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Sunroof wind leak. Fixed.

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Shortbus, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    OK... when I saw my first sunroof wind leak post, I figured that my usual rubber treatment trick would fix it. It DID make the doors seals completely air tight, but the sunroof felt seal is another problem all on it's own. Still leaked air. I've seen a couple posts on adjusting the height of the sunroof which I figured might help a little bit, but haven't tried that yet, as mine is pretty flush to the roof.

    The real problem with the sunroof leaking air, is that it was designed to leak water. Since it has to go both up (tilt) and down (open), there's really no way that you could make a perfect water tight seal out of it. As mentioned in previous posts, the felt part of the seal IS NOT sold seperately and IS part of the sunroof glass panel. Ie, permanently attached. One of Mr T's only design flaws on the Cruiser. :slap:

    Based on this, it's really just the wear on the felt that increases the gap, which causes more wind noise. Since I haven't figured out a good way to replace the seal yet, I decided that I'd decrease the size of the sunroof opening.

    I can't remember what youz guyz call it here, but I call it a "Backyard Billy" fix. What I did was this:

    - Open roof
    - Clean sunroof lip (on the roof skin) with wax and grease remover. Lacquer thinner
    would work as well.
    - Applied 1/4 inch pinstripe tape around the opening.
    - Put the tape on very close to the opening.
    - I made 5 passes across the back lip since that's where the majority of my wind
    noise was coming from.
    - Then made one last pass all the way around the opening, so that the tape would
    be "continuous".

    The sunroof is almost completely silent at freeway speeds now. The obvious question would be, "Does the tape stay there when you open/close the roof?" Answer... Well yeah, pretty much. It only peeled down just a bit at the rear corners. The rest of the tape seems happy to stay just where it is.

    Now that I know this approach will work, I'm off to try and find what I think will be the permanent fix. I really want to find some thin felt tape. I have some killer thick felt tape that Mercedes supplies their techs with for use in the shop. They primarily use it to get rid of squeeks/rubs etc... It would be perfect for this use as the tape is nuclear strength, but it's real thick. Too thick for this purpose. Once I find some super thin felt tape with VERY stong adhesive, I'll post it.

    So, if you want a temporary fix for your wind leak, get some lacquer thinner and a roll of 1/4 pinstripe tape. Try your best to keep the tape from going over the bottom edge of the rear corners, as that's where it's gonna want to peel off. Using a heat gun during application, might help the tape stretch to fit the curves there.

    If I can come up with a better permanent tape option, I'll let you guys know.
     
  2. hpantier

    hpantier

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    Re:Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    what if i may ask is your "usual rubber treatment trick"?
     
  3. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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  4. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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  5. Eduardo96FZJ80

    Eduardo96FZJ80

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    Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    Kinda on the same subject, I was reading the other posts, and I saw Tyler's post about the "sunroof alarm"
    Does anyone know were the switch to the alarm might be??
    I too like Tyler get no "alarm" when I exit the vechicle and leave the sunroof open ???
     
  6. xl715

    xl715

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    Re:Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    Hey Brad, did that water leak go away, or are you still afraid to go through the car wash with it? I have some thinner felt at work that maybe just what you are talking about, we also have the thick stuff, but I not sure if the thinner felt is on a roll like thicker felt is, I'll check it out and let you know. Either way I belive that 3m is who manufactures them both, might be worth a trip to thier web site for a search, I'll take a look really quick.
     
  7. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    Re:Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    [quote author=xl715 link=board=2;threadid=11252;start=msg102149#msg102149 date=1076371046]
    Hey Brad, did that water leak go away, or are you still afraid to go through the car wash with it? I have some thinner felt at work that maybe just what you are talking about, we also have the thick stuff, but I not sure if the thinner felt is on a roll like thicker felt is, I'll check it out and let you know. Either way I belive that 3m is who manufactures them both, might be worth a trip to thier web site for a search, I'll take a look really quick.
    [/quote]

    Hey Anthony,

    Water leak appears to have been a 1 time deal. I think it's all about the pressure at the carwash. Normal heavy rain doesn't effect it all all. The 2 front drains are clear, the RR seems to be clear, and the LR, I just can't tell. But in the rain... not leaks.

    I'd be curious to see the thin felt stuff you guys have. I'd really like to find something with adhesive similar to the Mercedes stuff. It's amazing, but damn near permanent. I've been stripping/painting the interior of a buddies racecar the last couple monthes, and he's got some of it on the firewall, and between body/rollcage where wiring runs. It's pretty much impossible to remove. So, I don't wanna try that stuff unless I'm 100 percent sure that it'll fit.

    So, finding some thinner stuff would be great. If I could rely on the pinstripe tape to stay in there, I'd be set. It's real quiet now. The last wind leak that I have is around that crappy windshield seal. That suckers gonna float when I'm done with it. ;)
     
  8. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    Re:Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    Good Idea :)

    for a more permanent fix If you have the skills you could build up the seal seat area in the roof jam with RTV, layout tape above and below and spread a thin layer of RTV in between smooth it flush with the top of the tape, for thicker layer you can build up layers of tape of like pouring a concrete foundation the final slab is the height of the formers, the RTV is something soft for the felt to seal to, if you are really brave you could lightly scuff the area where the rtv is going to go with fine sand paper or steel wool to give it more bite just don't cut through the paint or scuff areas that will not be sealed by the RTV

    on a black truck you could use black RTV and if a little bit of it is still visible from the outside it will not show, not sure what to do about other colors as they would much harder to match
     
  9. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    Re:Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    [quote author=raventai link=board=2;threadid=11252;start=msg102177#msg102177 date=1076374041]
    thin layer of RTV in between smooth it flush with the top of the tape...
    [/quote]

    Very interesting... May have to give that a try. I just got off the phone with Western Sunroof in Portland, and they're gonna take a look at it tomorrow. I'll have to take the tape off before I get there so I don't look too much like "Billy". He said that even the smallest adjustment can make a difference in wind noise, so we'll see if it can be adjusted out.

