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Water leak above steering column - engine compartment


kidder

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Hi Everyone,

 

I am in the process of replacing the matt that goes from the drivers side all the way over the passenger side (a very big piece of rubber and carpet). When I pulled it out of the truck it was soaking wet - on the drivers side. The truck has been sitting all winter so I expected some moisture ... but this was more like a sponge then a floor matt :(.

 

It rained here a couple of days ago and I had put some nice dry rags up by the brake/gas pedal to see if it would get ... well, it was SOAKED after the rain. After getting the hose out and letting it 'rain' all over the windshield I can see water coming in from just above the steering column AND a small dribble coming through above the air connections (there is a two pieces there) plate there and it is coming in where the two plates overlap. The truck is a 2004 and I suspect all the original parts are still attached with the original sealant - you can see what looks to be rubber gasket and calking around most of the pieces where they attach to the firwall (all quite black now).

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on if there is a specific sealant that is used around the steering column and various plates/screws on the firewall? I was thinking of just using some calking - but I suspect that is not the 'right' solution.

 

All ideas/suggestions appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Curt

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Hi Curt,

Are you positive it is not the windshield seal that is leaking? I had leaks on the passenger side a couple years back and it was the windshield leaking. And as we know water will move all over. That makes it harder to track. I had to take it to a glass shop that worked on HDT's.

 

Brad

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I am dealing with a similar leak. I can see water dripping just above the air lines & then behind the air line "plate" into & under the floor coverings. The challenge, as you know, is where does it start? If I find out I'll let you know, you do the same.

Todd

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Hi Curt,

Are you positive it is not the windshield seal that is leaking? I had leaks on the passenger side a couple years back and it was the windshield leaking. And as we know water will move all over. That makes it harder to track. I had to take it to a glass shop that worked on HDT's.

 

Brad

Brad,

 

Hmmmm, it could be - but ironically, I am going to be replacing the windshield shortly as well :) So maybe I will do that before I go trying to seal all the little nooks and crannies.

 

What I wanted to - but it looks like a total PITA is remove the plastic that is under the windshield wipers. But as I said, it looks like a royal PITA to do that as I will have to pull the wipers off etc. etc.

 

On the plate that holds the air connections it is very easy to see the water beading dripping in (it is the smaller of the two leaks though for sure).

 

Thanks for the idea though on the windshield seal.

 

C

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I am dealing with a similar leak. I can see water dripping just above the air lines & then behind the air line "plate" into & under the floor coverings. The challenge, as you know, is where does it start? If I find out I'll let you know, you do the same.

Todd

Thanks Todd.

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A windshield replacement does not necessarily include a new seal. You might want to add a new rubber seal to your parts list. You can temporarily chalk suspected leak areas like the glass to seal seam with Vaseline to see if you can stop the leak. The Vaseline will, of course, clean off with a little Dawn detergent after your testing. Yet another method of finding leaks is to fabricate a plywood filler for a door window that will hold a fan or duct work going to a fan that can push a lot of air into the cab. Old squirrel cage furnace air handler fans do the job extremely well. This will create a positive pressure inside the cab. Spray the outside with a soapy water solution and start looking for bubbles - they will form everywhere air is leaking out (or water can get in). Another method is to take a compressed air line (or even a vacuum cleaner blowing out) inside and blow air in the suspected leak area while someone else outside sprays soapy water. Once again a big bubble will pinpoint the outside leak area. I've done all of the above on different cars and trucks to find water leaks and wind noise whistles. What works best will depend on how ambitious you are and what you may have readily available. BTW - Big bottles of bubble blowing soap are usually available at dollar stores for (of course) a dollar. Soap solutions work better than detergents at making bubbles.

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Kidder, That is the exact place mine was too. We siliconed it to the max. Just ran in the rain from W.Va. and all is good. Also Just as a side note I replaced my hood seal, and blew the AC. out real goo and made sure the AC weep hole on the passenger side was clear. The AC works great, and the floor is dry = WIN !!

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Kidder, That is the exact place mine was too. We siliconed it to the max. Just ran in the rain from W.Va. and all is good. Also Just as a side note I replaced my hood seal, and blew the AC. out real goo and made sure the AC weep hole on the passenger side was clear. The AC works great, and the floor is dry = WIN !!

NTPA - what type of silicone did you use? Anything special?

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A windshield replacement does not necessarily include a new seal. You might want to add a new rubber seal to your parts list. You can temporarily chalk suspected leak areas like the glass to seal seam with Vaseline to see if you can stop the leak. The Vaseline will, of course, clean off with a little Dawn detergent after your testing. Yet another method of finding leaks is to fabricate a plywood filler for a door window that will hold a fan or duct work going to a fan that can push a lot of air into the cab. Old squirrel cage furnace air handler fans do the job extremely well. This will create a positive pressure inside the cab. Spray the outside with a soapy water solution and start looking for bubbles - they will form everywhere air is leaking out (or water can get in). Another method is to take a compressed air line (or even a vacuum cleaner blowing out) inside and blow air in the suspected leak area while someone else outside sprays soapy water. Once again a big bubble will pinpoint the outside leak area. I've done all of the above on different cars and trucks to find water leaks and wind noise whistles. What works best will depend on how ambitious you are and what you may have readily available. BTW - Big bottles of bubble blowing soap are usually available at dollar stores for (of course) a dollar. Soap solutions work better than detergents at making bubbles.

