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Roof leaking but sourch unknown

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by tripplec, June 24, 2011.

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    1. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      For a few years now there is water coming into the rear (behind the back seat) on the inside of rear passenger window from the plastic covering. The ceiling is never wet and this only happens in heavy rainfall. A pool builds up in the storage area.

      We decided to tackle this recently and the prime suspect was the side rail on the passenger side. There is a sunroof but its closed and looks sealed. Opening it and looking up and down the inside track with a flashlight revealed nothing and it was very very clean and no rust. there are suppose to be drains in the channels and two holes I saw were clear and there is no debris whatsoever.

      I appears that it must be coming from one or more of that side roof rail so we removed the screws/torque bolts from the middle and rear mounting points. Siliconed in the hole and out around the shoulder of the hole and tightened the screws back in. It cured since the rain did not come that day as it was going to. But came down in buckets yesterday and it came in again.

      If its the sunroof then how and were is this happening. How to approach it. Help need since I know very little about water management of the sunroof and thought the drain holes are for when its open.

      Our next course in the meantime is to remove that side rail entirely and see what we can underneath if we've missed something going on where water can enter. The middle mount point is forward of where water enters from inside and was the 1st suspect.
       
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    3. my98nnj

      my98nnj Well-Known Member

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      The sunroof has drains holes as you've seen. There are hoses connected to them which channel the water down through the body of the vehicle and out. It the hose has become disconnected or cracked, water will get into the interior. You need to drop the headliner to see what's going on. It's not that hard to do, remove all the plastic that sits around it on the pillars visors ect. Then the roof is held in with clips.
      You'll see where the leak is once it's down.
       
    4. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      So it still could be the hoses even though the liner is not wet at all. It just comes in off the plastic panel near the pillar by the rear side window which is under the roof rail on that side.

      If I understand this correctly. The sunroof is not intended to seal the roof when closed then. There will be some water getting around and needs to be drained. There is no rust etc at the inner frame around the sunroof and no sign water has ever run there or into the hole which are factory clean. Thats been the puzzle, not knowing how it works to isolate the problem.

      Dropping the liner does not seem that easy, there is a lot of plastic around and most are quite large sections on this 2 door sport.

      Thx
       
    5. kert0307

      kert0307 Well-Known Member

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      It's the rear side window leaking. It's a common problem with these. Its easy to fix. the window unbolts and you can re-seal it.
       
    6. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      Oh, it did not appear that would have been the cause. I'll have have closer look then and see about unbolting it. All hell has been letting loose today. Lighting and extra heavy downpours.
       
    7. JonnyRock

      JonnyRock New Member

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      I've had to repair this on two exploders.

      Both were leaking on the inside from the plastic window surround. Close inspection of the outside showed that the rubber moulding around the rear windows (on the driver's side on both ex's) had deteriorated badly from the sun.

      Luckily, both were black so I simply got some black RTV silicone and did a clean, thin wipe across the top of the rear cargo area windows. Covering the upper edge of the rubber moulding as well as anywhere where the moulding was rough from deterioration. It's been a year since each fix and no leaks! And it's very difficult to notice the RTV if you're careful in applying it.
       
    8. kert0307

      kert0307 Well-Known Member

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      Or you can do it right and unbolt the window, slap $10 of window butyl in there and bolt it back up...
       
    9. trailblazer295

      trailblazer295 Active Member

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      How do you unbolt the window?
       
    10. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      Ok, after considerable time and testing. We've gotten to the bottom of it, so to speak.

      The passenger side roof rack mounting was letting water in around and through the mounting holes. We sealed the face of the rack and around the holes with silicone sealent. Teflon tape around the treads and sealed around the screws. Water is not coming in there anymore as tested with a heavy flow from the hose.

      But water came in again after the next rainfall. We drowned the roof rack and window to no avail. But now its coming in when water is poured over the sunroof passenger side area and out inside at the foremost point of the rear window drip or almost a full run down onto the plastic rear buldge.

      I don't know if anyone has a breakout picture from a service manual of what is above the liner. It seems like the side of the rear have to be taken out as well to pull down on the liner. OMG doesn't look that easy unless someone does this for a living.
       
    11. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      After much searching the net. I have read a number of issues resolved by clearing the drain holes. The front ones are not the problem here. I can pour water into the track and as it flow to the rear that drain is not working, plugged and or over flowing. There is no way to locate clear the rear hole being somewhere at least 18" back. I tried find an opening with a long this metal rod but the channel appears closed at the back at that area.

      Whether the hole is plugged and water is overflowing at the back is unknown. If anything has washed back over time is also unknown since the metal rod (approx 1/8") comes back clean after poking about. Blowing compressed air from a compressor 18" away did nothing either.

