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-   -   Don't want leaks? Read this thread.... (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/dont-want-leaks-read-this-thread-365322.html)

NFRs2000NYC 10-29-2013 04:34 PM

Don't want leaks? Read this thread....
 
So Im on my second JKU, both with hardtops only. First one had 23K before I gave it up and I have never had a leak. From my time on forums, I have seen that most people have leaks due to seal issues. Well, here are two things to can do (one is cheap, the other is free) so it behooves you to do them.

1) Keep your seals healthy and greasy. I write about the product I recommend here. It is Honda Shin-Etsu grease. Will keep your rubber plump, pliable, and protected, letting it do it's job.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/sco...ad-357785.html

2) MAKE SURE YOUR SEALS ARE NOT PINCHED. Here is what Im talking about. After installing the SPOD, I noticed I pinched the seal. If I had left it like this, Im certain the top would have leaked in moderate rain.

This is what is SHOULD look like...

(ignore the white stuff, it's just excess grease)
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...ps295f4bc9.jpg

This is what it looks like if you pinch it.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...psb07ec129.jpg

If you see the seal pinched, undo the DRIVERS SIDE panel, lift it straight up (while sitting in the driver's seat) and put it back down. When you install the panels (passenger side first obviously) put it into position anyway you like then sit in the proper seat (passenger seat for passenger panel, etc) lift panel straight up then carefully lower it straight down, so it butts up against the seals STRAIGHT. Do NOT slide the panel into position, this will move the seal with it, and possibly leak. When both panels are properly in position, go ahead and tighten down all the latches. My method is visors, rear corners, front center, rear center. Go back up on top of the jeep and check seals, and make sure they are not pinched. If all good, tighten down the screw things. Go back up top, check seals again. If all good, take the palm of your hand, and run it from the main hardtop body to the freedom panels ( do one at a time). If the panel is slightly ABOVE the main top, tighten the screws a bit more. If the panel is sunken in BELOW the main top, you overtightened...go inside and back off the screw a bit...recheck until flush or as close to flush as possible.

Thats all she wrote folks.

CodyF36 10-31-2013 03:56 PM

Just took my 14 unlimited hard top off for the first time 2 weeks ago. Put it back on and it's creaking from the rear left somewhere. Thought I had it torqued too right so loosened it all up and applied almost no torque. Still creaks. Had a moderate to heavy storm last night and now I have leaks in the center of the freedom panels. Gonna take the whole top off, lube seals, and follow this write up to see if it helps. It's my first jeep and this is gonna be a PITA if the leaking and creaking doesn't stop.

NFRs2000NYC 10-31-2013 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CodyF36 (Post 5792666)
Just took my 14 unlimited hard top off for the first time 2 weeks ago. Put it back on and it's creaking from the rear left somewhere. Thought I had it torqued too right so loosened it all up and applied almost no torque. Still creaks. Had a moderate to heavy storm last night and now I have leaks in the center of the freedom panels. Gonna take the whole top off, lube seals, and follow this write up to see if it helps. It's my first jeep and this is gonna be a PITA if the leaking and creaking doesn't stop.

Question, did you buy off the lot and how long have you had it?

Old Dogger 10-31-2013 05:21 PM

Thanks Dave, great Info!
I use Vaseline on mine, it helps to seal, and keep the rubber ply able.
I'm in Phoenix and the sun really dry's them out!

Terex 10-31-2013 05:37 PM

I really don't think most people have leaks.

gsn 10-31-2013 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Dogger (Post 5794234)
Thanks Dave, great Info!
I use Vaseline on mine, it helps to seal, and keep the rubber ply able.
I'm in Phoenix and the sun really dry's them out!

Well, that's one good way to deteriorate them faster... if they are made of rubber, and with rubber I dont mean condoms.

The lubricant nfr posted is silicone grease based so its safe for pretty much all rubbery stuff. Now, the key question is whether or not the hardtop seals are made of rubber, or contain rubber. If they are, petroleum based products, including Vaseline's petroleum jelly will deteriorate them faster.

If shin-etsu is not available at your local store, dielectric grease will also do the job.

NFRs2000NYC 10-31-2013 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsn (Post 5794922)
Well, that's one good way to deteriorate them faster... if they are made of rubber, and with rubber I dont mean condoms.

The lubricant nfr posted is silicone grease based so its safe for pretty much all rubbery stuff. Now, the key question is whether or not the hardtop seals are made of rubber, or contain rubber. If they are, petroleum based products, including Vaseline's petroleum jelly will deteriorate them faster.

If shin-etsu is not available at your local store, dielectric grease will also do the job.

dielectic grease is expensive. If you can't find my grease and refuse to buy it online or at a local honda dealer, I'd probably use white lithium grease. The OEM seals are definitely rubber.

