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Fixing my footwell leak

Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Edit: This was our leaky footwell saga. Skip to the end for how I fixed it.

On our first day arriving in Spain this August we spent a couple of hours driving in a real heavens open downpour. When we arrived at our first site my wife said the passenger footwell was soaked. Luckily the floor mat had taken the brunt of it. You could almost ring it out it was so saturated but a day in full sun pretty much fixed it.
I’ve read the other posts about footwell leaks but ours seems possibly different. Twice on the holiday we had overnight thunderstorms with huge downpours but both times the footwell was dry.

The weekend after we returned, we camped again, driving in a downpour to the Cotswolds. Again the footwell was wet.

Water only seems to come in when we are driving.

I struggle to believe the water is coming from above. All rubbers seem tight. I read others posts about pooling in the front wings and water coming from the wheels.
I used the rubber reviver on all our rubbers although they seemed ok to me (a 2008 van) and noticed this area was very dirty on passenger side (cleaned in picture) but clean on driver’s side.
1664267107594.jpeg
I wonder if the rain was getting in there and working it’s way upwards?

If the leak was from the A pillar, surely it would leak when parked with roof down and definitely when parked in downpour with the roof up. It does neither.

Any ideas?
 
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WelshGas

WelshGas

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On our first day arriving in Spain this August we spent a couple of hours driving in a real heavens open downpour. When we arrived at our first site my wife said the passenger footwell was soaked. Luckily the floor mat had taken the brunt of it. You could almost ring it out it was so saturated but a day in full sun pretty much fixed it.
I’ve read the other posts about footwell leaks but ours seems possibly different. Twice on the holiday we had overnight thunderstorms with huge downpours but both times the footwell was dry.

The weekend after we returned, we camped again, driving in a downpour to the Cotswolds. Again the footwell was wet.

Water only seems to come in when we are driving.

I struggle to believe the water is coming from above. All rubbers seem tight. I read others posts about pooling in the front wings and water coming from the wheels.
I used the rubber reviver on all our rubbers although they seemed ok to me (a 2008 van) and noticed this area was very dirty on passenger side (cleaned in picture) but clean on driver’s side.
View attachment 99904
I wonder if the rain was getting in there and working it’s way upwards?

If the leak was from the A pillar, surely it would leak when parked with roof down and definitely when parked in downpour with the roof up. It does neither.

Any ideas?
Did you have the AirCon on when driving?
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Did you have the AirCon on when driving?
Always have the air con on pretty much. Seems possible connection but we drove hundreds of miles in good weather with air conditioning on and no leaks.
I read about windscreen leaks. Possible connection.
It only happened in very very heavy rain at motorway speeds.

It’s difficult to know what to do. At least it seems water tight parked up. I will keep checking this though.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

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Always have the air con on pretty much. Seems possible connection but we drove hundreds of miles in good weather with air conditioning on and no leaks.
I read about windscreen leaks. Possible connection.
It only happened in very very heavy rain at motorway speeds.

It’s difficult to know what to do. At least it seems water tight parked up. I will keep checking this though.
The AirCon drain passes through the bulkhead in the passenger footwell. Worth checking.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Water getting in again. This time while parked. At least I can see where it’s coming from.

I don’t thinks it’s coming from roof via A pillar because it’s always been watertight upto now and looks sealed ok. I did have a stereo installed 2 years ago which did involve some A pillar work….

I’m guessing that there are lots of leaves and pine needles around the front wing, windscreen etc blocking stuff causing some welling up. Best theory. I have had garages previously mention how much dead leaves etc there are in the wings of our 2 VWs that have been parked under trees for 14 years. Mmmm frustrating.

Please stop raining.
F68FE1F9-0D92-4128-A9D0-E827A0490224.jpegDEBADB30-E06F-4063-9D43-DB04AB11F7B5.jpegDABB409F-1838-41AF-B2E9-1838B7525969.jpeg
Thankfully not camping.
 
