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Water, Moisture, Leaks, Damp Help


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#1 Chaz

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 06:35 PM

Hi guys, 
 
Hate that this is having to be my first post onto this forum, and never wanted to have to post in the help section. Back in Mid September I bought myself a 1991 Mazda MX5 Mark 1. I had got the idea of getting an MX5 in the summer but didn't want to go crazy over board with the budget, I found this one and thought ill go have a look it was a good price. I had been watching loads of videos, read loads of forums so I thought I knew what to look for. 
 
I checked the arches, the sills under the carpets all seemed pretty rust free and dry. Then came the rain and my god it was horrendous, huge puddle in my driver side footwell oh no! So I looked on the forum got on the floor and to my surprised the sills were completed covered. Not blocked but filled in I guess during a repair.  I had heard the sloshing but I thought I was the petrol tank. Also the rain drains were completely blocked but they are now clear and are regularly cleaned to ensure they don't block like last time. So I have been able to open up 6 of the 8 drain sills, two on the driver side I can't seem to open what so ever, let alone locate them. They seem to just not be there. Its going into the garage tomorrow so hopefully they can find them. Anyway I thought I had sorted the leaking issue as no puddles but still a damp footwell, so I got in dried it out completely to the best I could but was still suffering from severe condensation issues. I have attached some photos of what the inside looks like as it is progressing worse. As the driver footwell doesn't have puddles anymore just light dampness but seemingly drive behind the chair now, although both driver and passenger seats appear to be wet now which they didn't before. 
 
I am also now noticing water droplets on the inside of the soft top which again never saw before. I really don't know what's going on tbh and am open to hear any suggestions or fixes. Im debating if it needs a hardtop or a new soft top roof. Would get the hardtop now soft top in summer to replace the one I have. Although the person I bought it off had recently fitted a new one and it seems in really good condition. If it is a case of the soft top then ill be happy to buy a hardtop or is the water getting in else where? please help/ 
 
Chaz

 

https://imgur.com/a/KEMunrM



					
					
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#2 dadbif

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 09:18 AM

The water droplets on the roof could be condensation from the water on the floor evaporating, or the fabric may just need re proofing, I’ve never had to do it myself but I’m sure somebody on here has. Have a search.
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#3 Martin Y

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 10:11 AM

Yeah, the droplets under the roof will be condensation.  The early cars have nice thick carpets which can feel fairly dry on top when they're still sopping wet underneath so I suspect the main problem now is that the car has just not dried out yet.  Best advice is probably to keep it open as much as you can in dry weather, though that's a bit unhelpful if you have on-street parking.  If you can get mains to the car I found a fan heater in the footwell aimed backwards blowing under the seat dried things out quite effectively (set to cool, don't want to melt anything plastic).  Though again you need at least a partly open window to get the damp air out.


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#4 Rasc

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 03:18 PM

I also recommend going one of the various £1 shops around and purchasing a few of the moisture / condensation traps they sell. Always have a couple in the car over the winter period. Soaks up the moisture and cheap to boot, others also recommend cat litter in a sock!
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#5 jimmy_lazers

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 04:40 PM

Its a common problem and there are a lot of potential leak points.

 

After the hood drains and the holes underneath the sills (mazda actually put out an advice note to dealers about widening them back in the day), there's pretty much the whole door seal and drainage system to look at too.

 

The rubber 'ears' at the top corners of the windscreen on mine have flattened over time, which I'm sure is causing water to run down the inside of the door shuts and pool in the footwell like you've described - there's a fix involving a wide plastic smoothie-type straw to open up the channel, but its only been semi effective for me with the soft top. With the hard top on it seems to have worked better.

 

In terms of condensation I recently picked up an Eco Ventis reusable dehumidifier for £6 from my local Tesco - its basically a big fabric desiccant sachet that you can dry out in the microwave when the grains turn from orange to dark green. Despite being initially skeptical it works really well and my car has been fog free since it went in.

 

Another simple thing to try is refreshing all of the rubber seals as they dry out over time and become less able to perform their intended function. A rubber care stick like Wurth Gummi Pfledge is pretty easy to get hold of and use, and can make a surprising difference if your seals are particularly old or dry. It also stops them getting damaged if they freeze up during winter.


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#6 Zed.

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 06:52 PM

also recommend FRESH / NEW UNUSED cat litter in a sock!

 
:whistle: 

:yes:
 

door seal and drainage system to look at too.
 
