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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi fellas,

Ok, Ive read many of the forum threads on these leaks.
After the first rainfall this morning, I found water dripping on the driver's side, just above the emergency brake pedal onto the floor mats and floorboard.
The rubber mats caught most of the water and it was still dripping slowly down.
I went thru the process of removing the c-pillar cover (gave me an excuse to repair the loose fabric on the pillar cover with some fabric adhesive, unscrewed the sunvisor, and the hand grip thingy just above head level where the airbags are located, pulled down the rubber door seal; and then pulled down as much of the headliner I could on this side. There was the air bag and just behind this was the rubber drainage hose running along side of this and down along the pillar, all as descrbed in other similar related topic treads.

Ive run a small cup of water right into the drain hole in the sunroof on the driver's side and I could see where the water was coming through (just behind the airbag assembly) and onto the headliner and where it would run down on the pillar cover into the corner of the dashboard and then straight down below where the emergency brake is located. I was able to pull on the drain hose and physically check the end of the drain hose that would connect (I presume) to the male end of the drain plug on the sunroof part (hard plastic I presume).

I think it is just a friction type fitting of this rubber hose to the male end of the sunroof drain?
Does anyone have a clear photo of this connection of the rubber hose to the plastic male end of the sunroof fitting?

I can partially see the hose running along behind the airbag assembly.
I can also "feel" with my fingers how it would have to fit over this male end so that the water drains into the rubber hose, but I cant really see it very well due to the fact that I can only pull down the headliner about 3-4 inches down along the side and the airbag assembly is right in front of the drain hose connection to the sunroof. Ive tested by feel only how the hose would have to fit to connect onto and cover over the sunroof drain but I cant see it clearly.

I'm pretty sure I've got the rubber hose end fitted over the male end of the sunroof drain. But when I think Ive got it connected properly (by feel only) and I test the connection for any water leakage (by running some water directly into the drain hole again), I still get some water leaking (not alot) dripping onto the headliner in the area of the hose connection to the sunroof drain.

I also read that coating the inside of the drain hose where it connects to the sunroof drain hole (male end) might be helpful as a sealant if the water is leaking back out of the hose.

A photo of the area directly behind the airbag assembly where the hose and sunroof drain connection would be helpful or any other suggestions.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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16,908 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks 43sqd, I had read thru this thread and saw that video before.
My dripping water issue was in front of the emergency brake pedal.

I think I got my problem solved.

Used a friends endoscope to get a better view of what I had done "feeling my way" thru the re-connecting of the hose to the sunroof drain. It was an very helpful being able to see what I was trying to repair.

I realized after getting the hose re-connected at the sunroof and testing the hose for drainage that there was some blockage in the line near the bottom. Yesterday, as I poured water into the sunroof drain (and it wasnt draining below) that I either had water draining back into the driver side compartment or it was clogged up. The water dripping from the sunroof connection area was the excess water filling up the drain hose and leaking backout thru the easy friction-fit of the drain hose on the sunroof connection.
I ended up running pvc tubing (4.3' to be exact) thru the sunroof drain hole and blowing my compressor air thru it. Problem solved - all the water from yesterday spewed out with some debris. :smile

I secured the sunroof drain hose onto the pillar so it wont move and closed her up. (but dang, broke the metal T-clip that holds the A pillar in place at the top)
 

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2002 ml55
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Had to deal with this issue again today (thought I solved it twice...) ... this time I added a metal clamp

I took a pic, and adding it here to help others looking for a solution.

note: right door handle removed, right visor removed, right a-pillar removed, and right visor clip removed...to be able to reach in (semi-blindly) and attach rubber tubing onto the sunroof drain nozzle.

2662362
 

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ML320 W163 2000 189 7 seater
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Had to deal with this issue again today (thought I solved it twice...) ... this time I added a metal clamp

I took a pic, and adding it here to help others looking for a solution.

note: right door handle removed, right visor removed, right a-pillar removed, and right visor clip removed...to be able to reach in (semi-blindly) and attach rubber tubing onto the sunroof drain nozzle.

View attachment 2662362
I need to do this! I tried doing it years ago but I couldn't get the wire into the visor disconnected and get the headlining loose. I also lost the clip from the A pillar trim and it disappeared into the body column.
 

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2002 ml55
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I need to do this! I tried doing it years ago but I couldn't get the wire into the visor disconnected and get the headlining loose. I also lost the clip from the A pillar trim and it disappeared into the body column.
the connector for the visor sometimes is glued to the headliner...
also, it is a bit of a pain to disconnect...

added pics below :

Technology Electronic device Wire Fashion accessory

Windshield Tire Bumper Auto part Automotive window part
Windshield Glass Swimming pool Automotive window part Windscreen wiper
Bumper Automotive exterior Auto part Material property Vehicle
 

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2002 ml55
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Glad I came across this post again... thanks @khomer2 ... I think I need to blow out some stuff in my drain tube with an air compressor as you did... because I have water "backing up" the line.... jeez... what a design flaw (!)

