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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Well I have figured out that my passenger side sunroof drain tube is really clogged. Water comes in every time it rains, and its getting worse. I have taken weed eater trimming wire and tried to fish it through the tube to see if that would nock things lose and clear the tube, but the wire only goes so far and will not go anymore. I then tried 12gauge single strand wire and fished it to the same point and could not get it to go further as well. Tried to blow air through it and very little comes through. So i know something is in it that wont come out. My local shop ( not the dealer ) said they have seen this before and that I would need to remove the tubes and clean them out once they are removed. I thought if I go through all the trouble to remove them why not just put new tubes in. But - I have online haynes manual and alldata online manual for my van and neither really go into great detail on how to remove and replace the tubes. Alldata did say that the tube runs through the A-Pillar and that the A-Pillar has noise reducing foam and the tube is sealed in the foam - so I'm not sure that if i get the trim and all off that I wont run into issues with the tube being "sealed" into the foam. ANyone able to provide step by step ? ANy help and insight on this would be much appreciated. I just need to get the tube cleared so I can get back to a dry interior and not have the middle display get rained out and lose my map light bulbs to wetness every time it rains. Plus it will make my wife very happy to have her van back in good shape. Please let me know
 

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I have done BMW and Mercedes tubes and it is a PITA. I do not think I would go so far as to pull the tubes out.

I have a suggestion which may help. I used a fiberglass wire puller to clean my rocker panels.
It may also work in your situation. Basically they are long, thin fiberglass rods that screw together.
They are pretty flexible and may help clean out the tubes better than the wire.

I know harbor freight sells them. I will also look and see what the factory service manual says.

Also, have you tried "fish tape"? It usually has a hook on the end but you can cut it off.
Your local hardware store should have it. It is a thin flat steel that is on a roll, usually used for snaking out drains.
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=wire+puller
 

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Nothing in the service manual but I have a diagram of the parts that I could email you. Is it possible to find where the ends where they drain, and run some compressed air through the lines? It also looks like some of the tubes are somewhat accessible by removing some trim. One suggestion that I thought was brilliant was using an old speedometer cable since it is thin and very flexible. Are the tubes the front or rear ones?
 

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It's one pita of a job, have you tried vacuum / back flushing?
Problem is, insects like to build nests in those drain tubes (esp. during long periods of dry weather..)

FSM said:
DRAIN TUBE
REMOVAL
FRONT HOSES
NOTE: Front A-pillars are filled with sound deaden-
ing foam and the front drain tubes are sealed into
the pillars.
(1) Move glass panel to the fully closed position.
(2) Disconnect negative battery cable.
(3) Remove headliner (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTE-
RIOR/HEADLINER - REMOVAL).
(4) Disconnect the drain hose from the sunroof
housing (Fig. 1).
(5) Drain any liquid from hose connection, repair
as necessary.
REAR HOUSING HOSE
(1) Move glass panel to the fully closed position.
(2) Disconnect negative battery cable.
(3) Remove headliner (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTE-
RIOR/HEADLINER - REMOVAL).
(4) Remove third seat or seats from vehicle.
(5) Remove second seat belt lower anchor.
(6) Remove third seat lower anchor.
(7) Remove quarter trim bolster.
(8) Remove trim panel screws.
(9) Remove quarter trim panel
(10) Disconnect the drain hose from the sunroof
housing. (Fig. 1).
(11) Drain any liquid from hose connection, if nec-
essary, and remove tube.
INSTALLATION
FRONT HOSES
(1) Connect the new drain hose to the sunroof
housing and test drainage (Fig. 1).
(2) Install headliner (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTERI-
OR/HEADLINER - INSTALLATION).
(3) Install sunroof opening trim lace.
(4) Connect the control switch wire connector and
install control switch.
(5) Verify sunroof operation and alignment.
REAR HOUSING HOSE
(1) Connect the new drain hose to the sunroof
housing and test drainage (Fig. 1).
(2) Install headliner(Refer to 23 - BODY/INTERI-
OR/HEADLINER - INSTALLATION).
(3) Install sunroof opening trim lace.
(4) Connect the control switch wire connector and
install control switch.
(5) Verify sunroof operation and alignment.
 

