Jump to content

How Big a Job Fixing Sunroof Drain Tubes?


ol' yeller

Recommended Posts

I did a search and found several references but no real info on what it takes to repair/replace these. I had to leave my sunroof Reatta in outside storage during our recent snow event. When I picked it up the roof/headliner was very damp. I am intending to fix it this weekend but any help or pointers would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am unsure if the FSM will help, but take a look see in the sun roof section to see if it entails how many drains there are...could only be 2, but more than likely 4. You may have two that could possibly exit or be accessable through the rear door jams (may be accessed through a plastic vent in the jam in some cases or at the floor pan near the rear door jam), and/or two running down/out in the trunk and exiting out to the ground near the rear bumper. Need to use compressed air, or an a/c drain CO2 clearing device to clean the vents. The little tree "hellicopters" (among other "nature" things), and pollen are famous for clogging the vents...good luck smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the headliner will need to be removed to do the job properly.

1) remove the body fuse (cavity #2) from the fuse box on the left side of the console, behind the carpeted door.

2) remove sun visors (3 phillips screws each), and unplug wire.

3) remove sun visor clips.

4) remove shoulder belt bezel and coat hook from both left and right C-pillars. pull C-pillar trim back on both sides.

5) remove molding from around sunroof perimeter.

6) remove lens from dome lamp. remove bulb.

7) using thin flat blade screwdriver, pull down on the two lock washers that attach dome lamp to headliner. Hint: put a piece of tape on the bottom of each stud. once the washers are loose, they tend to fly into an inaccesible place in the car. the tape will hold them until you can grab them.

8) starting near the rear window, carefully reach up between the headliner and the roof. there are six velcro strips that secure the headliner to the roof. two in back, one above each door, and two in the front. slowly remove them, and slide the headliner back, and out the door.

THERE IS NO REASON TO REMOVE THE A-PILLARS. if you attempt to, they will many times break.

9) you will see four drain tubes, one in each corner; remove the clamp attaching each one, and blow them out with compressed air. the front tubes exit behind the front wheels; the rear ones, in front of the rear wheels.

10) check in the pan area around the drain tubes for any corrosion or rust thru. if any corrosion is evident, the sunroof assembly should be replaced.

if your sunroof is still operational, this is a great time to grease the cables. the cables run in the slot in the chrome tracks on either side. white lithium grease works well. run the roof thru a few cycles to distribute grease.

this is also a great time to replace the headliner if yours is bad.

Mike

buickreattaparts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest steveskyhawk

Convertible owners should blow out the drain tubes under the tonneau cover in a similar fashion as Mike describes above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, I do have an FSM and I did plan to read up prior to taking it apart but advice from someone who has been there is invaluable. My sunroof coupe spent the last 8 years of its life not moving, unregistered, in a climate controlled garage so I am hoping I don't have to deal with rust. My headliner on the sunroof is droopy and I will be looking into replacing it as well as having the rest of the headliner redone. The last owner was a smoker and it smells. My sunroof goes back and forth fine but when you first depress the switch to open it, it won't pop up. If you hit the switch and apply a little pressure at the rear of the panel, it will then pop up and retract as it should. I will lubricate the cables but what else should I look at to make it work properly? Thanks in advance, you guys are the greatest!

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine has always required a little finger pressure to open the first bit, I *think* is is from an extra plush headliner replacement. When I replaced the cable I appenpted to tighten the clutch but did not succeed. So a finger push is always needed at first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greg,

getting your sunroof to pop up correctly is a very easy fix.

after your headliner is off, you will see four nuts in each corner of the sunroof. these are the sunroof adjustment nuts. they are easily distinguished by the rather odd-looking silver washers behind them. I would concentrate on the rear ones for the adjustment. try loosening them both slightly, and them see if the roof will open correctly. you will get it working perfectly thru trial and error with the adjustment nuts.

if you're going to have your headliner recovered, it is also a good idea to have the inner sunroof panel recovered to match.

to remove the inner panel, move the sunroof to the vent position. from the outslde, starting in the front, gently pull down on the inner panel from the sunroof panel. there are eight plugs that hold the inner panel to the sunroof. the plugs look like Parcheesi game pieces.

if you're feeling really frisky at this point, get back in the car, and remove the six 10MM nuts that attach the sunroof outer panel to the sunroof assembly. with this off, you now have complete access to all the mechanism on the outside. you can use a shop vac to remove all the debris that will be in the rear section (this part is never fully exposed, due to the fact the roof does not open fully, by design), helping to avoid plugged drains again. be sure to also fully lubricate the tracks, hinges, pop-up mechanism, and air deflector assembly.

your sunroof will now be working like new.

Mike

buickreattaparts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike,

I really appreciate your advice. I will be doing this tomorrow. I will have to see if my upholsterer can get my headliner into rotation as she is usually busy. It appears from your excellent directions that I can get to the drain tubes to clean or replace, clean out the entire opening, adjust the mechanism, and then lube everything and then leave the headliner off until she can recover it. I expect I could probably recover it myself but she has much better access to upholstery sources and she doesn't usually charge a lot.

I'm glad to find that my problem is just an adjustment. From previous posts, I think I understand that my wet headliner is probably caused from plugged drain tubes, not a bad seal. Thanks, I hope someday I can return the favor.

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buick Day is over. My tools are put away. I want to sincerely thank everyone who gave me advice on this repair. It really wasn't very difficult, I spent more time cleaning up the workbench and clearing a space in the garage to work. I found one tube pinched off and blocked at the rear of the sunroof, actually diagonally opposite where the headliner was wet! The advice Mike gave on adjusting my sunroof was perfect. When I read the FSM this morning it mentioned something about a "Vent" position. My "Vent" position never worked because the roof wouldn't pop up. After properly adjusting the nuts, mine also now has a "Vent" position too as well as operating correctly from the switch. I washed the car and very liberally sprayed water all around the sunroof and found no leakage at all.

My headliner is out and I will be sending it to my upholsterer in a week or so. What amazed me was how clean and rustfree everything was. The sunroof mechanism looks like it was installed in the car yesterday. I will be taking the next step and disaasembling it enough to relube everything before I put the headliner back. Thanks again everyone for the good help.

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...