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TECHNICAL PAGES
Water Leaks

This technical page includes tips for curing a water leak

Water leak
I am constantly finding small amounts of dirty water or stains on the carpet below my heater suggesting the matrix is leaking but I am not loosing any water from the radiator, can it be anything else?

Sadly, yes. The metalwork above your heater has corroded away and the best permanent fix is to weld new metal in, I speak from experience here.
To do the job properly I have decided on my Ghia to remove the Top Cowl from the Cowl Top Panel (Ford’s names, not mine).


On a mkII saloon the cowl grille below the windscreen is fully welded in place BEFORE the body is painted, the narrow cavity below is therefore poorly protected from the elements and always rusts at the bottom where decaying leaves collect, there is about ¼ inch that cannot normally drain away and the rust sets in there.
If you drill the spot welds at the front edge of the grill then continue around the Cowl Top itself (the domed part) you can expose the cowl panel directly above the heater (which sits in a very short tube protruding through the cowl). Once removed you can see the extent of the problem and may decide to remove the heater.
Welding I shall leave to your own enimitable skills but I do suggest you procure a similar panel from another car, I all but destroyed the Top Cowl removing it rather than do too much damage to the other panels, I already have a spare.
For the estate and van the grille is secured by a combination of rivets and screws.
Need I suggest copious amounts of welding primer before reassembly? You might also consider cutting a very small nick from the bottom of the Top Cowl to ensure the cavity behind drains completely in future, it cannot be seen if the plastic drainpipe is fitted.

The author cannot accept responsibility for any claims arising from matter included in this text.