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Post Info TOPIC: Water Leak Mercedes-Benz W126 560 SEL - Filling passenger rear footwell after rain.


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Water Leak Mercedes-Benz W126 560 SEL - Filling passenger rear footwell after rain.


I seem to have developed a leak in my right rear door area in the W126. Just noticed it the past few months because at first I just though someone was leaving the window down. lol

I suspect its the drain tube at the right rear of the sunroof panel, or perhaps even a door seal. I am hoping it's not the rear window seal, as there is not the usual rust that is associated with such leaks.

Going to have to pull the rear quarter trim panel off and the back seats to have someone run a garden hose over the area to locate the leak, I might get lucky and just find a cracked or disconnected drain tube @ the sunroof, I'm hoping for the latter.

I'll take some photos, but if anyone has any personal experience with this, feel free to add your experience and the resolution.

 



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Just an update on this vehicle, it appears the leak is coming from the trunk and the seal that goes around the door. I haven't pulled back the headliner to see if the hoses from the sunroof drain pan have cracked or failed, but it also appears I am getting some intrusion around the tail lights! No rust as a result, yet, but I got a feeling these vehicle at this age are going to start needing new rubber if you're not planning on fair weather driving them.

I got to gut the interior anyway, because I really feel like it needs to be painted before I do anything else. In that process, I can deal with the seals. Ill be sure to post photos, although it may be quite awhile before I do so. 



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Well I am about four shots in... Guess it is as good a time as any to brave the mold and see WTF is going on here...

It has only been two years, and besides I could use a nice penicillin supplement.



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JUST BURN DAT MOTHAFUCKKKA DOWN!!!!!!!!!! AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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If I do not fix them gas lines soon it may burn itself down.

Have seen how many W126 Mercedes turned into a BBQ online? Sure, 99.999% of them were current and active members of benzworld.org, but no one would make that correlation. 



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So here is the extent of the mold I am dealing with due to whatever is leaking into the rear passengers side footwell.

I imagine the leak is coming in from the right rear sunroof drain, I will have to pull the headliner down to verify this but in the meantime I plan on taking out the front and back seats to remove the carpet. From there I will use white concentrated vinegar to kill the mold on the affected areas, I will also use lysol on most all the other panels to kill any spoors that may have gone airborne. Once the white vinegar has done its magic I will take the carpet and both front floor mats to the power wash and scrub them with soap and water followed up with a nice high pressure rinse from the power-washer. From there I figure I can let them dry in the garage with the heater blowing on them for a few hours. 

If it doesnt work out I may have to get another carpet piece, which I am really hoping that I do not have to do. I have seen much worse than this and honestly this stuff can happen to any car under the floor mats due to moisture. The trick is getting it all cleaned up and stoping the leak and it should not be an issue in the future.



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Well folks, I have some really bad news to report...

The mold it seems was much worse than it looked on the surface. Tonight before I started tearing the engine apart I decided to yank the seats and the carpet to get them washed up however what I found was pretty bad... So bad in fact that I think I would need another parts car with a clean interior to make this car safe to ride in! The water was still puddled under the mats and the mold under the seats was VERY bad.. I will post up some photos but I was just too sick to even take photos once I got the front seats out of there. I tried to see where the leak was coming from, even dropping down the headliner and pouring water into the sunroof tray but there was only two spots that looked suspect, yet none of them leaked while pouring water in!

As a tip for people tracking down leaks, if you pour water into the sunroof while its cracked open you should see water draining from just behind the rear tire. There is a rubber tube that protrudes there on both sides and this is where the rear of your sunroof drains. As I poured water into the sunroof it came out of the drain tube as is should without any indication of a leak inside the car and this is with the headliner pulled down and the seats removed! I have absolutely no idea where all of this water is coming from except to say it could be the door moldings because everything else is dry and shows no signs of leaking around the sun roof tray!

I will take some photos here in a bit and show you my findings but I am pretty sure this is the end... There is really no way I would want anyone in the vehicle enclosed with this sort of mold... It was so bad that I thought I was tripping there for awhile, but then realized it was probably all the soda I had been drinking trying to stay awake. 

I am not really sure what I am going to do... Maybe I will hang on to the car until spring and see if any inexpensive clean interior parts cars come along but I can assure you it is not worth putting all the work in to drive around in a badly molded interior. It is a damn shame, and one of my own doing because I have always said these cars are not meant to sit in the elements for long periods of time. The way they are made allow too much to become lodged in the various drains and as such these W126 Mercedes really do require garage storage or constant cleaning of the trunk drain crevices and whatever it is that causes the right rear foot-well area to fill up. 

For now I think I will remove all the interior and allow to to dry properly in there. I am just going to toss the rug as it is beyond saving and I dont care how much white vinegar you sprayed on there! 

Really bummed... But I will take them photos to document the findings thus far and perhaps once all the interior is out we can spray it with a hose and see where all this water is coming from! There is no sense in going any further until this leak is fixed.



