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Water leak front driver's side.

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by kitra, March 14, 2010.

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    1. kitra

      kitra Member

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      1999 Mountaineer, 83K miles, no garage so it sits outside. Pulled the center console to replace the pre-cat O2 sensors. I cut the carpet back to access the service panel and when I pulled the carpet back, the driver's side front carpet padding was soaking wet. Seems to be water, not anti-freeze. Are there common areas for leaks to occur that would get the carpet padding wet? The carpet itself feels dry. Thanks.
       
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    3. SportDave

      SportDave New Member

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      I have a leak in a similar area...it seems to be leaking down from around the parking brake pedal. If I'm driving in the rain and have flip-flops on, I can feel drops of water (not alot of water) drip on my left foot every once in a while. Also, if it's just been sitting out in the rain, I'll get into the cab to discover some water on the floormat.

      I'm wondering if it's coming in at the plastic vent that spans across the bottom of the windshield (outside the car).

      Anyone else experiencing something like this? I haven't been able to pinpoint where it's coming from yet. Any common areas?
       
    4. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      Do either of you have a moonroof?
       
    5. SportDave

      SportDave New Member

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      Sure don't. Woulda been a good guess tho! ;-)
       
    6. Willcall

      Willcall Elite Explorer

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      Check underneath the dash were the pedals are. You might have pulled or broken one of the seals for the wires and cables that go through the fire wall. My car had the same problem and it turned out that I had pulled out the seal for hood release cable
       
    7. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      Could also be corrosion around the corner of the windshield. I've heard that some shops that replace the windshield without using enough butyl caulk can leave exposed (and scratched) sheet metal under the rubber seal in the window frame. After a while, that crack rusts through, allowing water to leak in and run down the a-pillar.

      Never personally seen it though...

      Seems like standing on your head with a good flashlight and following the water trail sohould make the source pretty clear. If it's been dripping, there should be a trail there somewhere.
       
    8. SportDave

      SportDave New Member

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      Good ideas, thanks guys!

      It may have to do with something the PO did, as I haven't personally done any work under the dash and it's been leaking since I got the car (about a year ago). But it only leaks when it rains (obviously) so I'll have to wait for it to rain again before I can trace the water to where it's coming in. Or I guess I could try to just run a water hose over the car for a few minutes :p:
       
    9. BSea

      BSea New Member

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      I've got a used '05 Sport Trac with the same problem of water coming down the fire wall at the extreme left side. It is very difficult to see exactly where it comes from but I suspect a leak under the cowling below the wipers. Did you find a solution to your problem SportDave?
       
    10. KarstRanger

      KarstRanger New Member

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      rain leak - drivers side

      I've got a 99 Explorer with very similar water leak problem. It sits outside and this happens each time it rains. The pad underneath the parking brake gets wet and then soaks into the carpet on that side. Makes for a ripe moldy smell until you dry it out !!

      I removed the side plastic on the sidewall next to the parking brake, and pulled the mat and padding out. Couldn't find a water trail any higher than where the parking brake cable goes through a rubber plug in the firewall.

      Used the garden hose to run water into the windshield wiper motor hole area first, then the big vent grill area just below the windshield - no joy. Then, I ran water over the hood so the water ran into the water channel at the windshield side of the hood -- Bingo. It seems like the hood rubber gasket has shrunk or something else is missing and the water drips down just behind the brake cylinder and, although I can't actually see it from the engine side, it appears to drip onto that parking brake cable area and comes into the cabin there.

      Well, now to try to fix the dual problems of the parking brake firewall leak and the hood gasket channel leak, and see what happens. I'll post the results.:thumbsup:
       
