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RWD - Moisture in Truck (Reprise)

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Moisture in Truck (Reprise) 200 1983

Yesterday I took out and cleaned and reset my 5-lamp tail lights and gaskets. I was very careful in doing so and afterwards, I lined the trunk area once again with newspaper.

Last night it rained again (this is Seattle, of course) and the car just sat there as usual. This morning I opened up the trunk and found the newspaper - particularly on the right side - wet again.

So I decided I had better check more carefully and stop assuming the source is the tail light or gaskets. When I opened the right side interior tail light cover, I saw some evidence of water but only near the bottom of the cover. You can see that in the photos. However, the tail light assembly itself seemed pretty dry. And the only visible moisture on the gasket was along the bottom.

I used a flashlight and my fingers to search for moisture above the headlight assembly and I was sure I found some. I took a closer look at the trunk seal and it seemed like there was moisture along the top of it where I suppose the rubber should be mating with the trunk's sheet metal. Hmm.

I decided to remove the black plastic trim that covers the area just inside the trunk opening where the latch penetrates. Held on with only 6 Phillips head screws so quite easy to remove. Surprisingly, I found water under it. Some pooling that you can see in the photos.

So now I am wondering it the source of the water is that it is somehow sneaking across the main trunk seal somehow. This is the original seal. So maybe?

Photos














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Still Moisture in Trunk (What the heck?) 200 1983

First off, thanks to all who have responded previously to this and my other threads on tail lights. I have ordered some tail light assemblies from Sweden (Bosch look just like my current ones but not official USA part numbers and way less expensive). Waiting for them to come FedEx.

While deciding to move ahead with the tail light assemblies, I decided to completely remove my tail light assemblies and mask the body holes off with plastic as seen in the following 2 photos:





The idea here was to try to validate that the tail light assemblies were the source of the water. With them removed and masked off, if they were the source, one would expect no more water.

At the same time I took aleekat up on his old mechanic's trick and liberally spread talc powder all over the place. I carefully coated the seal between the body and the trunk lid - which I had already replaced after doing this and getting suspicious. I also dusted the areas at or below the tail lights into the "wells" below.

For a solid week I saw no signs of moisture in the trunk save some condensation on the lid's interior. But this weather wasn't that harsh for around here. Yesterday, however, we had sustained strong winds and buckets of rain. And this morning there was water-sign once again! But for sure no sign of water making it past the seal between the body and the trunk lid.





At least on the right side, I was able to see some pooled water and think I saw/felt some water drops on the seam right of the masked-off tail light hole.



I find it difficult to believe that water could actually be getting into the seam in question as I think it is covered with the masking/plastic. But I did notice this and am not sure what it is or if it could be part of the problem:



No idea how this got there or how long it has been there. But I see something similar on the left side too:



Any comments/suggestions? Thanks





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Still Moisture in Trunk (What the heck?) 200 1983

Not a volvo but another car I worked on with a truck leak. It was a weld that had like rubber sealant on it and painted. Sealant was hard and cracked and water made it's way via the weld. Something to consider.
--
Post Back. That's whats makes this forum work.





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Still Moisture in Trunk (What the heck?) 200 1983

Thanks. How did you go about sealing it off? Bondo? Tar? Silicone?





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Still Moisture in Trunk (What the heck?) 200 1983

FYI
though I live in the salt-the-roads-beyond-reason Mid Atlantic there is another place back there that can leak/rust.

Based on your posts this is not your problem, but I bring it to your attention since it seems that you will be embarking on a Seam Re-Sealing project. After all you are 'in for a penny' with those European Ordered tail lights.
The 'in for a pound" part here is simply More Work, not more money.

The Seam for the Upper body and the Lower at the rear is concealed by the bumper and the trim. With the old style Aluminum Combat Bumpers, the full rubber that is the top trim - has a lip that attaches to that Seam. As Rust never Sleeps, but hides in the dark, Salt gets trapped there and rust thru the seam and opens up the back of the trunk to water and/or more salt.

From your pics there is no evidence that this is happening, however if you are planning on renewing the other parts of the rear seams, it may be worthwhile to remove that trim and check out that seam. Probably involves taking off the bumper.

ps: in the past 5 days, I've had 2.5in of rain at my house. If we had normal Jan temps, that wud be, at a 10 to 1 ratio...25 inches of snow. Total rain measured for 2018 here in my valley - 74.97inches.





