flow fine when I pour water into them. I removed the headliner. I can see water running down inside of the rear drain tubes, but I also see water running outside of the plastic pan and onto the top of the headliner. I can not figure out how some of the water is bypassing the tube and getting out of the pan. The plastic pan does not seem to be cracked. The drain tubes are securely fastened with a clamp and the water is not leaking around the drain tube. This happens in both the front and the rear. Does anyone have any clue how water misses the drain tube and exits the plastic pan??? Thanks for your help.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
661
Location
Albany, NY
All these sunroof issues popping up now! I think it has to do with the fact that it's warming up now again, mine was dripping a bit on the back a few weeks ago when it was raining but I massaged the seal and it's no longer leaking.

Do you have a roof rack? Is it screwed on tightly; if I recall some members had problems with the anchor points leaking water due to not having the holes covered or not having their racks screwed in tight enough.

Regarding the drains, when I pulled my roof apart last year I found that the front driver's drain tube wasn't clogged but was snagged between the trim piece and the a-pillar which kinked it.

You said your headliner was out so it should be easier to see if there is any crack. I assume you pulled the trim pieces off on the sides as well seeing how all that has to be done before you pull the headliner. Look at the drain tubes and watch where everything drains. Currently trying to help my friend who has a similar problem, it's easier to diagnose in person but I'll try to relay what we figure out to you.

Where on the pan is the water leaking from - the corners, sides, etc.

I attached a few pics from my project, with the side trim removed it's much easier to see if the drain tubes have been messed up. You can see in the second pic where the drain line was slightly crimped and the darkening of the tube from debris build up.

IMG_20130915_171844_995.jpg
IMG_20130915_171859_705.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
It's not the roof rack. I have similar crimps in the lines and the dark build up. However, with the headliner down and the sunroof glass removed, I pour a small amount of water into the outer edge of the sunroof tray which leads to the four drains. I can see the water head down the rear tubes and then also start dripping out of the bottom of the tray in the corner near the drain tube. It seems like it is rolling over the top edge but I'm not pouring so much water that it is overflowing the tray. If I could see into the top of the tray toward the rear drains I could probably figure it out but it isn't possible to see the rear portion of the tray while it is installed. Do you happen to have a pic of the rear portion of he tray from the top? Thanks.


...via IH8MUD app
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
Thanks for those pics Rich. The drain line must not be able to handle the amount of water that I am pouring in (which is not a lot) or the amount of water leaking in through the gasket. It must be jumping the outer track and into the inner track and then flowing onto the headliner. That would explain the rear but not the front since there is no where for the water to jump to in the front unless it is just overflowing the track entirely. I guess I should replace the gasket to limit how much water is leaking in when it rains. This is an annoying problem. Thanks for your help. If anything else comes to mind let me know. If I come up with anything new I will post it. Thanks.


...via IH8MUD app
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
661
Location
Albany, NY
No problem. How much water comes in when the sunroof is closed? Unless your seal is leaking to the point where water is pouring in then the drains shouldn't be inundated. Is the sunroof sitting at the proper level? Any rips or tears in the gasket?

Here's my post from last summer: https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/sunroof-disassembly.771200/#post-8831975

Here's another one from earlier this week with part numbers (more parts than you'll need from what it sounds like as I replaced the entire cable assembly): https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/sunroof-issue.801997/
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
No rips or tears in the gasket. About half the water I pour in leaks out. The pan seems level when the truck is level but my driveway is on a hill. I have not poured water onto the closed sunroof while the headliner is out so I can see how much water is getting through the gasket and into the tray. I will try that tomorrow.

I read your other posts prior to starting this thread. They were very helpful. Thanks.


...via IH8MUD app
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
661
Location
Albany, NY
Sure thing. If you have someone helping you with a garden hose that'd be the quickest and easiest way to see if you have a leak. That way they can hold the hose and blast water at various sections while you watch inside... I tried doing this alone and managed to get soaking wet and I couldn't really see anything because my arm wasn't long enough to hold the hose and look underneath... or you could just go to one of those touchless car washes.

