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 Spare tire well rot repairing the repair

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lamune

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PostSubject: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sun May 01, 2016 3:02 pm

I'm still getting water pooling in my spare tire well. I did re-drill a hole to help it drain. I still need to stop the ingress but can't seem yet to find it.

I want to throw some pics up here. The bottom rotted out and was glassed over at some point, but with the leak not fixed the rusting continued and some of the glass has started to debond around the edges where the corrosion is. The glass being there seems to be a complication rather than a help in my mind, but I'm really no auto body expert, that's for sure.

It still feels relatively sound, so I'd be content with just fixing the leak and encapsulating what's left to hopefully stop it and leave it as it is. I would love to fix it properly at a body shop, but realistically probably not a viable option.

The orange glow is from a light placed below it, you can see where there's just no metal left at all. I wonder what this area was supposed to look like. I'm sure that the tire mount bracket was actually connected to something at some point.





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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sun May 01, 2016 3:06 pm

us a good wire brush,. vacuum the debris out,.then some rust converter,. then encapsulate it,.
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sun May 01, 2016 4:05 pm

Make sure there is a drain hole, as there doesn't appear to be one.  As for where the water is coming in, that question has many answers.  Could be roof racks, side windows, hole in rear fender well, seams, tail lights etc.

Tom

Just reread and saw that you redrilled the drain hole.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 02, 2016 2:17 am

I found an interesting way to check for leaks. I put a small shop vac in the car, took one of the wing windows out, and made a cardboard filler. I taped it to the car to seal it. I ran the hose and wire from the shop vac through the cardboard, and sealed them with duct tape. When you turn the vacuum on, it will pressurize the car, and you can use some kid's bubble liquid ($1 at the dollar store) to check for leaks. The vacuum will make enough pressure to show any leak.

My guess on the leak is the top seam of the quarter glass. The only way to truly fix it is to remove and replace the glass. I did a "how to" on the forum a couple of years ago, and some bits and pieces of it a couple of months ago, as well.
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paart



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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 02, 2016 10:24 pm

I re-did mine twice. Ten or so years ago, I repaired it with fiberglass, and made sure the drain hole was open. About 4-5 years ago, I started noticing a “sloshing” sound in the back after a heavy rain. Since it stopped after a year or so. I hadn’t given it much thought. Last summer someone backed into me in a parking lot, and crumbled the area at the bottom of the spare tire well.

When I took a look inside to see what was going to be needed to repair it---What a surprise! I use a full size spare, and when the support broke loose, it dropped the tire into the well which probably effectively sealed the drain hole! Eventually the trapped water solved the drain issue, by creating a new one! (much larger)

I welded in all new metal, re-attached, and braced the spare tire mount. The entire job, including re-finishing and undercoating took a little over three days of work!

I’ve never been able to find where the water is leaking in, but I suspect the roof rack. I had trouble with the rubber mounts leaking on both of the “boxies” that I had. I replaced all the rubber mounts on the roof rack on my ’85 Estate Wagon, which helped, but didn’t completely solve the problem.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue May 03, 2016 3:51 am

The seam under the outer edge of the roof rack may also be a leak source. I carefully scraped the old cracked and dried sealant out of the channel, and used regular roof cement to partially fill the channel. If you put too much in the channel, the rack will not fit into the channel properly. I have not had any leaks since that, and installing donor quarter glass. If the nutserts for the roofrack are loose, you can tighten them with either a nutsert tool, or a long bolt, nut and washer to re-expand them into the sheetmetal. They are metric, so check the thread and size. Do not replace the nutserts with wellnuts for the roof rack, or you will destroy the ability to use it for anything but visual effects. The wellnuts do not have the structural strength of the nutserts.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sat May 21, 2016 5:44 pm

Great tips. I finally had the time and motivation (caffeine?) to drag the hose out and systematically spray from the bottom up to find any leaks. I got a little dampness at the rear vent window, which isn't unexpected, but no significant leakage given the velocity and amount of water I was hitting it with. I then finally got up to the roof and I observed a pretty steady drip coming out of the bottom of the hatch grab handle and down the back sheetmetal behind the tail light. Did some more localizing and it seems to be coming in mid-way down the length of the passenger side roof rack. Can the roof rack be removed without dissembling the interior? That headliner will probably disintegrate if I give it as much as a sour expression.

