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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I am looking for some advice on water entering the car from the front top of the driver's door.
I have a 1988 Spider with a newish top and no tears at all.
When driving under the rain, after a while the top inner lip that makes contact with the glass starts dripping (see attached picture).
It does not do that when it is not in motion. I tried tightening the top's cable that wraps around the window, but it makes no difference.

I am guessing it has to do with the door molding not stopping the water properly, but since it comes from the top I was wondering whether there is something else I should look at.

Any advice will be very appreciated. Thank you very much and best regards,
Marc
 

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for most of the alfa spider i have seen , that is normal..sorry. you could add a small strip of soft rubber to that area where the top meets the door, just above the vent.. that might help..it's a combo of 'capilary motion and water pressure at speed..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much, Bianchi1.
I was imagining there wouldn't be magic fixes but I thought I'd give it a shot.
Will definitely try the soft rubber suggestion.

Best regards, Marc
 

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....wow..:) a alfa romeo spider in S.Korea... are you the only one?.........just a question, now do the ladies find you car.? not to many if any there?
 

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No, that is not normal... 1988 Spiders did not have a top that leaked when new, and if the top was properly replaced, there is no reason why it should leak... At most, when a lot of water has accumulated on the outside (i.e. when you are caught in a serious downpour) and one opens the door, that is the only time you could get some water dripping down and into the car a bit. (In addition to being an original owner, I have 3 current Spiders that I drive through downpours and their tops don't leak. Now, I will say that there are plenty of Spiders with replaced tops that leak, but that is also because those tops were not properly fitted.)

Leaks in that area are common when the door gasket is worn, or the top has not been properly installed. If the gasket is not round, or has flat at various spots, it is time to change it. (And please, use one that is correct, meaning one that is supplied by an Alfa parts vendor. They run around $35 US and last for years.) If the top has been improperly installed, then that will be a problem. Besides making sure that the fit is correct check the inside material of the top. The retaining screw should not be going all the way through it. If that has been done, then the material will be too flat to stop water from getting in.

Best regards,
 

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i just read that S. Korea had 17" of rain in 24 hours..i would call that a pretty good downpour..
 

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The same priciple which makes aircraft fly is at work here. When you are at speed, the airflow over the top creates a low pressure area in the interior of the car. This low pressure "sucks' the water in. That is why it only does it when you are in motion. It is the reason a loose top billows out when driving, when you would suppose the wind would make the top drape the frame. If you use some foam to stop the leak which is allowing the water to seep in, or you cancel the low pressure area inside the car by cracking the vent windows or turning on the blower fan; these things will cancel the low pressure area inside the car and stop the water from coming in.

Robert Hill in Mephis, Tn
 

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Mine has that issue but it is do to the window frame adjustments being out enough to allow a gap there. The next time I open the door card I will adjust it. Obviously, my Spider does not see 17" of rain period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi all, thank you very much for all the comments.

I am always amazed by the activity and knowledgeability of this forum.
It seems that there could be different issues involved, and I am very happy to hear that there are '88 Spiders out there without this problem, so there is hope!

I tend to think -and hope- that the door gasket may have something to do with it, though. I think I have a new one as part of the goodie box I brought with me when I moved here. Will definitely try everything.

As per the rain over here, it has been raining like crazy for the last weeks, but this week was especially intense. There have been some fatalities and many cars have been taken away by the waters. Of course my Spider is sitting in the garage.

In regards to other Alfas over here, in my quest for a god mechanic I have run into a nice red 164 and a couple of 147's, one of them a GTA. I guess the 164 followed the owner from the US like mine did, and that the 147's may have come from Japan, where there is a really big market. Check out this great shop: www.http://delauto.jp/
I visited it once and the mechanic -great guy, no English whatsoever- showed me the Twin Spark in the Giulia TZ1 that they keep.

Again, thank you very much for your comments, it really helps despite the distance.

Cheers,
marc
 

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Just reading this thread 'cos my top doesn't seal tight enough to the top of the side windows and it drips along there. The cloth does overhang, but the 'plasticy' strip barely touches the glass. Can that be adjusted?
 

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My 92's top has long tabs on the top front corners to presumably help seal that leakage point but do they go on the inside or outside of the windshield header?

They fall to the outside when I close the top but that may just be bad training.

Mitch
92 Spider: Leaks in Denver's Monsoon rains.
69 Spider Jr: Never leaks since it hasn't left the garage in a while.
 

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They go on the inside if I'm thinking of the same "tabs" as you..

That front corner appears to be problematic. My top is pretty leak-proof, except right there. Mine does just fine when the car is sitting (e.g. parked in the rain) but after awhile of driving in heavy rain I get a few drips there. Nothing that's going to cause damage (I guess if you kept on for hours or did it daily, you might start to accumulate some serious water) but it does drip a little.

Wait - hold the phone, let me go look at something....

edit: OK, struggling from memory, had to go out and look. Those tabs go on the inside and form the seal for the top of the window/door. Then there is an "overhang" formed by the top frame. So in that corner, I don't know how you could ever get that to be a totally watertight seal. There are too many things coming together right there, and at least on my top there is no rubber seal, just the vinyl/leatherette material of those tabs. But the overhang formed by the top frame keeps it dry when standing still like the OP says. But when driving (or washing it for that matter) water gets forced up (or at least horizontal) into that hole and drips a bit.

To the OP: how much does it leak?
 

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I have the same problem after driving in a heavy rain. I realized that the top inner lip needs to be outside and the lower lip on the inside. Unfortunately, if you open the door with the top down, all the lip will be inside. I assume there is a leakage around that opening but can not figure a way to fix this.
 

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Can anyone show picture of the proper door gasket and proper top around the lip?
 

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Watertight except for that drip, drip, drip on my left knee. Not that I expected to stay completely dry or intended to use it every day. I'll try it on the inside and see how that works.

I also have to open the doors when putting the top up otherwise the windows end up locking you in.
 

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Here ya go. Crappy camera-phone pics. Interior shot isn't great because my latch tie-down strap is blocking the tip of the "flap" on the inside, but it goes all the way forward to make contact with the velour door trim. I guess you can see that on the exterior pic with the door open.







 

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yes, gv27 crappy photo's :):)
 

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Well, it is an expensive camera phone..... ;-) (HTC EVO 4G)
 

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I can't tell that well from GV27's picture, but I am going to use it as example... The gasket that goes around the door opening should run all the way to the very top of the corner where it would meet up with the top assembly. Then, the gasket should have a cap that keeps it round (or any insert that will do the same), preventing it form collapsing... The tabs on my Elektron tops (that is the brand I favor when replacing an OEM top) are a little longer in the front than the one in this picture, but I don't know if that makes any difference. Between the gasket with the insert that keeps it round, a well fitted top with the tabs that are also not collapsed and sealing against the window, and an unmolested (or well adjusted) door, it is possible to have water tight Spiders.

Again, I'll re-state that water tight while parked or in motion is certainly achievable, but when one opens the door, water that has accumulated on the outside can certainly drip in...

Best regards,
 
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