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First time poster, long time reader. First off, I promise I'm not beating a dead horse... at least I don't think I am. I already know the Element can NOT be hosed out unless you like that mildewy smell and ruined electronics. What I want to know is, has anyone modified their Element so that it IS waterproof? At least the back?

Here are my thoughts. I would love any and all input!

I'd like to do this without removing the interior plastic flooring. If it comes down to it, and I need to, then I will consider it.

Use a piece of angle iron, probably about 4"x4"x1/4" (maybe 6"x6"x3/8" to be safe) to span the width of the Element, from door-to-door, just behind the front seats. Bolt or permanently fix this in place. Leave just enough room for front seats to slide back and forth. This is to catch any water trying to sneak up under the front seats.

Drill drainage holes in the spare tire well. Drill drainage holes in each of the rear seat anchoring slots. Possibly drill other drainage holes if I determine they are required. Most likely, I'll be hosing it out with the trunk and the side doors open so most water will evacuate this way. Use a common Jeep or other drain plug to close it off if I need to... but I don't really think I'll care.

Use Hurcu-Liner or whatever Rhino-Liner-esque coating is most recommended. Completely cover the floor and about 6-12 inches, maybe more, of the interior walls from the Angle Iron all the away back. Remove the spare tire cover and coat the interior of the spare tire well and the top of the spare tire cover. Hurcu-Liner should form a seal anywhere there is a seam and prevent water from contaminating the electrical and insulation. At least I hope...

So... Thoughts? Tips? Has anyone done this or something similar? I've searched all over the internet and EOC seems to have the best info on Elements but couldn't find anything like this! If all goes according to plan and I'm satisfied with the results, I may end up working out a solution for the front but that seems to be much more involved... far more electronics and such.

Thanks
 

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Even if you managed to waterproof the floor water would eventually splash up on the sides and the roof.
It's not a pickup truck where you haul mud and rocks so why would you need to hose it out.
I have to this day only used compressed air to clean mine.
Any drain holes that you would drill would just get clogged with dirt in time.
 

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Even if you managed to waterproof the floor water would eventually splash up on the sides and the roof.
It's not a pickup truck where you haul mud and rocks so why would you need to hose it out.
I have to this day only used compressed air to clean mine.
Any drain holes that you would drill would just get clogged with dirt in time.
I'm lazy, don't have a compressor, and even though I don't (typically) shovel mud directly into my E, my dog, bikes, and shoes pretty much do that for me. If you aren't treating your Element like a truck, you're not getting your moneys worth!

Not worried about water splashing on the roof or any of the other plastic. Water won't "eventually" get there if I don't spray it up there and if I manage to get a little water on the roof it won't be enough to harm anything. Only slightly worried about the speakers but with the doors open, I don't see it being much of a problem.

Really just looking for tips and advice on how I can get this to work!

My number one concern is that I end up with some low quality DIY liner that peals off in 6 months. Yet, I'd like to keep a decent budget. So basically, I want the best of both worlds.
 

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I use mine to haul up to eight dogs at a time. As the saying goes, **** happens. And piss. And vomit. I can certainly understand the desire to be able to hose it out.
Amen! I have one dog... but I'll be damned if I can't find a pound of dog hair in every single nook and cranny.
 

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have you considered a small plastic wading pool or similar?
you could remove it from the vehicle and hose it off on your front lawn or wherever.
 

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have you considered a small plastic wading pool or similar?
you could remove it from the vehicle and hose it off on your front lawn or wherever.
Haha, :razz: I didn't think of that but I'm hoping the spray in liner gives somewhat of a cleaner look. Plus I won't have to deal with storing a swimming pool in my apartment whenever it's not in the car.
 

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The spray liner sounds like a bad idea to me. That stuff cures dry and brittle, the floor and panels have flex to them and if you use it like a truck, they are going to flex and ultimately crack the liner. Then you just lost all water proofing.

Probably the most effective way to do this is to pull everything out to the metal frame. the rubber floor, the plastic panels, and the head liner while you are at it. Then spray it all down with bed liner. I would probably look at re routing the wiring so that you dont cover any of it up in case an electrical problem develops. Also, if you want to keep water out of the front area, you are going to need something with a bigger lip than just a peice of angle iron. You would probably need to build some kind of plexi glass wall.

I've seen this kind of thing done with older (1 and 2nd gen) 4runners where the carpet was removed and bedliner was applied. Yet I've never personally seen someone hose it out.


My personal solution to cleaning the back out? A Dyson and then a Swiffer sweeper wet mop.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The spray liner sounds like a bad idea to me. That stuff cures dry and brittle, the floor and panels have flex to them and if you use it like a truck, they are going to flex and ultimately crack the liner. Then you just lost all water proofing.
Yeah, I've found some liners that are supposed to be nice and flexible when cured but I'm glad you pointed that out. I'll have to make sure the one I get is flexible if I go over the plastic. I'm also getting in touch with the company that makes it to ensure it adheres well to plastic.

On the other hand, I wonder what it would take to remove all the plastic? Will I be left with a somewhat smooth surface or will I be dealing with all kinds of weird lines. Maybe I'll need to go back in with some sheet metal and refinish the interior before lining... that would be quite the project...

I've also thought about what you said with the Plexiglas. I'm not really worried about water getting over the barrier (it probably would be better if it were more than 6" though) because I'll be spraying towards the rear with the hose. And when I say "spraying" I'm not talking about a high pressure nozzle or anything, just a hose and a brush.

Definitely going to look into removing the plastic interior though. I don't even know what's behind it all, haha.
 

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I used to be into Jeep Cherokees which are unibody vehicles people take into deep, deep muck and mire. Several people simply drilled one inch holes in the lowest point of the floorboard, painted the edges where they drilled and then installed boat plugs like these to allow water to drain.



I think your plexiglass, etc. idea will only lead to water getting trapped under there and mold/mildew after the fact.

If you really wanted to do it right, I would suggest lining the interior as suggested, using the boat drain plugs and taking steps to preserve the electronics.

Or, how about a tarp...
 

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I've plastidipped several parts on other cars, motos and home items that needed to be waterproofed and flex...it worked for me.

If you really want to 'try' you can spray the entire area you want waterproofed with dip and I'm sure it will meet your needs. The key is spraying on enough coats.

Also, the BEST thing about spraying dip is that it is totally removable!

Search plasti dip cars on YouTube to see what I'm talking about...

Good luck
 
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