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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Leaky R12

    G/DAY ALL,
    We've got a leak in the under dash area of Karlies R12 we first found a rusty spot around the heater fan that i cut out and replaced then we found another piece under the windscreen rubber that i again plated then i found the drains at each end of the plenim chamber were blocked and cleaned them, I can't see anywhere else it can be leaking but the bloody thing is any help would be appreciated.
    Cheers Peter

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    Are the plugs for the LHD wiper setup properly sealed? These can get loose letting water into the plenum chamber. Also, if the chamber has been blocked for a long time, and water has flowed into the chamber area, the base of the A-pillars can start rusting.

    Is the windscreen properly sealed? Water leaks through the bottom corners of the screen under pressure from the car in forward motion, it isn't obvious because of the ventilator slots and the corner pieces. Theoretically (when new) a 12 screen was not allowed to be sealed with sealant, as the design provided effective sealing. Any sealant usually ending up blocking the holes in the bottom corners of the seal, causing more problems with water leaking into the car over the seal at the bottom corners. But with various screen replacements over time, and the reusing of a seal that has formed itself to the aperture over time, the original seal can end up developing leaks that will need chasing down.

    Was the fan motor removed? Once a 12 gets rusty in the plenum chamber, there is usually more rust to be found.

    Another little party trick. Does the car have a radio aerial in the mudguard? If so, where does the wire come into the car? Because radios were generally a dealer fitted accessory, the entry hole into the cabin can be done in Heinz 57 ways, ranging from sensible to incredibly stupid. Water can get thrown up by the wheels, disappearing below the bitumen pad on the floor, rotting the floor out invisibly before it breaks through (or the passenger or driver's feet break through) the underseal beneath the floor panel.
    Last edited by Simon; 21st February 2013 at 10:57 PM.
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    Also check rust in rear sill area just below rear door there is a drain that always gets blocked
    Spare wheel well plug also blocks causing rust
    Bottom of doors alway a problem
    Some also suffer from the side walls of the chassis rails rusting just below the engine
    Bad A pillar rust just about writes off car
    Good luck

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    As a practical solution to your worries, I would suggest what may look like a stupid idea. Takes somewhat of a leap of faith but has a good chance of pointing you in the right direction. Clean the area around the windscreen seal and all the crap under the lip thoroughly. Take the wiper cover off, take as much as you can of the dashboard and console out without making the car undriveable and then take the car through a wash station. Leaks might reveal themselves easier that way. Of course, you may open the gate for fresh new leaks.

    Some toilet paper padding in the driver and passenger footwell area can not go astray. Carpets/mats everything else that can be pulled off, better be pulled off.

    This might not help if the leak is indeed as Simon points out around the entry point of the aerial under the mudguard.

    One other point, are you sure it is not the heater core or its tap leaking? Just to eliminate the possibility (it should smell sweet if correct coolant is used, but I suppose you knew that).
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    G/DAY ALL the leak from what she tells me is under the dash somewhere the car has just a new screen put in and the area cleaned when the water enters its in a great wave allover her feet and her stereo puting her music out of action

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J Kent View Post
    G/DAY ALL the leak from what she tells me is under the dash somewhere the car has just a new screen put in and the area cleaned when the water enters its in a great wave allover her feet and her stereo puting her music out of action
    Hi Peter

    A few years ago I fitted a new windscreen and it leaked between the glass and the rubber, I fixed by using sealant between the glass and the rubber.

    When that windscreen got broken I repalced the screen again still using the same rubber with the sealant cleaned out, and the screen never leaked.

    The older screen was the old type zone toughened and the last one was a laminated screen.

    It got me wondering if the screens are different thickness between manufacturers. I have never measured any screens to compare, its just a thought.

    The description that Karlie tells is what happened to me, hope this helps a little.
    Regards Col

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    Thanks Col I'll let her know.

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    I had a Virage that leaked onto the driver's floor, I eventually found it was leaking down the wiper shaft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Hi Peter

    A few years ago I fitted a new windscreen and it leaked between the glass and the rubber, I fixed by using sealant between the glass and the rubber.

    When that windscreen got broken I repalced the screen again still using the same rubber with the sealant cleaned out, and the screen never leaked.

    The older screen was the old type zone toughened and the last one was a laminated screen.

    It got me wondering if the screens are different thickness between manufacturers. I have never measured any screens to compare, its just a thought.

    The description that Karlie tells is what happened to me, hope this helps a little.
    We broke (yet another) toughened screen in the R8 about 30 years back and found (in Horsham, Victoria, on Easter Monday) a tinted laminated screen in a Mercedes dealer's windscreen stash. It caused no end of difficulty fitting and seemed to be thicker. And it leaked until sealed (everywhere). I presume the lightweight R8G screens from Mecaparts must be thinner.

