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> water ingress MAJOR PROBLEM, answers on a postcard- opinions please...
dante giacosa
post 12th December 2019 14:10
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Well,

imagine my delight at realising something I noticed a couple of years ago has come back to bite me. (or at least come back to bark, at this point)

The other day, I had cause to lift the carpet on passenger side, and noticed I had standing-water under the carpet. I also noticed this six months ago, and also last year, and a bit before that, and thought 'nothing' of it each time; imagining it to be just 'one of those things'. I dried it out upon each discovery.

Fast forward to the extreme rain of the this week, and with the carpet lifted and the floorwell dried; I watched the floorwell 'refill' substantially three times in one afternoon! (with the car sitting still)

Now, having stripped out the complete passenger side floor level trim & front seat, I can see it is ingress'ing specifically from the point where the sill meets the front of the passenger seat-mount box-section. (see attached images)
Examination into the sills reveals a 'a degree' of water and dampness, but not exactly an actual flow, which is what I've got here.
Despite appearances (and apart from the inspection bungs) the sills don't actually connect to the floorwells, the apparent edge gap, visible at the sides of the floorwells stops dead in a downward metal fold.
It is the returned edge of this metal fold, underneath the sill box section above, which is carrying the water. I can see it as a moving flow on this recessed surface.

The question of course is where is the leak coming from..?

At one point I thought the seal between the plastic sideskirts and the actual sills was taking water into the mounting fixings, and that in turn the sills were becoming damp that way; that may in fact be the case, but having taped up the sideskirt-to-sill gap, the internal sills continued to be wet, and independently, the floorwell continued to refill..

I am currently thinking the sill front, at the rearmost point of the front wheelarch may be to blame. I've got an inspection camera coming.

Discuss...
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VROOM
post 13th December 2019 14:42
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I had a similar issue on our old megane with the front footwells filling up. I lifted the carpet and then sat inside whilst somebody squirted water from the hose pipe all over the roof and door. I then saw a small trickle come from under the door plastic sill trim (the bit you step over). Turned out that the door cards were actually sealed units to the door frame. They had a rubber gasket all around the edge that wasn't pressed up hard against the metal door frame so therefore not sealing. When water flowed down the side window into the door, it was splashing onto the back of the door card (no plastic membrane in the megane) and running under the plastic logo'd sill trim and out into the footwell rather than through the drain holes in bottom of the door. It was a heck of a job discovering this. Maybe the membrane in your door has come loose and the same is happening?

This post has been edited by VROOM: 13th December 2019 14:54
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dante giacosa
post 13th December 2019 15:22
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Thanks for replying Vroom.

that's interesting, I had to think about your explanation for a moment.

My doors do drain from the bottom; I've been inside them a few times, and the drain holes are clear, and they come out below the door seal, (on the car) but above the side skirts seal.
There is also an underdoor rubber seal to act as a secondary seal between the door bottom and the side skirt.

You can just about make some of this out in that side skirt shot that I took (except there's gaffa tape over the side skirt seal), on the back door which is just visible in shot.

The interior part of the door card bottoms are dry, as are the door seals themselves. I don't think anything is penetrating the membrane. It seems to be coming along the sill from somewhere else.

I'm going to have to take a front wheel off and get the arch liner out, early next week.

The car has now dried out under the car cover, and will have to do the weekend like that.

Inspection camera has turned up too.

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 13th December 2019 15:23
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JeremyG
post 15th December 2019 10:47
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 12th December 2019 14:10) *
Now, having stripped out the complete passenger side floor level trim & front seat, I can see it is ingress'ing specifically from the point where the sill meets the front of the passenger seat-mount box-section. (see attached images)
Examination into the sills reveals a 'a degree' of water and dampness, but not exactly an actual flow, which is what I've got here.
Despite appearances (and apart from the inspection bungs) the sills don't actually connect to the floorwells, the apparent edge gap, visible at the sides of the floorwells stops dead in a downward metal fold.
It is the returned edge of this metal fold, underneath the sill box section above, which is carrying the water. I can see it as a moving flow on this recessed surface.

