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Old 03-09-2018, 07:55 AM   #1
resunoiz
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[SOLVED] water from the soft top/windscreen junction

SOLVED. SOLUTION HERE ON POST #9

Hi, just finished to repair the hooks on my vert, pulled back everything and reapplied the seal It was only blocked in place and no glued, so I put it back same way.

I THINK I put it correctly as it was before, but now washing the car, the tragedy: water coming in like you waven't close the top from the intersection from windshield, soft top and mirrors

pic from another post:


tomorrow I'll remove -again- the seal and see what's going there. Any suggestions? A guide /pics to see hox exactly that seal have to be mounted, to verify I didn't make mistakes?

Maybe the side seals had to be "pressed" more towards the windshield when I put them back?

Last edited by resunoiz; 03-29-2018 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:23 PM   #2
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Here's my side seal.

Are they right from the external? https://ibb.co/gWcCF7
https://ibb.co/dqwToS
https://ibb.co/bPz3Nn
https://ibb.co/meriNn
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:00 PM   #3
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Can you see if it is coming in from the above the side window or from where the front edge of the roof meets the windshield? Here is a good thread with some tips:
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...indshield-HELP!
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:29 AM   #4
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That is a common leak point. Usually just a few drips and drops. Seal might not be in right. It could have been torn (the rubber gets old and cracks). If you open top a little bit, then pull that seal down from the front edge of top, you might find the seal is cracked. Mine was. I patched with a little silicone glue.
That seal is an expensive part . . .
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:37 PM   #5
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Yes, did on mine the same. there were 2 holes on the upper part, directly above the hooks. tomorrow I'll try to put it in place again.

I'm not sure on the correct position of the lower corner parts. And I can't find pics of the seal when correctyl in place...
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd View Post
That is a common leak point. Usually just a few drips and drops. Seal might not be in right. It could have been torn (the rubber gets old and cracks). If you open top a little bit, then pull that seal down from the front edge of top, you might find the seal is cracked. Mine was. I patched with a little silicone glue.
That seal is an expensive part . . .
Is my main fear. I glued it, but still leaks.
Apart from the corners that have to inserted in the hooks cover, I'm not sure I placed all the elements in taht point correctly. Do you have any hints?
here's how the seal looks like in a post by taylor



here's how mine looks like.

what is the right position? I wasn't able to find pics of the correct install position, and I didn't take pictures when I removed it!


Last edited by resunoiz; 03-15-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:04 AM   #7
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In heavy rain (or car washes) my top leaks the same spot. I have never been able to completely solve it. I have tried repositioning the seal, coating the seal, using foam inserts to add more pressure to the seal, clearing the drains, an even adjusting the entire position of the top. Still leaks.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:13 AM   #8
resunoiz
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sob

after removing the cover for the hooks no water, no rain, no snow, no car wash high-pressure leaks...NOTHING.

now after 5 mins of rain is a complete massacre!

Last edited by resunoiz; 03-15-2018 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:23 PM   #9
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Solved. I've found how the seal effectively works and was able to completely stop leaks. Maybe the info is useful for other folks with similar problems. Sorry for my bad english, but maybe some english/american can try it and make a tutorial

1) THE KNOWN AND EASY PART: CRACKS ON THE TOP OF THE SEAL
First thing to verify, as someone wrote in the forum, is if there is some hole/crack in the upper part of the seal. Mine has 2 cracks 5cm long in the upper part in correspondance of hooks. I inserted a 20cm piece of rubber from anothe old seal inside my seal's cracks to create a new barrier and the glued it towards the cracked part.

2) MAKING THE A-PILLAR WATERPROOF: JUNCTION BETWEEN SOFT TOP AND WINDSCREEN

I had still leaks. The same I've read in the forum, in the A pillar, in the junction between soft top and windscreen. Never read a complete resolution, so I investigated further. Adding "random" foam, searching for particular seal positions just isn't useful.
I studied my seal and mainly a BRAND NEW seal from a garage queen that never took rain or excessive sun. His seal was almost new so I could point of what was different for his water-proof car and mine.


Being sure there are no other holes in your gasket then I studied closely how the A-pillar "blocks" water to come in the juction.

The secret is not effectively the junction itself between soft top and the windscreen: this point is NOT waterproof. If you move the cover of the junction, there is a gap in it. BUT the upper part on the corners of the seal is! I made a pic of how the water seal "work": you can see the white line I draw on it.



The white line higlights a "protuberance", a "barrier" on the seal. That major thickness ensures the soft top seal to be in close and continue contact towards the windscreen seal, creating a precise "path" for water. If this barier is in full efficieny, water can't flow in windscreen/soft top junction but is redirected to drain holes and sides of the car. So, the point I higlighted in green that is NOT waterproof itself, can't be reached by the water because is stopped before. The part I highlighted in green is not waterproof: simply it have not to be reached by the water from the upper "barrier".



