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Sealing water leaks in the wiper area

 
Old 11-15-2015, 12:04 AM
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Default Sealing water leaks in the wiper area

We got some rain recently and the carpet in my '77 got soaked, especially on the passenger side. I did a search and saw that I should check the wiper area because the factory seam sealer dries out and cracks, and that was the problem with my car. I chipped out the old seam sealer and replaced it with new stuff, and it worked for one of the areas that leaked, but there's still a leak I can't figure out. I still have water coming in right where the bottom of the wiper trough meets the birdcage on the passenger side (pic below). I'm sure sealing it from the inside would take care of it, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea. I assume the water would just sit in there and rot out the birdcage because it has nowhere to go. Anybody have an idea where the water is coming in, and would it be a bad idea to seal it from the inside?

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Old 11-15-2015, 09:21 AM
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Once it dries out, use a garden hose with a slow stream of water so you can control where it goes. Run some water down the end of the wiper tray (where water runs down behind the fender normally) and check inside the car for water coming in. Repeat on the other side as well. If you don't find anything try running some water from the center of the wiper tray and see if it comes in there.

If that doesn't work, try around the windshield area. Maybe your seal is getting bad and it's following the birdcage behind the windshield?

One of the forum members (Mike I think?) cleaned up the tray area and sprayed it with undercoating to seal it up. Looks very clean that way as well.

Last edited by AdamMeh; 11-15-2015 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:54 PM
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I ran some water down there and found water coming in through a seam inside the birdcage. There's a leak somewhere near the center because there's a bit of water behind the gas pedal, and on the driver's side the water appears to come in through the same spot that I showed in the last post. The sealer I'm using doesn't seem to adhere very well to anything other than itself and my fingers. I'm hoping it will work better as it sets up more, but I think I might end up pulling all that stuff out and starting over.

If I spray undercoating in there, do I need to remove the old sealer in the middle of the wiper trough where there's a small leak, or will the undercoating take care of that?

Here's where it was leaking inside the birdcage, but I put some sealer on it before I thought to take a photo


The driver's side leak
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:47 PM
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I'm not sure what prep work Mike did on his car (I'm not quite there on our '77, so I would be interested in the answer to this as well). I do remember he was the person who said he used undercoating and had good luck with it. It looked very nice as I remember.

His forum name is Easy Mike. You might try to send him a PM or put up a new post with your question about the prep portion of this, and use his name in the thread title so he'll see it and respond. He's a great source of info and very knowledgeable about our cars.

Adam

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Old 11-15-2015, 08:06 PM
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YOU were correct.

IF you seal it up from the inside....the chances that it can effect other areas is greater due to the water is still getting to the area you are stopping the water from coming in at.

Stopping the water from the outside is best....BUT...is NOT a easy task at times. ESPECIALLY this well known areas where it like to leak due to design and old sealer drying out and cracking.

I like using CR Laurence CRL 7708 and CRL 1716 sealers myself. I like the CRL 1716 due to being a 'flow-grade' type sealer. I have custom made tubes that I can hold onto the caulk tube (7708) that allows me to get into tight areas and get the 7708 to flow in as best as possible..if needed.

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Old 11-15-2015, 09:15 PM
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I'll have to try those products out. I also just found out that the brackets screwed into the birdcage under the windshield at each end that seemed pointless when I found them are supposed to have weather stripping attached that goes between the fender and the windshield. I'm sure that doesn't help my problem. Somebody filled that area in with some kind of sealer at some point, but it's separated from the windshield now.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:59 PM
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I bought those two products that DUB recommended and they work very good. That stuff sticks to everything including my hands, unlike the other stuff that stuck to my hands and nothing else (one of these days I'll learn to wear gloves). I'm pretty sure my leaks in the wiper area are all taken care of.

Today I found out that my main problem is that water is flowing down between the windshield and the fender, and flows down and exits on both sides of the hinge pillar, not just the inside like I thought. I attempted to put some seam sealer in there but I can't see what I'm doing. I found a spot in the wiper area where I can see light if I shine it through the gap between the top of the door jamb and the fender. Is water supposed to flow down and drain into the wiper area if it gets in that space, or is it not supposed to get in that space in the first place?

The red circle in the photo is where the water is exiting, aside from inside the car in the same area
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:13 PM
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Your water is exiting this area due to the caulking and sealer GM used when they pop riveted and bonded the top gusset fiberglass panel so the top hood surround had a place to bond to at the very end of your hood surround.

This is when I use the 1716 and pull out the rubber seal at the windshield corner if it has it there...and flow the 1716 into the area where you can see the gusset and where it attach to the steel hinge post.

