Ram 1500 Leak Prevention in One day - Rear window, 3rd Brake Lamp, Shark Fin, Cab Vents

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Jbledsoe

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Feb 6, 2024
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Location
California
Ram Year
2020
Engine
5.7 Hemi etorque
I'm new here, but thought I'd share a quick write up of my leak prevention efforts on my 2020 1500 Laramie. After basically getting the middle finger from two dealers and RAM corporate, and another "atmospheric river" storm about to hit southern California, I decided I had to take care of this on my own. I've read a number of horror stories about the RF hub and the ETorque battery being damaged. I have minor stains in my headliner, and I've also had wet carpet under the rear seats, and I've physically seen water dripping down from the crack in my rear window frame during the last storm. I placed a rolled up towel behind the headrests along the bottom of the back window and the entire passenger side was soaked after one night of rain. Since there are basically four areas that can be the source of the leak, and evidence shows I have at least two of them, I decided to tackle them all at once.

Here are the materials I used:

2 pk Permatex 81730 flowable silicone glass sealant - $12.33 on Amazon
MD Auto Marine Rubber weather seal 01033 (5/16 height x 19/32 width) - $11.78 at Lowes
2 cab vents (Exhauster, bodyside aperture part #68323648AB) from Mopar Parts Overstock - $26.24 ($7.72 each, $10.80 shipping)

So basically $50 for everything. Much cheaper than the $200.00 the stealership wanted just to diagnose the leak, and I'm sure much cheaper than the percentage of the repair Corporate was going to make me pay for the window replacement. And based on other's experiences, replacing the rear window may just result in the same issue down the road.

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I started with the shark fin because it seemed the easiest. Just laid down a bit of tape to keep from getting the silicone all over, and squeezed a small bead into the gap all the way around.

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For the window, I again put down some tape just to keep it somewhat clean. I used one entire 1.5 oz tube of the permatex silicone to do the shark fin and the window. If for some reason I still have a leak, I'll add more with the second tube. I removed the 3rd brake light first, so filling the middle was easy. The gap between the body and the window is pretty small, so I just squeezed the bead of silicone into the gap, and let it flow down inside. I think I made 4 or 5 passes across the whole window before I ran out.

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For the 3rd brake light, I removed the old sponge like gasket and used some Goo Gone to clean it up. Not sure that was necessary, because the weather seal adhesive seemed pretty strong, it might have been ok to just put over the sticky stuff that was left. You may have to zoom the picture a bit to see, but I used one piece to go from the bottom of each side of the brake light across the top, then used another piece between them along the bottom. My thinking was that the seams are vertical, and somewhat protected, as water flowing down (gravity) would roll off the outside without seeping into a horizontal seam. I did trim a bit off the edges at the bottom as well, to follow the contour of the original gasket. When I put this back on you could tell it was a more robust / tighter seal. I applied pressure with one hand as I tightened the screws with the other, careful not to overtighten them.

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Finally, I removed the rear seats to access the rear cab vents. First of all, how in the world does so much dust/dirt get in back there? My truck is no pavement princess, I spend a lot of time on dirt roads going hunting, hiking, etc., but I was surprised at the amount of dust behind there. But there were also obvious drip and water marks in a few places, and evidence some water had actually gotten inside the RF hub - not good.

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So I noticed that my old cab vents were the same as the new ones. I bought the truck with 17,000 miles on it so maybe someone had changed them already. Most videos and pics I've seen showed the older style - leading me to believe that mine were probably not leaking. But I replaced them anyway since I got in there. There are a couple of videos on YouTube showing how to do this from the inside. It took some effort, as there is not much room to work the necessary angle because of the subwoofer on one side and the ETorque battery on the other. I also tried to go from underneath between the cab and the bed, but I couldn't get it to go that way. Tested my patience a little, but I finally worked them into place.

I put everything back together, and I would say the total time it took me to do all of this was around 4 hours. Most guys I've read about that have done these fixes have not had any issues with leaks afterward - which is better than can be said for the guys who have had 2 or more windows replaced. I'm happy to answer any questions, and I hope this maybe helps some of you that might be looking at these issues.

This next storm coming is supposed to be 4 days of pretty consistent rain, so I'll post an update after that.
 

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kdoublep

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Aug 30, 2020
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I did the permatex but need more. I'm getting water in that tiny little strip of carpet between my floor storage bin and door sill on rear passenger side. Nothing under the seat or upper deck gets wet.

Still trying to figure it out. Only gets wet on a good down pour in that area. Shop vac, Lysol and damp rid makes it like it never happened but that's getting old.
 

Justin33

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May 16, 2015
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2015
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Hemi 5.7
My headliner is stained so I’m thinking the third break light moreover the break light is out or got wet can lights still work. It was also damp on my rear driver side too so maybe the vets as well? I have a 15 ram with 46k on it, would this be covered by warranty?
 

TropicalWeather

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Jul 6, 2021
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Location
Florida
Ram Year
2020
Engine
Hemi 5.7

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