When you pour the water into the lines can you see the water level go down? Does it go down slow and take awhile to drain or does it drain pretty much as soon as you pour water in. Remember, the seal itself shouldn't be leaking to the point where water would be pouring out of the drains but buildup can cause a backup. I remember before I fixed it, when I parked facing downhill and we got enough rain, or even melting snow, my driver's footwell would be kinda wet. When I pulled the tray off I literally blew into the lines after pouring water into them (gross, I know, but I felt some resistance and it finally blew out).

Anyway, keep us posted!

Rich
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
The lines seem to flow pretty quickly even before I took the headliner out. With the headliner out I can see the water flow straight down the tube at a reasonably quick rate. I understand that the gasket should not be leaking so bad that the lines are over burdened ,but I can't seem to come up with any other rational explanation. I will try the water test tomorrow and report back. Thanks again.


...via IH8MUD app
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
So today I got in the truck with the sunroof glass installed (and the sunroof closed) and had a friend pour water on the outside of the sunroof. Yes water does make its way into the truck. And yes, I have a couple of pinholes in the 15 year old original gasket, thus more water than desired drips into the drainage tray. I have ordered a new gasket and will install it.

I also noticed that some of the water that comes through the gasket remains adhered to the underside of the plastic trim, travels along towards the glass, and then drips into an area other than the drainage tray. This water falls into the area where the cable track is located and/or further inside of that. This area is NOT water tight by design. It is impossible for water in this area to drip into the drainage tray. This water simply drips onto the top of the headliner (if my headliner had been installed) and finds a place to go.

I also removed the sunroof glass and had a friend pour water into the drainage tray. The truck was parked on an upslope with the nose of the vehicle pointed uphill. When we poured water into the drainage tray, it went towards the back of the truck since I was parked facing uphill. The rear drainage tubes eventually could not handle the amount of water we were pouring into the drainage tray. The drainage tray then became full and overflowed towards the inside of the truck and into the area where the cable track is located and further inside of that. As noted above, this area is not water tight by design. This water then runs onto the headliner (if my headliner was installed) and finds a place to go. When the drainage tray is full, the water will not overflow the outside edge of the tray as the outside edge is higher than the inside edge. I should note that my drainage tubes are clear and plenty of water is making its way out of the vehicle and onto the ground as designed. We poured too much water into the drainage tray intentionally just to see what would happen. Since my driveway is on a slope, any water which leaks in is funneled to the lowest drains, so we were trying to replicate that scenario.

I have included a photo of the passenger side (right side) of the sunroof assembly/drainage tray. This pic is taken from the front of the truck looking towards the back. You can barely see the rear drain hole behind the piece of foam. You can clearly see the thin slot where the cable is located and the area inside of that, which as noted above, are not designed to hold water.

I have also included a section drawing showing the driver side (left side) sunroof assembly/drainage tray when viewed from the rear of the truck looking forward. This should help to explain some of my comments above.

I have also included a photo of the driver side (left side) sunroof assembly/drainage tray when viewed from the rear of the truck looking forward. This is similar to the section drawing noted above. You can clearly see the drain hose (clamped), the metal frame, and the round hole full of grease which is the cable track. Don't be fooled by the high black plastic end cap to which the drainage tube is attached...the high part is only on the very back of the drainage tray...the rest of the drainage tray looks like the section drawing (i.e. low). I have included a pic here which Landylover21 also attached above, as his pic shows the entire sunroof assembly out of the truck. On this pic, you can see the height of the drainage tray as explained above.

My issue: I'm parking on a hill forcing all of the water to go to either to the front or the rear of the drainage tray. Neither the front nor the rear is capable of handling the amount of water that is leaking through my gasket. Thus, this water is overflowing the drainage tray and into an area which is not designed to hold water. I am replacing the gasket and I hope this solves the problem.

Landylover21...thanks for your help. I hope this thread helps someone else.
Right Side Rear Sunroof Drain.JPG


Rear Drain.JPG
Section of Sunroof Drain.jpg
Sunroof Assembly.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
661
Location
Albany, NY
Glad to see you found what's going on, hopefully a new gasket will help seal better. It's definitely something you want to take care of soon as the water intrusion will cause your cables to rot and rust and eventually seize... I was lucky and my roof gave me some warning before it finally crapped out but from what I've read, some people haven't been so lucky and are stuck with their roofs open!

