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What Is This Tube?


scoopyg

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I am working on the brakes of my '75, and began probing at some rust in the rear fender well.  After opening up the hole in the photos, I reached in and pulled out this plastic tube.  It appears the tube has been cut.

 

  At first I thought this was some type of rubber body panel gasket, but then I realized it's a tube, and likely a drain tube of some type. I inserted the black fuel line into the tube, and the fuel line traveled unimpeded for about 36".

 

   With the only rust in the rockers at this back corner spot, I am wondering if the tube was cut off in the repaint, and the tube was draining to this sealed back corner, thus causing the rust.

 

  Does anybody know what this tube is?     Oh, and I did blow in to the fuel line, and could hear the air coming out somewhere in the rear quarter, but just couldn't figure out from where. Thanks,  Rich

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Sunroof drain hose, and the proximate cause of that rust you're fighting.  The factory in its infinite stupidity ended the hose down inside the rocker panel instead of running it to the car's underside, as it did with the front drain hoses.  After you repair the rust, run the hose out into the rear wheel well, caulking well around the joint between hose and body sheet metal.  Make sure the hose doesn't touch the suspension or wheel/tire as it'll set up some very strange noises seemingly eminating from the roof!

 

cheers and happy rust repairing.

 

mike

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You guys are great.  Do you mean to tell me that the tube was intentionally terminated right into the rocker, with no planned exit of the water, except just right into the rocker panel? 

 

  If so, then I gotta say wow, that is either some lazy devil-may-care engineering, or, it's the perfect planned obsolescence...."Dieter, don't vurry about ze sunroof drain.  Ze Americans are used to their rockers rusting out, und zay vill never find out dat ve ran ze drain tube right into ze rocker!". 

 

   Finally, is there more than one of these sunroof drain tubes?   Gracias amigos.....Rich


You guys are great.  Do you mean to tell me that the tube was intentionally terminated right into the rocker, with no planned exit of the water, except just right into the rocker panel? 

 

  If so, then I gotta say wow, that is either some lazy devil-may-care engineering, or, it's the perfect planned obsolescence...."Dieter, don't vurry about ze sunroof drain.  Ze Americans are used to their rockers rusting out, und zay vill never find out dat ve ran ze drain tube right into ze rocker!". 

 

   Finally, is there more than one of these sunroof drain tubes?   Gracias amigos.....Rich

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Well I guess you grasp the concept of the 02 sunroof drains. My rear drains were routed to the air vent exiting out in the side of the trunk. The only problem is that they were too short and didn't really reach and drained inside of the car. I had to put new tubing from the roof down to the inner fender where I drilled a hole to exit to the outside. At the top, I I had to peel the head liner back to attach the new tube. It sounds to me like your tubes are broken and do not reach the roof.

 

Here's a link to how I did it. You can also see what I had to do to connect the front drains which also drained into the rockers.

http://www.bmw2002faq.com/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&fromMainBar=1

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When originally built, the rocker panels have very small drains on the back (vertical) side that faces inward towards the car's center.  These drain holes are so small that they quickly plug up and allow water to stand in the rockers until they rust through.  Then they drain just fine!

 

Just goes to show that German engineering isn't infallable either!

 

mike

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OK I'll play devil's advocate here....why not just plug up the front holes in in the sunroof?  Seems it would be difficult to correct the problem without removing the front fenders, so what's the harm in just plugging those front holes?

 

  I'd ask the same question about the rear holes, but it looked to me like the rear holes can't be accessed with the sunroof in place.

If I promise not to drive the car in the rain, and am careful when I wash the car, what could go wrong?

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Now I know you are just being silly.

 

Plug the fronts and it leaks in the rain, when the car is parked facing downhill.

Plug the rears and it leaks in the rain, facing uphill.

Plug them all and it leaks whenever it rains.

 

It is your car, so you can plug them, but I do not see the appeal.

I wouldn't want to own that car after you, if you do go that route.

Rain happens, where I live.

 

I have not removed front fenders, but aside from the 'welded' section, it should not be very hard.  

I have been tempted, in order to address whatever rust is hiding in there.

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Front fenders do not need to be removed to replace the front tubes, I can testify to that. I did it as I had to replace a broken tube that drained into the rockers. I pulled the carpet back to reveal an a small access hole. I pushed a 10 ga wire down the A pillar and came out the access hole. I then taped the new tube to the wire and pulled it up through the A pillar.I did have to cut a hole in the headliner in the front to do the dirty work. I then drilled a hole in the inner fender through the access hole to rout the tube out of the car.

 

I agree with Mintgrun, I wouldn't want to own your car after you plugged the drain holes. Before I fixed the drains, my floors would fill with water when left out in the rain. Not fun to dry out.

 

P.S.... as a note to show what can happen when the drain holes are plugged, I once owned an e28 with a sunroof. Apparently the rear drain holes were plugged with dirt. I closed the sunroof one day and a piece of metal the size of a half dollar that had rusted off came out with the sunroof.

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