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Discussion Starter #1
[HR]Hey everyone, I think I may have figured how to keep your Ultraview roof equipped CTS bone dry regardless of the cloudburst or carwash. Earlier this Spring I was cleaning the interior of my car and heard the definite sound of stepping in water when i put my foot down behind the driver's seat. Nuts! Alright, so I found a few threads here regarding cleaning the drain tubes. I picked up a rear derailleur cable instead of weed whacker line and sure enough, when I pulled the trunk trim from the driver's side and disconnected the drain tube about two cups of water emptied into a container I had ready. Great! OK, I pushed the 6 foot long cable up through both rear lines, pours cups of water and watched all four drains do what they're supposed to. Last weekend I did a spot check up the same area of the back seat with my hand like I have dozens of times before after rain and DAMN IT, another puddle, only six weeks after I cleared the lines.

Alright, so I pulled the trunk trim and again and sure enough, when I pulled the drain tube there was some water backed up. So I fed the cable first up the tube, then again down the rubber grommet the line plugs into. I notice this time resistance I hadn't before. I pulled the grommet from the rear wheel wheel arc the sheet metal and low and behold, the drain tube plugs into a rubber piece that seals flat. Some of you already knew this, but I quickly found a way to get around it. Have a look at the photo. I carefully turned the grommet upside down, (note the word TOP upside down on the grommet) then inserted the drain tube into the proper sized hole in the rubber piece, plugged with a red cap. I then put the cap into the hole designed for the drain tube and I now have a proper terminating drain tube. It turns out that technically it's not the drain tubes getting plugged up, but where they terminate getting clogged. Tale care to NOT pull down on the drain tube when relocating it to the other hole or you may risk disconnecting it from the sunroof drain. There is just enough tube to connect into the shallow hole when the grommet has been turned upside down first.

Once I swapped the holes the I poured a liter of water into the drain channel and it POURS out behind the rear wheel instead of dribbling. My guess is that the design is supposed to open just enough to allow drainage when the tube fill up halfway under the weight of the water, but after a few years the rubber hardens and it just can't keep up with clearing the water in time before it overflows the channels and does a number on the interior. You can honestly do both rear drains in less than minutes, without making make any cuts or mods to the grommet, and then never worry about rain or a carwash becoming a problem in the future.[/HR]

WP_20150613_17_30_49_Pro.jpg
 

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Re: Stop the (soaking carpet) Insanity Forever!

Nice job!
Where exactly are the drain tubes/grommets located?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Stop the (soaking carpet) Insanity Forever!

They're on either side of the trunk, mounted to the lower rear wheel hump. The trim comes off very easily- two screw caps and two plastic 'grab tabs'.

I should mention that the second hole which is unused and capped on the driver side is used for battery gas ventilation on the passenger side, but you just relocate that thin tube into the flat drain tube hole and push it in so that it clear the flat end. This really is a simple job, so it's unfortunate that some have had to pay ridiculous amount of money to have headliners pulled, Ultraview roofs realigned, and drain tubes cleaned when the problem all along is how the drain tubes terminate into a grommet that stops working properly. I haven't pulled the wheel well splashguards to look at the front drain tube grommets but I bet that they're the same flat seal design. I really don't even worry about them now because the rears now drain so effortlessly. I'll still push the rear derailleur cable down them a few times a year but that's it.
 

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Re: Stop the (soaking carpet) Insanity Forever!

ThunderCad, I may have missed the info on your car. What year and model CTS do you have. Thanks for the Detailed info on this tube issue.
 

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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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Re: Stop the (soaking carpet) Insanity Forever!

Nicely done. You get an Attaboy.
 

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2008 CTS4 3.6 LY7
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Funny enough I checked the one located in the battery area and it's already been done. The word "TOP" is upside down on the bottom so I guess either the dealer or the pervious owner did it.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

Hi all, almost a year ago now I posted a thread about the CTS rear drain tubes: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2008-2013-cadillac-cts-general-discussion/724337-stop-soaking-carpet-insanity-forever.html explaining that it's not the drain tubes at fault in our cars, but where they terminate that has caused all the grief with interior flooding, fried electrics and moldy stink. Toward the end of the post I mention how I no longer worry about the front drains because my rears were now working so efficiently. Well I should've worried, because last weekend as I prepared to change the oil and do the centre mount stop light silicone fix I noticed the passenger footwell was drenched, and I mean drenched in water. Turns out my new parking spot angles so that all the water draining through the Ultraview uses just the front passenger drain tube, and it was completely clogged.

I had to figure out how to get to where these front tubes end and fix them, so I assumed I could find them behind the front wheel well cover. I jacked up the car, removed the wheel and the cover and...nothing. I looked and felt around everywhere and couldn't find it. I put everything back together, cursing as I went, and went into the car to search and I found them. Those little SOB drain tube ends, I found them!

I recommend you do this procedure, because it's not leaves, or bits of bark and anything other than fine grit dirt that stops up the front and rear drains. There was no reason GM chose to block off the end of these tubes that I can figure other than perhaps they thought it would prevent insects from taking up home in them? I don't know, what i do know is the design of both the front and rear drain plugs have caused many many thousands of dollars in damage, wasted labour and grief.

This fix is actually pretty simple, so let's go:

First, carefully pry up the trim piece next to the kick plate. It will likely pull away from the grommets holding it down, but that's OK, you just twist them off the metal and reattach them to the trim piece before putting it back afterward.

