I thought that anybody else who is suffering with leaking window seals might like to hear that I have finally succeeded in curing the leaks on my car.
My MGF 1.8i is a fairly early model (Nov 1996) and came with an original hardtop. At the end of November 2001 I put the hardtop back on for the winter, and
then started suffering leaks, especially around the join of the 'A' frame to cantrail seals. No matter how I tried adjusting the windows, I could not prevent water ingress.
It would appear that these were the original seals, since they were quite hard to the touch, and I had no knowledge of them ever having been changed. Since I had heard that the design of the seals had changed in late 1996/early 1997, I'd asked at several Rover garages if it was possible to identify which ones were fitted, but was told on both occasions that this was not possible since the changes had been quite small.
Looking at both later and current MGFs, it was obvious that the way the seals reacted to the top edge of the window glass as it was closed, was quite different from mine. The new versions seemed to bulge outwards as the window glass touched, forming a seal between the top edge of the glass and the rubber, where as with mine, the glass seemed to slide over the seal and try to create, unsuccessfully, a seal between the inner edge of the glass and the rubber. Also, the joint at the top of the 'A' frame and cantrail seals was never smooth and parallel enough on mine, and tended to create a small triangular gap between the two seals and the glass.
So.............I bought a complete new set of seals, comprising of the 'A' frame seal and cantrail seals for the hard and soft tops. I had been cautious about the fitting of the large ‘A’ frame seal, not knowing if any special tools were required or if any mastic/gluing was required. As it turned out, it could not have been easier and took about 10 minutes.
Undo and remove both strikers.
Starting at one end of the existing seal mid way across the door kicker plate, pull it off the
doorframe, until reaching the section just above the door hinges. There is a small plastic stud at the leading edge of the seal, which needs to be prised out. Above that, the seal is bonded to the 'A' frame for a length of about 6". Gently pull the seal away.
At the top corner of the 'A' frame, there is another plastic stud, which also needs to be prised out.
Continue pulling the seal off from across the top of the windscreen, continuing the process down the other side.
Clean off all traces of mastic.
The new seal comes with all the new studs and a section of double-sided tape on each section where mastic had been used before.
Lay and fit the central part of the seal across the top of the windscreen (there is a groove in the seal which simply slides over the metal frame of the screen), ensuring that its centralized and that both left and right studs line up evenly. Push in the studs.
Work down one side of the ‘A’ frame, and locate and press home the small stud above door hinge, before removing the backing from the double sided tape. Press home the seal where the tape is fitted.
Continue downwards, pushing seal onto to doorframe, ensuring that the end of seal fits matching section of the rear section of the doorframe seal.
Repeat for other side.
Refit both strikers and hood.
Re-adjust door window glass if required.
Hope this helps anybody with a similar problem.
Cost as of January 2002
SEAL PRIMARY DOOR 'A' FRAME
SEAL ASSY HARDTOP L/H
SEAL ASSY HARDTOP R/H
SEAL ASSY CONV HOOD L/H
SEAL ASSY CONV HOOD R/H
BEWARE ! These are the seals for my car ! You will need your VIN number to confirm that they are the correct ones for YOURS.