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Old 06-10-2006, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default door water leaks - a fix

I posted this in Common Problems but thought it was worth posting here too. I had a hard time figuring out where the water was leaking in, and haven't seen this in any other threads.

Symptoms: First noticed wet carpet in the back, and then in the front. Also noticed a wet line in the carpet coming from the passenger-side front door, about 3/4 of the way back from the front.

Wrong Solution: My first guess (got proven wrong) was that the door bulb seals were leaking, so took them off and ran a bead of silicone under them and reinstalled. Guess what, more water showed up in the floorboard while my wife was hosing the car for me.

Solution: It turned out (at least in this case) that water was coming in the window seal right at the rear-view mirror. That'* ok normally, because there are huge drain holes at the bottom of the door which drain the whole steel door shell out. However, with the door open (and you can try this if you happen to be investigating why you have wet carpets), carefully spraying water at the base of the window, a lot of it came out the bottom of the inside door panel which drains right down the carpet. From inside, with the door closed, it looks like it is coming in across the top of the bulb seal.

Inside the door panel (it is held on by the jagged plastic push clips), there is a "Water Deflector" which is a clear plastic cover over the steel door shell held on and sealed by a string of black gooey adhesive. It had come loose at the bottom. Water coming against this deflector is supposed to run down it, hit the black seal, and go back through holes in the door shell and out the bottom. I found replacement sealing strips at AutoZone (much thicker) and they called it "Ribon Seal" for installing windshields. You'll notice that the sealing goes in with a vertical zig-zag (at the bottom of the door), with the bottom of each zig being below the edge of a hole through the door shell for draining back through. Next time I have one apart I'll get some pictures.

Doesn't take much time to fix, and the seal was around $8. But I'd have paid a lot more for the "how" last weekend!

edit: Here are some pics I took of the repair (other door, same problem) http://www.focaltechinc.com/josh/bon...r_leak_fix.pdf (1.6MB, Adobe Acrobat)
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:41 PM   #2
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Woody, the water deflectors are a known problem on the 2000+ Bonnes. Your explanation is a good one though. Make sure you clean the old butyl caulking off the surface area real good before applying the new. Did you notice the water deflectors have minor ripples in them where they make up to the door shell?
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:01 PM   #3
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Woody,

I really appreciate your time in sharing this information with us. Also, very glad you solved your problem.
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Old 06-10-2006, 11:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markwb
Woody, the water deflectors are a known problem on the 2000+ Bonnes. Your explanation is a good one though. Make sure you clean the old butyl caulking off the surface area real good before applying the new. Did you notice the water deflectors have minor ripples in them where they make up to the door shell?
Seemed the ripples were just due to plastic mis-fit, making the glue/adhesion function of the butyl a challenge. Is there some reason they would make them this way? Too bad I found and joined this club after dealing with that. I had read through the Common Problems this week and only saw the words 'door leaks' with no solutions. Now I've seen the other threads including Nitro'* bullseye picture of the problem. Personally I think the butyl strip GM puts on the deflector is skimpy and I wouldn't give much for a replacement "Water deflector". I would guess the $36 GM water deflector comes with the same skimpy butyl strip pre-installed with a backing you peel off. The rolls of seal strip they sell at auto parts stores are a much bigger cross-section and I imagine they should stick better long-term.
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