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Old 05-25-2011, 08:46 PM
Al B Bach Al B Bach is offline
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Location: Earth
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW
Unfortunately, if you wish to replace the rear seal it is a one piece.... so removal of the window seems to be the norm as far as I understand and can see. I can't say this is true on all models as I have never done the rear seal. Unlike the front 'cover' it is a true seal and by what I can tell by ALLDATA and it is a wrapped seal that emcompasses the glass. I also recall reading this somewhere in this thread or elsewhere in the forum as I was going to tackle mine as well because my corner seals had gotten brittle. I used Gummi Phledge instead and got them pliable again. It does plauge US E39 owners with the natural rubber rotting. The front is the worst, but the corners in the rear also suffer the rot. Gummi Phledge is a good preventative to the rot if you can get it local. If not you can get it here , really worth the invest.
Next on the front seal.... I hope you won't run into probs down the line since you used mineral spirt to clean with, it will dissolve the sealent on the winndshield and break it down over the long haul. It may also cause a discoloration or breakdown of the laminate shield within the safety glass. Hopefully you just used it sparingly on a soft rag and wiped up excess quickly. Just giving you a 'possible' heads up and hope nothing will occure. For future I would recommed a little Dawn/water 1 - 10 ratio in a spritz bottle for clean up with soft brush followed by clean water wash. Use a little tire mount cream to install seals and wipe excess. Drys clean and won't damage paint or componet. Next apply fresh wax to area to protect paint finish.
On the leak.... it may be possible that it may be a drain hose from the sunroof casset. Repair is easy, but time consuming. You might notice a water stain on the C pillar, rear seat deck or headliner area that may look like a rear windshield leak if it is in the upper corners. If it runs down the inner windshield glass on to the seat deck, then it might be a glass seal leak indeed. I hope not. You can check this with a friend by SLOWLY running some water on the suspect area(s) while you are on the inside and your friend trickles the water from the outside. If it doesn't show around the glass, then move to the sunroof seal and allow water to flow into the water channels on the side. They are designed to run a SMALL amount of water past the felt seal, so don't flood it or you will get a leak! Remember this is for test purpose so do it slowly. Think like a gentle rain just in case it is not sealing properly. From the inside you should know if it is leaking from the drain hose. It may be possible that the drain cup and hose may be plugged with junk or mold and causeing the channel to flood. This is an easy fix if that is the case with some compressed air. If the hose needs to be replaced.... well that is more timely and will require the removal of the headliner and possible the casset itself to get at the drain cup. The set up is very similar to the E46 body so that should give you an idea of what to expect if you have to do that job.
In the end repairing right is the way to go if you have the coin and the time, but there is the inexpensive way to go as far as a get me by..... Silicon sealent. If you're careful you can do a nice job and it won't look to bad. I do mention this as it is a temporary fix, and I have seen some ugly attemps at doing it this way and in the long run is harder to clean up when you can fix it right.
I hope I helped and gave you some ideas,
Cheers, ABB
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