H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

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abuthebes
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H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#1 Post by abuthebes » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:03 pm

Hi All

Can someone advise where the drain holes are on a Rover 216gti "H" plate. I'm assuming the holes are blocked as I have water coming in to the Drivers footwell & the back passenger footwell. It seemed it was just the passenger side at first , but having checked it again today, the water is in the drivers footwell also. The carpet is soaked through, but I cannot locate where the waters coming from.

Where are the drain holes and how do I get to them? Or cannot be something else? Much appreciated.

Thanks

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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#2 Post by Paul_1978_yorks » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:09 pm

Does it have a sunroof? If so you should see the drain holes when the sunroof is extended back. Not sure how best to clear them though. Perhaps a long wire or an air hose.
Last edited by Paul_1978_yorks on Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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abuthebes
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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#3 Post by abuthebes » Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:11 pm

Yes it does have a sunroof, it is operational but hardly open it. I will have a look once it stops raining.

Thanks

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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#4 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:47 pm

If it's a sunroof leak and it's that bad, the headlining would be wet I would expect, as it would be the undertray overflowing. I'm not even going to mention where the four drain pipes emerge, as people try and rod them and damage the tubing. They won't be blocked.

The usual culprit of water ingress is a de-bonded windscreen. The water comes in behind the dashboard, trickles down the sides of the car by the footwell area on each extreme side, and into the footwell.
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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abuthebes
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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#5 Post by abuthebes » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:17 pm

Thanks for the advice Gsi..I've looked at the sunroof tray it's bone dry...so the water is not coming down through there. I did have the screen replaced a couple of years ago, I will remove the finishers and check that when I'm off work next.

But the water appears to be mainly in the drivers passenger side. At one stage there was a pool of water there, it seems the carpet is soaking up the water and makes it seem like it's coming from the drivers footwell. The door cards are dry... no signs of water damage etc. A mystery!

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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#6 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:55 pm

abuthebes wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:17 pm
Thanks for the advice Gsi..I've looked at the sunroof tray it's bone dry...so the water is not coming down through there. I did have the screen replaced a couple of years ago, I will remove the finishers and check that when I'm off work next.

But the water appears to be mainly in the drivers passenger side. At one stage there was a pool of water there, it seems the carpet is soaking up the water and makes it seem like it's coming from the drivers footwell. The door cards are dry... no signs of water damage etc. A mystery!
I've got to repeat this - 99.9% of water ingress there is caused by a de-bonded windscreen. There literally is nowhere else for the water to come in. The cars aren't "known for leaks" as some sellers would have you believe - with a 4-pipe drain system on the sunroof and a completely enclosed tray, leaking is much more likely to occur on just about every other car from the R8s era or earlier that either had no tray and no drains, or a tray and just one or two drains at most. Park the car at the wrong angle, and your car let in water.

Taking the A-pillar trim off won't show you anything as the bond is behind the glass edges and in causing a leak the de-bond is much more likely to be under the top edge rather than the sides. The top strip does not pull out - it's a T-shaped affair that ends up being glued in place by the glass sealant. If you try and lift it, you'll damage it and it won't fit back. I'm afraid it's a screen-out (de-bond) and refit (re-bond) via a decent glass technician. Then you'll find the leak will go away. A new top strip for the installer (if you want to make their life easier) is available from a company called Rejel (look them up online).

As well as all the other people over the years that have wondered why their cars are leaking and similarly tried to rod the sunroof drains, etc. or look under the plenum grille, etc., it even happened on my own car. For the first year or two I wondered what it was - thinking it was coming in via the plenum chamber and even stripping the car down to this level to see what was going on - nothing! It manifested itself as water lodging somewhere behind the dashboard - my car was always parked on a flat, horizontal surface. When I drove off and turned a corner I'd get a torrent down where the plastic trim piece (that lines the lower door opening) is attached via two plugs to the driver's/passenger footwell area outer sides. This would soak the carpet, etc.

