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1st/2nd gen Roof leak/rust prevention PSA

Shran

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This definitely pertains to 1st gen owners and probably 2nd gen owners as well.

In the course of doing a bunch of body work on a truck, I found a place that is probably the source of many wet headliners and roof rust. This area had seam sealer applied to it at the factory but it was cracked and mostly missing on one side, and just slightly better on the other. Without sealant in the corner of the roof/A pillar, there is a hole that leads directly into the area between the outer roof skin and the inner structure... every time it gets wet, you'll have water in there and I'm sure that contributed to the rust I had to cut out of my roof.

This spot is very hard to find because the windshield trim covers it up for the most part. I used seam sealer to fix it but you could use just about anything to seal it up

FYI the first pic was an "after" shot. I removed all of the factory seam sealer with a pick. The second shot shows where I reapplied it like it was from the factory.


 


BlackBII

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Looks great! I found the same thing on mine. The factory stuff was all cracked and falling out.
 

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Is that looking straight on from the front down the passenger side gutter at the top of the windshield? Kinda hard to tell it's so close up. I wanna make sure I haven't missed something on mine.
 

Shran

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Is that looking straight on from the front down the passenger side gutter at the top of the windshield? Kinda hard to tell it's so close up. I wanna make sure I haven't missed something on mine.
Yes, it's a very small spot, in the upper corners where the A pillar meets the roof skin near the front end of the drip rail. The hole is about the size of the head on a pin... 1/8" maybe. Small enough to easily overlook with the windshield trim in place, big enough to let a lot of water in.
 

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I know exactly the spot you are talking about lol.



The cab is full of these, I found one the seam sealer dried up and left down under the windshield trim at the bottom of the drivers side corner of the windshield too.
 

Shran

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Yeah! That's a way better picture. I couldn't get my camera to focus like that.

I'm sure the lower seams on mine are dried up too, I'm working my way down towards that area. I wish the cowls were removable like they are on full size trucks, it sure would be nice to get in there and run a bead along the bottom inside of that!
 

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Thanks guys. Maybe that is why I had water right at the corner of my windshield the other day. I've already had the windshield replaced trying to fix it. No problem for awhile after that but it's back.

Edit: Any tips on getting the trim off without destroying it or the clips?
 

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Take your time is the big thing. Pay atttention how the pieces interlock and plan on krinking a few before you get it figured out.

I have had good luck with the plastic interior trim prybar set from harbor freight or northern or whatever. They don't really like doing it but I can usually get a couple sets off before the one that works the best gives up on me.

 

Shran

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I use a metal interior trim tool... you can gently pry up and work your way down, it's easiest to start where one of the trim clips is or on an end. I have yet to ruin one while taking it off, getting them back on is actually a lot harder IMO.
 

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This is for sure an issue on 2nd-gens too. My '90 apparently has the issue now. Previously I had resealed the gutters themselves about 10 or 11 years ago, but recently I found a new leak that I temporarily solved with a piece of 3M electrical tape along the top edge of the windshield.

I was afraid the issue was a little bit deeper down than what is being shown here, so this gives me a little more encouragement to pull the trim and investigate.
 

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Top back of drivers door...

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What sealants are you guys using? I'd like to use something that won't interfere with a future paint job/or is paintable itself.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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What sealants are you guys using? I'd like to use something that won't interfere with a future paint job/or is paintable itself.
I have used 3m body panel adhesive elsewhere.

I just have windshield sealant stuffed in mine because it is clear. The regular stuff is white and would look weird until I get the truck painted.
 

Shran

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I'm using 3M Ultrapro Autobody Sealant part number 08301. Comes in a squeeze tube. It was recommended to me by my local body shop supply place... it's paintable and is not supposed to shrink much. It is a one part sealant so it air dries and because of that it could react with some paint although I am sure if you prime and seal it, there would be no issues.

What you do NOT want is anything with silicone in it, that will cause all sorts of issues with a new paint job.

BlackBII recommended a product from Lord, it was one of their Fusor seam sealers that is a two part sealant that cures completely by chemical reaction. I couldn't find it locally, it's kind of expensive and you need a special caulk gun to apply it. I considered it but am using a different 3M product for the drip rails themselves that is self leveling and still requires a special adhesive gun but it was like 1/3 the cost. This part isn't necessary for y'all until you paint your truck but when that time comes I would highly recommend picking out all the old seam sealer in your drip rails and applying new stuff.
 

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