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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Long(ish) time lurker, first time poster. I have a Y2K 4 door 4WD sunroof manual 4.1 RAV4. I bought it about a year and a half ago and have been digging through the site here (and others) for various issues. One persistent problem has been the wet floor. Yes, I have gone through all the posts here on the problem, and I found some erroneous info in some of them, so I'm starting a new thread on it.

I bought my RAV at a little lot in OKC. It jumped out of 5th gear ("Oh, I'm shocked it does that. I had no idea..." said the lot owner.) I knew it was not that big of a job to fix. Anyway, fixed that with a couple new gears.
The carpet was getting wet. Cause? Hard to say. I had a new windshield put in. Still getting wet. Checked the AC drain line. No problem. Ran trimmer string line down the sun roof drains. Ran the water hose over everything, no leaks apparent. The drain hole at the floor under the carpet was pushed up. Sealed that. HINT: the car dealer probably pushed it up to drain the cabin. Anyway, I thought I had it all worked out. Took it to work in a rain storm, parked it, came back and there was a gallon of water in the driver's floor area. I bailed out the water. OK, now it's serious.

Teh Intr4w3bz, y0, said that a lot of people found that the sunroof drain hose ended too high up. They either added a bit on to it or pushed it so it drained differently. So I dug into it. Take the driver's side plastic sill off (pops off with a screwdriver), pull the left kick panel off. The fuse/relay panel and a plastic junction connector holder box is there. Behind that, inside the body panels, you will see a white plastic hose that ends a couple inches up above the bottom of the metal sill, that looks like 1/4" OD water line as one would use for, say, an ice maker connection. Yup, just like people described. However, this is NOT the sunroof drain. That is the antenna drain. Yeah, the antenna has it's own drain, and that's it. I know this because I blew air through it and listened for where it was coming out, and it wasn't the sun roof drain. It was the antenna. The sunroof drain is a clear plastic (not milk colored like the antenna drain) line that runs kind of behind the antenna drain, up along the corner inside there. I ran orange trimmer line down the sun roof and I could see the orange line inside this hose. The hose is about 3/8" ID or so, 1/2" OD, the size of your finger. This hose runs down the A piller back in the corner of the area behind the fuse box and ends in a metal box that appears to be part of the metal sill, just above the bottom of the side sill. Now, here is where it gets weird. The water runs down the hose, into this area inside the sill, where there is a hole, maybe 3/4" diameter in the sill that shunts the water to the inside of the frame rail! From there, it just leaks out wherever. Note that the water does not exit the side sill to the outside, does not exit to the area behind the front wheel under the fender liner, it goes to the inside of the frame rail, which isn't really a separate part, but a channel part of the unibody construction running the length of the car on both sides. If you hook an air hose to the sunroof drain, you can hear it come out from the sill.

So why was it filling up the floor with a gallon of water? My THEORY is that the water was coming down the sun roof drain, filling up the side sill, trying to drain into the frame rail but because of the angle the car was parked at, slightly down at the left front, the water did not have an exit point from this disaster and managed to seep into the cabin through the body seams. I think that's why it only intermittently leaks into the cabin. You have to be parked at just the wrong angle for it to happen.

What I did: Take the fender liner off or loose. Behind the liner and basically directly behind the front wheel, a rectangular box metal is bolted to the footwell. I can think of no purpose for this box, besides perhaps adding some structural crush zone to the area. It is like 1/8" thick steel and, I dunno, maybe 3x6x2", attached with 2 bolts. Taking that off, you can see a 3/4" or 1" plastic plug running into the area where the sunroof drain terminates. Pull that plug out and you can see the end of the hose and the hole going into the frame rail.

From inside the car, I pulled out the white plastic connector holder block, busting the tabs because I couldn't figure out how else to get it out of there, and I'm usually pretty careful about that stuff, but pulling the box out of the way to get some room to work. The fuse/relay block is held on with one bolt and you can loosen that to get a little more room. Next I pulled the clear hose up so I had the end inside the cabin and cut a couple inches off the end of it. I then inserted a piece of copper pipe of about the right size into that and added a piece of rubber hose to the other end and pointed the rubber hose out the hole that I found under/behind that metal box behind the fender liner. I added a bunch of silicone to the hole/hose to seal it up, put the metal box back on (hey, why not? It came with the car) and put it all back together. I'm not too concerned with water ingress from the antenna, so I left that alone. I don't see a gallon of water coming in that way. Maybe I'm wrong there, we'll see. Anyway, now when I blow air through the sunroof drain, it comes out behind the fender well, outside the cabin, outside the frame rail, outside the sill.

To dry out the cabin, I pulled up the carpet, vacuumed out as much water as I could with my shop vac from the floorboard, carpet and carpet jute (padding), and put a box fan on the whole mess for a couple days, pointed at the bottom of the jute.

Sorry, no pics. Oh, I have an electronic parts catalog, and that metal box behind the fender well is not shown or listed in it! It's just there.

I appreciate the site here and just thought I would add my experiences.

Dr.Hess
 

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Thanks for such a detailed write-up, I am sure it'll be interesting for many who've had the same problem. I've had the liner out on mine, looking for a rattle, I don't remember the metal box but I'll go back and have another look now, oddly, my sunroof drain does exit behind the sill, being right hand drive, my antenna is on the other side so I know it's the sunroof, and I've never had any leaks either, thankfully! Apart from the steering wheel being on the other side, the only other difference I think is mine was built in Japan, yours I think the USA, it shouldn't make any difference of course, perhaps yours has been interfered with since it was built, draining into the box section sounds a crazy thing to do and is asking for trouble... Trouble called rust!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Ken. Mine was made in Japan. You can tell by the VIN. My Camry was made in the US. The two Lexus are Japan, of course. The RN Truck is Japan. I have a few Toyotas.

