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Author Topic: Water leak in a Thema  (Read 3407 times)
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Angle Grinder
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« on: 18 January, 2010, 06:22:28 PM »

I noticed a thread in the Y10 forum about "extreme condensation" and it had a happy ending so I thought I'd test your imagination / experiences with my problem.

I have a series 2 Thema (LHD) with Air Con and NO sunroof.

It has a significant water leak into the front passenger footwell.

I have pulled back carpets, but can't lift the plastic backed sound deadening that is moulded to the shape of the bulkhead and which fits up behind the dash. Pulling back the carpets did reveal that the water was getting in quite high up on the bulkhead and was not getting in at the door seals.

I had the windscreen removed by RAC Windscreens to have it resealed (and they broke it... Angry). Fortunately able to get one from the Thema Consortium for 40. Much better than the 220 quoted by RAC for a SAAB 9000 screen.

The removal / refitting of the screen made no difference to the leak.

I've had all the surrounding windscreen trim removed and can't track a point of water intake. I've alse removed all the plastic trim from the scuttle and cleared away debris, but there is no sign of a water pool collecting in this area.

I can only imagine that water is somehow accummulating in the aircon unit and then seeping into the felt of the sound deadening at the bulkhead opening where the aircon evaporator unit bolts to the bulkhead. In my LHD case, this is directly behind the glovebox, but it would be behind the instrument panel of a RHD car.

Does anyone have experience of such a fault or any other ideas?


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Current Cars: 1994 2.0 VIS Thema Station Wagon, 1967 Flavia 1.8 PF Coupe.

Previous cars:
1983 Prisma 1600
1991 Thema 16v i.e. SE
1988 Thema 8v Turbo
1992 Thema 16v i.e.
1983 Gamma Coupe (manual)
1993 Thema VIS
1994 Thema VIS LE
1990 Thema 2.8
fay66
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« Reply #1 on: 18 January, 2010, 07:36:44 PM »

Hi Mike,
make sure you haven't had a rubber blanking plug displaced high up on the bulkhead, I had this once with a Dedra right where the water drains to before exiting the slot to under the wings, just worth checking the drains from the heater box as these sometimes get clogged with leaf debris.
Just had a look at both my Thema manuals and neither has a picture of the bare shell, as I'd hoped to see if there was anywhere likely for water to get in.
Just another thought, is the cover over the top of the electrics and heater intake below the screen under the bonnet intact? and the wiper spindle seals ok?

Brian
8227 Cool
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Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
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Angle Grinder
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« Reply #2 on: 18 January, 2010, 08:36:12 PM »

A missing blanking plug would seem a likely candidate, but you know how jam packed that area is when A/C is fitted. Dam hard to get a hand into find any such missing grommets.

The cover over the fan etc. is still there and there never seems to be any excessive amounts of water lying in the scuttle area. However, it just takes a wash of the car and water gets in with the result that the car windows are totally steamed up. At this time of year the windows are literally streaming with water on the inside.

A missing bung would certainly explain the rate of ingress and the ease with which it happens.
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Current Cars: 1994 2.0 VIS Thema Station Wagon, 1967 Flavia 1.8 PF Coupe.

Previous cars:
1983 Prisma 1600
1991 Thema 16v i.e. SE
1988 Thema 8v Turbo
1992 Thema 16v i.e.
1983 Gamma Coupe (manual)
1993 Thema VIS
1994 Thema VIS LE
1990 Thema 2.8
fay66
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Posts: 6001



« Reply #3 on: 18 January, 2010, 11:22:39 PM »

Been having the same problem with the Grande Punto (yet another water leak),
that like your Thema had water streaming down the windows, but when the really cold weather came & I had to start scraping the inside of the windscreen, as well as the outside, I said enoughs enough, so back it went into the Fiat garage yet again under warranty, turned out to be the seal under the roof  aerial at the back, but as you've traced it to the bulkhead area the only way is to strip it until you find the leak.
How about fixings? have you undone, tightened or replaced any bolts,screws, or components in that area?

Brian
8227 Cool
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Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
Dedra Technical Adviser
Betaboy2.0
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« Reply #4 on: 19 January, 2010, 08:46:06 AM »

Might be way off the thread here, but my father had a similar problem years ago on an Alfa 164 Cloverleaf with A/C, filling its front passenger footwell with water.
After lots of investigation, it turned out to be the drain pipe from the A/C unit had become detatched, so instead of dropping the accumulated condensation onto the ground under the car, it was happily filling the car up with water!

Just a thought!