The question of course is where is the leak coming from..?

At one point I thought the seal between the plastic sideskirts and the actual sills was taking water into the mounting fixings, and that in turn the sills were becoming damp that way; that may in fact be the case, but having taped up the sideskirt-to-sill gap, the internal sills continued to be wet, and independently, the floorwell continued to refill..

I am currently thinking the sill front, at the rearmost point of the front wheelarch may be to blame. I've got an inspection camera coming.

Discuss...


That is a puzzle... are you certain that water is not leaking in via the door seal not sealing correctly?

I only ask because the Nero Fuocco 146 leaked into the passenger footwell this way - made obvious by water tracking over the plastic treadplate over the sill. It ended up in exactly the same place you describe - where the cross rail for the front seat meets the inner sill.

If this is not the route, and water is getting in from the sills, then I think your inspection camera route is the best next step. But for water to be getting in this way, the sills would have to fill up to the level of the floorpan first...

Some other thoughts... jacking the car up on one side and/or parking on a slope to see if this affects the leak - might give you further clues. Plus, having a helper to douse the car while you're in it might help (on the off chance it's not raining in Edinburgh rolleyes.gif )


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dante giacosa
post 15th December 2019 22:34
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thankyou for your input, Jeremy

As it happens, fortunately for me, is has stopped raining in Edinburgh this weekend.

I'm as certain as I can be that this is a 'sub-carpet event', the plastic treadplate has never been wet, and having sat in the car with the carpet & treadplates stripped out, in the rain, and watched the floorwell refill- I can see the source of the leak is much lower.
There is no trickle over from the door seal above at all.

It's particularly puzzling, as the underside of the sill box-section; the actual EDGE of the floorwell, is visibly transmitting water backwards from the front of the car.
It's a 3 or 4mm vertical surface, you have to kneel next to the car, and lean-over and place your head on the floorwell upside down to see it.

Current thinking, is that the car (before our ownership) was in a front end smash of some type of 'cat *' rating (you will remember) and had the bonnet & front wings replaced.
The front wings are 'sealed' at the lower-arch / sill with a mastic (I read on here about a guy replacing a wing, and querying whether he should re-apply the mastic), and I wonder if this mastic had dried to the shape of the previous wings, and there is a slight non-bonded gap, with the current NS wing, allowing water ingress.

I think this fits as a feasible explanation, but I just don't understand how SO MUCH water could be reaching this spot. It would have to be a significant trickle from the rear of the wheelarch liner, or something like that.
Perhaps that is possible from the interior of the engine bay, if you think about the void behind the air-filter box ?

I've turned the car round now for access, in the available parking where I live, and tomorrow night will jack it up and remove the NS front road wheel & arch liner for inspection.

A couple of contingency scenarios exist, if I am unable to locate an exact leak point.

1. I clean out the NS sill from the front back, utilising the arch inspection holes, as best I can, and then fill the space with an entire tin of Dinitrol ML using the extension filling-hose. I have two tins of this stuff, and have been planning to do this for a while, but have never done it.

2. I add back in a feature deleted from my car (and I would imagine, many of our examples) through remedial welding; the floorwell drain-point.
This floorpan, utilised on many Alfa's, FIATs & Lancias, has a row of slotted semi-circular punch-down drain-points, in the lowest point of the 'ribs', in each floorwell.
I know EXACTLY where the water ends up, and I can put in a 3 or 4mm hole, dressed for rust-proofness, to just let this stuff fall out underneath.

Perhaps a combination of the two contingency scenarios will be appropriate.
I want to have it sewn up by midweek.


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JeremyG
post 16th December 2019 17:47
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So now I'm confused - in your first post you say the water is getting into the floorpan at the seam where the cross beam meets the inner edge of the sill; and on your last post you're suggesting it comes in further forward and runs back along the edge of the floorpan?

If water is running back from the front, do you have the interior stripped out enough to pinpoint how the rainwater is getting there in the first place???