The weird box thing is on the left hand side, or "driver side" for us on this side of the pond. I didn't pull the other side to see if there was one there. You might not notice that it is a separate part without close inspection. There are two bolts with 10mm heads holding it on. One inboard and low from an arm/bracket attached to it and one at the top.

Interestingly enough, no one ever complains of sunroof water leaking into the right hand foot well. Just the left hand foot well. There are some reports of water on the right side, but it is generally fixed by cleaning out the AC evaporator drain, which exits the firewall basically in front of your feet (on the right side). I do not think anyone has been in there to move the drain. It looked real factory to me.
 

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I'm over here (USA) at the moment, so it'll be a while before I get to look at mine, like late April but I'm looking forward to finding that box, it's my passenger side/your drivers side I have the rattle, I'll look again at my sunroof drain too, if I remember I'll let you know how it looks or take a pic.
I had the idea that all 4.1 Rav's here were built here, thanks for correcting me, I'll remember that now.
I wonder who thought it was a good idea to let the sunroof drain through the chassis section, probably the same guy who let the a/c drip onto the 'K' / subframe and rot that too!!!
Thanks again.
 

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What I had on one of my other cars, the drain hole in the bottom of the fresh air intake in front of the windscreen was blocked. So nowhere for the water to go, but once up high enough, it drained into the car through the lower vents, so water in the footwell.
 

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The Rover 75 is notorious for that. There's a rubber bung in the bottom with a small drain hole in it, a Rover bulletin said to remove it during a service so the water drained out but of course they didn't, not until a problem occurred, there's another problem as they put the ECU in this void so when it filled with water the ECU was submerged, you can imagine the rest!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll take a look at that area on the RAV. I live in the woods, so there's plenty of leaves to find their way into places like that, although the car came with that problem.

BTW, I have 3 Lotus. We have an English car club here and an annual show in the fall. Brits in the Ozarks.
 

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In the UK I live in Norfolk, about 10 miles from Hethel, the Lotus factory..... The only Lotus dealer in Norfolk is in our village, I get to see a lot of old and new models as well as Morgan and Aston Martin. One Lotus is usually enough, you must be a real enthusiast...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had to pull the fender liner off on the right hand side to repair the front and rear windshield washer lines. Rats or squirrels had chewed through both lines just over the tire.

So, while I was in there, I took a pic of the weird little fender box. Yup, there's one on the right side too, a mirror image of the one in front of the driver (LHD) that I mention above. Here's the pic. Note the two bolts to remove it, one you can see pretty well on the large bracket at the top and the other at the bottom right of the pic on another bracket.
 

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Thanks, good pic, clean car, strange looking thing, I don't remember seeing one on mine but it was a while ago I was in there, I've had a knocking noise coming from that area, I've checked everything else, I was thinking of pulling the strut off but I'll look at this first. Wonder if anyone on here knows what it's for?
 

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It seems to be hollow / non-structural. Some members here have removed it altogether in order to fit bigger tires without rubbing issues.
Check the following thread for info and pics: http://www.rav4world.com/forums/84-4-1-accessories/151481-oversized-tires-rubbing.html

EDIT: According to the following diagram (middle to top left), it could be designated as 61103G / 61104G (for each side of the car).
Official description is "GUSSET SUB-ASSY, FRONT BODY PILLAR, LOWER" and apparently is a 60 euro part.


(http://www.rav4world.com/forums/members/albums/37389-mick-hatzo/used-forums-8706-picture50290-wheel-arch-gusset.jpg)
 

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Too flimsy attachment to be strengthening, but possibly to a bit more in the way of the tyre being pushed backwards into the footwell in an accident?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As a long term followup: It rained today. I took the RAV into work and parked it in the same spot that last time caused me to have a gallon of water in the driver's floor board area. Bone dry. I think I found the problem with this one.

Next Up: BOOST. y0.
 

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Good writeup. Thanks!
98 Rav 4.1 4dr no sunroof.
My driver side floor has been getting wet for a while & finally decided to investigate after all of this rain. Hopefully this solves it long term.
The antenna drain tube was discharging in the open cavity and water was coming in through the seams. Maybe the tubing shrunk with age? I extended with a 3 inch piece of tubing and fed into a drain slot(I think).
Also applied a little silicone to cracks in antenna plastic base.

Took some pics.
 

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Carpet/headliner get wet when it rains, too. HELP! Just "discovered" sunroof's 2-front drain holes, leading into drain tubes tracking down through A-Pillars. Passenger side clear: 1-Pt. water poured into hole drains onto driveway, perfect. But driver side drain tube clogged near bottom of A-Pillar. At 16-in. of stuffing reaming-wire in via TOP HOLE, it stops dead. Tried for 2-days to unclog leaf debris, no luck! Tried blowing clear w/ air compressor tapered nozzle inserted into top drain hole: Nothing. Reamed it w/ thickest stiff insulated braided wire that fit down drain tube: No effect. Earlier used 19-gauge picture framing wire, too flexible. No help. // Removed fore-most cladding panels searching for LOWER drain tube outlet, no luck. Took apart driver's side dash & trim panels, still can't find lower drain outlet. If I knew where tube drain's LOWER end is, can it be reamed out from bottom-to-top? Frustrating! Do you know 1/ where sunroof drain tube exits? 2/ How I can clear this obstruction to stop messy wet carpets/headliner?

THANKS friends!

1998 RAV4 4-door 5-speed 4-cyl. gas engine 2WD
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Jody,
Did you read my write-up at the start of this thread? I explained where the bottom of that tube is.
 
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