NFRs2000NYC 10-31-2013 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terex (Post 5794538)
I really don't think most people have leaks.

Many might not, but those that do might benefit from this little fix. I said many times that MOST leaks are due to user error (I hate that term trust me).

kbwwolf 10-31-2013 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terex (Post 5794538)
I really don't think most people have leaks.

Do a search on here. One of the most popular topics, and one of the most frustrating, for hardtop owners.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 5796106)
Many might not, but those that do might benefit from this little fix. I said many times that MOST leaks are due to user error (I hate that term trust me).

I hate that term, too, but, man, I really couldn't agree more. Good advice, if it helps hard top peeps...:drinks:

gsn 10-31-2013 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 5796074)
dielectic grease is expensive. If you can't find my grease and refuse to buy it online or at a local honda dealer, I'd probably use white lithium grease. The OEM seals are definitely rubber.

You would need to make sure the composition of the lithium grease does not contain petroleum distillates. For example, permatex's white lithium grease commonly sold in auto stores has 90% of petroleum distillates. Otherwise, it would be as bad, if not probably worse than petroleum jelly itself. All of the metal to metal/plastic lithium and calcium greases I've seen contain petroleum distillates. There may be some out there, I don't know how much of a good concept would be compared to the standard ones. But I'd say that all of the regular lithium grease available over the counter will contain petroleum products.

How much more expensive is it? A 3 oz can of dielectric grease goes for like 9$ where I live. And that's plenty to lubricate the top panels.

benzat 10-31-2013 08:25 PM

either the rubber is drying up and needs to be changed or what NFRs2000NYC said user error i will take pictures tomorrow of another error people seem to do when they put their hardtop back on and when i bought my car it came like this and my dealer showed how it was sitting wrong and fixed it

benzat 10-31-2013 08:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
actually i dont need to take pictures this pdf explains it all i found it on the forum when my top was leaking.

CodyF36 10-31-2013 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 5793522)
Question, did you buy off the lot and how long have you had it?

Yes I bought it straight off the lot. It was a very large dealer with the most jeeps I have ever seen. I honestly don't believe the top was ever popped before I did it myself. I have had it for about two months.

snobnk 10-31-2013 08:54 PM

look up jacks 327,its used in the swimming pool industry for all rubber gaskets and orings...good stuff

Scott2373 10-31-2013 08:58 PM

You're better off with straight Silicon spray. It may smell for a couple of days, but it's one of the first thing I do to all of my vehicles as soon as I get them into the garage. A nice coating of silicon on every single door seal will keep them supple and spongy. An application every year will ensure they never dry out.

JeeperJake 10-31-2013 09:02 PM

Thanks for the tips on seal care gents.

I found it useful on mine to periodically apply a silicone spray and wipe down the seal areas. I do that to the door seals and rear hatch also.

I've never had a 'leak' as such but did suffer a drip/drip/drip from the center seam a few weeks ago. It was parked on a very odd angle a little side-hill on my place, with the front up & right side up about 15* or so....and I actually SAW a drip down into the middle section of the shifter/seat area.

By coincidence, I had taken the panels off early that day for some solar therapy, and when I reinstalled them, running to do another errand, noticed a bit of a wind-gushing sound, coming from the center-windshield seam area. Should have been a cue right there.

Early in my Wrangler apprenticeship, I discovered during our first monsoon season together, that (lacking a garage) by parking with the driver side about 5* downhill, I could avoid the stream of water running off the roof that drips past the upper corner of the windshield, so when the door opens it falls directly INSIDE the frame rail onto the carpet. A little lean to the top and that all falls outside now.

NFRs2000NYC 10-31-2013 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CodyF36 (Post 5800442)
Yes I bought it straight off the lot. It was a very large dealer with the most jeeps I have ever seen. I honestly don't believe the top was ever popped before I did it myself. I have had it for about two months.

I was asking because if it sat on the lot for a while, the seals might have dried up a bit, coupled with possibly being installed incorrectly (I've seen pinched seals straight from the factory) and that can be your culprit.

NFRs2000NYC 10-31-2013 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsn (Post 5797746)
You would need to make sure the composition of the lithium grease does not contain petroleum distillates. For example, permatex's white lithium grease commonly sold in auto stores has 90% of petroleum distillates. Otherwise, it would be as bad, if not probably worse than petroleum jelly itself. All of the metal to metal/plastic lithium and calcium greases I've seen contain petroleum distillates. There may be some out there, I don't know how much of a good concept would be compared to the standard ones. But I'd say that all of the regular lithium grease available over the counter will contain petroleum products.

How much more expensive is it? A 3 oz can of dielectric grease goes for like 9$ where I live. And that's plenty to lubricate the top panels.

Excellent point. I stand by my recommendation of the Honda grease. I know it works, and works well. I've been using it on my s2000 for 10 years, and my last jeep for 2 years. Seals were/are PERFECT.

