Sunroof - Rust, rust and more rust.... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Old 08-08-10
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Sunroof - Rust, rust and more rust....

"oooohh me tubes are blocked!" Sunroof drainage pipes in English. This is normally results on a GTV6 in a wet headlining and a wet bottom.

In my GTV6’s case rather than being blocked by dirt were blocked by RUST. Flaky rust would keep appearing in my sunroof gutter whenever I had the sunroof open whilst driving the car.

I decided today to remove the headlining and have a good look underneath.

1) The headlining is actually quite easy to remove, just pull down the seals and unhook the metal tensioning wire (I worked from the back of the car to the front). I have not removed the headlining completely, its still held in my the front windscreen.

2) I was welcomed by very little rust (thank god), but I did see Alfa Romeos terrible workmanship on the sunroof 'bay'. It is made of VERY thin metal, which has some brackets that are welded to the strengthening bars in the roof. The bay itself isn't sealed to the roof, I think it needs some silicone sealant!

3) So after not finding the rust under the headlining I was left with one option… remove the sunroof itself. I messed around for ages trying to figure this out but then I realised violence was needed. You need to remove the headlining from the sunroof itself: to do this pull the front of the headlining and it will feel ‘springy’, this is because it is held under tension by two metal clips. Once free you will see 4 brackets holding the runners for the sunroof. I removed these and freed the sunroof finally by unclipping two metal rods that are to do with the sunroofs runners. Finally there is a metal bar that holds the sunroofs headlining and the final runner, this just pulls out.

That’s the sunroof out!
I can now see the problem, the roof of the car itself is fine, all clear. However the ‘sunroof bay’ has rust on its floor and its 3 sides. The rear drain holes had 2 inches of rust, dirt and flaky paint covering them.
If I could remove the rust and plant it, it would be fine. However access is very difficult as the gap is only 1.5” wide (3-4cm). I have cleaned some of it up using my dremel tool and some wire brushes but now I am left with two options…

1) Attempt to clean it and then use long brushes and hope to paint the bay fully or
2) Have part of the bottom of the bay, cut away with an angle grinder and then clean the 3 sides up and then weld a new base on to the bay.

Either way it’s been an entertaining day! I have now put her back in the garage while I think. Thank god I have my 156 too!

Cheers,
Peter


Location: Gravesend, Kent
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 09-08-10
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Hells Bells Peter, you really went for this ! Must be a brave man.

Brilliant Post of how to tackle any problems in the roof, I had no idea of how to remove the Sun Roof. After reading what you said I hope I never have to.

I look forward to the next episode and a successful final conclusion.
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Old 09-08-10
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All 'roofs get blocked/flood eventually.

Nice little project.




The sad thing is that the current sunroofs aren't very good either.


Mine looks like the hole was created using a can-opener as all the
lip edges are jagged and you can see they've not bothered to take off
any burrs or to spray "inside" at all. (Just over spray. )

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Old 09-08-10
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Wel.... slight update, my dremel has now packed up, back to argos she goes. I have used a sponge handing pad and a mini paint roller rod to sand the rust off the sunroof. I can now see the rear drain holes. I used the air duster to get rid of most of the mess and them I put water in and for the first time in 20 years the rear drains work!!!

Next job is to dust the inside a bit and then paint with hammerite. That will be fun.... plus i need to clean the outside a bit too.
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Old 10-08-10
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Another update...

Just painted the inside of the sunroof with black hammerite, used a few brushes and some small paint rollers. Its gone on well and the rear drain holes seem ok too. I am going to leave the rear pipes as they are as they do work. The front pipes however are completely blocked and are in a bit of a state so they will be replaced.

I have a few more bits of painting to do under the headliner before I refit the sunroof... or attempt too!

Nige, do you know what sort of pipe the drain pipe is, also how long it was? Also the size of the jubelee clip would be great too haha!!! What aerial did you get as well, just to copy more of your ideas.

Peter
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Old 11-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post
Another update...

Just painted the inside of the sunroof with black hammerite, used a few brushes and some small paint rollers. Its gone on well and the rear drain holes seem ok too. I am going to leave the rear pipes as they are as they do work. The front pipes however are completely blocked and are in a bit of a state so they will be replaced.

I have a few more bits of painting to do under the headliner before I refit the sunroof... or attempt too!

Nige, do you know what sort of pipe the drain pipe is, also how long it was? Also the size of the jubelee clip would be great too haha!!! What aerial did you get as well, just to copy more of your ideas.

Peter
Morning Peter,

Progressing well then.

