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96-00 Sebring rusty speedo?

Discussion in 'Repairs, Maintenance, Help' started by NssJ, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    96-00 Sebring convertible.
    Has anyone else seen this? A rust trail down from speedometer needle...
    20170328_155806.jpg
    I'm hoping it's a common occurrence that just happens for no reason. 2nd best option is a side effect from being rained in once or twice. Worst case & my fear is submersion flood damage (which was my luck on last Dodge I bought & cause of my paranoia now, lol)

    Please chime in if you've seen this before. In under 24 hrs, I have to decide how much I wanna spend in repairs. So knowing if i wanna keep this car long term, or bare minimum & prepare to get rid of again is important. Don't wanna waste $3k fixing a future electrical nightmare again :D

    Thanks for your help as usual,
    J
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    Are there any other signs of it being a flood car? Do you know the car's history? Some of these flood cars are cleaned up pretty good, but there are usually tell-tale missed spots like silt deposits in an unreached spot. Usually on a horizontal surface under the dash. You might also see surface rust on untreated under dash steel structure. There are penalties here for selling without disclosing that the car has been in a flood or selling a car with a 'salvage' title. After many major hurricanes, the Northern used car market gets 'flooded' with used cars from down South.
    It also may not be rust. There is damping fluid in the gauges to slow pointer movement, otherwise you would notice things like vibrating tach pointers and swinging gas gauge pointers when the fuel sloshed around. The damping fluid can leak out if the instrument cluster is removed and placed face-down. The service manual states to keep the cluster in an upright position if the cluster is set aside during service.
    If you remove the cluster, look for other signs of rusted steel parts or electrical terminal corrosion.
    I was given a full-immersion (Braddock Bay) Neon as a gift. The car required extensive work, used engine, used interior and lots of electrical, but the car lasted me 10 good years. The car was running when it rolled off the pier, the owner had just stepped out of the car. We joked about its having a Baptism.
     
  3. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I guess the seller would have pulled the door panels and cleaned all of the silt out of the doors, but it might be worth a look, if you're suspicious.
     
  4. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Could be condensation from a water leak into the car. I used to get condensation in the instrument cluster in my 93 Daytona. The water leaks were at the passenger wheelwell and somewhere back on the right rear hatch. It was damp enough in the car to condense behind the gauges.
     
  5. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    There's dog hair everywhere. Never owned a dog, so unsure how far it travels, but like dog hair & dirt in door panel under window switch panel. Dog hair & weird dirt up inside top ledges of glovebox, etc. Just odd dirt collections through interior remind me of previous flood van...

    I looked it over good for flood damage when I got it. Very minimal surface rust under car, mostly flawless. Engine bay rust free. Pulled up trunk carpet last night; no rust, generally clean. Painted sealant matt has cracks, but fully painted, light black ring around its edges, but no rust.
     
  6. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    Convertibles are water-leak prone. My wife left the top down during a downpour once and a week later, we had mushrooms and saplings growing out of the carpet. It began to stink.
    I pulled the carpet and seats out for a good soap & hose cleaning.
    The jute backing of the carpet had to be disposed of, that was the stink.
     
  7. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Noticed on drive to work this morning & took new pics, slightly blurry, but driving straight was priority...
    20170329_072445.jpg 20170329_072701.jpg 20170329_072716.jpg

    So its actually a brown dust film on all 4 gauges with a brown powder drip trail on speedo only. Clean spots where each needle rests.

    This makes me think gauge lubricant sounds very possible.

    I also noticed, if wipers are turned on with drivers window open, it throws water in car on dash corner & all over window switches. So that could answer excessive brown crud for both of those maybe.

    I tend not to count dash support rust as an issue, I've seen that under every dash I've done work.

    I appreciate all the prompt replies! I got a deal too good to be true for mileage, so that adds to paranoia, lol.

    There's no mold or sewer smell, so thats good. There's dirt buildup around every vertical screw head in cab; but again could be top down dust followed by 1 rain to make it all stick.

    Are there any more areas I can check 2day for telltale signs not mentioned in my last 2 posts?
     
  8. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    Is the inside and outside of the instrument cluster lens clean? The cluster would have to come apart to clean the inside of the lens. This may have been an opportunity for the gauges to be placed face-down?
    There was also a 'gold-dust' accent to the gauge faces in the LXi minivans and LH cars. I don't know if the JXi/Limited was included. Part of the 'rust' you are seeing may be the gold-dust finish? Dust/silt would wipe off, gold-dust finish won't. See below:

    "Instrument cluster faces have a new appearance. Voyager, Town & Country
    LX and all Caravan cluster faces are off-white with dark graphics and red
    pointers.
    Town & Country LXi and Limited instrument cluster faces feature black
    "designer watch" graphics and red pointers on a "gold dust" background
    highlighted by bright bezels similar to those on Chrysler LHS and 300M".
     
  9. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    I don't see any intentional gold trim or anything. Black #'s & needles on white face, light mint backlit: brightest where pointers rest, darkend by brown film elsewhere.

    cluster lens appears clean on inside, mild dust buildup on outside, whipes off with finger easily.
     
  10. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Pulled up drivers side carpet at lunch. It's a little damp under there, so probably usual convertible leaks, but no rust, no mold. I think cars gonna be ok :D

    Here's some of the assorted dirt/hair pics that led this goose chase. The fllod van had a sewage baby shoe washed up inside the interior panels. So a bit traumatizing, and any odd crud inside closed comparments brings up thay fear again.
    Assuming static hair, dirt, rain as glue, lol. But nice to get confirming opinions...
    20170329_114426.jpg 20170329_114437.jpg 20170329_114508.jpg

    This is the nicest car I've bought(highest initial sticker). I've had Jeeps & Amigo, but 1st "luxury convertible". I'm used to dirt everywhere inside 4wd soft tops. Guess I was assuming that on road convertibles don't absorb dirt like those?
     
    #10 NssJ, Mar 29, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
    ImperialCrown likes this.
  11. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    I finally looked at your gauge images on a capable computer. They are the 'cool white' faces and not the 'gold dust' faces. I figure that the interior must have had a high-humidity event from a water leak or the top got left down in the rain sometime in its life. I agree that it likely isn't a flood vehicle.
    If you disassemble the cluster and remove the mask, the stain may clean up OK if you are careful. The plastic gauge pointers can be brittle after some years and can break off easily, so gently hold them out of the way.
    We have a '98 JX that we are putting back on the road today. We try to keep it garaged over the winter months. Convertibles are a blast in nice weather.
     

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