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water leak over CE Panel

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Old 02-01-2016, 12:34 AM   #1
mkriete
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Default water leak over CE Panel

I've had a water leak on the passenger side of my 1980 US A/T. I have assumed it was around the windshield, but while washing it today, I found the CE panel was wet , and water had puddled under the panel. I have the carpet, CE cover, and glove box out, so I was easier to see the source. The best I can tell, the water is coming in around the fan, not the windshield. Before I start tearing in further, is this a common leak point? If so, what is the fix?
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:38 AM   #2
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Yup. Looking for the right link.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:41 AM   #3
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:24 AM   #4
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The seal for the recirc box has deteriorated. The 'fix' is to replace the 35-year-old strip caulk with new 3M Strip Caulk.

I've also seen missing bolts for the box and/or fan.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:52 AM   #5
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very common. First, fastest, cheapest and easiest thing to do is check to see if the drain port has gotten clogged with leaves and other debris. There is a little rubber flap on the firewall in the engine bay, passenger side (about halfway down)- reach in there and clean that out. That will allow proper draining and stop the leaking into to footwell and CE panel. At some point you may want/have to re-seal the blower box (using 3M caulk). That is a bigger job, and need to pull off the hood to pull out the blower box and reseal it properly. I've done it on 2 cars, and it isn't that bad of a job. Again, first thing to do is to unclog the main drain on the firewall and see if that fixes it.
There is a great pictorial tutorial here: http://members.rennlist.com/sharkski...er-HoodPad.htm
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:49 PM   #6
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Thank Speedtoys, Linderpat, and Worf928! It will be a bit before I get to this repair. For now, I will clean the drain; I bet it is clogged. I need to change the resistor pack and figure out what kinda jerry-rigged wiring has been done. Might as well pull the whole box and make is sparkle.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linderpat View Post
very common. First, fastest, cheapest and easiest thing to do is check to see if the drain port has gotten clogged with leaves and other debris. There is a little rubber flap on the firewall in the engine bay, passenger side (about halfway down)- reach in there and clean that out. [/url]
Bingo,
I have seen this so many times. The water accumulates and seeps past the old seal. You can address the seal but in my opinion it is more important to clear out the drain
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:01 PM   #8
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In the end, the most most important thing is: after you think you've "fixed it" pour water into the plenum space around the blower to test your fix.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:06 PM   #9
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Here's a pic of the drain flap on the firewall ...
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:36 PM   #10
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FWIW on the 84 and newer cars you do not have to remove the hood or cowl trim to remove the blower motor,
following these instructions.

Disconnect the battery.

Disconnect the blue vacuum line to the footwell/ fresh air flap

Disconnect the 3 bolts that hold the blower motor to the lower blower box.
NOTE 1 is under the dash and the other 2 are under the hood.

Drop the CE panel, and the 2 CE panel legs,

NOTE put a towel over the CE panel to keep debris from falling into the panel.
gently pry down the blower box.

NOTE as it comes down any loose materials in the blower well will also fall into the foot well.

Once the box is out of the way then turn the blower motor housing slightly and it will also pass through the blower box opening.

NOTE use 3 M strip caulk found at the autobody supply shop,
about 3 ribbons thickness should be good.

NOTE wash out the well with a wet rag .
NOTE replace the footwell vacuum pod actuator prior to installing the lower blower box.
NOTE clean out and lube the fan motor or replace it with a fresh unit
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrmerlin View Post
FWIW on the 84 and newer cars you do not have to remove the hood or cowl trim to remove the blower motor,
You can also remove the blower from the top, one-handed, by simply removing the single corner cowl trim screw and unbolting the hood hinge on the blower side.

I've done it both ways, and I'm not sure which is easier/better/cleaner/requires-less-yoga. It's a trade-off.

Quote:
NOTE wash out the well with a wet rag .
NOTE replace the footwell vacuum pod actuator prior to installing the lower blower box.
NOTE clean out and lube the fan motor or replace it with a fresh unit
And, while the CE panel is loose you might as well pull it 100% and clean all the contacts that have become fouled with the results of water from the leaky blower box dripping onto it.

And, disconnect the plugs for the ECUs and examine them for water intrusion too.

(This last when I discovered green (coppery and conductive) slime on the ECU pins. After I disassembled the plugs and cleaned everything thoroughly the 928 in question ran - surprise surprise - a lot better...)
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:28 AM   #12
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I have the blower motor out, the box out, and I have replaced the vacuum pod for the recirculation flap (a story for another post). The area was full of leaves and debris... and a mouse nest (next to the alarm speaker). I have cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more. I'm ready to reinstall the recirculation box and motor. Before I do, what appears to be some sort of caulking seems to be placed along the fire wall and the panel that supports the circulation box. This caulking is dry, cracked, and peeling. Can this allow a leak into the interior?
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:50 AM   #13
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^^ replace the old stuff with 3M Strip Caulk.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:56 AM   #14
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^^^^^^+928 - use 3M caulk strip. It is a black, tar like substance, in strips in the box. Use it all around the perimeter of the blower to make a good seal. Leave the other stuff from the factory alone - don't scrape it out.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:13 AM   #15
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Any auto paint store will have it, part is 3M Strip-Calk 08578, it's cheap, and you get a lifetime supply.
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