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Old 16-11-2004   #1
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Rust around sunroof

I have been going through my Uno trying to sort out the rust. It is a lot better than most for its age (May 1989. MK1 Uno) but still rust has gotten in anon to me. I have been undersealing with that Hammerite stuff and need to weld in two small plate over the back wheel arches. My biggest problem is around the sunroof. It's a tilt and slide type and is rusting at the front and sides. I don't think I can get at the rust from the bottom because of the sunroof. If I sand and fill it on the top the rust will be out through it in a short time again. I saw this on ebay Germany a while back, some guy selling a secondhand sunroof for an Uno. It's the same as in my car. I was wondering does anyone know is it possible to remove a tilt and slide sunroof without destroying the roof or anything else.

Thanks

http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...%3AEF%3ADE%3A1
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Old 16-11-2004   #2
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Re: Rust around sunroof

The tilt and slide sunroof is actually quite easy to remove on a mk1 Uno. I've done it myself on my 1986 Uno 45S, not to sort out the rust (it doesn't have any!) but to try and stop it leaking.

What you need to do is take the roof headlining out of the car before you start. On mine, this entailed removing the sun-visors, rear view mirror, grab handles, a few plastic plugs and pulling out the water pipe that goes to the rear hatch washer jet. You also need to remove the sunroof winder handle and the plastic cover above it.

Also, you'll need to prise out the two interior roof/ pillar lights and disconnect the wiring from them

The headlining has some fabric which is glued to the lower edge of the sunroof frame. I tried to remove this carefully but the fabric had become very brittle with age and simply tore. In the end the only way I could get it off was to cut along the edge with a sharp knife.

Once you've done this the headlining should drop down and can be removed from the car in one piece. Best to take it out through the rear hatch with the rear seats down to give you plenty of room.

Then you need to remove the four bolts that hold the glass sunroof panel to the sunroof mechanism. These bolts should have plastic caps covering them (simply prise off, carefully, with a flat blade screwdriver), though they tend to go brittle with age and crack and fall off on their own. Remove bolts, then remove the glass panel from the sunroof.

With the headlining out, you'll see the underside of the sunroof from inside the car. There will be four pipes (drain tubes) at each corner. Pull these off.

If you look up at the sunroof assembly from inside the car, you'll see a whole series of nuts bolting it under the roof round the edges. You need to unbolt all of these. The nuts at the rear are accessed through some holes in the sunroof frame, and can only be accessed with the sunroof blind slid into the closed position. Also, you'll need some very slim sockets to fit through these holes. If you have a 'T' handle screwdriver set, these often have sockets that fit (10mm I think).

Best to remove all the nuts but leave the four corner ones in place. Then it's a good idea to get an assistant to sit in the car and hold the sunroof in place while you undo the last of the nuts else it will drop down under its own weight. If it drops down with only the nuts holding it on one side then you risk damaging/ bending the alloy frame.

With all the nuts removed, simply lower the sunroof downwards then remove from the car.

If you need to, the sunroof weather seal can now be removed as well. It can ONLY be removed once the sunroof is out as the sunroof clamps it to the underside of the roof. Try not to damage it, as a new one (if they still carry stock) is about 43 + VAT. Yes, that's for the rubber seal only!

Also, the rubber seal has sealant in it's channel where it fits onto the roof flange. If you remove the seal from the roof then you'll need to put new sealant in the seal to flange channel when you put it back.

It sounds quite daunting, but is in actual fact quite easy and can easily be done in an afternoon.

However, as you are doing some rust removing, I would suggest you find a garage or somewhere under cover that can be used for a few days just in case the heavens open up. You'll be needing to remove rust, treat the affected areas, repair, fill and possibly some painting. This will take a few days at least and you'll need to keep the repair areas dry while you are doing this.

And you are doing the right thing by doing the rust treatment after removing the sunroof. If you only treat the rust you can see on top of the roof, then you'll probably miss rust you can't see underneath. Then it is only a matter of time before rust comes back again.....

If the worst comes to the worst and you find all sorts of rust horrors, then another option is to find a larger aftermarket sunroof. Cut out a larger aperature in the roof and fit the new sunroof. That might well eliminate the rust!

Hopefully yours isn't too bad and can be saved. I was very lucky in that mine had no rust at all, but just to be on the safe side I used anti rust primer and Smoothrite to protect the underside areas and the seal flange. Then I used some exterior silicone sealant for the rubber seal to flange channel, and bolted it all back into place.

After I did all that the damn thing still leaked occasionally through the winder handle!

One last thing, the Haynes manual has an exploded diagram of the sunroof in the 'Bodywork' section. It's on page 227 in my very old Uno Haynes manual.

Good luck, and let the board know how you get on.
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Old 17-11-2004   #3
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Re: Rust around sunroof

Thanks 1986UNO45S, it's good to know it can be removed. Now I know I have a fighting chance of stopping the rust. I have got to ask, how do you manage to have no rust on a 86 uno?. The MK1's are particularly bad for rusting. I underseal mine, keep it garaged when not in use and still got the rust. It's not at all bad but it's best to treat it now before it gets out of control.
I also had a leaky sunroof but stopped it with windscreen sealant. That is a scary price for the sunroof seal but I had best replace mine also. Did you get yours from a fiat dealer.

