New water leak location to check for

alumcantandhd

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As promised, down there in the air bag/seat post. I might have found a never before discussed Town Car rear floor leak.

In December my newly purchased '07 T'Car had to sit outside for a couple of days, until I could get things shuffled around in the garage, to open up enough room for it. One of those nights, sitting outside, it rained on it.

As I was guiding wifey into the garage. She exclaimed there is a whole bunch of water on the back floor! Sure enough looked about to be a good 1 1/2" of standing water. Aw, horses (behind)! The stupid cowl leak I thought. Which was strange because when looking at the car, before buying, I shined my light down in the grille intake and I could see white seal most of the way around.

So, now. Priority is to get the all the water dried! Look for leak later. I sucked up all the standing water with the super-duper shop vac. But the carpet still felt damp. So I popped out the rear set bottom, took out the plastic trim around the rear carpet, peeled it back, here there was still 3/4" of water still on the floor and it was dripping out of the foam sound deadener glued underneath of the carpet. Gotta get that carpet totally out to get it dried pronto. I put it up on horses with a fan blowing up underneath. There are pictures down there in the air bag/remove seat post. (everyone knows that is how those floors rust out. The carpet gets wet. One thinks it dry to the feel on top, but there is water laying under there for who knows how long with no way to dry out.)

After getting the floor all dried, the rust off the seat tracks, mounts, and painted, I took off the top cover of the cowl to look at the drains. The passenger drain had a good bit of debris, but it was not totally gummed up. Water did drain out of it. Slowly, but it did drain. I could see a white 'gasket' sticking out around the air intake, it felt supple, the only debris on the intake grille was, two long pine needles, some kind of leaf center, and a 1/2 dozen or so of those oak 'whurrlie' thingies. That was it. The drives side drain, was, totally gummed up, but the center drain was wide open. (I was positive, to myself, that cowl did NOT cause that much water to get into the car, period)

I was reading when it was suggested to use a couple of big screwdrivers to 'pop' off the windshield wipers. (rolling eyes) If it works for you,,,,,,,,. I wouldn't want to put any prying bars next to the glass! I use one of those little, battery terminal pullers to take the wipers off. Anybody want a picture, I can take one to show you what one of those boogers looks like.

After cleaning all the debris, I gave the plastic cowl a good coat of wax so the water would flow better to the drains, and re-assembled everything. Since it was cold I had to wait for a warm day to take the car outside to do a leak check. Got my grandson up on a 12' step ladder with the hose set on spray to simulate 'rain'. Youngest daughter was in the trunk with her flash lights, I was inside on the floor with my lights, wifey was outside front looking at the three cowl drains.

I could not see any water comming in around the door, the moonroof, under dash, daughter couldn't see any water comming in around the trunk lid, taillights or anywhere else. Whifey said all three drains, water was running out. Took about 15 minutes, I suddenly felt water on the palm of my hand. It seem to be coming in at the kick panel! Ok, everyone stop. Lets dry the car off get it back inside, and take the cowl all the way apart this time.

Got the cowl plastic all apart and look more closely at the seal. It was some sorta white RTV. No wonder is was supple. I gently scraped it off. (as you can see in the picture, it was NOT 100% sealed all the way around! There were 3 or 4 little places that were not totally sealed) I STILL was not convinced those little places in the seal and that little bit of debris caused that much water to get into that car in 5-8 hours!

Instead of that RTV, I used something that I KNOW it is sealed!, You can see it in the picture. It costs UNDER $7 for a 10' roll at Tractor Supply! FITS PERFECT! Got all that done put more wax on the plastic cowl since I had it apart again, but I didn't re-assemble it all.

While waiting for a warmer day to do another water test, I did some more reading, and many hours of watching all of the "Lincoln Leak Fix" you tube videos I could find. Out of ALL that, olny two videos intrigued me. They BOTH showed water running in at the kick panel location. Well,,,,,,. The one video, the guy just slapped the soaked carpet with his hand at the kick panel showing the water, and then showed him peeling back the side windshield trim, saying it was leaking in there. And that was the end of his video. I searched but could not find any follow up. The other video, he had the plastic kick panel trim piece out and the carpet pulled back, revealing a VERY rusty ( I bet if one did any scraping of the rust one would have hit 'daylight' very easily) floor, and a rusty path the water had been taking. He then showed, him peeling back the windshield side trim and gobbing some black urathane or RTV, along the side of the windshield, proudly saying his leak was now fixed! But, again, I searched no follow up video.

Had a 40 degree day, got the car back out, but did not want to simulate rain. I wanted to concentrait the water. Had grandson run the hose back and forth across the lower windshield with the nozzle off and only about 1/2 water pressure. Wifey was again watching the drains and this time had a small mirror and a light down in the heater intake, where she had a complete 180 view of that cowl seal! I was inside with my light looking at the kick panel post.

