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Unread 04-13-2007, 11:31 PM   #1
JimJimBinks
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ZJ Flooding on the passenger side floor. Need advice

Hi everyone, I hate to be making a thread on my first post, but I'm in desprate need of advice. My wife and I love our ZJ and don't want to give it up, but we're afraid of it becoming a money pit. It's at 116,000 miles and it's run great up 'till now. I want to keep the car, and I don't really want to worry about payments on a new one. But I could use the advice of other jeep owners.
Here's the story...
A few months ago my wife and I drove our 1998 Grand Cherokee Laredo from California to Michigan. About half way through the drive we noticed that the passenger side floor was flooded. After pulling the carpet back we noticed water was leaking from the big plastic round thing (Very technical, I know) on the passenger side. At the end of the trip, after reading about this problem on a few different websites it sounded as if something was clogged. So we followed the instructions on the site (Linked to here) but the problem remained. There was still leaking on that side.
I'm taking it in tomorrow, but from what I uderstand, in order to fix the issue, the dash may need to be removed. The carpets are getting kinda moldy, and I'm not sure if that's the kind of thing that can be remedied so those may need to be replaced. I'm thinking this will cost around $1000 to fix. I'm hoping I won't have to spend more than that.
Has anyone else had similar problems with their Jeep? At 116,000 miles should I just go for something new? I'd love to drive her for another 2 years at least, but I'm worried that if I pay to get this fixed something similar might happen again pretty soon.
HELP!... And thanks!

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Unread 04-14-2007, 02:11 AM   #2
Turbonut
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Nothing better to do at 4AM, so here goes.

First, make certain that the water is coming out of the plastic HVAC assembly, and not entering the compartment due to an external leak. Pull the carpets back and place blue (I use blue as they are easier to see a wet spot than white) paper towels all over the floor then proceed with the following.

The '93 ZJ's had the drain tube hidden in the frame rails, but the '98 should have a rubber hose behind the right front wheel that is connected to the HVAC drain. Air can be blown up that rubber hose to be certain it's clear, but having said that, when the a/c is on you should be able to see condensation drip out of that tube onto the ground. Another check, although somewhat more challenging, is to drill a small hole in the plastic HVAC housing under the glove box and with a pump sprayer inject water into the housing and see if it runs out of the tube, or onto the floor/paper towels. Try this with the nose of the Jeep downhill, the the nose uphill. The small hole can then be plugged. If water is found to be running onto the floor, then truly it could be a clog in the HVAC assembly, and needs to be addressed. Then there are a couple of ways to proceed. Pull the HVAC housing which requires dash removal, but some, I've never done this, have just put an outlet in the bottom of the housing and ran a drain through the floor. Once again, although I've never done this, I can't see why, if your careful, cut an access hole in the bottom of the housing, clean it out an then JB it back together. Naturally, one would need to be very careful when cutting the plastic as not to damage the internals.

If, for some reason, the hose is missing or damaged, and the water appears to be running in at the firewall where the condensate drain exits the compartment (especially when tested with the nose uphill), there are ways to access that area inside the frame as I've done it in the past, but for now we'll assume that's not the problem. If it is, we can address that later.

If after the above test, the hose appears to be clear, and no water on the floor, run water out of a hose without a sprayer, below the windshield on the passenger side. Just in front of the windshield, and inside the fender. At that location there is caulking about 3" long over a curved seam in the metal. I've seen the caulking deteriorate and water penetrate the compartment. It will enter under the passenger kick plate and onto the floor.

Personally I can't stand water inside. If it's as bad as you say, better remove the passenger seat assembly, kick plate, and door sill moulding, and pull the carpet back to let it dry, as the water is probably all the way to the back seating area. Once mold forms, is tuff to remove.
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Unread 04-14-2007, 06:45 PM   #3
abranz
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On my 93 the pass floor was wet also. I removed the seat ,used a razor and cut the wet carpet out so it could dry. I couldn't find the leak but the seam sealer beneath the windshield was very cracked so I chipped it out and replaced it. Then I used POR 15 on the floors incase they leak again but so far they are dry.
I never could find the EVAP drain hose. I figured it would be on the firewall but have not found it yet. Anthony in Idaho
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Unread 04-14-2007, 07:28 PM   #4
Turbonut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abranz
On my 93 the pass floor was wet also. I removed the seat ,used a razor and cut the wet carpet out so it could dry. I couldn't find the leak but the seam sealer beneath the windshield was very cracked so I chipped it out and replaced it. Then I used POR 15 on the floors incase they leak again but so far they are dry.
I never could find the EVAP drain hose. I figured it would be on the firewall but have not found it yet. Anthony in Idaho
To get to the drain you must cut a hole in the panel behind the right front wheel. The drain protrudes about 2" staight out of the firewall. Why so many get water running back into the compartment is because the tube is straight, and condensate runs back down the tube, through the broken seal, and into the compartment when the nose of the Jeep is uphill.
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Unread 04-15-2007, 06:58 PM   #5
JimJimBinks
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Thank you all for your replies. Gonna try to fix the problem over the next week.