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Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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This looks terrible.
Old posts very useful in finding this stuff.
2064BF74-41B2-4BD3-8F04-FFC2626F94D3.jpeg
343276AB-EDE9-40F4-A7AA-FFE4208FAD9A.jpeg
Lots of gunk around drain exit.
Will clean and check roof drains when home.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Had a good clear out of the scuttle corners. Nearly a quarter of a bucket of crud.
1667064438776.jpeg
D048954D-2AE1-4737-93CA-6433CCEE5E1C.jpeg
B6AD2F14-6C06-4B6F-A3F9-5CB73D47B8AE.jpeg
5F4661CA-5067-42E0-B5AA-48A1DC93424C.jpeg
A4210114-2579-454F-BBF3-9471D6A67913.jpeg
AF1584CA-5B4B-412A-8206-85CC48EEC20B.jpeg
CCFC12A1-50ED-4E44-AFC2-E61F5ABD44B3.jpeg
Wheel arches too.
7AB729E7-90F3-40EC-8BB6-3B3C80EA4659.jpeg
25677764-B362-45DA-9AC1-242F36394C26.jpeg
But doesn’t seem to have fixed the leak.
Using the comedically large Amazon syringe I squirted warm water down the front roof drain and it never went to the under bonnet exit but appeared in footwell. Tried the driver side and that did work.
7EE8D25E-49C9-4838-B357-4B44B6A7FC32.jpeg
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Nothing came out of here.
6F5C3BFD-E8A0-4E7A-B6B7-3A56F1EED723.jpeg
Drivers side did work
9CD112F8-20AB-4D98-8258-74372811462E.jpeg
I guess I’m going to have to take the A pillar apart next.
 
docbob1

docbob1

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Just had same thing in my van (T6) and found the roof drain in passenger area behind dash had parted company between downpipe and rubber elbow which exits in the position you have ringed above.
Bugg*r to get at and not possible to rejoin even with very long surgical forceps.
You will need to screw your head under dash and find the rubber elbow, an ?orange pipe should be attached if not it was same problem as mine.
Solution, remove dash side panel where air bag switch off is positioned, remove dropdown locker and under dash panel to improve access.You may also need to undo L side conector blocks held with single screw behind drop down locker.
Using side panel access grasp orange pipe with vey long forceps-like instrument and pull into view. Push a tight fitting flexible piece of plastic pipe about 2' long into downpipe (about 1-2") and cable tie for security. Next, push out rubber elbow into scuttle area and thread plastic pipe through the hole making sure it is correctly routed to avoid kinks or loops that could stagnate flow, Push plastic pipe through rubber elbow and push elbow back into position, gently pulling plastic pipe through to keep a straight run for flow. Cut off excess plastic pipe about an inch into scuttle area.
Enjoy cuts to back of hand and remember how much fun you are having then spend next 2 days drying out carpets! Mine nearly dry now after rolls of paper towels being consumed packing under various access holes beneath seats where it will pool from that leak (it runs behind carpet as well as onto it).
Sorry didn't take photos as didn't see this post running. I could try and get one of downpipe/elbow if possible with dash back in and of pipe exitting rubber elbow?
 
docbob1

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Update, just had huge deluge and protracted rain and no further water ingress so in my case it was the downpipe parting from elbow, only a push fit so not surprised!!
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Location
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T5 SE 174
Just had same thing in my van (T6) and found the roof drain in passenger area behind dash had parted company between downpipe and rubber elbow which exits in the position you have ringed above.
Bugg*r to get at and not possible to rejoin even with very long surgical forceps.
You will need to screw your head under dash and find the rubber elbow, an ?orange pipe should be attached if not it was same problem as mine.
Solution, remove dash side panel where air bag switch off is positioned, remove dropdown locker and under dash panel to improve access.You may also need to undo L side conector blocks held with single screw behind drop down locker.
Using side panel access grasp orange pipe with vey long forceps-like instrument and pull into view. Push a tight fitting flexible piece of plastic pipe about 2' long into downpipe (about 1-2") and cable tie for security. Next, push out rubber elbow into scuttle area and thread plastic pipe through the hole making sure it is correctly routed to avoid kinks or loops that could stagnate flow, Push plastic pipe through rubber elbow and push elbow back into position, gently pulling plastic pipe through to keep a straight run for flow. Cut off excess plastic pipe about an inch into scuttle area.
Enjoy cuts to back of hand and remember how much fun you are having then spend next 2 days drying out carpets! Mine nearly dry now after rolls of paper towels being consumed packing under various access holes beneath seats where it will pool from that leak (it runs behind carpet as well as onto it).
Sorry didn't take photos as didn't see this post running. I could try and get one of downpipe/elbow if possible with dash back in and of pipe exitting rubber elbow?
Wow very detailed and helpful. It’s quite hard to follow but I think on Tuesday I will remove A pillar and look there and then slowly work South. A while ago I changed the cabin air filter so remember I can in there.
A bit nervous about airbag being mentioned.
I don’t have a dash locker on my 2008 T5 just a high glove box.
Hopefully this will make more sense when I start taking it apart.

Thanks again.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Two things bothering me a lot -

Is the interior steel galvanised? God I hope so or my van in now rusting from the inside out. Anyone know what’s under area by handbrake and under the rubber rear cabin floor?