The rubber 'ears' at the top corners of the windscreen on mine have flattened over time, which I'm sure is causing water to run down the inside of the door shuts and pool in the footwell like you've described - there's a fix involving a wide plastic smoothie-type straw to open up the channel, but its only been semi effective for me with the soft top. With the hard top on it seems to have worked better.

+1 :thumb-up:

 

the windscreen frame to roof / door seal is a funnel, drains water from across the top down through their hollow section & dup it @ the sill cover area. - commonly blocked with mud etc!

 

on my '91 there was a constant leak across the top of the door window where it met the split hood seal, adjusted the windows up slightly & this stopped....

also, an old hood can schrink so the sides (above the door window) retract allowing wind & rain access to the top of the door window & hood seal...

 

the split hood / door window seal can allow water ingress through miss-alignment of the split where it meets the door window....

 

theres a few other posibilities but....

Rich.


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#7 Rasc

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 09:53 AM

also recommend FRESH / NEW UNUSED cat litter in a sock!


Meh, why so fussy...
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#8 Zed.

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 11:12 AM

 

 

also recommend FRESH / NEW UNUSED cat litter in a sock!


Meh, why so fussy...

well, cat-nuggets might absorb moisture then get assimilated into soft furnishings :sick: 

Rich.


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#9 Chaz

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 06:26 PM

Hi everyone, thank you so much for getting in contact. So update, I purchased a hardtop today on route I had the top down foot heaters on max for a good 2 hours. I have also been using those desiccant packets but although they were seemingly reducing the moisture present once they were filled it had a repeat, which to me implies that there has to still be a leak someone as there doesnt seem to be a change in the moisture but Im not sure where. The drain sills and roof drains are open/clear. No sloshing anymore when moving the car around. 

 

I have a hardtop on now and am hoping if it is a leak form the roof this will eradicate that. Im just a bit confused whats going on and where this leak, or moisture is coming from. 


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#10 Chaz

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 09:20 AM

 

also recommend FRESH / NEW UNUSED cat litter in a sock!

 
:whistle: 

:yes:
 

door seal and drainage system to look at too.
 
The rubber 'ears' at the top corners of the windscreen on mine have flattened over time, which I'm sure is causing water to run down the inside of the door shuts and pool in the footwell like you've described - there's a fix involving a wide plastic smoothie-type straw to open up the channel, but its only been semi effective for me with the soft top. With the hard top on it seems to have worked better.

+1 :thumb-up:

 

the windscreen frame to roof / door seal is a funnel, drains water from across the top down through their hollow section & dup it @ the sill cover area. - commonly blocked with mud etc!

 

on my '91 there was a constant leak across the top of the door window where it met the split hood seal, adjusted the windows up slightly & this stopped....

also, an old hood can schrink so the sides (above the door window) retract allowing wind & rain access to the top of the door window & hood seal...

 

the split hood / door window seal can allow water ingress through miss-alignment of the split where it meets the door window....

 

theres a few other posibilities but....

Rich.

 

 

Hi Rich,

 

Thank you for getting back to me. I bought a hardtop over the weekend and have already noticed the complete difference. I managed to dry the car out on the way to collect it and condensation is no more and I can't even feel damp anywhere. With that in mind this strongly makes me believe it is likely to do with what you are saying, as when the soft top is up on the drivers side the rubber never seems as flush as the passenger side, almost as if its not long enough or been replaced but cut too short? I don't know any recommendations, I an try get some photos. 

 

Chaz


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#11 Martin Y

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 08:54 PM

It's worth noting that the rubber seals at the top of the side windows aren't supposed to get rained on when the car's just sitting.  The soft top should cover them enough for drips to fall clear of the seals.  But vinyl roofs gradually shrink so after several years the roof will draw back far enough for drips to fall onto the seals.  An obvious symptom of that is not just that the inside of the car gets wet, but that when you drive off, the water that's collected in the seal pours out of the end onto the passenger seat or your own leg.


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#12 johnsimister

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 03:52 PM

If the door membranes are damaged, water getting into the door from outside can drip into the car from behind the door card and accumulate on the floor under the carpet. My driver's door has been doing this for some years and now there's a rust hole in the floor, which is to be welded this week. There has been quite a lot of condensation, similar to that described by the OP, although the top of the carpet seemed dry to the touch.

 

New membranes can be had from MX-5 Parts. Instead of attaching them to the door with the original and messy mastic, I've used strips of the sort of rubber-based double-sided tape used to attach badges to bodywork. Making sure there are no gaps where the strips join, of course. The strips sit in the pressed recesses that coincide with the outer edge of the membranes. These membranes are often damaged by people who have needed to get inside the door for one reason or another, and who don't realise how important they are.


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