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Discussion Starter #21
Hi Slanted,
I'll check those gaskets tomorrow morning- the piece that was on the floor didn't have any holes or shape like that- more like a strip of tube or something. But it makes sense to check the door gaskets- it seems to me to be where the issue is, though I could be wrong. Hopefully tomorrow it'll come clear.
 

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more like a strip of tube or something
If it is fairly narrow diameter it could be a piece of tube used to stop up the cut end of the door seal, where it meets the top. There are rubber stops sold for this (like these) but I have seen cylinders of foam rubber used too.
 

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Hello all,

Just putting in my 2 cents.....

After reading through much of the comments, I didnt see any mention of the "Convertible Top Drain Tubes" which are located in the rain channels just behind the doors.

These tubes drain the top via a rubber hose on both sides of the car that connects below the rain channel into an outlet at the rockers. If the outlet tubes are dry rotted or blocked with debris, IT WILL drain the water into the floor boards on the affected side. Water drains slowly into the car and collects at the lowest point.

I have seen at least 5 spiders have this problem including 2 of my own. Given that you say you cant see the water leaking in, Id put a bet that this is where your mystery leak is coming from. In the mean time, Id go to an advace auto parts or autozone and buy a generic car cover. When i was without a garage traveling and my spider was out in the rain and developed this problem using a car cover kept water from collecting in the rain channels while parked over night until i could fix the problem.

Best of Luck!
Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Hi Martin,
Thanks for the suggestion- I'm hoping you're right so I can fix the issue.

"Convertible Top Drain Tubes" which are located in the rain channels just behind the doors.
I'm not sure exactly where the drain tubes are- what does 'just behind the doors' mean? Do you mean the back of the doors where the latch is? And how does one see the tubes to check them? Sorry if I'm a little unclear on this- I'd really, really like to check out this avenue.

On Friday I took the car up to Bert in Cleveland and we tried to track the leak down- took up the carpet but couldn't find an obvious trail. We hosed it down from every angle but couldn't see anything come in. Sort of felt wet in the left corner of the footwell, to the left of the clutch, (along with the low point bottom of the footwell) but it was still hard to say. If the top drainage tubes are clogged/rotted wouldn't that mean the area behind/under the seat would be wet? So far, I don't think under the seat is getting wet.

We pulled off the door card and it was missing the plastic insulation (as mentioned in another post on this thread) and we replaced that. I was hoping it would solve the issue but nope, still a problem. I ordered a cover and it should get here tomorrow, hopefully- I actually wanted the car to be in the rain after bringing it to Bert's to see if we'd fixed it with the plastic on the door. It's been raining Olympic Peninsula-style and alas, no, it's still not watertight...

I'd like to try your suggestion if I can pinpoint where you mean. And at this point, regardless of whether I can find the leak the car is going under a good cover...

Thanks everyone for the help- it's greatly appreciated.
 

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To "describe" where to find the "Top" drain tubes:

Sit in the car with the top up, now if in the drivers seat, look to your left shoulder where the top frame meets the edge of the door jamb.

In some cars there is a piece of vinyl hiding the rain channel, in other cars there isnt.

If your car has vinyl hiding where the top frame secures to the body get a flash light and carefully peel back. In the well, you will see the rain channel and (closest to your shoulder while sitting behind the wheel) you should find a small "funnel" opening. Once you locate the drain, pour water in and see if it comes out on the ground below the rocker.

If not, youll need to remove the rear side carpet panel to expose the body frame and allow for access. Once open, you should see a tube attached from the rain channel down to the lower drain. If not....replace.

I know it seems counter intuitive, but the foot well usually will fill up before behind the seats especially if the drain hose is intact but its outlet at the rocker was blocked.

I will try and take photos tomorrow if you are still having trouble locating the drain tubes to test.... however as i mentioned above, in the mean time, get a generic car cover for rainy days when youre not driving the car.... it will help prevent further ingress of water which will destroy your floor boards.

Good luck
Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks Vin and Martin- that's extremely helpful. It's first thing on my list in the morning and believe me, any residual water will be dried out and the floor board gone over to make sure no rust sets in. Moving from CA to GA is like, almost literally, going from the desert to a rain forest- a whole new set of worries...
 

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Yes, very different set of climate parameters. On a side note, should it snow this winter in Georgia.... just stay home.... do not drive your spider on any of the roads while actively snowing....

Im sure ill get some flak for saying this but (since I grew up in Pennsylvania ill say it any way).... folks in the south/east do not "drive" well in the snow. Roads close, schools are put on delay or closed with barely an inch on the ground. Alfa spiders being rear wheel drive struggle in this environment any way... add to that everyone else and youve got problems. Just google weather stories from Alabama and Georgia from last winter.

If you have the means, id suggest buying a beater truck, Audi or Subaru with 4x4 should you have a "winter wonderland" down there.

