Trunk Trim Seal

July 9, 2005

Every time I washed the car I would find a puddle in the trunk right at the back of the car. Obviously there is a leak. I don’t ever plan on driving the car in the rain but having water laying in the trunk after a car wash can’t be good for my relatively rust-free car. The taillights were in such bad shape that I assumed they were the culprits but I fixed those and I still am all wet.

So time to find a leak. The best way I could think of to find where the water was coming in was to shut myself into the trunk with a flashlight while a helper hosed off the trunk. As there is no way to open the trunk from the inside this involves a bit of trust. Being a trusting sort I handed the hose to my wife and folded myself in the trunk. It was a tight fit but when she started watering the car it was clear that water was entering around the trunk lid chrome trim and running through the trunk lid. The water ran out around the latching mechanism and made my puddle.

Lucky for me my wife was not too upset with me so I escaped from the trunk. With the help of my nine-year old daughter I removed the trim to have a look-see. At right you can see the three mounting holes that secure the trim. Bolts come up through the trunk lid and go into threaded mounting bosses on the back of the trim. At left is a very fuzzy close-up of one of the mounting bosses. You can see that the holes were “sealed” with black trim adhesive. Obviously this was not working very well.
And here is the trim removed from the car. 60+ years ago this part had enable in the recessed areas. I would like to recreate this but I think I should get it re-chromed first. I wonder how much that will cost… Below is a close-up of the condition of the chrome. Most of the cast parts look just like this. with extensive but shallow pitting. By the way my nine-year old did all the photography here. Good job Rachael!
As usual I am going to make use of inner-tube to make the seals. Recently I bought a cheap set of hollow punches so could make nice round holes in the rubber.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
I did not have a large enough punch for the outside radius of the seals so I just cut those with scissors. I used some non-hardening gasket adhesive just to tack the seals in place.
And here is the trim re-installed. Of course it turns out this was re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The carb on this car has not been rebuilt in living memory and has been giving me fits. I barely made it home today (7/11/2005) so now the car sits until I have time to rebuild the carb and fit a much-needed fuel filter.

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