ALSO....and this is BEOTCH to do. I have to add flexible tubes to get it to where I need it. But in your latest photo...the curved metal portion of the hinge post where it ALMOST touches the top hood surround....That curved metal is a channel that GM used to divert water into the jamb. SO...if someone has plugged the end of it and dammed it up (which it looks like they had)...get that stuff out of there because it is OK and designed for water to exit the windshield area there...and the water is well away from your interior and door weatherstrips. My only fear is water settling in this 'dammed area' and causing rust.

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Old 11-22-2015, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DUB View Post
Your water is exiting this area due to the caulking and sealer GM used when they pop riveted and bonded the top gusset fiberglass panel so the top hood surround had a place to bond to at the very end of your hood surround.

This is when I use the 1716 and pull out the rubber seal at the windshield corner if it has it there...and flow the 1716 into the area where you can see the gusset and where it attach to the steel hinge post.

ALSO....and this is BEOTCH to do. I have to add flexible tubes to get it to where I need it. But in your latest photo...the curved metal portion of the hinge post where it ALMOST touches the top hood surround....That curved metal is a channel that GM used to divert water into the jamb. SO...if someone has plugged the end of it and dammed it up (which it looks like they had)...get that stuff out of there because it is OK and designed for water to exit the windshield area there...and the water is well away from your interior and door weatherstrips. My only fear is water settling in this 'dammed area' and causing rust.

DUB
I tried to flow some of the 1716 in there but I need to figure out how to attach some thinner hose to the grease gun I'm using for that stuff because the hose I was using yesterday was a bit too big for that area and I couldn't move it around in there very easily. I did notice the drivers side of my car (and both sides of my dad's '71) did not have any sealer at the end of that curved metal channel. I'm guessing it's no coincidence that the side that has that area filled in leaks significantly worse than the other side. I tried to chip it out of the passenger side but it's pretty stubborn. I was pretty pissed off by the time I got to that point so I decided to call it a day before I did something stupid. I'll give it another go next weekend.

This morning I covered the area where that rubber seal is supposed to be with duct tape and tested for leaks again and nothing came inside the car, so now I just have to address those areas behind that channel on both sides of the car. The driver's side looks like it has a smaller gap between the hood surround and the metal piece, so that looks like it should be a nightmare.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:11 PM
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GOOD IDEA that you walked away from it when it pissed you off. I wrote that this can be a BEOTCH!...and I meant EVERY letter of that.

What is sad..at least for em. When people bring their car in for a water like in this area like you have. For some 'odd reason' they feel that JUST BECAUSE I work on Corvettes every day. That I have the 'magic wand' and can fix it and make it stop leaking. In many cases I can...but there have been some that would require the front clip to come off so this area at the end of the hood surround/upper hinge post to be removed and CORRECTLY sealed and repaired. And I can tell you I have had only ONE person do it that way.

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Old 11-27-2015, 04:27 PM
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I spent a few hours yesterday morning working on the car, and about 5 minutes of that time was spent on the driver's side. I flowed some of the 1716 in there at the front of the metal channel and that side appears to be fixed. The passenger side was a nightmare. I thought they filled that area with seam sealer, but it was actually bondo, so I drilled some holes in it to weaken it and then chiseled it out. I filled that area with the 1716, and then sealed every gap I could see in there and it still leaked. I went out there last night after the 1716 had settled and could see a hole in there that I couldn't see before, so this morning I used a stick to jam some of the 7708 in there and that seems to have done the trick. After I got the water draining over the hinges where it's supposed to, I had water coming in underneath the door sill, so I resealed the seam under the bottom hinge and it seems to be fine. Hopefully that will be the end of my water leaks.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rgwoehr View Post
I'll have to try those products out. I also just found out that the brackets screwed into the birdcage under the windshield at each end that seemed pointless when I found them are supposed to have weather stripping attached that goes between the fender and the windshield. I'm sure that doesn't help my problem. Somebody filled that area in with some kind of sealer at some point, but it's separated from the windshield now.
Thanks,
If you look at some of the pictures I have attached, you will see, someone has filled in the space between the finder and the drivers side window frame with either Bondo or fiberglass. I'm concerned that if I attempt to remove that filler it may cause other issues. I don't know why someone would need to fill that gap solid. I'm off of that project for now. The car is back in the shop to eliminate valve cover gasket oil leaks, install a idler solenoid on the carburetor and track down some wiring issues.

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Old 02-06-2019, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DUB View Post
Your water is exiting this area due to the caulking and sealer GM used when they pop riveted and bonded the top gusset fiberglass panel so the top hood surround had a place to bond to at the very end of your hood surround.

This is when I use the 1716 and pull out the rubber seal at the windshield corner if it has it there...and flow the 1716 into the area where you can see the gusset and where it attach to the steel hinge post.

