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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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  #1  
Old 12-27-2010, 01:51 PM
JBono333 JBono333 is offline
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What size 3M Wind-weld for Door Leak Repair?

Hello All,

SIZE: Lots of good information for the DIY Door Leak repair....except for the size of the 3M Windo-weld. Some threads mention 3/8" and others mention 1/4". 3M also makes a 5/16". Is there a size specified by BMW.

TEMP: Is there a recommended minimum temperature at which this product should not be applied below. I could not find this info at 3M's web site.

After reading many threads, I removed the barriers and cleaned the residue from both the door panels and the barrier. For the door, I took photos so I could copy the route of the original seal. I then removed the sealant, cleaned the residue with "Goof-Off" solvent, then removed any residual solvent with Windex. The barrier took a lot more labor. Using one of the thread recommendations, I used the balled-up sealant to dab off the remaining sealant from the barrier.

I'm going to wait until I can get to a friends heated garage to reapply the new Windo-Weld....once I determine the correct size.

Thanks for any information on the sizing.


JBono
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2010, 02:12 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBono333 View Post
Lots of good information for the DIY Door Leak repair....
I don't know the answer, because I've never done it, but, these threads "might" have the answer ...

- REAR DOOR VAPOR BARRIER FAILS CAUSING WATER PUDDLES: improper adhesive used on rear door vapor barrier seals that allow rain water to fill the rear footwell (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2010, 02:24 PM
JBono333 JBono333 is offline
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bluebee,

Thank you for the links. I have seen most, but not all of them. As for a size consensus, there seems to be several sizes currently in use as follows:

3/16"
Size of a pencil
Size of your pinky finger

When did the pinky finger become a unit of measure... LOL

JBono
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2010, 02:28 PM
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I have a roll from the dealer...it should be approximately the diameter of a pencil. Temp should not matter....if it is cool out, then use a hair dryer or heat gun after application and get it warm, then press firmly with your thumbs and fingers to ensure a good seal.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2010, 03:01 PM
JBono333 JBono333 is offline
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Thanks,

My dealer said they do not sell the stuff, but they have it in stock for their use WTF. I guess I call back and get the size?

JBono333
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2010, 03:06 PM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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I found the thicker the better. After the 3'rd attempt to seal the darn door vapor barrier, I installed 2 side by side 3/8" rows around the bottom of the door and around that dreaded outside corner that always comes loose. Used a wallpaper seam roller to spread it out and get good continuous pressure applied and no more problems.

First attempt: Reheat and attach.... failed in 3 weeks
2'nd attempt: Remove old Butyl, clean up door and vapor barrier with wax remover..... Failed in about 8 weeks
3'rd attempt: Removed new Butyl, clean up door, installed new vapor barriers.... It failed... don't remember how long
4'th attempt: Removed new Butyl 3/8" double-row.... Been leak free for over one year
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2010, 03:28 PM
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Wallpaper seam roller is an awesome idea! I am going to the hardware store down the street and pick one up for future use.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:42 PM
JBono333 JBono333 is offline
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Hey,

Just sitting here watching Snow-mageddon on the evening news, thinking about how to get good adhesion. I thought, I have a wallpaper seam roller, I bet that would work. Great minds think alike!

Thanks.

JBono333
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2010, 03:52 PM
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Say people, I see I'm not the only one that's had to re-do a vapor barrier more than twice!

Was wondering.... is it really necessary to re-seal the barrier where it's come loose on the upper half of the door frame? My feeling is that the rainwater is only getting in where it finds a path on the lower half (probably more like lower edge only....).
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2010, 04:41 PM
x13alle12x x13alle12x is offline
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I only resealed the bottom portion of the barrier. I used a nice thick line and be sure to just lay the barrier on the sealant. (don't apply so much pressure where the sealant oozes out) Then let sit for maybe an hour before you reinstall.
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2010, 04:50 PM
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83190000537 Butyl Cord is the BMW part number. Is this what you have 540-M Sport ?
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2010, 06:25 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x13alle12x View Post
I only resealed the bottom portion of the barrier. I used a nice thick line and be sure to just lay the barrier on the sealant. (don't apply so much pressure where the sealant oozes out) Then let sit for maybe an hour before you reinstall.
How's it holding up? Did you use a paste-type sealant?
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2010, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
Say people, I see I'm not the only one that's had to re-do a vapor barrier more than twice!

Was wondering.... is it really necessary to re-seal the barrier where it's come loose on the upper half of the door frame? My feeling is that the rainwater is only getting in where it finds a path on the lower half (probably more like lower edge only....).

