Sunroof Maintenance: Keeping the Drains Clear (All RR Models)


Introduction to Sunroofs
Sunroof Drain Maintenance
Illustrations for Classic
Illustrations for P38

I have always found sunroofs to be more of a liability than an asset -- but most Range Rovers seem to be equipped with them whether we like it or not. Designing a large orifice in the roof that needs to open and close under electrical control, and be perfectly sealing so it will keep out both rain and wind noise, is an almost impossible goal. Accordingly, the sunroof is bound to fail sooner or later (in my experience usually sooner).

This page is intended to cover some of the more common problems with the sunroof. It is still under construction, and will rely on the kindness of readers to supply more input that will benefit other owners.

Photo at right (courtesy of Martin Tuip): Front of sunroof on a 1995 Classic with headliner removed. Motor and switch are at lower left of photo, at the front center of the sunroof. Note water drain leaving sunroof opening at top right of picture.

Sunroof Drain Maintenance
The shop manuals for all RR models include clearing of the drains as part of routine maintenance. The recommended procedure is to blow air through them in reverse. The only trouble is that most owners have no idea where the drains are, and the manuals are inscrutible on the subject.

The sunroof has a drain at each corner, consisting of a plastic tube that is routed down one of the pillars to the underside of the vehicle. The front drains are routed down the inside of the "A" pillars. When trying to locate the rear drains, it should be noted that the rear of the sunroof mechanism, where the rear drains start, is well behind the rear of the sunroof opening -- it is the back of the cavity into which the sunroof retracts. Thus, the rear drain goes down the inside of the "C" pillar (just behind the rear door) rather than the "B" pillar. It emerges under the vehicle just forward of the rear wheel arch.

Illustrations for Classic (Other Models Similar)
The photos below (courtesy of Martin Tuip) show the routing of the drains on a Classic Range Rover from which the headliner has been removed. Other models are very similar.

sunroof drain front right

Front right sunroof drain routed forward towards "A" pillar.

Photo (courtesy of Martin Tuip) is of a 1995 Classic RR with headliner removed.

left rear drain

rear drains

Rear sunroof drains. Photo at left shows left rear drain disappearing down into the "C" pillar.
Photo at right shows view looking forward (note dropped headliner in lower part of photo). 
Photos of 1995 Range Rover Classic courtesy of Martin Tuip.

Illustrations for 4.0/4.6/P38A
Our prolific and long suffering RR expert Ron Beckett was kind enough to send in the annotated photos (below) of the sunroof drains on his superb and pristine Australian P38 Range Rover. These show clearly where to access the top and bottom ends of the drains on this model. Other Range Rover models are very similar.

Top of front drain on P38

Note in photo above the top entrance to the front right hand drain tube situated just below the wind deflector arm.

Front drain exit

Front drain location

Drain Ends

Location of lower end of front left sunroof drain tube on 4.0/46.P38 Range Rover. As on other RR models it  comes down the "A" pillar  and exits in front of the front door.

Another view ov the front drain kindly supplied by Hiran W.

Drain tube ends off a 4.6 Range Rover. Note one-way valves built into thed of tubes.
Photos courtesy of Ron Beckett.





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Page revised February 2, 2012