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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
The next step is to apply sealer along the two panels joint (seam). The factory sealer has detached from the metal as seen as it was easy to insert the spackle without any resistance.





Apply sealer along the seam all the way down in the cavity



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y sealer along the seam all the way down in the cavity
Ok, I've acquired all of the sealers and rust inhibitors now. Question: how many bolts are there to remove the fenders? I'm assuming 4 or 5? I see you did not need to remove either the mud flap, headlights or the bumper to remove the fender?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Ok, I've acquired all of the sealers and rust inhibitors now. Question: how many bolts are there to remove the fenders? I'm assuming 4 or 5? I see you did not need to remove either the mud flap, headlights or the bumper to remove the fender?
There is no need to remove bumper or splash/mud guards of the fenders. There are 8 x 10mm socket bolts holding the fender to the body, 3 on top, 2 in the rear, 1 at the bottom, and 2 at the front behind the bumper cover, plus 3 screws and 2 clips at the edge of the fender that secure the splash/mud guard.

First, remove the side running board if you have one. That will release the rear side of the splash gaurd to the fender. If you don’t have running board, remove the 2 or 3 screws of the splash guard behing the tire. There are two plastic clips at the edge of the fender on top of the tire that secure the splash/mud guard. Then toward the front of the splash guard, there are 3-three more screws that secure the splash guard to the bumper cover.

Remove the black plastic cover that is in front of the side mirror and on the top-rear corner of the fender. This plastic piece looks like a triangle. Open the door and with a plastic trim remover, separate the clip that is at the bottom-rear side of the plastic. Once you separate that clip from the body, slide the plastic piece out toward the rear and up of the vehicle. Two white clips will remain in the body. Removing that black piece gives you access to one of the bolts holding the rear of the fender.

Now, remove the bolts holding the fender, 3 on top, 2 in the rear, 1 at the bottom. To remove the 2 bolts at the front, pull the bumper cover toward outside opening space for one ratch and socket and a 10 mm wrench. The most difficult bolt is behind the black plastic where the bumper cover is held/supported. Look toward the front of the plastic piece and you will see the bolt behind the plastic piece. Use the 10-mm wrench to remove that bolt. Use a close wrench preferably of 6 points but those are rare to find. So, I used a 12 point wrench. After it is loosened up, you can continue with an open wrench. The last bolt is easy located below the black plastic piece. That plastic piece comes out attached to the fender. Do not try to remove it. It is secured with a screw that is only accessible after the fender is removed. To remove the fender, open the door and carefully slide it toward the back of the car. Be careful not to damage two plastic pins in the rear of the headlight housing. Installation is all reversed.

I hope I explained myself clearly without pictures. Good luck with the sealing.


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thank you for all the info again! One of your pics is saying it's 18+ (6th one in this page) FYI but it's showing the cracks in the body...
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
thank you for all the info again! One of your pics is saying it's 18+ (6th one in this page) FYI but it's showing the cracks in the body...
Yeah, that is weird. That pic was taken with the bore scope cam and then exported from iPhone to PC. Somewhere in the process was tagged as improper content. I will try to replace it.


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PRGonzalez Thanks again for the detailed instruction. I have now completed the procedure and shot a video on it (may be coming out in 2023, IDK).

Notes:
1) Although the upper front fender bolt is challenging, I found it not as hard as I expected. I have a ratcheting wrench set, so it was easy to remove. I ended up pulling the bumper to the front (just let it hang on the bottom support, same way as I did when working on headlights), it's much easier to remove the front fender bolts and pull the fenter after all fasteners are off.

2) The most challenging bolt for me was the passenger side rear bottom one - it was rusted in and attempts to remove it started bending the fender.

3) The driver side metal part that is inside the mud flap is rusted through entirely, I made a hole in it just trying to clean loose rust. No bueno!

4) I found factory sealant to be still good and pliable - it wasn't crumpling or anything. So I just added sealant (flex seal paste and spray on top) in addition to factory sealant and added it to places where I thought it was necessary (I found additional rusted places in the wheel wells, those were treated with rust converter, dried up and sealed as well).

5) The inside the windshield drain spots appeared to be most challenging as they are extremely hard to reach. With the help of GoPro and pliers I hope I managed to seal up those round holes. The biggest challenge for me was to avoid sealing the actual drains by mistake. I even applied some final sealant paste by hand just so I could feel where it's going.

6) The driver's drain tube was clogged a bit, so I cleaned it. Hope this helps with water intrusion as well.

7) The triangle covers near the mirrors were very stubborn to remove, but trim kit helped me (although I broke two tabs).

8) Extreme care needs to be taken not to scratch the door, bumper or fender when removing fenders.

For some reason I have a distinctive feeling that the water is getting in elsewhere and all this work (9 hours in total with filming) does not mean water intrusion will stop. I'll know soon enough (it's a rainy week). Either way, I consider this as good preventative maintenance.

Here are some photos.
Plant Dress Neck Branch Tree

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design Motor vehicle

Automotive tire Hood Automotive design Grey Wood

Wood Tree Trunk Metal Bumper


Automotive lighting Seafood Wood Fish Tints and shades

Automotive tire Liquid Wood Fluid Automotive design

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Automotive design Motor vehicle

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Alloy wheel

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Tire Automotive lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
PRGonzalez Thanks again for the detailed instruction. I have now completed the procedure and shot a video on it (may be coming out in 2023, IDK).

