Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
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Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by ARCHINSTL » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:20 pm

I have not found any comments on this phenomenon in any other threads...
A few weeks ago, I heard kind of a loud roar from the blower motor. Fearing the worst, I opened the glovebox and then noticed a bunch of leaves in the fan, as the Fresh/Recirc lever had opened the little flap. I noticed that there was a hole clipped in the grille, just large enough to insert a hand (ouch!) and extract the leaves; apparently a previous owner had done this.

Last night, I was suddenly visited by another roar and vibration, only really loud. It was loud enough that I actually pulled off the highway, fearing something dramatic had happened. Upon satisfaction that nothing was dragging/falling off, I noticed that it recommenced with the blower on. Sure enough, the fan was again clogged with leaves, and not just pieces, but intact leaves (full-sized oak and sycamore - not bonsai leaves).

My (then-new) '83 did not have this problem during the 4 Autumns I owned it. There does not seem to be anything missing in the visible parts of the system, and it really does not seem possible for complete leaves to:
1) get through the external slots in the body scuttle or,
2) get through the black plastic mesh located an inch or so below those slots.

What am I missing? Is this peculiar to '86s - or just not to the '83s?
The FSM has nothing I can find regarding any vent vexations.
The air flow of the blower is just fine, save when clogged. This thing is a real leaf magnet.
Thanks to all.
Tom M.
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Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
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keith
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Post by keith » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:02 am

We park the 86 right under a Maple tree and have not experienced this. Do you or a neighbor use a leaf blower? Could they be getting in when leaves are blown under the car and go up between the inner and outer fender and into the outside air intake located under the cowl.

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Post by takza » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:21 am

Might try:

viewtopic.php?t=51

I did this for the radiator and the air intake below the windshield. Works pretty well both places...stuff stops at the screen...then usually blows off eventually. Use silicone caulk to hold the screen on the underside of the panel below the windshield.

Sounds like you might have a mouse with big plans for the winter?
Give a boy a gun-give a biatch a cell phone-and pretty soon you almost got yourself a police state.

Orwell said: War is peace! Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
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Post by ARCHINSTL » Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:26 pm

Well.........Further on the Leaf Magnet..............

There was a pretty good rainstorm in STL Wednesday. Thursday I noticed a puddle on the passenger-side floor mat. Upon looking up at the fan motor, I noticed drops hanging from the lower lid.
Hmmmm.....
So I removed the wiper arms, unscrewed the 4 fasteners, gently pried loose the 2 little "press fittings," and lifted the entire "cowl ventilator louver."
The two exits for water at either end of the cowl were solidly clogged with tiny acorns and decayed leaf crud, thereby preventing the exit of water through to the gaps between the inner fenders and plastic fender shields.
So - the reason water entered the "snorkel" of the air entry vent was because it had completely filled the "cowl compartment" with possibly 2-3 (or more!) gallons of water! The snorkel's lip is about 2+" above the cowl floor, and just below the "roof" of the cowl.

I would suggest everyone remove the louver and check the corners of the cowl compartment; it must be removed for the inspection * The driver's side is easy to vac, but the passenger's side is "challenging;" I had to mate a 3/4" flexible tube to my small vac's hose to suck out the debris. You may encounter some rust, as the debris is a perfect home for water and salt; Goldie came from TN, so I was fortunate; no salt = no rust.

Tomorrow I will attempt to fashion a mesh guard for the snorkel as well as several for the gap between the fender liners and fenders - and follow takza's suggestion for a mesh under the louver piece. What should be ideal is some aluminum roof gutterguard mesh strips, painted black.
I presume this is how the various fauna enter our cars - through the fender gaps, into the snorkel, through the blower, and thence to the heater box. It also explains the presence of unbroken leaves and acorns, as there is no way they could enter the slots in the louver. Since the cowl corners were completely plugged, I presume the leaves and acorns in the vents were a stash from TN ? ? ?

This will be a good opportunity to remove the lower windshield molding and reseal it; there is some deterioration of the sealant. And I may attempt a (partial) removal of the heater box...
Tom M.
* EDIT:: I forgot to mention that the three plastic louvers need to be removed to vac the corners in the cowl lower compartment (containing the wiper rods and snorkel). There are exits to the fenders in the "top compartment" of the cowl as well, but they were not clogged at all.
My attempt to put a cover over the snorkel failed; it was less accessible than I thought.
The aluminum gutter guard mesh actually looks pretty OE when painted black; I secured it with some clear GOOP adhesive.
I also fashioned a sort of internal flap for the wipers' base pillars from a bicycle inner tube; not to keep out water, but now nothing can enter the compartments, save wind and water (I hope...). This was also a good opportunity to refocus the nozzles of the squirters.
The fauna apparently entered through the gap where the water drains, next to the bottom mudflap fixing bolt; it is just big enough for rodent entry. I solved that by rolling the aluminum mesh into a cylinder and inserting it in the opening; the mesh permits water to drain, but will (hopefully) deter the meeces.
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Last edited by ARCHINSTL on Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

Typrus
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Post by Typrus » Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:40 pm

Wait... Remove what... How? Huh??
Never had a problem with the 84... It lived for 3 years under a tree with small leaves that build up over an inch high on the roof in the fall. I am trying to keep them off the 86 (which now lives in the same spot)
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Post by takza » Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:07 am

ARCHINSTL wrote:Tomorrow I will attempt to fashion a mesh guard for the snorkel as well as several for the gap between the fender liners and fenders - and follow takza's suggestion for a mesh under the louver piece. What should be ideal is some aluminum roof gutterguard mesh strips, painted black.
I used alum window screen..which I thought might be too fine, but hasn't seemed to be. The gray fiberglas/plastic type would probably look better under that panel. Need to make some small holes for the washer nozzles.
Give a boy a gun-give a biatch a cell phone-and pretty soon you almost got yourself a police state.