NFRs2000NYC 10-31-2013 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeeperJake (Post 5801554)
Thanks for the tips on seal care gents.

I found it useful on mine to periodically apply a silicone spray and wipe down the seal areas. I do that to the door seals and rear hatch also.

I've never had a 'leak' as such but did suffer a drip/drip/drip from the center seam a few weeks ago. It was parked on a very odd angle a little side-hill on my place, with the front up & right side up about 15* or so....and I actually SAW a drip down into the middle section of the shifter/seat area.

By coincidence, I had taken the panels off early that day for some solar therapy, and when I reinstalled them, running to do another errand, noticed a bit of a wind-gushing sound, coming from the center-windshield seam area. Should have been a cue right there.

Early in my Wrangler apprenticeship, I discovered during our first monsoon season together, that (lacking a garage) by parking with the driver side about 5* downhill, I could avoid the stream of water running off the roof that drips past the upper corner of the windshield, so when the door opens it falls directly INSIDE the frame rail onto the carpet. A little lean to the top and that all falls outside now.

I don't think the spray will do the job as well as the grease. Think of it this way....the grease is an island blocking the water, and the spray is a dam. The grease is simply a better barrier.

Old Dogger 10-31-2013 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsn (Post 5794922)
Well, that's one good way to deteriorate them faster... if they are made of rubber, and with rubber I dont mean condoms.

The lubricant nfr posted is silicone grease based so its safe for pretty much all rubbery stuff. Now, the key question is whether or not the hardtop seals are made of rubber, or contain rubber. If they are, petroleum based products, including Vaseline's petroleum jelly will deteriorate them faster.

If shin-etsu is not available at your local store, dielectric grease will also do the job.

Thank you for your comments regarding me using Vaseline on my Wrangler rubber seals!
I don't claim to be a expert on lubricants, but I have resided in HOT PHOENIX for about 40 years. I have always used Vaseline on my rubber door and window seals and my findings have been just the opposite from yours.
The Vaseline has always keep them pliable and looking like new. And just the thickness will also help to seal off wind and water leaks.

So as the old saying goes, if it's not broken, then don't fix it, so I will continue to use what has been successful for me.
But I do appreciate your comments!:thumb:

gsn 11-01-2013 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Dogger (Post 5805458)
Thank you for your comments regarding me using Vaseline on my Wrangler rubber seals!
I don't claim to be a expert on lubricants, but I have resided in HOT PHOENIX for about 40 years. I have always used Vaseline on my rubber door and window seals and my findings have been just the opposite from yours.
The Vaseline has always keep them pliable and looking like new. And just the thickness will also help to seal off wind and water leaks.

So as the old saying goes, if it's not broken, then don't fix it, so I will continue to use what has been successful for me.
But I do appreciate your comments!:thumb:

Yes, I know you were going to post that, but you were the only one who mentioned vaseline. Lets say, I posted it as general reference/warning for the rest of the people.

I doubt many consumer grade petroleum jellies are highly refined to the point of having no aromatic or naphthenic residue, thus people find that, sometimes, they damage rubber parts. Hence why many people recommend silicone based greases, its just the safe bet for the same protection. It could also be the case that there is more elements other than rubber on the seals thus slowing its decay.

MTNJeep 11-01-2013 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 5796106)
Many might not, but those that do might benefit from this little fix. I said many times that MOST leaks are due to user error (I hate that term trust me).

I agree, I had a few minor leaks and all but one were my fault. Live and learn.
...and thx for tip on grease in another thread. I picked it up a few weeks ago and no leaks!

heinzbean 11-02-2013 04:17 AM

My 2 door Jk seals were repaired by the dealer earlier in the year (warranty job). They were quite pleased with their repair. I tried the jeep for a couple of weeks, Washing it hosing it jet-washing it plenty of rain showers no puddle in the right hand side foot-well.
I installed my Best top Trektop, absolutely fantastic no leaks whatsoever. Winters here now so I reinstalled Hard top guess what puddles in the right hand side footwell.
This has to be human error.
I have tried re-seating the panels. I noticed that my rear fastener knobs were just spinning once tightened (running out of thread then just spinning).
I have fitted 2 large washers and now there seems to be enough tension to pull the panels down onto the rubbers.
If this hasn't worked I will try the silicon grease they sell silicon grease in most plumbers merchants
Maybe best top should look at making a hard top seal kit they seem better at it than jeep.

beufort67 11-26-2013 02:15 PM

does anyone have a leak at the drivers door? it drips down on to the door panel right above the door handle and then drains down the side of the door and pools in the floor board....im not ruling out user install error...but damn there are only so many ways you can put it on!

