One cause of wet carpets & solution

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One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 05.03.2015, 23:24

Saw a thread about Fuel leaks,Seized brakes & Water in footwell so thought I'd post a new thread dealing only with water in footwell..

While I was working away on a contract in Lincolnshire 2 years ago I spotted an L reg SE with only 43k miles on a garage forecourt in the middle of nowhere. It looked really nice but was still there 5 months later with a slightly lower price so I made a silly offer and it was accepted. When I looked at it carpets were nice and dry inside, even though it had sat outside for months, and hood and all seals still looked like new - it was registered 22/12/93 and supplied to Elf Oil Company so probably last SE to leave Hethel but still 20 years old.

I was living in a hotel Monday to Thursday so used Elan Tues, Wed & Thurs to get from hotel to site and back and my Subaru to do the 150 mile journey up and back Monday & Friday so the Elan sat in the hotel car park Friday to Monday.
Hotel car park had a slight slope and I found if I parked at 'the wrong angle' and it had rained over the weekend there was a lot of water sitting on the plastic door sill and sometimes I could see where it had overflowed the lip and run inside onto the carpets. Sometimes the carpets were even under water! It appeared that the door seals were fitting to the body too well and trapping the water under the door until it overflowed the inner lip into the footwell, but only if the car wasn't level. If I parked the other way the well behind the seats would fill up. If it was dead level everything seemed to be fine.

My investigations revealed that the door seal should have some rubber 'pips' in several places along the bottom of the door to allow drainage of the sill and some of these were critically missing.. photo of 'pip' that is still there in the bottom of the seal follows, hopefully
pip.JPG


As a temporary fix I scrounged a bit of earth sleeve and insulating tape from the site electrician and taped on some substitute 'pips' to push the seal away and my carpets have been dry ever since, whatever angle I park at...
The idea was to just substitute the missing 'pip' to push the seal away and let the water past rather than water to go down the inside of the tube but it does appear to go down the tubes.

tubes.JPG

tube.JPG


One day I might get round to replacing the 'pips' but the '5 minute temporary fix' is still there 18 months later.. the 'tubes' work well and only show when I open the door...

Might be worth trying if you have wet carpets and signs of water on the sills.
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Steve A » Fri 06.03.2015, 02:29

:agree: I think your on to something there Flash :clap:
I noticed when I parked on a hill in heavy rain I too had wet carpets.
:shock: I don't think the shiney Lotus name plate is helping either :roll:
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby rip » Fri 06.03.2015, 06:56

That's an interesting modification but if it works then great.
Does a shower cap help or does the water seep in below where this protects?
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Simon_P » Fri 06.03.2015, 09:58

This is exactly what my Father suggested when I discussed with him!

The WSM (somewhere in the depths thereof) suggests to cut 'V' notches in the seal and I didn't want to do that.

Typical Lotus - Leaks at the top where you don't want the water to get in, seals well at the bottom where you want it to get out!
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Jamie N » Fri 06.03.2015, 10:05

Maybe the Elan should have come from the factory with an advisory sticker on the screen "Only park on level surfaces!" :D . Incidentally did you know the "LEC Elan" is a make of Fridge / Freezer?, apparently they are badly designed as well with water gathering up in the bottom of them due to rotted seals, you couldn't make it up :lol: .
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby lotusflasherman » Fri 06.03.2015, 11:27

rip wrote:That's an interesting modification but if it works then great.
Does a shower cap help or does the water seep in below where this protects?


Can't really answer that.

I didn't use the shower cap when I left it in the hotel car park as I didn't want to advertise that it was parked up for a few days every weekend. I used to leave it where the hotel cctv could see it clearly so staff could watch it for me.
Hotel was in Horncastle and used by guys going to Cadwell Park circuit so there were often trailers with Elises and Caterham 7's in the car park but it was people arriving with empty trailers that concerned me most - just in case it wasn't empty when they left.

Elan now wears a shower cap when sitting on my drive at home but the 'drain tubes' are in place and it stays dry inside even though my drive slopes a bit near the road. I never really worked out how the water was getting onto the sills behind the seal - any rain that gets inside the door should drain out of the drain holes which are outside of the seal, one of which can be seen in the 'pip' photo. But Lotus put those 'pips' along the bottom of the seal so must have allowed for water on the wrong side of the seal.

