dealing with leaking drip rails - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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dealing with leaking drip rails

i've had my bronco close to 2 years now and have had leaks the entire time. since i live in texas we don't get THAT much rain usually, so i just park in the garage when it rains and i remember.

the leak would manifest itself as water in the door sill. what threw me off, though, was that it usually took a pretty good rain to leak. and sometimes it would leak towards the front of the cab and others it would be towards the back. i still don't rule out my windshield leaking but i think it varied because maybe the way i was parked (the angle of the bronco when it rained)

for a good while now, i've had the interior panels stripped trying to see where it was leaking. over the summer with the top off, i noticed a pretty good tear/hole on the drive side window drip rail. today i had some time and removed the interior panel behind the seat belt. it was an "ah-ha moment" for sure. and for the record, i'd looked at the drip rail before but hadn't seen the worst part because it was covered by the camper shell. and, really, i didn't think it looked that bad. but, obviously i was wrong.

i have researched and seen a couple options.
1) permanent fix - cut apart the body, do some welding, reinforcing, and painting.
2) semi-permanent/long temporary - silicone, rtv, or some other flexible sealing agent.

i prefer a permanent fix but don't have the time to do it before winter. so, i'm hoping for a very temporary solution that will last a few months. then, in the spring/summer, i'll either go with the semi-permanent fix or (hopefully) the permanent fix. i used 1" wide gorilla tape.

here are the pics.

























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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 04:13 AM
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well... it should buy you some time anyway. I'd bet my white '90 has similar cracks. damn floors always wet and obviously led to the cancer spot at the bottom corner of the body, by the rear of the pass. door. at least you caught it.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 09:06 AM
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I dig the gorilla tape fix...you'd fit right in down here...

yours isn't all that bad, now, but you're still going to have to dig into to it to fix it right. will mean pulling the trim from the inside cutting holes and reinforcing the corners of the drip rail from the inside. you're going to need to grind out all the old seam sealer, weld up any holes, then re-seal it..

it's time consuming to do it right. I've got a bunch of pics on supermotors that detailed my work..granted I wasn't overly concerned about the quality of the paint..just wanted to stop any further rust. that wa a little over two years ago and I'm getting ready to have to do it again..

If you're not running a soft top it should last longer..

1992 Ford Bronco Body Work and Rust Repair including drip rail R&R pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 09:36 AM
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Yo,
For a quick solution until springtime, you can use 3M seam sealer for the drip rails and especially the sail panel to 1/4 panel joint.
http://www.autozone.com/sandpaper-an...lk/167027_0_0/
Price: $ 14.99
"Dynatron™ Seam Sealer is a fast-skinning, permanently elastic, non-sagging formulation that is Brushable and paintable. Provides excellent adhesion to bare metal or painted surfaces and is a non-staining, all-purpose auto body joint and seam sealer.
Fast-skinning
Permanently elastic
Non sagging
Brushable and paintable
Provides excellent adhesion to bare metal or painted surfaces
Non-staining"

Read reviews @ Dynatron™ Seam Sealer
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 10:06 AM
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I played around with welding up the drip rails on my 91 roof, came out nice but the roof was trashed anyhow so i replaced it. It turned out to be not too bad a job once i got into it.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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i'll update this to say...the leaking has been reduced, but not stopped. i found that i have a leaky front windshield seal on the side but down toward the bottom on the driver side. i can pour water over that and it will appear in my floorboard.

for now, i'm going to spray seal it. i talked to some windshield installers and they want $100 to remove it and reinstall it. one guy said he could fix the leak without removing it for a little less, but i'm not sure i want to pay for that. that's what i'm going to do myself for the cost of materials. ha!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 10:09 PM
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I have worked in the glass and body industry for 30 years. A pin hole in the seam sealer will create a huge water leak. This was a problem when a lot of these rigs were new. I fixed a lot for the local Ford dealer. 3M makes a clear seam sealer that does wonders. Just clean everything good first.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 11:54 AM
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As we are talking about this a 92 F-250 rolls into my shop and is asking about his w/s leaking. Upon inspection of the w/s I pointed out to the owner that his problem was the drip rails. Sealed them with some clear 3M seam sealer and the leak is gone.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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What about something like this?

