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Roof leak at seam? Way to fix without removing? by CavScout
Started on: 01-19-2015 09:01 AM
Replies: 13 (753 views)
Last post by: CavScout on 01-27-2015 11:53 AM
CavScout
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Report this Post01-19-2015 09:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello all - first time posting a question here - searching the archives has been very useful so far but this one seems odd.

Have (had) a leaky sunroof but think I've finally fixed that. However, I don't think it was dealer installed anymore unless they did a horrible hack job. It looks good from the outside but the inside looks like it was hacked up with a dull sawzall or tin snips.

My Internet is messed up at home and I can't post pics now (couldn't even download PIP) but it appears there are at least 2 tabs between the two roof panels that are supposed to click together? Also some foam tape in the seam? The lower tab has a hole, the upper a barbed point that is supposed to go thru (I think) and lock? That's where my last remaining leak is, one of the tabs, right along the tip of the centering interlocking tab - drips right thru the hole! I tried to push the lower tab up and upper down and while it flexes a bit, I am not getting more penetration.

My car will never be a show car, it's a notch back with an iron duke. It's my daily driver and I am just enjoying it. I really don't want (and can't afford to be without it) to tear into the roof more then necessary to fix it. I'd love to one day replace the headliner but that's not even on the radar until I know the roof is not going to leak and destroy it! (Leak was horrible, after fixing the sunroof drain lines that took care of the worst.) Is there a way to fix this without roof disassembly?

Maybe plumbers putty that sets up like rock even under water? Simple silicone? Wife even suggested gorilla glue? How about minimal expanding insulation foam like used around home windows and doors?

Anyone have any suggestions that are more likely to work?

Once my Internet is working on the home PC I'll post some pics. Right now I am painfully typing my issue out on my phone as I'd really like to fix this today while I am off of work. Thanks for any assistance!
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CavScout
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Report this Post01-19-2015 10:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Trying PIP for the first time, now that my internet is back up.... if this works, it'll be a pic of the inside leak, and outside seam right over the leak.



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jmbishop
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Report this Post01-19-2015 11:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jmbishopClick Here to Email jmbishopSend a Private Message to jmbishopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That Seam was never supposed to seal, the damage from that sunroof install is so bad I'd consider getting another car. The factory sunroof actually drains under the roof panels because in that area water should just run off under the panels.
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CavScout
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Report this Post01-19-2015 11:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jmbishop:

That Seam was never supposed to seal, the damage from that sunroof install is so bad I'd consider getting another car. The factory sunroof actually drains under the roof panels because in that area water should just run off under the panels.


I'll consider getting another car "someday" LOL I have a soft spot in my heart for almost anything '87 - a Fiero especially. (Graduated HS in 87, worked at a Pontiac dealership my Junior year as a car porter, and got to drive all the 87's from the rail yard / holding lot in Detroit to the dealership in Royal Oak.) So I'll just drive this into the dirt, or until I get another and retire this one. This car is rough, but still serviceable for the time being. I certainly don't want to put a lot of money into it, rather just enjoy it all long as I can. As far as structural damage, I see people making convertibles outta these, and while this doesn't have any benefit of additional stiffeners, being on the road this long with over 100k miles, I doubt it's in danger of caving in on itself.

With that said, was some seepage along this seem always intentional or unavoidable? And because of it's location above the sheet metal, water would just drain it's way out of the car without entering?

And because of the absolute hack job that was done during sunroof installation (and it was, no denying it) and they removed WAY too much metal - the metal that was supposed to catch the drip and channel it out is gone... is it a simple matter of adding something along the edge to catch the drip?

At any rate, thanks for the response!
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jaskispyder
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Report this Post01-19-2015 11:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Or just find a solid roof panel and swap it. I think I would go that way, in this case.

[This message has been edited by jaskispyder (edited 01-19-2015).]

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CavScout
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Report this Post01-19-2015 12:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:

Or just find a solid roof panel and swap it. I think I would go that way, in this case.



Likely on my to do list - and I've favorite'd a couple threads dealing with that. As the sunroof isn't factory, I'm not in bed with the idea of keeping it. More concerned with being able to drive it. Still even a solid roof has the same seam, correct? (Aren't they all 2 piece, front & back?) So, if they'll inevitably all leak there, or have the potential too, then I wouldn't be gaining much besides eliminating a future sunroof leak. (Seeing as how jmbishop rightly pointed out I'm missing quite a bit of metal up there as well.)

Good comments tho, it's making me think at least. Thanks guys.
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Report this Post01-19-2015 12:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by CavScout:


Likely on my to do list - and I've favorite'd a couple threads dealing with that. As the sunroof isn't factory, I'm not in bed with the idea of keeping it. More concerned with being able to drive it. Still even a solid roof has the same seam, correct? (Aren't they all 2 piece, front & back?) So, if they'll inevitably all leak there, or have the potential too, then I wouldn't be gaining much besides eliminating a future sunroof leak. (Seeing as how jmbishop rightly pointed out I'm missing quite a bit of metal up there as well.)