I don't know enough about the construction of the bodyshell where the front wing is attached; I've looked at pics of my 145 when I had the interior stripped out and I can't find anything useful there either.

But I'm pretty sure the owner previous to me did not replace the front wings - just the bonnet, bumper, grille and headlights - after his accident.

Your contingency plans both sound good.

It's ironic, isn't it, that those drain holes - the cause of such rust-harbouring misery in these cars - never actually function as drain holes, because they are sealed up with bituminous sound deadening from above, and undershield from below?

This post has been edited by JeremyG: 16th December 2019 17:48
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dante giacosa
post 16th December 2019 22:26
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don't be confused! sorry- yes; I see what I've said there; let me explain

water is migrating at floorpan level back from the front of the car.


I now understand; that the POINT at which it leaves the edge of the floorpan, and flows at 90 degrees across the car and downwards; is the point where the crossbeam meets the inner edge of the sill.

As it happens; both the crossbeam and sill are incidental, and merely get in the way of the water, causing it to change direction.

Oh! I didn't know that about the wings; sorry, I had misunderstood that.



I have been outside on it (and under it) for four hours tonight and now I know everything, including some other things I didn't want to know!
But I need to collate-the-data first...

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 16th December 2019 22:28
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dante giacosa
post 17th December 2019 14:23
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OKAY!

So in short. I've found it.

It all comes back to something I was thinking at the beginning, namely; 'what draining-surface on the car, could drain SO MUCH water to continually fill the floor wells in extreme rain..?'

The answer? The windscreen.

Last night I did a load of fooling around behind the NS wheel arch liner and front wing. There wasn't really anything which convincingly looked like a problem.
Then inside the car, I stuck my 16 eBay inspection-camera into an obscure hole in the left-edge of the NS floorpan-front; it went in over half a meter, and I now realise came out on the right hand side of the NS floorwell, against the exhaust tunnel.
However, halfway round, I could see the rear of an enormous bolt, passing through a captive nut, and also a load of quite bad (legacy) localised rust. (this bolt is one the subframe mounting bolts from underneath)

I inserted the extension-wand from my tin of Dinitrol ML, and unloaded into the void.
A distant hissing revealed it was coming out somewhere else, and to my surprise, as well as appearing in several apparently unconnected spots in the passenger floorwell, it also came out UNDER the car!

I made two pools of cavity-wax under the car, one from the mounting point of the NS subframe, and one from the assembly-line mounting point! (often used for jacking, and last night used for holding an axle-stand under the car)

Each side of the subframe at the rearmost point, mounts to the floorpan, with three bolts and a blanking plug. I have had welding done at this spot in the past, and obviously a little gap remains. I had cavity wax appear at the blanking plug, and along the rearmost edge of the subframe on the NS.
It also poured from the assembly-line mounting point, which is often a handy point for jacking.

How could water reach these areas on a stationary car? From the scuttle panel drain pipe. Does anyone know where EXACTLY the scuttle panel drain comes out? Because I think it empties local to this spot at the rear of the engine bay.

That is my hypothesis.

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 17th December 2019 15:23
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VROOM
post 18th December 2019 19:15
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All sounds possible. From memory I think the scuttle drains via a hose that ends/empties it's contents half way down the back of engine bulkhead. I remember thinking at the time that I should extend the hose to drip water straight down onto the floor rather than allowing it to dribble straight onto vulnerable steel. I didn't extend it in the end. So did you have the floor welded under the subframe mounting area? The last owner of my car had a replacement subframe fitted, but annoyingly didn't treat the rust behind this area. I pumped a load of rust converter and wax underneath the mounts which were solid and has been fine for the last 2 years.
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dante giacosa
post 19th December 2019 09:26
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Hey Vroom,

thanks for replying-

yes; when I first got the car, I did a load of underbody photography from beneath ramps that the car was on, and could see a sort of 'crack', behind the NS subframe mount.

