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How to fix 230 boot leaks (new version)

Discussion in 'Bodywork, Tyres, Wheels & Trim' started by television, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    How to fix 230 boot leaks (new version)




    The 230 water leaks can be the rear window bottom rubber, and/or the C pillar seals or both.
    To check them, after the car has been out in the rain for some time, wipe the boot lid dry, and open it. Feel under the C pillar where it meets the rear window where the 2 drain pipes are fitted, if your hand or fingers have any water on them, then its leaking.

    The rubbers around the rear window and C pillars could be badly distorted due to the moss and debris that is under the rubber, or the rubbers can still be laying flat. Do not assume that this only affects the early cars, it does not and my 2009 car was as bad under the rear screen as my 2002 car.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The rear rubber that is under the window has 2 water channels; the one nearest to the boot is nothing more than a drain channel to catch any water that would run off the boot if you opened it in the rain or while wet. The drains at the top of the wings deal with this water.
    The water channel nearest the rear window is the main channel and it is this as above that gets out of shape, there are 2 drains just under the C pillars in the form of pipes.

    To get started with the car on level ground, you need to get the roof partially open in the intermediate position. You will need a piece of wood about 9” long by 6” wide, Start to open the roof and as soon as the top has moved back about 12” stop and turn off, the bleeper will sound, but that will stop. After 7 seconds the roof will slide forward again, or you can pull the roof forward, hold the wood so that it is on the roof lining and A pillar top lining as in the picture.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The first thing to do is the rear seal at the bottom of the rear window, it is held on with 2 nuts at each end. I found it easier to pull the rubber off by lifting in the centre of the screen, and work your way to the ends, just pull the bottom out all the way along and it comes off, this way no damage to the rubber.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I used petrol on metal plate under the glass to clean of the old sealer. The rubber is much harder to clean. I found that a blunt wood chisel took most off, but much easier using a warm air gun and scraping again, finally cleaning down with petrol and 99% was removed

    [​IMG]

    You can use any silicon rubber sealer, I have used the Loctite 5940 and those sold by motor shops. Again as the rubber is only stuck to the metal, it was easier to run two beads of sealer, one under the curve on the metal, and another below.
    [​IMG]

    By putting it on the metal you do not smudge it when fitting the rubber. Start at one end by putting the screw studs through the holes and work your way along to the other end. Gently press the rubber down all the way along making sure that it is pushed up at the bottom all the way along. One can leave it for ½ hour at this stage. Now run your finger along and make sure it is all flat and open then roof so that the wood is free, and close the roof completely so that the boot is closed. The next job is to run a thin bead of sealer under the top edge of the rubber, easily done, just lift the top of the rubber at the top one end and insert the sealer nozzle and squeeze out a thin bead of sealer all the way along. Next start pressing down the rubber so that it flattens. Leave for ½ hour and go back running your finger all the way along the rubber and it will slowly go flat. Any sealer that has oozed out at the top can be wiped away with petrol on a cloth.

    If your rubbers were dead flat when you started, then that is it, leave for 1 day in the dry if you can.

    If you rubbers were distorted and lost their shape, you will need to do the following while the sealers are still soft. You will need 2 pieces of standard hose pipe with some insulating tape wrapped around to make it slightly fatter so that it is a tight fit when pushed down between the 2 bottom rubber channels will do the job nicely. On my early car the rubbers were badly out of shape, so I pushed 2 pieces of hosepipe in about 9” long, they can be cut down to about 1½" in the final stages. We are only using the 9" long pieces to stop the rubbers from pulling away while the sealer sets.

    This will not stop the draining channels from working as any excess water will go through the hose pipe, plus when all done and sealer set these pipes can cut down to 1½”

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    C pillar seal

    The next job is the C pillar seal, here we have the problem that water will go down the outside, up on the inside into the boot. I found it best to do the inside first. One can only do 90% of this as no access and done with the roof down and boot open by letting the roof open backwards and stopping when open. Just lift the rubber seal and if dry and clean squeeze some sealer all the way round as far as you can get, the last bit you can do later. Make sure all flat and sealed, tape it down if need be. Next the roof has to go back to the intermediate position by inserting the wood in the front again. You must clean out the muck and moss from the bottom of this rubber, a strong vinegar will kill the moss and cannot harm paintwork. Once dry squeeze in the mastic all the way to both ends. The hose pipe will be needed again to keep the pressure on the rubber to keep nice and flat to the metal
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My thanks to Steve (carnut) for driving down to take the pictures.

    This car had been subject to a very poor repair and a mess
    [​IMG]
    The end of the day
    [​IMG]
     
    silestanix and gramey like this.
  2. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Could a moderator please put this in the DIY body section please and leave a post for members to comment on.
     
  3. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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  4. Geordie Boy

    Geordie Boy Senior Member

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    Just been out to my 2005 350, and yet again, following a down pour my "Meguires Water Magnet Towels" are soaked, i have these on the pull out section to catch water.