Here's roughly where the water seems to be entering:



And you can see the steady stream down the middle of this photo. Right is up and left is down. It's a pretty decent leak!

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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sat May 21, 2016 9:27 pm

You cannot remove the roof rack without at least disturbing the headliner. There is a nut on a stud at the front only accessible from the interior. You have to pull the headliner down to get to it. Even then, it is difficult. The leak you are concerned with is probably the channel under the outside edge of the roof rack in that area. The water will leak between the roof and side seam under the sealant. It is one of the most overlooked areas for leaks. The water runs down the headliner and out of the grab handle at the tailgate.

Scrape the old cracked sealant out with a screwdriver, and use roofing cement to fill to the same level. You can use rubber gloves to keep it off of your fingers, and a straight cut off popsicle stick to even the top. Do not make it too close to the top of the channel, or the rack will not fit properly. You can even paint it to match after it sets overnight.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sun May 22, 2016 1:23 am

Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. I can't have it leaking like that for much longer! I'll start looking through the FSM and see what I'm getting myself into.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sun May 22, 2016 8:20 pm

I'm just about done taking the various trim bits out so I can drop the headliner. How do you get the C-pillar trim out? It looks like the rear seat mounts go through it and you'd have to remove the rear seatback to get them out.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sun May 22, 2016 11:34 pm

You do not have to remove the C pillar trim completely. You can pop the top tree fasteners,, and the headliner will have enough room to get it out. Be careful that the edges of the C pillar tops do not catch the cloth. Putting a piece of cardboard over them is a good idea. The wagons with the vista window need some support to keep the window area from cracking and folding at the narrow area along side of the window. You should have a helper when removing it. I would also suggest some "veil" fiberglass resined along the upper part of the narrow sides to reinforce the area before reinstalling it. Make sure you allow an area without glass for the courtesy lights over the door.

There are some Velcro style fasteners glued to the headliner, and their corresponding parts attached to the roof. They hold tightly, and are a little difficult to get off. If you pull them off of the headliner, just reattach them with contact cement. You do have to remove the rear reveal, and the small Phillips screws are not really screws, but locks for the fasteners. They are notorious for breaking, and impossible to get, so be careful with them. To disengage the fastener, do not pull on the reveal. Use a putty knife or screwdriver under the trim to push the edge and allow them to release. The fasteners also are not available, to the best of my knowledge.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 23, 2016 1:07 am

Thanks Fred. I've kind of gone down the path of removal of the C-pillar trim pieces, so I'd like to try completing that. The weird thing is, I can't figure out how to get the folding seatback out. The diagram in the FSM seems wrong, it has linkages and screws that are totally absent on my car. Clearly the seat went in after the trim, but I can't for the life of me figure out how it's removed. And again, FSM is no help for me here.
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Wagoninabox

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 am

Passenger side pivot pin pushes in. Get on the pin with a large blade screwdriver, push down to dig the driver into the metal then push in towards the seat. Once the pin is retracted, lift up on the passenger side and pull out. The drivers side has a stationary pin in a socket.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 23, 2016 7:47 am

91-93 is like your diagram, 94-96 is per Wagoninabox.

Save yourself a lot of work, and leave the C pillars alone.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 23, 2016 8:20 pm

Thanks Lance, that did the trick. The book is wrong, which makes me feel a little better about it. Smile

Well, I had to pull the one C-pillar out to fix it, so I may as well do the other one now that it's easy. I can get behind there and clean a bunch of crud out.

I also have to find a place to put the headliner while working on the car. Somewhere the kids won't step on it. That may be very hard.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 23, 2016 9:19 pm

put the headliner on the top of the car,..

kids shouldn't be walking up there,..
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 23, 2016 10:56 pm

Nick, that's ordinarily where I would think of putting it, but I need to get the top of the car to fix the water leak(s). Smile

Also, I wouldn't say that would absolutely prevent them walking on it, either!
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Wed May 25, 2016 4:53 pm

Success, the headliner is out and still in one piece!

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Wagoninabox

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Wed May 25, 2016 11:13 pm

I see rust spots and staining so looks like you have some work ahead of you! Did your headliner have the Velcro fastener?

