Leaks be gone - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-10-2004, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Leaks be gone

Ive been battling for over a week now trying to identify and correct a water leak in the i. This has proven to be a difficult task as it is easy to see the result of a water leak, but finding the cause is another thing. Nevertheless, I narrowed it down to water entering the door seal channels from the rain guards. The water then would follow the channel to the bottom where 30% or so of the total amount would leak into the interior while the rest would exit as it should. The idea was to eliminate the water from entering the door seal channel in the first place. This is how I did it.

I went to the hardware store and picked this stuff up:

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Next, I removed the rain guards and windshield trim and cleaned the area by removing any existing butyl rubber sealant. This was achieved by scraping the majority of it off using the lid of a TB cleaner can of all things (a unused credit card cut squarely at the corners would have been better) and wiping the rest clean with a rag wetted with mineral spirits. The plastic rain guard was also cleaned with a general purpose cleaner and allowed to dry,

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Once everything was dry I applied the rope caulk to the B pillar piece first as shown in the pic:



This piece was then installed. The factory means of installation is with two pieces of double sided foam tape. The caulk is more than adequate as a substitute. Next, the caulk was applied to the rain guard.

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The calk was allowed to extend beyond the front edge of the rain guard about an inch and a half to allow a mating seal on the windshield trim. The rain guard was then moved into position. A helper would have been a good thing to have as positioning the entire piece without allowing contact with the vehicle is difficult. It is possible doing it solo though. Once the screw holes were lined up, the screws were reinstalled. After this, pressure was applied to rain guard in order to smoosh the calk and achieve a good seal.

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The windshield trim received the same type of caulk application and was installed in the same manner as the rain guard. Any excess caulk that oozed out too far was removed by the scraping method.

Now the test! With the primary door seals still removed, I poured a container of water on the roof allowing it to drain into the rain guards. SUCCESS! There was no water flowing into the area where it could enter the channel. The door seals were reinstalled and car got the hose treatment for a solid 5 minutes without a drop going into the interior. This included simulating a general rain as well as a hard downpour directly into the rain guards.

It is amazing how easily water entered the vehicle prior to the addition of the rope caulk. I might suggest that all owners of the 92-99 body style check their carpet padding for excessive wetness and take the appropriate steps to correct before major damage or rusting occurs.
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Old 07-10-2004, 10:17 PM   #2
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Great work! SSEi95 went the expensive route. He replaced EVERY trim and seal piece all the way around. Your'* looks good, works good, and is easier on the wallet. I'll keep this idea in mind.
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Old 07-10-2004, 10:20 PM   #3
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Hmm interesting. It'* funny, my drip edge (you call it a rain guard) is actually cracked in places from some idiot cranking on the screws. But I don't have any leakage. I'll have to take a closer look at how all that works.

I think that caulk is a good choice, because you can always take it apart. 3M also sells the same material.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:02 PM   #4
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Mine are also cracked in a couple of places and strangely enough, this actually helps direct water away from the channel. I guess you would call it capilary action or something like that. When I poured the container of water in the guards, it was coming out of the cracks but almost like a weak sprinkler it sprayed outward. I said to myself, hell... I'm gonna leave it like that.

I also thing it depends on the condition of the door seals too. I was driving my truck today and noticed that the seals were very similar to the Bonnie'*. When I got home, I took one of the seals off and put it on the RR door opening. This helped out a lot as there was a definate decrease in the leak. I damn near thought of replacing them with the F150 seals.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:16 PM   #5
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Is there any danger of water now sitting under that drip edge for a long time and causing rust ???
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelePlayer
Is there any danger of water now sitting under that drip edge for a long time and causing rust ???
Good question. I thought the same thing. From what I observed though, the water is still draining only in a more controled way. The only thing I would have done differently is obtain the little "sealing patches" to cover the screw holes before reinstalling. They are small, rubbery patches about 3/4" square applied over the screw hole. When the screw is inserted it seals itself.

I plan on getting the whole car painted. I want to paint it black which would mean removing everything again so the door jambs can be done. this is why I decided not to do the patches.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:36 PM   #7
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Ya I know, I get caught up in those same issues. For instance, I want to change the tranny oil and filter. But the tranny cover is getting oil on it because I need to replace the oil pan gasket. So I don't want to clean up the tranny cover just for it to get dirty again. But no sense doing that until I button up the valve cover gaskets. Plus the end of the intake is leaking oil, which I can fix once I get up the time and $$$ to replace the supercharger coupling. So let'* see, that puts the tranny filter into about 2006 !!!

It'* a vicious circle!!!!! LOL

I once avoided waxing my last car for 4 years because I was "a gonna" get it painted. Never did paint it. Or wax it.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:46 PM   #8
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:53 PM   #9
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How do you tell if there'* major water damage? My car'* had a leak for a long time now, since I've owned it, in fact :( It just got bad as of a day or two ago, though... there was actually a small amount of standing water in the rear passenger footwell after a hard rain :( The day before the windows were fogged up from the inside :( My post is in General Chat, for more info...
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Old 08-11-2004, 03:04 PM   #10
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The best thing to do is pull everything out...seats, console, carpet and padding. I'm not sure how long my car had a leak but when I bought it, it smelled like it was parked in a swamp for a while. There was also standing water under the carpet as the padding absorbed all it could. The sheetmetal, wires and everything else under the carpet was in remarkable shape for having the water in there. I'm very glad I took the time to remove everything and correct the problem before serious damage occurred.
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