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  #1  
Old 09-19-2001, 09:51 PM
Zoonhollis's Avatar
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Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 551
Angry Rainwater Gremlins...again

Now here's a topic that's been beat to death, but I'm stumped:

I STILL get rainwater pooling in the rear floorpans of my 300D. I've cleared out all four drainage areas under the hood (two under the hood hinges, one under the battery tray, and one under the brake booster--they're all clear as a Christian's eyeball), and I don't think my windows leak at all. But here's a peculiar detail: water does not begin collecting until about 24 hours AFTER IT RAINS! So it must be pooling somewhere and slowly draining into the interior over the next day or two, but I cannot find where. Has anyone had this problem? Could it be from the two hood grilles near the front windshield where the wipers are? What the h*ll is going on? My floorpans are gonna rust themselves out of existence!
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1995 E300 Diesel (Die Blau Frau)
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2001, 10:19 PM
BB BB is offline
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Unhappy same thing last week

Hey guys I went to car wash last week to give it a once over with the wagon (1982 w123 280 te) and as I was going thru water was pouring in from and around the panel where the visor is all over me , easy 200 to 500 ml.
I did change the sunroof cassete last year so Im also stumped wher the water is comming from maybe the windscreen seals?
Anybody else had this problem?
Also on the back tailgate (Rear door of wagon) water is getting in thru seals , but these are new is there any way of perhaps tightening the door in the closed position? This way the door is hard up against the new seals. Also did stick extra rubber moulding on door the thin stuff you get here at Clarke rubber but the glue gives way as soon as summer gets the door hot the glue gives way
Any help also appreciated here
cheers from BB
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W123 280Te 1982 Modified & still going
W210 190E 1990 (Wifes Car)
W116 350 se sold
W116 280 se sold
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2001, 10:30 PM
BB BB is offline
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Exclamation Forgot to mention last post

Guys I had same problem with rain water from front drain holes before and some minor rust was present way back in cavity

So what I did was clean out area and got some resin (Stuff you use with fibreglass) And painted inside of cavity back up against fire wall, had car up on ramp at the front and also laid it on thick.
The resin did partially come into cabin (Obviously thru rusted area)
now there are no leaks from this spot and maybe stop rust getting a further foothold in the future.

Check the area also boys have seen major rust in some cars here.

regards
BB
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W123 280Te 1982 Modified & still going
W210 190E 1990 (Wifes Car)
W116 350 se sold
W116 280 se sold
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2001, 05:35 AM
Benzie
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Had this problem with my W123 too.

I finally traced it down to the valance panel where the wiper vents were sitting on. What I did was to remove the wipers, its retaining screw rings, the two wiper vents (they are secured by 4 plastic pins each). The valance panel is taken out by removing 4 rivet-like plastic pins. Once the valance panel is taken out can you then see 15 to 20years worth of grime, leaves and Rust! Rust starts around the corners right below the windscreen and below the wiper motor mounts.

I derusted mine, sealed rust holes with polyurethane sealant (The type for windscreen seals), and greased entire area thoroughly. Refitting was easy.

Never had the leaking problem again!
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2001, 10:40 PM
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BB:

The rear window in the wagon uses the same thick rubber gasket that the rear sedan window uses -- these get old and hard and shrink and allow water around the glass and around the gasket to body seal. They are not expensive.

Ditto for the W124 wagon rear door glass -- mine is leaking already ( 1988 model) and will be replaced this year sometime. I get water pooling in the latch, no other signs of leakage.

When the windshields leak, they will drip water off the bottom edge somewhere -- for the rear, look for water tracks on the wheelwells. They can also dribble water down the rear seat back and onto the floor from under the rear seat cushion. Only occasionally can you see water tracks on the actual gasket -- it usually goes underneath.

The easy way to check is to see how pliable the gasket is -- if it is hard to the touch or you can move the windshield (or it creaks on bumps), the gasket is shot.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2001, 12:35 AM
BB BB is offline
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Thumbs up Thanks Jimmy And Peter

Thanks guys the vent panel I will check also,
but the water is coming in from the top in the front EG above the sunvisor thru the
panel that runs along the top off windscreen -internal trim-(Rear View Mirror in the middle, that one)

But Im not sure if its the sunroof or the windsheild, need to remove panel first and run water to see, will post when I find out.

