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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 03-17-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Water Leak under Dash Board

Hey all,

Been having a leak problem with water when it rains for some time now. I know this is normally a common issue but let me provide a few details. I recently( past year) have had my car completely rebuilt and personally watched my cowl be replaced and coated in fiberglass completely. I have a cowl cover on as well. I thought it may have been my windshield so I recently had it resealed but I checked a couple days ago (have to park it outside for now) and my floorboards were moist again with water dripping from the steering column.

Is there another location the water could leak in from? I'm going to have my windshield checked again but other than that I'm very frustrated since my carpets have gotten a bit moldy from it.

Thanks
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Unread 03-17-2010   #2 (permalink)
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If your comfortable that your cowl is not leaking, that's good. That's probably the most common source of water getting into the passenger compartment. It's a possibility that your windshield wiper pivot shaft seals are leaking. These seals were originally leather and can dry out to the point that they won't do the job anymore. Stick your head under the dash or use a mirror while a friend pours a small amount of water around the left side pivot arm. If you see water coming in, that's your spot. A new rubber seal is around $2 from most Mustang suppliers. You get a leather one like the original for about $15. Changing it is not too difficult. Just a little time consuming. Let us know what you find out.
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Unread 03-17-2010   #3 (permalink)
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My wife's 66 coupe had a similar problem. When the windshield was put in, the installer/owner of the company didn't seal the new rubber gasket in properly. If there is any area in that gasket that is not sealed properly, water will seep in and drip. My wife's car was dripping from the mirror. Water can get between the gasket and the metal and run a ways before it exits inside the car, so you might spend some time looking. Since her paint is not in the best shape, I used a little clear silicon between the metal trim and the rubber, and also between the trim and the paint just around the top. If your paint is in great shape, I'd opt for another approach like possibly trying to find the original putty that was used to seal the trim around the window which I believe RV mechanics still use under corner trim on travel trailers and motor homes. Its a grey putty type substance.
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Unread 03-17-2010   #4 (permalink)
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I think the only way you can find the leak is to get a hose and start at the cowl. If you can confirm it it’s not that, move to the wipers and flush them. If they pass, move to the lower windshield seal, then up the sides then across the top. Any chance it could be coming through the firewall through some hole such as the steering column, clutch push rod shield or some other place. It's just a matter of getting the hose to the spot that is leaking. Hope that helps a little.
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Unread 03-17-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Your cowl was replaced and coated with fiberglass? Oh I hope not, maybe that is why it is leaking! haha
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Unread 03-18-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Fiberglass should only be used on fiberglass bodies and speaker boxes.If your cowl had any holes in it before i bet money the fiberglass lifted and now is leaking.
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Unread 03-18-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah the fiberglass thing confused me too......why would someone go through the trouble to replace the cowl correctly and then coat it in fiberglass? If you are using one of those outer cowl covers to keep water from even getting inside of the upper cowl then I would guess it is leaking elsewhere. Everyone lists good ideas to try. My guess is the window seal because I have seen them leak often even after being properly installed. they are just prone to leaking. Lassen has a good idea about checking different areas in order
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Unread 03-18-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Just checked the wipers, leaked like crazy. I may have misspoke on the fiberglass. It was coated in a black substance, I'm not 100% on what it was at the time. Thanks guys I really appreciate the help, now off to find those seals!
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Unread 03-18-2010   #9 (permalink)
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National Parts Depot is in Ocala. About 150 mi from you. At least you can get 1 day shipping. Here's their link. Look up part # 17A475-1B for a pair of rubber seals 1965-1970. Cost is a whopping $1.99. Good Luck!

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Unread 03-18-2010   #10 (permalink)
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So I was able to order the seals, thanks everyone for that, but I realized another issue. The problem seems to be a bit more acute because the water comes through up where the pivot arms stick out from the cowl. My cowl has two large openings under dash which is normal I presume, but I have no off flow tubes or anything like that. I'm just wondering if there is anyway to seal it at the pivot arm/cowl point while still allowing freedom of motion to the wipers. I know thats not really where the point of attack should be but in my case it seems like the best spot to go for.
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Unread 03-18-2010   #11 (permalink)
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I'm confused. The pivot arm only goes through the body near the top of the cowl in one location. The seals that you ordered should take care of that problem. Are you now saying that the cowl area fills up with water because it's not draining properly? BTW: I assume from your avatar that you have a 65 or 66 Mustang.
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Unread 03-18-2010   #12 (permalink)
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The black stuff they put in the cowl is called seam sealer, I would replace both the wiper seals with either the rubber or leather ones if you feel like spending more money on leather. Also on my car I put some clear windshield sealant stuff between the wiper arm bezel and the body, just as anther step to seal water out along with the seal inside the car. Water will leak in around the bezel because that spot on the body sheet metal is recessed and then from there leak down the arm and into the car.
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Unread 03-18-2010   #13 (permalink)
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My guess is the black stuff they coated your new cowl with was POR15.

The cowl should slope to a low point in the front where there are openings to allow water to drain beneath your fenders. Have you checked to see if they are clogged?
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Unread 03-18-2010   #14 (permalink)
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ahhh thanks for the image, I have no bezel around the pivot arm, does that bezel have a gasket as well or were you just saying that you use sealant on that itself?
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Unread 03-19-2010   #15 (permalink)
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Black is seam sealer or maybe por15 those are fine.Fiberglass is normally white to a off white color.
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