Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Preparing for winter;or, we gotta fix those seals!

This is our awesome back window.  One of the things I love about this car is the back window.  I'd love to not have to remove it; but, as we've come to realize, rust is a bigger issue than I was aware of.
At first I thought the major issue with the rear window would be replacing the trim.  But, as we learned from my last post, it's leaking pretty heavily into the trunk.
So, again taking advantage of the relatively nice weather we've been having, I set out to try a temporary fix...at least for the winter.
So, here is the major water entry.  You can see the vinyl roof is has also been compromised.  This is the major area of roof damage, too.  I was so hoping to not have to also replace that, but I think I lose there.
I, of course, did not get an 'after' shot of the seal job I did.  I bought an auto/marine clear sealant and just put a thin bead around the entire outer edge of the trim.  I don't honestly know if this will even help at all, considering the damage I am sure is under that part of the roof vinyl, but I'm going to get the hose, or a bucket of water, to test it tomorrow...just being sure it's good and dry!
Now, onto the 'major' project I have been putting off since the car arrived at my house...the roof rails.
Perhaps you can see how the seal doesn't exactly form a tight seal against the window?  The day we 'washed' the car, the water practically poured right in and down the inside surface of the window.  Maybe that's why the floor is soaked all the time and I'll be lucky if the floorboards aren't completely rusted out?  Ugh!
I have been dreading replacing these seals.  First, I had no idea how to go about doing it.  I can't find any info on replacing these anywhere!  I scoured YouTube and all the manuals and car mags I have and there's just no mention of it anywhere.  Secondly, after the trouble I had doing the trunk seal, a horizontal workspace and a clear beginning and ending spot, I just didn't know how I would be able to glue that seal in place AND...what do I do when I get to the end, at the back window??  Just cut and stuff?
Well, miracle of miracles, this is what I found when I started to remove the old seal...
It simply gets tucked into the channel!  And, yes...at the end, I just cut the excess and stuffed it in place!
Of course, once it was in, I couldn't really figure out how the window was supposed to fit into the seal, but I think I got it. 
Not that you can tell from this shot, but after a couple adjustments, I was able to successfully do the water test without drips on the inside of the window!

So there you have it.  The major 'body work' I wanted to finish by winter, and before I felt comfortable moving onto the engine parts. 
This is where I really start to freak out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Taking it slow: The trunk seal

Leaks.  That's what this car has going for it at the moment. 
We've discovered a massive amount of rust in the trunk.  There's also the issue of the soaking wet (not damp) carpet on the front floor boards.

Here's how my day went when I decided I would just change out the seals/weatherstripping on the doors and trunk...
Start with the trunk, to get a feel for working with the molded rubber and weatherstripping adhesive.  Then, the doors will be a snap.
Not really how it went, at all, though.  First of all, it took me about an hour to finally get the old adhesive completely off, so that I could have a nice clean surface for the new seal.
Well, surely putting in the new seal won't take too long, right?  Wrong.
It's not easy maneuvering that snake of a thing!  Add in the fast drying adhesive, I was working a couple feet at a time...when I finally got the nerve to put adhesive to car and seal; and, eventually seal to car. 
I couldn't remember how the old one looked when it was on!  I didn't know how to put the new one on!! Damn these parts with no instructions!  Thank you, YouTube!
I nearly put the silly thing on wrong side out!
But, at the end of the day, that new trunk seal made it onto the car.  Score one for me...first bit of new, installed!
Here are some pics (most are pretty much impossible to figure out, so I'll add captions):
Old seal...new seal

Lots of nasty old adhesive to remove...an hour with some GooGone seemed to do the trick.
Shiny new edge to adhere my new seal!

New seal! (Outside, looking into the trunk)
I never got to the door seals.  This little project took me almost an entire afternoon (of course, I also had other things going on that day, but the point is there was no time left!)
I still have the roof rails to replace.  And, of course, the very next day we had rain all day.  Good for checking my work, I suppose.  The trunk seal worked like a champ!
The bad news?  Well, that wasn't the biggest problem with the trunk leak.  The real problem, now discovered, is the water trailing across the bottom of the rear window seal, into the corner, and drip-drip-dripping into the trunk.  I watched a nice little puddle forming in the trunk.
I didn't want to replace the windows.  Doing some research, it has come to my attention that replacing the rear window trim on a '67 Barracuda is better done by converting to a '68 trim...the pretty shiny 'chrome' trim.  For now, I'm just getting it ready for another winter of sitting in the snow by adding a clear seal around the outside. 
Discouraged again, I took a look at my handy work with the trunk seal...surprisingly, that was enough to convince me that, though it may take longer than I'd like, I still want to finish this!