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Old 08-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #1
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Long Island rain and a TJ leak

Hey all

Long Island got 13" of rain today and my TJ decided to deposit 4" of said rain in the front drivers side floor board. I have no clue where to start looking for the leak. I've owned this jeep since March 2013 and never had water leak in. Any suggestions?

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Old 08-13-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
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If it didn't leak from the top, it may have come in through the bottom weep holes if the water was deep enough.

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Old 08-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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If your Jeep is commonly parked in an area where there are a lot of trees/leaves, it could be that your cowl drain is plugged. Here's directions on how to clean it out:

Jeep Cowl Clean Out

Open the hood, and there is a screw along the edge on each side behind the weather stripping, pull those out. Close the hood and pull off the wiper arms, then remove the 4 screws along the top and the one in the louver.

After that you can remove the cowl cover. In the very center underneath is a sheet metal tunnel that runs straight down...that is the cowl drain. There is a rubber flapper on the bottom that you cannot see, but they get plugged up with leaves and debris and cause the area to fill up with rain/car wash water, then spill over and come through your fresh air vents. Take something long and flat, like a yard stick, and stick it down through the flapper on the bottom (you have to feel for it) then turn it sideways to open it up. Use a hose with a sprayer on it and flush it out real good...you should see all kinds of junk coming out from under your Jeep.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:28 PM   #4
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I'll give that a try. Thanks Dennis. Oranjeep, it was parked in my driveway when it leaked.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:45 PM   #5
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My guess is the cowl drain just could not handle the amount of rain that came down so fast. I would wait until the next regular rain storm before driving yourself crazy. But be sure to remove any carpet and padding and completely dry out the interior or you will have a smell for the rest of the jeeps life. I had many many inches of rain over the years and there is zero smell in my jeep. Rain stopped coming in and if it does I know what to do.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
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Problem was the volume of rain. Probably nothing really wrong. My soft top keeps me nice a dry, no leaks, except when Sandy came through. Then I had some interior puddles.

Dry it out, and wait for the next normal rain. Then see if you have a problem.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:23 PM   #7
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On the driver's side, it's probably the door seal. Mine does the same thing occasionally (leaks right at the bottom of the A pillar), there was a TSB out for it but since I don't have Alldata access I'm not sure of the details.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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I had the same problem in my 99. It was the common cowl vent issue for the passenger side and the door seal for the driver.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:23 PM   #9
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I thought they were supposed to leak.
Mine leaks at the top of the hardtop and the windshield after serious off roading trips where the twisting and tweaking of the cab shifts the position of the hard top.
I just have to loosen everything and realign it.
Then the leaks go away……….. until the next time.

I don't know how the sand got in there, but dust sure seems to find a way in.
Seems like the dust comes in from everywhere.
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:19 PM   #10
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Related to cowl drain - By coincidence I went to clean my cowl drain out again for the umpteenth time. I decide to get rid of the plastic insert that fits into the drain opening this time. That thing just traps all the stuff and makes it 10 times more likely to leak. And if you still have the rubber condom thing at the bottom of the plastic drain assembly you need to get rid of it ASAP. That was the first thing to go on mine in '97, in other words right after I bought my TJ.

Anyway, I got sidetracked as I meant to write about the real possibility that if you've had to clean out the cowl drain more than a couple of times you might very well have a ton of crap in your fan blower housing. When the drain clogs and the water flows through the fan housing to fill your floorboard it is probably carrying all the floating debris with it. It ends up clogging the narrow passage inside the blower housing. It isn't obvious and the opening is hard to find. You have to reach into the fan housing after removing the blower fan (about a 15 minute job - have to take out battery, remove computer housing and tie up out of the way then 3 screws to get fan out), You need to feel around in the area inside the housing toward the front and center of the dash. Mine was packed so full of wet crap that it was pretty obvious. I started digging into the mess with my fingers and figured out it was actually packed into an opening. I pulled out pine straw that had to have been in there for over 10 years! Duh! I had no idea. Anyway, I got it out by hand then with a wire then finally blew the crap out of it with a leaf blower. Once I put it back together I tested it out and am sure my AC blows a lot better than it has in years.

This is the kind of info you don't get from the service manual. Also, I found the blower motor pretty hard to turn. About the only thing that could cause that is the motor bearings. I didn't have time to tear the thing apart so settled for a few drops of oil into the bearing housings. It helped. That motor also has brushes. Being pressed for time I didn't pull them out but can see another possibility for blower motor failure right there. I probably ought to just order another motor and be done with it.

PS - The motor itself is inside a plastic shield. That comes off. Remove the two small torx-screws on the end of the housing once the motor assembly is out of the TJ. Work the plastic housing off. Mine was pretty tight but not too bad. I didn't pull the squirrel cage fan off - frozen on. Manual said something about a clip but I didn't see one holding the fan on. If I have to I'll figure out how to get it off next time.

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