Convertible Leak? Water on Floor

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by jshell55, Jan 24, 2010.


  1. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    It's been rainy down here, and there seems to have been an accumulation of water on the floor behind the drivers seat in my nice 2004 Stanger. There does not seem to be any direct drippage down from the top, so I suspect either a drain plugged up somehow, or even worse, a leak someplace that is running inside the car somehow or other..

    There is another thread on this forum for a leak that develops at the corner of the rear window.... but it remains to be seen how that water gets into the rear floor area. I suppose it is traceable.

    Several further questions:

    Is there a body diagram anywhere so I can figure out if there is a drain system someplace?

    Would this water be running in through the rear window under the back seat, and into the floor? If so, how to remove the back seat?

    Has anyone tried to replace one of these convertible tops themselves?

    Where can you get a new ragtop for this old stanger?

    I kinda like this 04 and want to take care of it a bit. I have had the car for two months, during which it rained a lot, but just noticed the problem this week, the day after running the top down for the first time since I tested it when I bought it.

    Note: I have also noticed that the windows are a bit finicky on this thing and it is possible that when I ran it down the other day I did not get the windows back into the correct position and it just came in that way.....
     
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  2. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    Update:

    It started to rain a bit earlier and I went out and sat in the vehicle for awhile. The rear window does not appear to be leaking...no visible drips in the top....

    The car was parked on a sloping driveway, with the nose upward.

    I went in, and in about a half hour after a substantial downpour there was about a half inch of water on the floor behind the passenger seat.

    I cannot tell where this water is coming in except under the carpet somewhere.

    It is coming in at a fast enough rate that I do not think it is drippage from the top....

    So.....

    is there a drain tube inside the body somewhere that is plugged up and sending water into the passenger compartment?
     
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  3. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    no drain tube in the body that I know of, but I dont work on 04's. All of my experience is with fox bodies. What I have seen is that water runs in behind the quarter windows and will gather behind the regulator and thats when it flows over onto the floor boards. Try parking it with the nose down so that water wont have a chance to run backwards like that. It may make a difference.
     
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  4. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    Update:

    I had a chance to work on this guy this afternoon. Removed the back seat, took off the interior quarter panel, took off the stereo speakers, took off the black plastic moisture seal panel to expose the regulator for the rear window....

    I poured a bucket of water, maybe a gallon, down in the slot where the window regulator is (had the window down at the time). The result: It ran straight out of the access hole for the regulator, onto the floor which was under the back seat, through two little slots and onto the floor in back of the driver seat...

    Soooo.... I think what is happening is water runs down the top, into the cavity around the rear window, fills up the cavity, in front of the wheel well, filling up the fender, and leaking under the back seat and then into the floor area. There were leaves and what looked like mud when I got the back seat out.


    I reassembled the moisture cover over the access hole for the rear window regulator, jacked the car up, and removed the rear tire thinking that I would be able to pour some water in there, and then crawl under it and spot where the water was supposed to come out....

    After about four more buckets of water found that the water was coming out of the body right behind the FRONT tire....I have a plastic ground effects type runnning board on this side of the car, and loosened it to inspect where the drippage was coming from, it does look as though the water was just coming through a body seam, there evidently is no actual drainage. I was tempted to take Mr. Drill and just drill a hole up into the cavity at that spot but thought better of it for the moment....it is an option if the problem persists, now that I more or less know what is going on....

    But the good news is, despite about six gallons of water poured down into this guy, the water stopped leaking down into the passenger compartment.... so evidently I flushed out whatever crap was in there plugging up the bottom of that cavity.

    For good measure, I did drill a couple of small holes through the floor under the back seat (taking care not to drill into the gas tank) and also through the floor pan itself, just because. The Ford engineers are probably laughing at me right now for having done this, but just in case, there will be a little extra drainage from now on.....This thing is never going to the auto show anyway.

