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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

Hope someone has an answer, Every Acclaim / Spirit I've owned gets water in the trunk.

Anyone solved this problem?

Thanks,
Paul
 

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Most common causes:
1) Poorly aligned trunk lid
2) Damaged trunk gasket
3) Poorly sealed tail light lenses (this is a common problem)
Less common:
1) Poorly sealed rear window
2) Rust in rear window channel
 

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I battled that problem on my Spirit. In my case, water was leaking in at the rear window lower corner behind the chrome strip. I used Permatex windshield silicone sealer to fix it. It is rather thin and flowed into the joint. You will have to use a hose and start going around everywhere and see where it's coming in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I kinda figured I'd be getting the garden hose out. I think that will have to wait till warmer weather!

I pulled the covers loose in the trunk and didn't see evidence from the tail lights. I'll leave the panels loose and keep and eye on it.

The trunk seal looks real good. I just bought this car w,/44,000 miles on it. Found it in NC, so, no rust.

Everything points to that being the actual mileage.

although I am having some sort of problem with the coolant transfer from the overflow tank. What is it about cars that the cooling system is so touchy, for lack of a better word . . .?


Thanks guys, I'll keep you posted,
Paul
 

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If you mean the car isn't drawing coolant back from the overflow, there there is a leak somewhere. The system must maintain pressure when running and the sealed system generates a vacuum when cooling to draw coolant back in.

If no leak is obvious, get ahold of a coolant system pressure tester. All it takes is one weak hose clamp or a tiny pinhole to disrupt the system.
 

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Found out first hand in college that my trunk was leaking! Water got in and ruined a couple of very expensive library books that were in a box in the trunk waiting to be returned! That was a pretty costly way to find out. Library didn't want their books back with water damage! Never did find out where it was coming from. Didn't really care. Just quit putting anything back there when it rained.

My Spirit was 100% rust free, always southern car since new. I suspect it was a trunk seal somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As for the trunk leak, when the weather warms up I'm going to get in the trunk, while someone sprays water on certain areas at a time. Have to see something, I'm determined to find the answer. I'll keep everyone posted.

As for the cooling system, I did pressure test it @ 16#. Very, Very slow leakdown, 8# in 10 min. So, you're right, there is some loss of pressure - therefore vacuum - on cooldown. Just before this, I put a new rad cap on from NAPA. ( had an S logo on it, Stant? ) But . . . the cap says "vented" on it. Since this is a closed system is that right cap?

Sorry for the wordiness,

Paul
 

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I had the same problem on my Sundance. I pulled the tail lights, put a bead of rtv along them, and popped them back in. Trunk has been dry ever since.
 

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How do you guys deal with mold? I had a six-pack of Sierra Mist explode in my trunk from freezing. I didn't catch it until well after the fact, and now there's mold growing all over the underside of the spare tire cover. I know this isn't a leak problem specifically, but I imagine that you guys must have had to deal with it as a result of leaks.
 

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I used to work at an industrial paint store, so I just grabbed some devprep 88, damp-wiped the entire trunk down with it, and left the hatch up for the afternoon to air out. Much better than typical solvent :p. A bleach-water mix would work well. Do not use a TSP mix to clean it. The phosphate in TSP is actually a food souce for molds.
 

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hiway said:
As for the trunk leak, when the weather warms up I'm going to get in the trunk, while someone sprays water on certain areas at a time. Have to see something, I'm determined to find the answer. I'll keep everyone posted.

As for the cooling system, I did pressure test it @ 16#. Very, Very slow leakdown, 8# in 10 min. So, you're right, there is some loss of pressure - therefore vacuum - on cooldown. Just before this, I put a new rad cap on from NAPA. ( had an S logo on it, Stant? ) But . . . the cap says "vented" on it. Since this is a closed system is that right cap?

Sorry for the wordiness,

Paul
Hey Paul, the first thing you need to do is check all of your hose clamps and make sure they're tight. My 94 Spirit kept doing the gauge dance and I finally found a loose hose clamp on a heater hose! If you don't have any screw clamps that are loose, then you may have a leaking head gasket.
 

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Just before this, I put a new rad cap on from NAPA. ( had an S logo on it, Stant? ) But . . . the cap says "vented" on it. Since this is a closed system is that right cap?
That likely means it vents at pressure above a certain amount. There may be a pressure value stated on the cap. If the system over-pressurizes (say from a bad head gasket letting compression gases into the cooling system) the cap vents off excess pressure to maintain the cap's max pressure rating.
 

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Allpar.com has a solution, which refers to some holes or something under the body panel that fits between the trunk lid and the back window. This turned out to be not true for the Spirit I had.

Instead, the fault was the caulking, or whatever gunk they use, between the various sheet metal parts around the trunk opening. To describe where to look is a bit of a challenge:

Around the trunk opening, along the sides near the corners near the hinges, and between the flange supporting the weather stripping and the visible top of the rear fender, is like a channel to guide water around the trunk opening and off the back end. Near the corners, this channel has some welded seams. The body sealant used in those seams had dried out and was allowing water to seep through. The cracking was practically invisible, and I only tracked it down by gradually using newspaper to figure out where the water was entering. Sure enough, it was entering near the hinges, dripping onto the trunk floor and into the spare tire well. So you need to check these seams, dig them out and put in new sealant if needed.

I have not seen this described anywhere else and it took me a damn long time to figure it out. But it did stop the leaking on my car.

(If you live in a damp climate, there will be moisture condensing on the inside of the outer panel of the trunk lid. But the lid is designed to drain this water so it shouldn't end up in the trunk.)

If you have the folding back seats, moisture in the trunk will also cause annoying condensation on the inside of the windows.
 
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