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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 01-03-2011, 03:42 AM
bmw_jeff_325i bmw_jeff_325i is offline
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Koi Pond

[QUOTE=franka;5738318]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_jeff_325i View Post
behind the rear passenger foot well (drivers sideQUOTE]

Behind...? or did you just mean the rear footwell?
I mean in the rear footwell.....puddles on the floor board of the rear passenger behind driver....another thing to point out is that the carpet only felt slightly damp.....where as underneath...the foam backing was like a soaken wet sponge....in addition the verticle section of carpet connecting to the door sill was not wet at all........these are the possibilites running through my mind:
1 - Is the door vapor barrier the issue? I really dont think so anymore. It was originally as evident by the stains on the interior side of the door panel near the light.
2 - Is it the AC? How could it be? We just had 14 inches of snow last Sunday...no AC has run in CT for a while.
3 - Is it the fact that my windshield was replaced a couple of months ago? Im grasping at straws with that one. Could there possibly be any connection? It was OEM glass. Is the windshiled frame cover not installed properly letting water into the car?
4 - Is my sunroof drain the culprit? Im thinking more and more that it could be.

What a PIA. Any further major investigation will have to wait until the weekend....and it will probably end up being 20 degrees out.
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  #27  
Old 01-03-2011, 06:39 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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If you have leaky moonroof drains I'd be curious to know which corners are leaking down to the rear passenger floorwells. I had leaky rear door vapor barriers but the water from those leaks never got into the cabin, only soaked the door sills.

Went through the leaky moonroof saga a few weeks ago during a spell of frequent, heavy rains. (Never noticed leaks in moderate rains.) At first I thought somehow the new windshield molding was leaking (easy to suspect things like that). Turned out bad draintube connections at the moonroof drains on the front two corners were leaking rainwater slowly down the A pillars. The molding (glazing) around the new windshield isn't a water seal; my windshield wasn't leaking at all....

Do you park your car on an incline?
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  #28  
Old 01-03-2011, 06:46 AM
bmw_jeff_325i bmw_jeff_325i is offline
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Koi Pond with no fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post

Do you park your car on an incline?
My driveway has a very slight incline.
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  #29  
Old 01-05-2011, 08:02 AM
bmw_jeff_325i bmw_jeff_325i is offline
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Lightbulb goes off in my head.

[QUOTE=bmw_jeff_325i;5739118]
Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post

I mean in the rear footwell.....puddles on the floor board of the rear passenger behind driver....another thing to point out is that the carpet only felt slightly damp.....where as underneath...the foam backing was like a soaken wet sponge....in addition the verticle section of carpet connecting to the door sill was not wet at all........these are the possibilites running through my mind:
1 - Is the door vapor barrier the issue? I really dont think so anymore. It was originally as evident by the stains on the interior side of the door panel near the light.
When I re-adhered my vapor barrier a few weeks back I never actually removed the rear seat and pulled the carpet up to see the status of water in the insulation and floor board below. I only set up a heater fan placed in the footwell for a couple of hours one night. This of course succeeded in drying the carpet but certainly could not have dried out the 1.5" of insulation and water accumulated in the depressons of the floorboard below. What I witnessed this past Sunday could have been the original leak.

Anyway...this thought has helped me sleep at night...
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  #30  
Old 01-10-2011, 07:12 AM
bmw_jeff_325i bmw_jeff_325i is offline
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Windo-Weld

Yesterday in sunny 32 degree weather, I removed and re-adhered 100% of my vapor barrier on the drivers side passenger door using the 3/8" 3M windo-weld and my wife's hair dryer. Prior to doing this I performed some water tests of the door using a large pitcher (hose is put away for the winter). I noticed that a small trickle of water was coming from the middle of the left side of the vapor barrier which of course led me to a full removal and reinstallation (I had only re-adhered an 8-10" section a few weeks ago that was obviously detached). Much to my surprise I also noticed that the most water was coming from the second hole down on the right side of the door (when facing in elevation) that one of the interior door cover plugs clicks/inserts into. I decided to put a small amount of plumbers putty around the perimeter of the plug/clip on the back of the door panel to ensure that no water can escape through there. I thought that this might be the best non-permanent option to provide an addl. seal as I feel this whole door panel is not as snug anymore because I have removed it 3 or 4 times. I finally completely put the interior back together (I of course broke both door sill covers and lower B piller cover during the removal and reinstallation process) and we will see what happens in the next rain storm. Im probably going to put a plastic bag through the sill of the door as others have described just in case. Drying out that floor area was a major PIA in this cold weather and I actually never got it 100% dry down there but its as good as its going to get.
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  #31  
Old 09-26-2011, 12:36 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Cn90 kindly provided size information over here today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > 2003 530i leaking door seals

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Very easy fix using simple tools (Phillips screw driver, flat screw driver and a new roll of "butyl tape", which can be bought from local windshield glass shop for about $1/ft, you need about 10-15 ft roll).

- For models with door airbag, DISCONNECT battery before doing this job!
- Look at bluebee's links.