    11. roddster67

      roddster67 New Member

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      Damn. I have the same problem. First noticed it a few years ago, but it mostly rains a few days in December in SoCal. This year we've been slammed with a few weeks of steady rain, hard at times.
      My driver's and passenger footwells on the drivers side are completely soaked. The door sill channel that the rear wire bundle is in was full of water (I park on an incline at home) so I had to remove a body plug to drain it.
      Today I pulled the driver's seat and the rear seat supports and raised the seat bottoms out of the way so I could lift the carpet and dry out the pad. Got a small space heater and a fan in there now, with the windows cracked to relieve the humidity.
      Saw a few drops on the ebrake cable housing.
      Last night I did a quick leak test by pouring water on the roof. I poured water in the strengthening relief in the roof at the windshield. Saw water travel down to below the windshield in the cowl/wiper area. Weird.
      Also noticed that the front door seal was tweaked...not sure if that's an issue or not. Used duct tape to force it back to its normal shape, as rain water travels along this seal.
      Sucks the way Ford designed it so this seal dumps the rain water on the door hinges and that main wire bundle holder in the door jamb.
      I spread some silicone along the top of the door hinges, just for the hell of it, to try to get the water to move along and drain properly.
      I put a high intensity light in the driver's footwell, but couldn't see any light from the outside and underneath the truck.
      I'm going to order all new door seals and the hood seal.
      I wanted to upgrade to a Navigator or loaded Expedition, but the current economic crisis hit us hard. So, I gotta pay extra attention to extend the service life of my 145,000 mile '99 4.0 SOHC Exploder:thumbsup:
       
    12. BSea

      BSea New Member

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      I posted back in June with similar water leaks. I could never track down for sure where the water came from but it was showing up on the firewall area behind the E-brake where the cable ended. I was suspicious that it was coming in higher perhaps through a grommet that I could not see. But then, mine has a sunroof & it was mentioned that there are drain tubes going down the inside of the front windshield posts into that corner of the firewall, side panel. When I tested for leaks there with running the hose on the roof, I could get water leaking if the truck was sitting just right. I ran a thin fish wire through the drainage tubes & GENTLY blew a bit of compressed air.
      Now I won't say it's perfect but that made a big difference & to ensure that I would not rot out the floor with soaking wet sponge insulation, I lifted the drivers seat, removed the factory insulation & replaced it with that silver foil bubble type from the building supply as well as supplying a couple of carefully placed small drainage holes at the lowest points on the floor plan. Checked it late Fall & all looked good. Now that it's well below freezing, there won't be any sign of a problem -should it still exist - until Spring.
       
    13. roddster67

      roddster67 New Member

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      Hmmm...a blocked drain hole. Something to think about.
      It's pissing down rain again and I still have a leak.

      Now I notice that the water looks as if it's coming up through the ebrake cable grommet. Like the area behind it is submerged in water and it is leaking through. Anyone know what's behind the cable? Can I see it if I pull the inner fender splash shield, or is it in the cowl area?
      I have a pic but for some reason I'm not allowed to post it.
      Thanks.
       
    14. roddster67

      roddster67 New Member

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      Lemme see if this pic works...

      [​IMG]

      Bingo.
       
    15. Willcall

      Willcall Elite Explorer

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      I had that problem too! That gasket could be jerked forward (mine was). All I did was push the gasket back toward the firewall it the lip touched it all the way around. Then I checked to make sure that it had come all the way out on the firewall facing the engine bay. It has a small lip on the other side too.
       
    16. roddster67

      roddster67 New Member

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      Thanks, Willcall. So wouldn't it just leak as your driving down the road? This thing leaks with the truck just sitting. I'll check the other side when it stops pouring rain!
       
    17. Willcall

      Willcall Elite Explorer

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      Mine leaked whenever it was sitting in the rain or driving. It appears that some water does trickle down the fire wall on the side of engine bay. I think the seals around my hood aren't that great, so that could be what is happening with yours.
       
    18. BSea

      BSea New Member

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      In my 2005 with sunroof, my ebrake assembly looked very similar. Not to sound smart but since water doesn't move uphill (unless there's a heck of a wind), the trace of rust in front & ABOVE the cable end really indicates the water is coming from above. As I said, on mine cleaning out the lt. drain tube from the front corner of the sunroof made a big difference. Of course , yours has a bit of a different body so there may be other avenues as in the hood seal that come into play.
      Normally the cable just goes thru the floor pan & curves exposed to the back.
      To change focus for a minute, does yours have the top mounted brake light? Mine was leaking like a seive as well so I had an aquarium in both front AND back floor pans (mines a Sport Trac.)
       
    19. roddster67

      roddster67 New Member

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      I can't see any water coming from above. Does any body know if the area behind the ebrake grommet is double walled? Maybe its filling up with water from the cowl? That would cause the water to come up through the grommet. Is there a drain at the bottom of the cowl?
      Thanks for the help!
       
