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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-04-2016, 02:32 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 66
My Ride: 2000 328i sedan
E46 Sedan sunroof drains...

Like many here, I have been dealing with my sedan getting a wet passenger side floorboard when it rains heavily. I was advised by a mechanic friend to try running a steel cable (like a bicycle cable) down the drain tubes to clear up any clogs of trash or debris. I picked up a length of steel cable at Home Depot and tried to do this without dropping the headliner, but could not get it to feed. It kept snagging on the internal hose bends.

So, I got a glass of water and poured it into the sunroof tracks on each side with the sunroof open, and water drained out onto the ground on all four corners.

In further efforts, I got a gallon jug of water and poured a LOT of water into the tracks. As before, the water drained onto the ground as expected. BUT this time, I also saw water dripping out of the right side of the dash and onto the carpet! Bingo!

It turns out that my drain lines are clear, but in a heavy rain situation, water leaks out of the molded rubber flex tubes that are between the sunroof housing and the A-pillar tube. It seems that the molded rubber tube is simply not tight enough on those fittings (I guess 15 years weakened the rubber?). Water was trickling out of the tube ends, down the A-pillar trim, and down the right side of the dash.

Anyway, I cured ONE side by putting tie wraps around each end tightly as a cheap hose clamp. A further test showed the joints to be totally dry.

I plan to go around to all four tubes and install tie wrap hose clamps on every joint to cure any further leakages. It's a real pain because you have to remove hardware to get access and pull the headliner down far enough to do the job. I had to drop the sun visors and oh-**** handle to gain access.

You can also ditch the OEM flex tubes and install regular rubber hose with hose clamps, if you're into that kind of repair.

Anyway, maybe this tip will help others with the same issue.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Woodway, Texas
Posts: 896
My Ride: 2000 323i, '99 328is
Great information...thanks!

First Bimmer..."Miss December"...2000 323i, purchased Dec. 2013 w/82K on the clock. PM thus far...pads/rotors, belts/pulleys, complete CS overhaul, FCABs, plugs, autotranny/differential service, fuel pump, filter, and relay. Full front end refresh with LCAs and bushings, struts and mounts, inner/outer tie rods, sway bar endlinks and bushings.
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