I was thinking, if this didn't show up any leaks, then just maybe it WAS the windshield like those two videos said where it was leaking. But not like the one showing him with the water hose at the top of the windshield with the water running down, I would start at the bottom and very slowly work my way up, until at leak was discovered. That way I would know percisely where the leak was,,,,,,,,, if there was a leak.

Wifey said the water was running out of all three drains and just as soon as she said, she could not see any water down in the heater intake seal, here water came POURING in down out of the kick panel post!

Ok, here is how the water is getting into the back seat floor! I sat there and watched it! Those of you that have had the plastic kick panel trim piece off, there are two 'holes' (one is bigger than the other) The hole that is farther forward the smaller amount of water coming out of there was trickeling out onto the front floor into the center groove, back down it into the big channel brace that is welded clear across the floor, where the rear seat mount , seat belts, and rear console all bolts to. It partially fills up inside that channel until the water level reaches a hole about 1/4" up, then runs out onto the rear passenger floor. Where the water really runs out the fastest,,,,,,,,,. See if I can describe this. If I knew I was going to be telling this I would have taken pictures. Because I figgured at the time, everyone knew it.

Ok,,,,,. There is a raised pinch weld where the rubber door seal slides over. Again, only those that have had the car apart this far will know what I'm talking about. Towards the inside of the car there is a groove running the entire length front to rear right next to that pinch weld, up on the flat right beside the groove are the slotted holes that those plastic trim pieces snap into. Then it rolls down into the floor. Ok, inside those slotted holes is a drain slot that must run up into the cowl or windshield post and the B pillar post. It is open all that way. Underneath the car right in front of the rear wheel in a pinch weld is a opening or 'rear drain for that slot'. Right behind the front fender, sorta about 6" or so back from the front of the door is another opening in that pinch weld under there. I guess the front drain. If one sticks a air nozzle into those slots, you can feel the air coming out those pinch weld holes underneath on both sides.

The larger amount of water was running out into that little groove running clear back until the groove ended, then spilling over into the rear floor!

There you have it kiddies! Visual proof how the rear carpet is soaked and front carpet is seemingly dry. The front is wet, just not wet enough to soak like the rear.

Found HOW the water was coming in, now, have to find out WHERE the entry point is! What I DO know, it's NOT the cowl!

Several weeks of searching I could not locate the water intake source. It was NOT the windshield, it was NOT the cowl, it was NOT the moon roof! I have a pit in the garage. I was underneath blowing air into every hole I could find. I made a small 1/4" plastic hose about 6' long, attached to the end of the air nozzle, I snaked that hose through every drain, every body channel. I was coming to wits end. I was snaking that hose for the third time up through the kick panel post with my wife outside listening. I got it all the way up into the windshield post, then couldn't go any father, pulled it back down out, she said stop, I hear air coming out into the fender!

After arguing that I had the air hose no where near the front fender, how could she have heard air in the fender! I told her to get into the car shut the door and slowly feed the air hose up through the kick panel post. Suddenly for a 1/2 a second , I heard a 'phsssft' inside the rear front fender, then it was gone. It took several up and down trys of the hose to get the air sound coming outside the car, I told her to do not move! I slowly open the door and heard the air back in the fender there. I stuck my fingers over top and behind the corrugated rubber hose the door wiring went through, and felt the air and a big hole in the post! THE STAMPED HOLE IN THE POST WAS BIGGER THAN THE DIAMETER OF THE WIRING HOSE!!!!! THERE WAS THE %$#@^& LEAK!!!! SOB's! ALL those weeks spent searching, taking apart, checking, re-checking!

Well, after cooling off, the next day, I went back up looked at the driver's side door wiring hose then the passenger side, then back and forth a couple of times, I finally saw the difference. There was a rubber gommet missing on the passenger side! So I start feeling around, and here the 'grommet' was molded or was part of the corrugated wiring hose. The opening and closing of the door had un-seated shoving it inside the post6292629262936292629362946295629662926293629462956296629762986299 and caused the leak! So I worked it back out a got it seated on it's flange like it's supposed to. NO LEAKEY!!!!!

The problem, if Ford had stamped that cowl hole a 32nd (64th on a side) smaller than that grommet diameter it 'might' have stayed fastened (?) Also. Look at the angle of the hose with the door open.. The stamped door hole is NOT in line with the stamped cowl post hole. It up and back. With the door open there is a slight pressure on the grommet seal lip. Now slowly close the door, that pressure now gets worse really wanting to shove that grommet into the post.

Do you guys think the fix would be to totally glue it where it couldn't be removed, or just keep an eye on it, in case one has to get in there to remove that grommet and hose?

Anyway.

Look at my pictures real close. I forget which is 1 or 2, grommet or no grommet. Real easy check to see if you have a leak! Just open your door. If your hose looks like picture without the grommet, there is your leak!
 