I have seen it leak half way up the side of the foam barrier, so I would make sure the entire thing is sealed up good. Hair dryer and seam roller!
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2010, 10:42 PM
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I just did mines yesterday...3 doors. I finalized it with the hair-dryer and using the trim removal (mine was metal) as an iron to do the seams. Worked great and the barriers should hold up well.
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  #15  
Old 12-28-2010, 06:27 AM
JBono333 JBono333 is offline
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So it took about an hour each to remove all of the sealant from each door liner. I'm all set to reseal with the 3/8" windo-weld when I get to a heated garage.

JBono
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  #16  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JBono333 View Post
So it took about an hour each to remove all of the sealant from each door liner. I'm all set to reseal with the 3/8" windo-weld when I get to a heated garage.

JBono
You dont need a heated garage...that thing is soooo adhesive. All you need is a hairdryer...
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2010, 04:43 PM
JBono333 JBono333 is offline
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Door seals repaired Hosed down both sides and the only drips came through the holes for the interior panels (they weren't installed yet). Installed the panels and will take her to car wash when I get a chance.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2010, 08:57 PM
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what are the symptoms of this failure? I've been to the car wash dozens of times, would I find moisture on the carpeting? Would I know it if there was a problem? Thanks in advance
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:08 AM
JBono333 JBono333 is offline
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Hey Golfer,

The first time I noticed something, it was a musty smell. Upon investigating, I found it very wet under the rear floor mats. It seemed it was the whole floor and I couldn't tell where it came from. It had rained the night before and I assumed I left the window slightly open.

A friend said his E39 got wet in the rear floor, but his was due to clogged A/C vents in the rear center console.

The way to tell is as follows:

If the wetness was can be traced from the floor up to the rear center console, it is most likely due to clogged A/C.

If the wetness can be traced from the floor to the rear door sill, it is most likely the vapor barrier.

After a gigantic rain storm accompanied by a small tornado, I opened my rear door and I could see the path of the water from the door sill, down to the floor.

Hope this helps.

JBono
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  #20  
Old 12-31-2010, 04:27 AM
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what are the symptoms of this failure? I've been to the car wash dozens of times, would I find moisture on the carpeting? Would I know it if there was a problem? Thanks in advance
After a hard rain, carefully open the rear doors keeping one hand totally dry. Place your hand under the rear door just below the interior trim panel. This metal portion of the door between the door gasket and the interior trim panel needs to be 100% dry. No dampness. If damp, the damn seal is still leaking. After getting mine sealed after every rain storm I make this check. Been doing it for 1 year. Still moisture free.
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  #21  
Old 12-31-2010, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBono333 View Post

3/16"
Size of a pencil
Size of your pinky finger

A pencil size or 3/16 little finger? Maybe on a baby.
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  #22  
Old 01-01-2011, 06:30 AM
DavidZ DavidZ is offline
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After putting it off for years, I finally attempted the repair yesterday on my two rear doors. After removing the door panels, I could clearly see that the sealant had failed at the bottom of the barriers.

I used the GE Silicon II sealant to re-attach the barrier and it seemed to work very well. It created a very secure seal around the barrier except some of the top part where the wires go (and that section can't really be sealed). The seal seemed so secure I can't imagine it not working, but seeing the number of people who have had to do this multiple times, it can't be that easy. I'll give it a couple of days and test it and see what happens.
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  #23  
Old 01-01-2011, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferjohnm View Post
what are the symptoms of this failure? I've been to the car wash dozens of times, would I find moisture on the carpeting? Would I know it if there was a problem? Thanks in advance
The early signs are after a car wash or driving in the rain, open the door, and see if their is any water on the door sill (plastic). It should be dry. If not, then crawl down and look at the door where in inner door panel meets the painted metal. You will probably see some wetness. If so, you can pry the door panel back with your hands and unsnap the tabs to examine further...to take the complete panel off, search this forum for detailed instructions.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:46 PM
bmw_jeff_325i bmw_jeff_325i is offline
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Damn Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBono333 View Post
A friend said his E39 got wet in the rear floor, but his was due to clogged A/C vents in the rear center console.

The way to tell is as follows:

If the wetness was can be traced from the floor up to the rear center console, it is most likely due to clogged A/C.

JBono
I performed the butyl seal DIY a few weeks ago and went out this morning after the rain we had last night...low and behold....more water behind the rear passenger foot well (drivers side)..thankfully it was close to 50 degrees here in CT today so it made it manageable to remove the door panel, rear seat, misc. trim in order to pull the carpet back slightly.....soaken wet (puddles)......i reinspected the vapor barrier...looked and felt tight....no signs of wetness at the perimeter at all...........inspected the interior side of the door panel...I couldnt see or feel any further (new) signs of moisture....Im thinking there is another issue.....probably the sunroof drain or the A/C issue....but its been in the 20's....so haven't had the A/C on in a long time to create any type of condensation.....help.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:47 PM
franka franka is offline
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[QUOTE=bmw_jeff_325i;5737873]behind the rear passenger foot well (drivers sideQUOTE]

Behind...? or did you just mean the rear footwell?
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