Does the leak originate from the side? Or is it coming from different areas? Does the glass sit level with the roof? I would pull all of the plastic trim pieces off and repeat just to be sure... better safe than sorry! I noticed that the water likes to leak into those trim pieces and then dump all over the driver or passenger even though the leak is not over them.

I noticed on my friend's 100 that it leaks from the rear center section but will seal fine when you physically push the glass up about 1mm at the rear. It's not the seal per se because he replaced it a month ago, but the height of the glass that is causing his main problem. I noticed that after I installed everything, the rear end of my glass would not sit level with the roof and inserted washers to act as spacers on the bolts and it pushed it back up.

In regards to the drain tubes, if you can, disconnect them, fill with water, and then blow as hard as you can into them, I felt a little resistance with one of mine and then a lot of debris came out the drain. The rears may be kinked or clogged somewhere seeing how they're routed through the roofline on either side and then down the C-pillar (if I recall correctly). You should be able to see them easily with all of the trim off.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
I should have the gasket tomorrow and will have it installed this week. I am terrible working with adhesives, I seem to end up with more of it on places it shouldn't go as opposed to places it should go. I also can't keep the truck in a garage as I wait for the gasket and adhesive to dry, so I am bringing it to someone who knows what they are doing and can work on it indoors.

My cables are already rusty and getting slow. I lube them frequently. I don't want to spend the money now to replace them. If they die I will deal with it then.

The water is primarily coming through the center rear of the gasket. There is a small hole there. However, it is also leaking near both front corners. My roof sits about 1 mm lower than the roof as well. I might try your washer trick to get it up a little.

Thanks.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
661
Location
Albany, NY
Let us know how it goes, hopefully that'll solve it for you. I mentioned in another post, if worst comes to worst and it still leaks and you don't use the sunroof or don't want to spend the money to fix it, seal it up with black liquid electrical tape. That trick worked for me for a winter and a summer before I finally fixed it. Good luck!
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
So I bit the bullet today and ordered new cables and the cable guide. Might as well do this when I do the seal. The cables are rusted and the roof is running very slow. Should have this finished by next week sometime. Will let you know how it works out.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
27
I decided not to replace the cables and cable guide. I sprayed the cables with WD-40 and kept running the roof in and out while cleaning the moving cables with a rag. After doing that a dozen times and then thoroughly greasing the cable and track the roof now seems to open and close well.

I did replace the gasket around the sunroof glass. I removed the old gasket, cleaned the edge, and glued the new gasket on. I then let the gasket sit for 48 hours before installing the roof and giving it a try. It is definitely water tight...almost too tight. Unfortunately, the gasket tries to work itself off of the sunroof edge every time I close the roof. I should have used more glue. I will remove it and do it again. The good news is...no water is leaking in. If you have the money to buy a new sunroof (less than $400), then I would do that instead of spending $50 on the gasket and trying to replace it like I did. The new sunroof comes with the gasket already installed. If I can't get the glue to work this time, I will just buy a new sunroof.

Lastly, I explored the windshield leak threads and found that I had the same problem that a lot of other people have encountered. When the windshield was replaced several years ago (I don't recall which company I used), they bent the left and right side mouldings and then only installed 2 out of 4 rivets on each side. Water was running into the un-used rivet holes in the A pillars and that water was ending up on my front carpets. I plan to order two new mouldings and have them riveted in correctly. In the meantime, I removed the thin inner mouldings which cover the rivets and caulked both the riveted and non-riveted holes to keep water out of the A pillars.

I water tested the roof and windshield with a garden hose using ALOT of water and I have no leaks. Thanks for your help.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2014
Messages
2
another trick you can do if you continue to have the same problem is to follow the drain hoses to their exit point of the vehicle. They will be connected to a 90 degree rubber elbow to the exit hole. Remove the elbow and stick the hose in the exit hole without the elbow. It is a factory flaw. Overtime particles will build up in the elbow. Removing it will allow sufficient flow to be restored.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
661
Location
Albany, NY
Glad to hear you got it mostly sorted out. I haven't been on lately so I've needed to catch up on some threads.

