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How to Fix a Leak in a 1999 - 2004 Mustang Vert

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Old 02-06-2009, 05:48 PM   #1
clarehills
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Post How to Fix a Leak in a 1999 - 2004 Mustang Vert

Hey Folks,
I have 2000 For Mustang V6 Convertible and for a long time I was not able to have it out in the rain due to a leak that I could not find the source of. Finally I tracked down the location and have come up with a fix that I have tested and can now confirm that it works.

Before I go on, I just read some recent posts in this section with the title "Mustang Convertible Leaks" and the members in there seem to have found the exact same leaks as I (based on the descriptions they gave) so I think this is a really common issue - I also agree with the assessment by gdoc89 that the holes are caused by wear - it looks to be a point at which the material folds when lowered. Also I wanted to give a big thanks to 'undecided.steve' who was good enough to write me a huge email about where he thought the issue in his vert was located - turns out my issue was different though.

Anyway - on with the description!

Symptoms:
-------------
After rain or washing your car, the area behind the back seat has a puddle of water - ever hear a sloshing sound when driving around a corner? - Thats what is causing it. In very heavy rain dampness may also be found on the floor behind the front seats in the back seat foot wells and also in the trunk closest to the passenger compartment.

Cause:
-------
On either side of the back window, in the bottom corners, one or two wear holes will be present that allow the water to enter from the outside when it is present. The holes are difficult to locate (This is difficult to describe without pictures so have a look at the attached images as you are reading this) -

From the outside- Stand beside the car in front of one of the back wheels, facing the car. If you look at the rear glass you will notice there is a fold of material between you and the glass, slip your hand into it and slide your fingers down into the corner nearest you - feel around and you will find a small how about the size of a pea, possibly larger - that is the culprit. Look at the images below for a shot of where your hand should be.

This is where your hand should be:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...t/CIMG4762.jpg

This is where the hole is located if you were able to see it from the outside
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...t/CIMG4763.jpg


From the inside- Climb into the back seat facing the back of the car, on one side of the well behind the back seat rest (where the top goes when it is down), pull the curtain/headliner that is attached to the rear corner of the interior of the inside to one side, feel along the fold of material in the interior of the canvas top and you should find the hole in this location. Look the following images for a shot of where the hole I found was.

Here I am pointing at the location of the hole
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...t/CIMG4778.jpg

In the center of this image you can see some frayed material - that is a side view of the hole
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...t/CIMG4779.jpg

A better picture of the hole
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...t/CIMG4780.jpg


The Fix:
---------
The good news is that there is a cheap and easy way to fix these holes. In the other thread that I mentioned, antiv6 suggested a patch product that looks like it would work really well - if I could go back I would probably just buy that and use it. I fixed it by using stuff in a tube called VLP (see pictures of it attached) - I got it in ACE hardware for around $5 I think - can't quite remember now. I used the VLP and strips of vinyl that I cut off an old computer bag to patch the holes on the inside and the outside (just to be sure). Sticking the patch on the outside was easy because the fold of the top naturally presses the patch into the shape of the top and holds it in place until it is dry. The inside was more difficult however and I used two small pieces of wood top hold the patch over the hole and the attached large spring clips to apply pressure on the pieces of wood. Make sure you dont move the top or expose it to rain for at least 24 hours to let the glue cure. If you don't have an old cavas bag that you can cut up for patches just try to get some flexible material that matches your top as closely as possible - also make sure to use plenty of the glue - I did not spare it.


VLP glue
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...t/CIMG4782.jpg

The size of the patches I used, My hand is there for scale reference
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...t/CIMG4784.jpg

This is the shape that the patch will have when inserted under the flap over the hole
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/i...CIMG4785-1.jpg


The Results:
--------------
I made the fix a couple of weeks ago and have washed the car and driven in rain to see if the fix worked and so far it works great - I even put up and down the top a load of times to make sure that the glue stretches with the top and does not separate - again - it is holding just fine.

Feel free to PM me for any details I may have left out or to clarify how to do the fix.
Hopefully this will help someone else fix their leaky top - enjoy!
Clarehills
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:09 AM   #2
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Awesome post!
I will say my dad has a 98 vert and has the exact same problem. It did take us a while to find the holes as well, but our fix was a little different then yours haha. We tryed patching the holes but didnt have much luck, so we ran plastic tubes from the holes to under the car, so once the water comes in it just goes right back out!

Come spring if the tubes dont hold up I will def be getting some of that VLP glue you were talking about, thanks!
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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Wow - that is a really good idea! - Props to you for an simpler solution
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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Haha thanks, we'll see if it lasts through this summer though. It was a PITA getting the tubes to run down all nice and what not, but hope it holds up
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:26 PM   #5
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hats off to you! I tried this out on just one side of my car and so far it seems to be working. Tomrrow I am going to do the other side. Did you have leaks on both sides or just one?
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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For my dads car the holes were on both sides. Because the holes are caused by the top going up and down alot I would assume it would always happen on both sides, unless for some odd reason one side was getting more wear then the other, haha. Good luck with the fix!
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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Yep - I had it on both sides as well - both holes were about the same size - I am amazed this did not turn into a recall - perhaps it took too long to manifest itself...
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:46 PM   #8
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Yea thats probally why. I mean my dad got his brand new in 98, drives it about 9,000 miles a year, and it started about 2 years ago; so there is def no way Ford could of realized this to fix it. I am glad however that you found a good solution, as did we. We went to this guy who apperently knew where the holes were, and wanted $600 to replace the back window! Thus our tube idea started, haha.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:28 PM   #9
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Great write up. I had holes on both sides in the same place. I made a very similar patch but used 3m super weatherstriping adheisive instead. So far I have no more leaks but I havent put the top down since I patched it.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:41 AM   #10
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I probably lower and raise my top an average of 3-4 times per day (days when I drive the car, anyway), so I'm sure that's what caused it ... Mine appears to be in the bottom corners of the rear window though, since that's where the water looks like it's coming from.

