Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey!
2004 Outback Wagon

I've been chasing down a leak for the past week and can't get to the bottom of it.
Headliner is down, drains are good.

The leak is coming from above a frame piece that the moon-roof is bolted to
It leaks out when going through turns (with headliner off)

It only leaks when raining - pouring water over the vehicle doesn't seem to do anything.

Here are some picture of where the leak is coming from.
It seems to be getting through the seam - but no idea where from

I'm hoping someone encountered this and can help. Haven't found much online regarding this location.

497793
497795
497794
497796
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
FWIW
I had a model older than yours with a hard to find leak. It's been years but IIRC it turned out that there was a steel tray under one of the slider rails, which has the function of catching water that got past the gasket, and channeling it to the drain. This tray had rusted through, allowing water to get inside the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
FWIW
I had a model older than yours with a hard to find leak. It's been years but IIRC it turned out that there was a steel tray under one of the slider rails, which has the function of catching water that got past the roof gasket, and channeling it to the drain. This tray had rusted through, allowing water to get inside the car.
Thanks for the reply.
This model has the dual sun roof.
The leak is coming from above the slide rails.
The only thing that is above that is the roof sheet metal. Direct above it bent to evacuate the water into the drain tubes.
I had the window out and didn't notice any serious damage in the adjacent area.

It did have some slight cracks in the paint near the drain holes. I tried to fill it with water overnight with the drains plugged but it resulted in no leaks at all.

It seems to me that the water is getting through from a distant area and seeping its way between the sheet metal and seam sealer some how. It's quite impossible to tell where it could be coming from because I cant see the folds. I looked in the service manual but because this is not a serviceable part it's not really shown how the metal is bent there to get an idea of where the leak can be originating.
 

·
Registered
2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
Joined
·
722 Posts
Pete D1,

Had this same issue years ago and fixed it after discovering there was a TSB from the factory that explained the issue.

The steel roof is folded down into the openings for the sunroofs, and form the sides of the openings. At the factory there was a thin coat of sealant applied to these sides before the car was painted. Over time the sealant along the sides of the sunroof openings in the roof shrunk/expanded and cracked the paint into fine spider web cracks (best way to describe them).

Any water getting past the sunroof seals made it into the sunroof rain channels and out of the drains, but some got wicked through these tiny hair like cracks, collected in the roof structure braces, and leaked forward into the overhead map lights, and leaked onto the driver and passenger on turns.

The fix is to open both sunroofs fully ((the front one .. you may have to disconnect its scissor mounts at the glass (2 small bolts under each plastic cover) and stand it straight up) and then lightly sand the folded down sides of the sunroof openings (320 or 400 grit). Then brush on a very thin coat of clear 5 minute epoxy. After it sets (be sure to give it several hours or you'll glue your sunroofs closed) lubricate your sunroof seals with silicone grease, refasten the front sunroof scissor mounts (Be sure to put any shims back into their same locations) and you should be set to say good bye to the leak.

As I stated earlier, this solved the issue for me for the rest of the time I owned it, but I've had 3 new OutBacks since then. I assume the repair held up as it was the preferred factory repair for the years subie made those dual sunroofed cars.

Good Luck!.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Pete D1,

Had this same issue years ago and fixed it after discovering there was a TSB from the factory that explained the issue.

The steel roof is folded down into the openings for the sunroofs, and form the sides of the openings. At the factory there was a thin coat of sealant applied to these sides before the car was painted. Over time the sealant along the sides of the sunroof openings in the roof shrunk/expanded and cracked the paint into fine spider web cracks (best way to describe them).

Any water getting past the sunroof seals made it into the sunroof rain channels and out of the drains, but some got wicked through these tiny hair like cracks, collected in the roof structure braces, and leaked forward into the overhead map lights, and leaked onto the driver and passenger on turns.

The fix is to open both sunroofs fully ((the front one .. you may have to disconnect its scissor mounts at the glass (2 small bolts under each plastic cover) and stand it straight up) and then lightly sand the folded down sides of the sunroof openings (320 or 400 grit). Then brush on a very thin coat of clear 5 minute epoxy. After it sets (be sure to give it several hours or you'll glue your sunroofs closed) lubricate your sunroof seals with silicone grease, refasten the front sunroof scissor mounts (Be sure to put any shims back into their same locations) and you should be set to say good bye to the leak.

As I stated earlier, this solved the issue for me for the rest of the time I owned it, but I've had 3 new OutBacks since then. I assume the repair held up as it was the preferred factory repair for the years subie made those dual sunroofed cars.

Good Luck!.
Hey!
Thanks for the info.

I've read about that TSB but when looking at the area it doesn't seem like its really cracked up. I can give it a shot though if you say you had the same leak.
How far did you epoxy it? Or did you do just the corner? Do I have to worry about the middle sheet that holds the rubber molding (that I took off - not in pictures) ?
498061

498060


Did you also do anything in the front?
498059
 

·
Registered
2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
Joined
·
722 Posts
PeteD1,

I never had to do anything with the front sunroof opening. It was the rear sunroof opening in my case that required the attention, and as I recall (this was some 16 years and 3 subies since then) that putting the epoxy on stated from the corners and was to be continued for some 4 inches or so on. I ended up doing the entire openg sides and corners, but not the front or rear sections.

AS for not seeing the cracks .. I had to use a jeweller's loupe to really magnify the surface of the paint to even see them. After the job was done I had no more leaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
PeteD1,

I never had to do anything with the front sunroof opening. It was the rear sunroof opening in my case that required the attention, and as I recall (this was some 16 years and 3 subies since then) that putting the epoxy on stated from the corners and was to be continued for some 4 inches or so on. I ended up doing the entire openg sides and corners, but not the front or rear sections.

AS for not seeing the cracks .. I had to use a jeweller's loupe to really magnify the surface of the paint to even see them. After the job was done I had no more leaks.
Thanks!
Just epoxied the heck out of it will let it cure and go for a test.
Did the front too wherever I saw any hairline cracking

Will update once I test it out.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top