Thanks.
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Old 18-11-2004   #4
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Re: Rust around sunroof

Hi gholian ,

>Thanks 1986UNO45S, it's good to know it can be removed. Now I know I have a fighting chance of stopping the rust.

Yes, it's not that difficult to remove though can be a little fiddly and time consuming.

>I have got to ask, how do you manage to have no rust on a 86 uno?.

I guess I was just very lucky. I bought my car in April of 2003 with only 62,000 miles on the clock, so it has a very low mileage for it's year. It also only cost me 46 off Ebay! It passed it's MOT last week with nothing more needed than a dodgy earth corrected in one rear light unit. Mileage is now 76,000.

I was exaggerating a bit when I said it had no rust. I meant it has no rust on the roof or round the sunroof, which is lucky. That's why I took it all apart to sort out a leak and used anti rust paint and Smoothrite to make sure it wouldn't rust ever!

When I bought the car it had the usual problem of rusty door bottoms, the first place that Uno's tend to go. I got lucky on Ebay again and found a rust free passenger door in the same colour (for 11!), though I'm still trying to find a rust free drivers door.

The rest of the car is remarkably rust free. There is one small spot inside the tailgate where the window seal meets the frame, but that hasn't got any worse. However, I have a Turbo tailgate I picked up (off Ebay again!) for 10, in the same colour and will get round to swapping them over. Apart from the natty little spoiler, the mk1 Turbo tailgate is made of plastic so it won't ever rust! They do have a habit of cracking instead though.....

There is the odd rust spot here and there, but considering the car will be 19 years old next year it's pretty amazing for such an old Fiat. It may have had new front wings at some point, but as there is no rust in the inner wings or joins maybe they could be original. I've seen many different early 90's cars rusting away like crazy so Fiat must have done something right to banish their rusty reputation with the Uno.

Fiat's Tipo was one of the first production cars to be fully galvanised which is why you hardly ever see a rusty one. And I think all models from the Cinquecento onwards are galvanised, though doubt if this was the case with the Uno (mk1 and 2).

>The MK1's are particularly bad for rusting.

Actually, I've found that the '86 to '88 mk1 Uno's seem to resist rust far better than some of the later Uno's. '83 to '85 models ('Y' to 'B' reg) seemed to rust badly, and you never seem to see any of them on the road anymore. But I have still seen some nice 'D' to 'F' reg mk1's still trundling around. Mine is on a late 'C' plate, about three months short of the new registration letter.

I also did a post a few months back asking what age Uno people on the board owned. Turned out mine was the oldest, so perhaps my assumptions aren't entirely correct!

Fiat made a big deal about advertising the Uno as being protected against corrosion when it was launched, and my suspicion is that the early cars weren't any better than all the other manufacturers at the time. So I reckon they really pulled the stops out from the mid 80's onwards which is why you find some of the later mk1's still in a reasonably rust free condition. Compared with mk2 Fiestas, mk4 Escorts, Vauxhall Novas etc. of the same era, Fiat were much better.

However, I've also noticed that the early mk2 Uno's rust far more than the later mk1's. Once again, the later mk2's seem to be better, though why Fiat dropped standards for the facelift I don't know. Perhaps they switched production somewhere else with lower quality control? There are some very nice late mk2's around, but some dreadfully rusty early mk2's. They seemed to rust just about anywhere.

>I underseal mine, keep it garaged when not in use and still got the rust. It's not at all bad but it's best to treat it now before it gets out of control.

Yes, prevention is better than a cure. Catch rust early enough and it can be dealt with. Leave it for too long and you have big holes to deal with!

Also helps for those living in cold and wet climates (i.e. UK in winter) to make sure the underside of the car is washed whenever possible, especially when salt is used on the roads. If you allow salty mud to build up under the car, the slightest bit of exposed metal will rust with frightening speed. Salt rapidly speeds up the rusting process which is why it should never be allowed to collect anywhere on a cars body work, especially underneath and in the wheel arches.

>I also had a leaky sunroof but stopped it with windscreen sealant. That is a scary price for the sunroof seal but I had best replace mine also. Did you get yours from a fiat dealer.

I didn't replace mine in the end. 43 + VAT would end up costing more than I paid for the car! And yes, that was the quote from a Fiat dealer. I tried everywhere else to see if I could find an after market seal but drew a blank. My seal was ok, it was the bit that rests against the edge of the sunroof aperature that was a little bit stretched. I just used some industrial exterior sealant to seal all the gaps.

>Thanks.

Glad to be of help! Got to keep those Uno's on the road!

Chas
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Old 23-11-2004   #5
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Re: Rust around sunroof

Glad to be of help! Got to keep those Uno's on the road!

Yes We have to do our best but the newest of them is now ten years old and time is against them. Even though mine is in good condition for its age it's a lot of work to get the rust out from around the sunroof. It's going to be expensive also if I have to get a new sunroof seal and spray the top of the car. But I must be strong and carry on. My wife has a 1994 Uno 45 and that is holding up well against rust.

As regards rust on the earlier mk1's, the 86 - 89 are probably better alright as there are none of the earlier one to be seen anywhere.
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