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Old 02-16-2019, 07:55 PM   #1
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Water intrusion on driver side (not windshield)

I'm just starting my interior build and have gone around the entire vehicle with a hose looking for leaks prior to installing insulation.

Before I gutted I had the common wet carpet problem in the the front driver side of the ford e series.

-I tore our the carpet, front seats and all of the paneling in the front area.

-I got a hose and started at multiple points on the vehicle.

-On the interior underneath the steering wheel I went to the highest point that water is coming in.

Here is where I am at...

-The very high point I have access to on the interior where water is entering is shown in picture 3 in the far upper corner behind the large red piece. (picture 4 is a zoomed out image of what you are looking at). Unfortunately I can't access it because of all of the wires and plastic/insulation that is screwed in.

-The very low point that I could access from the exterior is under the black plastic venting above the hood (can't remember the name). There is a black plastic cover that I removed that allows you to reach in below the wipers. I put a hose in here and let run run very slowly. Once I did this, a decent amount of water was entering the interior. Pictures are shown .

I am not sure what to do at this point. I can't tell what needs to be sealed. Any advice? Is water supposed to go in this area under the black plastic venting and windshield wipers?
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exterior zoomed in.jpg   exterior zoomed out.jpg   interior leak close.jpg   interior leak zoomed out.jpg  
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:56 PM   #2
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Anyone remember what thread had pictures of the pinch seam gaps that leaked? I was helping Surfvan today trying to chase this down. I remember this being a relatively common issue. Also, was it possible to caulk this from outside or was it only a inside fix? I also seem to remember that the person was able to see light through those gaps.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:43 PM   #3
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Anyone remember what thread had pictures of the pinch seam gaps that leaked? I was helping Surfvan today trying to chase this down. I remember this being a relatively common issue. Also, was it possible to caulk this from outside or was it only a inside fix? I also seem to remember that the person was able to see light through those gaps.

Ray, thanks for the call and all your help today!! I put a flashlight in various spots as you suggested. At this spot shown in the photo I saw a very small amount of light from the interior. I saw the light way higher up than I expected. The problem is that I can't access that seam from the interior without removing all kind of wires and components which I am not prepared to do. From the exterior... I don't know how to access it either. Still stuck but feeling closer.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:18 AM   #4
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The area under black plastic cowl trim that houses the wiper assembly is supposed to be water tight to the interior, its not uncommon at all for it to be wet have water flowing through it. By design it will drain to either the left or right side, falling onto the ground pretty much unseen.

If you can be certain there is a leak to the interior in that area under the windshield and at least locate the actual leak to a visibly cracked or open seam of some sort it can be resealed from outside, there's no need to remove much of anything under the dash board.

Using a produce like 3M's Brushable Seam sealer it would be possible to coat the offending area suitably to stop the leak. This might require some gymnastic-like maneuvering, possibly removing parts of the wiper arm linkage to give full access for applying the seam sealer.

In essence you'll be laying a full layer of seam sealer in the channel or area just under the windshield, much like painting the suspected leaking areas. This won't be the most elegant appearing, the saving grace being the black plastic cowl trim covers it all up.

Most any operation from the outside will be infinitely easier and less complex than accessing a leak in that area from under the dash board.

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Old 02-17-2019, 10:12 AM   #5
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The area under black plastic cowl trim that houses the wiper assembly is supposed to be water tight to the interior, its not uncommon at all for it to be wet have water flowing through it. By design it will drain to either the left or right side, falling onto the ground pretty much unseen.

If you can be certain there is a leak to the interior in that area under the windshield and at least locate the actual leak to a visibly cracked or open seam of some sort it can be resealed from outside, there's no need to remove much of anything under the dash board.

Using a produce like 3M's Brushable Seam sealer it would be possible to coat the offending area suitably to stop the leak. This might require some gymnastic-like maneuvering, possibly removing parts of the wiper arm linkage to give full access for applying the seam sealer.

In essence you'll be laying a full layer of seam sealer in the channel or area just under the windshield, much like painting the suspected leaking areas. This won't be the most elegant appearing, the saving grace being the black plastic cowl trim covers it all up.