So, if the upper part of the seal I draw in white works well, there is NO WAY water can flow inside the car.
If that point weakens, have cracks made removing the gasket, or the rubber becomes old.. the water is doomed to flow into your car. That explains why leaks affects who removed the seal to repair latches and maybe have cracked it disengaging from the metal angles of the cover, BUT affects too someone who had never removed or touched it: even if that point has no cracks, the tickness of the rubber that creates that inside/outside boundary reduces due to years, temperature, sun....

So I applied a 4/5mm thick layer of neoprene to recreate that "boundary" with the shape of the white line. Water can't pass that point and reach the inside part of the A-pillar. Taht explains why in TIS there is a recommendation to verify the seal is firm in place by the plastic lugs: seal not moving ->no risk of that barrier to come looose. The cracks you can see in my seal on the lugs' compartment is not a problem (anymore), if the "barrier" towards works properly.

Washed with high-pressure water, had 4 days of VERY intense rain: no a single drop of water. Opening the top in the garage, the green point on the second pic was completely dry. No water on my foot!

Last edited by resunoiz; 04-11-2018 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:41 AM   #10
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I'm sorry but I'm not 100% understanding how it is to fix this? I have the same leaks from my driverside A-pillar junction just as you but I'm not what you are recommending to do to stop the leak?
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFNATIK View Post
I'm sorry but I'm not 100% understanding how it is to fix this? I have the same leaks from my driverside A-pillar junction just as you but I'm not what you are recommending to do to stop the leak?
If I understand correctly...

The red line indicates a "lip" on the seal that gets squished to form a water tight seal. Over time this lip gets crushed, deteriorates, ... and becomes ineffective at sealing tightly. The white line is on the reverse side of the red line.

He is recommending adding material to build back up the lip. What is not clear is if he added the material on the back (white line) or front (red line).

Another member found similar success: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...5&postcount=25
after trying this: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...0&postcount=21
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Last edited by taylor192; 04-18-2018 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
If I understand correctly...

The red line indicates a "lip" on the seal that gets squished to form a water tight seal. Over time this lip gets crushed, deteriorates, ... and becomes ineffective at sealing tightly. The white line is on the reverse side of the red line.

He is recommending adding material to build back up the lip. What is not clear is if he added the material on the back (white line) or front (red line).

Another member found similar success: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...5&postcount=25
after trying this: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...0&postcount=21
Haha, my typos made it hard to understand as well.

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Old 09-19-2018, 09:15 AM   #13
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Another option to try for water leaks along the top of the windshield. My car used to leak on the ends, the water would drip right onto your leg. Look for a product called Gummi Pflege. This is a rub on conditioner for the rubber seals, I think. All I know is that it worked for me. Maybe it softens the rubber so it seals better, I don't know. But it worked for me.

DC
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVMadman View Post
Another option to try for water leaks along the top of the windshield. My car used to leak on the ends, the water would drip right onto your leg. Look for a product called Gummi Pflege. This is a rub on conditioner for the rubber seals, I think. All I know is that it worked for me. Maybe it softens the rubber so it seals better, I don't know. But it worked for me.

DC
Yes, it does. If there are any cracks/holes in the seals or they aren't too much worn, products like this make the show
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVMadman View Post
Another option to try for water leaks along the top of the windshield. My car used to leak on the ends, the water would drip right onto your leg. Look for a product called Gummi Pflege. This is a rub on conditioner for the rubber seals, I think. All I know is that it worked for me. Maybe it softens the rubber so it seals better, I don't know. But it worked for me.

DC
I tried gummi pflege, unfortunately my seal is too flattened to make a difference.

Tried some stick on weather stripping along the "bump" on the top seal, worked great, except it doesn't stick well. Inspected the top seal "bump" and found it is hollow with openings at the end. Going to try the same trick that is used in the rear seal to reduce noise. Run flexible tubing through the seal to restore it's thickness.

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Old 10-11-2018, 04:36 PM   #16
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Hold on a second. I used to get leaks there and also thought it was the rubber in that area.

It wasnt for me...

Mine was occurring because the window itself was not closing properly and fully.

This all started after I re did the soft top wiring loom and loosed the nuts to soft top hinge. The leading edge of my top was a few millimetres off... also the glass on my drivers side was getting loose.

So I tightened the front windows and adjusted the top position by a couple millimetre to the left. Now both front windows lock shut. It took a while to get it right but once they close properly no more leaks. You know when it closes fully if you are not sure test the opposite side window where there is no leak. Listen to how the window shuts. Shud be tight.