    How long does it take you to complete these works ( are you available for a fee?) would love to get mine sorted.

    George
     
  5. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Yes I can do it, but it can take up to about 4 hours in all, the longest job is removing the old sealer from the rubber.

    Just noticed that you are in Berkshire, and I did the one in the DIY from there.
    You would have to come to me.
     
  6. Geordie Boy

    Geordie Boy Senior Member

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    Malcolm,

    i have sent you a PM.

    George
     
  7. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Thanks and Email sent with details.
     
  8. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Please will a moderator please pop this in the DIY as in post 2 and 3.
     
  9. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    One can take hours writing out these things, and no mod can be bothered to put it in the DIY.

    Why should I or anyone bother any more :(
     
  10. Gkinghorn

    Gkinghorn Senior Member

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    I reported it..

    Sent from my SM-P605 using Tapatalk
     
  11. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    Didn't know you did Major...:rolleyes:

    Posted 30th copied to DIY 01st, I wish everything was that bad :)
     
  12. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    It becomes a pain when I have to search for a link that should have been moved, many were waiting for this.

    Thanks for moving it, it would be nice if my post below the old one by aitch 55
    was removed as its all a mess.
    http://forums.mercedesclub.org.uk/showthread.php?t=82443
     
  13. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    It is moved as Blob has said.

    Mods do not look at each and every thread...I hadn't looked at this one until this morning...if I had seen it, it would have been moved as requested. It may be better to send a PM with your request, because that way I, or any of the others, will be aware.
     
  14. Alex Crow

    Alex Crow Senior Member

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    Well done Malcolm, a picture paints a thousand words!

    For those actually replacing the C-pillar seals with brand new ones (a job I hate with a passion), I suggest using the 'adhesion promoter' provided by Mercedes, part number A0059860210 to be used to help bond that sealing lip to the pillar.
    Without it, expect the foam sealing strip to come away when the boot lid is closed!
    It may only be Isopropyl alcohol (who knows), bit it makes a world of difference.
     
  15. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Actually Alex I have never had to replace the C pillar seals, even when they have been in a shocking state, and badly deformed. I have done 7 cars now and more coming in. Where the seals are badly miss shaped I insert the hose pipe that is left in for a while till the seals retake up their natural shape again, the hose can then be removed if the owner wishes to, but at just 1½" long they can stay.

    Cleanliness is the order of the day, the main thing every time is the removal of the moss that forms in the bottom of the C pillar seals, and it is the cleaning that takes the time, as one has to do the inside as well.

    I have no faith at all in the tape that is used by mercedes. My old SL is still perfectly dry in the boot, and the seals were shocking on that car, and I did that car about 2008/9

    [​IMG]
     
  16. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    For anyone reading this and you do not fancy in doing this yourself, I will do it.

    The cost is £40 per hour, and it takes from 2 to 4 hours depending on the state of it. There are no material cost.

    One has the choice of watching and talking or you can go down to the sea front and do what you like.

    I am not a business any longer, I do it because I can :D
     
  17. Philedge

    Philedge Senior Member

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    Anyone fitting a second hand seal due to damage, just scrape off the original adhesive sealing strip, clean the seal and C pillar thoroughly, degrease with meths or as above and use a good quality adhesive. If planning on resealing or replacing a seal then accurately mask off the C pillar following the edge of the seal accurately. This will stop sealant getting onto the C pillar.
     
  18. Alex Crow

    Alex Crow Senior Member

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    I find cleaning away the dirt and adhesive residue takes a large part of the time, as has been said above. Hard surface cleaner works very well on the dirt, and brake cleaner on the adhesive - neither harming the paint work if cleaned off carefully.
    When fitting new, there is a strip of butyl sealing also required for each side, at approx £20 +vat, and beware damage to trims and so forth! Same with the new seal for the rear screen, a length of extra butyl also required. Workshop time for all 3x comes to circa 4.5hrs, but it does take a lot longer!
     
  19. OP
    television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    The very important part when sealing the C pillars is doing the inside. As I have said I never change the seals, not much point as they have a short life.

    once any water does go in from the outside, it runs down to the bottom of the U shaped section and up the other side into the boot. there are overlapping welds on the C panel and the water can run down the edge of the metal, as the tape usually spans this, and runs up the other side into the boot. I seal the inside, then this cannot happen.
     
  20. ajp558

    ajp558 Active Member

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    Malcolm,

    People like me need you to bother. I absolutely love my R230 but the first fortnight of ownership was a nightmare with the constant leaks no matter what the dealer tried. Then I found your original post and they followed it to the letter. The boot has been bone dry ever since. You work has allowed me to enjoy 2 years of happy ownership of the best car I have ever had (including a brand new Porsche 911 and TVR Griffith 500).

    I am forever indebted to you and this forum, so please don't give up.

    PS. I left the small pieces of hosepipe covered in black tape inside my seals and the fix is still as good as new.

    Best wishes,
    AJP
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

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