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leaking sunroof


Well-Known Member
January 21, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Orlando, Fl
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 AWD Limited
Hello all!
This is my first post although Ive been reading / researching a lot of the previous posts. In particular about what seems to be a pretty common problem with the explorers...the leaking sunroofs. I just purchased my 3rd explorer, a 1998 eddie bauer, and am going through and getting everything up to grade. One of those things is the leaking sunroof. There isnt any water coming through the lights or upper console area at all, just through where the sunroof shade is. I checked the drain tubes and they appear to be clear. Is it a common problem for water to leak through the seal where the glass seats into the metal rim? I thought about scrapping out the hard caulk/seal and re sealing it with silicone but didnt want to cause more problems if thats not really where the problem is. Any suggestions?

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TSB 99-22-8

FORD: 1998-1999 EXPLORER

ISSUE: Water may leak into the vehicle through the the
moonroof opening on some vehicles. This may be caused by a sealing concern at the front moonroof drain.

ACTION: Reseal the area as required. The sealant should
prevent water from entering the vehicle through the
moonroof. Refer to the following Service Procedure
for details.

Service Procedure:
1. Cycle the moonroof to the full open position and remove the headliner trim ring around the moonroof opening.

2.Remove the overhead console, the moonroof motor, and the air deflector as outlined in the workshop manual.

Note !: It is important not to move the gear on the motor or move the glass panel. The motor must be reinstalled in the same position from which it was removed.

3.The two front gray drain corners have two seams that are located in the water channel and another seam along the inside radius of the drain corner (Figure 1). Apply waterproof Liquid Butyl Sealer (F8AZ-19554-CA) to these seams on top of the present sealer. Ensure that the sealer is flattened so that water can run into the drain hoses.

4. When the sealer has set up, pour water into the channel to check the seal. Ensure that water does not spill over the water channel or a leak will occur.

5. Look between the headliner and the moonroofto check the underside of the seam for a leak.

6. If no water leaks occur, reinstallthe air deflector, moonroof motor and the headliner trim ring as outlined in the service manual.



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Thanks for the info! Ill update on my progress.

Welcome To The Forum! I was told this by an autobody man, that putting Vasoline on rubber makes it expand and could possibly help fix the leak too. But you have to have pressure off the rubber for awhile.

Thanks for the vasoline tip. Ill give it a try along with the other. The sunroof shade is trashed now because the previous owner didnt fix this and just let it go :( Does anyone know a good place to get replacements?

I have noticed a few postings about people asking for the seal on the moonroofs. They aren't available from Ford, however the Moonroof looks like a very similar model to the one that was used in the '89 - '97 Thunderbirds.

One of the guys in the Thunderbird club was able to order the seal for those from the supplier, which I beleive is Webasto. You get a long strip of the rubber seal and have to cut it to fit your sunroof, and be sure not to strech as you put it on, or it will shrink back. On my Thunderbird the original seal had shrunk about 1".

This might be an option for the Explorers as well. I'll see if I can find some info...

Even though the drain holes may not be clogged, the drain tube attached to it may be. To check if the drain is working properly, open the moonroof and use a measuring cup to pour about 1/2 cup of water around the edge on the two front corners where the drain holes are. If the water doesn't drain, the drain holes or tube is clogged which could be causing the "leak" (the channel fills up then overruns to the inside). Drain holes are easy to open since you can punch them open fairly easily. Drain tube is a different story though. Its fitted on the drain hole and runs down the support between the door and windshield. You can get to the bottom of the hose easiest. Remove the top inside door trim and then the kick panel (in front of the door and on the side under the dash). Behind this kick panel is a rubber dust/water shield. Pull it back (on passenger side, you'll have to remove the wiring harness bracket first) and feel though the hole for the tube. The tube is probably glued into a piece of foam but it will come out if you pull straight up on it. You can then pull the end of the tube out the hole. If you're lucky, the clog will be right at the bottom of the tube where it fit into the foam piece (that's where mine was). If not, you may have to run something up the tube to dislodge the blockage. Don't use anything with a sharp end or you could punch a hold in the tube. If you need to get to the top end of the tube, you can get to it by removing the sun visor and pulling the headliner down just enough to get your hand between it and the roof. The drain hose will just pull off the drain on the moonroof and reinstalls easily by pushing it back on the connector. I wouldn't replace the drain hose unless its absolutely necessary and then I'd try to attach a new hose to the old one and pull the new one in as I pulled the old one out.

Leaky Moonroof 98 Explorer

Thank you for the help. I did not know there was drain tubes for the moon roof. It just started leaking and I thought it was seal but after finding this post I found out it was the drain tubes were clogged. Cleaning them out I sprayed water on it and no leaks.

Has anybody ever found a part number or supplier for a 2000 Ford Explorer Moon Roof seal? Thank you