I tested yesterday and found that water squirted down tube from roof ends up in footwell. BUT I just struggle to see how it’s leaking from there with the roof down. How can large amounts of water get under the roof? That seems weird and illogical.
 
Last edited:
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Messages
851
Location
London
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T5 SE 174
Just had same thing in my van (T6) and found the roof drain in passenger area behind dash had parted company between downpipe and rubber elbow which exits in the position you have ringed above.
Bugg*r to get at and not possible to rejoin even with very long surgical forceps.
You will need to screw your head under dash and find the rubber elbow, an ?orange pipe should be attached if not it was same problem as mine.
Solution, remove dash side panel where air bag switch off is positioned, remove dropdown locker and under dash panel to improve access.You may also need to undo L side conector blocks held with single screw behind drop down locker.
Using side panel access grasp orange pipe with vey long forceps-like instrument and pull into view. Push a tight fitting flexible piece of plastic pipe about 2' long into downpipe (about 1-2") and cable tie for security. Next, push out rubber elbow into scuttle area and thread plastic pipe through the hole making sure it is correctly routed to avoid kinks or loops that could stagnate flow, Push plastic pipe through rubber elbow and push elbow back into position, gently pulling plastic pipe through to keep a straight run for flow. Cut off excess plastic pipe about an inch into scuttle area.
Enjoy cuts to back of hand and remember how much fun you are having then spend next 2 days drying out carpets! Mine nearly dry now after rolls of paper towels being consumed packing under various access holes beneath seats where it will pool from that leak (it runs behind carpet as well as onto it).
Sorry didn't take photos as didn't see this post running. I could try and get one of downpipe/elbow if possible with dash back in and of pipe exitting rubber elbow?
So were you previously getting rain in the footwell even with the roof down then?
I don’t understand that, but am happy to take your word for it.
 
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docbob1

docbob1

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Hi Lambeth, yes roof down and water came in exactly as in your photos. I didn't think roof vent would be a problem when down but it was. I dried out van 3 days ago, had heavy downpour overnight and next day water under carpet back as before, could see droplets coming out of detached tube!
Now, having had a day of heavy/torrential rain with roof down all perfectly dry. Looked at new plastic tube under dash I had inserted (as it was clear) and could see water running down it!! Seems this vent is needed even with roof down. I am parked just marginally nose down though.
The fact you get water in footwell when putting it down roof vents proves it comes from there.
I will take photos of my 'repair' and the relevant tube I used. Not sure taking A pillar apart is good news, I did entire job in an hour but haven't taken apart A pillar but suspect it wont help as problem low down at the exit grommet level in scuttle.
Only other possibilty is a detachment at upper roof vent connector but unlikely. Identify downtube/elbow and get someone to put water down roof vent and see if appears from tube if detached, I suspect so.
Will try and get photos, best I can, uploaded tommorrow plus my gynae instruments used to give an idea of reach needed to grasp tube.
 
docbob1

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"is the interior steel galvanised? God I hope so or my van in now rusting from the inside out. Anyone know what’s under area by handbrake and under the rubber rear cabin floor?"

Forgot to answer this, no idea about interior galvanising but not necessary as usually waxsprayed in vulnerable areas. The carpet finishes at plastic trim an inch behind seat, easy to lift the strip out. The water will not go beyond carpet area I think as when you remove trim there is a gap. Also when drying cavities beneath seats you cannot push 'absorbers' under the rear cabin floor. Handbrake area unlikely effected unless years of water and that would be evident wilh severe internal condensation on occupancy! Mine showed up due to this.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Hi Lambeth, yes roof down and water came in exactly as in your photos. I didn't think roof vent would be a problem when down but it was. I dried out van 3 days ago, had heavy downpour overnight and next day water under carpet back as before, could see droplets coming out of detached tube!
Now, having had a day of heavy/torrential rain with roof down all perfectly dry. Looked at new plastic tube under dash I had inserted (as it was clear) and could see water running down it!! Seems this vent is needed even with roof down. I am parked just marginally nose down though.
The fact you get water in footwell when putting it down roof vents proves it comes from there.
I will take photos of my 'repair' and the relevant tube I used. Not sure taking A pillar apart is good news, I did entire job in an hour but haven't taken apart A pillar but suspect it wont help as problem low down at the exit grommet level in scuttle.
Only other possibilty is a detachment at upper roof vent connector but unlikely. Identify downtube/elbow and get someone to put water down roof vent and see if appears from tube if detached, I suspect so.
Will try and get photos, best I can, uploaded tommorrow plus my gynae instruments used to give an idea of reach needed to grasp tube.
Great. Very helpful thank you.

