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Hi,
I have recently purchased a 1974 450slc. The engine and body are in good condition generally and I am now re-fitting the carpets and cleaning the interior. It appears that there has been previous work done on the floor pan and there is a lot of rust there. It looks as if water has been getting in to the cabin for a long time.
I am in the process of treating all the rust and re-painting the floor but I need to source the location of the leaks to prevent this from happening again.
Currently the car is sitting outside the house with all carpets and seats removed. When it rains (as it frequently does in this country!) water is gettingto the car in 2 places.
It seems to collect within the frot wing panels. I can place a finger into the panels just in front of the doors where the wiring exits the panel before running to the back of the car. Obviously this water is coming from outside and is supposed to drain through channels that are either blocked or rotten. However I cannot find them. I can feel a rubber pipe on the right hand side but it stops short of the floor of the panel and I cannot feel an outlet in the panel. Bear in mind that I can only ger one finger in there to feel around.
Water is also coming in from the bulkhead area - although the amount coming in here is minimal.
What are likely dources of leaks?
Window seals, air inlet vents etc?
I would be very grateful for any direction or assistance that can be given on this matter.
Regards
Brian
 

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i have the same problem with the water leaks and am in same position - ripped out carpets to replace them with new ones but cant do so until leak is resolved.

Tried everything but told I have to weld the bulkhead area.

have you resolved your problem? Ifso, what did you do?

Thank you
 

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'79 450 SLC
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I had water leaking into the front right, around the accelerator pedal(RHD) and tyre well. it looks like the water came in from the sill that may have been clogged up and sent the whole area rotten, so im now completely replacing it. On the left floor pan the whole top surface is rusty with some holes. The cause, i think was a pipe, up behind the dash, that was completely disconnected and fed water straight into this area. I still have to do a water check to be 100% sure of this before i start replacing the carpet, so i may find other causes than the two I know of. I'm going to start putting pictures up of my restoration process, but if you want some more specific pics then just ask.
 

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B-MCd -

do keep us updated on your progress. Incidentally, I also found that one of the pipes was split. BUT having replaced it the leak still persisted.

My car will be going to the garage on Tues for the mechanic to look at it. Will keep you updated.
 

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Here are some pictures of the area, that was completlety rotten. Before you pull the rusted area up and down like a hinge, and see right through.The rust came back to the base of the accelerator pedal It's a RHD but i'm asuuming that might be irrelevent as the rust appears to have worked its way out from the sill, and may do the same on american models. In the pics the white inside the sill is corrosive preventative. Pop rivets are going to be used along with sicaflex to put the plate on. Any other Q's please ask. I'll put pics up of the other side later.
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
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No problem on the repetition... thats what us hosts are here for... Repetition deleted 9-6-05.

Thanks for the pics and information...
 

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This a photo of the passengers side. There is a lot of surface rust with some holes but the plate is'nt rotten so the rust can be stopped and the plate saved. However the source of this is still unclear. originally the felt was getting wet and staying wet and it could be due to many factors. I beleive it could have been an open pipe that I reconnected, but i have read many similar situations with various causes so any experience of fixing problems in this area would be helpful for many.
 

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B-McD, thanks for the photos. Im finding that the water for my car is coming from above the heater box in the car and dripping into the footwells?? any views?

cheers
 

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ifzal.
I'll try later on as its difficult to get clear and recognisable shots with the dash still on. I've had a look myself and i still need to orientate myself with the area and locations of parts. But from what i did see there apears to be no rust up there. So I'm hoping that i won't need to remove anything from the area.
The Haynes manual is'nt great but it mentions removal via the engine compartment which would hopefully be a lot simpler than from behind the dash. Anyway if you have removed your dash pictures would be a great guide for us all.
 

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B-McD - 9/8/2005 6:53 AM
This a photo of the passengers side. There is a lot of surface rust with some holes but the plate is'nt rotten so the rust can be stopped and the plate saved. However the source of this is still unclear. originally the felt was getting wet and staying wet and it could be due to many factors. I beleive it could have been an open pipe that I reconnected, but i have read many similar situations with various causes so any experience of fixing problems in this area would be helpful for many.
I don't have experience with this specific problem, but I'm helping a friend restore a vehicle that has a lot of rust. Anywhere we can, either on old metal or when putting new metal in where it'll be susceptible to rust, I've been painting it with Por-15 rust preventative paint. It requires some pre-treatment, which varies depending on the condition of the metal to be painted, and the paint itself is pricey and requires special care, but it's great stuff. Link for Por-15 and related products: http://www.por15.com/product.asp?productid=6
 

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My daughter's '95 Jetta had a similar water problem. There were tubes leading down from the sunroof groove that emptied into the front door frames. This was supposed to allow rain in the groove to drain under the door and out. Instead the water built up inside the car, and faster than you might think.

It was an easy fix. Not seeing anything else to do, I blew compressed air into the tubes where they opened in the door frame. The leaks promptly ended.

There are probably similar tubes leading from the windshield wiper well to a drain area. All this water carries debris, and the tubes are bound to get blocked from time to time.
 

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I have a 1980 350slc and I have ripped up the foam coverings just today on the drivers side and found rust in exactly the same area.
I live in Melbourne Aust and I assume your also live in Aussie, I am looking at pulling out my whole dash now to find where the leak is coming from.
I would be interested to see how you made the repair as I will be doing the same shortly.
 

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Finally I have started to put a plate in the floor. These shots show the plate which was made using a rough template from cardboard. The area inside was treated before with Cold Gal, which is basically like a heavy paint that sets like metal, to stop water eating at the sill, and some holes were drilled to allow the water to leave. Even though I'm not quite sure how it gets in there. Attaching the plate is fairly messy, and it took a bit of measuring up and beating before I got it to fit properly. Before i finally attached the plate I put sicaflex on the plate where it was going to overlap with the floorpan. Then I used vise grips on those lips of metal to hold it in place as the holes were drilled and the poprivets inserted. The poprivets are shown by the yellow dots. After that I sealed the edges with more sicaflex which is quite obvious. But I still need to a plate between the inside of the car and the sill. This is mostly a DIY job. It'd be too expensive to get someone else to repair it, but i cant get it roadworthy withoutit done. unlike other countries I can't just not drive it in the rain. If you have anymore speccific questions please ask or your own photos. And the whole thing takes about a day IF you have everything on hand.
 

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I just got a 1980 280sl, after inspecting the vehicle I noticed the same problem. Last nite it poured and the driver and assenger side are very wet. I removed the carpet and I also noticed is rusty. Apparently, this vehicles are notorious for this water leaks. I am planning to take care of it pretty soon!

If any of you all know exactly where the water comes from the majority of the time. Please, post location! Thank you
 

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Hmmm. Haven't seen those pictures in a while. Anyway water will enter anywhere around the top of the fender and eventually work its way down into the sill. On the sill you will notice a small rectangular hole near the jack point, this is where most of the waters meant to be released. But along with the water, dust and dirt can build up on these channels. And when it gets wet again rust can be accelerated. So check for rust from the outside by removing the wheels, guards and inspection plates. Another area can be from the heater box behind the dash, or disconnected or blocked AC hoses. This restoration page has some god pics of the fenders when they're off. http://www.geocities.com/mb350sl/
 
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