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Pull away the carpet and check, I had about an inch of water pooled up where all the wiring and a junction box is, fantastic! That, and the underside padding of the carpet was soaked, despite the carpet itself feeling dry. I inserted a rag into the space to soak up the water about ten or fifteen times, then pressed both sides of the carpet together much like you'd push a sandwich together to squeeze the water out of the underpadding, then soaked that up with the rag I kept ringing out. Next, I removed two philips screws at the front of the underdash trim, then used a rachet and 7mm socket to remove the small bolt at the rear. I pulled it down, then pulled out the carpet and the sound insulation behind it, exposing a small access hole just big enough for a hand to get through. I felt around and located where the drain tube plugged into a panel and carefully pulled and twisted, making sure not to pull down in the tubes for fear of disconnecting it from the roof itself. Here's the result:

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Here is the offending rubber drain plug. Take care to gently pull the grommet from the tubes, and again DO NOT pull down on the tube, hold it steady:

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And here is the deficient design. Unlike the rear grommets which seal flat, these were given a very small cross cut which also plugs up with very little silt. I must say again that when I've done both the rear and now front drain tubes that no foreign material comes out other than fine dirt. No leaves or anything else. Good job, GM!

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I removed the rubber piece from the driver's side as well. I pulled off the trim piece and pulled back the carpet and insulation. This side is very tight, and I had to contort my hand to get into the space. Wiggle the rubber part until it pulls away, then carefully bring it out through the access hole. Again, carefully pull it off the tube while ensuring you're not pulling the tube down and risking pulling it off the roof. This side was harder because it was glued better.

5.jpg

Finally, with both lousy rubber grommets in hand, I turned on an element on the stove, and placed a 6 inch screwdriver bit onto the element. I allowed it to get very hot, then picked it up with pliers. (please be very careful here) I inserted it into the grommet to melt away the rubber, leaving a clean open hole right through:

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And that's it. Now all four of my drain tubes will never clog again. Make sure to tightly grasp the rubber grommet when feeling around putting it back in. If you drop it you're screwed and I have no idea how to get down to where it would rest if dropped. You really have to press and twist it back into place and you're working blind which is why I did not connect it to the tube first. Once it's secure then connect the tubes to the grommets, again by feeling around. You may choose to apply glue to it before connecting but I didn't. I tested how much force was required to pull it away and it's secure enough for me.

A note about the asinine front grommets, I wondered why I couldn't clean out the clogged front tube with with the derailleur cable I used last year or even weed whacker line and now I know why. The tubes turn 90 degrees before mounting to the inner fender and when the line clears the turn angle it always hits one of the rubber parts that stick out in the cross hatch. They're firm and that's where your trimmer line stops. It's nearly impossible to push hard enough to overcome them and the grommet stays clogged up. Now when I feed the cable down and through you can hear it tap the inside of the fender, instead of just stopping at the grommet.

This fix procedure may sound daunting but it's simpler than it looks!
 

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Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

ThunderCad, it really sucks what happened to your car. What you discovered and subsequently wrote up as a "how-to" is tremendous. Both of your write-ups should be stickies. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
 

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Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

nice writeup. How common is this problem? I haven't had any issues with the drains on my wagon with the ultraview sunroof. Wondering if I just haven't noticed it, or just lucky so far. It's been raining for the past few days here, think I'll go out and see if I can find any wet spots on the floor...
 

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Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

My "fix" for the drain exit, was ice maker water line. I slipped a 1.5" or so length, into the rear "duck bill"
shaped, exits, to hold them open. I twisted a short drill bit into the front grommets, to open them up for "IMWL"
exit ports. I got to the drain exits by removing the wheel "houses".
 

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Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

Thanks for this, its on my to do list. I've had both front and rear leak problems and I fixed the rear just the other week. I pulled the trunk liner out, pulled the rubber grommets out of the wheel well, clipped off the rubber flat stopper and shoved the lines through the grommets a little. I assumed the front was the same and I was going to pull out my front wheel wells to clip the flat stoppers off them as well. Thanks to this I know they are different and will follow your method. thanks again, perfect timing!

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Do you think I could just pull out the front inner fender wells to access them and not have to disturb the interior or disconnect the lines. If they are directly reachable with the inner fender wells out I may just do that so I don't disturb the lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

ThunderCad, it really sucks what happened to your car. What you discovered and subsequently wrote up as a "how-to" is tremendous. Both of your write-ups should be stickies. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
Thanks tinman, I hope these how-to fixes prevent some of our cars from eventually filling up with ballast water. I'm curious if either the front of rear grommets were ever redesigned, or if they just kept using them for the entire run. Anyone with a '13 sedan want to confirm?
 

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Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

While I don't know for a fact, my money is on the entire run. Here's hoping our cars don't become submarines.

"DIVE, DIVE"
 

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Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

On the way to test depth, (as deep as you want to go without jeopardizing your flood insurance) everyone not on watch gets a section of the boat to monitor for drips, leaks, or flooding. You know, anything catastrophic going on. I have most of three full days of sea time. It's my first deep dive and I'm blankly staring at a maze of piping, wondering what I'm supposed to say if I see something. . . You know, anything catastrophic going on. . .

The Chief: "If you see anything unusual or detect leaks or flooding, sing it out!"

Me: "Uh, Chief? How will I know? What's the difference between a leak and flood?"

The Chief's Immortal Words: "You find a leak and a flood finds YOU!"

Me: "Uhh. . . Got it!"

Dive deep, fear nothing!

CCC
 

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One of my former shipmates was a submariner who liked to call us surface sailors "targets", to which I would remind him "at least we can jump overboard if the sh** hits the fan." ;)
 

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Re: CTS Drain Tubes: The Final FRONTier!

One of my former shipmates was a submariner who liked to call us surface sailors "targets", to which I would remind him "at least we can jump overboard if the sh** hits the fan." ;)
That's pretty much what we imagined a bunch of skimmers floating in forty-five degree water would say soon after a torpedo broke the keel of their ship!
 
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