My name is Bryan and I live in the UK. We have had our 2006 Jeep 3.7L Liberty (Cherokee in UK) Limited for just about 2 months and love it.
Saying that...its has not been without some teething troubles. It only has 12,000 miles on from new and spent the last year going no where. It had been mothballed in a barn as the owner could not afford to run it as his business was in difficulty.
Anyway....it rained really hard here last night and I could see water dripping off the headliner into the trunk from the area near the passenger side rear most window (which would be driver's side in USA) i.e. over the wheel arch area.
I did some Googling and also checked the Libby workshop manual to find out about leaks and I have narrowed it down to the sunroof. I poured half a pint of water into the channels on the open sunroof and could firstly hear it running to the back of the car, then see it dripping (considerably!) from the headlining.
I popped the lace off around the sunroof and peaked above the headlining with a torch. I could see water dripping from the end of the black plastic sunroof tray, but without taking the headlining down completely, I can't see exactly what is happening.
I should mention, that the car is parked on a slight incline, nose pointing up, tail down. So water is going to be taken to the back of the vehicle by gravity.
So, first things first. Can anyone tell me whether these sunroofs have 2 or 4 drain tubes please? The workshop manual refers to front and back, but does not say whether this is on both sides of the car.
Next - how can I check the drain tubes for blockages? I cannot see any obvious drain aways at the sunroof end of the business. So when people talk about firstly checking the drains are clear, does this mean from the exit end under the car (wheel arches at rear??. If so, should I use a pipe cleaner first and blow some compressed air up, rather than down? (Sorry, workshop manual too vague!!!).
I was also wondering if the sheer volume of water, combined with being parked on an incline, may just overwhelm the drain away from the sunroof, and when flooded, it just overflows off the end of the sunroof deck? (Design problem, rather than actual fault with this vehicle). Obviously water is escaping, so it is not being directed down a tube - but could it run over the top of the tray, so it is not all going down the tube?
I would really welcome any clarity that you more experienced owners can give. Its our first Jeep, we love it, and want to keep on enjoying it. However, loose water in a car is not great and I would like to try and fix this myself, but wanted to check things in the right order before ripping down the headlining!
Thanks for the reply. Good to know that there are indeed 4 then.
Are they actually "tubes" that eminate from the corners of the sunroof tray? Or are they channels that change into tubes? What I am trying to find out is, is there a broken connection allowing water to escape from a tube, or is a channel just getting swamped by so much water that it overflows - therefore some water escapes, while other water goes down the tube?
When blowing out with air, where do you start blowing out from - underneath the car?
I finally located the rear drain holes, it is impossible to see them with the naked eye as they are set so far back on the sunroof tray. However, with the aid of a Rigid Seesnake camera inserted down the channel, I could eventually see them.
I poured some hot water down the drain channels (sunroof open obviously). On one side of the car, it drained without causing any wetness to the headlining. On the problem side, it still drained, but when adding more water, it eventually came over the headlining near the C pillar. I could see water draining out under the car, but could not identify exactly where the drain tubes empty out. I think it may be above the rear wheel arch linirs, and then it just runs out in several places, not out of a visible grommet.
After continuing to pour 3 pints of hot water down the channel, it did not appear to leak anymore with water pouring out as a stream under the affected side of the vehicle. Either this has flushed the drain out, or it may be that in heavy rain, the system is getting swamped due to the car being parked on an incline (nose up, trunk down). I will wait and see what happens after further heavy rain. I may even have to put the Seesnake under the headlining next time it rains heavily and persistently! I would really like to avoid the bother of pulling that down unless absolutely necessary (last resort).
Will post back how I get on for anyone who finds similar issues developing on their KJ.
Well, it has rained hard again today, and the leak is back again, in the same place.
With a break in the weather, I poured water into the sunroof tray, and it seemed to run out OK from the sunroof drains, even on the rear side of the vehicle - same side as the leak is. This puzzles me, as the drain tube must be OK.
If I poured ALOT of water into the channel on the tray, so that it was swamped, then I got the leak again. Somehow, water is coming off the sunroof tray, then rolling over the headlining until it drips out over the rear quaterlight window and into the boot.
I even went for the hosepipe, and could blast the sunroof hard most of the time, without getting the leak. When I put the hose towards the rear of the sunroof, that is when it seemed to leak again. Its a bit tricky all this though, as I could pour water in, or blast with hose, and not see a leak. Then 3-4 minutes later, I would see a sudden drip come out over the quaterlight.