Notes:
1) Although the upper front fender bolt is challenging, I found it not as hard as I expected. I have a ratcheting wrench set, so it was easy to remove. I ended up pulling the bumper to the front (just let it hang on the bottom support, same way as I did when working on headlights), it's much easier to remove the front fender bolts and pull the fenter after all fasteners are off.

2) The most challenging bolt for me was the passenger side rear bottom one - it was rusted in and attempts to remove it started bending the fender.

3) The driver side metal part that is inside the mud flap is rusted through entirely, I made a hole in it just trying to clean loose rust. No bueno!

4) I found factory sealant to be still good and pliable - it wasn't crumpling or anything. So I just added sealant (flex seal paste and spray on top) in addition to factory sealant and added it to places where I thought it was necessary (I found additional rusted places in the wheel wells, those were treated with rust converter, dried up and sealed as well).

5) The inside the windshield drain spots appeared to be most challenging as they are extremely hard to reach. With the help of GoPro and pliers I hope I managed to seal up those round holes. The biggest challenge for me was to avoid sealing the actual drains by mistake. I even applied some final sealant paste by hand just so I could feel where it's going.

6) The driver's drain tube was clogged a bit, so I cleaned it. Hope this helps with water intrusion as well.

7) The triangle covers near the mirrors were very stubborn to remove, but trim kit helped me (although I broke two tabs).

8) Extreme care needs to be taken not to scratch the door, bumper or fender when removing fenders.

For some reason I have a distinctive feeling that the water is getting in elsewhere and all this work (9 hours in total with filming) does not mean water intrusion will stop. I'll know soon enough (it's a rainy week). Either way, I consider this as good preventative maintenance.

Did you seal the seam inside the well/cavity just below the pink plastic clip ? That is an ingres point too.


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Did you seal the seam inside the well/cavity just below the pink plastic clip ? That is an ingres point too.
As much as I could, which is not much. Because there are clearly two draining points there that I was afraid to seal by adding a big amount of sealer. And I can't really make out exactly which seams you sealed in your photos in that particular spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
As much as I could, which is not much. Because there are clearly two draining points there that I was afraid to seal by adding a big amount of sealer. And I can't really make out exactly which seams you sealed in your photos in that particular spot.
Okay, it is the same seam that goes to the bottom of the side out of the small drain slot by the rubber grummet. It goes straight down from the pink clip that holds the windshield lateral molding. I used a long and narrow wood stick to apply it all the way to the bottom of the cavity. Then, I applied a small amount of flex seal on top of the 3M sealer to cover any pin hole not covered by the thick sealer. I applied the flex seal in steps to avoid to much running preventing to clog the drain.

Does it makes sense to you?

Before:



After





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Alright, I did my best to seal those as well, which is really tricky because of the narrow opening and inability to follow the lines inside. I used a really long extension to spread the sealer on those seams, but I'm not confident they are entirely sealed, and there's no real way to verify.

But, fingers crossed, it's been raining for almost 24 hours and I do not observe any previous intrusion signs so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Does the 2010 + model have similar water leaks
problem?


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In my opinion, I believe we will have this issue eventually. The more exposure your car has to summer heat and extreme cold, the faster this problem will show.

Water ingress has been reported over the years in this forum. The predominant points of leak have been in the trunk. But, recently few cases are showing up with front cabine leaks. These are recently found water ingress points.


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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Alright, I did my best to seal those as well, which is really tricky because of the narrow opening and inability to follow the lines inside. I used a really long extension to spread the sealer on those seams, but I'm not confident they are entirely sealed, and there's no real way to verify.

But, fingers crossed, it's been raining for almost 24 hours and I do not observe any previous intrusion signs so far.
That is great!!! If you find a little more of water, use flex seal (liquid) in short bursts of spray letting it run slowly down on top of the 3M sealer.



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Sadly, all of the work that I have done appear to not have yielded any positive results - after the first snow which produced a lot of water after melting, I get the same signs.

I will now stop blindly sealing seams and start diagnosing my specific leak by pouring water and examining the water ingress with a camera from within the cabin. Unfortunately, there is no way to work at home anymore with the weather, so I'll have to resort to those chances I can take in my friend's garage. Hopefully, I can find a day or two this week to diagnose and seal the ingress once and for all, because it's getting annoying to a point when I'm very close to just leasing a new car. Let's see if it pushes me over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Sadly, all of the work that I have done appear to not have yielded any positive results - after the first snow which produced a lot of water after melting, I get the same signs.

I will now stop blindly sealing seams and start diagnosing my specific leak by pouring water and examining the water ingress with a camera from within the cabin. Unfortunately, there is no way to work at home anymore with the weather, so I'll have to resort to those chances I can take in my friend's garage. Hopefully, I can find a day or two this week to diagnose and seal the ingress once and for all, because it's getting annoying to a point when I'm very close to just leasing a new car. Let's see if it pushes me over.
I used pastry colored dyes with water to find out the spots. I used one color for the upper spot by the wiper motor panel and another color in the lateral well in the hard to reach cavity. That was how I confirmed each spot. Now, based on the rust from your pictures, you might have additional ingress points.
 
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