Sunroof delete


Active Member
Jan 12, 2021
Zanesville Ohio
When I park my 'stang (the Indian Outlaw) on level ground the factory installed, pop up sunroof leaks a little bit. When i park it nose up hill, everything is groovy. When I park it nose downhill, it leaks like a sieve!!! I strongly suspect there's something funky going on with the passenger side drain tube.
First some backround... I got hit back in 2014, one of those deals where it was a 4 lane, and where someone in the left lane stopped and waved on someone turning left, without checking to see if the right lane was clear........ My left frame rail hit almost square on "Lefty's" front axle. The bulk of my damage externally was was a few scrapes an a nick in the bumper cover. Internally however, ya know that cancer spot Fox bodies like to get on the frame behind the front wheel? Yea, it blew that out. So I take it to a guy who has a reputation for living FOX Mustangs because I figured he has seen this a billion times, (and he has) that he could fix it in his sleep. (and he probably could) After years of "Well, I had this emergency job come in, but you're next" and you know, I get that someone's daily driver is more important than my toy. After all, I do have a Super Sport (Stealth Fighter) and and F-150 (Dodge Slayer) for every day cars. And it was no big deal, as the shop was walking distance from my home to barrow it back to take to my brother's car show every year. Well the last time I picked Outlaw up, when I washed the dust off I found metal spray from like a cut off wheel or something! So I stared looking for another shop. He's slow to, but at least work is progressing.
Ok, now I'm starting to get to the point (maybe). It sat on the new guy's lot for 3 months before he got started on it. 3 months of rainy season! :o And for the record, I did tell him about the "nose up" situation when I dropped it off. But his lot is mostly flat, so, what ya gonna do? Anywho, one day I stopped to see the progress, and he's on about how wet it was inside and if i didn't do something with the sun roof, that leak is going to rot the floor pans, and I'd loose the car all together. He wants to cut the sun roof out and weld new sheet metal in the roof. He said it would be about $1000 to do the whole job. My last word to him on it was, "Well, it does need a new headliner anyway, and that glass kinda cook ya on a sunny day; let's see what the next, if any round of stimulus checks brings." Well, clearly this last one falls way short. But now I'm thinking..... That glass seems to be hard to come by. I wonder if I could sell it and the rest of the sunroof specific parts to cover the cost of the delete project? Is the project a bad idea, and if so why?
Another apeal to me about the project is, just before the wreck, I was coming out of the University, and a cross wind ripped the original glass out, it shot 10 feet in the air and came crashing down and shattered everywhere. Luckily there was nobody behind me. I know it shouldn't, but, ever since the whole pop up sun roof idea has made me nervous.
So what are ya-all thinking?
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Seems to me it'd be much easier to clear your sunroof drains and maybe buy a new seal. There drains at all 4 corners. Take a wire and poke it thru and then blow then out w compressed air.
I was told when I bought the car to never do that, or I could un-seat the tubes. I have poured hot water down them, and watched to make sure it was comming out the bottom. It does. I theorize that the tube on the front passenger's side may have developed a small split large enough to leak, but small enough to pass most of the water to the ground. And the dealership replaced the gasket when I bought the car, and it still had a slight leak. So, living on a hill, I've always just tried to take care to park up hill.
I regularly blow mine out with compressed air. Part of my regular cleaning routine. My sunroof is probably my favorite feature on the car.

At this point, I’d pull the headliner kick oanels, and rear trim and physically inspect and reseal/reglue the tubing in place. Check to make sure the tubing isn’t broken or cracked, and make sure it’s sealed up top.

you might get $200ish for the glass, maybe $50 for the other parts.

cheaper to fix the tubes
In order to 'delete' the sunroof correctly is to reskin the roof or put another total roof transplant, I've seen a couple that was just a piece scabbed over the hole and after a couple years they are cracked and peeling up.
There are a few places that they leak from, if it is leaking between the glass and the rubber check the rubber for softness and if it's went flat.
Oh yea, here's a look at what I got back when i went to pick it up for the above mentioned car show. All that brown is metal shavings. Whatever it was, when it hit my car it was so hot it embedded in the paint and in the glass.
He refuses to acknowledge it happened at his place. I didn't see it when I picked it up because the car was covered with dust. (and I do mean COVERD!) He says it happened over the weekend while I had it and claimed he doesn't have a tool that makes those kinds of sparks!
If you would like to clean out sunroof drains without poking wires down the tubes or risking the possibility of blowing the tubes out (old, brittle, etc.), there's an alternative:

Take one of these:

You can find them on most fuel cans.

Some of this:


And one of these:


I have never broken a drain tube when using a shopvac to clean them out. Don't tape off the nozzle completely. Leave an opening that allows you to vary the suction by covering the hole.

Ideally, a piece of clear tubing at the end is perfect. It allows you see what getting pulled up.

This works with household vacuum cleaners too.
Here is an excerpt from my thread for my car (yes I still have the exxon valdez just not much forward motion, one step forward, two steps back) when I cleaned the drains on my sunroof.

Now I'm gonna clean the tree crap out of the trough and make sure the drains are clear, I do this a couple times a year anyway so nothing new right? Well this time the right front drain ain't. No amount of compressed air is getting through that btch so I pull the trim panel and blow from the bottom, but I'm getting ahead of myself, I tried to stick a wire down from the top first, no luck, goes about 6 inches then stops, I try a small cable that is very flexible and same thing, so I sprayed some blaster down the hole and take a 5 minute break, still no luck, I'm gonna try from the bottom. Well it blew the crap that was plugging up the drain hose AND the 4 or 5 tablespoons of blaster across the back of the car, success! Except my neighbor had snuck up behind the car directly in the path of the blaster lubricated gunk, BULLSEYE!
and he wasn't even mad.