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Loctite-1...6891/206156418

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 03:54 PM
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When I was prepping the '90 for sale, I used a finger application of E6000 to seal the drip rail leaks. It dries clear, so color match isn't an issue.
The stuff stays somewhat pliable but sticks to everything and holds up against the elements so well... many snowmobiler's use it to repair tracks with busted lugs.
I tried it on my sled track and it held up through an entire season of riding and beyond... but I stopped riding so I can't say how long it would have continued to last.
Point being... used for this application (location, exposure, abuse), I figured it should outlast the paint, if not the whole rig.

The weirdest part is... it's generally bought by little old ladies for arts and crafts work. Probably one of the most underestimated products I've ever ran across.


Obviously it's not the best OEM repair... but for a patch repair that should last, I think it's great stuff.
I've got the same cracks on the '95 that I'll be trying it out on again.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offroadgearhead View Post
As we are talking about this a 92 F-250 rolls into my shop and is asking about his w/s leaking. Upon inspection of the w/s I pointed out to the owner that his problem was the drip rails. Sealed them with some clear 3M seam sealer and the leak is gone.

this stuff?

3M 8551 - Clear Auto Sealer | O'Reilly Auto Parts

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerPepe` View Post
When I was prepping the '90 for sale, I used a finger application of E6000 to seal the drip rail leaks. It dries clear, so color match isn't an issue.
The stuff stays somewhat pliable but sticks to everything and holds up against the elements so well... many snowmobiler's use it to repair tracks with busted lugs.
I tried it on my sled track and it held up through an entire season of riding and beyond... but I stopped riding so I can't say how long it would have continued to last.
Point being... used for this application (location, exposure, abuse), I figured it should outlast the paint, if not the whole rig.

The weirdest part is... it's generally bought by little old ladies for arts and crafts work. Probably one of the most underestimated products I've ever ran across.


Obviously it's not the best OEM repair... but for a patch repair that should last, I think it's great stuff.
I've got the same cracks on the '95 that I'll be trying it out on again.



i thought of that stuff was comparable to shoe-goo

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:10 AM
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I've used shoe-goo and trust me... E6000 makes that stuff look like silly putty.
seriously... I think everyone should have some in the shop... like bailin' wire and ductape.

even if you don't use it on this issue... get some. it's cheap and you can give it a try with some other things.
I nearly laughed at the guys on the sledding forum when they suggested it... but I dug around and found a few documented uses.
I was so impressed, I ordered up a tube online and have been keeping one in the shop ever since.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:26 PM
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Steve83 went the next step and cleared all of the factory installed expanding foam and repurposed a-pillar drains to keep water from collecting.



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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 10:17 AM
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Yep that's the stuff!
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by forbye View Post
Steve83 went the next step and cleared all of the factory installed expanding foam and repurposed a-pillar drains to keep water from collecting.



I removed those in my rig, guess what happens if you go through deep water?
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 04:25 PM
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Interesting. I need to check the 3M stuff out.

thanks
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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alright, well i gave up hope of getting these rails repaired properly in the near future. with that in mind i broke down and bought the 3M clear auto sealer - 08551. i did the drip rails and where i saw cracks in the sheet metal at the end of the seams. i took a couple other pictures but they didn't come out properly.

the 3M stuff went on great. not too runny except a couple spots. i did it yesterday afternoon. this morning the seams were pretty firm. i am going to touch up a couple spots in a day or two.

one note - i did notice that there were air bubbles along all of the cracks. it's particularly noticeable on the drip rail. is that normal?


3M Clear Auto Sealer 08551










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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:16 PM
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looks like that will do the trick until you can get around to a more permanent fix..as far as the air bubbles on the drip rail I think that's pretty common, as long as it's not rust. If I remember correctly mine had them too..I'm sure that sealer was slapped on there when they were on the line and no one worried how it looked..
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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well...a little update here. the truck still leaks on both sides. i knew the windshield on the driver side leaked. i determined this weekend that the passenger side also leaks. i took some pics to show you what i'm dealing with.

because i've FINALLY confirmed that the windshield is leaking on both sides, i decided to go ahead and reinstall all my interior trim. i've had the kick panels in my attic for probably a year and the pieces behind my seat belt were off since last fall.

for now i'm just gonna let it ride since it's not a huge issue. however, i think i want to get the windshield professionally removed and reinstalled. there are no chips or cracks in it, so no need to replace it. i have called a few folks and it looks like it'd be about $100. i'm just reluctant to gob more sealant on it. it just seems like it'll go right back to leaking in no time.

this is the passenger side



and then the driver side


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