Real pain the arse with car washes. But that was my solution. Windows were not closing properly due to me messing with soft top previously and loose front window not closing fully.

Hope that helps someone and saves you from siliconing that area...!
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:02 PM   #17
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Landlorder, you have instructions on tightening up the front windows on the e46 convertible?
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:52 AM   #18
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Hi, sorry for toooo late response. Never received email for replies.

The easiest way is to add a continue "curb" in the position of the white line. It flattens with years, so the "sidewall" effect is no longer effective.

OBVIOUSLY AND IMPORTANT

- it has to be as continue and regular as possible to avoid irregular junction parts.

- use some "soft" material, like a black silicon: if it's too hard it will create a spot where it doesn't fit perfectly

- there will be no other leaks/holes on the upper part of the seal: every crack on the seal is a way for water to go into.


..maybe you can try with some adhesive seal, like these with the lowest tickness possible:
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
I tried gummi pflege, unfortunately my seal is too flattened to make a difference.

Tried some stick on weather stripping along the "bump" on the top seal, worked great, except it doesn't stick well. Inspected the top seal "bump" and found it is hollow with openings at the end. Going to try the same trick that is used in the rear seal to reduce noise. Run flexible tubing through the seal to restore it's thickness.

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I have a leak / drip at the junction corner as described in this thread. Saw your response and wondered if you found a solution. Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by resunoiz View Post
Solved. I've found how the seal effectively works and was able to completely stop leaks. Maybe the info is useful for other folks with similar problems. Sorry for my bad english, but maybe some english/american can try it and make a tutorial

1) THE KNOWN AND EASY PART: CRACKS ON THE TOP OF THE SEAL
First thing to verify, as someone wrote in the forum, is if there is some hole/crack in the upper part of the seal. Mine has 2 cracks 5cm long in the upper part in correspondance of hooks. I inserted a 20cm piece of rubber from anothe old seal inside my seal's cracks to create a new barrier and the glued it towards the cracked part.

2) MAKING THE A-PILLAR WATERPROOF: JUNCTION BETWEEN SOFT TOP AND WINDSCREEN

I had still leaks. The same I've read in the forum, in the A pillar, in the junction between soft top and windscreen. Never read a complete resolution, so I investigated further. Adding "random" foam, searching for particular seal positions just isn't useful.
I studied my seal and mainly a BRAND NEW seal from a garage queen that never took rain or excessive sun. His seal was almost new so I could point of what was different for his water-proof car and mine.


Being sure there are no other holes in your gasket then I studied closely how the A-pillar "blocks" water to come in the juction.

The secret is not effectively the junction itself between soft top and the windscreen: this point is NOT waterproof. If you move the cover of the junction, there is a gap in it. BUT the upper part on the corners of the seal is! I made a pic of how the water seal "work": you can see the white line I draw on it.



The white line higlights a "protuberance", a "barrier" on the seal. That major thickness ensures the soft top seal to be in close and continue contact towards the windscreen seal, creating a precise "path" for water. If this barier is in full efficieny, water can't flow in windscreen/soft top junction but is redirected to drain holes and sides of the car. So, the point I higlighted in green that is NOT waterproof itself, can't be reached by the water because is stopped before. The part I highlighted in green is not waterproof: simply it have not to be reached by the water from the upper "barrier".



So, if the upper part of the seal I draw in white works well, there is NO WAY water can flow inside the car.
If that point weakens, have cracks made removing the gasket, or the rubber becomes old.. the water is doomed to flow into your car. That explains why leaks affects who removed the seal to repair latches and maybe have cracked it disengaging from the metal angles of the cover, BUT affects too someone who had never removed or touched it: even if that point has no cracks, the tickness of the rubber that creates that inside/outside boundary reduces due to years, temperature, sun....

So I applied a 4/5mm thick layer of neoprene to recreate that "boundary" with the shape of the white line. Water can't pass that point and reach the inside part of the A-pillar. Taht explains why in TIS there is a recommendation to verify the seal is firm in place by the plastic lugs: seal not moving ->no risk of that barrier to come looose. The cracks you can see in my seal on the lugs' compartment is not a problem (anymore), if the "barrier" towards works properly.

Washed with high-pressure water, had 4 days of VERY intense rain: no a single drop of water. Opening the top in the garage, the green point on the second pic was completely dry. No water on my foot!
I'm still not sure where the piece of rubber in the first picture is located and how the picture was taken. Is this the piece that is attached to the top and is this a picture of the backside that would press against the top? What I think I understand is normally with these leaks there is a crack on the rubber on the top that needs to be repaired. Do I have this correct? Thanks.
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