--> PS: If anyone knows the Inner and Outer Diameter of the sunroof drain tube.. please post here !
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad I came across this post again... thanks @khomer2 ... I think I need to blow out some stuff in my drain tube with an air compressor as you did... because I have water "backing up" the line.... jeez... what a design flaw (!)

--> PS: If anyone knows the Inner and Outer Diameter of the sunroof drain tube.. please post here !
Not taking any chances, Ive got myself a reminder on my calendar, to blow it out every 4 months (like I do with the low range check (monthly))
 
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I just used some flexible nylon fish tape, and it worked great. Send it until you meet resistance, pull back and forth a bit, test with water, works great.

 

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the nylon fish tape didn't work for me.. but... @khomer2 , decided to detach the drain tube and blow it with an air compressor directly - immediate "THUCK!!!" sound ... blew all this crap out. I need to get some fitting on my air compressor to make a perfect seal so I can do this via the sunroof drain points... bc I think that made all the difference.

while I was there.... I decided to use a barbed plastic coupling to extend the rubber hose... I got from Home Depot (USA OBI) ... you will find it in the irrigation and sprinkler section....(I did not find it in normal plumbing section).
Note: the inner diameter (ID) of the drain tube is 1/2" ... (the outer diameter is 3/4")

The barbed plastic coupling I used was made for 1/2"-5/8" on each side. so that actually was perfect... because it meant it would stretch the tube a bit... and make a perfect seal. It is actually so good that I could not remove it from the tube after inserting it! ... so no need for O-ring clamps (or whatever they are called). I ended up using a spare drain tube I picked up... cut a short amount of it... and then spliced it directly between the sunroof drain nipple.. and the existing hose.
LINK: barbed coupling used

2683549



I never want to deal with this (#$%@ again ! :)

If I were to do this again... I think I would:
1. cut the OEM drain tube by the top 1/3 of the A-pillar
2. attach barbed connection
3. attach new-length (OEM) tube to sunroof drain nipple <-- but use a small O-clamp to clamp it at that nipple (I like saying nipple... ok?...)
4. and attach it to the barbed connection at A-pillar
 

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1998 Franken-ML, 2002 ML55
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Having this issue with new-to-me '02 AMG. From what I can see, it looks like the hose has disconnected from the elbow. My questions is this: how in the seventh oval of heck do you get your hand on that elbow with the HVAC box in the way? It's been raining a LOT around here lately, so I'd really like to get the bloody thing reconnected. I'll stick some wire through the elbow to make sure it isn't clogged first, obviously, I'll run some weed eater cable or fish tape through all of the drain tubes from the top to make sure they're not clogged, and I'll take the fender off to make sure there is no debris in there either clogging the drain or causing any corrosion.
 

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2002 ml55
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Having this issue with new-to-me '02 AMG. From what I can see, it looks like the hose has disconnected from the elbow. My questions is this: how in the seventh oval of heck do you get your hand on that elbow with the HVAC box in the way? It's been raining a LOT around here lately, so I'd really like to get the bloody thing reconnected. I'll stick some wire through the elbow to make sure it isn't clogged first, obviously, I'll run some weed eater cable or fish tape through all of the drain tubes from the top to make sure they're not clogged, and I'll take the fender off to make sure there is no debris in there either clogging the drain or causing any corrosion.
DO THIS (OPTION 1) :
If it works.. you will save yourself a lot of trouble:

  • Remove the Right Fender (it is easy to do...really)
  • Open Hood.... remove 4-5 bolts running along the inside ... holding fender in place.
  • Remove Passenger Headlight Trim and Headlight ... there should 1 bolt there as well (it is possible I think to remove this bolt without headlight removal... but... I think you need to know what you are looking for... don't skip this step)
  • Open Door... there are 3 bolts there... that you need to remove
  • Lastly... loosen / remove the middle plastic nut to the left of the tire... in the plastic tire fender well lining
  • Remove Fender... really is much easier (and satisfying than it sounds)
Now... you should see a hole there... this is where drain tube ELBOW should normally exit (see pics above).

At this point ...you will need to reach in with needle nose pliers or try with your fingers to pull it back in place (don't pull it completely out - which will detach it!)

rough overhead diagram:
2693704


*note: at both rubber attachment points (1 and 2)...if pulling too hard a separation can occur.

