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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:11 PM
computerwhiz1 computerwhiz1 is offline
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 178
Mein Auto: 2000 323i
Still having leaky doors. What to seal with?

I have redone all 4 doors vapor barrier seals twice now. I used the 3M window-weld in a roll which is exactly what the dealership told me to use. Apparently its what they use to do the job as well. The first time I redid the seals they leaked and I assumed that it was because I hadn't pressed down hard enough to obtain a good seal. So this most recent time I used a small paint roller to roll over the fresh bead of window-weld on each door to be sure that I got a good seal. I checked each of the vapor barriers right after resealing them and all of the seals looked good and held when I tugged on them even moderately. I thought that surely I had solved the problem. Not so! The doors have now leaked again, all four of them. It has rained here in the south-east for about the past 7 days straight so I have some pretty soggy floor boards on all four corners. I am going to reseal them again this weekend using silicone sealant as I am about 99% sure it will work. I will just loose the ability to simply pull the vapor barrier off if I need to get under it at a later date. Does anyone have any other suggestions as to what to use before I use the silicone sealant? I am sure it is the vapor barriers as I have taken the door panels off and watched the water run out from behind the vapor barrier and into the car where the vapor barrier has pulled away from the bottom part of the door.

This is another example of the pathetic engineering done by BMW for this supposedly "luxury" car IMHO. Sorry about the rant, i'm just tired of fixing things that shouldn't be an issue in the first place.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:44 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,297
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
These may help:
- Vapor barriers: Sealant for door panel vapor barriers (1) & sizes for the adhesive (1)
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:13 PM
computerwhiz1 computerwhiz1 is offline
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 178
Mein Auto: 2000 323i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
These may help:
- Vapor barriers: Sealant for door panel vapor barriers (1) & sizes for the adhesive (1)
Thanks for the help! I appreciate you taking the time to post links. I think I am going to skip out on the butyl tape and just use silicone adhesive for at least the bottom edge of the vapor barriers. This will be my 3rd time doing this job so I think everyone can understand that I really don't want to have to do it again. I am fairly confident that the silicone sealant will seal. Also it looks like I should pull up the rear carpet to check for water? These doors have been leaking the whole time i've had the car (2 years) and who knows how long before I had it as the previous owner didn't exactly care much about the car. Pulling the carpet up in the back wouldn't be that hard to do, but pulling the carpet up in the front seems much harder no? Do you think it is really needed to pull up the carpet and dry it out? Or can I get away with parking the car in the garage with the doors open to allow it to air out?
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:04 AM
G. P. Burdell's Avatar
G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Location: Southeastern U.S.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,787
Mein Auto: E46
When you re-sealed the vapor barriers, did you install new door panel clips with new foam gaskets, or did you reuse the old ones? Water can get in through the holes for the panel clips if the gaskets have been flattened by time and heat.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:56 PM
garcub garcub is offline
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Location: Montgomery, AL
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
i'm having the same problem....just did all 4 doors 2 weeks ago and did a damn good job I know...used a heat gun and got it really tacky and pressed them all down. it's been raining here in alabama for a few days on and off and i've noticed that i'm getting slightly damp corners in the front....not soggy wet like they were but still getting in somehow. I've never had a car that BS like this happened. Makes me wish I hadn't sold my SC400
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