Most any operation from the outside will be infinitely easier and less complex than accessing a leak in that area from under the dash board.

HTH
Thanks JWA, I definitely agree on sealing from the exterior rather the interior. However, I have no clue how to access the intrusion point. It's underneath these panels (i don't know what all of that is called). I have tried to illustrate where the intrusion is in the photo. I uploaded them as PDFs to try and avoid the sideways picture problem. Is there any other way to avoid sideways pictures?
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File Type: pdf exterior zoomed out.pdf (215.2 KB, 17 views)
File Type: pdf leak intrusion point.pdf (226.0 KB, 14 views)
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #6
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Using a light to see the hole is a great idea, I'll try it when I get home as I too have a wet floor. I do remember another thread where a leak was traced to a hole in the inner fender and was sealed by removing the fender.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:43 AM   #7
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Here you go. http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...but-20374.html
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:53 AM   #8
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Thanks. I did have that grommet issue on the passenger side but my issue on the driver side is something else.
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:00 PM   #9
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Parr

If you are going to patch the hole use PARR. You can pick it up at most independent RV parts stores for under $10. If that is not an option order it through Amazon but they have it listed it at $32. I have used it to seal everything on a 1976 Airstream. After 11 years of full time travel throughout the western US and Canada. We have had no leaks. It comes in silver (airstreams), black and clear. Doesn't matter what color you use it will turn black. It has the viscosity of toothpaste but when it cures it will lose volume and get sucked into the crack. You can run a 3mm to a 4mm bead along a seam. The PARR will cure to a thickness of around 1mm. It comes in a toothpaste size blue tube with white writing. Almost anything you buy at Home Depot will break down in 3-5 years. We have almost 300K miles on the van. After 10 years I cannot tear it away from the seam without using a screwdriver. I replaced the sealant that was used on my SMB penthouse with the PAAR. I monitor the bed and interior paneling for signs of water damage. No leaks and the stuff makes for an excellent adhesive.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfvan View Post
Thanks JWA, I definitely agree on sealing from the exterior rather the interior. However, I have no clue how to access the intrusion point. It's underneath these panels (i don't know what all of that is called). I have tried to illustrate where the intrusion is in the photo. I uploaded them as PDFs to try and avoid the sideways picture problem. Is there any other way to avoid sideways pictures?
Photos on most forum sites are displayed relative to their sizes, typically anything 800 x 600 will be displayed correctly, as in not sideways or rotated 90 degrees. When posting images check that their width doesn't exceed that ratio. PDF's are good in this case----they're displayed in a helpful way.

Definitely use a bright light under the dash board to see which seam or panel is leaking---if possible post those too. You're probably already ahead of me here but doing this at night or other low-light situation might give you a very good idea what and where the water is seeping in.

You might need to remove the driver's side fender which will give slightly more access inside the wiper motor area although not a lot, just more than you have now. Removing the hood and hinges might also be helpful too. It might also come down to removing the wiper motor and its linkage. Mind you I've never poked around in that area except to replace a wiper motor so that might not be necessary. You'll have to assess this as you proceed.

That area is indeed tight---I've recently installed oil accumulator brackets using the bottom plate but as those were more towards the vehicle center it wasn't too difficult. I "think" spreading a sealer by hand using brushes would be possible BUT I'm wondering if a sealer applied with an undercoating gun like 3M's 08997 wouldn't be a much better way to seal that area?

Search YouTube for applications using that gun---if workable contact 3M directly inquiring if they have a permanent seam sealer that could be applied using it. You could also talk with any local body shop supply centers, those dedicated to serving the professional body shops.

If going that route you wouldn't have to remove the fender or hood, perhaps just the wiper motor and linkage so they don't get "coated" with the seam sealer.

HTH

Small update of my own. 3M's 08374 is readily available, the cost somewhat negligible considering it is a permanent solution. The applicator gun in typical 3M style (# 08400) is a bit pricey at around $350---might be a bit much for a single use. There might be alternatives to this tool in another brand doing the same job for a bit less money.

IF its determined a sprayable sealer would work perhaps contacting a local autobody collision shop might find someone willing to apply this for you? Removing the wiper motor etc in advance might save some money and hassles for everyone.

Just an idea.............
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