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Water leak into footwell - dodgy seal info and DIY repair guide

Discussion in 'Mk1 Leon FAQ's (1M) 2000-2006' started by andy_tech, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. andy_tech

    andy_tech Full Member

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    If it is wet just in the passengers footwell then the leak could be due to a poorly fitted pollen filter or cover.

    [​IMG]
    Pollen filter cover – to remove : unscrew and pull out plastic clips with screw heads (circled red) then pull up rubber seal from end, marked with yellow arrow.

    Pull cover outwards. Check pollen filter below is properly seated and clipped in. Remove leaves and dirt and check drain hole in corner next to pollen filter is clear.

    Check condition of cover, repair any cracks, rips or holes with waterproof gaffer tape. Make sure cover is properly refitted so that the pollen filter is protected from water. Push rubber seal back into place.


    However the majority of leaks are through a foam seal around the ancillaries carrier – this is the removable internal metal panel on the door that the speaker and window regulator are attached to.

    I used silicone sealant to seal the panel and this solved the leaking problem on my Toledo.
    I have done this job myself (and took some photos) after reading information from the forum (thanks for all the info) and elsewhere on the internet, hopefully this brings everything together.

    Read all of this guide and :
    Door dismantling instructions/Window repair - VWvortex
    before removing anything, so that the attachment of the window and door lock to the panel is understood and not damaged.

    The internal plastic door panel has to be removed to get access to it.
    The internal door handle has a clip on cover, lever this carefully to remove it.

    [​IMG]
    Door handle cover unclipped. Showing door fixing bolts, circled red

    Remove the two bolts in the handle – large cross-point (philips) heads.
    There are also some screws at the lower edge of the front door plastic panels
    – torx T20 head. [​IMG]

    Pull the plastic panel from the bottom, it just held by clips now.
    Lift panel so the top clears door lock knob and plastic bracket below window.
    Carefully pull out – there are several wires attached.
    Unplug all connectors (squeeze clips at side of connector and pull to unplug) – for alarm LED (drivers side), small speaker, door light, electric windows switch.
    Unclip cable to door latch lever.

    [​IMG]
    This black painted panel is removable and is the ancillaries carrier panel.
    The leaky seal is on rear of panel (yellow line shows position).

    [​IMG]
    Rear of panel showing deteriorated foam seal (which ripped when removed) and water marks. Part of the speaker is also shown.

    The speaker is riveted to the panel and also has a foam seal around it (on front side of panel).
    If a different speaker is fitted it is important to seal it well. And also to leave the plastic surround which can be seen protruding on the photo. This plastic surround deflects the water running down the panel and stops it running onto the speaker cone.

    [​IMG]
    View of inside of door, looking downwards. Drain holes are circled in red.

    [​IMG]
    Seal around outer edge of door. Viewed from underneath door facing up.
    Arrow shows one of the oval drain holes in the door and corresponding drain hole in seal.
    Outer lip of seal has to be pulled back to see the drain holes.

    The drain holes can be blocked by too much wax which is used to prevent rusting inside the door.
    Can be checked and cleaned without removing anything : pull the rubber seal to expose the holes and wipe with a damp cloth to remove dirt, and poke a cotton bud up the drain holes (there are 3 oval shaped ones) to clear them.

    [​IMG]
    Cross sectional diagram of door and seals. Water runs down the insides of the door, this is normal in any car since it is impossible to get a perfect seal with a moving window.

    The water runs out of the drain holes in the bottom of the door and through the holes in the seal to outside (blue line at left of diagram). Water can build up inside the door if all 3 of the drain holes are blocked with wax or dirt.

    The problem is with the foam seal (coloured red on diagram) on the ancillaries carrier, the foam is porous and deteriorates over time, water leaks through this (blue line at right of diagram) and can get onto the carpet in the footwell.

    Properly sealing around the foam seal with silicone sealant will stop the water leaking through it, and this water should then also exit via the drain holes.
    This will fix the leaking problem in most cases, but water can also leak through holes in the panel. The clips holding the wiring to the panel are fitted through holes – the clips have a foam backing. The speaker seal may also leak or the foam seals for the window motor.