The wiper vent panels will get a going over also.

Re the rear Seal around the whole rear tailgate this is new , not sure how to tighten door closure to give more pressure contact between door and seal? If you have suggestion this would help . The actual glass mounting rubber seems fine though

Any way thanks and cheers from BB(Steve)
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BB
W123 280Te 1982 Modified & still going
W210 190E 1990 (Wifes Car)
W116 350 se sold
W116 280 se sold
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2001, 12:36 AM
Zoonhollis's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 551
Well, by golly, I think Brian was right about the sunroof being the leak culprit. I took a pitcher of water out to my car today and carefully poured water on the seals of the closed sunroof. I watched as the water disappeared into the seams, then I later saw a bit of water on the floorboards again.

Now, in order to fix this, I need my sunroof to actually work! I took out the motor, which didn't function, and proceeded to take it apart. There was a small black relay inside the motor, in circuit with one of the brushes. I opened it up, cleaned it, and put it back together, then did some re-soldering. Now the motor works. Geez, the things one must do just to fix a leak...
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2001, 11:16 AM
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Steve:

There are hard rubber and steel stops on both sides of the rear door that are adjustable. The latch plate is also adjustable. You can also move the door on the hinges to adjust closing position.

Most likely, as all you did was replace the gasket, is that the side stops and latch need to be set a little further in.

To adjust:

slightly loosen attaching screws for stop plates and latch, just enough to allow them to move under pressure.

Close door and check fit -- it should be flush to no more than 1 mm below pillars. If it is high, push down firmly to move stops in. Open door and tighten screws.

If it is too low, set stops higher and repeat.

A bit fiddly to get the stops loose enough to move, but tight enough to stay put, but should fix the fit.

If you are getting water only at the bottom of the door or in the latch plate, the gasket is fine and the window seal is shot, even if it looks fine. Try to move the glass -- if it moves at all independent of the seal, replace the seal!]

Zoonhollis:

While the seals on the sunroof may be old (and not too difficult to replace), the actual "leak" is in the sunroof tray inside the car or the drains -- MB doesn't attempt to make the sunroof panel watertight, but drains the leakage off down some rubber drain lines from the sunroof frame to the front cowl. If these lines are plugged or worn, the water will drip down the firewall onto the floor. Ditto if the drains are rusted through from outside (see previous posts).

A leak at the headliner is almost certainly a leak at the sunroof frame, probably from plugged sunroof drain hoses.

Naturaly, one has to remove the headliner to fix them......!

And, finally, the front windshield on these cars is also a "lace-in" window, subject to dry-rot and shrinkage/leakage. The 123's are now at the age where the seal needs to be replaced, unless it is never exposed to sunlight (ha!). Try lifting the edge of the exposed seal on the body side -- if it isn't very pliable and doesn't "snap" back down, it is shot. If it has little cracks or the edge has pulled back from the sheetmetal, or it has dirt underneath, it is already leaking! Rubbed spots on the paint under the seal also mean it is leaking -- it is too hard to conform to the metal. New gasket is on the order of $70, costs about $25 or so to have replaced at a glass shop.

DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO USE VULCANIZE IN PLACE SEALANT ON ANY OF THESE SEALS!!!!!!!! The rubber seals very nicely on the smooth metal and glass surfaces (that means you have to fix any rough or rusty spots before putting a new seal in!). Sealants will "set" quickly, preventing the seal from conforming to the glass and body, and the seal will leak. Don't allows the idiots at the auto glass place to talk you into using the black s.....! These are NOT glued in, as all new ones are. Silicone spray is all you need. Seal will need to be replaced again in 15 years or so.

Don't wait, both my 220D and my brother's 300D were rusted out from leaking windows, not from the outside!

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!