Good comments tho, it's making me think at least. Thanks guys.


Yup, but you could seal that area before putting the panel down. Not ideal, but it would work... spray foam

(or you could get a piece from another fiero, cut out the old, weld in the new - from donor car - and use seam sealer to re-create the proper run off channels. This is what I would do.. new roof panel and metal for patching panel. For a temp solution, fill the seam with clear silicone, if this is the only source of leak (not coming from sunroof). If it is the seam and the sunroof.... then use some gorilla tape, seal in the sunroof and use silicone to seal the seam and get the parts to fix it properly. Good time to install a t-top kit. even had one for sale and ended up parting out because no one wanted an entire kit for the price.)

[This message has been edited by jaskispyder (edited 01-19-2015).]

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CavScout
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Report this Post01-19-2015 12:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:


Yup, but you could seal that area before putting the panel down. Not ideal, but it would work... spray foam

(or you could get a piece from another fiero, cut out the old, weld in the new - from donor car - and use seam sealer to re-create the proper run off channels. This is what I would do.. new roof panel and metal for patching panel. For a temp solution, fill the seam with clear silicone, if this is the only source of leak (not coming from sunroof). If it is the seam and the sunroof.... then use some gorilla tape, seal in the sunroof and use silicone to seal the seam and get the parts to fix it properly.)



Not sure if I'll sink the money into this to fix it properly - but if I do, looks like it's getting a new top LOL guess it depends how emotionally attached I get to her. There are certainly better specimens out there that'd it be "more worth" dumping money into. (An SE or GT perhaps?) For now, a temp/perma fix that'll allow me to drive without getting wet. I do want to replace the headliner as well, but I can already tell it's going to be a PITA cutting out the bastardized sunroof opening. (Leaning towards a non-sunroof new ABS headliner from Fiero store - I know what I have won't match up with a factory sunroof headliner!)

Pretty sure I got the sunroof to stop leaking. Had hoses on the front edge that came off. (I think they were just held on with some silicone - I put rigid plastic tubing inside the rubber hoses where they joined so they wouldn't collapse when I put hose clamps on it to hold them there for good.) That's how I found this drip - yesterday was above freezing so I had my son blast the roof with a water hose so I could see if my repair worked, and found the drip along the seam.)

Just redid the brakes all the way around and replaced the front wheel bearings, and the car still runs really, really well. (Isn't leaking / burning any oil that I've noticed, AC was already converted over by a PO.) She's bit wallowy and want to replace the shocks, struts and get an alignment (a shock up front is causing a good thunking noise when going over bumps, but when it was on a hoist, the underneath of the car was in surprisingly good shape, and everything else looked good: tie rods, ball joints, etc. Once upon a time, someone really cared for this car. (A couple owners back I'm sure LOL) So far, I'm just really enjoying driving this car back and forth to work.
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Report this Post01-20-2015 12:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jmbishopClick Here to Email jmbishopSend a Private Message to jmbishopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
By sealing the Seam you could possibly stop the leak, it just isn't normally a critical thing to seal on a unhacked fiero

Notice the raised edge around the sunroof opening? This would normally keep any water that made it through that seam from dripping into the car.

Replacing the metal is doable but not incredibly easy. I'd just save money and keep my eye out for another 87 and use this one for parts after you buy a replacement. Until then sealing the seam might be the only option that makes sense
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Report this Post01-20-2015 05:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jmbishop:

By sealing the Seam you could possibly stop the leak, it just isn't normally a critical thing to seal on a unhacked fiero. Replacing the metal is doable but not incredibly easy. I'd just save money and keep my eye out for another 87 and use this one for parts after you buy a replacement. Until then sealing the seam might be the only option that makes sense


That's what kills me - I can't see any reason for the roof to have been butchered like it was... the sunroof is smaller than the OEM one, why hack it up like that? This is just the beginning of my Fiero addiction I'm sure... this one is likely just my first. My wife (what a gal!) is actually hitting a yard today to scout out a couple Fieros for some odds and ends I need. Maybe she'll see a good doner?

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Report this Post01-26-2015 06:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just a quick update - I did use a bit of gasket eliminator / RTV on the seam where the water was seeping through and it seems to have worked for now. Time will tell...

Thanks for the info all.
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Report this Post01-27-2015 12:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fastblackSend a Private Message to fastblackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is the biggest reason I hate aftermarket sunroofs, seems like nobody ever does them correctly.
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Report this Post01-27-2015 11:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Run a strip of masking tape along both sides of the seam from end to end, leaving about 1/8" space...just wider than the seam. Run a bead of clear automotive silicone along the seam and IMMEDIATELY run your finger along it in one continuous pass from one end to the other..dont stop or rewipe it even twice. IMMEDIATELY remove the masking tape. Allow a few hours to dry before getting it wet. You should barely be able to tell its even there. You have to do this fast so it gets no set up time before your have the tape off.
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Report this Post01-27-2015 11:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CavScoutSend a Private Message to CavScoutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That sounds like something I'll try this Spring. Good idea thanks RG
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