Well, kinda. Was trapped in Superblue tonight in a parking lot at my office during a MAJOR thunderstorm, waiting for things to subside before making a dash for it. While sitting there in the darkness, I could feel drops of cold water dripping slowly onto the top of my bare left ankle. I decided then and there I was going to find out what the source was of that water leak that always causes my driver’s side carpet floor mat to end up wet and a shallow puddle of water in the forward area of the rubber mat on top of it after rainstorms.
I took out my little flashlight to begin my quest and shined it onto the front of the dash, where I could see water rapidly dripping down from the bottom edge of the dash panel onto the top edge of the knee bolster panel just below the area of the instrumental panel light dimmer knob and hazard light switch panel (and map light). From there the water ran straight down the front of the knee bolster panel (keep in mind that the bolster panel is angled inward slightly toward the driver instead of being mounted perfectly vertical), dripping off the bottom edge of same and from there onto the floor mat below. Since the turnbuckle that secures the knee bolster panel along the left edge is broken off on Superblue, I was able to go ahead and lower the bolster panel w/o having to open the door and unfasten (i.e. twist) it. Peering into the darkness behind it with my flashlight I could not see any water dripping or even any sign of dampness in there (thankfully, considering all the wiring, fuses, etc. located in that cavity! ). I then raised the bolster panel back into place.
Although I am still not able to see precisely where the water is getting inside the car from, my theory now is that from wherever it is coming it then runs down along the bottom edge (from left to right) of the dash panel until it gets to that area mentioned above, at which time it then drips downward onto the top edge of the knee bolster panel, and then down from there, eventually onto the floor mat, as described.
I did at one point, although the rain was still coming down like crazy, quickly open the door and stick my head out, pointing my flashlight at the forward door sill. It seemed like I could see water dripping and falling straight down from a small “rail” located at about the height of the side-view mirror on the frame.
Anyone’s thoughts on this issue, now?
I have thought of trying a couple of things (one or the other) to finally rule in or out that it is the door seal having been worn down with 90K+ miles of use plus 15+ years. One is to try using some of that black “Flex Seal” stuff to thicken the door seal in the area where it is compressed when the door is closed to the forward side. Alternatively, to take another old door seal and, cutting out a matching “patch” piece from it, glue it to its corresponding area on my current seal, in the same area mentioned above. This would make a “double thick” seal, which, both being old seals, might approximate the thickness of one new seal. If either of these measures stops the leak, then we know it’s time for door seal replacement. If not, then the search goes on …