Also, I have some of the metal well nuts (that secure the sides down) and the well nut tool if you need to replace any of yours. The center strip rubber well nuts are available at clipsandfastners.com

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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Thu May 26, 2016 1:09 am

Lance, we should exchange some notes here offline about this. Honestly it's not as bad as I anticipated. Some of the nutserts are a little rusty but it's not deep rust and I think they're all still sound. A little wire wheeling with a dremel and rust converter attention and they should clean right up. Hopefully anyway! I think I see where the major water was coming in and I think Fred's suggestion of some roofing cement will stop that permanently. I see some rusty studs on some other parts, like one on the vista roof. I'll clean those up too.

The odd thing is that there's one rather large stain, and there is a tiny bit of surface rust in the low part of the roof between two of the rails. I'm not sure what's going on there yet.
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paart



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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Thu May 26, 2016 7:06 pm

lamune wrote:
The book is wrong, which makes me feel a little better about it. Smile

The *%^&#*! "book" is wrong about a lot things! The longer I have this car, the more I get disgusted with the FSM. The fuel system is particularly fun! It constantly runs you back and forth between Vol.1 and Vol.2, refers to incorrectly numbered illustrations, and refers to charts that don't exist! At the end of all of this, it provides very little useful information.

Take Fred's advice about reinforcing the area along the sides of the "Vista window". This is a very weak area, and if it breaks after the headliner is recovered, well, you have a tough problem. It's easy to reinforce. Get some fiberglass cloth, and cut two-three strips slightly more narrow than the repair or reinforcement area. Get some "clear" 5 minute epoxy. Mix the equivalent of 6-8 tablespoons, and quickly spread it on the repair area. "Popsicle" sticks work well, for this. Work the fiberglass cloth down into the epoxy. Let it harden and repeat with more epoxy, and cloth, adding a little more epoxy over the top layer. After it's completely hard, you can sand off high spots with 80 grit on an orbital sander. Wear a mask when sanding or grinding fiberglass. A disposable paper mask is good.
The area will be the strongest part of the entire headliner, and then you can have it recovered.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Thu May 26, 2016 11:53 pm

Well, that's why I'm here and ask a lot of questions. There's a lot of great knowledge and first-hand experience that's more valuable than the stuff in the FSM.

So to continue this thread, I got some 1/4" clear acrylic edge trim and applied it to the part of the headliner in the trunk area where the cloth doesn't wrap around and was starting to separate from the foam. We'll see if that holds it.

I also picked up a little fiberglassing kit to reinforce the vista window area and the part in the back where the one push-in fastener was. I think that's a worthwhile thing to do.

I got the roof rack side rails off rather easily, but I'm finding that the nutserts for the roof bumper strips are just spinning. Do I grab them with a vise grip and then remove the screw, or is there something less brutal I should do to get them out?

Edit: The things I'm asking about are called well nuts, and I just found the other thread on this that Lance mentioned earlier - I used a plastic trim remover to gently pry upwards under the slat while unscrewing the screw to get the whole thing to pop out. They're hard as a rock and crack apart when disturbed. I got a few that are relatively intact and I'll take them over to Tacoma Screw in the morning. They'll probably have suitable well nuts.

The rivnuts that hold the side rails on are thankfully still in pretty decent shape.
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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sat May 28, 2016 4:00 pm

What size are the wellnuts? I need to replace mine.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Sun May 29, 2016 1:23 pm

I went looking and didn't find any in the local stores, but I was told that these well nuts are commonly used on fairings for Japanese motorcycles. In any case I ordered them via Amazon. This place has boating supplies and they have neoprene ones, which should last longer than me. They're not cheap but still cheaper than NOS GM price.

M5 Neoprene well nuts

I did glass the area by the vista roof, so making progress there. Given the backing material of the headliner is itself is a fibrous material with presumably glass fibers in it, it would be interesting to mix up a bunch of resin and paint the whole thing.

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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Mon May 30, 2016 10:31 pm

I'm at kind of a crossroads now. Fred and wagoninabox are aware but I'll see if anyone else has some input on these two things.

First one- the vista roof. I did some detailed investigations today and I definitely see evidence that the driver's side front area is leaking. Given what I've read here and the difficulty of removing the urethane seal (well, without breaking the window) I'm thinking of either attempting to seal it from "behind" - from inside the car, or taking the car to a glass shop and having them remove and reseat the window.

Second thing- some of the rivnuts are in pretty sad shape. None of them are spinning, and they all seem to hold onto a bolt, but I may entertain changing the ones that are really rusty. What technique works for removing them without causing damage to the car?

