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Thread: Water in the trunk

  1. #1
    Member Arquemann's Avatar
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    Default Water in the trunk

    My MGM has sat outside for two weeks, it has rained quite a bit and it ain't warm out anymore. Moisture has appeared on the bottom of the trunk and now there's a bit of standing water too.

    Obviously I need to dry it first, but are there any non-intrusive ways to keep it dry? Moisture seems to condense to the trunk lid. Even though the trunk is "open" to the cabin, it doesn't seem to ventilate itself well enough. Would lining the inside of the lid prevent condensation appropriately?
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

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    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    I would suspect you have a leak and not just condensation.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

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    If there is any actual standing water, I also suspect there is a leak. However, there are a few different ways that could happen.

    Is the trunk seal in good condition? If not, prioritize replacing it. One of us on this continent might be able to find you one and ship it to you.

    Is the hollow area around the outside of the trunk lid seal, which becomes covered by the trunk lid when closed, full of leaves? If that happens, and it rains, the water could dribble in over the top of the seal where it meets the trunk lid. I do not believe it's properly watertight at the front edge, even when the seal is in good condition.

    With the trunk open, try pouring water (hose or large jug) onto the rear window glass so that it runs down into the corners. Watch the path that the water flows, and look inside the trunk to see if any seems to be going in.

    Check behind the cardboard trunk carpet pieces at the left and right sides in the quarter panels. Make sure water is not pooling in those areas. If water collects in those areas, it is probably an issue near the lower corners of the rear window, underneath the vinyl roof. Water can accumulate in those pockets at the left and right, and then when you drive and turn corners, it can splash out into the main trunk area.

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  4. #4
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    I was guessing the standing water is causing the condensation on the inside bottom of the trunk. I was going to suggest get a buddy- victim to go in the truck with a flashlight while you were armed with a garden hose. look for the metal lip where the seal lives to be pushed down and out of shape. or leaks at the tail light penetrations or dried out seam sealer at welded panel intersections along the rain channels. I had a vinyl top with a hole in the metal right under the vinyl causing leaks int he trunk plus dried out seam sealer and rust also causing leaks on my old 2000 MGM that I got rid of.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  5. #5
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    I'll see to it tomorrow, from what I remember, the trunk seal is intact but might not be in the best of shape anymore.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Even with a not amazing condition seal, it should drain well enough to not get water in. Leaves in the drain channel will stop that though, same with stuff sitting on top of the seal causing a gap. I have also seen failures at the seam sealer at the corners that lets water leak in.

    The seal can be had, its the same material used on Mustangs. Just cut to fit.

    as for drying it out, open the trunk, remove the carpet, and put a fan in there. If there is any standing water, get rid of it however you see fit.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

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    Another place to look for the leak is the filler neck bucket seal. The plastic bucket that the filler neck mounts in has a seal to the quarter panel. This was where the leak was on the one I had. Filled up the trunk after some good rains. was nasty back there. Filled in the gaps with permatex ultra black gasket maker and never had a problem after that. While you're checking that out, make sure the drain tube from that plastic bucket isn't clogged. This is a common issue due to road grime clogging the thing up. I once had to use an unbent hanger to unclog it due to the fact the crud was so packed in.

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  8. #8
    Member Arquemann's Avatar
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    Here's what I got: a lot of pics (jeez I can't keep these pics correct side up for the life of me...)
    So, again when i opened the trunk, the lid was quite wet from the inside, lots of beading of the flat surfaces. And I definitely need that new seal, mine's shot.
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    There was about 2cm of standing water at the front edge of the trunk, even though the car was at a very slight uphill. Also the upper right side is lower, I had my warning triangle there, and it was wet.
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    The front corners are dirty, but I don't think they're the problem, also I try to keep recesses clean.
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    The rear part, cardboard is wet on the passenger side aswell. The trunk bottom also:
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    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

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    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    look at the seam where the dried up seam sealer is but bend down and look at the bottom side of that channel that the back glass is on called the package tray to see if you see signs of rust or rust through especially at the seams where the seam sealer dried up
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  10. #10
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    Cont. due to attachment limitation (pics still lopsided or so..)