Now, before making more work for myself, I am wondering whether it would be a good idea to get a new sunroof seal and install that myself. There are only 4 screws holding the glass in place, so thinking that if I carefully mark the position of those screws so that the glass panel can be positioned back in the same place, it should be a fairly simple job.
So...the saga goes on. The Jeep. I am afraid to say, is not the best put together car in the world, infact, possibly one of the worst? Still, it goes well off road - but I'd like to be sure that any gear I am carrying in the boot will be dry!
Whilst it was raining, I pulled down the sunroof lace and shone a small torch between the roof and headlining. I could see drips of water hanging from the aluminium runner in which the sunroof mechanism rolls, on the side of the car with the leak. Further down, I could see a pool of water. As water gathers in the is pool, it overflows and runs further down the headlining, spilling out over the rear side window - so that is why the leal looks intermittant.
What I still haven't fathomed, is where and how water is getting into the car, and why it should drip from the bottom of the tray. I put my fingers into the "gutter" on the tray, and whilst it was damp, it was not overflowing or anything like that. When I put a jug of water down the gutter, it dumps it on the floor under the car, so the drain pipe does not appear to be blocked or disconnected.
When I put a hose on the roof, I can see that there are drips of water coming in around the sunroof seal, but I guess that is to be expected to a certain degree, and that is supposed to be weather resistant, rather than water proof.
Just wondering whether there is a leak in the system at the end of the gutter, so when water enters it, some escapes and drips down below onto the headlining, but mostly goes down the drain pipe.
I will have to have a think about this. Really don't want to have to pull the headlining down as that is a big job, not to be undertaken unless absolutely necessary.
Any one got any other ideas? How much water should you expect to get past the sunroof seal (bearing in mind there is a drip tray there to take water away)? If my seal is leaking too much (looks OK though), the water would surely just go into the drain tray anyway, and not escape anywhere below it?
Pulled the headlining down on the leakey side. Not too bad a job really. Hardest part (believe it or not) was removing the rear passenger grab handle. You have to pull the two clips out, which was quite stuck on one side. Despite taping everything up to protect it, and using plastic trim removal tools, the handle got a little marked.
So...I could see that water was leaking off the back of the drip tray. The drain tube itself was absolutely fine, but I wrapped some butyl putty tape around thise house (to discount it as the source of the leak). After various tests, I detected that water was coming through the cable drive mechanism that pulls the roof open and shut. After even more testing, I could only deduce/assume that water was coming in through the sunroof seal, and dripping into the inner aluminium channel in which the roof slides, then water runs to the back and out.
Called local Jeep dealer (stealer) and ordered a new sunroof seal - £85 including taxes, oh, and a new grab handle (£35!) to replace the mangled affair. Only time will tell if this stops the problem, but if it doesn't, then I am truly stuck as there is nothing else remaining as a 'servicable element'. That would potentially mean stripping the entire roof down and the roof tray out (not to mention the EVIC etc!). So praying that a new seal, well, seals!
Received the new sunroof weather seal. Removed the 4 screws (torx) that holds the glass in place and removed the sunroof from the car. Swapped over the weather strip which was quite easy. Reinstalled sunroof onto car. The new weatherstrip is noticeably a snugger fit that the one that came off. Washed the car using a pressure washer going onto the roof, and saw no drips inside the car. Hopefully, problem can be put down to the old seal having shrunk since the car was bulit (only about 4.5 years), possibly due to being dry stored for a period of a year in a barn. Fingers crossed that when we next get heavy rain, there will be no leaks again.
If no further updates from me, assume problem is duly fixed!
I found your article on sunroof repairs whilst searching for information on this kind of problem. It was very helpful and inspired my determination to attack the problem.
There are 2 ways to go about the problem (in hindsight): 1. spend alot of time taking things apart to try and find what the problem is, no money involved; 2. spend money upfront on a new seal (£85 here including tax), and do an easy job.
The difficulty is knowing which to do first! I went for the former option, took it all apart (as best I could), and spent a whole day working on it, for little benefit other than to rule some problems (like the rear drain tube) out. But...it could have been the drain tube that was blocked of course, meaning no need to spend £££! The harder option would have been to part with money, and undergo the long wait while the part was on order through the Jeep dealership. But that is what I think was required.
Well, we live and learn. Ironically, we have had nothing but sunshine since I did the repair job, so want some really heavy rain to confirm that the leak has been fixed.
Thanks for your helpful article though. Like you said, the systems used in sunrooves from manufacturer to manufacturer are pretty similar, so the same principles apply.