In the first six months of ownership; the car had three or four separate chassis welding trips, and I think this was the 2nd issue to be resolved. To look at it now; you'd never know it had been done, and whilst undoubtedly a result, I wondered whether that 'was it'.

However, perhaps more tellingly, inspection within the lower engine bay the other night, from the NS wheel arch, revealed some gnarly bits just above the steering rack and a/roll bar mounts on the NS bulkhead. Within inches of this trouble spot. I think it may be possible that the core issue is a little further up, and even less accessible.

It could be that to really nail this issue, I'd have to have the engine out.

Anyway; a couple of unplanned rain excursions have left the interior....

dry!

which is obviously great news. I have a feeling there may have been some minor ingress further forward, but I can't prove that yet, as this Dinitrol stuff doesn't seem to have 'set' completely and is still creeping around. Maybe I should have gone for the Waxoyl stuff instead.
I should do the OS side in Waxoyl, and then we'll come back in ten years and see which side is in better condition!

From memory Vroom, can you say where the scuttle drain point exits; is it halfway down the bulkhead, towards the NS, but behind the sound-deadening?



This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 19th December 2019 09:46
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VROOM
post 20th December 2019 11:07
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Good to hear it's dry for the time being. It was a couple of years ago, but I think there are 2 scuttle drains. The off side one which I cleared with a trombone cleaner was behind the sound deadening and poked out somewhere at the bottom I think. I found the sound deadening is a terrible contributor to the rust down by the subframe mounts. The floor skin around there rots away, but luckily the subframe seems to mount into some sort of inner chassis/strengthening structure which appears to be sandwiched in the floor. If you're unlucky enough to have a holed floor in these areas you'll probably see this inner part in clean primer (the top of which could be seen in your endoscope photo with the bolt). Despite the rust I had in this area the subframe was mounted completely solidly as it was fixed through the floorpan and chassis legs into these inner parts. It would be good to get hold of an "exploded" structural diagram of the car as whole really. My concern was how to properly get to these areas to weld a rusty floor skin without taking the subframe and engine out (beyond my capabilities) so in the end opted to remove the rust that I could get to, then treat and halt the rust in the difficult areas as it wasn't structural and was passing the MOT. 2 years on and the rust has kept at bay thanks to dinitrol rust converter and wax.

This post has been edited by VROOM: 20th December 2019 11:11
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dante giacosa
post 20th December 2019 13:26
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That's VERY interesting to read, Vroom- thanks for going into detail on that.

sounds like we've had a lot of the same adventures.

In short, at the moment, I'm content that I've gone as far as I can with the problem internally. The next step is to start looking behind the sound deadening in the engine bay.

I might need to get a miniature submarine with Raquel Welsh & Donald Pleasance in, or something like that, to send in there!

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 20th December 2019 15:04
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Ganz
post 21st December 2019 17:38
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 12th December 2019 14:10) *
Well,

imagine my delight at realising something I noticed a couple of years ago has come back to bite me. (or at least come back to bark, at this point)

The other day, I had cause to lift the carpet on passenger side, and noticed I had standing-water under the carpet. I also noticed this six months ago, and also last year, and a bit before that, and thought 'nothing' of it each time; imagining it to be just 'one of those things'. I dried it out upon each discovery.

Fast forward to the extreme rain of the this week, and with the carpet lifted and the floorwell dried; I watched the floorwell 'refill' substantially three times in one afternoon! (with the car sitting still)

Now, having stripped out the complete passenger side floor level trim & front seat, I can see it is ingress'ing specifically from the point where the sill meets the front of the passenger seat-mount box-section. (see attached images)
Examination into the sills reveals a 'a degree' of water and dampness, but not exactly an actual flow, which is what I've got here.
Despite appearances (and apart from the inspection bungs) the sills don't actually connect to the floorwells, the apparent edge gap, visible at the sides of the floorwells stops dead in a downward metal fold.
It is the returned edge of this metal fold, underneath the sill box section above, which is carrying the water. I can see it as a moving flow on this recessed surface.

The question of course is where is the leak coming from..?