ALSO....and this is BEOTCH to do. I have to add flexible tubes to get it to where I need it. But in your latest photo...the curved metal portion of the hinge post where it ALMOST touches the top hood surround....That curved metal is a channel that GM used to divert water into the jamb. SO...if someone has plugged the end of it and dammed it up (which it looks like they had)...get that stuff out of there because it is OK and designed for water to exit the windshield area there...and the water is well away from your interior and door weatherstrips. My only fear is water settling in this 'dammed area' and causing rust.

DUB
Thanks DUB,
I hate to be a crybaby, but that's just what I do!!!! Your explanation is directed to someone that actually KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING AT....LOL! The terms you use to identify the potential problem areas are Greek to me. Would it be too much to ask for you to copy the pertinent pictures I have posted and point out the areas you are talking about, directly on the picture. I know its a lot to ask but I am just not clear on what you are pointing out.

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Old 02-06-2019, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rgwoehr View Post
I tried to flow some of the 1716 in there but I need to figure out how to attach some thinner hose to the grease gun I'm using for that stuff because the hose I was using yesterday was a bit too big for that area and I couldn't move it around in there very easily. I did notice the drivers side of my car (and both sides of my dad's '71) did not have any sealer at the end of that curved metal channel. I'm guessing it's no coincidence that the side that has that area filled in leaks significantly worse than the other side. I tried to chip it out of the passenger side but it's pretty stubborn. I was pretty pissed off by the time I got to that point so I decided to call it a day before I did something stupid. I'll give it another go next weekend.

This morning I covered the area where that rubber seal is supposed to be with duct tape and tested for leaks again and nothing came inside the car, so now I just have to address those areas behind that channel on both sides of the car. The driver's side looks like it has a smaller gap between the hood surround and the metal piece, so that looks like it should be a nightmare.
Thanks rqwoehr,
It seems like you have narrowed down the possibilities. I mentioned to DUB in a past thread that the descriptions of the areas of the car that need attention are Greek to me. You had attached pictures of what you had thought were problem areas. Would it be too much to ask that you post pictures of the possible solutions you have found? Like putting "duct tape" over the suspect area and actual may have temporarily stopped the water from collecting on the floor boards. That would be a great help to someone like me that has absolutely no clue about what I need to do. The car is in the shop now. They have the dashboard removed while tracking down multiple wiring issues. I asked them to be on the look out for any suspicious areas that look like may allow water to leak into the birdcage. I don't know about you, but when I make a turn during a significant amount of rain, I will feel the rain water dripping on my left foot. If you would not mind using my pictures as a learning tool for me by indicating the problem areas you have found on your car and indicating them on my pictures, would help me to understand better what you and DUB are pointing out.

Also, you made a comment on one of the threads about not being able to see in some of the critical areas of concern. If you will go to the Google Play Store and download the 'Wish" app., you can search for a snake camera that will work on your cell phone. Things on that site are dirt cheep but are also poor quality. I think for just a few bucks you can not only see whats in isolated areas but also take pictures of what is in there.

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Old 02-06-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DUB View Post
GOOD IDEA that you walked away from it when it pissed you off. I wrote that this can be a BEOTCH!...and I meant EVERY letter of that.

What is sad..at least for em. When people bring their car in for a water like in this area like you have. For some 'odd reason' they feel that JUST BECAUSE I work on Corvettes every day. That I have the 'magic wand' and can fix it and make it stop leaking. In many cases I can...but there have been some that would require the front clip to come off so this area at the end of the hood surround/upper hinge post to be removed and CORRECTLY sealed and repaired. And I can tell you I have had only ONE person do it that way.

DUB
Thanks DUB,
In the 2.5 years I have owned this car, I have learned from the kind professionals on this site that each car has it's own ghost that haunt the car from owner to owner. No one thing fixes each and every issue. It takes a hands own professional such as yourself to analyze each and every issue. The big problem with troubleshooting a vintage car (in my case) is for around 40 years any number of shade tree mechanics have made their own custom alterations to "God only knows what" from one end of the car to the other. For instance, the mechanic shop I have been using for the last six month has found a complete unused wiring harness disconnected and demoed in place under the hood and dash board. They have removed the dash so they can track down why these wires have been abandoned.

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Old 02-06-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rgwoehr View Post
I spent a few hours yesterday morning working on the car, and about 5 minutes of that time was spent on the driver's side. I flowed some of the 1716 in there at the front of the metal channel and that side appears to be fixed. The passenger side was a nightmare. I thought they filled that area with seam sealer, but it was actually bondo, so I drilled some holes in it to weaken it and then chiseled it out. I filled that area with the 1716, and then sealed every gap I could see in there and it still leaked. I went out there last night after the 1716 had settled and could see a hole in there that I couldn't see before, so this morning I used a stick to jam some of the 7708 in there and that seems to have done the trick. After I got the water draining over the hinges where it's supposed to, I had water coming in underneath the door sill, so I resealed the seam under the bottom hinge and it seems to be fine. Hopefully that will be the end of my water leaks.
Thanks rqwoehr,
Please attach some pictures explaining exactly what you applied where. I have the same problem with Bondo or fiberglass filling the area but on the drivers side not the passengers side. It seems like we both had the same "yahoo" working on each of our cars. I have all the sealing materials the kind people on this site recommended. I just don't have a clue where to put it for it to solve the problem.