MachMarcus

New member
The culprit is the drain behind the passenger side front wheel that the HVAC penetrates the firewall. The cowl area when leaking leaks into this drain and it should exit the car. However, the HVAC penetration through the firewall is the same foam used at the cowl that stops working over time. It is a U shaped drain with a flap similar to the the one for the cowl under the hood. Seal it with RTV or silicone caulking liberally. I have had two major water leaks on vehicles (2003 Town Car & 2011 Infiniti G37) which both made me loose my mind. Both had me wondering if I would keep the vehicles as they were so bad. Lots of information out there, some of which is just pure speculation. I found this repair on site. At the bottom are photographs of the area in question. Ford Crown Victoria Firewall Water Leaks
 

Town

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Ottawa Ontario Canada
The culprit is the drain behind the passenger side front wheel that the HVAC penetrates the firewall. The cowl area when leaking leaks into this drain and it should exit the car. However, the HVAC penetration through the firewall is the same foam used at the cowl that stops working over time. It is a U shaped drain with a flap similar to the the one for the cowl under the hood. Seal it with RTV or silicone caulking liberally. I have had two major water leaks on vehicles (2003 Town Car & 2011 Infiniti G37) which both made me loose my mind. Both had me wondering if I would keep the vehicles as they were so bad. Lots of information out there, some of which is just pure speculation. I found this repair on site. At the bottom are photographs of the area in question. Ford Crown Victoria Firewall Water Leaks
I saw that article many years ago. Never found that flap on my 2007 Town Car. The Town car has a drain hole in the bottom of the evaporator case which is in the engine compartment, not the dash. So the drain is just behind and inboard of the front passenger wheel under the engine compartment and easy to see drain water after A/C use. I always kept that drain free as a maintenance item anyway.
 

MachMarcus

New member
I saw that article many years ago. Never found that flap on my 2007 Town Car. The Town car has a drain hole in the bottom of the evaporator case which is in the engine compartment, not the dash. So the drain is just behind and inboard of the front passenger wheel under the engine compartment and easy to see drain water after A/C use. I always kept that drain free as a maintenance item anyway.
If you pull the passenger front wheel off and then pry the plastic inner fender liner forward, the drain is there. Facing the front wheel, it's approximately the 9:00 o clock position. And you are right about the evaporator case, it's located closer to the engine area. This drain is associated with the HVAC but not the evaporator drain. I believe it to be the cause of 90% of the leaks to the rear floor board because the water enters at the firewall just at the top of the interior carpet. The water then runs behind the padding to the low spot for the floor stamping which is the rear floorboard. Once it saturates the pad of the carpet, it never really dries and accumulates water to the point of saturation of the rear carpet. Fix this area and dry your carpet/pad then take the hose to the car at the cowl area and see if you get any water inside the vehicle.

I completed the standard cowl silicone seal repair and that had no effect on stopping the water intrusion into my vehicle. After many exhausting hours research, I found this article. https://www.crownvic.net/bok/2vmodular/rainleaks/motorage.pdf
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Town

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Ottawa Ontario Canada
If you pull the passenger front wheel off and then pry the plastic inner fender liner forward, the drain is there. Facing the front wheel, it's approximately the 9:00 o clock position. And you are right about the evaporator case, it's located closer to the engine area. This drain is associated with the HVAC but not the evaporator drain. I believe it to be the cause of 90% of the leaks to the rear floor board because the water enters at the firewall just at the top of the interior carpet. The water then runs behind the padding to the low spot for the floor stamping which is the rear floorboard. Once it saturates the pad of the carpet, it never really dries and accumulates water to the point of saturation of the rear carpet. Fix this area and dry your carpet/pad then take the hose to the car at the cowl area and see if you get any water inside the vehicle.

I completed the standard cowl silicone seal repair and that had no effect on stopping the water intrusion into my vehicle. After many exhausting hours research, I found this article. https://www.crownvic.net/bok/2vmodular/rainleaks/motorage.pdf
That is very helpful, thank you.
 

katdance5

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Hi :) do you suppose that all of these possibilities hold true for a 2004 Lincoln TC? Thanks.
*found an old post to confirm yes, but feel free to answer. thanks
 
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Town

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Ottawa Ontario Canada
Hi :) do you suppose that all of these possibilities hold true for a 2004 Lincoln TC? Thanks.
Welcome to the Forum.

There is the possibility, yes. But these problems noted in this thread (wiring rubber gator out of position, and the blocked lower HVAC drain) causing wet rear passenger carpets may not be usual. The gasket leak at intake to the HVAC is much more common because of debris blocking the top drain into engine compartment.
 

katdance5

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Thanks
Welcome to the Forum.

There is the possibility, yes. But these problems noted in this thread (wiring rubber gator out of position, and the blocked lower HVAC drain) causing wet rear passenger carpets may not be usual. The gasket leak at intake to the HVAC is much more common because of debris blocking the top drain into engine compartment.
Thanks. Sent link to my mechanic🌞
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