Infuriating water leak!


Wicked_Sludge

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Passanger rear corner of the cab keeps getting soaked. First i thought it was the 3rd brake light, then the rear window, now I'm thinking its the body seam where the back, side, and top of the cab all come together.

today i layed packing tape down over the body seam in question and the leak slowed substantially. it did still drip a little...im really hoping its because i didnt get it completely sealed with the tape.

i tried turning the blower motor on high and applying soap to the seam to see if it would blow bubbles but it doesnt...which is disappointing.

so what do you guys think? is there a better way to confirm and/or pinpoint this leak? if it is that seam, what would be the best way to temporarily fix it? i peeled the corner of my headliner back and it doesnt look like there is any way to access that corner of the cab from inside....but i could be wrong...

i snapped a few pics. here is where the water is visible. it drips down in 3 places (arrows):



the seam in question:


at least i got my carpet vacuumed finally :D
 
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Mark_88

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Did you pull the header cover off to check it from that angle or does your truck even have one?

My current cab is an amazing display of what a person will do to try to stop a leak (but failed)...turned out to be the windshield...but they put caulking on every seam and it looks like crap...
 

Wicked_Sludge

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header cover? i know almost nothing of body work, lol. i peeled the corner of the headliner back and didnt see any access to the outer layer of metal from there. i didnt get carried away because my headliner is glued on (i think by whoever installed the sunroof) and i dont want to destroy it trying to get it off.

caulking on every seam and it looks like crap...
thats exactly what im trying to avoid right now. i dont have a lot of money (out of work), but i want to fix this leak in the least ghetto manner possible. i already RTV-ed the rear window seal thinking it was the window that was leaking. you cant see it, but i know its there and it bugs me :sad:

if it is that seam, i know the proper fix is to sand it down and reseal the seam from the outside then re-paint...but i definitely cant afford to have body work done at this point.
 

Loanranger

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Are there any visible cracks in the seam sealer at that point? The roof is layed over the cabcorner in assembly, so the water would have to travel upward to enter there. :icon_confused:

My guess would be the sunroof.
 

Wicked_Sludge

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there is some very minor cracking...almost like a dry desert floor...at those seams.

its definitely not the sunroof. the headliner would be the first stop for any water entering there but it stays dry. i scrutinized it pretty thoroughly anyway and its tight.
 

RobbieD

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Wicked, from your earlier post on this, I thought that you had a Super Cab; those have the trim strips I was talking about, covering the cab roof seams. Your Standard Cab as seen here has the shorter exposed seam. Sorry for the confusion.

OK, back to the problem, and I'm giving you my best opinion, based on what I can see in the pics.

First, I still suspect the back glass gasket. I know that you've shot sealer around it, but based on your drawn-in two rear water drip lines, and the tape slowing the leak, it looks like the water flowing rearward down that body seam is finding an opening behind the gasket. I'm sorry to not read back fully, but have you had the rear glass out? If not, you may want to consider pulling the glass, to look for signs of a gasket breach, and to attempt a better seal when reinstalling.
With the gasket out, you can better get a bead of sealant down into the gasket's body groove. Silicone caulk would be the most effective, and easiest to work with, but will likely make the gasket not-reusable. Butyl tape in the groove instead may work, and if used a heat gun will help work the gasket back into place.

BTW- is that an aftermarket or OEM back glass? Hard to tell in the pics, but it looks like maybe aftermarket. And, it looks like there may be a gasket ripple on the glass side. Is there any chance that the glass-side groove is filling with water, and flowing behind the glass and over the inner gasket and inside? Not likely, but possible.

Second, that front drawn-in water path in your picture would indicate the body seam, especially toward it's front. Be sure to also look at this seam inside the upper corner of the door opening, too. If you do want to try to seal this seam better, you might consider masking close on either side with masking tape, then use a fingertip to smooth black silicone down into the seam. Or even even touchup paint would likely seal any cracks. When it's dried and the tape is removed, it shouldn't look that bad (I know you're understandably concerned that the repair not look bad).
BUT, I think if there are body seam problems, it will be at the ends of the seam, and likely not even readily visible from the outside. Your front-most leak highly indicates a problem with this seam, or at least in that door opening upper corner area.

