Help! 1997 Jeep laredo leaking water onto floor.

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Ok on to the question of the day.
I just purchased a 1997 Jeep Cherokee Laredo, and it’s leaking water into the front passenger floorboard like crazy. I tried drilling the ¼ inch hole and used the air compressor to blow air into it, then ran a piece of wire down the hole just for good measure. Then plugged up the hole per the jeep dealers advice. Careful not to use a plug too big or long so as not to obstruct the flow of water.
Problem is it’s still leaking just as much as before.

Ok 400 miles of testing later, I’m running the air and watching for something to happen in hopes of getting a peak at where this leak may be coming from, low and behold I see water coming from the bottom of the gasket just below the spot where I did the initial drilling. The gasket is located behind the drain on the firewall.

My question is how do I fix this problem?
Do you think using silicone around the gasket will help?
Also, how big a deal is it to replace this gasket?
And on a last note, could the leaking water possibly case electrical problems; as I’ve begun to have my dash lights (airbag, seatbelt, ABS, ect…) blink off and on after running the air for a period of time. Is there some way the water could be affecting these lights?
Please excuse all the questions but I’m dumfounded and have no where else to turn at this point, aside from looking into my empty wallet and yelling out a question which will only return an echo. :-)
Thanks a lot to anyone who can help, and takes the time to do so.

posted by  Typhon

If it's nice and simple, you could probably just take out the glove compartment to get to it. If it's not so nice and simple, you may have to take out the whole dash panel. Which isn't fun at all in a Jeep, trust me lol

But if you're going to go as far as that, you'd probably just be better off replacing the gasket with new. That way you'll know what you've got and have no worries. But that's just me, playing it safe ;)

posted by  Juhosaphat

I would check the drain line for the unit first Then change the gasget sealing it with silicone is just a work around An it is better to just fix it right.

As for electrical problems Water an power not a good mix really

posted by  DarkMan

I had the same issue with my 98 Wrangler Sport. Turns out there was some blockage in the drain hose. There's a 1" piece of black hose protruding out of the firewall in the engine compartment that goes no where. It's a little lower than the glovebox. That's the condensation drainage tube. I hit mine gently with a coat hanger and cleared it up in about 2 minutes...

But now I've got a different problem. If I've got the air on and idle for any period of time (more than a half a minute, or so) I have a nasty knocking sound. When I get a good flow of warm air, it stops or never happens, which leads me to believe something is freezing up.

Anyone have any insights?

Thanks!!!!

posted by  ptuna

Hello hello!
Just wanted to say thanks for the responses, and let you guys know the problem is now fixed. Much appreciated! :-)
I couldn’t afford to take the Jeep to the dealer for repair, so what I ended up doing was using some silicone around the gasket located on the firewall.
It worked like a charm, and hasn’t leaked in the last 200 miles. WOO HOO! Also the electrical problem stopped when the water dried up. The procedure took less than $5.00 and 15 minutes, as apposed to the $600.00 the dealer said it would cost for them to fix it.
If anyone has any questions on how to do this just let me know, and I’ll help walk you through, it’s very simple.
Thanks again!

posted by  Typhon

well i am gunna guess that won't be the final solutin to your problem, and you'll have to eventually deal with it but good job, might last forever who knows....ive seen wierder stuff

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

And I'll bet we both end up w/o A/C in the long run...

It won't be the end of the world, if/when the unit dies, more like the start of an opportunity to use the vehicle in a more "back to simple times" way... I almost have my war department convinced it's a good thing to have a hobby/recreational Jeep.

Global warming vs snow storms. Skin cancer vs. Vitamin D.....

I choose the top down, doors off, and some scenery that's good to look at.....

And if there happpens to be a fish to be had, well then we need to get there reasonably quickly and comfortably......

posted by  ptuna

I have a similar problem with my newly purchased 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo. I assume the problem is similar. Could you please provide me with instructions to find what I am looking for as well as repairing it?

Thanks so much!

posted by  TonyRingtail

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