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E30 ROOF LEAK

Posted by harps325i 
January 08, 2013 10:42AM
Hi I am having a nightmare with my e30 325i convertible it has a original hardtop as well as the soft top and they both leak in the top corners. I don't get to drive the car as much which means when i go to the car after a while because of the damp conditions the leather has mould on it, the carpets are wet and I'm sure the water is causing other issues i.e getting in places like the doors and messing up the central locking.
I need a garage which is competent to deal with all these issues, i live in slough but dont mind traveling. I've tried the sealant in the corners and it never worked very well.
or if someone knows a good contact for replacement seals at affordable prices that would be great, I'm sure the outside seals for the windows which sit horizontally need replacing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2013 10:44AM by harps325i.
January 08, 2013 06:52PM
Convertibles Only in downtown Seattle can fix it for you.

Bob in Everett
January 09, 2013 04:24PM
Well, I guess it is not necessary to sail half world to fix the roof, there should be something local, any garage capable with soft-tops and convertibles should fix the leak! There used to be plenty soft top cars in the UK...My experience is that kind of work is tricky for the average DIY guy, unless the problem is very obvious, which is not the case.

Perhaps that is the way the car found to ask for a shelter, considering it's not driven often...:whistle:
February 11, 2013 01:50AM
Quote
harps325i
Hi I am having a nightmare with my e30 325i convertible it has a original hardtop as well as the soft top and they both leak in the top corners. I don't get to drive the car as much which means when i go to the car after a while because of the damp conditions the leather has mould on it, the carpets are wet and I'm sure the water is causing other issues i.e getting in places like the doors and messing up the central locking.
I need a garage which is competent to deal with all these issues, i live in slough but don't mind traveling. I've tried the sealant in the corners and it never worked very well.
or if someone knows a good contact for replacement seals at affordable prices that would be great, I'm sure the outside seals for the windows which sit horizontally need replacing.

Hi Harps,

Well, I too have a convertible with hard and soft tops in San Francisco, CA. Shortly after purchasing the car 6 yrs ago, I removed the hard top, bagged it in a mattress bag, and stored it. The climate here is temperate enough and the car's heater is powerful enough that I really don't need the hard top. Yes, both the hard and soft tops leaked. I took the car to an auto upholstery and top specialist in Novato CA. There were 2 main problems: leaking and torn fabric at the corners just behind the rear side windows. (If you have this torn fabric problem, let me know and I'll share that story.) The specialist solved the torn fabric problem. In addition he added (glued on) some thin rubber strips on the top side of the top's metal frame work above the side windows. He seemed to think this was important. This guy is a perfectionist of a sort- and I decided to take him at his word. When I drove into his shop the first day, it was filled with Italian sports cars. I felt that I had to convince him that he should work on my car because I really loved it, and I wanted it to be better.

As for the leaking, here was our conversation summarized:
Me: Please, can you fix the leak?
Him: Well, I can spend alot of time, and you can spend alot of money. But there is no guarantee that the work will fix the leak. I'll see what I can do that is reasonable.
Me: OK. Let's go with reasonable.

As he said, the work reduced the leak but did not eliminate it.

My leak occurs at the rubber seal at the top of the wind shield where 3 items press together: the top of the wind shield frame, the motorized window glass, and the top of the door's fixed triangle window.

I reduce the water intrusion by:
1 - parking uphill (car nose higher). This means that the fabric top's front edge is the highest point and improves the rain run-off. There are plenty of hills near my apt.
2 - I keep 4 large micro fiber towels in the car. If I think it might rain, I check the forecast on my phone. If needed, I shove one towel into the passenger door's interior handle. The other lays on the seat edge/side closest to the door. If the forecast mentions a large storm, then I might shove a third towel in the gap between the door and the seat. Then on the drives seat, I make a towel pile on the front left seat corner and gently close the door. Micro fiber absorbs much more water than cotton.

While this system is not perfect and does require my attention, it does work quite well. I devised this out of necessity and based on the specialist's comments. I was under the impression that not much more could be done to stop the leak. The good news is that I only have damp carpet maybe twice per year. In which case, I'd dry the carpet with the towels as best i can and then blast the heater. My car does not have any musty smells or mold problems. Behind the driver's seat, the carpet was water damaged before I bought the car. The removable floor mats cover this.

If helpful, I can post some pictures of the towels in the rain configuration. Let me know.

Cheers, Kelly
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