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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - water leak into footwell

Hi folks
I still have problems with wet carpet on the driver's side footwell. Just a thought here - there is a visible gap between the front wing and the A post. Should this be sealed? I think maybe water is getting through this gap and dropping into the space between inner and outer wings, and then tracking down to the front edge of the floor. Any comments gratefully received!
Dominic Excell

There should be a gap there.

Water does get in there, but it should be able to drain out the bottom...unless it's full of silt.

Even so, the water shouldn't be able to get into the footwell from there.

Are you sure it isn't getting in around the windscreen frame?
Dave O'Neill2

I had this problem with a Frogeye but should be the same on later Midgets. In the drivers footwell near where the clutch slave cylinder resides is a square rubber bung supposedly there to allow access to the slave cylinder. I always had water in the drivers footwell during heavy rain until I sealed it into place using bathroom sealant. After that no problem.

Rob aka MG Moneypit

Check the sealing rubbers under the wiper spindles - they can leak and drop water staight onto your legs / footwell.
May need to add a little windsreen mastic (black oil based mastic - clean up with white spirit)under the spindles and retighten.

richard boobier

Ditto Richard's solution except used silicone (as no windscreen mastic was to hand) and also applied some to the inside of the chrome cover over the spindles. Before treatment water literally poured down each spindle and the rubber seals were new, now watertight.
J Tickle

Also check the inner wing gutter where it attaches to the bulkhead gutter.
The bonnet drips in this and the water should flow forward and out.
But at the point where the gutters meet there is a bolt and usually a gap in the upstanding edge.
This leads to a drip from the pedal box.

Take out the bolt and use some sealant along the edges and to close the gap then bolt it back up.
Onno K

Yes, I like Onno's suggestion. The gutter across the back edge of the bonnet is supposed to lead the water into the gutter that runs frontwards along the wing. But on my new Heritage shell there was a gap, so all the water from the back gutter simply ran across the top of the bulkhead and found its way in via the pedals. Check those gutters with the bonnet open. Pour some water in them to see what happens to it.
Mike Howlett

water leaks to the driver's footwell I've had, starting from the highest point, have been -
. header rail seal not fitting properly, I still use a simple technique to prevent this
. frame to quarterlight seal (too long prevented proper shutting of door and too short gives gap)
. windscreen glass seal
. bolt under side footwell interior trim very, very slightly loose (just needed a slight nip up)
. sill or joint to sill overfilling (I drilled more drainage holes in sill)
Nigel Atkins

The most common areas to leak

The windshild washer jets, the rubber under the windshild is hardened, the rubber pads under the courners of thr windwshild, missing loose, or parished rubber grumets in the trannel tunnel for the slave cly, missing bolts /grommets/ holes in the firewall

One thing ive found long ago was the washer fluid jets leaked themselves everytime I hit the washer switch... I got some new aftermarkets and moved them to the bonnet so any leakage was into the engine bay and not into the car foot wells and onto my legs


Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Yes to all the above, also found that sealing the bolts which secure the wind to the footwell made a big difference - no more puddles on the floor.
Paul Walbran

All the above plus check the bolts that retain the wing that are located in the footwell. I had water coming through these and running down behind the trim panel (so the leak was out of sight). I removed the bolts and their washers and replaced with a smear of silicone sealer. You will need to remove the trim panels to get to these that that is easy.
Chris Hasluck

Thanks for all the replies, I'll start methodically at the top and work down over the next few weeks.
Dominic Excell

Chris has explained better the bolt I meant, I can't remember doing more than nipping it up but I may well have loosened the bolt a bit and added some silicone before re-tightening, you know what my memory is like

thinking about it I probably added silicone to the one where the leak was and just checked the tightness of others finding one that just need the slightest nipping up - yeap that sounds more like it but I'd then usually overtighten one and snap it - but not that time or I would remember, funny how we remember the disastrous more than when things went well
Nigel Atkins

And Chris spelt it better than me :-)
Paul Walbran

I thought you meant windscreen Paul but I can't pick anyone up for typos (unless it's Steven)
Nigel Atkins

It's the resurrection shuffle (remember that?) time again.

Anyway, it's because --- My Midget was letting in the rain.

Surprising? Well as it happens, one place where it was leaking, WAS a surprise, – to me.