For the time being, let's rule out the sunroof. I concur with your observations there.

I apologize for being long-winded here, but I hope it helps at least some. Back in the day I installed a lot of sunroofs and sliders, so I've chased a lot of leaks. So I know that it can be aggravating as hell, and can take time, but just hang in there and look at EVERYTHING, even areas (or water paths) that aren't obvious at first. Also remember that capillary action can draw water seemingly backwards. Good luck!
 

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Rear window gasket.
 

guinness112

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Is the sun roof a power sunroof? If so some have drain tubes on the corners that should be run down the pillars, Alot of times these cause problems with leaks. If it is check to make sure the drain tube is intact.
 

Wicked_Sludge

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robbie, i really appriciate your help thusfar. and dont worry about being long winded...your posts are loaded with info and i need all the suggestions i can get.

i will take a closer look at were the body seam runs under the rear window seal tomorrow. although im pretty sure i got it sealed with silicone, ill mess around with more tape and see if i can draw any conclusions. i have had the back window out and the rear seal seemed OK to me...as did the lip on the cab of the truck (no rust bubbles that would keep the rubber from sealing). while the window was out, i resealed all of the metal-to-glass joints since most of the seals had pushed out and/or torn.

as far as i know the window is factory (i am the second owner though...). how would i tell?

there arent any ripples in the window seal, i think what your seeing is the seal reflecting surrounding objects. i cleaned it with armorall while it was out of the truck so its quite shiney. i watched the water flowing down the back of the glass and out the drain holes in the seal. i would think that if it was running under the window (between the window and seal) i would be able to see it by peeling the seal away from the window inside the cab, but that area is dry.

ill also take a closer look at the body seam toward the door tomorrow. i suppose i can just tape off the door seam so the water will flow over it and see if that helps.

thanks for the advice on repairing the seam. i had thought of using paint to re-seal it but wasnt sure if itd work. when i can afford it, i want to have the entire truck repainted and that will be the time when i will have the seam fixed properly...but for now i will mess around with black paint or silicone as you suggested and see where it gets me.

now im the one appologizing for being long winded :sad:

guinness, the sunroof isnt powered and doesnt have any drain provisions. it just relies on its seals until the water runs off the roof naturally.
 

Loanranger

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Is there an antenna right behind your sunroof? Kind of looks like the base of one in one of the pictures. As much as you probably don't want to do it, the fastest way to find a leak is to gut the interior in that area, headliner, interior trim.... and have someone with a hose spray all around outside while you look inside. I hate chasing waterleaks, so good luck.
 

Wicked_Sludge

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thats my CB antenna. that mount isnt very old and is sealed with a rubber gasket and silicone. im 100% sure its not leaking (that was one thing i was worried about when i installed it, so i made sure it was sealed).

as the pics show, i have the entire rear of the cab gutted except the head liner (its glued in) and ive been using a garden hose to locate the leak. the problem is its coming in between two sheets of metal somewhere so i cant actually see the leak.
 

RobbieD

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Thanks, man. You've got a good handle on what you're doing, so eventually you'll find the leak and fix it. Just keep beating on it!
 

rickcdewitt

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wicked don't ever use silicon you can't paint over it and its hell to remove. get some urethane seam sealer that touch up will stick to and lightly sand the crack with it masked like robbie said and apply.i agree that the water is probably following the seam past the gasket.
 

RobbieD

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Wicked_Sludge

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ill keep that in mind if i ever find the damn leak!

heres where i am at at the end of the day today.

i have the seam sealed so water cant follow it down and under the window seal...i have all the tape layered like shingles to shed water over the seams:


i have the door sealed:


and i have almost the entire back window on the passenger side sealed:


i also took a quick video to show where the water is flowing on the outside of the cab and what the leak looks like inside, as well as to describe some of the things ive tried:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-le5sD7szhk

im hoping one of you guys can spot something i dont see :sad:
 


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