Last edited by psfred; 09-22-2001 at 11:36 AM.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2001, 11:30 PM
Zoonhollis's Avatar
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Peter,

Thanks for the reply. I checked the sunroof drains after successfully disassembling the motor and rebuilding it, and thus getting my sunroof to operate. I ran a coat hanger through the drains and then poured water in them to assure that they all drained properly...which they did. So now what? All that seems to be left are the windshields, and I cannot see any evidence that they are the cause (other than the water pooling in the floorboards!). If the rear glass were leaking, would I not have a damp hat shelf after it rains? If the front were leaking, would I not see it pouring in as I'm driving through a deluge? Perhaps I should do the medical equivalent of an angiogram(?), and pour water with red food coloring in it on the various suspected leak points...

...out of ideas.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2001, 08:51 PM
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Matt:

Not a bad idea, actually, if you use different colors for different places!

The window leaks on these cars are insidious -- they only leak around the seal to body area, only on the bottom edge (unless they have been glued in), and usually only in the lower corners were the wires for the electric defroster grid go. The water from the back window will leak under the seal and under the sound deadening on the back shelf -- the shelf cover won't get wet most of the time. The water runs under the sound deadening (molded ashphalt sheeting, actually), and slowly works its way down the seat back and out onto the floor, unless the 123 chassis is radically different than the 115.

The usuall "tattletails" are small water marks on the gasket on the bottom edge, and water trails in the trunk.

Unfortunately, the floors slope back towards the rear on these cars, so a leak up front can cause wet rear floors.

A leaking windshield up front will usually drip water down the kick panels or off the firewall under the carpet -- you will need to get the carpet and pads out to check for water trails.

Water leaks are a true bummer -- takes forever to find them! See previous post for checking the condition of the cowl/sunroof drains, too, and check for torn rubber drain hoses in the trunk.

And just for fun, check the rear door gaskets, too, in case one is torn and water is leaking down the door -- not likely, but hey, I'm out of ideas other than the window seals!

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2001, 12:07 AM
Zoonhollis's Avatar
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Location: Cary, NC
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Update!

Well, I can't believe I didn't notice this before, but the front windshield seal (the one adjacent to the body) has a "bad" spot near the passenger side wiper. Furthermore, both inside and outside seals surrounding the windshield are old and fairly brittle. The seals on the rear glass appear much newer.

Peter, do you think an independent shop might know how to replace these seals, or is it better left to a window specialty shop? Also, if I order these seals, do the inner and outer seals come as a unit, or are they sold separately?

Your advice on this matter is much appreciated. Can I buy you a beer?
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2001, 01:43 AM
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Matt:

Any decent auto glass place can replace it for you. I would make arrangements to buy the seal at a dealer or independent shop or parts supply that can get a real OEM seal. Do not under any circumstances save money and buy an aftermarket. The OEM is a one piece molding, the aftermarkets usually have cut and glued corners and will leak, usually immediately.

Check for rust under the gasket -- it will have to be fixed before a new one is put in or the new gasket will leak.

The gasket is one piece (huge!) and the chrome (actually aluminum) trim strip snaps into it to lock the window in place. Not a big deal to replace if you have the suction cups to hold the windshield in place while you get the gasket over the edge ----- ! Usually use a piece of small diameter rope to force the seal over the window -- sounds complicated and isn't, but it is also rather easy to break the glass, so have it done. Just don't let anyone use vulcanizing sealant on it, it doesn't need it.

An independed MN shop will be able to do the installation, or will have a prefered auto glass place to recommend.


An yes, you can buy me a beer! Or I'll just drink one next time I'm out!

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2001, 10:09 PM
BB BB is offline
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Cool Matt and Peter

Hey guys sorry not to get back to you sooner been real busy at work (work for myself) no time to get into car repairs at the moment , but will check these items that were listed.
Also withy door seals as you mentioned on post to repair door seals I used black silicone and piped into the seal where it was damaged to glue bits to gether and repair missing pieces, it worked a treat.:p
With some clever finger moulding the cured repairs dont even get noticed(remember to allow silicone to cure before closing the doors, otherwise you make more work for yourself )
kind regards
from Steve
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BB
W123 280Te 1982 Modified & still going
W210 190E 1990 (Wifes Car)
W116 350 se sold
W116 280 se sold
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