Sunroof leak - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 11:51 PM
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Sunroof leak

Well its that time of year again when it rains it pours. I have discovered a leak in my '81 300TD that drips directly on to my left knee when driving. It has become quite a nuisance. I'm guessing its making its way through the sunroof. Does this mean i need to replace the sunroof seal?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

'81 300TD (Euro, 246,000)
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 07:27 AM
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Probably wouldn't hurt if your existing seal appears dried and cracked. I'd also check to make sure the little drains are clear while you're up there. I warn you though; installing the new seal can be a pain. I still think the one I installed in my wagon didn't go in right. I suggest you really pay attention to how the old one fits as you remove it. It got me quite confused reinstalling it. I also have the attention span of a fly so maybe that's more the problem! Good luck! Cheap to buy online.
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 08:06 AM
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The sunroof (seal) dont really seal at all. You have a problem with the drains. Get some water in a container with a small spout that you can pour directly into the drains. I had a problem with this before and blew the drains out with compressed air. Air blew out the bottem but it still leaked. I had to pull the head liner back to expose the nipple and plastic hose under the sunroof. The nipple had started rusting the expansion from rusting had pushed the plastic hose nearly off. The nipple was about 70% blocked with rust. I cleaned it out and put rust inhibiter on the nipple. I was lucky I had enough nipple left to put the hose back on. When I reinstalled the hose I put some marine epoxy on the nipple. Probably not a perm. fix but it was still working 4 years later when I sold the car. You may just have a blocked drain. When you pour water in the drains make sure you pour enough to find the leak. When I started looking for mine I was not using enough to let it travel to the spot where it was dripping out. Tony

1983 380 SL 36700 miles
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 03:05 PM
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Check the drain under the hood and at the front of the sunroof. Chase them with a coat hanger or the like.


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2000 VW eurovan FOR SALE
1985 300D car, sold and missed.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 03:32 PM
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both of my w123's have had sunroof leaks, and both were handled by cleaning the drains. As a matter of fact, i don't have side seals in one, nor front seal in the other right now (temporarily). It's a little noisy from wind, but the rain goes right through. I mean heavy, coastal rain, and not a drop of leakage. Heavy weedeater line works great. Just push it forward into the drain, twisting, then wait for it to come out of the door jamb. Some water flowing through will help. the rears are harder to find. Also, a single strand of household 12 gauge wire works great, I run it through with a 25 caliber pistol bore brush attached to really clean the tubes. very satisfying!

One tip for guys who are putting off seal replacement..... the side felts will break down, and the little chunks of felt will do a very effective job of clogging the drains. you're better off taking them out if you don't plan to replace them.

1984 300d 363,000 Miles
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 03:52 PM
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The problem being in savannah is that there are no hill. You can have one hellacious leak if you are tilted in any direction without the felt..... For the rears I just recommend going in through the headliner.


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1991 300D Nearly Perfect
2000 VW eurovan FOR SALE
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 04:07 PM
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...first and foremost fix your drains

i wouldn't be surprised if there's a rusted hole in your pan at the front edge this is not uncommon

if you're brave you can pull the headliner off to expose the pan

I have tons of photos of these areas as I rebuilt my pan earlier this year and had it completely out of the car. Let me know.
Or you can cruise the 'build thread' link in my signature below
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by winmutt View Post
The problem being in savannah is that there are no hill. You can have one hellacious leak if you are tilted in any direction without the felt..... For the rears I just recommend going in through the headliner.
thanks winmutt!!! Now i have one more reason to love Savannah. Three out of four of my sunroof drains can be plugged, and the rain will still flow!

1984 300d 363,000 Miles
1996 e300d 242,000 Miles
1983 300sd 168,000 Miles Ascot Grey!
1990 Dodge D250 5.9 Cummins 1st Generation
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatipaso View Post
...first and foremost fix your drains

i wouldn't be surprised if there's a rusted hole in your pan at the front edge this is not uncommon

if you're brave you can pull the headliner off to expose the pan

I have tons of photos of these areas as I rebuilt my pan earlier this year and had it completely out of the car. Let me know.
Or you can cruise the 'build thread' link in my signature below
Hi ducatipaso - How long would it take to remove the Pan ? Mine is rusted through (and not just at the front, all down the left hand side to the rear drain hole). The rainy season is a few months away so I have been putting off doing the job as I figure it will take some time. I have got a replacement pan from a wreck to put back in. Also, did you use any sealant between the pan and the roof ?

Thanks in advance,

Tim/
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 08:36 AM
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its a huge job. maybe worse on a sedan (dealing with the power stuff)
i would allow yourself 40 hours of time.
you'll probably damage the headliner removing it to get at the pan.

you need to purchase replacement foam seals between the roof and the pan, as well as a full gasket set.
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