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  #1  
Old 08-27-2007, 07:33 PM
patbob's Avatar
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rain gutter as water leak

Over the weekend, I tracked a strange water leak I had that was dumping onto the carpet on the front passenger side. Not lots of water (no puddles), but enough to feel damp whenever it rained. Turned out to be a missing screw in the rain gutter... and was obscure enough that I figured I'd post some pictures.


Picture 1: the passenger rain gutter. There's three black, non-magnetic, screws holding it on. Mine was missing the bottom one, and the sticky gasket on that end wasn't sealing tight to the piller either.

Picture 2: The water dumps inside the car, up behind the dash, about here.

Picture 3: Another view of the dash, up behind it right at the bottom of that pillar.

Attached Thumbnails
rain gutter as water leak-small_0001.jpg   rain gutter as water leak-small_0002.jpg   rain gutter as water leak-small_0003.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2007, 07:43 PM
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rest of pictures

Picture 4: Another view, lying on the seat looking up into the dash. The front of the car is at the top of the picture. Way up, where the red cicle is, behind all the insulation and up against the frame will be the hole the water comes through.

Picture 5: Here's the hole. I've pulled the insulation away to get a good look. I pushed a zip-tie through the hole into the pillar to illustrate where the hole is.

Picture 6: A closeup of the hole that the zip-tie is sticking out of.


Near as I can tell, the water enters through the screw hole in the pillar for holding the gutter on, runs down inside it, and leaks into the cabin via this hole. I discovered this leak by running a lot of water onto the outside of the winshield down that gutter. I needed a pretty heafty flow to get the water into the pilar in enough volume it dripped through the hole that the zip-tie was sticking out of. It must then run down and leak onto the carpet somewhere.

The fix, is to A) replace the missing screw and B) seal the screw hole.
Obviously, the original screw is something metric, but I found a #6 x 3/4" stainless, pan-head machine screw was almost a perfect match for the original and fit perfectly. A dab of slicone sealant under the screw head, and some torque to pull the sticky gasket down firmly onto the pillar fixed my leak.

Given the position of this leak, I'd expect it might only leak a little water over a long time, or only leak when there's pressure from wind forcing the water into the hole.

Moral of this story.. don't ignore the missing screws that hold on the front gutter (I used to be missing a few others too).

Hope that helps somebody with an odd, difficult to find water leak.
Attached Thumbnails
rain gutter as water leak-small_0004.jpg   rain gutter as water leak-small_0005.jpg   rain gutter as water leak-small_0006.jpg  
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2007, 07:35 AM
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Great piece of detective work!

Thanks for the writeup, dieselbob!

Whoodathunk?

Jim
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:24 AM
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Was the windshield replaced?

Did you replace your windshield? I was wondering how you lost the screws....
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2007, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodyart27 View Post
Did you replace your windshield? I was wondering how you lost the screws....
Don't know how they got lost, certainly wasn't me who did it . It probably came that way from the PO when I got the car last year -- the rain gutters weren't something I ever looked at that closely until I found the leak.

I can see evidence of past repainting and windshield replacement, so they were probably dropped down into the hood hinge during reinstall from one of those and left. The originals (and my SS replacements, for that matter) are nonmagentic, so it was pretty difficult not losing them that way myself and would have been very difficult to retreive too.
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2007, 12:48 PM
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Now that the rains have returned here, I can now tell if the rain gutter water leak I fixed was indeed the source of my water on the passenger carpet.. the answer is that it was the entire cause of the water leak as I have not had even a drop on that carpet since.

In case others might be trying to diagnose similar problems, I've also included a picture of the passenger side of the floor. The blue line is where the carpet would get soggy -- there was never enough water to pool, though. The blemish on the interior of the side panel was there when I got the car and, while I never saw water drip onto it, that is pretty much where it was traveling to. I suspect that blemish was also a result of this leak since it was clearly created by something dripping onto that area, although what could cause that but not leave any traces on the inside of the upper panel (which it had to have been running down) nor on the outside of the car eludes me.

Hope this helps someone.
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rain gutter as water leak-copy-sscn7145.jpg  
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