      How does someone deal with the rear drain holes especially the passenger side where the problem is.
       
    12. yavapaires

      yavapaires Active Member

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      Why don't you just bite the bullett and pull out the headliner? Seems to me if you do that, you will clearly see where the problem is and be able to repair it.
       
    13. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      Exactly- it's not that hard. It won't take 5 minutes, but it's not that difficult.

      Similar to this for the rear of yours:

      Pull the rear plastic trim piece up, and remove the carpet retainers here:

      [​IMG]

      Then pull the panel.

      [​IMG]

      Here are the moonroof drains in the 4-door to give you an idea of what you'll see when pulling the headliner.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    14. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      How, getting the side plastic panel out which wraps around verything appear a massive undertaking with little room to work with the large section when they're free around the rear seats etc.

      Anyone with a blowout diagram of the sunroof and inner routing above the liner.
       
    15. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      Look above. The truck wasn't born with it, it just has two screws (yellow), push pins that you can pry out by a large screwdriver on the rear and pull the panel by hand around the window (green) and one T50 Torx bit for the seatbelt. (red)

      The shirt hook is a small socket or screw. It isn't that bad, seriously.
       
    16. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      Thanks, those pic help a lot even though the sunroof was already removed it appear at a wreckers. The sport seats (2dr) may give some agro but we'll have to give it a go and put a stop to this water coming in during every rain.

      I see the rear mat has to be removed as well but not the plastic above in the front area. I am not sure how the liner comes down but it must bend to some degree.
       
    17. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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      Yes, I took those no-headliner pics at a junkyard...

      It doesn't bend a lot, or it will crease. You will want to loosen the trim, it is held up by the overhead console, moonroof surround, and the pushpins seen. The moonroof does not need to be removed, only the rubber trim around it, it just pulls off.

      The a and b-pillar trims list pull off if you go that far up.

      Check my thread here, process may help.
       
    18. kansei

      kansei New Member

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      Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but...

      this thread seemed to be the closest to what I was looking for after searching the forum extensively.

      My 2000 Mountaineer has had intermittent leaking from the moonroof ever since I got it about five years ago. Usually will manifest itself in a damp or wet headliner in key spots, very rarely wetness in the rear footwell area or cargo area- though that only happens during very heavy prolonged storms, and any interior wetness seems to occur most prevalently when the truck ins't parked on a level surface. I knew it was the moonroof, so I took the time and dropped the headliner about two years ago. Checked everything over very well, noted no rust or damage, seals all appeared good, and what was visible of the drain hoses seemed fine. Still soft and supple, no kinks, cracks, etc.

      My hunch was that the drain hole size and drain hose diameter was more than a bit small. I have been into Mazdas heavily for over twenty years, and every Mazda sunroof I have seen had drain hoses almost twice as large in diameter as the ones in my Merc. I brought it up with a Ford tech and an ex-Ford parts manager I know, and both told me that I was right. The hoses are way too small in diameter and they get overwhelmed quite quickly, which allows water to pool in the sunroof assembly housing, ultimately seeping over the top edge and onto the headliner- following the path of least resistance down the curved sides and down a pillar, or along the lower edge, etc. Apparently, from what I was told, Ford knew they had an issue with it fairly early on in the production run of the body style, but instead of changing the sunroof housing assembly to include larger drain holes (and hoses), they just issued something of a "tech tip" that if an owner complained about water leaking, and the moonroof was the culprit, to install a reducer with a larger outlet size, and swap out the drain hoses with larger ones. This was rarely done, however, because no tech was going to go to all that trouble when he was only going to get flat rate for diagnosis, and Ford wouldn't pay the dealerships to do the repair, as it was never an official recall. Supposedly, this was remedied in the next body style.

      The other thing I was told would help would be to chase the drain hoses in the rear (which are really the trouble ones) with some sort of flexible snake to make sure they were not clogged. Apparently, they can lay in such a way that some water can sit in the drain hose above the headliner, or where it disappears into the truck substructure, promoting algae to grow, which further complicate things, as it partially (or fully) clogs the lines. If your drain hoses (especially in the rear) appear "milky", there you go. That is condensation trapped in the hose. Now here is the part that frustrates me the most- not only can I still to this day not find where the rear drain hoses end, but the Ford tech couldn't tell me, either! Like in the photos above, they seem to run down the c- or d-pillar, then maybe laying along the rear wheel housing, or they may actually terminate somewhere within the pillar... ? To replace the hoses, the factory WSM says to (essentially) pull the new hose up from underneath the vehicle by pulling the old hoses from inside the truck (such as taping the ends of the old and new hose together where the drain hoses exit the bottom of the truck.) The front hoses are easy... but where in the hell do the rear ones exit? I tried the running water trick to find them, but couldn't...


      Neal.
       

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