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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've got a problem with water getting into my driver and passenger footwells when it rains. Probably a cup or two after a heavy night of rain.
I've read through the previous posts about similar issues and I found 4 main causes;
  • ac leaking water that condenses inside
  • Rusted out welds
  • clogged drain vents
  • leaking windscreen

I am quite certain it is not number 1 or 2, my ac doesn't even work, and this happens even when the car is just sitting. And my car is at least somewhat rust-free.

Right now, I am focused on number 3, clogged drains. I am not really sure where they are. I removed the plastic by the front windscreen hiding the wiper motor assembly, but I can't seem to find any drains (am I even looking in the right place?). Is anyone able to put me on the right track about where these drains are?

From what I understand it fills up the little compartment at the back of the engine bay if the drains are clogged and then gets into the cabin? Also not sure how exactly it would get into the cabin from there even if it did fill up with water?

Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive air manifold Automotive fuel system


Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior
 

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Right now, I am focused on number 3, clogged drains. I am not really sure where they are. I removed the plastic by the front windscreen hiding the wiper motor assembly, but I can't seem to find any drains (am I even looking in the right place?). Is anyone able to put me on the right track about where these drains are?
Inside the front wheel arches - jack up the front of the car and put it on jack stands, remove the front wheels and the inner arch liners, clean all the accumulated debris in the space just forward of the doors, hopefully you don't find any rusted through spots.

From what I understand it fills up the little compartment at the back of the engine bay if the drains are clogged and then gets into the cabin? Also not sure how exactly it would get into the cabin from there even if it did fill up with water?
Through the a/c fresh air intake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply @fordem , i have removed it and cleaned it on one of the two sides. There was a little debry at the very bottom (looks like a silly design to me tbh?) and a little surface rust but nothing too bad. I did find a black box bolted in behind the liner, looks almost like some kind of filter housing?
But so if it's clean back there the water should be able to drain out of the space in front of the a/c fresh air intake?

Another question, how does everyone keep that space clean?? Do I just have to remove those inner arch liners every time I go offroading?

Ah, I see that makes sense cheers!
 

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I believe that the drain for the cowl under the windshield wipers is (on the US vehicle) at the passenger side. From what I understand, the drain will be only on one side of the vehicle. I would take a serious look at the seal at the bottom of the windshield, and the metal that it attaches to.
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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Depending on where you live, a lot of small "crap" can get through "the cowl under the windshield wipers". It's a good idea to clean this crud out as often as needed. I have a lot of deciduous trees with very small leaves, and this time of year, I spend a lot of time cleaning "the cowl under the windshield wipers " and the gutters on the house -- even BIGGER clogs there!
 

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A few years ago, I found a broken body panel seam in the firewall that allowed rain to leak onto my floor. (Of course, there are many ways for rain to leak onto your foot wells.)

In the diagram below, I believe the broken seam was between panels 20 and 18:

Font Auto part Engineering Parallel Machine

There is a similar seam between panels 19 and 20.

The caulk between panels 20 and 18 had worn away. The exposed panel ends were coated with a thin layer of rust. The opening allowed rain to seep into my car from behind the glove compartment. There was no obvious trauma to cause the seam to fail.

Here's a larger image:
Motor vehicle Wheel Line Automotive exterior Automotive design


The body shop removed my dashboard to reach the broken seam. The old caulk, paint and rust were grounded away. The seam was resealed with a new bead of caulk and repainted.

Hope that helps. Your leak may be coming along a different path.
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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I turned on my windshield defroster, full blast, yesterday morning -- and tiny leaves went flying all over the place!!!

Time to clean things out!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, so I've not had much time to diagnose this over the past few weeks mainly because it hasn't rained! But now for the past 5 days its been pouring down and I've finally traced it to a small area. I did check the previously mentioned areas but no issues there. I found a clue when i lifted the carpet in the boot and it was damp as well.

I am 99% sure the water is coming in from the right rear vent or at least very close to that area. I'm not sure what it's called, but it's the vent underneath my right rear window. Does anyone know what could cause this vent to leak? Does it just go straight into my car there? It doesn't leak a lot, maybe a quarter of a cup over 5 days of raining hard. And the other sideis completely dry.

(Note, not my car, just an image from google to show the vent area)
Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Photograph
 

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Interesting, although I don’t see how a leak in the right rear of the car (there really is no ‘boot’ or trunk in these vehicles….lol) can make its way to the passenger and driver footwells, as indicated in your first post. Of course, there is certainly the possibility of more than one leak in your vehicle.
I would find it unlikely that the vent is the cause of wet carpet at the rear of the car, but would more suspect the weatherstripping around the tailgate/rear window, on that side of the car. Rather than waiting for rain, if you have access to an outside hose, where you could be in the car, and have someone spray the hose around the areas that you suspect, you might have better luck finding your leak. The force of the hose will make the leaking areas more obvious than rain.
 
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