I read through your directions for fixing the leaks, and I have a question: It seems like you have the top up when you apply the glue, but when you're letting it cure, do you have the top down? And do you do the inside and outside of the vinyl at the same time, or do you do one in one day, and the other the next day?

Thanks,

-John
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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What I did for these leaks was stand the top straight up to gain easier access to the holes under the flaps. I glued a 4x4 inch piece of vinyl to each hole on the outside using lots of Goop. I then closed the top and glued annother 4x4 patch around the fold inside. I then clamped the repair and let it dry. (I didn't need the car for a week, so I am sure it cured while I was gone.)

So far no leaks since Memorial Day.
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DraKhen99 View Post
I probably lower and raise my top an average of 3-4 times per day (days when I drive the car, anyway), so I'm sure that's what caused it ... Mine appears to be in the bottom corners of the rear window though, since that's where the water looks like it's coming from.

I read through your directions for fixing the leaks, and I have a question: It seems like you have the top up when you apply the glue, but when you're letting it cure, do you have the top down? And do you do the inside and outside of the vinyl at the same time, or do you do one in one day, and the other the next day?

Thanks,

-John

Hey John, sorry for not replying sooner - I was out in the field
I have the top up when I am applying it and when it is curing. I did it this way because I wanted the glue to set when the top was in its most strectched condition. That way when I put it down the glue can relax/contract. If I had done it the other way around I suspect that the glue would have been too stretched and would give out.

In answer to your second question, I did the inside one day and the outside the next day - there should be no reason you cant do them the same day though...

The fix I made is still holding perfectly - I dumped a few buckets of water on it at the weekend and not a drop

Hopefully you get the same results...
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:06 AM   #13
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this DEFINATELY needs to be a sticky, given that this is an all-too common problem. just went out to my car, and the two holes were right where you said they would be. i already purchased the tent repair kit talked about in another thread on here, but i haven't used it on the holes yet, so i'm not sure if this is the culprit or not. i normally just keep a towl in the back window of my car, and when it starts to stink, i trade it out with another one. we call it my car's tampon :lol:
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRSmart View Post
this DEFINATELY needs to be a sticky, given that this is an all-too common problem. just went out to my car, and the two holes were right where you said they would be. i already purchased the tent repair kit talked about in another thread on here, but i haven't used it on the holes yet, so i'm not sure if this is the culprit or not. i normally just keep a towl in the back window of my car, and when it starts to stink, i trade it out with another one. we call it my car's tampon :lol:
So I had a total of 3 holes, right where you said they would be. The problem is, they were all the way at the bottom of the top, resting on the frame of the car, so I couldn't use the patch material on them. As I took the vinyl boot off below the top, I discovered a water canal behind it, meant if any water got in between the top and the car. Problem is that the vinyl boot covers this, and the water that leaks in just stays in the boot. So what I did was cut a hole out of the top of the boot to allow the water to get behind the boot, to the water canal, and out of the car. So the top still leaks, but the water is just directed right out of the car again. It's a much easier way to "fix" the leak, and the piece of cloth that is screwed to the back of the car and attached by a bungee cord hides the hole that I cut. If anyone is interested in what I did I can take pics on Thursday.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:59 PM   #15
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Default Hole where window meets canvase

Any Ideas at the bottom of glass back window? Hole is in lower corners, so runs down window into the trunk, and gets amp wet.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Any Ideas at the bottom of glass back window? Hole is in lower corners, so runs down window into the trunk, and gets amp wet.
Depending on the location of the holes I would suggest either the patch method or the 'channel' method - creating a safe path from the hole to the outside of the car, both methods are described in previous posts in this thread.

Have a read and let us know of those approaches won't for some reason, good luck!
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:00 PM   #17
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That's a beautiful write-up! Thanks!

My 99 shows a little wear where those holes in the pictures are, but I don't think it's enough to let much water in. But my problem is at the bottom of the rear window. The vinyl roof material is glued to the glass itself (with some fake stitching for appearance), and that is coming loose. Before there was just about an inch on either side that wasn't tightly sealed, at the corners. Now one has opened, and more when I looked at it, so it's now 8" wide.

Does anyone know what kind of glue or sealant I can use to repair that? What will stick to the glass?

The initial problem is the vinyl boot behind the rear seat was filling up with water. It used to be a minor nuisance, but the other day a lot had collected, so it was pretty deep. We've had a lot of rain in DFW lately.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:14 PM   #18
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Dude, I would probably suggest some kind of flexible glue like the one earlier on in the post but if I was you I would go to ace hardware (or some such place where you live) and tell them what you need, they are a good bunch of lads and know their stuff:
- Flexible glue
- Long lasting glue
- Glue that adheres to glass/perspex and vinyl

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:32 PM   #19
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The 3M Weatherstripping stuff did the trick. I pulled the whole bottom part of the vinyl away from th glass and redid it all, and it's holding up great.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:45 PM   #20
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Glad it worked!
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:45 PM
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