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Old 08-14-2019, 04:50 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 15
Front cowling question and water leak

So owned my jeep Tj for literally only a few days and it’s leaking water dramatically, so I really feel like a jeep owner now haha.

I have seen that the front air intake cowling causes a lot of the foot well leaks but I have a uk and later model TJ (2006) and when I looked under the passenger side dash for the blower unit that it supposedly leaks through I didn’t have one like in the videos?, and without having time at the moment to take the front air intake cowling off my question is...

Do the front air intake and cowling layout stay the same for all country’s and years?, or are they reversed for uk spec along with the steering wheel or did they redesign the air intake later into the production.

Also the rear boot area leaks heavily, does anyone have any good ideas apart from what I have seen and read about the glass rubbers not seating against the tale gate properly?

Thanks guys, I can see I’m going to need this forum 😉

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Old 08-14-2019, 07:40 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Westchester, IL
Posts: 6,088
generally the cowl and air intake are seperate. there is an HVAC intake in the cowl area that can leak if the seal is bad. there is a drain that when clogged allows rainwater to back up and overflow into the interior or hvac intake. you can test this by running a garden hose into the cowl and looking for a leak inside. with reasonable water pressure the drain should be able to allow the hose to run all day.

i'd do the same for the top in the rear, sit inside and have someone hit it from the back with a hose. identify where the leak is coming from and focus on that area
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:09 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 26
I chased leaks in both of those places in my used 2001 TJ when I bought it. I live in the Pacific NW in the US so we get plenty of rain.

Check the cowl drain first as Ironhead suggested. If you look at the firewall in the center you can find where the water should exit. You can do this with a hose without taking the cowl off but it's pretty easy to remove the cowl too. While you have the cowl off you can also look at the HVAC intake box seal. My drain was clear and the gasket on the HVAC intake was completely rotten. I resealed the box with a tube of gasket maker. I still had the interior leak though. I think it ultimately was the seal around the HVAC hole in the firewall. You can slather sealant all round this area to waterproof as others suggest but I noticed that my hood to cowl gasket was pretty torn up at the ends and didn't reach all the way down the sides of the hood. I replaced this and it has kept enough water from reaching the firewall that my interior leak went away.

The rear leak was enough to wet the rear cargo area carpet and accumulate a centimeter of water in the rear passenger foot well before I realized it was leaking. I pulled all of the rear carpet, brought it inside to dry, and pulled the drain plug in the foot well until I could figure out the leak. Don't let it start to mold! I traced it to the corner area of the hard top. The window seal seemed fine. When I pulled the hard top the gasket was in tact all the way around but it was very compacted. I replaced the gasket all the way around and that resolved the leak.

As Ironhead suggested have a friend help you by running a garden hose around the outside while you sit inside and look for where the water comes in.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2019
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Thanks ironhead and bakes, so seems Mother Nature decided to give me perfect testing weather again today and it’s been raining heavily all day. I got back from work and checked all the areas discussed and have found that it’s the top corner of the right door (my drivers but your passenger side) that’s leaking, it’s running along the hardtop and windscreen gap and down to the top corner of the door, from there it’s running along the rubber to the bottom of the door and onto the floor there.

The rear is leaking through the bottom right corner of the glass tail gate where it meets the door, there’s a tinny gap made by the rubbers.

Next question is all the rubbers seem to be in order and look ok, and it doesn’t seem to look like even if replaced they would fit any better, thoughts?.

I have ordered some neoprene adhesive strip to see if I can pack out the areas, it also seems like the doors have an old school open cell foam stripping on them, that’s cant be much good right, is that original?
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:15 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 26
I haven't had any door seal issues with mine. If it were me I'd use a straight edge to check that the window frame isn't bent out of line with the door. I'd also check that the door latch doesn't have any obvious wear preventing the door from closing tightly. Lastly you could replace the seal around the door. The door seals are one continuous loop that clips into the door. Mine is pretty smooth rubber. If your doors have what appears to be open cell foam it may be someone's "custom" solution. Especially if it's glued or taped all the way around.

I have small gaps on both sides of the rear glass where it meets the tailgate but i don't get any water infiltration there. I recently replaced the seal at the bottom of the glass on mine and the new seal left the same small gaps. I'm not sure what's normal. Do you have brackets on the rear of the tub for a soft top rear window bar? They are not required with the hard top on. You can remove them to give yourself a flat area to add some weatherstrip to.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:39 PM   #6
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Location: Yazoo City, MS
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Was this TJ ever in an accident, even very minor, where either bumpers were hit? Mine (a 2003 Sport) was, and the frame was just slightly tweaked. It runs true, looks straight, and the issue has never caused enough of a headache for either me or the previous owner to have it fixed.

That said, the one thing where this is noticeable is that my left door does not close 100% along the top edge and the right one sits overly deep into the door surround. It is very minor, and neither door leaked. The left one had a lot of wind noise, though, and the rubber gasket on the right one was squashed flat.

I ended up replacing the door gaskets with new, and on the left side I added some extra at the top and on the right I trimmed it a little and put on some new adhesive in that spot.

If yours was tweaked a tiny bit this could account for leaks front and rear on the same side so that stuff no longer lines up perfectly anymore. Either way, it looks like you can fix it yourself inexpensively through some experimentation and general fiddling about.

I hope you get this sorted soon. Good luck!

2003 Shale Green Metallic TJ Sport
2013 Black JK Sport S

A yellow bird with a yellow bill landed on my windowsill. You know the rest...
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: California
Posts: 529
I use this for years, very thick silicone, its designed for sunroofs but I use it on door seals.
Hope it helps.
You will need a small 2" piece of sponge to apply

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