    On another thread there was the idea of drilling a hole in this spot and installing a little drainage tube, and I am thinking that is nothing short of brilliance because it is near where the wiring harness comes through the floor and I see no problem with a couple of extra holes. Henry Ford, founder of the company, would have seen the humor in it. The worst case scenario is you screw up and drill through a brake line or something but I am ready to try it as a logical next step.

    Your advice about parking this thing pointy downhill has a lot of merit, and I will try this on the next rainy day.

    We will see. Thanks for your help.
     
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  5. pudman

    pudman Member

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    I had the same problem on my '86 vert. There is a drain hole in the floor straight down below the window regulator. Mine was plugged up with leaves and junk.
     
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  6. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    Update: It rained today, I parked the car so the front side would be downhill....more cold water on the floor.....
    :mad:

    the good news is: I more or less know what is going on now, at least I think.

    There might be a hole under the regulator, but I cannot get my hand down inside of the body without removing the whole regulator, and I did not feel like doing that because I was worried about getting it realigned when I was putting it back together....

    So if anyone has an 04 and knows for sure there is a hole under there it would be wonderful if you would tell me, because when I get home I am going to take Mr. Drill out and make sure this time.....
     
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  7. MustangLX-5.0

    MustangLX-5.0 Founding Member

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    I did have my interior on my 96 gutted many times. For awhile I drove without carpet , a back seat and a center console. Why? I had hideous water leakage and the carpet was ruined....that .. and the carpet just REEKED bad. It literally smelled like swamp water and dead fish. My 96 isn't a convertible, but I am familiar with what's behind and under the quarter window area. There are a few rubber plugs on the inside portion of the rear qtr panel. Just underneath the window... and another one a bit lower. I think they were behind the splash lining (plastic). Theres another small one behind the window further back. There was also a small floor plug at the very bottom. Water was getting through one of the plugs on the side. That only contributed to a small portion of my water leakage. I don't think the plug on the floor has anything to do with it. That just lets water out when removed. And will allow water in if its bad and you hit huge puddles in the road. Another place water gets on the back floor, is through the door. If the door has a leaky splash shield, or plugged up drain hole, water will build up or spill into the inside portion and come out by the lower door panel, then spill into the carpet.

    Another idea I thought of, on my 92 convertible, it has a water tight seem on the edges where it tucks down into the qtr panels. If those seems are bad, expect water on the floor.
     
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  8. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    Update:

    I parked this thing outside last night, knowing that it would rain....

    I hung a paper towel under the door seal with tape, to confirm that the water was not coming in through the upper seal. Result: no leakage all night despite about an inch of rain.

    Got into this guy this morning and it was dry. No leakage on the floor.

    Drove it to the office, and let it sit outside in the rain some more: Now, some seepage has started to accumulate in the rear floor area again.

    On further inspection with a flashlight the water looks as though it is coming in through two small holes in the frame, one round one and one oval shaped one, just to the front of the rear wheel, in the passenger floor area. There is a bit of seepage under the back seat as well, damp, but not enough to actually leak down into the floor panel. The little holes are actually under the opening for the front door....

    I will try to repark with the nose pointing downhill to see if that is better or worse.
     
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  9. pudman

    pudman Member

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    the oval shaped hole just in front of the rear tire on my 86 is the drain hole. this is getting very interesting now. here's a pic of my deal

    the white square is where the water comes in from the trough system...except that black piece needed to be pushed closer to the guide post

    the oval drain hole was kinda back behind. you can see the pine needles in there that was plugging it up.

    the green box kinda shows where i riveted a piece of 1/8 plexiglass to cover it all up, even though i pushed the trough piece over towards the guide rail, it still got wet from the water splashing down on the floor. don't know why i didn't take any pics of it:bang:
    View attachment 61468

    hope this helps ya a little. i'm sure Ford came up with a better design by 2004... I would hope anyway
     
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  10. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    Hi Pudman Thanks for the pic.

    I take it we are looking at the rear interior under the window regulator with the back seat and interior panel removed....

    If that is the case, I do not have an oval hole like that, or any other hole.