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Still Moisture in Trunk (What the heck?) 200 1983

My replacement tail lights from Sweden arrived today. Look identical to the US version save the square special reflector on the outer side of the red lens. Can live without that for the big savings.

I pulled off the masking that I had put over the vacant holes and did notice the following:





Saw similar on the left side too. So before installing the tail light assemblies, I applied some foil duct tape to cover the seams:



Now just have to wait for some big rain and winds. Around here, not that long a wait in winter...





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Still Moisture in Trunk (What the heck?) 200 1981







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Still Moisture in Trunk (What the heck?) 200 1983

Use a scraper to pull all the old dry stuff off. It was pretty brittle. Silicon.
--
Post Back. That's whats makes this forum work.





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Moisture in Truck (Reprise) 200 1983

I put on my specs and studied your pics. Boxcar Man triggered a memory I had. We bought a $600 sedan that was parked under some pine trees. It had a wet trunk and an awful buildup of organic matter in the gutter surrounding the deck lid. Also, the vents above the lid ran slowly when observing the flow through the drain tubes. I thought the water rose in the gutter to the point where it followed the seal where it is attached to the sheet metal. It didn't need a new seal. It needed a good cleaning.
--
Art Benstein near Baltimore

Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.





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Moisture in Truck (Reprise) 200 1983

white wrote:
Last night it rained again (this is Seattle, of course) and the car just sat there as usual. This morning I opened up the trunk and found the newspaper - particularly on the right side - wet again.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

None of the above "problems", aside from Art's, would explain how, in a stationary Volvo, the water would find its way into the trunk.
Leaking tail light gaskets, trunk seal gasket. Both require an Active pulse of Water.

Just sittin' there mindn' the rain on the boot-lid. Water in the Trunk?





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Moisture in Truck (Reprise) 200 1983

PS: Seattle---Rain?
got you beat
so far 73" +/- at my house, most of it since the last week in July. Oooops rain again Thurs/Fri --- another Inch or so.
2 Culvert washouts
3 DriveWay "replacements"
3 Used 240s I cuda bought and fixed to Cherry with that.
Maryland very near the Mason Dixon Line





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Moisture in Trunk (Reprise) 200 1983

Thanks Art. I checked that out. The vents look totally clean/clear with no debris in the hoses. But I set up a rig anyway to put water down in the vent directly. It was a small hose so could not really gush water in there. But I was able to pour about a quart of water in on each side and see water coming out almost immediately on the ground behind the rear wheels. No matter how much I tried to put in, there was not a single drop backing up and falling down into the gully above the trunk lid. It looks to me that these vents really slant down and away so that would make it difficult, I think, for lots of water to get in there unless there was a driving wind pushing it up and in there. Easy enough to check. Cheers!





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Rear deck vent in the sedan 200 1983

Sorry to mislead you by mentioning something unfamiliar. The vents were stuffed with debris in my example, but that the mess washed down into the drain tubes and clogged them somewhat, is only an example symptom of just how filthy the car became kept for a year under the trees.

I don't seriously think the clogged vent drains contributed to the wet trunk (it's a sunroof car with Y-junctions in the drain hoses) but gave evidence to how much debris was in the deck's gutter around the seal. It dams up around the upper corners in that gutter. That puts water pressure on the seal's attachment.
--
Art Benstein near Baltimore

If you send me $20 I'll send you a how-to explaining how to make $20 from people on the internet.





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Old Mechanic Trick 200 1983

When I was much younger was chasing a trunk leak in a non-volvo. Did what you did, laid in the trunk with a flashlight while a friend ran a water hose.etc Until:
Old mechanic. Get some cheap baby powder/talc. Spread it on all the vertical surfaces. Run a garden hose. Wherever it is getting in, it will leave a "snail trail". I have used this countless times now.
--
Post Back. That's whats makes this forum work.





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Old Mechanic Trick 200 1983

Thanks for this suggestion. Happened to have some monkey butt powder I was given long ago as a gag gift. Nice to finally put it to use. I dusted it across the trunk seal evenly since my most current hypothesis is that is somehow failing. I then dumped about 3 gallons of water from a bucket along the upper edge of the trunk lid and let it wash down the gutters and away. Upon opening the trunk I saw no evidence of water going over the powder anywhere. So must be some other place.





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Moisture in Truck (Reprise) 200 1983

BTW - just checked the wife's 1980 244 which also gets moist in the trunk - just not so much as mine. I see similar things in her car as in mine. Also, I looked closely at the trunk lid seals on both cars. In neither of them is the seal all torn up an cracked as one might expect for cars of this vintage. However, the seal is not very "puffy" so maybe the contact isn't that great.