As for the sunroof itself, according to Onur (Beno) the sunroof and gasket are indeed two separate parts and will not come included as one piece (unlike the 80-Series); I was willing to pay for a new sunroof but after he told me I would still have to glue the new gasket onto the new glass I said screw it and reused my existing panel.

I'm surprised you didn't just redo the entire thing while you had everything outta there. If it's still a bit tight, I found that coaxing it with a hair dryer relaxed the rubber and let it seat better. The seal squeaks sometimes when it opens but other than that no problems. What sort of glue did you use? I used a trim adhesive from 3M (I have the part number somewhere), sort of a goopy consistency but it holds well and there have been no tears or leaks.
 

PabloCruise

 
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
18,347
Location
Northern Colorado
So today I got in the truck with the sunroof glass installed (and the sunroof closed) and had a friend pour water on the outside of the sunroof. Yes water does make its way into the truck. And yes, I have a couple of pinholes in the 15 year old original gasket, thus more water than desired drips into the drainage tray. I have ordered a new gasket and will install it.

I also noticed that some of the water that comes through the gasket remains adhered to the underside of the plastic trim, travels along towards the glass, and then drips into an area other than the drainage tray. This water falls into the area where the cable track is located and/or further inside of that. This area is NOT water tight by design. It is impossible for water in this area to drip into the drainage tray. This water simply drips onto the top of the headliner (if my headliner had been installed) and finds a place to go.

I also removed the sunroof glass and had a friend pour water into the drainage tray. The truck was parked on an upslope with the nose of the vehicle pointed uphill. When we poured water into the drainage tray, it went towards the back of the truck since I was parked facing uphill. The rear drainage tubes eventually could not handle the amount of water we were pouring into the drainage tray. The drainage tray then became full and overflowed towards the inside of the truck and into the area where the cable track is located and further inside of that. As noted above, this area is not water tight by design. This water then runs onto the headliner (if my headliner was installed) and finds a place to go. When the drainage tray is full, the water will not overflow the outside edge of the tray as the outside edge is higher than the inside edge. I should note that my drainage tubes are clear and plenty of water is making its way out of the vehicle and onto the ground as designed. We poured too much water into the drainage tray intentionally just to see what would happen. Since my driveway is on a slope, any water which leaks in is funneled to the lowest drains, so we were trying to replicate that scenario.

I have included a photo of the passenger side (right side) of the sunroof assembly/drainage tray. This pic is taken from the front of the truck looking towards the back. You can barely see the rear drain hole behind the piece of foam. You can clearly see the thin slot where the cable is located and the area inside of that, which as noted above, are not designed to hold water.

I have also included a section drawing showing the driver side (left side) sunroof assembly/drainage tray when viewed from the rear of the truck looking forward. This should help to explain some of my comments above.

I have also included a photo of the driver side (left side) sunroof assembly/drainage tray when viewed from the rear of the truck looking forward. This is similar to the section drawing noted above. You can clearly see the drain hose (clamped), the metal frame, and the round hole full of grease which is the cable track. Don't be fooled by the high black plastic end cap to which the drainage tube is attached...the high part is only on the very back of the drainage tray...the rest of the drainage tray looks like the section drawing (i.e. low). I have included a pic here which Landylover21 also attached above, as his pic shows the entire sunroof assembly out of the truck. On this pic, you can see the height of the drainage tray as explained above.

My issue: I'm parking on a hill forcing all of the water to go to either to the front or the rear of the drainage tray. Neither the front nor the rear is capable of handling the amount of water that is leaking through my gasket. Thus, this water is overflowing the drainage tray and into an area which is not designed to hold water. I am replacing the gasket and I hope this solves the problem.

Landylover21...thanks for your help. I hope this thread helps someone else.
View attachment 883784

View attachment 883780 View attachment 883782 View attachment 883783
Wow, these pictures and sketch are gold!
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
1,768
Location
Chico, CA
This is great info, going to use it as a reference for my fixing. Thanks to everyone who contributed here.
 
Top Bottom