    So I reckon there is some variation. The key is to use a new seal if you can find one. We've just had a new laminated screen fitted (lovely.....) with a NOS seal that I bought from Renault Australia a while back (!) and which I have had in a dark place for 25 years or more. It is perfectly supple and the screeen went in very well. It being Perth, we haven't tested it in rain yet!

    The repro seals are reportedly not as well formed, especially for the awkard to fit trim strips. The only source of NOS seals I know of is Jacques in California. Not cheap but the real thing. The European suppliers only have the remanufactured front ones AFAIK.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J Kent View Post
    G/DAY ALL the leak from what she tells me is under the dash somewhere the car has just a new screen put in and the area cleaned when the water enters its in a great wave allover her feet and her stereo puting her music out of action
    Hmm. I hate leaks like that!

    So it is accumulating somewhere and then a decent volume coming in at once is it? Does it come in if the car is stationary or does she have to be on the move? Can you hear any sloshing? It still sounds like a blocked drain - are you 100% sure they are draining freely?

    I'd be inclined to try a hose whilst lying upside down looking up, but no illusions about how hard these can be.

    Best of luck.
    JohnW

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    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    I'd like to kick this thread back into life.
    We had a bit of rain this last week-end, well actually we had a lot of rain this past week-end.
    The R12 was sitting in the rain and was accumulating a lot of water is the drivers side footwell.
    The upper part of the kickboard (behind the pedals) was dry but there appeared to be some dampness in the bottom of the A pillar but this could be water moving to the pillar by capillary action.
    The passenger side is (was) okay until the drivers side filled up and spilled over to the other side.
    By a lot I'm saying about a 1/2 inch on the floor in about half an hour of relatively heavy rain.
    (While I was home I was able to vacuum up the water between showers.)
    The weather bureau said we only got 26mm yesterday but it felt more like 260mm. Very heavy rain for short periods with long gaps of light or no rain in between.

    The obvious place is the plenum vent but the water is not coming in via the plenum. I pulled the drain tubes off the upper and lower plenums and there is no blockage in either pipe and no water came out. Just to make sure I covered the plenum vent and the water still came in and at about the same rate.
    The doors are less likely but they're okay too, the drains aren't blocked.

    So to me that just leaves two (or maybe 3) possibilities.

    1. The wiper spindles and blanks. These look okay and the amount of water that's entering seems to be more than one would expect to enter here. Even if they were missing completely that's a lot of water.
    2. The windscreen rubber. It's still flexible but probably is the original rubber so about 45 years old. The rubber has shrunk a bit and there's a gap if about 1/4" between the two ends. I filled this as best I could with windscreen sealant. But this seems to be a lot of water to come in so quickly. Would a dodgy seal let through so much through.
    3. Maybe rust holes somewhere like between the top of the guard and the A pillar. But this too looks to be too much water getting in too fast for a hole between the guard/A pillar. The area around the heater fan that's a common rust spot is actually good in this one.

    I've had this 12 for almost 2 years and apart from a similar problem earlier this month it hasn't leaked before.
    There were no issues prior to this and there isn't any noticeable leakage when the car is washed.

    With the storm season happening soon I need to get the ol' girl watertight (she lives outside).

    Your suggestions would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    RTT
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    COL
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    I have had similar leaks coming through the windscreen corners before. The windscreen is suppose to be fitted without sealant.

    There is little drainage holes at the bottom corners of the windscreen.

    Has the car been sitting out side in similar rain before while you have owned it?

    The best way to find leaks is to dry everything out and turn the hose on the car and get in under the dash and see if you can see where the water is leaking in.
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    Regards Col

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    Same as what Col says, it can come through the screen seal. Either in through the top, through a shrunken seal it then flows down under the sides of the seal, and under the corners of the screen, or through the corners of the seal where there is a gap between the seal and body and into the demister vent corner holes. Then it can flow down through the A-pillar, making it wet at the bottom, but appearing dry at the top.

    As Jo says, check the drain holes at either end of the plenum chamber under the guards (the rubber drain hose running to the bottom at the rear of the guard has likely been removed now). Pull off the panel between the base of the screen and the bonnet to give it a good clean. The holes that drain into the engine compartment, and sides of the plenum chamber can block, leading to water filling the car through the ventilation system, or the heater fan.

    And as you say, the bungs for the LHD wipers can shrink causing them to become loose, water then gets into the double skin section - this seems to be a rare occurance, but given the age off the cars now, it may be more common.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Also, if the chamber has been blocked for a long time, and water has flowed into the chamber area, the base of the A-pillars can start rusting.
    Really Simon sometime you can be a little, well, overly negative.

    Had the guard off to repair a few spots..


    Leaky R12-img_1330.jpg


    and saw a little rust, thought I'd have a little pick...

    Leaky R12-img_1332.jpg

    Not so bad, no wait...

