View Full Version : 2006 TIN Roof Leaks

05-11-2018, 04:28 PM
I assume the seal around my rear AC is shot due to age (I know of recalls). I got an unexpected shower after hitting the brakes on the school run this morning from above the headliner.

My question is can this be re-sealed from the roof, or do I have to remove the headliner and ducting to do this job?

05-11-2018, 05:31 PM
Don't forget about the antenna mast over the cabin. I have seen them leak before the rooftop AC seal leaks...

05-11-2018, 05:35 PM
I probably have both. I have headliner discoloration and both rear quarters (either side of AC), and now running down dripping above windshield. The amt of water is more than the antennae (only). Either rear or both.

05-11-2018, 08:15 PM
I thought my rear AC was leaking too. Turns out it was much more from the roof seams than the AC. When I sealed the roof up I did do the antenna base and the top corners of the windows. Once you take the grey plastic cover off there are 3 holes in the roof for hoses. They have rubber grommets that may be leaking. The bolts that hold the AC on the roof actually start inside the van on struts between the roof ribs and pass through holes in the roof sheet metal. The bolts are M8 and the holes 10-12 mm easy. The only thing keeping them from leaking is the adhesive caulk / sealant under the AC mounting brackets. hard to describe well, here are some photos of what it looked like when I removed my rear AC.



05-11-2018, 08:29 PM
Great pics, thanks for that RW! I just painted the van, so all the seams are good. But I didn't address the AC area at all, I painted under the AC cover but nothing inside that.

Can the AC unit sealing be done without tearing the headliner and AC ducting apart on the inside?

05-12-2018, 06:21 AM
Should be easy to caulk the three grommets that the hoses pass though and check the sealant around the bolts from the top. That’s all the penetrations there are. Don’t forget about the condenser drain hoses. They run down from the interior AC components, down the rear columns at each corner and out though the large body grommets under the rear sills. If those are clogged at the bottom the condensate will leak out somewhere... They are made of clear reinforced vinyl tubing.

05-24-2018, 05:02 AM
I would recommend Captain Tolleys Creeping Crack Repair after applying the everbond tape to the seams and caulk to the stud bases. I saw RW's job and it was nice. Although, I think he forgot to mention the seam rust. My theory is that the roof was not designed to support the weight of the rear A/C, even with the welded support structure between buklhead frames. The seams are spot welded and I think the flexing of the thin roof over time, with that large mass on top, breaks the factory seal and allows water to wick inside. Over time the water causes rust since the seam mating surfaces are likely bare metal. Mine has it, RW's has it (I recall), and I just assume every roof top A/C T1N has it. I would recommend pulling the headliner (which means pulling the ducting too) and have a friend spray the roof with a garden hose and look for the leak at the two rears body seams. Apply Captain Tolleys Creeping Crack Repair after applying every other sealants. The CTCCR is water based and flows into the same places that the water does. It is white and will be visible when it leaks in (I am almost sure it is like watered down elmers glue). When it dries it leaves behind a little sealant. Apply every 30 minutes and it will keep building up until eventually no leaks are observed.

The rust sucks. But the roof is not structural unless you have weight directly on the roof (like....i don't know, an A/C unit!!!). I took my A/C off, as did RW, and my family is okay with the front A/C. Plus you get headroom back. I also rhino-lined the roof for this and other reasons.

Good luck.

P.S. - Hey RW how was the eclipse and maiden voyage of the van last year?

05-24-2018, 02:26 PM
Got leaks? Do not assume water isn't coming in at the windshield. Unless you personally supervised the installation of your vans current windshield, you really have no idea how good of a job was done. If improperly done, the glass to frame seal can come loose after a couple years. Also, if there is or was any rust visible before repaint, and it wasn't killed and sealed, it is likely still rusting down where you can't see it. Sprinters windshield rubber seal design traps dirt and moisture, which encourages rust. Windshields are cheap (use an OEM one not a Chinese copy). Rust repair is not cheap, best to prevent it in the first place. Good luck!

05-25-2018, 01:23 AM
I have a passenger Sprinter with roof leaks too. But what I wanted to mention is that I left my rear AC in place, and removed the ducting. Wish I had done that on Day 1. The Arctic Breeze, as we call it, blows strong all the way to the front. You could fly a kite in it. Cools down the van in a second. And all that extra headroom!

05-25-2018, 02:14 AM
Right now I have the AC ducting and headliner out. I'm still chasing leaks. The windshield was a big one, but after the 3rd windshield R&R that's fixed.

The AC hose grommets weren't great looking, I removed those and RTV'ed them after cleaning.

I removed each AC drain hose, they were clear. Reinstalled. I have not checked where they run down to though, I just blew through them.

Still working on it. Like Seans, I think I am going to keep the AC ducting off for the Arctic Breeze and extra headroom (it's significant).