    Thanks for the idea.
     
  10. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser SILVER Star

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    Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    I was wondering if instead of felt tape, a strip of 3/4 wide but 1/16 thin suede would work? With this you could just evenly spread contact cement on one side and then treat the suede from time to time with mink oil or something? The texture of the suede would make the contact cement on the one side work well and on the other side the texture would make for a good water and air tight surface that wont squeek and that wont retain water as much as felt does. The other thing about felt is that it will weep water; in other words if one edge of it is less squeezed than the other it will weep water in through the tight spot, suede wont do that. I think this would be the best all around alternative since the mercedes stuff is so hard to remove and since the suede would last longer than felt. Just a thought, hope that helps.
     
  11. Junk

    Junk

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    Re:Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    Shortbus ([​IMG]), were you the one that had all those corrosion issues in the drivers side kick panel wiring?
     
  12. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    [quote author=turbocruiser link=board=2;threadid=11252;start=msg102251#msg102251 date=1076379628]
    ..a strip of 3/4 wide but 1/16 thin suede...
    [/quote]

    Another interesting Idea. It is definitely too bad that the Merc felt is so damn thick and nuclear. That might be a thought.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    Re:Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    [quote author=Junk link=board=2;threadid=11252;start=msg102569#msg102569 date=1076433367]
    Shortbus ([​IMG]), were you the one that had all those corrosion issues in the drivers side kick panel wiring?

    [/quote]

    Hey Junk...

    No that was Tenncrusher, I believe. And I think that DoctorJ had a similar problem.

    I took mine to a sunroof shop this morning and had the pro's look at it. He said they'd dealt with dozens of problems with Cruiser sunroof leaks. I told him about my "flood" that I had in the carwash. Agreed that it was just a high pressure overload, which probably lifted the roof up enough to blow by the seal. (Not blow the seal ;) ) Tested all 4 drains, working nice. Everything seemed to be in good order.

    I did tell him that when I had the drivers side kick panel off below the A-pillar that I'd seen a little bit of surface rust on one of the brackets that holds the dash board in. He said that it's VERY common to have water leak under the tray and down the A-pillar. He's seen that several times, with plenty of water in the carpets. He said that almost every time it's that small rectangle shaped notch toward the front of the runners. Evidently, there is only a small piece of foam tape that keeps the water from seeping underneath the tray. Over time, the foam degrades, and the water flows thru the hole. He said that because of the nicely made headliners in Cruisers, that sometimes the water will not even get thru the headliner material (as it's plastic backed). So the water will sometimes find it's way down the A-Pillar undetected. That is until you have a swimming pool under your feet.

    He's fixed quite a few of them, and says it's about a 2 hour job. They take the panel out, and the tray/runners. Then apply a thick bead of silicone under the tray assembly before reassembling. He said he's never had one come back. I'm not too comfortable tearing my sunroof apart, as the parts to fix it are damn expensive it you F it up. So, I'm gonna have him do that to it soon, when I can give the rig up for a few hours.

    He said that as far as wind leaks go, they can usually get most or all of it out by adjusting the height of the roof panel. He mentioned that Toyota usually designs their panels to be flush/flat with the roof front and back. He prefers for the panel to sit just barely below the roof skin at the front, and just above at the rear. This way, the wind passes by both edges without hitting them. Makes sense, I'll have to see if it worked after I hit the freeway tonight.

    BTW.... NICE BUS! I'll have to slap that into my avatar rotation. :flipoff2: Now that I've had to retire my bouncing boobies. :-\
     
  14. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    Sunroof wind leak. I think I'm onto a fix. (Long "winded" post)

    FWIW...

    Yesterday I had the sunroof panel re-adjusted with shims. Now the front of the panel sits just barely below the roof skin, and the rear sit's just above. Wind noise is 99 percent gone.

    Left just a bit of my Backyard Billy 1/4 inch tape on the front edge of the opening. The sheetmetal at the front of the opening is wide and flat, so the tape holds there with no problem. Plus the roof panel isn't going up/down all the time, trying to remove the tape. Looks like this is a permanent fix. If you've got windnoise, give this a try. Worked out good.
     
  15. tenncrusher

    tenncrusher

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    No rust or corrosion in my ride, just had crimped drain hose behind the kick panel. However, I do recall someone describing corrosion problems because I recall thinking that it sounded like a nightmare problem.
     
  16. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    That was Hugh,

    He had a bit of a camp fire too :eek:
     
  17. Junk

    Junk

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    Thanks Shortbus and yes, LOL, I snagged that wheelie-ing bus just for you. Soon as I saw it, knew you needed it.

    Cdan - yeah, I remember that led to a flame up, that's why I was wondering. Thanks.
     
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