Orwell said: War is peace! Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
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Post by ARCHINSTL » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:41 pm

Please see "Edit" of my previous post. It clarifies things a bit.
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by ARCHINSTL » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:07 am

New comment...
I noticed some drips at the juncture of the blower motor and the box into which it is attached.
OK - despite my efforts detailed above, water is again entering the "snorkel" connecting the blower and the cowl.
I removed the cowl panel - the screens I had installed were, of course, intact, as were the rubber shrouds I placed around the wipers to block those holes. There was no big pileup of debris blocking the drain holes in neither ends of the "outer" or "inner" cowl compartments... So - whence the water?
The only thing I can figure out is that when I had to wiggle the blower unit to install the non-AC unit duct between it and the heater core box, that I dislodged the "snorkel" in its cowl hole a tad and permitted water to enter thataway - but it all looks and feels tight.
Any ideas?
Oddly, I noticed a couple of broken acorns inside. The mesh blocks I installed in the bottom of the openings by the flaps were intact. Did the squirrels just push the acorns past my rubber wiper shrouds? A game? Messin' with me!

OT - but I've pondered HOW meeces could get into the heater box and/or AC unit, when it just seems impossible for them to get through the blower's squirrel cage (or for that matter, thence through the AC unit into the heater box).
Then it dawned on me - they can climb up the ducts under the front seats and on into the heater box! Sound logical/possible/probable?
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by takza » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:21 am

They can climb up under the rear of the fenders? This is where the water that gets in the vents drains.
Give a boy a gun-give a biatch a cell phone-and pretty soon you almost got yourself a police state.

Orwell said: War is peace! Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by ARCHINSTL » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:37 am

Oh, I don't question how they get into the car; they can penetrate where you mentioned, or hop in through an open window or a door left open. It just seemed unlikely they could get into the heater box through the blower.
Any opines on the water entry of my first paragraph?
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by splatterdog » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:12 am

I've read all they need is a pencil sized hole and they are in. The one time I found mice in a heaterbox it was a whole litter of the critters long since jerkied. This was on a cadillac getting it's first blower motor.

Maybe with the cowl cover removed take it to the car wash and pressure out the corners thru the fenders where rain water has to drain. With as bad as it sounded you may have soil like material clogging things where you can't see.

As long as the blower didn't pass too many leaves you shouldn't have a fire like when recirculate mode sucked napkins out of the glove box on my 84.

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by ARCHINSTL » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:48 pm

Ahhh - as to the meeces - I had not realized they could sneak in through holes approaching that small; I figured entrances had to be pretty much body-sized. I guess that explains how they get into my attic each Winter, despite having any visible holes long since inspected and plugged (my family's had this house since 1954).

I had not thought of blowing out the cowl drains with pressure. When I first cleaned it out back in '06 (when the drains were really clogged), I did test it with water from a garden hose, and it drained OK. Your suggestion seems pretty good; I will try it when it warms up a bit...
OT, but one of the nice things about living in STL is that while it may be below freezing for a week or so, pretty soon we will have a day or two of 40+ temps, so outdoor things can still be done - unlike in your Great North.
Thanks!
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by 8liter » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:24 pm

Im having thesame water issues in my pass. floor board. i took the cowl off today to see if there was anything clogging it. I used a shop vac and sucked up something but I dont think I got it all. I'll hit it with a blast from my compressor and see if that fixes it.
No replacement for displacement......

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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by kitchman » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:05 am

Was there ever a conclusion to the water leaking problem? I have removed the wiper cowl and fortunately things looked pretty good inside, no rust except for a little surface flash rust on the wiper control rods and a small section of the cowl floor. These areas were treated with Eastwood's rust encapsulator. As far as debris, the driver's side had very little though the passenger side had more. The complete areas were vacuumed and shot with compressed air. Your idea of adding the inner tube rubber around the wiper posts appears to be a good idea, but do you get water pooling in this area or did you create some weep hole? While at it I removed, sanded, acid treated and repainted all wiper arms. Haven't re-assembled things yet and just wanted to know what the final outcome was for the leak? Except for the debris largely on the passenger side of the cowl I didn't see anything major in there that could cause the leak.

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Leaf Lament or Vent Vexations

Post by ARCHINSTL » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:41 pm

Oddly, there have been no more leaks since my last report in 2009. Why? Who knows.
It would take some mighty large and heavy raindrops to get past the rubber around the wiper posts.
I would concede that some may seep past the rubber.
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

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