(ps: my "good deed" is done for the day.... ;) )
 

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DO THIS (OPTION 1) :
If it works.. you will save yourself a lot of trouble if it works :

  • Remove the Right Fender (it is easy to do...really)
  • Open Hood.... remove 4-5 bolts running along the inside ... holding fender in place.
  • Remove Passenger Headlight Trim and Headlight ... there should 1 bolt there as well (it is possible I think to remove this bolt without headlight removal... but... I think you need to know what you are looking for... don't skip this step)
  • Open Door... there are 3 bolts there... that you need to remove
  • Lastly... loosen / remove the middle plastic nut to the left of the tire... in the plastic tire fender well lining
  • Remove Fender... really is much easier (and satisfying than it sounds)
Now... you should see a hole there... this is where drain tube ELBOW should normally exit (see pics above).

At this point ...you will need to reach in with needle nose pliers or try with your fingers to pull it back in place (don't pull it completely out - which will detach it!)

rough overhead diagram:
View attachment 2693704

*note: at both rubber attachment points (1 and 2)...if pulling too hard a separation can occur.

(ps: my "good deed" is done for the day.... ;) )
Very much appreciated, but the elbow seems to be firmly attached to the side wall of the car. The tube from the sunroof appears to be detached from the elbow. I wasn鈥檛 very clear about that.
 

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Very much appreciated, but the elbow seems to be firmly attached to the side wall of the car. The tube from the sunroof appears to be detached from the elbow. I wasn鈥檛 very clear about that.
so you have 2 options:

option 1: reattach it to the elbow via exit hole (outside)
  • remove the a-pillar cover : you will be doing this to allow for some slack on the drain tube....
  • remove the fender... and remove the elbow / nipple... then try to pull the sunroof drain tube out of the hole in the body sheet metal...to reattach it to the elbow/nipple part... then you pop everything back into place.
  • there is a chance it will detach from the sunroof nozzle... in which case you will need to remove the grab handle and the mirror... and then re-attach the top part of the tube back to the nozzle

option 2: reattach it to elbow from underneath dash (inside)
  • remove lower kick panels...remove glove box...remove center console wood trim and radio...remove the entire lower dash and various other trim.... remove passenger fuse box cover trim.... may need to remove the fan cover trim there ... and then
  • reattach to the elbow.

I would do "option 1" personally.... because even if you do option 2... your chance of reaching in there and getting things connected is not guaranteed... and then you may still have to remove fender and make sure everything is seated properly.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A further note on Option #1:
Where it may detach at the sunroof nozzle, it's a friction fit connection there. SO, you will need to ensure that drainage hose (that runs down the A-pillar) is securely fastened so it doesn't slip off again. That friction fit hose shrinks (in length) over time, hence, pulling away from the sunroof nozzle ====> leads to water leakage into the cabin.
 

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OK...I need to pick up some 1/2" ID / 3/4" OD rubber hose and a nice barbed fitting - is there anything I can do to secure the hose to the elbow? Zip tie? Hose clamp? Weatherstrip adhesive? The knotted souls of my enemies?
 

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Back to this after a delay, and I鈥檓 damned glad I did it when I had some help. The hose was indeed popped out of the elbow - as it turns out, it appears that it popped out due to debris clogging the elbow, not shrinkage of the hose. It looks as if when water backs up in the hose because the elbow is clogged, the weight of the water in the hose can cause it to fall out of the elbow. Flexible rubber and gravity. What a combination. I scrubbed the inside of the elbow, then put some black weatherstrip adhesive along the barbed inside area before sliding it back over the hose. Hopefully the weatherstrip adhesive will provide some extra grip to hold the parts together in the future.

Where help was very necessary: even after removing the A-pillar trim and taking the hose out of the mounting clips to get some slack, I couldn鈥檛 get a useable amount of it through the side wall in order to reattach the elbow. The end of the hose came right up to where you would expect for it to sit in the end of the elbow fitting, I simply couldn鈥檛 get enough loose to work on it very well. My mother was in town over the past weekend so I could do some work on her Suburban, so she helped me with the drain hose. She ended up using both hands to stretch the tubing as much as she could while not pulling it loose at the top. That gave me enough slack to get just over an inch of hose through the hole, and I could clamp some forceps from a door lock rebuild kit onto the hose so it couldn鈥檛 pull back. After that I was able to reinstall the elbow in the hole, put the hose back in the clips under the A-pillar trim, and dump a couple of large cups of water down the drain port by the sunroof to test the flow. Once satisfied with that repair, I pulled the Driver鈥檚 side fender so I could clean under the the fender, make sure that the drain line was free of debris (I had to clean some out of it), and check the drain flow from the area around the fender.
 
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