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Old 03-09-2009, 10:33 PM   #1
Gumart1
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Default Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

Can you believe it? Saturn of Libertyville, Illinois' Service Manager told me to silicone around my sunroof to stop the water that was soaking my carpets. I used clear silicone and it looks ridiculous and didn't help a bit. How could he not know about the drain lines? I found a basic tutorial on a newer Ion but I can't seem to figure out how to clear them on my 93SC2. Or is it possible to seal the sunroof because we never use it. Unfortunately the entire headliner is done now but the insulation is intact. I'd appreciate any guidance.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

u only have one viable solution and that is to remove the headliner & trim and clear or replace the drain lines. the line or line could be plugged with debris or kinked. have a friend with an sl2 that had this done twice under warranty.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

I had the same problem on my 98 SC, here's what I did to repair the situation.

You will need:
A funnel
Air compressor
Water

1. Remove headliner.
2. Disconnect the drain lines from the sunroof panel.
(this is where things get tricky)
3. Fill drain line with water
4. Quickly blow water out of the line with the air compressor.
5. Repeate 1-4 until the water drains on its own.

The issue most people get is a small amount of debris at the end of the hose. It's not enough to completely block the hose, but it signifigantly slows the flow of water, allowing the sunroof tray to spill over and drain water into the headliner.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

The silicone is for the RAIN rails along the side of the SLs that also apparently leak and cause the "soggy carpet syndrome". I am kind suprised it didn't also work for the sunroof too though. Glad you figured out the real problem. Here's hoping the "Sunshine Tax" that I pay to live in SoCal saves my fanny from having to deal with this.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

Thanks for the tips. RAIN RAILS? This is the first I've heard of these, but it sounds like THIS is the problem I'm having. Getting just a drop or two at the sunroof but the rear carpets are soaked with 1"+ after a good rain, more on the passenger side than anywhere else. Is this from the rain rail? How do I fix this? Also have a bit coming down along the driver's side where the roof meets the door that is soaking the driver's seat. Is this related to the drain lines or a totally different leak?
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

It sounds like the drain lines for the sunroof are leaking to me. When mine got clogged, I had water leaking out around the grab handle on the roof on the passenger side, and water leaking down through the body into the trunk. The thing is, the sunroof isn't actually watertight on a SC body, it has the catch tray around the bottom and the drain lines specifically for this reason.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

found answers on other thread.

Last edited by t.hoek; 03-11-2009 at 08:48 PM. Reason: found answers on other thread.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

Recently did this on my recent save...


with the sunroof open to access the drain holes at the corners of the trays......I added a little water to increase line pressure and used my air compressoer with a piece of vacuum line taped to the end of the air nozzle to force the air/water mixture under pressure through the drain lines.

As soon as I applied air pressure...I heard a little pop as they cleared the offending debris from the outlet.

worked on all four corners.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

I realize these post are sorta dated but I have a 1998 Saturn SL2 that my husband siliconed the sunroof (now I have to undo this to clear drains). It stop some of the water but I still have puddling on the front floors (mostly passenger side). I read another post that said that the drains located under the cowling by the wiper blades may be clogged as well. Is there any other draining I should be clearing and/or will siliconing the edging above the door as a precaution be okay.(there is no leaking from there as of yet).This car has been severly neglected and I am not exactly refurbishing it but it is so good on gas I would like to try and keep it in decent condition.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

I just had the same thing happen for the first time ( owned the car for 2 weeks ) and I am frigging pissed.

The headliner in the RIGHT corner and the right holy crap handle is soaked and leaking water. The carpet on the passenger front side is completely soaked also, along with part of the sunroof headliner. It seems the sunroof does not seal that well. I searched and read over some threads about trying this and that, but taking the headliner off seems like a hard job, am I right?

My friend has an air compressor, where would I blow this air into?
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

I just bought a 94 SC2 that had the roof covered in silicone (apparently must have leaked like a sieve because there was a ton of silicone)

EDIT: My headliner is destroyed also, not the fiberglass part but the fabric

Here is what I did to clear the drains. I used a bottle of water to check the drain operation (how fast the water would drain) Initially I just tried to jam the air compressor blow gun into the drain ports but I couldn't fit it in the drains perfectly and a lot of air just leaked past.

The I got the bright idea to use a "bendy" or flexible straw which fit in the drain ports then stuck the blow gun to the end of the straw and unleashed about 90PSI of air down the lines. The bendy straw really helps on the back drains because they were really hard to reach without taking the glass off.
My sunroof frame is rusty and my drains were clogged with rust, when I blew out the back pass. drain there was a delay and then I heard chunks of rust smack the inside of the rear 1/4 panel

Try that first and if that doesn't work you can always take of the 1/4 panels and clean out the drain ends that way.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

the best way to do it is to clean out the drain ends at the bottom of the car.

the front 2 can be reached by pulling off the front kick panel from the inside (1 is below the hood release, similar on other side) and pulling out the insulating foam from the large hole in the frame.

the two on the rear can be accessed by pulling off the outside rear quarter panels (you may be able to bend them back just enough without removing totally.)

what i did was snip off the ends of the hose so that there is no more taper for the junk to get caught in. wish i had pics, but you'll know what I'm talking about once everything is apart.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by geartooth94 View Post
what i did was snip off the ends of the hose so that there is no more taper for the junk to get caught in. wish i had pics, but you'll know what I'm talking about once everything is apart.
While that probably works great, there is always a chance some nasty critter (spiders, etc.) will climb in there and clog it again, that is why those ends were on the hose in the first place. Do this at your own risk
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

On my 96 SL2 I wound up taking a length the Weedeater 0.125 line and slowly twisted and pushed it down till it spun freely, (Roto Rooter it) then pulled it out and gently applied 10 to 15 lbs pressure blew it out (when clear you can hear the hissing, if no hissing stop and re roote and blow again) then filled a 500cc Hypo with water and pressed it through.

The problem with blowing the line out with high pressure is if the blockage doesn't give it will cause the line to come loose at the drain hole connection then you have a problem.

As far a sealing the sunroof when not in use I have found that wiping Vasaline on the gasket works very well and is easy to clean off excess.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

I have 1997 SL2 that leaks badly through the headliner onto the front floor (sometimes front seat) it's definitely the sunroof. Last week I accessed the front drain lines and cleaned out the SLUDGE that had accumulated there in those gasket/plugs with slits for drainage, and tested out the sunroof tray with a water bottle - water poured out behind the tires just fine. Then when it downpoured yesterday, the drip under the dash on both sides was still there, and leaked more once I moved the car.

I'm thinking I need to put a little more work into this and access the rear drains, even though these seem to leak out just fine (by rear wheels) when I pour water in, nervous about removing the fenders...

I actually have the car up for sale, funny I never tried to do anything about the roof other than keep the car in the garage on rainy days. Any advice from people who cleaned the drains and still find the leak is welcome.

P.S. For those of those hearing a 'pop' with the air compressors, I think this might just be the plugs popping off - you should probably remove & clean the drain-caps before pushing air through the tubes, just a thought...
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:26 PM   #16
beermonkey
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

any pics of this event in action would be nice. my neighbor is selling me his 2gen sl2 for a hundo and hes got that problem on it too. i wanna buy it of him and fix it up and sell it. its only got 50k on it and needs a tire and front breaks. so if anyone decides to fix theres could ya snap some pics pls...?
...
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Clogged Sunroof Drain Lines

When you have sunroof leaks, don't forget to check the frame to glass seal. I had one on another car that would leave a few drops on the seats. Check that the tubes were clear. Then finally noticed that it was coming from the glass/frame joint. A little sealant on the outside and it was dry.
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