My hang up about A pillar is because I had a stereo fitted a couple of years ago and a lot of peoples leaking problems seem to stem from alarm or stereo fitting.

I’ll slowly start taking it all apart from Tuesday.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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"is the interior steel galvanised? God I hope so or my van in now rusting from the inside out. Anyone know what’s under area by handbrake and under the rubber rear cabin floor?"

Forgot to answer this, no idea about interior galvanising but not necessary as usually waxsprayed in vulnerable areas. The carpet finishes at plastic trim an inch behind seat, easy to lift the strip out. The water will not go beyond carpet area I think as when you remove trim there is a gap. Also when drying cavities beneath seats you cannot push 'absorbers' under the rear cabin floor. Handbrake area unlikely effected unless years of water and that would be evident wilh severe internal condensation on occupancy! Mine showed up due to this.
I had washed the rubber floor this summer and thought it seemed not quite flat near the seats end. I’m worried there is rust under there.

I walk past the van every morning when I take kids to school. It’s parked in a bay, we live on an estate. I had noticed fairly recently condensation on windscreen. Again I’m worried this has been happening for a while. The wettest area, which is really wet is by handbrake and that plastic join to carpet. It’s drenched. When (!?) I fix this I’m thinking of borrowing or buying a dehumidifier!!?
 
WelshGas

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I had washed the rubber floor this summer and thought it seemed not quite flat near the seats end. I’m worried there is rust under there.

I walk past the van every morning when I take kids to school. It’s parked in a bay, we live on an estate. I had noticed fairly recently condensation on windscreen. Again I’m worried this has been happening for a while. The wettest area, which is really wet is by handbrake and that plastic join to carpet. It’s drenched. When (!?) I fix this I’m thinking of borrowing or buying a dehumidifier!!?
The assembled body is dipped in a galvanising bath, so interior and exterior is treated.
 
Perfectos

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in addition to what WG stated above, the body shell is sprayed inside, including the floor pan.

The floor pan is strengthened with pockets, bumps, depressions and recesses, the front cab area has channels for routing cables etc, the carpet / rubber, there are various rubber bungs in the floor structure.
the floor covering has a heavy duty foam backing / sound proofing layer,

the depressions, foam soundproofing and carpet could hold a substantial amount of water in the floor structure / soundproofing.

when you fix the issue a prolonged period with a dehumidifier and heater to remove as much moisture as possible.

another potential future issue : there is an amount of wiring under the flooring, including earthing points, the terminations of which could corrode Due to moisture, also fixings for seat base, hand brake etc which attach to the body shell.

if you want to remove the water (after fixing the leak) as fast as possible you may want to consider removing the cab flooring.
 
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docbob1

docbob1

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Photos of repair I did.
access side panel to remove to access brown/orange tube using appropriately long grasping tool (in my case 10" sponge forceps, can get them on ebay for a few quid)
Picture of clear plastic tube pushed into brownish tube and into rubber elbow connector and final one of clear tube exitting this elbow into scuttle area.

sidepanel.JPG

P1030294.JPG

downpipe connector.JPG

exit of tube.JPG
 
steve_b

steve_b

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Definitely worthwhile taking off the lower panels in the passenger footwell before removing the a pillar trim - about 3 torx screws and the panel comes off, then you can spend some quality time lying on your back looking up, you may be lucky in the drain pipe is split or disconnected from the valve that is supposed to drain behind the battery.

If you can see water pouring down onto your head however then it is a pillar time..
 
docbob1

docbob1

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leominster
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For those who, like myself, didn't think roof drain was needed with roof down, it certainly is!
Torrential rain yesterday , stuck head underdash and with torch saw water pouring down the clear plastic pipe I had inserted (as in my above post)
My van is now totally leak free for first time in 2 weeks.
 
Lambeth Cali

Lambeth Cali

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Found it!
3476462C-5C84-4C05-BD2E-7CB937017943.jpeg
Already bleeding a little but got good access by removing glove box.
Neither can be pulled. I think there must be a 3rd part/tube/connector as neither of these will come together. No slack. I’ve been routing around trying to locate anything else that might of fallen off the brown tube.
 
docbob1

docbob1

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Glad it was low down and not in pillar.
No they can't be pulled! I suspect tube may shorten with age?? The expanded diagram of roof drains from manufacturer shows no other part between the two pipes you have taken photo of. Hence I had to put in a plastic insert to bridge gap and just to be sure, extended it into scuttle area. Good luck with your repair, let us know how you dealt with it. If you need any further details of how I did mine, feel free to ask.
 
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