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Old 10-03-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
325isMostar
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E30 water on the driver's side floor

Everytime it rains, I go inside the car after and there is a small splash puddle underneath my feet, or right below the gas/brake/clutch pedals.

Any pointers as to where its coming from? The moonroof? The firewall plastics panel leaking?

Thanks guys
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
InfiniteDice
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Most likely your lift point is so rotted out that the water is being absorbed into the foam under the carpet. When I took out my carpet the whole thing and the insulating foam were soaked!

You can remove the knee bolster (panel under the steering wheel/dash) and see if there is a rust trail from further up under the dash... that could mean the corner of your windshield is leaking. One time I had a place change the windshield and then realized 6 months later that when it really rained it would leak. I pulled the plug strip out and resealed the window as best I could with black RTV then put the strip back in.

The sunroof drains don't go into the car, they go out to the rocker area through tubes.

The vents below the window have drains in the engine bay. It is possible that is blocked and leaking although I've never had that happen.

#1 You have a hole in the floor.
#2 You have a window seal issue.
#3 You may have a heater core issue, but that would smell like coolant.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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I'd wager on hole in floor also. There is a sharp edge about halfway up the wheel in the wheelwell that gets blasted with debris and rusts through. It's about 2-3" above the clutch assembly, but to the left in the corner.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:59 AM   #4
325isMostar
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ok, thanks for your replies....I should point out that the car is stationary (haven't been driving it) and this is the outcome...water on the drivers side floor...
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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Hmm, then leaking door seals or something seems more likely, or the sunroof drain as pointed out above.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #6
sb_600
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On my e36, the sunroof drain hose popped off and there was a puddle at the bottom of the passenger side A-pillar.... could be that!
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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If the car had just been sitting in rain, my guess is the windshield. If you at all drove it even through a few puddles, it can be a hole.

Once the water gets under there it stays there. It takes a shit-load of water to have it come up through all that underpadding and foam. So either it's been saturated for a long time... or you have a windshield/vent leak and it's running under the dash and dripping on top of the carpet.

Like I said, once you have moisture under there it's game over unless you peel back the carpet enough to see what the situation is.

When I pulled all my carpets and under padding it was soaked. That crap is like a sponge and would literally take weeks to dry out.
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Last edited by InfiniteDice; 10-03-2012 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:47 AM   #8
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Any advice on how to non-destructively remove the carpet to inspect water seepage issues?
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aberg83 View Post
Any advice on how to non-destructively remove the carpet to inspect water seepage issues?
Here is what I would suggest; first remove the two grills on the outside of the car just below the windshield. Get a light and inspect to see if you have debris buildup. check to see if the elephant trunk on the passenger side firewall isn't clogged. it's a small vertical flat tube which attached to the firewall with an opening pointing south. If that is clogged clean it. that usually is the case and water backs up in the hollow channel where the wiper motor, blower motor sits.
Now the other thing which could possibly be wrong is behind the H-VAC. unit.
If it is leaking from there, you WILL need to pull the HVAC out and pull the carpet back to see where you have rot. there is a seal between the HVAC and body which also deteriorates and can let water and air into the cabin.

This isn't an uncommon problem with e30's. but go the easy route first. you may just have a lake building up in that channel. clear it. Then run water into that area with a hose and see if a buddy can help you trace it.

GL.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aberg83 View Post
Any advice on how to non-destructively remove the carpet to inspect water seepage issues?
Here is what I would suggest; first remove the two grills on the outside of the car just below the windshield. Get a light and inspect to see if you have debris buildup. check to see if the elephant trunk on the passenger side firewall isn't clogged. it's a small vertical flat tube which attached to the firewall with an opening pointing south. If that is clogged clean it. that usually is the case when water backs up in the hollow channel where the wiper motor, blower motor sits.
Now the other thing which could possibly be wrong is behind the H-VAC. unit.
If it is leaking from there, you WILL need to pull the HVAC out and pull the carpet back to see where you have rot. there is a seal between the HVAC and body which also deteriorates and can let water and air into the cabin.

This isn't an uncommon problem with e30's. but go the easy route first. you may just have a lake building up in that channel. clear it. Then run water into that area with a hose and see if a buddy can help you trace it.

GL.
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I think I've had 14 bmw's in 4 years.
2 IX's -sold and parts
2 325i 4 dr - sold
4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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You have to remove the heater core to do so, which to me poses more risk than altering the carpet.

With the seats and console out, you can cut the carpet under the lower console in front of the shifter, and the carpet will pull around the heater core. When you replace the console, you don't see the cut.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:04 AM   #12
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Any how do you remove the black plastic door sill trim pieces? I pulled a bit on one and it started to crack.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:08 AM   #13
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Use a trim removal tool. (A fork will work somewhat, in a pinch.)

See if you can search for pictures of the trim off to see what you're dealing with: there are around 5 white plugs that snap into the car. They come out with the trim. You can't apply pulling pressure on the trim too far away from the plug, or you'll break the black trim. But when you start applying pressure near the plug, you'll notice the trim isn't bending much, and with additional pressure the plug will pop out.

I'll be honestly, its not a pleasant experience.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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Fun! Well I will be pulling my carpet for a few reasons... to help sort out a water issue and to dye it black. I will restore my recaro seats at the same time.

Since the underpadding foam is saturated, I was planning to toss it. Do you need to put some foam back in before carpet re-installation? Or would a coat of truck bed liner on the floor pans do the trick?
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #15
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AFAIK the foam is attached to the carpet in a rather non-detachable way. You could just let it dry out and reinstall.

I dyed a light grey carpet to black once with Duplicolor fabric spray. It went well, just make sure the carpet is as clean as humanly possible before you spray.
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