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  1. #1
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    My take on cleaning sunroof drain tubes

    I know there's a bunch of videos out there. I found what works well is using a 1/6" dia. length of steel cable to run up/down the tube works perfectly. The cable is easy to thread. Don't flair the end like some video guy suggested, it'll just catch somewhere on the way down. Pull a length of cloth or plastic (I used plastic b/c it won't absorb water and swell) to scrub the inside of the tube out. I bought a slightly larger 3/32 cable and that proved to be a little too stiff to thread around the bends. So, try a 1/16" diameter cable.
    Last edited by Jeepwalker; 06-08-2019 at 04:41 PM.
    Jeepwalker

    '07 H3 Advent/Lux
    Jeep XJ, ZJ, WJ
    Ram & GMC 4x4's
    Toyota Hilux

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Jeepwalker For This Useful Post:

    Acer4LO (06-08-2019), cbetts (06-08-2019), spike10940 (06-08-2019), Vdawg1115 (06-08-2019)

  3. #2
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    Thanks for the info. I will actually be making a YouTube video on how to do this sometime next week because the current videos out there are pretty bad and don't show you everything. So you mean a 1/16" cable right? not a 1/6" like you said in the second sentence of your post? Anyone else have any more little tips or tricks?
    2008 Hummer H3 Alpha Adventure + Luxury

    Rancho 4in, 38x13.50x18 Toyo M/T on 18x9 Trail Ready Bead Locks, Road Armor Bumper, Smittybilt 10k, Gobi Stealth, RRO Sliders, Daystar 1" Body Lift, ARB snorkel, Runcool Hood Louvers, JKS front discos, Coverking Seat Covers, Schwarttzy Skid Plates + Leaf Mounts + Extended Shackles, Outfitter Design Tire Rods, Optima D34, Smittybilt Storage Drawer, 2" T-Bar Crank, HP Tuners Cobra 29 ltd, Dual 102" CB Whips

    Parts List Updated 8/10/18



  4. #3
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    If you want to fix your drains cut the X's out of the lines so they can actually drain, gunk accumulates there and clogs up the lines and then you have to go play plumber. I haven't had any more issues since I modified the lines, rather than drops and dribbles out of the drains now it actually drains.

    If you don't want to do that, then run weed wacker line down them a few times a year. No matter what you shove down them though you will always run the risk of knocking a line off when you hit the bends and having to drop the headliner to put them back.
    09 H3T Alpha/Adv- |Cortex |Starr Hid |Thor Bumper |Airdoc |American Roll Tonneau |Katzkins |JL Audio | 35" STT Pro

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traxx View Post
    If you want to fix your drains cut the X's out of the lines
    When you say the "X's" are you talking about the that rubber piece that connects the hose to to the firewall? The thing you just drill through? If so, I definitely know about that.
    2008 Hummer H3 Alpha Adventure + Luxury

    Rancho 4in, 38x13.50x18 Toyo M/T on 18x9 Trail Ready Bead Locks, Road Armor Bumper, Smittybilt 10k, Gobi Stealth, RRO Sliders, Daystar 1" Body Lift, ARB snorkel, Runcool Hood Louvers, JKS front discos, Coverking Seat Covers, Schwarttzy Skid Plates + Leaf Mounts + Extended Shackles, Outfitter Design Tire Rods, Optima D34, Smittybilt Storage Drawer, 2" T-Bar Crank, HP Tuners Cobra 29 ltd, Dual 102" CB Whips

    Parts List Updated 8/10/18



  6. #5
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    Yeah, I meant a 1/16" cable (sorry ...fat fingers!). I would get about 8' of cable. I think I paid 18 cent's/foot at a farm and barn store, it's not expensive. A person should get about 2' of 3/8 or 7/16" ID plastic hose to attach to the bottom of the drains while you clean them (or water will go on the floor).

    Couple things I didn't mention about the cable worth knowing: 1) Get a rigid piece of straw (a straw from a can of Great Stuff work great) and put the tip of the straw partially into the drain hole, then thread the cable through the straw into the hole. It helps the cable keep shape and prevents a lot of monkeying around threading into the hole which is hard to reach. 2) When you buy the cable, you MUST tape the end yer cutting before you cut it (with a sharp cable-cutter). The end must be cut sharp and crisp, not frayed. Don't wrap tape too far (less than 1/2") up b/c the cable needs to remain flexible enough to bend around sharp radius'. 3) Wrap a piece of masking tape around the tip to make a 'rounded' tip so it doesn't catch and can slide around sharp corners as you push it down. I was going to braze some brass on the end of the cable and file it 'round' (like a B-B ) but I didn't need to. 4) I taped a small piece of plastic bag onto the cable and pulled it through while pouring warm soapy water on the hole. The plastic doesn't absorb water and expand like cloth does. But it does pull through fine and 'wipe' clean the inside of the tubes. After the first time I thoroughly cleaned the whole entire inner frame of the sunroof area b/c there was a lot of dirt in there. Then cleaned poured more warm soapy water and wiped the tubes again.