    I completely removed the panel to replace broken window clips.
    But it is a lot of hassle to remove the ancillaries carrier panel completely since the door lock and window are attached to it.
    Check out this guide if you want to :
    Door dismantling instructions/Window repair - VWvortex

    Could seal around edge of panel whilst in place with silicone sealant, but a better job will be done if silicone sealant is put between the panel and the door where the foam seal is.
    Remove all the bolts around the edge of the panel except the ones at the top edge, 10mm socket/spanner needed. Pull the panel carefully outwards at the bottom (might be stuck due to old seal).
    Clean around the edge of the panel and old seal with a damp cloth or preferably isopropyl alcohol.

    Pull the panel just enough to insert the nozzle of the sealant gun so that the panel does not bend and the window and lock are not damaged.

    Use plenty of sealant so that it flows to fills all the gaps when the panel is bolted back in place. Need to completely seal the lower edge of the panel and about half way up the sides.

    It is a good idea to put some silicone sealant on the holes before replacing the bolts so that they are well sealed.

    There are several different types of silicone sealant. Obviously it is not important what colour it is as it will be hidden. A weatherproof type suitable for outdoor use needs to be used.
    There are acetic and neutral cure types, the acetic cure dries quicker but has a strong vinegar smell for a few days which is unpleasant inside the car. I chose a low modulus, neutral cure type since it is more flexible, does not smell during curing and sticks better to porous materials (the foam seal).

    The type I used was EverBuild Premium+ 450 Builders Silicone from Machine Mart, cost £2.69
    Machine Mart - Silicone Sealant

    Need about ½ a tube for each door, and an applicator gun.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Word document version of guide
     
  2. DubSteve68

    DubSteve68 Active Member

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    DubSteve's Guide, part 1

    Leaky doors? Welcome to the club. There are two ways of tackling the problem, one is bodging it and the other is doing it properly which only takes a little longer. Here's how to do it properly. Overall the job is very easy and will take maybe 1/2 an hour per door, less time once you know how it's done.

    Before you even think about tackling this, get onto eBay and buy the following items.

    1. Search for "pry tools", the iPod/mobile/laptop opening variety. Buy some that look like this...

    [​IMG]


    2. Buy some "Golf trim clips", there is every chance you will bust a couple unless you are very lucky. These are the ones you need...

    [​IMG]


    3. Search for "butyl sealant strip". I bought the 6mm round stuff - 8m roll, enough for all four doors, and not too thick to be a problem when reassembling the door's inner carrier. Cheaper than the VAG branded stuff at £7.49, delivered. Looks like...

    [​IMG]


    Once the postman's delivered your bits, get the following tools together. Large Philips screwdriver, T20 Torx, sharp knife, plastic pry tool, and a 10mm socket. A flat-head screwdriver and a pair of wire cutters may also come in very handy...

    [​IMG]


    While the job can be done solo an able-bodied assistant will make certain tasks much easier. Assistance while disconnecting/reconnecting the door-card electrics is highly recommended. Having someone around to hold the roll of butyl sealant while you feed it in will also be a huge help.


    Step 1. Remove the grab-handle cover. This is why you bought the pry tools! While you could just use a screwdriver instead of the pry tools you will most likely chew up the handle plastic while trying to pop the cover off. The pry tools do the job without totally knackering the cover. Start at the lowest point of the handle (upper side) with the pry tool and wiggle it until you have about 1mm of gap. Repeat on the lower side, then back to the upper and keep wiggling until the cover pops free...

    [​IMG]


    Pull the trim from the lowest point...

    [​IMG]


    And finally pull on the opener so you can get the handle cover off...

    [​IMG]


    Step 2. Remove the door card. Before proceeding, wind the window down all the way. The front door has 2x T20 Torx screws at the bottom which need removing (none on the rear doors). The grab-handles are secured by two large Philips screws (arrowed)...