Then Mr. AA man (back when they owned their own glass-fitting service) confirmed 7 to 8 inches along the top of my windscreen was de-bonded when he came to fit a new screen. New screen was fitted, and the problem just went away.

It's not necessary to fit a new screen unless you want one (they're cheap these days - sub £100 - so if you have deep scratches or a spreading stone chip, now might be the time to buy). Just get yours removed and refitted (properly). Mention the problem to the glass tech and get them to confirm the de-bonded region when they take the screen out. They'll probably see it, or feel it (as their cutting tool won't have any work to do when they drag it through the de-bonded region).
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#7 Post by carfixmobile » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:59 pm

Interesting reading.

I have recently bought a 216Gsi and noticed that the drivers side carpets were damp.

When inspecting the car the electric sunroof was not working and the "emergency" manual winding handle was missing. As a result the sunroof drains could not be checked.

On the first wet day in my possession the head-ling above the drivers seat became damp. To get to the bottom of this I eventually moved (manually) the sunroof back to inspect the seal and drains.

No problems there but what I did find was a large plug of sealant in the front corner of the sunroof tray above the drivers seat. The sealant was hiding a large hole and there was perforations in the tray formed by rust.

So, I now have the sunroof and tray out of the car. It has been totally stripped down. I have cut out the corner section of the tray and I am about to fabricate a repair section before welding it in situ. And as Haynes manuals say "the refitting is the reverse sequence of removal".

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Johnny 216GSi
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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#8 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:48 am

Obviously if the tray has rusted through, then that would be a primary cause of water ingress. But I'd still say that was a rare occurrence. Most people think the drain pipes are blocked and try and rod them with a spring steel drain un-blocker, or curtain wire, etc. Because the pipes turn a corner close to the outlets, they puncture the pipes and then they do properly leak.

My car has spent 28 years outside in rain, and the tray looked rust free when I replaced the headlining almost 2 years ago. So I'd say a rusted sunroof tray is less likely than a screen de-bond as a cause, and fault-finding is all about checking the obvious/most likely problems first to minimise repair costs. But to be honest, if there's water ingress via the sunroof tray then it's an easy diagnosis as the headlining would feel wet, damp or particularly cold in the region of the leak.
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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Re: H plate Rover 216Gti - Leak in footwell

#9 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:53 pm

abuthebes wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:17 pm
Thanks for the advice Gsi..I've looked at the sunroof tray it's bone dry...so the water is not coming down through there. I did have the screen replaced a couple of years ago, I will remove the finishers and check that when I'm off work next.

But the water appears to be mainly in the drivers passenger side. At one stage there was a pool of water there, it seems the carpet is soaking up the water and makes it seem like it's coming from the drivers footwell. The door cards are dry... no signs of water damage etc. A mystery!
I've just re-read your post. By mentioning "driver's passenger side" do you mean the passenger footwell belonging to the rear seat on the driver's side? In terms of glass-debonding, this could be the rear sixth-light glass (the triangular pieces). This is pretty rare I'd say, although I have seen one car with significant rust emanating from the sixth light on the outside, suggesting there had been damage or a de-bond in that region that had suffered water ingress for years. If your sunroof tray is indeed dry and not rusted through, then I'd still suggest that glass de-bonding is the culprit.

You could also suspect either the inner or outer weather seal on the rear door itself, but given there are two of them the likelihood that both are letting in water is pretty slim.

The door drop-glass does also let it water, albeit very small amounts - most cars suffer this. The water actually travels down the OUTSIDE of the rubber U-channels that line the inside edge of the window aperture and form a seal with the glass when the window is closed. It's not the seal to the glass that is the culprit, it's the seal between the rubber and the door frame. The water eventually rusts out the window sashes - the metal channels bolted inside the door that hold the rubber channel all the way to the bottom of the doors so the windows have a stable channel to run in when opened. When the water ends up in the bottom of the door, it escapes via a small hole in the bottom corner of the door on the opening edge, so it runs outside, not inside.
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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