    If you make a video, here are some things I would stress that I didn't see on most other videos:

    1) The drains are a secondary water 'safety'. The sunroof itself shouldn't leak. If it' does, it's likely the gasket is ill-fitting or needs to be replaced.

    2) Check the fit of the sunroof. Mine was very poorly fit ...angled down at the front where water would pool. Ideally it should fit flush with the roof or even a tad 'proud' to shed water off the roof.

    3) Avoid parking your H3 on an incline with the front up, which would prevent proper water drainage, or you might get water on the floor anyway.

    4) It's a good idea to keep the sunroof closed when not driving. Avoid parking under trees or any location where things (bugs/debris) might fall into it with it open.

    5) It's not JUST the firewall grommets which plug up, the bottom of the tubes go horizontal before they go through the firewall. They should be sloped down a little more than they are. What happens is water is going to lose velocity in that region and allow sediment to drop and accumulate there. If ya park nose-up, then it's going to be like a sink trap and 'hold' water. Again, any sediment will accumulate there.

    6) I'm not sure removing all the 'fingers' in the grommet is the best answer. If you cut them all out you can create a situation where insects can still get in. But it Will fix most of the drainage problems ...but bugs could come in. Will they? Depends, right? Another idea might be a hybrid idea -- to remove just ONE of the fingers with an exacto knife, and position the gromet with the open side down. That will allow water drainage and help prevent bugs from coming in. I've had in my Land Rover a similar situation where twice, bugs climbed up and built nests into the evaporator drain tube and caused water to back up and completely soak the carpet padding. So bugs CAN build clogging nests.

    Anyway, those are just some thoughts I have you might consider incorporating into your video. There are a lot of ways to get to the finish line, I think most people cover them, but first and foremost is to fix the water intrusion issue through the sunroof with good gasketing.
    Jeepwalker

    '07 H3 Advent/Lux
    Jeep XJ, ZJ, WJ
    Ram & GMC 4x4's
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  7. #6
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    Bugs?? Lol, Like their aren't a thousand other nooks and crannies they can crawl into all over every vehicle ever made. Parking nose up or down does not matter, you have drains front and rear. The sunroof is designed to sit flush, read the service manual. It is not designed to be waterproof, hence the drip tray and the drains.
    09 H3T Alpha/Adv- |Cortex |Starr Hid |Thor Bumper |Airdoc |American Roll Tonneau |Katzkins |JL Audio | 35" STT Pro

  8. #7
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    I just use my air compressor to clean out the lines.
    No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of Soldiers.

  9. #8
    El Diablo
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    I definitely agree with cutting out the X at the end of the drain. Be careful with the air compressor solution as some owners have blown the hoses off of the fittings in the sunroof.

  10. #9
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    Ditto to what alrock said, you may get away with using a compressor most of the time, but depending on the severity of the blockage, it will certainly blow the lines off the fittings and you will have to drop the headliner to fix it. I used to clean mine out this way until that exact thing happened, then it was a major pain in the ass to get them back on.
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  11. #10
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    I have had success with a simple approach on multiple H3’s with plugged drains. Try pouring CLEAN SHOWER (plastic safe household product) in the pan. After sitting for a while the drains will start to flow. To keep them flowing, repeat the procedure on a regular schedule such as at each oil change. Might want to park with the front elevated to get the rear drains flowing. I know it sounds awfully easy, but it hasn’t failed me yet! Also, I agree with the guys that emphasize keeping the seal clean and a coating of dielectric grease.

  12. #11
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    Have any of you guys bought a new seal for your sunroof? Looks like they go for $130.... Ouch
    2008 Hummer H3 Alpha Adventure + Luxury

    Rancho 4in, 38x13.50x18 Toyo M/T on 18x9 Trail Ready Bead Locks, Road Armor Bumper, Smittybilt 10k, Gobi Stealth, RRO Sliders, Daystar 1" Body Lift, ARB snorkel, Runcool Hood Louvers, JKS front discos, Coverking Seat Covers, Schwarttzy Skid Plates + Leaf Mounts + Extended Shackles, Outfitter Design Tire Rods, Optima D34, Smittybilt Storage Drawer, 2" T-Bar Crank, HP Tuners Cobra 29 ltd, Dual 102" CB Whips

    Parts List Updated 8/10/18



  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acer4LO View Post
    Have any of you guys bought a new seal for your sunroof? Looks like they go for $130.... Ouch
    Id rather deal with cleaning the drain tubes or seal the sunroof for that price.


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  14. #13
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    I have a new seal sitting in a box for mine it doesn't need it yet though. I don't really think 130 for a seal that lasts 10-15 years is worth worrying about.
    09 H3T Alpha/Adv- |Cortex |Starr Hid |Thor Bumper |Airdoc |American Roll Tonneau |Katzkins |JL Audio | 35" STT Pro

  15. #14
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    My solution was drop the headliner and silicon and zip tie the drain tubes to the fitting to prevent leakage and accidental removal, then cut the plastic X out of the bulkhead fitting.
    2006 H3 Adventure & modified Rancho with SOA


 

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