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This is a reason why I don't like sunroofs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I had tried running air. But it won't clear the tubes out. I got some speedometer cable and that seemed like it would work but it still won't push through whatever is clogging the tubes. @Blknblu -- I'd love the diagram. Can you PM it to me?
 

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Heck I'd like a diagram as well. Or a pic once the OP dived in (a write up would be nice too).
 

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Have you tried blowing air from the bottom?

put a couple drops of cooking oil in the top that may help move it if blowing from the

bottom...as wrong as that sounds!
 

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Can you see the drain tubes from the bottom or the top? I'm not with the van now.
 

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You should try both the oil on top and weed eater trimming wire from the bottom method.

Try pouring water through the top to see if any water is being drained. If it does drain at least little bit, you should try the suggestion. If it is completely clogged, you may have to pull out the tube either to replace or to clean.

I could not tell you if the tubes are sealed in some sore of foam. Why don't you ask the dealership, I am sure they've ran into the problem before.
 

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I had the exact same problem as you...a front drain tube that was "clogged" and not draining. Every big rain would puddle water in the glove box and floor board.

I did some digging, went to the dealership parts department, and printed an exploded diagram of the drain tube where it travels through the A pillar. Next, I removed the A-pillar interior plastic trim and grab handle (quite easy, 5 minutes at most). Luckily, my 2006 Sig Touring didn't have any foam concealing the drain tube.

But, I didn't find a clog. Instead, I found a kink in the tubing. Apparently, the tubing had been pulled too tight during manufacturing 7 years prior and was mostly collapsed at one section.

Basically, the tubing passes through an oval grommet when it enters the A pillar before making a sharp 90 degree turn before heading towards the wheel well. You might check to see if this is your problem. Unfortunately, I couldn't simply pull some more slack in the tubing, since that would have pulled the drain end free from the wheel well. What I did instead was feed some 1/4" poly tubing down the drain just past the turn where it was kinked. I just used some cheap ice maker tubing.

Has worked for several months thus far...including car washes...and NO MORE PUDDLES!!!
 

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Where is the drain tube outlet?

I know this is an old thread, but I hope some of you are still watching it. I'm desparately trying to figure out where the front passenger-side sunroof drain hole exits the vehicle, so I can attack the stoppage from that end (working from up top didn't do the trick. But I can't find the info anywhere. I don't see a drain tube outlet in the door jam, nor under the car. Where is it?! Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@dannyrg : This is what was happening in my van. A kink in the tube where the tube transitions from the A pillar area to below the dash area. There was a big piece of foam there ( helping guide the tube ) and it was pinching the tube. Glad you figured it out as well. I like the idea of the tubing you did. Thank you that sounds like a great work around. I'll try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know this is an old thread, but I hope some of you are still watching it. I'm desparately trying to figure out where the front passenger-side sunroof drain hole exits the vehicle, so I can attack the stoppage from that end (working from up top didn't do the trick. But I can't find the info anywhere. I don't see a drain tube outlet in the door jam, nor under the car. Where is it?! Thanks for your help.

It exits in the wheel well area. If you are facing the passenger side wheel. The area on the left side of the wheel between the main body of the van and the wheel. Reach your hand in along the body side up against the body of the van and feel for it. It's in and up. It's almost awkward how far in and up against the body it is. But it's a little hard rubber tube maybe one inch sticking out from the body of the van there. That's the exit for the drain tube. Same location on the driver side as well. Hope this helps.
 

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In my 2004, I found it drains behind the fender sheet metal aft of the wheel well. It does not go all the way down and you would not be able to see the end without removing the fender or maybe the wheel well liner.

Mine was also clogged (spruce needles mostly). I got it freed from up top by dropping the headliner, pulling the tubes out from the sunroof and applying compressed air from my compressor. Followed by water from the hose (adapter to go from garden hose to the tubing). A very YMMV repair depending on what has clogged it.

...karl
 
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