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Old 10-07-2010, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 899
124 windshield corner drains

I'm talking about the drains on either side of the bottom of the windshield. Does anyone have a wonderful idea for roto-rooting those drains? I have a flexible grabber tool that I can shove down several inches, but it is hitting a solid clog of years old gunk.

I've also tried string trimmer line, but I can't force it past the clog.

I've tried an air hose, but it's almost impossible to get a good seal to be able to pressurize the drain line.

Am I correct that those lines should drain out behind the front wheels, about where the front fender seam next to the door is? Has anyone had any success going up from the bottom or pulling the drain line entirely?

On my 300E I am getting a lot of rainwater runoff down under the battery, etc. and I really would like to have those drains working!

Chris W.
'88 300E, '95 E300D

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Old 10-07-2010, 01:27 PM
ashedd's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,790
I have no real solution for you but if you pull the fender off you will have direct access to the drain tube. A bit extreme I know.. but you will also find lots of dirt/mud/leaves/sand perhaps under the fender.

Try shoving something up the tube where it exits the car... I can visualize it on a w126 but not a w124.

08 R320 CDI current

95 E420
87 300D Turbo 5spd
90 300TE
83 300SD
85 300TD
92 400E
85 190D

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Old 10-07-2010, 02:54 PM
Dark Matter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tri-Cities, WA; 100+/summers&20's/winter
Posts: 14
I used a shop-vac with the crevace cleaning tool from my indoor vacuum cleaner attached to the shop-vacs hose and then connected it to the exhaust air connection on back of the shop-vac; this produced a high volume, narrow band of air, and the crevace tool was narrow enough, and the same shape as the drain inlet, to force that air through the drains. I was having the same problem with water getting into the engine compartment and this worked great for removing the blockage i.e. leaves, dirt, twigs and such. After, I checked by running water down the windshield with a garden hose and had excellent flow from the drains behind the front tires, you may need to reach under and "help" remove anything that might be to big to make it all the way out of the drain with your fingers, but otherwise I had no problems and it only took a couple of minutes, though you may have to be creative with the attachments, they're not always compatable; I had to add a few layers of black tape to the crevace tool to seat it in the shop-vac hose securely.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 41
have you tried using a straightened out coathanger? I had the same problem w/ my 300ZX and was able to clear the drains that way.
93 300E 2.8 - The Beezy
05 Mazda3 Hatch - The Zoom
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:49 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 1,140
coat hangers or long tie-wraps work wonders for some similar tasks for me..........not sure how narrow the drain tubes are though. Spay some simple green in there and let it soften things up too, then run water in there while roto-rooting
former: 83 300D, 97 C230, 93 400E

current: 08 C300 Luxury , 92 500SL
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Posts: 200
Its well worth checking and cleaning them, especially the one on the near (battery) side.

The part you can't see is a moulded two part affair and if the two halves become separated, the runoff water drains directly onto the charcoal return filter in the fuel line, which eventually contaminates the fuel return with water, which contaminates the petrol tank and the fuel distributor in that order.

And believe me, you do not want to go there.

If you remove the plastic inner fender, you can detach the lower hose which is thinner than the top half and probably the one which is blocked.
1987 300e manual 250,000 km (sold)
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:38 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 899
Well, it's bad form to reply to one's own post, but I will anyway. I tackled these drains this past weekend. The key to my success was realizing that you can take the drain tubes off the small funnels at the corner of the windshield, tilt them forward, and get a much better angle and access for cleaning.

The battery side one is a piece of cake once you take the battery out and pull the ECU cover/shield out. The tube which leads the water through the floor of that section is reasonably flexible and you can pull it down and away from the "funnel" and stick your shop vac right on that tube opening and use your hand or some tape to help seal it. I did that, after I had poked just about anything I could fit down that tube and worked it for a while. Then I heard a big "fooomp" and the vac pulled a big clog out of there. Yes!

On the driver's side, the access is not nearly as good. I tried taking the fuse box cover off, but it doesn't really help. I found that I could depress the drain tube downward (to unhook it from the funnel) using a screwdriver handle (didn't want to use the metal end as I was afraid I'd poke a hole or rip the tube) and eventually work it loose from the funnel. Then you can bring it forward to get better access, roto root it as best you can, then vac it. Same thing - eventually a big clog came loose and voila, free draining again. Note that there is a plastic U shaped clamp of sorts holding the drain tubes, but on mine I could bend them out of the way without breaking them and then move the tube.

Note that I did not pull either tube out of the car, only tilted the mouth forward for better access. And I had thought that these tubes drained all the way to the bottom of the car - they don't. They drain to an area on top of the inner wheel well and drip out at a level above the tire.

So it is possible to kill those bad clogs!

Chris W.

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