no_leaks_small.jpg (16556 bytes) Wet passenger- side carpet

Soaking wet passenger side carpet is due, more often than not, to water entering the cabin via a porous seal around the heater box air inlet through the front bulk head (although leaking windows or poor door drainage can also cause the same problem, as is discussed elsewhere). Interestingly, this seal has been subsequently re-specified to erradicate the problem, so hopefully this is not something that we'll see on late model MGFs and TFs.

To solve the leak, you need to gain access to the heater seal, and this can be done from above (from inside the front bonnet area) or below (from inside the car). The latter method is the one discussed here.

Below is how Jim Hosking, in Warwickshire, solved the problem in his MGF (photography by Rob Bell):

1. Remove the glovebox. There are 2 screws (philips) underneath the closed box (opposite, B), and 2 inside the open box (see opposite, A). Carefully lower the box and unplug the 2 alarm connections, and 2 glovebox light connections (these just pull free). The glovebox will then just lift out. removal.jpg (14676 bytes)
2. Lift up the carpet in the passenger footwell (by removing the round plastic fixing plugs) and take out the felt soundproofing underneath. To remove the felt at the front of the passenger footwell you'll have to unscrew (just using your fingers) about 4 plastic plugs. This section of felt disappears under the centre column, so I had to "Stanley knife it away" (sic). All the felt was absolutely sodden and there's no way this would dry out in the car so let it drip dry over the bath then hang it over a radiator or in front of the fire (your partner permitting!).
3. At this point you can check that the heater box inlet is the source of the leak by tipping a glass of water down the grill above the bonnet (where the windscreen wipers are). In my case water then started coming in through the foam seal on the underside of the heater box inlet. You shouldnít have to look too hard for this, I was surprised by how much actually came in!


Some back plastic hosing (leading to the air vent near the wing mirror) runs in front of the heater box air duct. Unplug this at the top to give you clearer access.

Remove the air duct by taking off the single retaining bolt. See opposite

removing_heater_inlet.jpg (8463 bytes)

5. Create a new gasket using automotive silicone sealant (cheap and available from Halfords). See picture opposite.

plate_insitu.jpg (15631 bytes)

6. You may look slightly daft, but easiest way to do this is upside down with your head right inside the footwell. Not too comfortable, but needs must! Pipe liberal amounts of silicone sealant around the foam seal, wait 10 minutes and then re-attach the air duct, and air vent hosing.