    I do have a little access to the window regulator after the plastic weather barrier is removed, but I will be darned if I can see anything that looks like a drain plug. I can see where the little plastic ornament piece on the rear quarter panel is attached, and I can see almost all the way to the bottom of the cavity.

    Here is what I did this Saturday: I jacked this thing up, removed the seats and interior panel, and drilled a couple of small holes through the floor not far from where it was leaking. Then, I took a couple of long bamboo skewers from the kitchen and stuck them through the holes, so that I could then get underneath the vehicle to see where the holes were relative to the body parts.

    both cases it looks as though the water is leaking down inside what looks like a big rectangular frame member.

    I took my big electric drill, with a 5/8 inch bit, and drilled a big hole, upward through the plastic ground effects spoiler and through the sheet metal, into the cavity in front of the rear wheel. Sposta rain on Tuesday maybe I will get another test....

    But I did learn one thing, which was that this area was completely filled with some of that expandable foam noise deadening stuff. I stuck one of my skewers up through the hole and hit some of that stuff.

    You don't suppose the boys and girls at the factory got a little rambunctious with that stuff when they were building my old stang, and managed to clog up the space between the sheet metal and the frame where the water was supposed to drain out, do you?

    Well, we will see what happens in a day or two. I will try to go out and take a picture so you can see what I was talking about...In any case, there is a hole in there now, no one but me will ever know it is there, and it might help....
     
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  11. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Here's the seam between the top and the car body. Any water that hits the back half of the car is going to run down that seam and into the fender just in front of the rear wheel well on either side. For whatever reason, the passenger side is not leaking (yet)....

    [​IMG]

    This is the area under the back seat. There was some accumulation of leaves and other stuff on the floor in the area. When I did the experiment of pouring buckets of water down the top opening, the water first started to accumulate in the area of the little yellow arrow. There is a little drain that drains out water from this area into the floor behind the driver's seat. There was some dampness in this area the other day during that big rainstorm.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the floor behind the drivers seat. The two yellow arrows are the holes that the water was leaking through the other day. The blue arrow is the area in which the water was accumulating... when there gets to be a lot of it, it obviously leaks down into that pan. You can see the wiring harness which runs up the corner of that area and to the rear of the car.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the outside rear quarter. The arrow is where I drilled the hole.

    My working theory is at the moment is: The top is designed so that water will run down into that seam and down through the rear fender, right about where that triangular shaped ornament is, behind the front door and ahead of the rear tire. I cannot see any drain holes or anything else there, though, so I suppose the engineers were thinking that the water would leak down the spot welded seam between the body metal (which for me is under the ground effects) and the frame, where it is welded. When I did that work with the buckets of water the other day, it seemed like it was leaking either between the frame and the sheet metal, or else inside the frame, and actually was draining out the front of the car.

    Theory: the jerks at the factory got too much foam in the area, and also, there got to be an accumulation of leaves or whatever in there, and plugged up any way out that the water might have. Maybe it does not plug it all the way up, maybe just obstructs it just enough so that in either case, it will fill up that llittle cavity right in front of the rear wheel, and when it gets high enough either leak out into the area under the back seat (through the moisture barrier, which is behind those speakers) or down into the floor behind the drivers seat. Some of this water also leaks through the frame (the little holes)/


    In theory, the hole will solve all those problems and I will be a happy camper. If not, I will turn it over to one of the local pros, before this thing drains out my life force faster than it drains out the rainwater.
     
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  12. pudman

    pudman Member

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    jshell55...sent you a PM :nice:
     
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  13. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    Update:

    It did rain about a half inch on Tuesday and the hole system appears to have worked.

    What I did do was put a cup under the hole to confirm that water was coming out of that hole, and in the time it rained, a couple of inches or so accumulated in the cup, so that system is working.

    So, I am not ready to declare automotive brilliance yet, but it is looking like my working theory was correct.

    There are always some questions, of course. the number one of which is: Why did the engineers not make this hole bigger. Secondly, is it really the foam that is the problem. Thirdly, the question is: Should I now drill a hole through the passenger side?

