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Raoul Duke
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting this thread as a reference for anybody who has the same problem I did and performs a search.

I've been dealing with a water leak for a few months in my '96. I would frequently find 1" of standing water in the trunk well where the spare resides.
I yanked out all the carpet and planned to take care of it later. Well, I didn't realize that the point of ingress for the water allowed it to spill into the cabin as well as the trunk.
The source is where the quarter panels meet with the cross piece under the rear window. The leak had nothing to do with the trunk lid, rear glass, weatherstripping or taillights. There is a very fine crack in the paint where that quarter panel joint is, and it led right into the trunk.
As a result, the water would drip directly onto the highest point of the wheel well, which would allow it to roll into the back seat during braking or if parked on a hill.
I had no idea it was this bad, but all of the insulation and foam for the rear seats was dripping wet when I removed it. The same is true for the insulation on the passenger side floor pans. The water simply wicked its way through the lining and carpet via capillary action.
However, nothing stinks and I didn't know about it until I picked up something off the floor behind the seat and found it was damp.
I assume it's been like this for months, so now I'm worried about mold. Any ideas on this?

I'm creating this thread after spending the entire morning gutting the interior and sticking the driver's seat (only) back into the car. The rear seat, passenger seat and all of the carpet is in the driveway. I think the seats should dry out, but the carpet may be shot.
How long does it take for mold spores to develop? Should I decontaminate the HVAC system?
Any other thoughts?
 

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PostWhore, The AFDB is on a lil tight.
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If its doesn't stink the chances are you got it in time. Buy a couple cans of brake and parts cleaner. Its pure alcohol and should kill everything plus it will evaporate if you douse anyting with it. Just a thought. I have dealt with leaks from the hood release cable in the firewall of a grand marquis. I just used magnum steel putty and it was taken care of. THis sounds like the cracking in the body because the 'V' brace isn't enough bracing to stop the twist. I did exactly what you did and after I solved the source of the leak I just put everything back together. I drove around with only a driver seat in 2 cars from leaks.
 

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Raoul Duke
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the information. I shot half a can of Ozium into the HVAC intake (wiper cowl) with the fan on the lowest speed. I'm hoping that the Ozium will permeate the ducting and boxes and kill any bad stuff.
Chances are, though, I'm in the clear. I filled that crack with touch-up paint and sprayed the area with water for 15 minutes - I didn't get a single drop inside.
It's a temporary fix, though. I wonder if I should get a rear strut brace from Rod?
 

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As splattered said, if you don't smell anything you should be ok...I've worked on cars where moisture gets into the ducting and you can distinctly smell anything once you turn your system on. Definatly a good idea however to go through the extra steps to make sure.
 

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Raoul Duke
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Discussion Starter #5
It's been over a week and the insulation that goes up the firewall and under the dash is still wet. I've got everything stripped out of the car (still) and I leave the windows down as often as possible. This is starting to annoy me.
I'm now beginning to wonder how high the water crept up into the pad behind the dash.
Still no stink, though.
 

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My cavalier had a leak for a long time and it never stank or anything. With it being rain water you should be ok against mold. Do you have a moonroof?
 

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Raoul Duke
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Discussion Starter #7
No, the roof is solid. The doors don't leak.

I've determined that the source is the trunk area.
 

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Raoul Duke
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Discussion Starter #8
Update:
After several days of rain, sleet and snow, the trunk is leaking again -- on both sides. I'm still confident that it isn't the rear glass, but rather the seams where the quarters meet the cross panel under the rear glass. Both joints have cracks all the way through the paint.
My only hope is to leave the interior gutted until the weather improves, reseal the cracks using a better method, then push the car off a cliff.

I hope this thread is a good search reference. I've spent way too much freakin' time on it as it is.
 

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My cougar leaked in the same spot. Fixed with a very thin bead of silicone caulk. You can see it if you look at it but no more leak either.
 

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Resident Line Creator
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I have the same leak that you speak of. Mine has apparently leaked for some time, before I owned the car. I can put my hand under the area that it is leaking in the truck, and feel the rust that has formed from it. I plan on taking care of it sometime this year, but everything has to come out of the truck.
 

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Raoul Duke
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Discussion Starter #11
My cougar leaked in the same spot. Fixed with a very thin bead of silicone caulk. You can see it if you look at it but no more leak either.
Keep an eye on it. If you've got the same amount of chassis flex as I do, it may separate and start leaking again.

I have the same leak that you speak of. Mine has apparently leaked for some time, before I owned the car. I can put my hand under the area that it is leaking in the truck, and feel the rust that has formed from it. I plan on taking care of it sometime this year, but everything has to come out of the truck.
It may be advantageous to pull out the lower cushion of the rear seat (should take only five minutes with no tools) and feel around for dampness. Check the insulation behind and under the seat as well as the seat foam. If it's damp, it's likely to have spread into the floor pans.

Ahh... Ford.
 

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Resident Line Creator
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I have had my seats out multiple times with redoing the system, and installing fold down rear seats. The main area that gets wet is right below the leak, and in the spare tire area. The car is in a canopy now, so the water won't get in any more. But I do have a lot of work to fix what the water has damaged.
 

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Mine's been leak free for 5+ years now (knock on wood) I have a Not Applicable engine so chassis flex is limited to awkward surfaces mostly.
 

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So this seems to be just a cougar issue.. I checked mine a week ago and no leaks, no cracks either amazingly.
 

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A couple years ago my Cougar was rear ended by a pickup truck and it was fixed up pretty well. The only issue is I have some leaking up near where the trunk lid support arms attach to the body of the car. I think that the rear window seal is cracked and leaking, or maybe some body seams I'm not seeing. My trunk seals look fine to me, they are still supple and have no cracks or splits, so I don't think that's an issue.

If you have trunk leaks or any information to help fix them, feel free to post your heart out in here! :)
 

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PostWhore, The AFDB is on a lil tight.
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Have you tried investigating with a garden hose and seeing where water begins?
 

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Have you tried investigating with a garden hose and seeing where water begins?
You bet ya! I've been locked in my trunk with a flashlight and had someone hose the roof, jams, window, everything and I didn't see water coming in. But let it rain and I'll see water droplets running down from the trunk arms down the wheel wells down into the spare tire area. It's been a grueling process trying to find it.
 
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