    What I believe to be leaking is the passenger side around the tailllight/end piece. There was also a black plastic bag -pillow on top of the wheel arch.
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    It was moist, but I didn't feel any standing water at the bottom there. I can't really figure if the water was also coming from the C-pillar corner, but definitely from the taillight area:
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    Driver side was clean and I couldn't anything suspicious around the filler cap in or out.
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    The carpet for the bottom and the rear cardboard lined carpet are drying in a warm garage, I tried to dry the bottom of the trunk as best I could at that time. I also put a piece of wood under the front part that hangs all the way to the bottom so it doesn't do that and stays out of any water.
    I have a warm storage spot for the car for the winter, I'm still figuring out which way I'll leave the trunk for that time. As is, the car is sitting outside, so the trunk can't dry out itself, since it's cold.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

  11. #11
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    Triple post for good measure:

    I could possibly negotiate with my father to get the car to our warm garage to dry out the trunk and then take it to the storage spot. I'd like to get the trunk back together for the storage period, since I have a full milk crate full of stuff that I'd store in the trunk during winter, to lessen the clutter in the garage.

    I'll also email the main US-parts dealer with a side shot of the trunk weatherseal, if they have anything similar in stock. I'm guessing even the original part has a cut and two ends on it?
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

  12. #12
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    yes, the original is just a straight piece with the two ends put together. Normally it doesn't have a large gap though, yours appears to have shrunk.

    I made a connector for mine out of a small piece of vacuum hose and some RTV to seal the gap up. Its a very common weatherstrip though, if he can get Mustang parts, its the same material. Most of the places supplying rubber seals and trim have it since its used on a lot of things. I think Rockauto even has it listed.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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  13. #13
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    Oh, I totally forgot...yes, where the tail lights meet the body, water can enter the car, and it can come in a lot. There are foam gaskets around each of the bulb openings, but it seems like with age they stop working. I sealed up my '91 in that area using RTV gasket maker and it seemed to work. The previous owner had already done the same to my '83.

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    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Mine was leaking around the tail light area as well as the seam sealer in the corners. Check out the last couple pages of my '89 link below to see what I mean.

    Used some seam sealer like stuff from Home Depot and some light aluminium I had laying around to fill the holes to keep it from leaking. Before both my rear quarters would fill with water as well as my trunk bottom would always be wet. I also removed one of the drain plug things from one of my rear quarters for good measure. (Wanted to make sure the water made it out... some splash back through the opened port wasn't the end of the world)

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    Ouch, yours was pretty bad, I think I'll pull the taillights see what I find when I get back to the car on Sat.
    For the bulb seals, mine were still there and mostly in one piece. Still had some sort of softness to them but would probably crumble if I were to lightly brush them with my finger.
    I didn't have any visible rust inside the trunk apart from the bottom.

    I'll probably be good with just sealer.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

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    Well, due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to take the car to storage today.
    I dried the trunk as best I could, placed back the dried carpets and lining.

    It'll stay in storage until April most likely. The place is indoors, warm and ventilated. I left the front windows slightly open and removed the trunk seal, so it'll truly dry out and stay dry.
    I have the seal with me so I have am example when I go looking for a new one.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

  17. #17
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    if you can leave the trunk open completely that would help a lot. Pull the lamp if you aren't unhooking the battery.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    if you can leave the trunk open completely that would help a lot. Pull the lamp if you aren't unhooking the battery.
    Yeah, would've been better but even though it's a space for friends & family cars, I had to show some moderation. I have a milk crate of parts in the trunk anyways. Spare grille, old alternator, headlights, sill plates and such. And so did pretty much everyone else.

    Battery was of course removed completely and the trunk light never worked anyways.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

  19. #19

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    If you can, put a bag or two of charcoal in the trunk which should help abosrb moisture from the air - my grandparents did that every year with the oven in their summer-only cottage.

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