View Full Version : Roof/Sunroof leak. Drain tubes ???

09-30-08, 09:34 AM
I need help people, as some of you know, I live in South Florida, and the summer months (wich doesnt change here till like November) it not only is very hot, but it rains like in the Amazon, I mean Tropical downpours wich can flood roads inside of 15 minutes.....My point being, I have sunroof wich was leaking, I did blow out the drain holes etc, etc. The drain holes are functioning well, they are free and clear. But The other day we had one of those downpours and when I cam back to my car it was soaked inside......I think the sunroof seel is so bad, that during heavy rain fall, the drain holes (even when functioning properly) cant handle the load., and it comes in from the pillars, the rear handles, and even drips down the front window from the headliner.....Overflow I guess...Im ruining my enterior, any suggestions on how to re-weatherstrip my sunroof? Or any other input at all would be greatly appreciated.....Thankyou in Advance.....

09-30-08, 10:19 AM
While most don't recommend blowing out the drain lines for fear of disconnecting them, others have recommended weed wacker line to clear the drain lines. I tried that and it just didn't work...not strong enough. I used picture frame hanging wire and purple power with water to clean mine. Hopefully yours are still intact.

09-30-08, 11:57 AM
I run water through them and see it draining below as it should. Its not the drains (theyr good) its the sunroof weather strip. It allows too much water through and the drains cant drain the water fast enough......

09-30-08, 12:40 PM
You might try posting your problem in a car forum rather than an engine forum.

09-30-08, 04:59 PM
Its Northstar...AND technical discussion..:bulb:

09-30-08, 07:42 PM
.............and the headline fine print says: "Performance discussions relating to the Northstar System (intake, exhaust, cam, etc.)."

So, technically, you're in the wrong forum......and this thread goes in Seville, Deville, the Technical section, but not here..........:thepan:

09-30-08, 09:14 PM
As far as I know you don't work on a Northstar engine through the sunroof.

10-01-08, 06:05 AM
moved where it belongs

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10-01-08, 08:20 AM
ok guys, I get it....

What happens if the drain tubes come off........It should flow the water out through that galley anyway correct?
Or could that be why Im getting wet pillars and water over flowing from the head liner....

10-01-08, 10:00 AM
OK, Now we're on the right track in the correct forum........

Yes, when one or more drain tubes come off the nipples the water drains down onto the headliner and then finds its way through the low points to wherever it drips and soaks stuff, whether down the A-pillars or across the rear and down the interior sides and sail trim. The hoses are originally secured with wire ties but they eventually lose their grip, so now it's time to lower the headliner and fix the tubes.

BUT, the drain tubes can only handle so much, as in: drips. If the glass gasket is shot, nothing will drain off that amount of water in a t-storm and the tray will overflow, creating much the same problem as plugged tubes.

I sure hope you have a factory (Helm) service manual.

10-01-08, 12:59 PM
it does sound like one became disconnected from the pan or somewhere along the pillar, it happened to me a real pita

10-03-08, 09:05 AM
Thanks SUB. Im not affraid to remove the headliner, but I think the sunroof seal is shot....remember, South Florida, 100 degree weather, lots of sun, humidity, rain......car has been here since its conception(2001)...so if I do all the work , it might not make a difference unless I fix the sunroof seal......I have to figure out witch one to tackle first....Thanks for all your input......

10-03-08, 09:15 AM
Something else......there was a post about this a short while ago......down under and inside the front fender area, where the front drain tubes exit, the poster said there were some sort of flapper valves on the ends of the drains, and these had curled and sealed shut. I went under and looked at mine.....no flappers, just open tubes. But it's a thought. The valves would probably be used to keep the tubes from gurgling when the ventilation system is on.....

A good aftermarket sunroof shop could easily replace the gasket/weatherstrip......it's a special bead with a seal ridge molded in.