    Well, I will continue to watch this situation as we get more rain this spring and report back.
     
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  14. wmburns

    wmburns SN Certified Technician

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    I also had a problem with water leaking in the rear passenger floor board on my 2003 Convertible. What I found is there is a design drain hole in the frame rails just ahead of the the rear wheels (same location marked in your pictures). When the water drains out of that hole, it will back up into the frame rails under the door. It would then leak through a seam where the floor pans join the frame rail (under the door).

    What worked for me was to throughly reseal the entire seam.
     
    #14
  15. hootystang

    hootystang New Member

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    UPDATE: Easy Solution!!!

    Hey Guys,

    I had the same problem with my mustang convertible 2004. It rained and I had 3 inches of puddle behind my driver seat and no place else in my car a couple of days ago.

    Here is what I did:

    "There is a design drain hole in the frame rails just ahead of the the rear wheels (same location marked in your pictures)" Locate these holes and simply stick a small pipe cleaner up in the drain holes and it cleared out debris with ease. It took all of five minutes and I can clearly see the water flowing out of the drains like is supposed to.

    Whooo Hooo!!!
     
    #15
    Billy Smith likes this.
  16. Newstanggirl

    Newstanggirl New Member

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    Hootystang, I need help

    Can you guide me thru what to do. I have a 2004 that I just bought and have the same problem. I don't know anything about cars. Please help me and give details. I saw the pics.....my question is how hard is it to remove the carpet. And to do this, where do I start?
     
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  17. jshell55

    jshell55 New Member

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    No problem pulling up the carpet. Take out the lower back seat (there are two buttons on the underside of the edge of the seat that you have to push in to do this, kinda difficult) and the seat will pop right up.

    Next, snap off the plastic door jamb, which is that piece of plastic that runs the length of your door, on the frame of your car, that you can see when you open your door. That thing will snap off with a screwdriver. Then, you can just pull back the carpet from that corner.
     
    #17
  18. Bigvoiceguy

    Bigvoiceguy New Member

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    A big thank you.

    Unbelievable! I'd just pulled the back seat and carpet on my 04' drop top to search for a drain when I decided to search the web for a fix. I had taken on at least 4" of water after Hurricane Irien and was stupified as to where it was comming in. Read your post, poured in some water, unplugged the holes and pulled back some of the factory insulating foam. POOF!!! The water is now draining and not sinking my Stang or my passenger's shoes. Thanks Bro!
     
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  19. 1999GTstang

    1999GTstang New Member

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    Guys this information is GREAT and is at least making me think a little out of the box of what I was thinking my son's stang problem is.

    He has a 99 GT convertible. I just went to pick it up from his college parking lot since he once again had a puddle of water on the passenger side rear floor pan. Driver rear side is dry as a bone.

    The last thing we did was to seal up a couple places where the water can seep in through the roof in the rear side of the car. Believe someone in this thread mentioned a channel that the water can take when it does find it's way in. Our thought was that water was escaping this channel and finding it's way to the floor.

    This thread now has me questioning whether there is a drain hole that is clogged, not allowing this water to escape. Again this is a 99 and I looked underneath for a hole. There is nothing but a solid piece of plastic, no holes. I only took a few minutes and will investigate further tomorrow.

    Anyone following this thread who may have this experience with this type of problem in their 99 I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. My plan for tomorrow will be to fold back the carpet in the rear foot area and pour water down the quarter window to see if I can see where the water is coming in. Then go from there.

    Again, this thread has been very helpful! Let me know if anyone has any ideas on the 99.
     
    #19
  20. donb1

    donb1 New Member

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    1996 Vert Leaking

    Hi Fellas,
    New to the site. I have a 1996 GT convertible project car that leaks also. All this info is great! But I first need to replace the top and that is on the docket within the next week. However my question has to to do with the top going up and down. Mine just stopped working. Is there a hydraulic resevoir(sp?) that I should look at or does the top rely strictly on an electric motor?
    Thanks is advance for your help!
     
    #20

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