Best of luck with the top!
Martin.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Ok, got an update for the thread- it is not the top drain pipes, unfortunately (because that would have been the end of it and easily fixed). I found the drain rail and pipe, thanks to Martin's and Vins help, and tested it with some water. Perfect flow-through just like the cowl drain. That was disappointing.

Since I don't have a place to work on it, and it's still drizzling here so I can't even open the top to dig in, I took it back up to Bert's to leave for a few days. He's going to dry it out thoroughly and remove the seats, carpet, etc and see if he can find the source. At least it's inside the garage in the meantime and out of the weather.

That said, I have a good car cover ordered that should be here by the time I get the Alfa back, but I'm hoping Bert finds the source and can fix it regardless. He's pretty good so I have confidence in that.

On a side note, should it snow this winter in Georgia.... just stay home....
I totally agree. I don't use the Spider as a daily driver anyway (I don't commute, work from home, and can walk to most of what I do day-to-day: yes, even in Atlanta) so I'll avoid the bad weather for sure. I actually grew up in Atlanta (haven't been back for, I hate to say it cause now I feel old, almost 30 years. I remember how bad people drive here in the snow- kind of ridiculous. I've lived all over the country so I'm used to driving in snow (Jag XJ6 through Finger Lake blizzards, charging up Siskiyou Pass in whiteout shut down conditions- and after some fortifying hot chocolate in Yreka- on I5 in a 92 Golf with no snow tires and GA plates (that's showing those Oregonians on the side of the road, putting on chains!)- with no problem at all. Of course, the VW was born for blizzards. Lot's of fun and a whole nuther story...

I'm really hoping the leak is found and fixed- and I'll post the solution if/when we get one- and thanks very much for the pointers.
 

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I'm about to get a perfect black hard top with roll around case for around $550. I don't want it really, barely have the space for it. If you were closer, I'd sell it to you for same. I just can't pass this deal up, and want to help the guy out financially.

I have a TR6 with a hard top on it. It leaks badly at the corner of the drivers door due to old gasket material, right on your leg. Irritating, but that's the British car experience. Or so I am told:crying2: It needs to be in the garage during rain, anyway. :crying2:

I once drove the family minivan in a blizzard, was in Pendleton Oregon coming home from Boise. Mandatory chains at the base of the mountain. I got in behind a semi so that I could see his lights, assuming he could tell where the road was, and followed him for hours. If you are going to crawl along in those conditions, I highly recommend a late 90's Dodge Grand Caravan. It's like a living room on wheels...:nerd:
 

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Wow Velocity,

This is proving to be frustrating.

Hope you get it sorted! Take care, Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Well it seems possibly solved, though I can't say I'm completely sure. Bert took pretty much the whole interior out on the driver's side, thoroughly dried everything out, and did some spray tests all around the car. It looks like the only place he could get water to come in is the driver's side front corner (triangle) window, around its rubber. He said a good bit of water came in when testing it that way.

He said there wasn't any trace of water coming down from under the dash (cowl or windshield) or the back (convertible top rail drain), or from the door itself. In fact, he said there wasn't any trace of water on the metal trickling down from anywhere.

I'm hoping the triangle window seal is the issue and will replace it, along with the rubber seals all along the door (they are worn and need to be replaced regardless). It's weird to me, though, because I sat in the car in a torrential downpour for half an hour, looking for a leak, and I imagine I would have seen water spraying in from around that window. But perhaps it just came down the door and over the rocker somehow, even though there's no trace of that.

I need to either live in the desert or have a garage... At least I now have a good car cover. The ironic thing is that, once the rubber seals are replaced, I won't know if that was the issue because the car will always be under a cover going forward.

Just wanted to say thanks for everyone's advice and I hope I don't have to reopen this thread with 'well, it's still leaking...' but I think we have it worked out now.
 

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Just to jump in here, I had the same problem with water in the wells and when I opened up the doors, sure enough, no plastic. I poured water outside at the window edge and it went right down into the car. I ended up taping plastic sheeting from the bottom edge of the window (inside the door, door card removed) draping it down to the bottom of the door (inside) so water would run down the outer side of the window, hit the sheeting and continue down to the drains at the bottom of the door. Beyond the outer edges of the window, left and right, I placed plastic sheeting on the outside of the electric window motor, towards the front of the door, and outside of the solenoid for the remote door lock (my added indulgence) to keep them dry. It worked. no more water on the floors. So I ended up with three separate, overlapping sheets, all held in place with duct tape. It took a while to figure out but once I got it right, it solved the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Hi Blacksheep,
Thanks for the insight on this- I have a feeling my issue is somewhat similar. However, we did spray the door and window from several angles and no water came in that we could see, but water did come in when it hit the corner triangle window. So I'm hoping the new rubber will deal with that.

We did put plastic back under the door card while we were in there but not as thoroughly as you. It's a little hard to visualize exactly what you did- I imagine I would need to just pull the door apart and track where water could conceivably go and then route it correctly with plastic. Though I'm hoping I won't need to do that but we'll see after I get the car back and some rain happens again (while I'm out with it because it **** sure is going to be under a cover from now on..).
 
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