11-12-13, 01:52 PM
Thought I could add this here just in case anybody else looks this up and needs advice. Sorry if anybody gets annoyed about necromancing an old post but I hadn't seen this method adapted with the drill before and it seems like a good idea, especially as it made it way easier (I couldn't do this by hand).

You can use weed whacker line with warm soapy water to clean out the drain tubes. I pushed it down until I met a blockage then I clamped the line in to the chuck of my drill and slowly spun the line whilst pushing in and out to clear the blockage. I did this faster and faster until it was completely clear. You will need to use a stiff straw on the weed whacker line (run it inside the straw) to prevent it twisting whist you spin it and push it into the drain tube. The tube can now drain a liter in a couple of seconds, it was overflowing into my headliner with just rain :( ... Be careful as those tubes are made of rubber ... but this definitely worked for me ... good luck!

11-12-13, 02:29 PM
Good post - I'll move the thread to Cadillac Tech Tips.

11-12-13, 02:45 PM
Thanks :)

03-27-14, 10:30 AM
I've had the same problem, and after hours of troubleshooting i found that the sunroof tray leaks at several seams along the sunroof tray. Just aft of the forward drain tubes theres a bracket that attaches to the tray. When the drain tube can't handle the amount of leakage, water leaks through these seams, in fact in pours out. my car is in the shop to see if these seams can be sealed but to get at them the head liner has to be partially removed. $$$$$ $$$$. I'll never have another car with a sun roof. Hope this helps you.. The same condition is at the rear drains, but i was able to seal the seams my self.. it's a pain for sure.. hope you get your leaks fixed.

10-06-15, 06:15 PM
Great forum guys, got simple question on this subject. Anyone know on my 2001 DeVille DHS, where are the bottom end of the drain tubes located? I've tried fishing some weed eater line down and both sides seem to stop right about at the bottom of the windshield, so I'm guessing the tube are disconnected. I want to try fishing from the bottom up if possible to see they are disconnect or not...

Looks like I may also need to replace the seal on glass as well, it's looking a little dry rotted.

10-07-15, 08:24 AM
The front drain tubes run across the headliner and down the A-pillars, exiting down just inside the lower part of the plastic fenderwell liners. The rears run across and down the sail pillars, into the trunk at the wheelwell tops and down and out.

The lower ends are fitted with razzmatazz flapper valves - they fill with dust mud and stick shut. Cut them off.

PARGO, huh ? 1958 > HARDHEAD, PIPER, SKIPJACK, NATHANAEL GREENE, COMSUBFLOT 8 Naples, shore duty, SAM HOUSTON (COB)(o'haul), JAMES K POLK(COB)(5 years), CM/C, USNA. Retired in '82.

If your post doesn't get much atterntion in this dead thread I'll move it up to its own thread in Deville.

10-07-15, 09:17 AM
Front drain tubes #14
Rear rain tubes #18


10-10-15, 03:51 PM
Thanks guys! I got 3 of the 4 tubes cleared, and found why the floor under the battery pan rusted thorough... the right rear tube was disconnected at the bottom end from the rubber seal/pass through... it's a real tight stretch to get it connected, so I'm looking at possibly replacing the whole line. The problem drain is the left front, I snaked it using the weed eater line and drill (worked great, BTW!) on the other 3, but cannot get this one to open up. I looked behind/above the wheel well cover but can't see the drain. I'm thinking this is also likely going to get replaced.

Any tips on getting the inside trim off to get to the drain tubes? Do I need to drop the entire head liner to get to the top end of the tubes? Might it be better to splice in new lines from a point down?

Yep Pargo. I did about 4 years on the Pargo (early 89 to late 92), was planning on 6 and out (Nuke EM) but got out a year early because the new Capt had a stiffy for weight control where the old one didn't care as long as you could and did do your job. Often wondered what I'd have done if the my 1st at see command had been a more positive environment... If you're interested a also host a Blue Nose page on FB... (https://www.facebook.com/Baby.Boreas/notifications/)