Cabin Leak or just condensation?

4 months 2 weeks ago #3304 by STEVE ELLS
Replied by STEVE ELLS on topic Cabin Leak or just condensation?
Hi Steve;
Congrats on getting a 182J. I used to own one and it was a great airplane.

You are experiencing leakage due to, as you say the differences in expansion/contraction rates between aluminum and plexiglass, compounded by poor window seals.

All of the windows and the windshield in you 182 "float" in channels, to compensate for the differing expansion and contraction rates.

When I say poor window seals, I mean tired, compacted, or sealing material that has migrated over the years.

I could tell you to use some expensive (Pro Seal) sealing compound to cover the gaps along the edges of the windows, that might work. I've also tried to pry the windshield aft from the lower sealing metal strip to permit me to squirt some silicon sealant into the gap, which might work for a while.

But in my opinion, unless you're replacing the windshield and can use the more modern seals such as the product sold by LP Aero. These products include polyurethane sealant, RTV-732 silicone sealant, foam tape, black tar tape and felt tape, the best solution is to buy a good fitting windshield cover to cover the windshield when your 182 is parked outside.

I have a cover from . This company, formerly known as Bruce's covers has been in business for a long time and has a good reputation.

Some will say that installing a cover will cause problems, mainly because dirt/dust will be between the cover and the window and scratch the window. I don't park my airplane out side all the time but the times I've left it outside with the cover on for a week or so, I have not noticed any build up of dust.

The real problem with the moisture getting in through the rear windows and getting the carpet wet is that once the sun comes out and heats the cabin, that moisture evaporates only to condense on the inside of the top skin of the fuselage. Water is the catalyst for corrosion; so please open up the zipper in your headliner and look closely for corrosion on the skin of the cabin roof.

I found my "Bruce's" cover on ebay. It's in great shape and fits very well.

Good luck,

Let me know what you decide.


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4 months 2 weeks ago #3298 by Steven Casazza
Cabin Leak or just condensation? was created by Steven Casazza
Was hoping someone could help me figure this out.

Recently (October 2021) purchased 1966 182 N498EK. Brought it from the midwest back to my homebase in Washington DC.

I don't have a hangar yet and I started to notice fair amount of water collecting in the large (mostly metal) organizer that sits between the front seats. It was hard to correlate any rain vs. when I noticed the water. The odd thing is that it was not in all the pockets of the collected water seemed to be the smaller in size.

The first time it happened I checked the headliner, seats, floor and found no sign of moisture. I noticed the baggage area had some moisture. but not soaking wet.

I watched out for it the next few flights and really didn't seem to be present again, maybe a little bit I noticed some moisture in the baggage area. Not consistently.

Its been cold and not much flying since December, I recently had 8EK in for some other unrelated maintenance (nose shimmy, update EDM to w MP/Tach sensors, oil change). The mechanic said it was outside and noticed water in the organizer, baggage area and said "do you know you have a leak"?.

I am new at this and I guess I thought with big swings in temperature here in DC (can be less than 30 overnight then up to 55 or warmer). Perhaps it condensation collecting on the metal organization and no way to evaporate. as opposed to a real leak. Baggage area not so sure about.

If anyone has any thoughts or guidance, I would really appreciate it.


Steven Casazza

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