Great ideas randy. I will try those :)

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Hi Guys,

 

I will be watching this thread. I have the same problem with my truck. The water wants to come around the aluminum plate that holds the steering column and air lines. I think the water starts to come down from the tray where the windshield wiper arms are at. It does look like it could be a real pain in the ass to try to remove that tray. I have been playing around with a home made shield to deflect the water away from the aluminum plate that holds the steering column. It does help some.

 

Al

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Kidder, Alan 0043

No Sir Gentlemen, we did not use anything real special, Just make sure you get a real good quality and 2-3 tubes. You certainly don't want to run out in the middle of the job. Also you may have to apply it in sequence . We used the clear and the good stuff really stinks so make sure you have a little air moving, or you may end up seeing the purple unicorns....

 

Good Luck and let me know how it goes.

NTPA Announcer

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There is another product that I have found superior to silicone (RTV) clear sealants. Unlike the RTV it will not yellow as it ages, is truly glass clear and doesn't begin to feather on the thin edges as time passes. It is Lexel and is now carried by Lowes. Only issue is it is even more difficult to remove from anything you cannot scrape clean with a razor blade (like glass). It is truly awesome stuff! BTW - the strong smell from RTV silicone is Acetic Acid (like in vinegar) that is used in part as a curing agent. It may stink, cause your eyes to water and your nose tingle but it is unlikely that the fumes will do you any harm.

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A windshield replacement does not necessarily include a new seal. You might want to add a new rubber seal to your parts list. You can temporarily chalk suspected leak areas like the glass to seal seam with Vaseline to see if you can stop the leak. The Vaseline will, of course, clean off with a little Dawn detergent after your testing. Yet another method of finding leaks is to fabricate a plywood filler for a door window that will hold a fan or duct work going to a fan that can push a lot of air into the cab. Old squirrel cage furnace air handler fans do the job extremely well. This will create a positive pressure inside the cab. Spray the outside with a soapy water solution and start looking for bubbles - they will form everywhere air is leaking out (or water can get in). Another method is to take a compressed air line (or even a vacuum cleaner blowing out) inside and blow air in the suspected leak area while someone else outside sprays soapy water. Once again a big bubble will pinpoint the outside leak area. I've done all of the above on different cars and trucks to find water leaks and wind noise whistles. What works best will depend on how ambitious you are and what you may have readily available. BTW - Big bottles of bubble blowing soap are usually available at dollar stores for (of course) a dollar. Soap solutions work better than detergents at making bubbles.

The Professor comes out again! And even MacGyvers it! Well done Randy.

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I failed to find where my leak starts. Never could see any issues with the seal on the windshield. Plastic shield by wipers has some cracks but that doesn't appear to do anything other than to help it drain. Thought about doing some caulking but can't tell where to start. We are taking a trip next weekend, so I put everything back together. Sorry, no help here.

Todd

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well we got the leak repaired in the drivers side, but I am getting a wet spot on the passengers side at the door sill. We did run three hours in almost invisible conditions ( about 45 mph.) . So I will watch this week as we head out again, but I sure would like to find this,,,, Any other suggestions?

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Got to our destination on Monday and floor was wet on Passengers side. We are taking it to our mechanics shop this coming Monday. Stay tuned...

 

Hi Denver,

 

I would like to hear what the mechanic finds. I still find water on the floor in my truck. The water is always on the driver's side.

 

Al

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I was getting water in the passenger door sill area. Turned out to be a hole in the ribbed rubber boot that passes wires from the door to the cab. Previous owner installed a camera below the outside mirror and had cut the boot to run the cable out.

 

Jeremy

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Thanks, These are tied into the visor, We have sorta narrowed it down to the AC. The last owner has a Zoo ( I think ) in there and we have found nothing but hair EVERYWHERE !! I am instructing my shop to remove the AC completely, clean, replace the heater core and reassemble this week. I know this isn't going to be cheap, but I cant have all the hard work on the interior go up in mold and rust. We have already found that the drip tube was not connected properly and reconnected it. Also ran that drain tube down lower and tied it to the frame.

 

Please, Any other suggestions are welcome !

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Most of the leak was repaired by siliconing the area that runs the steering through the firewall. Also replacing the hood seal and drilling 4-6 small holes in the tray under the windshield ( on the outside that's under the hood when it's closed ). I haven't ruled out a windshield seal leak at this point either. But I do know that there has to be a large amount of hair in the A/C unit that we think is causing the water not escaping, therefore finding another route to the floor through the lower vents. From working construction in my younger days, I know that water seeks it's own level...

 

Ronbo... On Second thought about the leak above the visor, you may be right , only the point of entry may be the connection where the visor is attached to the truck.

 

Again, I am open to suggestions as I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person that has had trouble with this. !!

 

Happy Travels !!

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