1990 Olds Custom Cruiser with water in middle seat passenger footwell

Discussion in 'General Automotive Tech' started by smparr, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. smparr

    smparr Member

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    I have a 1990 Boxy Custom Cruiser with water wicking through the carpet at the back edge of the passenger side second seat footwell. It had sat outside during a rainstorm at the shop last November for a week before we covered it. When it came home both the front and rear passenger side footwells were saturated. At first, I thought it was because a shop put our car cover on the back seat wet but strangely the seat itself wasn't wet. After using heaters, a dehumidifier, and a carpet cleaner I was able to dry it up completely over the course of a week. The last stubborn spot was the same exact spot where it has returned. It's been driven and parked in the rain a few times over the last two weeks but the front floors and driver's side rear floor are still bone dry right now. Only that one spot is wet! It normally lives under a carport so it doesn't normally sit in the rain. The way I discovered it this time was by lifting the floormat to clean and I noticed the back edge was wet. I've even been under the car probing for leaks with a light but the floor pans look mint and super clean. It's definitely water, no sweet smell or loss of coolant. Just smells like dirty carpet water when you press with a paper towel.

    Anybody else run into a leak in this spot? Any ideas would really help my search.
     
  2. elB

    elB Well-Known Member

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    Does the car have a roof rack? The rubber feet seals around them dry out and crack and water gets in. It will wick all over the place and follow body contours inside to the lowest points (the carpet). The same thing with the side window glass when the seals there go bad too. The door seals are also possible culprits. The car is old enough that the original seals are going to be drying out or door strikers are getting out of adjustment letting water in slowly.
     
  3. smparr

    smparr Member

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    I have had random leaks that come and go. My window guy sealed the rear of the passenger quarter glass to stop a spare tire well leak. I was thinking it could be the front side of that glass. It would be easy for it to follow the wheel well into that floor. I guess a roof rack screw could do the same. I'm getting the headliner replaced and the panels will be out for a couple days I'll have to check then. Thanks.
     
  4. Vista

    Vista Well-Known Member

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    Check that the drains in the door aren't clogged. If they are, it could be overflowing into the passenger compartment. May also be a problem with the weatherstripping.
     
  5. smparr

    smparr Member

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    The water showed back up in the front carpet after heavy rain. While exploring under the hood I've discovered that during a previous heater core replacement they did a crappy job of sealing the heater/AC box. It has cracked and missing sealant at the firewall. Could it be possible because of the rearward rake of the car that the water is running under the carpet pad to the back floor and then building through the carpet the more it leaks? I can't see water trails down the metal under the dash but it is dampest along the outboard edge of the well in the front and the back outboard corner of the rear well.
     
  6. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    It is possible. I would not only reseal the core cover, I would also try to add sealer on the top and sides of the box itself. I'm just hoping that you don't have to remove the heater core box to fully reseal it to the firewall.
     
  7. KevinVarnes

    KevinVarnes Well-Known Member

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    Before you start taking things apart it might be worth pulling the front passenger and rear seat and lifting the carpet and have somebody hose the car down while you observe inside for water entry points.
     
  8. smparr

    smparr Member

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    My son and I got the front carpet, front and rear door sills, glove box, kick panel, and passenger side trim panels out. There were quite a bit of surface rust spots and water in the jute pad and on the metal. The feet of the seat has tons of surface rust. We used and hose and put water to the heater box, doors, and underbody. After almost giving up, as I'm about to back the wagon back in the car port suddenly water appeared on the front floor. It was coming from an opening between the intersection of the floor pan, firewall, and fender in the lower right corner. Pouring straight down the side along the sill and ending in the floor pan channels and making its way to the back floor also. We found mud and alder pollen down in front of the cowl drain and blasted it out with a hose. Water immediately rushed in that same seam opening. Even after clearing it, water still came in. We used different color food dye to find the outside entry location. It seems like a lip on the bottom front of the firewall that gathers pollen pods and mud on it.
    Last week I sealed the seam at the front of the footwell where it meets the firewall and cleaned the drain on the outside and it appears to have stopped leaking. We have washed the car and it rained and no new water. Now I need to lift the seat out and pull the jute pad to replace it and Por-15 the floor pan were it has surface rust from the leak.
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