Up Hill Bill 11-26-2013 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 5802290)
... I stand by my recommendation of the Honda grease. I know it works, and works well. ...

I took NFR's recommendation of Shin-Etsu grease two years ago and thank him for it again. It's helped my leaky freedom tops a ton - rarely get a few drops now.

The expensive seeming tube of grease [Honda Shin-Etsu Grease : Amazon] looks like it's going to last a very long time. I apply it by hand and rub it in using one of those cheap rubber gloves that come in boxes of 100 for a few bucks - quick, easy and thorough way to apply!

beufort67 11-26-2013 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Up Hill Bill (Post 6402842)
I took NFR's recommendation of Shin-Etsu grease two years ago and thank him for it again. It's helped my leaky freedom tops a ton - rarely get a few drops now. The expensive seeming tube of grease [Honda Shin-Etsu Grease : Amazon] looks like it's going to last a very long time. I apply it by hand and rub it in using one of those cheap rubber gloves that come in boxes of 100 for a few bucks - quick, easy and thorough way to apply!


I don't understand how a brand new vehicle with less than 6k miles (and the hard top has been on for less that 2k ) could possibly leak due to bad seals.....I mean I'll buy the grease because it sounds like good future proofing....but just don't make sense to me!

NFRs2000NYC 11-26-2013 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Up Hill Bill (Post 6402842)
I took NFR's recommendation of Shin-Etsu grease two years ago and thank him for it again. It's helped my leaky freedom tops a ton - rarely get a few drops now.

The expensive seeming tube of grease [Honda Shin-Etsu Grease : Amazon] looks like it's going to last a very long time. I apply it by hand and rub it in using one of those cheap rubber gloves that come in boxes of 100 for a few bucks - quick, easy and thorough way to apply!

Exactly what I do. Grab a nitrile glove and get to greasin'. Rained a number of times, 100% leak free. My tube is JUST starting to run out, and I've had it since my first JK, so just over 2 years. $11 well worth it. :D Glad it worked out for you.

http://static.fjcdn.com/large/pictur...8d_1336312.jpg

NFRs2000NYC 11-26-2013 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beufort67 (Post 6402962)
I don't understand how a brand new vehicle with less than 6k miles (and the hard top has been on for less that 2k ) could possibly leak due to bad seals.....I mean I'll buy the grease because it sounds like good future proofing....but just don't make sense to me!

Its not a matter of "bad seals." There are three issues with the top seals...

1) They are SLIGHLY (IMHO) undersized, so when the top is installed, there isn't a very strong seal when the rubber butts up, so the grease helps create a better water barrier. This grease also puffs rubber up, again, aiding in the sealing.

2) Unless you ordered your Jeep from the factory, chances are, it may have sat on the lot for the while. The sun dries rubber out, and with an already undersized seal, it may have contracted a bit thus letting water in. Greasing will heal that issue. Many dealers will replace the seal, and the customer is fine for a few months, then it starts to leak because the sun dried them a bit.

3) The most common, is user error, including the factory. I was at my Jeep dealer recently, and just for fun, walked around their lot looking at Wranglers' freedom panels, I counted 10 that had pinched seals like the photos above. many people also install their panels back incorrectly, causing leaks.

It takes a few minutes of your time every 6 months, and just a quick check after you re-install them to ensure you have years of trouble free service from those damn seals.

beufort67 11-26-2013 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 6403714)
Its not a matter of "bad seals." There are three issues with the top seals...

1) They are SLIGHLY (IMHO) undersized, so when the top is installed, there isn't a very strong seal when the rubber butts up, so the grease helps create a better water barrier. This grease also puffs rubber up, again, aiding in the sealing.

2) Unless you ordered your Jeep from the factory, chances are, it may have sat on the lot for the while. The sun dries rubber out, and with an already undersized seal, it may have contracted a bit thus letting water in. Greasing will heal that issue. Many dealers will replace the seal, and the customer is fine for a few months, then it starts to leak because the sun dried them a bit.

3) The most common, is user error, including the factory. I was at my Jeep dealer recently, and just for fun, walked around their lot looking at Wranglers' freedom panels, I counted 10 that had pinched seals like the photos above. many people also install their panels back incorrectly, causing leaks.

It takes a few minutes of your time every 6 months, and just a quick check after you re-install them to ensure you have years of trouble free service from those damn seals.

it was ordered from the factory, hardtop was removed the day it was delivered. and just put back on a month ago. the top hasn't been in the sun, except for the past month, so I don't think the sun is the culprit. I think i am lol! Prob didn't put the panel on right, especially since it isn't leaking where everyone elses is apparently.... but im still gonna get the grease, good call :)

Jamie lee 11-27-2013 05:09 PM

Had my JKRU X for 3 weeks.... Rained today and the top corner of the driver's side door leaked, right under top frame bracket. Really not happy :-/


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