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Wagoninabox

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue May 31, 2016 1:27 am

Drilling them out works best. Drill slightly smaller than hole size. Have a helper hold inside with pliers or vise grips to minimize spinning while you drill.

Sealing a leak by spreading more goop over a rusty area just doesn't seem to work; goop doesn't stick well to rust.

I called s few shops when I wanted my vista glass removed and reset.....no one would touch it. Do share if you find one that will.

Be sure to lightly coat all roof bolts with a thread sealant when you reinstall. Just lightly however.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue May 31, 2016 11:59 am

I should probably clarify that I don't see any rust at the vista roof frame, I see evidence of water ingress where the water has run and caused some surface rust at other places. Also the headliner backing is blackened in that same area, along with one of the vista roof studs has some slight corrosion on it.

I'll see if anyone locally wants to touch it.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue May 31, 2016 9:16 pm

so you have rusty nuts,..
are you restoring the car??
or do you just want the roof to stop leaking,.?

clean the threads,.blow them out well with compressed air,.use antiseize on all of them,.
They don't get tightened very much,. you aren't building a submarine here,.carry on,.

What i,d do to stop the leak,.(on a car thats a d/driver,. not a show car,. and i,m not restoring it
I,d clean any area i needed too on the inside,. and use a sharp utility knife blade as a spatula and i,d do a nice putty job with urethane,.

when it quit leaking,. i,d put the headliner in and drive it,..

but do what you want ,.... we all know you're gonna,. and keep us entertained doing it,...

Have you thought about putting a big block in your car,.??
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue May 31, 2016 11:00 pm

Hey, I'm good for something at least, right? Smile

Yes, I hear you Nick. I do have a problem of over-fixing things, I admit. When I clean up the rivnuts I figure it may be a good idea to hedge bets in case I find some that aren't salvageable.

I took a 1" flexible scraper and put it between the reveal and sheetmetal and gave it a few love taps. It didn't budge, though it felt rubbery and weird and I didn't want to go any further than that.

Paddling may be the way to go. Urethane is also probably the way to go and not RTV
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:48 am

if the bolts backed ou without breaking then the riv nuts are good enough to re use,
its not as if you are going to do this another 4-5 times,
wire brush and use rust converter and rinse well where u want urethane to stick to
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:18 am

I'll check them carefully once I get the roof cleaned up. Someone took the roof rack off at some point and applied something like shoe goo to the plastic which makes inspection a little hard. I know one of those rivnuts tops is mostly gone.

Is there something missing? The only thing that was supposed to keep water away from those rivnuts is that plastic gasket between the roof and the rack? I separated the plastic backing from the rack to get all the trapped pine needles out and paint the pieces black.

Mmm. Big block. Tasty. I haven't seriously thought about that, but there are some helicopter turbojets that would fit in the cargo area. I think that's really best for a clamshell wagon though since you could operate the hatch from the driver's seat. Smile
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:04 am

The roof rack is back on, seams re-sealed, and the vista glass paddle sealed from the inside. It's supposed to rain a lot tomorrow, so after letting it sit overnight I'll let it sit outside and see what happens.

Thanks for all your help. Smile

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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:36 pm

Well, after testing today I can say the roof isn't leaking anymore. But there's a lot of water still coming in and filling up the spare tire well. It's coming in from the tail light.

I think I may have to remove the rear bumper to see what's going on.
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Wagoninabox

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:52 pm

Don't put your headliner back in until you for sure find and stop the leak. Water travels sometimes ftom near the front to midway of these wagons and travel along interior seams and exit near the back.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:42 am

Lance, I pulled the passenger taillight and I sprayed water down into the the bumper area (and no, not into the hole where the wing nut is, duh!) and watched the water come in, so there's something going on there. The fiberglassing that's coming apart due to rust makes it hard to see what's going on since it's partially obscuring the point of entry.

I hit the whole roof with the hose after sitting out in the rain all day. Not a drop coming through anything on the roof, which was very nice to see

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:49 am

Ok....also check seams all around back glass. Water can get under seal and travel through open seam and down into quarters. That was one of my harder to find leaks.
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lamune

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PostSubject: Re: Spare tire well rot repairing the repair   Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:37 am

Yes, I see where some of those seams look pretty open. I'll get those too.

This leak is down pretty low, below the level of the tail light.
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