At one point I thought the seal between the plastic sideskirts and the actual sills was taking water into the mounting fixings, and that in turn the sills were becoming damp that way; that may in fact be the case, but having taped up the sideskirt-to-sill gap, the internal sills continued to be wet, and independently, the floorwell continued to refill..

I am currently thinking the sill front, at the rearmost point of the front wheelarch may be to blame. I've got an inspection camera coming.

Discuss...


Hi Dante
I had a similar thing about two months ago. Water was literally pouring from under the glove box on to the passenger floor. I could see and hear it! In the end I cleared out the two drain holes from the windscreen scuttle panel. I inserted some exhaust wrap tie attached to a syringe hose and made sure it went all the down to the ground. I felt a bit if resistance in the NS drain hole. With the syringe connect to the hose I injected some water to see where water drains to. The NS drain appears to drain nearer the sill and runs down the front of the bulkhead where the fire proofing padding is at the back of the engine. The plastic cover that covers the heater fan seemed the wrong way round on mine so I don't know whether that contributed to the water ingress. Anyway, all has been fine since I tinkered around.
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--------------------
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VROOM
post 22nd December 2019 11:14
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Well I got that wrong. The offside drain pipe is in front of the cladding (right in the centre of this photo) not behind. I couldn't see the pipe on the near side.
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dante giacosa
post 22nd December 2019 11:41
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Wow!

Thanks for that Ganz, thanks for that Vroom

I need to try and have a think about this- I hadn't considered bonnet-hinge drain-to-engine-bay points as 'drain holes' as such!

Wow- I thought those points just rolled off into the engine bay. Of course! This could be the magic biscuit.
I need to have a look into this.

It'll take me a few moments to work out how to 'see' your picture Vroom! Once you get into these macro details, I find I need some little detail to give context.
I was up at my Alfa specialist yesterday, to give 'em a Xmas box-of-biscuits, and to get a look under the bonnet of GTV 916 which was apparently partially stripped out, to see if I could see this lower bulkhead detail.

I'll include a picture later

Hangon Vroom- I can see it now; the OS engine mount and fuel line- is THAT a rubber pipe going down there at the back? Is that the drain point?

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 22nd December 2019 11:43
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post 22nd December 2019 17:35
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I should have circled it, but yeah that's the drain pipe running down the centre of the picture. It has a plastic clip on it holding it to the bulkhead.
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dante giacosa
post 24th January 2020 13:45
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well,

turns out this isn't over, after all.

The car has sat under a cover for a few days, in heavy rain. The cover has a tax-disc sized hole over the NS lower windscreen to show a permit under the glass.
This hole must have been enough, and was in the right place, to allow the leak point to be wet again.

As such, after a few days under wraps, I had more water in the car.

I tried my super-15-eBay inspection camera down that hole / drain point at the NS bonnet hinge, under the rubber-bung; but it came out on the NS road wheel!

Something is going on, in the most inaccessible part of the car; behind the dash / sound deadening in the engine bay.

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 24th January 2020 13:47
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post 24th January 2020 19:44
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Windscreen not sealed properly? Maybe a leak somewhere behind the scuttle trim? I had a small hole on the nearside underneath the wiper arm linkage where a grommet allows the wiring in from the engine bay through the bulkhead to where the fuse panel under the steering wheel is.
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dante giacosa
post 24th January 2020 20:54
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QUOTE(VROOM @ 24th January 2020 19:44) *
Windscreen not sealed properly? Maybe a leak somewhere behind the scuttle trim? I had a small hole on the nearside underneath the wiper arm linkage where a grommet allows the wiring in from the engine bay through the bulkhead to where the fuse panel under the steering wheel is.


DID YOU now, Vroom??!!

Thankyou for that- significant food for thought!!
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post 25th January 2020 19:56
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You can just see the small rust hole below the grommet where a tube comes out. May actually be the washer pipe rather than wiring. It was over 2 years ago so can't quite remember - long since fixed. Just realised it was offside not kerbside of car.

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- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 4 Apr 2020 00:03