I found the Rear Tubes to be in good order too, they were checked and then left alone.

The tube I got was about 10 mm OD, the problem was getting the OD and the ID to match the original, just couldn't find the exact match, I just settled on the slightly smaller one as it's a tight fit down the " A " Pillars anyway. I just cut a bit off the bottom of the old one and went to a local Trade Counter that I know sells Neoprene Tube ( Clear ) and got what I thought was the nearest size. Wasn't an exact match but was near enough, turned out to be a pretty tight fit on the Roof Drain Tube but still put a Jubilee Clip on, belts and braces stuff, didn't want to revisit this job ! I bought 10 Metres of the stuff and I have some left over but not a huge amount. Can't remember the cost but it wasn't much.

I got the Aerial from eBay, nothing special. It's covered in black plastic and is a bit shorter than the original but the mounting matched up well enough. The biggest problem was the length of the Lead, it stopped in the middle of the " A " Pillar, just about the worst possible place. I'd do it differently if I was to do it again, one of two ways. 1. Source an Aerial with a looooong Lead, enough to get behind the Dash at least, this could be impossible, or, 2. Use the existing Lead from the old Aerial and make a GOOD SOLDERED AND SCREENED joint very near the Aerial itself, under the Headlining. This would be my preferred option as you don't have to struggle feeding a new Lead all the way to the Radio.

Carry on the good work !




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Old 11-08-10
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I am not supprised that you couldn't get a match for the pipes lol as I can't find the end of my front pipes I'll have to cut them off further up or disconnect and just pull about until i can see where the light appears! The front holes are completely useless. In fact the holes are very big at the rear of the sunroof but the holes at the front seem narrower, I think this is due to about 5 layers of paint (2 by me). I am going to scrape/drill them clean and re-paint.

Cheers,
Peter
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Old 11-08-10
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If you poke around in the Front Wings behind the wheels you should find them Peter, they WILL finish inside there. When fitting the new ones try and use the old ones as a pull through for the new ones, feed from the top and pull the bottom !
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Old 14-08-10
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Todays update:

1) New aerial ready to be fitted as need paint to dry around opening
2) Drain holes cleaned and painted and new pipes fitted and dangling from A pillars
3) Sunroof, small patches of rust removed and painted
4) Sunroof opening touching up complete.

So tomorrows jobs:

1) Fit Aerial
2) Reattach headlining, starting from the front of the car and working back
3) Add new rear window seals and refit door seal
4) Refit sunroof seal
5) Attempt to refit sunroof (eeeeeeeeeeek)

Wish me luck!

Peter
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Old 14-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post
Todays update:

1) New aerial ready to be fitted as need paint to dry around opening
2) Drain holes cleaned and painted and new pipes fitted and dangling from A pillars
3) Sunroof, small patches of rust removed and painted
4) Sunroof opening touching up complete.

So tomorrows jobs:

1) Fit Aerial
2) Reattach headlining, starting from the front of the car and working back
3) Add new rear window seals and refit door seal
4) Refit sunroof seal
5) Attempt to refit sunroof (eeeeeeeeeeek)

Wish me luck!

Peter

You have been busy, good luck for tomorrow !

No problems with yer Tubes then ?
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Old 15-08-10
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Originally Posted by Nige005 View Post
You have been busy, good luck for tomorrow !

No problems with yer Tubes then ?
haha nope my tubes are ok at the mo, but then again the fitting to the sunroof is probably the easiest bit!!! Its also through the top of the roof as well.
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Old 15-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post
haha nope my tubes are ok at the mo, but then again the fitting to the sunroof is probably the easiest bit!!! Its also through the top of the roof as well.
The fun begins, hope all goes well.
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Old 15-08-10
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Well... I am amazed...

The headlining went back in fine... the loop of fabric on the rear of the headlining is in a poor state but then it does hold it all in place and my sewing skills are rather poor! The final bit of the headlining as it goes behind the boot seal is very tatty, so that required a bit of glue to get it to hold!

The aerial went in fine, I used a 'rear' aerial so that it has a 4 metre cable and would reach with ease.

The sunroof went back together amazingly easily too, just a case of getting the brackets in the right place and in the right order.

All in all a success. Did need a good wash and a good vacuum though, as there was rust dust everywhere!

Just need to fit the new drain pipes and aerial down the A pillars and then figure out how to get the pipes to the wheel arches. The A pillar trim I'll look at another day, a temporary fix will using black gaffer tap to keep the new drain pipe and aerial cable in place.