- I fixed my Rear Window regulator recently, here is the info:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=6210803
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  #32  
Old 09-26-2011, 02:42 PM
fortunateson fortunateson is offline
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Hey Bluebee why did you change your avatar? I miss the "flower power!
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  #33  
Old 09-26-2011, 02:55 PM
bmw_jeff_325i bmw_jeff_325i is offline
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Butyl tape may not be all you need

My DIY from January didn't last the year.....a big rain storm previous to Irene created another Koi Pond in my rear seat footwell....I removed the door panel again and low and behold the vapor barrier had separated on both sides of the door about 6-8 inches verically from the bottom....I removed the old and reinstalled new butyl tape for the whole lower third of the door and also used waterproofing tape (Surtape from Lowes) to further keep the vapor barrier sealed to the door....Hurricane Irene and last weeks heavy rain have not caused any further water infiltration.....it will be a little more of a PIA to remove the vapor barrier if my window regulator goes but it is better than using caulk!!
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  #34  
Old 10-22-2011, 08:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > suggestions for vapor barriers seal in NYC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Canada View Post
Try and track down a product manfactured by 3M called Windo-Weld Ribbon Sealer. Most autobody repair supply companies will stock it.

1 roll of 3/8" by 15' will do both doors. 3M Part Number is 08622
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  #35  
Old 03-09-2013, 05:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was updated today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
Well, that was my situation. Shortly after buying my 528i in summer 2010 I went through the routine of re-sealing the VBs on the two rear doors -- both had separated from the door frame, presumably because the old butyl adhesive had lost its tack.

I used the 3M Windo-weld butyl cord that is recommended on these forums. This worked great on the left door and has held up but on the right door, it continued to lose the seal along the rear lower edge, straight down from the airbag. I probably went through the drill four times, using fresh 3M cord each time, but the repair probably never lasted more than a few weeks at a time. Fortunately even when leaking, the water didn't ever get past the door sills so yeah, I haven't felt pressured for a fast fix but this did get annoying.

Before buying a new VB and more Windo-weld or possibly a permanent urethane sealant, I decided to try one other product. DAP 18188 Butyl-Flex Gutter & Flashing Sealant.

http://www.dap.com/product_details.aspx?product_id=19

Hardware stores carry it, as does Amazon, for a few bucks.

It is softer right out of the tube and of course needs a day to cure, but retains its tack and best of all, sticks well to surfaces already saturated with old butyl adhesive .... meaning no need to go crazy cleaning off the old stuff. Of course, if you've not used stuff like this out of tube, you might want to practice on something and get a feel for the way it flows before trying it out on your car.

So far my annoying right door has been watertight for a couple months now, despite some unusually heavy rains. Thought I'd throw this out here in case anyone else might want to give it a shot before opting for something more drastic.
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  #36  
Old 03-10-2013, 04:24 AM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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This is the stuff I used for the door seals. Autozone has it for $12-$13 and its enough for about 1.5-2 door panels.
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  #37  
Old 10-03-2013, 06:18 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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I'm going to try the DAP for $7.
It seems more reliable than the 3M
Thanks for the tip.
http://www.amazon.com/27062-Butyl-Fl.../dp/B000DZBFRE
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  #38  
Old 10-13-2013, 09:43 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross-linked record, a similar question came up today asking what length of adhesive bead to buy ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > how much vapor barrier seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibo58 View Post
Going to the dealership tomorrow to get some vapor barrier seal, they are selling it to me by the metre ($9 per metre) and was hoping someone would know the approximate length required to do the rear doors
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
You could measure around the door panel and figure it out.
I'd say 2.5 meters/door shoud be enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSA1 View Post
3M Window weld. 1/4 0r 3/8 box is inexpensive, not messy and easy to use
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Last edited by bluebee; 10-13-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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  #39  
Old 10-13-2013, 02:06 PM
waehrik waehrik is offline
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I use the caulking gun size of windo-weld and it did both of my rear doors with plenty left over. I ran a bead in the normal place and also on the edges of the moisture barrier as an overkill.
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  #40  
Old 01-26-2014, 11:22 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was posted today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Leaking doors!


Quote:
Originally Posted by waehrik View Post
I would highly recommend 3M "Windo-Weld" urethane for sealing the moisture barrier to the door. It is compatible with the existing adhesive and will bond to what is already there. You'll never be able to remove the old adhesive from the door, it's bonded too strongly to the paint.
It comes in tubes that fit in caulking guns for easy dispensing. Just wear gloves! It's very sticky and will take a couple days to wear off your skin. One tube is enough to do three doors. I know because I resealed both of my rear doors when they were leaking and had to go back in a few months later when one regulator went on me. If you leave the plastic tip in place the urethane will harden in it and create a plug so the rest is preserved.
See also:
- How the vapor barrier works (1) & the problem with front & rear door vapor barrier adhesives which allow rain water to wet the carpet (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & what adhesives to buy (1) & what sizes for the adhesive beads (1)
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