I read somewhere else about someone pushing some wire or small diameter rubber hose down inside the weather stripping to beef this up a bit. IPD lists a replacement and maybe others too. See it also on EBay from Netherlands. But maybe there is a generic as good?

Thanks for your time and patience with me on all this.

Happy holidays!





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Moisture in Trunk ('Fix' Failure) 200 1983

I mentioned reading that someone had inserted some hose into the round part of the push-on hatch seal. The idea was that this would make that part of the seal less compressed so it would stand up higher and thereby prevent water infiltration. Seemed like a good, cheap idea to try since other than being flattened, my seal looks really good - without cracks or tears.

Just finished trying and giving up on this. I went to a good hardware store and looked at their various hose products. I ended up purchasing some clear, 3/16" ID tubing since its OD seemed large but not too large and it had some flexibility that other hoses did not (still, it was stiffer than I'd have liked). Bought 15 feet for $3. Figured to cut it in half and insert from either side until they met in the middle up top.

To make a long story short, despite much effort, silicone spray, and grunting/swearing, I could not get the tube on the right side any further than a bit around the corner up top. Even this was quite hard. Upon closer inspection I think I know the reason why. Seems that in some places, there is an inner tube inside the obvious, outer tube. I could see this at the point where the two ends of the seal meet (and in the photo of the IPD seal) but did not expect more of that in other areas. Not sure why this is there but maybe reinforcement of some sort in high stress areas? Anyhow, got past the one(s) lower down but not the one above.

Before I pulled the clear tubing out, I gently tried to see if I could even close the lid with less that half the seal lined with clear tubing. Gently, I could not get the lid to close. I found that if I slammed it, it would close grudgingly. But surely even this would not work if the entire seal had been filled with the clear tube.

So just FYI, this does not appear to be a practical solution to the problem. Maybe a smaller diameter, softer tube?

However, in doing all this I was able to more carefully measure the seal material and I am not convinced that the one shows as 27mm high overall is the right one to use on my car.

Cheers!





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Moisture in Truck (Reprise) 200 1983

Your pics show built-up dirt on the body of the trunk. Clean all that up and maybe even apply some wax. Anything that will keep the water from running away can be an issue if the trunk seal is old.

Also really clean the gasket itself and on the trunk lid where it makes contact. Some rubber dressing might also help.





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Moisture in Truck (Reprise) 200 1983

I replaced mine with a similar profile that I found online somewhere --- I'll look and see if I have a supplier or part number....do not hold breath, as you would under-water.





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Moisture in Trunk (Reprise) 200 1983

Thanks Michael, I would appreciate it. I am especially wondering about the proper dimensions. I have basically found two items that right or close enough. One is 27mm high and the other only 21mm. By my rough measurement, the 27mm seems "right". But I am far from sure.

Photos





And then there is this from IPD. Looks to have extra tube inside which might be very good indeed. But costs over $160!





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Moisture in Trunk (Reprise) 200 1983

I went ahead and ordered the seal material shown in the middle position in this post. What showed up was the material in the upper position which is similar but with smaller dimensions. Comparing the new material to the old makes it seem like the smaller is a right-on match of the original 1983 material. Obviously less mashed down.

Although I still wanted the larger dimensions, hoping for a better seal, the seller on EBay said they did not have it and did not expect it until February at the earliest. I then checked out all the other sellers on EBay with this stuff and despite having different EBay IDs they all seem to be in the same exact location. This is also close to the location for Trim-Lok which makes the stuff, near as I can tell.

So I went ahead and installed the seal material. Not hard to do. The original has an inner piece of tube, as shown in the IPD photo, which is used to mate the two ends. The EBay stuff lacked this so I cut a piece of fuel hose that fit nicely and used that to mate the two ends. Not sure this is really needed but what the heck?

It may be that the larger dimension product would be an issue as closing the trunk lid with this new seal in place takes more force than with the old. I hope this bodes well for a tighter seal. Hard to know if the larger dimension stuff would allow the lid to close at all. So maybe luck is on my side.

Since it was warmish and sunny out, I again dried everything out inside the trunk and let it air out. Then I again lined the entire trunk with new newspaper to show where moisture is coming from. Two days and no rain yet. So it remains dry inside. But it is obviously too soon to tell.

More later as this story continues.

Happy new year!





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