Nige, do you know how the drain pipes get from the sill to the front wheel arch? I mean I have seen them go down behind the box section is where the door hinges are but it goes into some metal and them vanishes.... I am going to have a look but I am conserned that a previous owner re-routed the pipes as he has fiddled before from what I can tell.

Cheers,
Peter
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Old 16-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post

Nige, do you know how the drain pipes get from the sill to the front wheel arch? I mean I have seen them go down behind the box section is where the door hinges are but it goes into some metal and them vanishes.... I am going to have a look but I am conserned that a previous owner re-routed the pipes as he has fiddled before from what I can tell.

Cheers,
Peter
Sounds like you had a good day Peter, a job well done.

As far as I can remember the pipes just pop out into the rear of the Front Wing. Can't have a look for you as I fitted the Inner Liners from a 75 so no easy access into there. The end of them comes out of the Wings just behind the Wheel Arches. To get the new Tubes down use the old ones as a pull through using Masking Tape or similar to join them together, worked for me. Wish I'd taken more pics now as my memory is rubbish.

Yesterday I bit the bullet regarding the " A " Pillar Trim. Was in the front having a smoke and looking at the '6 when I decided I couldn't live with how the Trim was " fixed " on any longer. I pulled then both off, which wasn't difficult and then spent half an hour un glueing the fold over bit of vinyl. Then I poked through the holes in the " A " Pillar to see how far in the Drain Tubes were. The top hole had very little, if any, clearance between the Pillar and the Tube, the other two seemed to have a fair bit of clearance. Of course the most important screw is the top one, you have to fix the Trim at this point, didn't bother with the bottom one as this wedges into the Dash well enough. Used the shortest screws I could but it was hard to gauge how far into the Pillar they went, I'm hoping that no damage has been done......

Thinking about it though even if the screws have slightly punctured the Tubes my theory is that 1. The screw itself will actually seal into the Tube and 2. If the Tubes are not blocked then the water should naturally run downhill past any slight punctures and not sideways - time will tell......

Looked at the Tubes I took out yesterday, the original Alfa Screws went all the way through the Tube, at least I haven't done that !!!

Looking forward to hearing of a successful conclusion from you soon.
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Old 16-08-10
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Right time for suicide...

1) Someone opened their door in to my 156's passenger door (mostly polished out thanks to my neighbour for the help there)
2) The drain pipe goes in to the A pillars floor and then the sill on the passenger side via some old 1980's hosepipe!!!!
3) The drivers side drain pipe terminates IN the A pillar right behind the ECU!
4) While looking in the drivers wheel arch I find a large rust hole that goes throw the firewall and is right where the ECU cables and the fusebox is!

Overall not a good day! So off to Castle welding to get the hole welded up. I have decided to drill two new holes in the A pillars just above the side indicator cable gromit for the drain pipes and this should allow the best water clearance possible.

Anyway I need an anti-depressent!

Peter
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Old 17-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post
Right time for suicide...

1) Someone opened their door in to my 156's passenger door (mostly polished out thanks to my neighbour for the help there)
2) The drain pipe goes in to the A pillars floor and then the sill on the passenger side via some old 1980's hosepipe!!!!
3) The drivers side drain pipe terminates IN the A pillar right behind the ECU!
4) While looking in the drivers wheel arch I find a large rust hole that goes throw the firewall and is right where the ECU cables and the fusebox is!

Overall not a good day! So off to Castle welding to get the hole welded up. I have decided to drill two new holes in the A pillars just above the side indicator cable gromit for the drain pipes and this should allow the best water clearance possible.

Anyway I need an anti-depressent!

Peter

Sounds like someone has messed around with your Drains, no doubt in a futile attempt to cure a problem.

Don't think you need the extra fresh air currently been provided by the newly discovered holes either.

Cheer up Peter, once it's done it's done and you can relax again. Hope things go well.

Mine is in for MoT tomorrow, fingers crossed, and everything else.................
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Old 17-08-10
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Yeah good luck with the MOT Nige.... I am sure the old girl will be fine now!

In my case its all worked out rather well... The welding that needs doing is being done Thursday morning by a welding garage near where I keep my GTV6, they are collecting it from there and delivering her back. Meanwhile as I have that day off I'll fix my 156's exhaust (attempt too).

So... all looks good at the mo!
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Old 18-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post
Yeah good luck with the MOT Nige.... I am sure the old girl will be fine now!

In my case its all worked out rather well... The welding that needs doing is being done Thursday morning by a welding garage near where I keep my GTV6, they are collecting it from there and delivering her back. Meanwhile as I have that day off I'll fix my 156's exhaust (attempt too).

