View Full Version : Water leak in rear cargo area...HELP PLEASE

December 24th, 2009, 06:34

Searched here and found some ideas on water leaks but sure could use some more. My 88XJ has a water leak in the rear cargo area. The water puddles on the floor in the corners of the rear posts . This happens when the XJ is parked. The posts by the rear hatch.

Ive torn out interior, flooded the car with hundreds of gallons of water and see water appear on the posts about even with the bottom of the windows which then runs down to the cargo floor.

The water just "appears" and runs down to the floor where it puddles. Its not coming UP from the bottom.

Ive looked up into the area with BRIGHT flashlights where the posts meet the roof while pouring water over the roof and dont find a leak. Ive even used the borescope from work to search in the area. NOTHING.

So far Ive removed the hatch hinges and sealed them before reinstalling them.

Ive removed the plastic covers that cover the wiring and rear window wash tube near the upper corners of the rear hatch openning and resealed them.

Ive removed the tail lights and resealed them (they are below the point where the water appears on the posts)

Ive replaced the rubber weather window seals on the L/H, R/H and hatch windows.

Ive replaced the rear hatch seal.



The XJ has a roof rack and the plastic between the metal rack and top of the roof is deteriorated.

I read one post stating that there are rubber orings around the screws holding the rack down.

Is this correct?

Fellows I really need some help on this. My wife threatend diviorce if she has to ride in my XJ thats missing the interior and my kids are mad because my XJ "smells funny". Heck my dog growls at me when I make him get into the back for when going someplace.


December 24th, 2009, 06:59
The roof rack is almost certainly the problem. The screw holes in the rails are oval-shaped to allow some adjustment during installation, and the rails also sit on the cap of the rivet nuts which allows a gap between the rail and the roof. Together this allows water to get in the gap between the head of the screw and the rivet nut. You can verity this by removing the rack and plugging the holes with 6mm screws by themselves. My leaking stopped when I did that, and started again as soon as I reinstalled the rails.

Because of the shape of the opening you'll need some largish rubber washers to fully close everything off. You'll also need flat steel washers to keep from deforming the rubber washer.

December 24th, 2009, 07:22
Ditto on the roof rack. I have the exact same problem in the cargo.

December 24th, 2009, 08:18
Thanks all. My 88s been with us since new...back in 88. Its hauled kids, building supplies, gone on trips, taught same kids how to drive a stick shift and faithfully driven me back and forth to work for 20+ years. Its not much to look at as the early XJs had paint issues (gray and blue ones) and our son had a front end incident with it.

BUT its Daddys Jeep and with 277,339 miles on it I keep it going.

Hate to loose it to rust as I fixed some holes and rust in the floor acouple years ago. Now Ive got this problem.

WIfe has told me a couple of times...."its time to let it go"

But you all know how a XJ is.

Thanks. I'll look at the roof rack when it warms up here.

have a Merry Christmas.

December 24th, 2009, 08:51
If it's an 88 then you probably have the rubber well-nuts instead of the aluminum rivet nuts. Might be smart to just replace them all, either with new well nuts, or with some of the coated anchors that they came up with as replacements. Search and ask your dealer for parts

December 25th, 2009, 16:19
Had a similar problem with our 87. Had the wife watch inside, while I took a turkey baster and ran water around the hatch area & into the roof gutters. Found that when ours was parked slightly nose up, water would run off the rear of the roof gutter, then down the rear of the body to the area just outside the hatch hinge.

This area is where the roof is seamed together with the body. The body putty & paint on ours had slightly cracked from age, amazing how much water can leak through a little crack. Ours was really hard to find as it ran down inside the rear post, then onto a wire loom and then dripped (ran) quite a ways away from beneath the actual leak.

January 2nd, 2010, 22:07
I just got here read about leaks. Mine is the roof rack rails. Water goes down the rail and leaks behind the plastic trim. I know now this because on Thursday there was 2" of water under my pass seat. Today I yarded out all the carpet and found cancer on the floor board. So now its on to welding in new sheet metal.

January 2nd, 2010, 22:32
another roof rack vote here. mine leaks and it runs down the A pillar onto the passenger floor. thank god it only rains once or twice a year here :D