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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. '83 300TD. Driver's side floor gets wet in heavy rains.

Took out the carpet and pad and watched for a while to see where the water was coming from. Floor was bone dry--but the carpet on the side, near the door, was wet towards the front. Traced it up and found a wet spot at the bottom driver's-side corner of the windshield, right on the rubber seal.

So, not sure that's the whole problem, but I found a leak.

Dumb question maybe, but would you just take this to an auto glass shop to get it fixed?

Thanks,
Jim
 

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77 240D
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i don't remember where they all are, but this is usually the fault not of busted seals but of clogged drains. the car has at least ten, all hidden, all prone to flooding the wrong place when they're clogged.
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #3
i don't remember where they all are, but this is usually the fault not of busted seals but of clogged drains. the car has at least ten, all hidden, all prone to flooding the wrong place when they're clogged.
Thanks, but wouldn't you consider moisture on the inside of the windshield right above the spot where the carpet is getting wet to be pretty good evidence that it's the seal in this case?

I plan to squirt some water on it to confirm before I do anything.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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not sure. some of the drains are in the A pillars and sunroof, so if they captured water level with the windshield you might see that. my guess is that you have water puddling in the drain channels on the roof. when i cleaned mine, something like half of them were clogged and it was quite a relief to see the water flowing out again.

don't let me dissuade you from changing the rubber, but i would clear the drains first. the latter takes no parts and you can do it yourself. the former requires buying the seal, very careful prying and reinstallation of the aluminum trim and if not a pro glass guy, at least a skillful friend.
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #5
not sure. some of the drains are in the A pillars and sunroof, so if they captured water level with the windshield you might see that. my guess is that you have water puddling in the drain channels on the roof. when i cleaned mine, something like half of them were clogged and it was quite a relief to see the water flowing out again.

don't let me dissuade you from changing the rubber, but i would clear the drains first. the latter takes no parts and you can do it yourself. the former requires buying the seal, very careful prying and reinstallation of the aluminum trim and if not a pro glass guy, at least a skillful friend.
OK, I've got diagrams of the locations of all the drains, but don't haven't yet found the procedure for clearing them. Can you supply a link? I would be grateful.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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77 240D
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i'm not sure what the best practices really are. i tried blowing compressed air into mine, which didn't work very well. then i put a bicycle brake cable into my hand drill and spun it around inside the drain tubes. this worked just OK. there is probably a still better way. anyone else?
 

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1984 300D
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I had rust holes in the area where the Hood Hinge Spring goes. And, there are drains there that get plugged.
Leaks there could also appear to come from the Windshield.

I was able to get a Compressed Air Gun with a Needle into the Front under the Fender Well drains and all kinds of Leaves and stuff came out.

After grinding and treating for Rust I patched the Holes with JB Weld and Fiber Glass type Cloth.
 

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1977 W123.123 1995 W124.034
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I had my seal replaced by a glass shop. Not something I felt I could do myself. Make sure you get a seal from the dealer unless you plan on replacing it again in about 2 years.
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #9
I had rust holes in the area where the Hood Hinge Spring goes. And, there are drains there that get plugged.
Leaks there could also appear to come from the Windshield.

I was able to get a Compressed Air Gun with a Needle into the Front under the Fender Well drains and all kinds of Leaves and stuff came out.

After grinding and treating for Rust I patched the Holes with JB Weld and Fiber Glass type Cloth.
Assuming this is the area under the hood along the edge: I thought I had solved my problem when I found that the drain holes there were full of leaves, acorns, etc., and were not draining properly. Unfortunately, when I cleaned that out I still had water inside. Could be I had more than one problem.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #10
I had my seal replaced by a glass shop. Not something I felt I could do myself. Make sure you get a seal from the dealer unless you plan on replacing it again in about 2 years.
Noted--but are you saying not to trust a glass-shop part, or not to trust parts available online, like this one?

Thanks,
Jim
 

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1977 W123.123 1995 W124.034
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Noted--but are you saying not to trust a glass-shop part, or not to trust parts available online, like this one?

Thanks,
Jim
Jim the URO parts are junk. I don't have any personal experience but many other members do and they all say to avoid them. The best seal is still the OEM from the dealer which is the one I used when I had mine replaced a few months ago.

When you have it done make sure the glass shop is up to the task since it is nothing like the windshields in modern cars.

Here is a great video on chasing water leaks.

 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #12
Jim the URO parts are junk. I don't have any personal experience but many other members do and they all say to avoid them. The best seal is still the OEM from the dealer which is the one I used when I had mine replaced a few months ago.

When you have it done make sure the glass shop is up to the task since it is nothing like the windshields in modern cars.
Good to know--thanks. I'll get one from a dealer.

Not sure how to figure out whether a glass shop is up to the task, however. The ones around here are pretty generic; I guess I would just interview them. Alternatively, there is a garage nearby, which I use regularly, that specializes in old MBs:

German Auto Service in Saco, Maine, services Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mazda.

Maybe I'll give them a call and see what they suggest.

Thanks,

Jim
 

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84 300TD, 2004 E320 wagon, 2006 CLS55,
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I changed the seal looking for a leak and will absolutely second the buy the seal from the dealer claim. Might as well change the windshield itself as they are only about $150. Find a specialist who will not damage the trim- and if you are not sure please ask to watch or give some tips (after you do more research on your own here and on your car). If they mess up the trim you're up a creek finding more.
 

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W-1-2-3 Go!
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If the seals are really bad, weigh your options whether a new seal is necessary. Determine where the leak is coming from, it could be rusted inside the fender due to clogged drains, and leaks into the cabin where you describe.

Alternatively, if your car's windshield seal already requires replacement, go ahead and do so then see if this cures the problem. If not, then you've got a new seal (and new glass?), and you've narrowed down the problem to a possible leak in the body.

That spot you describe could also have a leak from the dead pedal. This pedal is screwed to the floorboard. Check for rust or leaks in that area.

Time to also open up the under-dash panels and hunt down potential leaks in the area.
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #15
If the seals are really bad, weigh your options whether a new seal is necessary. Determine where the leak is coming from, it could be rusted inside the fender due to clogged drains, and leaks into the cabin where you describe.

Alternatively, if your car's windshield seal already requires replacement, go ahead and do so then see if this cures the problem. If not, then you've got a new seal (and new glass?), and you've narrowed down the problem to a possible leak in the body.

That spot you describe could also have a leak from the dead pedal. This pedal is screwed to the floorboard. Check for rust or leaks in that area.

Time to also open up the under-dash panels and hunt down potential leaks in the area.
Thanks very much. A couple of points.

* I KNOW the windshield is leaking. I did the leak test, and watched the water accumulate on the inside rubber seal and then drip down. It's completely possible that there are other leaks, but I KNOW this one exists, so I have to fix it. If I fix it and the carpet still gets wet, I'll try something else.

* There is absolutely no rust on this car that I've been able to find. (Actually, there was one small spot of rust on a rear fender, but I fixed it.) Floors look perfect; even around the battery looks good. Still, I know it does make sense to probe deeper.

I think I'm going to try one of those silicone windshield-seal refresher products, which flows in (like water!) and dries. I figure there's nothing to lose; the worst I could do is make the windshield a little messy and destroy a seal I'm going to replace anyway.

Thanks,

Jim
 
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