Andy
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'73 Beta 1600 S1 Berlina
'79 Beta 2000 S2fl Automatic Berlina
'80 Beta 2000ES S2 Berlina
'83 Beta 1600 S3 Berlina
'79 Gamma 2500 S1 Berlina
'82 Gamma 2500 S1 Coupe
'85 Gamma 2500 S2 Berlina
'82 Delta 1500
Dilambdaman
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« Reply #5 on: 19 January, 2010, 09:11:04 AM »

When I bought my Thema 18 months ago   from Chavda Popov he pointed out that the ECU down at floor level by the accelerator pedal was sealed in plastic. Water had been leaking from above into it and he had been unable to trace where from although I've not had any problem with it.

Robin.
PS Not sure that helps at all!  Grin
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Robin Lacey 3222

1932 Dilambda
1969 Fulvia S1 1.6HF Fanalone
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« Reply #6 on: 19 January, 2010, 02:39:36 PM »

Thanks to everyone for their input.

The drainage of the A/C might have something to do with this and I suspect that the outlet from the A/C is maybe blocked with the result that any water that gets in can only exit via the opening into the bulkhead from the condenser / evaporator (whatever it's called  Tongue) ).

I have noted that switching the A/C to recirculate cabin air does cause the windscreen to steam up which might indeed suggest water build up in the evaporator.

I recall talking to Chavdar about his Thema many years ago at a TDC AGM and he had just diagnosed the link between wet weather and his car cutting out. It was as, as you have reminded me, a water leak in the same location.

Hmmmmm.... lots to think about!?

Like Brian, I'm getting to the stage where the inconvenience is becoming a tad too annoying to tolerate.
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Current Cars: 1994 2.0 VIS Thema Station Wagon, 1967 Flavia 1.8 PF Coupe.

Previous cars:
1983 Prisma 1600
1991 Thema 16v i.e. SE
1988 Thema 8v Turbo
1992 Thema 16v i.e.
1983 Gamma Coupe (manual)
1993 Thema VIS
1994 Thema VIS LE
1990 Thema 2.8
Angle Grinder
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« Reply #7 on: 07 February, 2010, 08:22:48 PM »

I've been cautious about posting anything too soon on this subject, but I think the water leak is cured!!!  Grin

It looks like the water was dripping down into the air intake box where the A/C unit is mounted. The water could then get into the felt of the sound deadening via the bulkhead opening where the air recirculation flap is mounted.

I mounted a simple cover over the opening and all seems to be well (i.e. no steamy windows!).

I suspect that there is also a blocked drain hole in the air intake box, but I can't find it just yet. I'll probably need to remove the firewall divider to get access to it as I think its mounted on the fan side of the box. Advice on this is appreciated.

One last thing, I have next to no sense of smell (bear with me...), but my wife tells me that there is a bad smell when the air-con unit is switched on. This only started this winter when I was using the Air Con quite heavily to accelerate the demisting. Any ideas? Stagnant water in the condenser???  Huh?
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Current Cars: 1994 2.0 VIS Thema Station Wagon, 1967 Flavia 1.8 PF Coupe.

Previous cars:
1983 Prisma 1600
1991 Thema 16v i.e. SE
1988 Thema 8v Turbo
1992 Thema 16v i.e.
1983 Gamma Coupe (manual)
1993 Thema VIS
1994 Thema VIS LE
1990 Thema 2.8
fay66
Permanent resident
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Posts: 6001



« Reply #8 on: 08 February, 2010, 02:03:13 AM »

I've been cautious about posting anything too soon on this subject, but I think the water leak is cured!!!  Grin

It looks like the water was dripping down into the air intake box where the A/C unit is mounted. The water could then get into the felt of the sound deadening via the bulkhead opening where the air recirculation flap is mounted.

I mounted a simple cover over the opening and all seems to be well (i.e. no steamy windows!).

I suspect that there is also a blocked drain hole in the air intake box, but I can't find it just yet. I'll probably need to remove the firewall divider to get access to it as I think its mounted on the fan side of the box. Advice on this is appreciated.

One last thing, I have next to no sense of smell (bear with me...), but my wife tells me that there is a bad smell when the air-con unit is switched on. This only started this winter when I was using the Air Con quite heavily to accelerate the demisting. Any ideas? Stagnant water in the condenser???  Huh?
Hi Mike,
Aircon has a nasty habit of smelling like a polecat after a period,which is why many places including dealers offer cleaning/sterilising of the ventilation system, I once had the Ypsilon done and had to drive around for best part of a week with the windows open, it was enough to knock you off! many motor factors sell cans of the stuff to do it yourself.
I'll look and see if I can find where the airbox drain is located
Brian
8227 Cool
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Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
Dedra Technical Adviser
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