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Okay, so I have some ideas and maybe some pointers for other people who may be having water intrusion problems inside the cabin.

So I tore all the rear interior out of the vehicle, rear seats and the passengers front seat. The front drivers has one bolt that is being stubborn but I was not going to let that stop me from seeing what in the hell caused all this carnage.

Now upon getting the seat out I noticed that in addition to the mold from the water intrusion, it looks like someone at one time spilt either coffee or soda all down the fu#king side of the seat!

Clearly this rug has had it! No saving it and even if it did come clean the foam on the backside is all water logged and I question how you would ever get the mold out of that foam.

Here you can see that even though I have been drying out the inside, it is still very wet under the carpet! The carpet has a plastic lining on the bottom along with foam that is attached to that. When it gets to the point it is molding, well it might be too late! So keep an eye on this area if you own one of these vehicle and keep it parked outside! Moving on, the first thing I wanted to check was the sunroof drains

There are four drains like this on all four corners of the sunroof pan, these are the drains for the sunroof pan. This one has a little rust but is not leaking. Often times if you see wetness or water stains on the headliner at the corners of the sunroof drain it means that this plastic hose has split and is leaking the water directly onto and thru the headliner. Again, there will be tell-tale water stains on the headliner if this is the case, but in this case the drain nearest the water intrusion is not leaking and the hose is very soft and un-split. 

This next photo is the drain hose that sits right behind the rear tires on both sides, there is also one on each side up front that also sit behind the front tires. I poured water into a slightly open moonroof to ensure the water was draining out of this hole and it was draining properly as it should. 

The next step was to check the seal around the moonroof tray itself.

Everything looked to be real nice here with no signs of water intrusion, however there was one area towards the middle of the drain pan just left of the front seat belt adjuster that did look suspect and even had little water marks ever so slightly on the headliner

There has obviously been some leakage at this area but nothing to the extent that was filling up the rear footwell. Clearly this is a small leak as the headliner was not stained enough to suggest all this water was coming from this one area. Still, it would have to be repaired to ensure it does not get worse, but it was not the monster leaker I was looking for.

Here in the photo above is another area that I noticed there had been obvious signs of water intrusion, this photo above is of the rear seat belt retractors just behind the rear interior quarter trim panels. Clearly something had been leaking in this area and it was the exact same way on the drivers side as well! I can only think this may have been cause by windows left down, or even worse yet the rear windshield seal! 

Moving right along I inspected the area on the rocker panel, right where the rear door and plastic sill panel are mounted and sure enough, a completely rusted clip for the fabric tube moldings for the doors indicated a longtime leak, and not only that you could see water stains running down the interior part of the rocker panel, right into the passengers side floor pan! This was the massive leak I was looking for

As you can see in the photo above, this is where we are getting water intrusion. The telltale water marks, the rusted clip and the location just about says it all. Of course I wished I had known this before going thru all the trouble pulling down the headliner! LOL! 

So in my opinion, if you have water intrusion in your rear passengers footwell and you do not have water stains on your headliner it is a good chance that your water leak is coming from the door seal on your passengers side rear door! I have yet to prove it because it is too cold to run a hose to simulate the running of high volumes of water but from what I can see it is a very high probability that the door seal is allowing water past and it leaks down and into the floor pan.

 



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IN THE RUNNING

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Bummer...

No visible leaks means that when you shut-her-down, it must have been a humid day, & you've had your own little eco-system raining inside ever-since...The trapped water evaporating during sunlight hours, & re-condensing through the night, over & over...

Your air-conditioner is a dehumidifier, & should be run in the winter months too, to pull the water out-of-the-air ( at least on cold start-ups, as it de-fogs your windows. Leave the heater on full of course ).

There is stuff on the market that will help you get rid of the mold, but you're also coming into winter again, so it will be a real test of the products LOL !

I think that you should be able to save her, but you may have to do it all again in the warmer months, to ensure the mold stays away.

Good luck,

Rastus

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I am going to find the leak, one way or the other! I do not want to be dealing with this again and I am almost positive the leak is coming from the door seal.

It is going to take a little more time to get this done right, as I really want to swap to more of the Brazil panels anyway as I recently pulled them down from the loft. I got the Brazil interior quarter panels, package tray, and the side pieces for the center console, which as you can see are quite filthy anyway. It would be great to find a new carpet in Brazil as the mushroom is just too light for my tastes. Might have to buy a whole other damn car just for the carpet....



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IN THE RUNNING

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If you buy another car, I'd just swap the 560 motor & running-gear over SELLC.

You'll never lose the sentimental value of a car that you owned, whether you still have it to use or not.

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Not true.. I had that really nice 420 AMG clone and I just didnt have the attachment to it... Did not feel like it was my car, did not have much drive to do much with it.

Everyone for the past decade knows I drive a rough around the edges gold Mercedes... It has been good to me, turn key for almost 12 years! I think it has another 20 left in her!



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