One more quick thing about my jeep, probably unrelated to the leaking problem. When steering, if I turn the wheel all the way to the right or all the way to the left while moving (Either going straight, or reversing out of parking spaces) the car stalls. This only seems to happen when it's really cold outside.
Any idea what could cause that and how I could fix it?
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Unread 04-16-2007, 08:22 PM   #6
WJtech
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The drain is in the frame rail ant hole needs to be drilled in the right spot or it will not do anything,dead center or just below,once the hole is in the right spot blow it out with compressed air and plug hole with a little silicone and a cut down x-mas tree pin. As to the stalling try cleaning the t-body and IAC.
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Unread 04-16-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
abranz
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Where is the drain tube and how does one know where to drill what size hole? I'm confused. Please help. Thanks Anthony
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Unread 04-17-2007, 06:28 AM   #8
Turbonut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJtech
The drain is in the frame rail ant hole needs to be drilled in the right spot or it will not do anything,dead center or just below,once the hole is in the right spot blow it out with compressed air and plug hole with a little silicone and a cut down x-mas tree pin. As to the stalling try cleaning the t-body and IAC.
Ok here goes. Not to clean the tube, but to correct the water drain back, if that is found to be the problem. See below.

Way back in '97 when I purchased my '93, the A/C didn't work, but got a great price on the Jeep. I fixed the A/C, but a short time later I found the passenger side floor was soaked, all the way back to the rear seat. Upon investigation, by drilling a small hole in the HVAC box and inserting water with a pump sprayer, I found that when the nose of the Jeep was uphill, water would run back down the condensate tube into the compartment through a broken seal. Rather than removing the system, I cut a 2" x 4" hole in the panel behind the front wheel I then placed silicon around the area where the tube come through the firewall, then placed a large plastic washer (ID same as tube OD) into the silicon. If I had a curved rubber hose, or a hose the correct size in the garage, I would have just run it over the end of the tube and down to eliminate the drain back problem, but I didn't. I then secured sheet metal over the opening and hit it with undercoating. Floor was still dry when I sold the Jeep 8 years later in 2005.
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Unread 04-17-2007, 06:56 AM   #9
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you can also make sure the air ducts below the windshield are clear of debris
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Unread 04-17-2007, 09:58 AM   #10
jeepunlimited
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hi, i dont know if this is the same problem you are having but i was browsin you tube and found this, thought of this post...thought it could help you out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csKXuR3DQHs

i dunno if your jeep is the same underneath but it seems like the same problem ...sooo hopefuly it can help you .

good luck fixin her
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Unread 05-05-2007, 06:44 PM   #11
DaBobby
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I'm having the same basic problem except it's on a 99 Grand Cherokee. The evaporator housing is different than the 98 and earlier. I've attahced a couple of pictures below to show it.

Pic 1
Pic 2

I've taken out the passenger seat and pulled up all of the carpet. You can see in the second pitcture that I've tried to drill a hole and I've stuck a hanger through it to try an poke out debris. Haven't really noticed anything different when I poked through it. This problem has continued. You can see in the second picture that there's a drop of water coming from the foam part against the firewall. I've sucked up a couple gallons of water with the wetvac. If anyone has any suggestions or if I drilled in the wrong spot, please let me know. Any help is appreciated!
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Unread 05-05-2007, 07:55 PM   #12
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you need to blow out with a high pressure hose -- your ac drain is clogged
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Unread 05-05-2007, 08:40 PM   #13
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Can anyone tell me if I even drill the hole in the right spot? I've used high pressure air, I've used a coathanger. Wondering if maybe the hole should be drilled on the "V" section right next to where the current hole is in the second picture above.
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Unread 05-08-2007, 02:17 PM   #14
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All I can say is that I share your frustration. My 97 JGCL is also filling up the passenger footwells like fishbowls. I've performed the drilling of the evaporator drain like the guy in the video, and pushed a wire through and the wire comes out clean and dry, but the leaking persists. Does anyone know if it's possible that the drain is clogged further up toward the top of the evaporator housing and if drilling up there would help?

TIA,
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Unread 06-23-2007, 07:04 PM   #15
baileyedition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBobby
I'm having the same basic problem except it's on a 99 Grand Cherokee. The evaporator housing is different than the 98 and earlier. I've attahced a couple of pictures below to show it.

Pic 1
Pic 2

I've taken out the passenger seat and pulled up all of the carpet. You can see in the second pitcture that I've tried to drill a hole and I've stuck a hanger through it to try an poke out debris. Haven't really noticed anything different when I poked through it. This problem has continued. You can see in the second picture that there's a drop of water coming from the foam part against the firewall. I've sucked up a couple gallons of water with the wetvac. If anyone has any suggestions or if I drilled in the wrong spot, please let me know. Any help is appreciated!
My 98 looks exactly like this and i drilled in the same spot you did, and got nothing but as near as i can figure i must be dripping just like you i just wonder if like a guy had mentioned here about sealing around that from the firewall side if we could seal it from the inside. I see that the last post here was about a month or so ago if anyone figured this out let me know please.
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