I could never find how the water got into the boot of my Eclat. The moulded wells used to fill with water until I drilled some strategic holes to let it out - problem solved! The advantage of plastic cars.
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 06.03.2015, 16:18

For anyone that wants to read the Water-Ingress Addendum pages from the service manual, I have attached it here. I also added it as a unique download on the Manuals web page

Water-Ingress-Addendum.pdf


The Manuals web page can be found here: Lotus M100 Manuals, Guides and other useful files
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Danny R » Sat 07.03.2015, 11:36

My drive isn't level and the Elan is always on a slope. I also get the water on the plastic sill strips.

I think this phenomena is contributing to my wet carpet problem, but mine's definitely coming down the inside of the A post too.
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Danny R » Sat 07.03.2015, 11:42

rip wrote:That's an interesting modification but if it works then great.
Does a shower cap help or does the water seep in below where this protects?


The shower cap's on mine and doesn't make the slightest difference.
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Dom » Wed 19.07.2017, 19:27

Evening, All.

I'd like to resurrect this thread. Last night it rained very heavily here and this morning my driver's side footwell was wet. I have recently fitted Jamie's excellent a pillar/ header seal kit, so it wasn't that that was causing the problem.

I was puzzled why only one side was wet. It is worth noting, also, that my drive slopes. Anyway, while looking at the door seals with a view to applying the above fix, I noticed that the passenger side, which stayed dry, has the pips, while the driver's side, which became wet, doesn't have any pips and the seal itself looks like a replacement.

I started to think about making up some pips to glue in place. I settled on using Sugru to make the pips, which, once hardened, I will glue in place on the driver's door seal. I hope it works.

On a separate note, I have found Sugru very good for repairing slightly damaged seals, for example the one above the door latches. It bonds well, is the same colour and is easy to work with.

Time will tell if my pips work. I almost want it to rain!

All the best,

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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby lotusflasherman » Wed 19.07.2017, 23:25

My 'temporary fix' is still in place and working but I've now realised that when it rains all the water on the door glass runs into the door as the outer seals are in bad condition and not doing a lot of sealing. Rubber is as hard as iron and split every couple of inches. (see photo) Emptying the doors might not be such a critical issue if it didn't get in there in such quantity
outer seal.jpg


I did buy some new seals from Woolies for my SE on SORN but they don't have the 'tags' for the screws that the OE have. Plan was to stick them to a deeper alloy strip to screw on but didn't get round to it. Now thinking I might abandon screws and alloy and try sticking them direct to the inside face of the door with Sikaflex on the Elan I'm using. I'll let you know if it works ... :lol:
outer seal oe woolies .jpg
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Giniw » Thu 20.07.2017, 00:34

I did made the patches and it was a bit longer than expected... But it worked.
On a side note, once finished I found that the seals were a bit shorter than the original ones and so that they were not pushing very hard on the glass surface. It's OK, but just enough, really.

PS: interesting tip about those plugs under the doors, thanks! I will have a look at that, because I too have water on my sills when it rains on my poor little Elan!! :oops: :cry: :D
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Steve_P » Thu 20.07.2017, 09:00

I wonder if the sill profile is inherently the problem, being too flat and wide with no decent limp to prevent water just running inside. The sill design on other cars contour the sill steeply
away from the interior so any water running through the door and through panel gaps flows away and does not form a puddle that overflows into the car :( Shower cap makes little difference
as others have said unless the roof is very bad.

Partial solution, keep car in garage and check weather forecast before driving anywhere to minimise longterm corrosion :-)
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 20.07.2017, 11:52

Steve_P wrote:I wonder if the sill profile is inherently the problem, being too flat and wide with no decent limp to prevent water just running inside. The sill design on other cars contour the sill steeply
away from the interior so any water running through the door and through panel gaps flows away and does not form a puddle that overflows into the car :( Shower cap makes little difference
as others have said unless the roof is very bad.

Partial solution, keep car in garage and check weather forecast before driving anywhere to minimise longterm corrosion :-)


Yes, sill profile has a lot to do with it. The lip is just about enough if the car is perfectly flat and level, but comes inside if it's not. What we need is somebody to make up some carbon fibre sill covers with a better lip ...
:poke: Are you listening 'chrisP', the King of Carbon Fibre ?? :lol:
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Dom » Thu 20.07.2017, 16:25

Right, Sugru pips in place. We'll see if they work...
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby Dom » Sun 23.07.2017, 23:37

The pips appear to work. I've had no ingress of water over the sills, or any water on the sills, for that matter. It's rained a lot lately, too. Happy days!
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Re: One cause of wet carpets & solution

Postby HJ2 » Mon 24.07.2017, 10:45

Thanks all for all the info in this topic!
I will see if the nipple oh erhm sorry, 'pips' are still in place on mine :cheers:
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