    [​IMG]


    Now pull on the door card from the bottom. If you do it slowly and firmly then trim retaining clip casualties should be kept to a minimum. Once all the clips have popped free you will be able to lift the card slightly and move it clear of the door frame. Have an assistant hold the card while you disconnect the various wire connectors. All the connectors have one or two squeezy retaining clips. Don't be hasty and you'll have them off in no time. The door opener is fairly simply to unhook - pull on the cable outer, away from the handle, and lift it over the plastic bracket. Once you have all connectors off you should see this...

    [​IMG]


    Part 2 follows shortly, DubSteve
     
  3. DubSteve68

    DubSteve68 Active Member

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    DubSteve's Guide, part 2

    Step 3. Loosen the carrier plate. Take your 10mm socket and remove all the 10mm bolts except the two that are arrowed below. These two remaining bolts should be wound out nearly all the way, allowing you good access to the rear of the carrier without completely removing it. You could remove these last two bolts but your assistant would then have to hold the carrier while you fit the sealant strip - but you really need your assistant to hold the roll of sealant so leave the bolts in position...

    Front door...

    [​IMG]


    Rear door...

    [​IMG]


    Now you need to break any seal between the door frame and the carrier. The best way to do this is with the large flat-head screwdriver you hopefully have ready, resting on a towel so you don't kill any paint...

    [​IMG]


    Here's where my seals disintegrated, seem to be very common failure areas. Affected areas are between the arrows...

    Front door...

    [​IMG]


    Rear door...

    [​IMG]


    Now the carrier is loosened, get to work on that seal and show SEAT how it should have been done in the first place! Start wherever you like and pull the old seal off slowly. I made an exception on the rear doors as I couldn't get as much clearance behind the carrier as I wanted and so left some of the seal in place. The next step will show what I left in place. It's adhesive backed but will come off cleanly if you are lucky. I wasn't, and was left with a few inches-worth of rotten seal on each door that had to be scraped off. I used my trusty T20 to get into the channel where the worst of the remaining rotten seal (and brown gunk) was hiding. You don't need to get the surfaces surgically clean but they do need to be dry and free of as much of the old seal and gunk as possible.


    Step 4. Fitting the new seal. See the pics below. I started where I did on the front door (arrowed) due to the electric window wiring loom getting in the way. It seemed like a good starting point and worked well for me. Slowly feed the butyl sealant strip into where the old seal lived.

    Front door...

    [​IMG]


    As mentioned in step 3 I didn't replace the whole seal on the rear doors due to access. Here's what I did replace...

    [​IMG]


    Step 4. Put it all back together. Self explanatory really. Replace any trim retaining clips that broke. Here's where I used the wire cutters to grip and wiggle free any snapped clips or clips that came off the door cards and could be reused…

    [​IMG]


    And after all that, only one bust clip per door. Not bad going!

    [​IMG]


    Once you've done one side the other will be a piece of cake. I'd read all the guides but still wasn't sure how difficult it was really going to be. As it is, the job isn't difficult at all. All four doors can easily be done in an afternoon once you have everything prepared. One final note about the butyl sealant strip, it's pretty sticky stuff (even more so when warm) and it's much easier to handle when it's cold. For anybody reading this in the summer, stick your sealant in the fridge before you need it...


    Cheers all, DubSteve
     
  4. Mario

    Mario Guest

    Great write up thanks guys.
     
  5. undertacher

    undertacher Active Member

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    A very good diy but pictures from the first post doesnt work.
     
  6. kibble

    kibble Active Member

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    Much needed help there as ive got this problem in the rear passenger footwell
     
  7. djgaz1

    djgaz1 Guest

    hi , followed this tutorial with the butyl seal ,managed to get the seal all the way round aswell, just another 3 doors to go, thanks andy_tech for the tutorial ,once i get all 4 doors done and some rain to test it lol
     
  8. djgaz1

    djgaz1 Guest

    thats been a week of constant rain , and no sign of any wetness or dampness at all:lol:

    all 4 doors done now aswell
     
    #8 djgaz1, Jan 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2014
  9. Leeboy22001

    Leeboy22001 Full Member

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    Passenger door done :), seal had gone round by the speaker ! Broke two clips too, but glad I ordered replacements in advance :)
     

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