    Leaky R12-img_1334.jpg

    Okay I can handle that, no wait...

    Leaky R12-img_1347.jpg

    Umm...


    Leaky R12-img_1348.jpgLeaky R12-img_1350-3-.jpgLeaky R12-img_1373-2-.jpg


    Light at the end of the tunnel, well at least no more rust in the sill...

    Leaky R12-img_1364-2-.jpg


    Long story short, this was my project for the paint and panel course I was doing. There were some rust and, well, one thing led to another.
    Fabricated pieces to mate with the sill and the inner guard/fire wall including the inner brace. In the end rust had impacted all the way up to the top hinge mount. I plated the exterior, treated seams and cut out the rusted sections, even cut out the previous feeble attempts to treat the rust. The metal in repairs was slightly thicker than the original, I'm confident that corner of the car is as least as strong as it should be.

    I'll see if I can dig up some pics of the repairs.

    So Simon nothing to it really...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Leaky R12-img_1329.jpg   Leaky R12-img_1349.jpg   Leaky R12-img_1350.jpg   Leaky R12-img_1373.jpg   Leaky R12-img_1347-2-.jpg  
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    The rain has eased off a bit and had a chance to look under the dash. All looks dry around the wipers and heater fan and the base of the windscreen. The plenum and drains are fine too, no blockages (I stay away from trees).

    But I have part of an answer, the water was getting into the footwell via the sills.
    The forward drainhole on the drivers side sill was blocked. I haven't driven the car for a few days and as the car is parked nose first on a slight hill the water flowed down the sill and through the vent hole on the inner-sill near the A-pillar. Poking a stiff wire through the drain-hole clear the blockage and there was a steady flow of water for about 10 - 15 seconds. We had a little rain overnight, don't know how much, but the front footwell didn't have any new water so the problem might have gone (for a while). I'll blow some hot air through the sill with a hairdrier (I don't have much hair left so can use it for something). I have taken the added precaution of adding a drainhole in the floor of the footwell. If you can't stop the water coming in then maybe let it drain out faster to minimise the damage. I'll just stick a rubber bung in the hole now and open it up if I have a repeat of the problem.

    Still don't know how the water was getting into the sill in the first place, can only be through the A,B, or C pillars. I'm thinking that it may be through the vents on the C-pillar. Won't be the B-pillar. Unless there are parts of the A-pillar that are rusted through, this is pretty much sealed too.
    If it's still daylight when I get home tonight I'll check the boot for water. If the C-pillar vents are leaking some water might have come down the back into the spare wheel well.

    This is the water lifted from the water lifted from the footwell in the last 24 hours. That water is 2 - 3 inches deep and the aqua-vac is about 500mm diameter so there's a bit. Of course the carpet soaked up a fair bit and is still wet after being hit with the aqua-vac, and the felt also acts like a sponge so it's going to be damp for a while yet.

    Leaky R12-img_0184.jpg


    Exfrogger, I hope things aren't as bad in the inner sills as on your example.
    I dread having a look in there but will get the endoscope out and poke it down the sill.


    Cheers
    RTT
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    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHH

    One problem is eliminated and another surfaces.
    We've had a few storms recently and the bloody 12 is leaking again.
    Not as bad as last time, I don't have a inch of water in the foot well, but enough to soak the carpet.
    But this time I know where it's coming in, so the hunt is partially solved.
    The water is coming in the top of the windscreen and dripping off the rear vision mirror.
    The mirror also has moisture inside the housing so is blurred.
    A PO has fitted the windscreen seal upside down (with the join at the top) and the seal has shrunk so there's about a 1/4" gap.
    I've put windscreen sealer in the join but it's still leaking.

    So, anyone know of a good windscreen fitter in the Brisbane area that cater for older cars?
    They would have to be able to supply a new windscreen seal, remove the existing windscreen, and refit and reseal the windscreen. Alternatively I can phone 50 different windscreen places and after they've finished laughing they politely tell you go forth and bear children (or words to that effect). I though I saw some recommendations on other posts but I searched through the archive and after 15 pages of posts nothing stood out.

    I used to quite like the La Nina weather events but with leaky cars it is loosing it's attraction.
    Bring back the El Nino with the bugger-all rain, dead lawns, and endless heat.


    Cheers
    RTT
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    If I recall correctly, these dry-fitted seals are contoured to allow water to drain out, so any shaping internally will be upside down if your diagnosis is correct!

    I hate to suggest it, but the first thing might be to go to a windscreen place and get them to seal it comprehensively between seal and body AND between seal and glass. This did work once for us with an old seal on the R8 windscreen. You can get new R8/10 seals but I've never looked for R12. David Cavanagh at French Connection might know?