So... all looks good at the mo!
Morning Peter.

The MoT was just fine, quite relieved as I need to stop spending...... !!

Seems that things are coming together for you as well, good all round.

I gave up trying to fix exhausts long ago, gone are the days of Jubilee Clips and Heinz Bean Cans for me ! Good luck with yours.
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Old 19-08-10
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Well I did my exhaust with alot of difficulty... but a heat sheald mount is broken which isn't good. Anyway....

The GTV6 is back and she has a freshly patched wheelarch / firewall. All I need to do now is figure of the pipe route. The original went straight through the sills and out under the plastic skirts, so I might do that.

Plus I need to do the A pillar refurb and the trim at the passenger door footwell as its in 2 pieces now as I have a fire extinuisher there.
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Old 20-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post

Plus I need to do the A pillar refurb and the trim at the passenger door footwell as its in 2 pieces now as I have a fire extinuisher there.
On mine that bit of trim was so full of water that I had to punch two holes in the back of it to get the water out !!! Spent a long time squeezing it out and it took over a week in a greenhouse in hot weather to finally get it dry.

Don't have a Fire Extinguisher in mine but have decided NOT to replace the Parcel Shelf, seems ridiculously low and would be kicked off again in no time at all.
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Old 20-08-10
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Originally Posted by Nige005 View Post
On mine that bit of trim was so full of water that I had to punch two holes in the back of it to get the water out !!! Spent a long time squeezing it out and it took over a week in a greenhouse in hot weather to finally get it dry.

Don't have a Fire Extinguisher in mine but have decided NOT to replace the Parcel Shelf, seems ridiculously low and would be kicked off again in no time at all.
Well Nige serves you right for leaving the old girl out in the rain, she'll get her hair wet!

Well my first job tomorrow is to fit the drain pipes and the aerial as I am fed up with pipes and cables everywhere. Still debating taking the tubes straight down threw the OUTER sills and then have them poke out under the plastic skirts. Otherwise via the wheel arch like like you did would work.

Only then will I do the finishing touches of the A pillar trims and refit my handsfree kit.
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Old 20-08-10
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Nige I hope you don't mind me pinching one of your pics to show my options....

1) The red line show the old route of the drain pipes for the sunroof which reach a bit of a dead end.

2) The blue route which is via a hole in the wheel arch facing side of the A pillar and then drops down just below (or maybe through) the wheel arch liner

3) The green route goes via the A pillar as the blue route but the pipes goes through a newly drilled hole in the sill cover and sites either behind the plastic skirts or I could srill a small hole in the plastic trims base (probably better idea).

How did you get yours to stick out in the wheel arch Nige?

Peter
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Old 20-08-10
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Originally Posted by 156 and GTV6 View Post
Well Nige serves you right for leaving the old girl out in the rain, she'll get her hair wet!
Wish I had a choice Peter. I reckon some of the water in there was pre 1992 at which time it went into dry storage to emerge only last year. Should have had it analysed in an attempt to disprove Climate Change !!

I'm almost sure that where yours are mine WERE, they just stopped inside the Front Rear Wing. Trying hard to remember but don't recall any difficulty in getting them to where they are now, aside from the obvious hassle of going down the " A " Pillar. If you get stuck I can always ask Jim to see if he remembers better than I do.

Don't fancy the Green Route Peter, less holes in metal the better.

If I was you I'd use some Sealant around the inside of the Aerial. I didn't on mine and so far so good but in retrospect I wish I had, belts an' braces sorta thing.
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Old 23-08-10
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Right well....

I went with the BLUE line, drilled a hole in the A-pillar, pocked the pipe through, put metal putty around the inside and then sillicone sealed the outside (after stone chip paint). I then poked the pipe out just under the plastic liner and its a tight enough fit for it to stay in place.

I also found my other horn in the wheel arch was dead so I brought and fitted a new one, now EXTRMELY loud lol. I stone chipped alot of the wheel arch too. So thats the driver side done.

I noticed some rust in the rear wheel arch while down there. It was only surface except at the back bit. However that entired section needs work on the inner wing so I just undersealed it for this year (I don't really drive it in the rain much anyway).

So just the passenger side to go and maybe the rear wheel arch. Then its working on the upper and lower A-pillar trims and repairs to the sunroof handle surround.

pheewwww,
Peter
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Old 23-08-10
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I think you made the right choice for the Tube Peter. Odd how yours seems different from mine, maybe these were all hand built !

Looks like you are still finding work to do, don't suppose it ever really stops.
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