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2004 GT Convertible Top Rear Window Leak. Recommended find and fix process, please.

7483 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BigDog143
As a result of a preliminary discussion with my local Ford dealership mechanic today, I'm looking at cost-benefit analysis for at least 2 small (battery and master cylinder replacement) and two large(r) projects. (The first big issue, transmission cooler failure, can be found here )

This thread addresses the last line from the "tranny" issue: "(I'm also looking into the $/procedure for replacing the rag top window. Initial estimate from the dealership...$1800!!!!)"

I enjoy a good puzzle, thought-provoking discussions, and figuring out problems. As a result, all kinds of flags and klaxons go off when a mechanic states that water was "flooding in" through the rear window of the rag top and it would take almost 2K to fix it.

I understand that finding and fixing leaks that originate on or around a soft top can be tricky. I also know that the first assessment of a situation and/or estimate of a cost is not wholly accurate (sometimes, it can be worse). Two factors that may result in an increased cost for my top is the window has glass and has a heater/defroster.

With that being said-->

I can accept the diagnosis of a leak around the rear window since (1) water does collect in the car "under" the rear window, (2) there are no tears in the top, and (3) there are no issues with any area where the top meets up with the body.

However, "flooding" sounds like a very severe term. I have an appointment with the mechanic tomorrow to see where the "exact" leak points are.

Some simple searching and pricing online shows that a "simple" window leak would cost about $200 for the window piece. An entire top would cost $600-800 (for the headliner, top canvas, and window with curtain). As a result, the price quoted by the technician (garnered from only one local business) results in either overpayment for parts or at least $1200 for the work.

I'll have more info tomorrow but...does it make sense to replace the entire top if only the window leaks?

What are your experiences/opinions?
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My convetible top leaks also. Mine leaks on the bottom corners where the top meets the body and water goes into the Well Liner. I have been researching and researching on the best possible solution like you. For now I have a rigged a draining system to where the water ends up in a pitcher and I empty it everytime it rains.

$1800 for just the rear widnow replacement is absurd. I was quoted (for a rear window replacment: glass w/ defroster) parts/labor $575 (which is still a lot for me, but not $1800!!). I am to the point where If/when I fix this leak I will be doing it all at once. Like you said, a leak in soft material (like our convertible top) could be anywhere so why not replace it all and know you have a brand new top that will last (I also plan to tackle it with my dad and not pay labor...wish us luck :bigthumbsup).

This is just my opinion. It all depends on your budget really.

By the way, I consider my leak "flooding"...I emptied 3 gallons of water in 8 hours from a pretty heavy rain...
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Check the seal around the rear window, mine has a small spot in the right corner that looks like someone tried to use spray foam to fix. I get a pretty good bit of water in through it. Look for any breaks or possible holes in the sealant they use, and you can probably patch it up with some good silicone.
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Thanks JonR2006 and Adam1389


I appreciate y'all's comments.

Since ROSE has multiple issues, the first one being addressed is the transmission cooler/radiator fix.

The tech at the dealership was great to talk with. He admitted limited knowledge in the area of rag tops but everything else was good. I'm still looking into the options for fixing the top. However, I'll need to wait for the car to get out of the shop to get a closer look at it.

From what I've been able to find, the top has the following "non-mechanical", "non-structural" parts:

1. The canvas top
2. The window curtain
3. The headliner
4. The part that cradles the top when it is down
5. The "seal" where it meets the body

As far as amount of water...I didn't realize how bad the leak was until I was emptying out the trunk and there was actually condensation on the bottom of the trunk lid!

Oh, well. Guess I need to ensure I take the car out on a regular basis. This is great motivation to get the garage reorganized so that ROSE can fit back into it with FUZZY.

(BTW...I'm starting a 3rd thread regarding ROSE. Not related to this but has to do with getting the most for my $$ if the drivetrain needs to be replaced.)
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