Water Ingress, Windshield Frame / Targa Top.

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by lookforjoe, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    I have a very annoying leak. If the car sits in the rain or drizzle, water is accumulating somehow between the top & the windshield frame seal, and when I start driving & accelerate it dumps out around the DS targa clamp, over the visor & all over my left thigh.

    As an aside, when I open the DS door in the rain, water dumps off the front targa corner/pillar junction & onto the seat, which is another issue I see no remedy for.

    I was hoping that after cleaning & refitting everything (frame seal, etc.,) during the bodywork, that this would be gone. The overall fit of the targa top is much better than it was (very snug/no rattles). I'm not sure where exactly to look to rectify the situation, hence the thread :D

    Anyone experience similar leakage?
  2. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Eugene, OR
    Yes, and I to am stumped, it seems to have gone away so I am very puzzled.

    Jeff from Portland has a top that He put silicon along the rain gutter to stop a strange leak so I am wondering if that is the fix for mine as well.
  3. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Missouri, USA
    Hi Hussein,

    Just throwing out ideas here. I don't remember how long you have had your X, IE if you are the original owner. Do you know that the roof and seal are matching? There was a seal for 74-75 and then a change for 76-88. So the tops are slightly different at the leading edge as well.

    On my 85, I had a direct leak on the pass side at the Chicago FFO. It was probably the first time I had the car out in the rain, since I had no garage to put it in. It was raining steady on the show field and I had to stand there with an umbrella and put a towel on the pass seat. This year I started using my 78's top on the 85 and I had no leak at all in the steady rain at the MWB open house this summer. The 78 top just seems to fit better/tighter. The 85 top seems like it has led a rough life, although I have never examined the leading edge. I will try to remember to compare it the the 78, maybe the 85 top got dropped on its leading edge at some point.
  4. Jefco

    Jefco Daily Driver

    Portland OR
    The seal along the gutter had some deterioration before the silicone; it has helped, but not solved the problem. Replaced the header seal to no avail.
    the front corners of the top seem eroded, probably from the PO(s) handling in and out of the frunk (some edge wear on the back at the frunk hinge area as well).
    Over last winter, I used package tape to overseal the leading edge of the top to the windshield edge, with extra emphasis on the corner joint where the door, top and windshield frame meet; SUCCESS! Looks like I'll be doing that again, soon, rainy season is here.
  5. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    Had similar problem in the past.
    Managed to get a better rubber for the windshield frame and fixed for a while.
    Finally ran a generous bead of black silicone in the grove of the top and let it skin over real good but not cure thoroughly then clamped the top on ad let set for a day.
    I don't take the top off much but it has been removed a few times and have had no leak in some hard rains.
    The corners are another story. Open the door and get peed on.
  6. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Sin City
    I realize this is no solution to your issue. But I've owned many convertibles and a couple non-Fiat targas over the years (living in SoCal I've always loved open top cars). Some were very old cars, other very new. Pretty much all of them had some sort of water ingress issues to one degree or another (and that's in the dry Cali weather). Even if they did not leak per se, they would allow residual water in pour in when opening the door or other such issues. I tried replacing all of the relevant seals (several times in some cases), adding shims, readjusting the tops, sending them to specialist shops, putting sealant materials in or on various surfaces, and other remedies - all to no avail.
    Now add the fact the X tops are a composite and can become warped (one of mine is severely distorted) or worn, the unibody can flex/bend, the windshield frame to top seal crushed/dried/distorted, the latches worn, etc, etc - well it really isn't any surprise they are not a perfect seal. In my opinion it is just one of the sacrifices of owning a vehicle of this nature. So there may not be a true solution, but any successful attempts to improve it will be appreciated.
  7. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Thanks for the input, all :)

    I am the 2nd owner, and the PO had it from new. Top & seal are original to the car. This leak is relatively new, in the last year. The leading edge has a couple spots where the fibreglass is damaged, I've knocked it over a few times when I left it leaning against the garage door & forgot. The garage door has to be opened from inside. I did put a small length of fabric tape over the splinter so I wouldn't get cut handling the top. Perhaps that is allowing water into the trough, and my end is the low spot.

    I guess I need to evaluate the leading edge of the top. I definitely don't want to silicone the seal, I drive with the top off unless it's actively raining. I do have the seal on the '83 parts car, I could try that one for comparison.

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