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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 04-28-2013, 10:35 PM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
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Location: Next door bring tools and beer.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,337
Mein Auto: 1995 e34 S52b32/5
Front sunroof drain fix

Hey all.

Well this is a fix for the dreaded front sunroof drain issue.
I did this about 6 months to a year ago after my car's electrical system had a mild stroke from taking in water.
(it's on BF.C somewhere look up "parting the red sea".)

That said I was influenced to document this after reading someone had similar electrical issues I had.

For those who don't know. The e34 sunroof drains tend to clog up and can back up into
the car if not purge into the cabin.
If left unattended this can cause a series of electrical problems, and strutural damage.

Now most know about clearing the drains from the holes located in the corners of the sunroof opening.
However the hoses drain through the widow maker supports (jack points).

Here's where things get funky.

Due to the fact, the drain hose has to make almost a 45 to 90 degree turn toward the rear of the car get to the jack point.
The draining water can not only back up but can erode the jack points over time.
Thus complicating the matter.

How do I know... my now gone but pretty e34 was once a rust bucket.
I had to remove tons of rust from the rear of the wheel well back to the front jack points. (BF.C "On going Zaraki thread")
This is because the water accumulated, purged into the unibody sound deading material or styrofoam, and ate the metal to a nasty mess.
All of which I had to cut out and replace with fresh sheet metal.
Let my pain be your learning experience.

So lets get to it.

Remove the dead pedal and the passenger side speaker cover.
If you feel inside those holes you'll come across the sunroof drain hoses.
Lift the car in the front. I removed the front wheels but it's optional as long as you have room to get a drill down there.

Go back into the car and try to pull the hose from the rocker passage.
(Mine were easy nothing was holding them. So you may need a little more elbow grease)

Before you go willie nillie with the drill you're going to have to remove the bottom screws
of the front fenders if not the fenders themselves. If you have skirts remove them also.

Note: To avoid fender rust you may want to drill through it as well or at least find a location where the hose can exit clean.
I drilled into the lowest point of the front wheel wells avoiding the fenders altogether.
It also gave it more of a straight slope angle emptying right behind the wheel.

This should expose anywhere to 8 inches to a foot of open unibody space before you get to the front jack points.
Now find a spot to drill. I did it by using a screw driver and tapping the bottom of the speaker hole.
Once you find a suitable location drill a hole large enough to run the hose through.

Now just stick the hose through it. Fiberglassing it is the easiest method.
It's waterproof and will seal the entire area.
You can get the fiberglass from Walmart. It's roughly 15 bucks.
You can sand it down smooth or leave it hardend in a raw sealed form.

Once all dried, reinstall everything and that's about it.
I doubled up with some Por15 but you can use any undercarriage sealant.

I will post up some old pics soon as I find them.

Good luck and goodnight
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_______________________________________

Every once in a while the Lion has to show the Jackals who he is...
- Christopher Walken "The Lion Speech"
95 e34 525 5 spd S52 Swap... The new Garden State Grocery Getter projekt.

Last edited by MySatinDoll; 04-28-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2013, 09:48 AM
CarDriver's Avatar
CarDriver CarDriver is offline
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Location: Saint Albans, New York
 
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Mein Auto: 1992 525it /2004 ML350
Nice, Nice Post my friend. This is sutch a common problem and many do not realize that it is not a sunroof alignment or seal issue 99% of the time.

Great Job
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Last edited by CarDriver; 04-29-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:24 PM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
New to S5X Tinkering
Location: Next door bring tools and beer.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,337
Mein Auto: 1995 e34 S52b32/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarDriver View Post
Nice, Nice Post my friend. This is sutch a common problem and many do not realize that it is not a sunroof alignment or seal issue 99% of the time.

Great Job
Correct. IMO the sunroof panel seals are merely for in cabin climate control and to block 75-80% of water,snow, fire and brimstone, and such from getting into the car.

From what I've noticed the rear drain holes are not as serious. Can they back up?
Yes they do but not as often. But the front ones are the culprits most of the time.

Usually the water which can get into right rear floorboard is actually antifreeze.
For some dumb reason (this is for most e34s) when the heater core begins to leak or go bad
It will follow a drain located down the right side of the center console emptying behind the front right seat. So every 3 months or so (or when I begin to smell antifreeze) I check the floor.

Anyway seeing your touring sig C&D, I do know the touring roofs have different mechanics. (dual sunroof)
So I can't honestly say this will cure the same issues. But I don't see why it wouldn't help.

And thanx. I will post pics with more detailed info as well as the actual end result.
just have to find them.
__________________

_______________________________________

Every once in a while the Lion has to show the Jackals who he is...
- Christopher Walken "The Lion Speech"
95 e34 525 5 spd S52 Swap... The new Garden State Grocery Getter projekt.
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