Water ingress front passenger footwell - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 23:10 Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: East Riding
Car: Rover 45, MG ZR 2.0TD, MG ZS 180, MG ZT 260
Posts: 84
Water ingress front passenger footwell - solved!

I've a serious water ingress problem on my ZS. The water is running down the seam to the left of the heater fan unit. I've removed the plastic trim over the scuttle, the wheel arch liner, the glovebox, the passenger seat (to help in the drying process) and the heater fan itself. When I pour water into the scuttle, it runs freely out of the end of the troughed part, but also comes into the car. Not much, just a drip, but with all the rain we have had these drips have accumulated over the winter to about two pints of water in the footwell. I am sure that the leak is nothing to do with the upstanding lip around the heater inlet because the foam there is dry. When I lie on my back and look up, the fan housing means that I can't see right up to the corner but I can feel that is where the water is coming in. I've concluded that when the water passes out of the exit from the scuttle, it's somehow wetting a seam under the scuttle and getting into the car.

When one looks up inside the wheel arch, there is an inner cover over the end of the scuttle with an opening at the bottom where the draining water passes out. Removing the wing will not get me any closer to the leak because it is boxed in.

I've read lots of threads about water ingress, some of which describe a similar problem but I've not been able to find one with a solution.

As the source of the leak is completely inaccessible, it struck me that the best way to deal with it would be to install some sort of tube or duct, sealed to the scuttle exit and emerging low down in the wheel arch. I found a thread regarding a 600 which had a tractor inner tube attached for this purpose, and I see that the ZT / 75 has such a thing installed as new. I can foresee great practical difficulty in doing this due to the very restricted access. It would also have to be constructed in such a way that it wouldn't block with leaves and the like.

As an alternative to a tube which might get blocked, another possibility would be an extended lip attached to the end of the scuttle outlet, pointing downwards, encouraging the water to drip down and off the end rather than into the body.

My question is, has anyone ever done this? Any tips or suggestions?


Last edited by 6KH; 12-03-2017 at 08:10.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-03-2017, 07:28 Thread Starter
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Location: East Riding
Car: Rover 45, MG ZR 2.0TD, MG ZS 180, MG ZT 260
Posts: 84
Having thought more about it, I think removing the dashboard and sealing from the inside is perhaps a better option, though I did want to try to stop it from the outside, as I want to make sure that the water went from the scuttle outlet to the ground without it flowing anywhere else. I've never removed a dashboard before...

Still open to suggestions though - have considered and discarded expanding foam!

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-03-2017, 20:36 Thread Starter
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Car: Rover 45, MG ZR 2.0TD, MG ZS 180, MG ZT 260
Posts: 84
Progress update.

I thought I would have one last go at removing the heater fan housing. It's difficult because the fan housing is inserted into the side of the evaporator and pollen filter housing and there is very little room.

I'd already removed the fan and motor. I hit on the idea of undoing the six clips to allow the removal of the bottom half of the fan housing. Getting to the rear ones wasn't easy but I did it and with the lower half removed there was more wiggle room for the upper half that goes right up to the scuttle air intake. With a bit of effort this came out too and the source of the leak was revealed:

In the photo above you can see evidence of (dirty) water ingress. The sealant was not bonded to the bottom of the scuttle drain channel. The large grommet is the one at the back of the fusebox and the raised part at the top of the picture is the start of the heater air inlet opening. I suspect that this defect had been there since the car was new. Above the black deposits you can see a sag in the sealant run and it was from this sag that the water was coming in, though the joint was not sealed along any of the horizontal run of sealant ending at the big splodge upper left.

I then set about digging out all the old sealant using a woodworking chisel and meths to clean it up. Finally a hair drier was employed to make sure the area was completely dry. I removed all the badly-applied splodgy sealant too. It ended up like this:

After that it was a simple job to re-seal using Tiger Seal. It looked like this when finished, a rather neater job I thought than MGR made.

Perhaps this might be of use to someone in the future. Now all I have to do is to dry the carpets, from which at least half a bucket of water has already been extracted.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 13-03-2017, 09:53
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Car: bittersweet zs 180 bittersweet zr 105 , escort xr3i , escort rsturbo
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My zr was leaking in like this from poory sealed seams
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