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHH

    One problem is eliminated and another surfaces.
    We've had a few storms recently and the bloody 12 is leaking again.
    Not as bad as last time, I don't have a inch of water in the foot well, but enough to soak the carpet.
    But this time I know where it's coming in, so the hunt is partially solved.
    The water is coming in the top of the windscreen and dripping off the rear vision mirror.
    The mirror also has moisture inside the housing so is blurred.
    A PO has fitted the windscreen seal upside down (with the join at the top) and the seal has shrunk so there's about a 1/4" gap.
    I've put windscreen sealer in the join but it's still leaking.

    So, anyone know of a good windscreen fitter in the Brisbane area that cater for older cars?
    They would have to be able to supply a new windscreen seal, remove the existing windscreen, and refit and reseal the windscreen. Alternatively I can phone 50 different windscreen places and after they've finished laughing they politely tell you go forth and bear children (or words to that effect). I though I saw some recommendations on other posts but I searched through the archive and after 15 pages of posts nothing stood out.

    I used to quite like the La Nina weather events but with leaky cars it is loosing it's attraction.
    Bring back the El Nino with the bugger-all rain, dead lawns, and endless heat.


    Cheers
    RTT
    Get yourself a new seal and fit it yourself. They are easy to fit. You will need to remove the ventilation/demister vents from the bottom of the windscreen.

    If it is a laminated screen I would cut the screen out with a sharp knife, if its a toughened one just release the rubber off the body work and inside and push out with your feet.

    Putting the screen in is quite simple, fit the windscreen seal to the windscreen, place some string around the outside of the seal, offer up screen & seal to car and with the ends of the string on the inside of the car start pulling on the ends and it will pull the rubber over body work lip. You will then need to fit the exterior trim and replace the ventilation/demister vents and or course glue the interior mirror back on.

    Don't use any sealant as the seals are designed to be used dry.

    The procedure is in quite a few of the Renault R12 manuals such as Haines etc
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    Also for what it's worth, I had given up expecting to keep water out of the inside of my 12.

    It wasn't until the other weekend when I was painting the interior floor that I removed the doors seals, all of them where separating at some point from the rubber, so all off, fresh glue on all, now I don't get water on the inside.

    I was surprised.

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    New R12 windscreen rubber available here. https://www.renault12shop.com/7700551030,7700578395
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    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies guys.
    I actually fitted the windscreen to my last 12 using the string around the seal method.
    It went in okay but I had the dash removed at the time so access was good and I destroyed the screen trying to get it out (I was removing the screen to fix some rust). Fortunately I had a spare screen so it didn't matter that one broke.
    I was thinking to get it professionally fitted because they are fitted dry as you say and the pros would presumably ensure it doesn't leak again (for a while anyway). If it does leak I can pick up the phone and they can redo the job. It would also save me the hassle of finding a suitable rubber profile. Yes it will cost but you have to pay for convenience.

    I'll get a seal from one of the OS suppliers and have a go.
    The R12 shop have them but the postage charges are horrendous as are the postage charges from every other European source.
    The two local rubber suppliers, Peter Jackson and Scotts, (who appear to sell exactly the same stuff) don't have a listing for an R12 windscreen but they probably have a profile that would be close. But even if they have a suitable profile I think their rubber is sold in lengths only, i.e. will have a join, not like the original R12 seals that are continuous.

    Cheers
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    You heard of this guy?

    Scott's Old Auto Rubber

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    He had stock when I last was looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    ..... not like the original R12 seals that are continuous.
    All the 12 seals are joined. The earlier (wide plastic locking strip) Australian type, and the later French (stainless locking strip) type. Both have the join at the top, but the French type rarely separates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    Thanks for your replies guys.
    I actually fitted the windscreen to my last 12 using the string around the seal method.
    It went in okay but I had the dash removed at the time so access was good and I destroyed the screen trying to get it out (I was removing the screen to fix some rust). Fortunately I had a spare screen so it didn't matter that one broke.
    I was thinking to get it professionally fitted because they are fitted dry as you say and the pros would presumably ensure it doesn't leak again (for a while anyway). If it does leak I can pick up the phone and they can redo the job. It would also save me the hassle of finding a suitable rubber profile. Yes it will cost but you have to pay for convenience.

    I'll get a seal from one of the OS suppliers and have a go.
    The R12 shop have them but the postage charges are horrendous as are the postage charges from every other European source.
    The two local rubber suppliers, Peter Jackson and Scotts, (who appear to sell exactly the same stuff) don't have a listing for an R12 windscreen but they probably have a profile that would be close. But even if they have a suitable profile I think their rubber is sold in lengths only, i.e. will have a join, not like the original R12 seals that are continuous. Cheers RTT
    If you go the "local" route, it will presumably end up as a seal that needs sealing too? I think a key issue is finding a fitter with grey hair. It isn't that the younger ones aren't good, it is that they have much more modern experience.

    Anyway, best wishes with it!
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Peugeot 306 XT 1995 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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