    20. BSea

      BSea New Member

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      Water going into the cowling between hood top end & windshield normally drains out at bottom over toward the outside of the back of inner front wheel fender. There's a slit opening underneath where the panels meet.
      I thought that might have been a leak source too so I removed the cowl & had a good look -Nothing. Put the hose down & flushed it with pressure -out came some leaf debris but no joy as far as finding the source of a leak.
       
    21. roddster67

      roddster67 New Member

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      I think I found it. It's along the seam where the two panels of the firewall are joined together, under the brake booster and power distribution box. I could see water in the seam. There is no seam sealer in this location. Water also travels this route and dumps onto the rubber grommet of the ebrake cable where it enters the passenger compartment. I tried taking a picture but it was too tight in there. I'm going to clean and silicone everything, and install new hood and door seals.

      It's the seam in the bottom of the above photo.
       
      Last edited: January 4, 2011
    22. KarstRanger

      KarstRanger New Member

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      Water leak - driver's side floor

      Your picture helps Roddster67, but I am not getting a drip there on that rubber grommet/gasket as yours is showing. My leak seems to be coming out of the firewall and the side panel one inch to the left of that grommet. It would appear to me that the water is coming in around the door hinges as a previous poster noted as a poor design. I siliconed as best I could around the hinges, but don't really feel like taking the door off and no suprise it still leaks. I have a sun-roof that is not working, so I sealed it up completely with black silicone but that did not help.

      There is a pop-out rubber plug in a floor-board groove (under the rug) just below the emergency brake pedal next to the door. This is where my leak water flows until the groove fills up and the soaks the pad/rug.

      As I only use this Explorer for 4-wheeling in the woods and when we have flooded roads down here on the Suwannee River, I will leave that plug out - prop the pad/rug up a little, and see how it works.

      The downside is water coming IN when on flooded roads or mud, but the truck is usually in need of drying out by then anyway. Good luck guys! :)
       
    23. leoJr

      leoJr New Member

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      I am unable to see your pic but you may be describing my suspected problem area as well. There is a seam that runs parallel to the windshield, visable inside the compartment with the linkage that connects both wipers, exposed when removing the plastic grills that hold the washer nozzles. I too believed the leak was closer to the side and above the E brake pedal. If you are a contortionist, can get your head under the dash, and let your eyes adjust long enough you can see light through this seem.

      Has anyone else seen and solved this problem? I tried to put 1/4" tubing on a caulk gun but couldn't move move it through the tube...maybe I didn't warm it up enough. I believe there is no access other than through the grills and am not sure there isn't a drain hole at the farthest outside end of the compartment so I don't just want to flood the whole area with sealant. :scratch:
       
    24. KarstRanger

      KarstRanger New Member

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      I pulled out the rubber plug in the metal floorboard just below the e-brake pad, and then removed some of the underrug felt there. Then propped up the rug away from the metal floorboard with a small block of wood. This way the water can run freely from the unknown leak somewhere above and the water goes down through the floorboard hole to the ground - and the rug stays dry.

      After sealing the heck out of anything I could seal on that side of the truck, the above is the only thing that has worked to keep the rug and the rest of the felt dry for me. Kind of a jury-rig, but at least the truck no longer stinks of mildew after every rainstorm.
       
    25. Aztec Eagle

      Aztec Eagle New Member

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      H2o issue

      I have the same problem with my Explorer 1999 4x4 water gets in to the carpet on both sides drivers and passengers i am tired of this problem is driving me nutz! we have the same weather that SoCal so rain is not a big issue here in Baja California,Mexico but every time it rains i get a wet carpet i did what "KarstRanger" did i took out that plug on the metal floorboard because i had the hole floorboard full of water i left it unplug to see if the water would run out outside instead of my carpet i will try to seal anything i can see with silicone but i checked all my rubber seals and they seem in great condition surprisingly almost new but the water keeps coming out under the dashboard near the emergency break, any other tips that can help me???
       
    26. Aztec Eagle

      Aztec Eagle New Member

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      Fyi

      Just in case anyone else has the same issue, well rain is back and ever since i took out that plug on the side metal floorboard i had no water inside the truck and no more wet carpet.
       

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