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Old 02-06-2019, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by KNOT-HEAD View Post
Thanks rqwoehr,
Please attach some pictures explaining exactly what you applied where. I have the same problem with Bondo or fiberglass filling the area but on the drivers side not the passengers side. It seems like we both had the same "yahoo" working on each of our cars. I have all the sealing materials the kind people on this site recommended. I just don't have a clue where to put it for it to solve the problem.

KNOT-HEAD

In the first photo below, about an inch below the corner of the fender, you can see some of the 1716 stuff. Thats where I injected that stuff with a grease gun if I remember correctly. There's a seam down in that channel where water can get in and run to places where it shouldn't run. It helped for a while but it has since separated, I'm guessing from having the nose unsupported while the car is on jack stands. The second photo shows a gap at the top of the hinge pillar which should be filled with factory sealer. If I remember correctly, the water flowing into the seam I mentioned previously drained out of this gap on both the outside and the inside of the hinge pillar. The inside is what's shown in the photo in the first post of this thread. Hope this helps. If necessary, I could try to take some better photos of the area shown in the first photo below, but I probably won't do it until Saturday.



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Old 02-11-2019, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rgwoehr View Post
We got some rain recently and the carpet in my '77 got soaked, especially on the passenger side. I did a search and saw that I should check the wiper area because the factory seam sealer dries out and cracks, and that was the problem with my car. I chipped out the old seam sealer and replaced it with new stuff, and it worked for one of the areas that leaked, but there's still a leak I can't figure out. I still have water coming in right where the bottom of the wiper trough meets the birdcage on the passenger side (pic below). I'm sure sealing it from the inside would take care of it, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea. I assume the water would just sit in there and rot out the birdcage because it has nowhere to go. Anybody have an idea where the water is coming in, and would it be a bad idea to seal it from the inside?

Thanks,
I had the same thought when I first started looking for the leaks on my car. I first thought it was the rubber seal around the windshield, but that wasn't it. I then looked in the windshield wiper compartment and saw where the factory sealant had dried out and cracked. I took some spray sealant and coated the complete bottom of the channel with it. That stopped a small amount of the water from getting into the birdcage. I think you would cause more problems if you attempted to seal that area from the inside. I think what I did was the correct way, but it didn't stop all the water either. The general idea is to have someone put their head under the dash while someone else sprays water on the car. That way you should be able to see where the leak originates from. That will be my next approach.

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Old 02-11-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamMeh View Post
Once it dries out, use a garden hose with a slow stream of water so you can control where it goes. Run some water down the end of the wiper tray (where water runs down behind the fender normally) and check inside the car for water coming in. Repeat on the other side as well. If you don't find anything try running some water from the center of the wiper tray and see if it comes in there.

If that doesn't work, try around the windshield area. Maybe your seal is getting bad and it's following the birdcage behind the windshield?

One of the forum members (Mike I think?) cleaned up the tray area and sprayed it with undercoating to seal it up. Looks very clean that way as well.
Thanks,
Some people are also suggesting the sealant on the "T" tops is dry rotted and leaking down the windshield trim into the birdcage. The general idea is to do exactly what you recommended and have someone inside while someone else sprays water on the car. I haven't been able to get to that point yet, but hopefully I will be able to do that soon.

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Old 02-11-2019, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rgwoehr View Post
I ran some water down there and found water coming in through a seam inside the birdcage. There's a leak somewhere near the center because there's a bit of water behind the gas pedal, and on the driver's side the water appears to come in through the same spot that I showed in the last post. The sealer I'm using doesn't seem to adhere very well to anything other than itself and my fingers. I'm hoping it will work better as it sets up more, but I think I might end up pulling all that stuff out and starting over.

If I spray undercoating in there, do I need to remove the old sealer in the middle of the wiper trough where there's a small leak, or will the undercoating take care of that?

Here's where it was leaking inside the birdcage, but I put some sealer on it before I thought to take a photo


The driver's side leak
Thanks,
I'm trying to eliminate leaks one at a time, as you are. I do know, If you don't clean and remove all the oil and grease from the area first, nothing you put on that surface will stick to it. Get some solvent and wipe the area clean, then let it dry before you apply the sealant.

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