View Full Version : waggonaire questions - slide tops??

03-04-2005, 12:57 AM
I have two station wagons (well, four actually, two parts cars[:I]). The 64 slide top has never leaked. Unfortuneately it isn't a candadate for restoral by me. The 63 leaks like a sieve.[V] The interior of the 63 shows considerable rust from this problem. I was recently looking at a site devoted to Larks and they commented that the 63 slide top leaked and damaged the reputation of the cars. Being that the 63 is the introductory year and thence prone to small problems, was there a fix for that top effected in 64? Can I effect a viable fix to this leaky Datona?[^]

Ronald K. Smith

Chris Pile
03-04-2005, 10:43 AM
From what I have heard, Studebaker just didn't have the time, money, or inclination to fix the leaky-roof problem. I also haven't heard of any aftermarket fixes. Most of the Wagonaire owners I've talked to try some home-grown repairs, or just live with it. Sorry!

03-04-2005, 01:22 PM
Well, it was worth a try...:(

Ronald K. Smith

03-04-2005, 01:52 PM
I have owned and worked on 1963 Wagonaires. If the gaskets are fresh and in good shape and the top mechanism is adjusted so that it closes evenly and tightly, leaks are not normally a problem. The exception is if you park facing downhill in a heavy rain or use high pressure at the front seal when washing the vehicle, then you might experience a small amount of leakage. The drains need to be connected and clear. I can't think of any difference between a 1963 and a 1964-1966.

03-04-2005, 10:01 PM
So you can adjust it!:D I'll get that Daytona going yet...
Thanks for the Idea.;) Now to figure out how to adjust the thing...[^]

Ronald K. Smith

03-04-2005, 11:06 PM
In my experience, they all leak; some worse than others. When I lived in Vancouver, B.C. I had a '65 Wagonaire, and it leaked copiously. I'd go for a drive, and come to a stop, and a mini tidal wave of water and tree debris would come surging up the interior roof channel, and dump on my shoulder. People were beginning to think I owned an incontinent parrot.

The interior roof channels are in fact equipped with drains front and rear. A nipple of 1/4" steel tubing is welded in near the base of the channel at each end, and a 1/4" I.D. rubber hose is forced on the nipple, and snakes down the "B" pillar at the front, and down the rearmost pillar at the rear. Unfortunately, Studebaker didn't go the extra mile (well, more like an inch) and extend these drain hoses outside the body. They terminate inside the rocker panels up front, and inside the rear 1/4 panel at the back.

I recommend: first, vacuum all the trash out of the channels. Second, get a 1" hole saw and cut a hole in the inside panel of the rocker panel directly below the "B" pillar, and in the inside panel of the rear quarter directly below where the rear hose can be expected to hang (I think it deflects a bit behind the rear side window, so the spot would be directly below the rear bottom corner of the side window, give or take an inch.) In any case, with a 1" hole drilled in all 4 locations, you can root around in there with a wire hook, and snag the lower ends of these hoses, and fish them out the holes.

Try using gentle air pressure on the hoses, and see if they are clear. I'd avoid using full pressure from a compressor, either from top or bottom, as it might be possible to blow the upper end of the hose off the steel tube nipple, and that would be HARD to fix. If any of the hoses are plugged, try reaming them out with a scrap of speedometer cable core.

While you have those 1" holes open, squirt in some water with a hose, and then use an old piece of hacksaw blade to clean the slots provided at intervals where the exterior rocker panel / exterior rear quarter is flanged up to its interior counterpart. These drains are about an inch long, and often become plugged. Flush water and rod these drains out until the water runs clear. Wearing old clothes is a good idea.:) Similar drains exist in the doors, BTW.

Once this is done, and the body given a chance to dry, get some 1" snap plugs at an auto supply store, and drill holes in them just big enough to pass the O.D. of the rubber hoses. Thread them on the hoses, and snap them into the holes you made.

End result is: you won't have stopped the roof from leaking, but you will have ensured that any leakage is promptly drained away in the gutters provided, and that it doesn't wind up inside the car's lower body causing rust to fester.

Hope this helps,

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

03-05-2005, 04:10 AM
sheeze louise!! Did Studebaker intentionally set these cars up for self-destruction or what??
"Gee fellas! Lets set up the wagons so that they store water in the pillars and spill it on the floors. This way the whole car rusts to oblivion in the shortest time possible."[}:)] Sounds like Ford.;)
I know that's NOT what they were thinking or saying. I mean the top on my 64 is testiment to the fact that some of the cars actually worked out pretty well.[^] The poor car was just abandoned in a field for 17 years.:([xx(]
Looks like I have my work cut out for me.[V] Thanks for the info. I'll see what can be done to get this thing sealed and working the way it should.
An incontinent parrot???[:0]
thanks again.

Ronald K. Smith

03-05-2005, 01:44 PM
There's aftermarket weatherstripping that actualy works better at sealing that roof than what Studebaker engineered for it. The "drains" for the slide rails are tiny. ONE DEAD LEAF will cover them or stop them up - now the water has no way to escape the rails so it goes into the car![}:)]
Also, the rear drain tubes simply empty into the rear quarters - behind the rear wheels. Guess what, there's NO intentional drains for those boxed in quarters - at least not until some rust their way into existence![:0]
One thing you CAN do is to buy a roll of that magnetic rubber stuff they make refridgerator magnets from. It comes in various sizes and is paintable on one side. Cut two lengths of this stuff and flop it over the front to rear edges of the sliding roof section. This will help keep rain out and you can just yank them up when you want to open the roof section.:D
This stuff WON'T help to seal the front edge of the sliding section as the roof is stepped there and the flat magnetic stuff wouldn't seal it.
As I said - it's paintable and you could color it to match the color of the car so that's it's practically invisible. It's pretty cheap to!;)
Other'n that, keep the drain holes cleared and pop some drain holes in the bottoms of the rear quarters. And make sure the rubber drain extensions are intact so the water goes where it's supposed to after it exits the channels!

Miscreant at large.