Part 1.
Since getting the MOT on it recently, it's hardly rained, so I hadn't had a chance to discover if or where it might leak. From the looks of it, I suspected the screen frame might leak, and wasn't surprised when the rain dripped in via the frame, with the car sitting on the drive.

When I whipped off the screen and pulled the frame apart, I found what looks like hardened putty between the frame and the rubber glass seal. Not surprising at all that it leaked. Back together again now, cleaned up and minus the "putty", no more leaks from the frame. Tested by a hose pipe, and in heavy rain again today.

So where's the surprise? See Part 2 in the next post.

Lawrence Slater

Part 2. Here's the surprise.

When the rain was pretty heavy, it was getting past the gutter under the bonnet, and running down to drip through the pedal box. It's never done this on my Sprite though, even in the heaviest of rain. So why was it on the Midget?

I filled a large jug of water and poured it onto the screen. The water ran over the top of the scuttle, down the gap behind the bonnet, ran down to the pedal box, and dripped into the RH footwell. So I thought there must be a split/hole in the gutter that I hadn't noticed, or a gap behind the gutter where it joins the scuttle. -- But there isn't.

Taking closer look with the bonnet shut, I looked in from the top of the side of the wing along the gutter, via the gap between the rear of the bonnet and the front of the scuttle. I can see that there is a huge gap between the top of the gutter lip, and the bottom of the rear edge of the bonnet. The gap must be great for letting hot air escape from the engine bay, but not so good for stopping heavy rain.

The rain was filling the gutter along the scuttle on the drivers side, overflowing it, and running down to the pedal box.

But NOT on my Sprite. So what's the difference? Well not much as it happens, but it must be just enough to make a difference.

Here’s a few pictures. You can see that the gutter on the RH side has been attached lower on the scuttle than on the LH side. Enough heavy rain, and the water overflows the gutter, drips onto the top of the footwell, and hence through the pedal box onto the floorpan.

So my solution is going to be to add height to the gutter lip. I'll do it all the way along from the RH to the LH. This should ensure that the water flows out, before it overflows.

Lawrence Slater

Mine used to do that, years ago. Then one day when sauntering around the local scrapyard I found that many of the cars there had a rubber strip clipped along the equivalent part of the scuttle. I selected one - off a Fiesta I think it was, and fitted it to the Sprite. No more problem in heavy rain.

Much quicker and easier than welding a taller lip on there, and when the bonnet is closed the rear edge flange just snugs neatly down into the rubber strip so no possibility for rattles.

Guy Weller

Been somewhat busy of late with wedding preparations (yes I'm now an "honest man" - at least matrimonially as of last Thursday!)
However, in the recent heavy rains I did notice after a short heavy shower that the rain is trickling onto the driver's side of the floor from behind the side trim panel, at a point about an inch behind (towards rear of car) the accelerator pedal hinge at the floor level. I need to make up a new panel anyway - so that should be my weekend task....
Dominic Excell

An area that leaks and is over looked is the windshild washer jets, that little washer under the jet gets worn and leaks on your leg.

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Cheers Guy. I mused on the possibility of a seal, and you've convinced me. That looks brill, and as you say, so much easier than welding. Probably better too, as even if I raise the lip, really heavy rain combined with strong wind could still overflow the gutter.

Local to me is , rubber mouldings/extrusions. I'll pop in and see what they've got.

Yup, sorted those Prop.

No Honeymoon then Dominic?
Lawrence Slater

I wish Lawrence! Can't get the time off work sadly.
Mrs E had the devil of a job even to get the Friday off!
"business needs" they bleated............
Dominic Excell

Ah well Dominic.

I hope you enjoyed the Friday night "curry and a pint" instead then. ;).
Lawrence Slater


That really sucks, opps I mean blows... no no, I mean yanks your chain, ouch no, how about really jerks ones chicken...oh gez, no

Well you know what I mean... hopefully you will get a vac soon.

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Dom. The leak just behind the throttle pedal will probably be from an oblong grommet in the footwell side and the reason could be that your offside sill is full of water. It happened to me because I had no drain boles in the outer sill. I made three drain holes and sealed the grommet. No more problems. Well, not on that side anyway. I still have a leak on the passenger side where the water seems to be getting in via the bonnet hinge box. Further investigation needed, but a bit busy at the moment.
bernie higginson

This thread was discussed between 19/01/2014 and 30/08/2014

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