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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2016 Thread Starter
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water in trunk

89 Caprice. After rain there is some water on the floor of the trunk right below the tail lights. The trunk seal is like new, soft and correctly contoured. Any ideas?
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89 Caprice. After rain there is some water on the floor of the trunk right below the tail lights. The trunk seal is like new, soft and correctly contoured. Any ideas?
I'd bet the water is leaking through one or more defective tail lamp seals.

You could remove the trunk seal from the body and see if there are any rust holes below the seal, which would allow the water to enter.
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Great tip! Thanks. I pulled the gasket off and found two areas of rust about the size of a match head on the lip the gasket sits on. Cleaned them up and put body sealer over the area, re-glued the gasket and installed it. The amount of water coming in was less than a spoonful so this might be why. We will see. I am not aware of sealers or gaskets for the tail light assemblies. The tail lights do not protrude into the trunk. The irony of it is the car is a west coast, very low mileage vehicle and the body is mint. Water in this trunk is a problem I have and I have tried everything to find it including resealing all the body seams (trunk/fender) I could find. One source I am aware of is the rear window. Water dribbles in from the top and although it has been sealed it still leaks. That problem is a whole different story for a later post.
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Originally Posted by Tomthecat View Post
Great tip! Thanks. I pulled the gasket off and found two areas of rust about the size of a match head on the lip the gasket sits on. Cleaned them up and put body sealer over the area, re-glued the gasket and installed it. The amount of water coming in was less than a spoonful so this might be why. We will see. I am not aware of sealers or gaskets for the tail light assemblies. The tail lights do not protrude into the trunk. The irony of it is the car is a west coast, very low mileage vehicle and the body is mint. Water in this trunk is a problem I have and I have tried everything to find it including resealing all the body seams (trunk/fender) I could find. One source I am aware of is the rear window. Water dribbles in from the top and although it has been sealed it still leaks. That problem is a whole different story for a later post.

I have owned GM cars since my first car, a 1965 Chevrolet Malibu (46 years ago........), and have had several leak water into the trunk via the openings for the tail lamp assemblies. I live in the Midwest rust belt.

I had a 1975 Nova Custom 2-door, purchased new, that began to leak small amounts of water through the tail lamp assembly mounting locations. The lamp assemblies were held against the rear panel without gaskets, and held tight against the painted metal opening using speed nuts with gaskets on them. The metal began to rust around the cut-out openings, allowing water to enter. I removed the lamp assemblies, cleaned-up the rust, and repainted the area. I then used a small bead of clear silicone sealer around the opening and the mounting holes to eliminate the leaks.

I had a relative with a late 80's Caprice, but don't remember exactly how the tail lamp assemblies mount. Perhaps, remove the tail lamp assemblies (held on with plastic nuts?) and see if you can detect a water leak point.
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My older Malibu had the thumb screws to remove the tail lights and the 89 Caprice also has them. But the do not serve that purpose. I undid them to remove the tail light assemblies but they are not connected. Along the body above the lights is a body strip with screws in it. There are 3 or 4 and once they come out the light buckets drop out.
I think the majority of the water in the truck is from the back window as I can see the beads roll down the glass into the trim piece at the bottom of the window. I think there might be a problem under that body panel which runs between the trunk and the window. It has 3 screws holding it in place but I don't want to take a chance pulling it off until I know I can put it back easily.
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