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Leaking Avanti trunk seal.

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  • Leaking Avanti trunk seal.

    The miracles of the Avanti continue. Because I had 9 cars and an 8 car garage, I let my R-1 sit outside this spring, and when I finally got a round tuit, I opened the trunk, and Viola! [that's wah-lah for you who are Francophobes]...the wheel well was full of rusty water and the spare tire was floating, its back-side covered with rusty steel. The whole wheel well was stained with rust, and I assumed [wrong] that it was also made of steel.

    So, I ordered Avanti trunk weather strip from S.I., removed the trunk lid, removed the old weather seal, and applied the new weather strip, the open side facing out, according to instructions in S.I.'s latest catalog using the BLACK [messy] 3-M weather strip cement I also ordered. I also did the same on my WHITE 64 Cruiser, using the right weather strip from S.I. correctly applied after removing the trunk lid, removing the old weather strip, etc. Too bad they can't recommend something less messy than BLACK cement. Their weather strip cement cleaner also functions as a nifty paint remover!

    Today, I thoroughly cleaned the Avanti trunk (new trunk liner ordered) and discovered it is fiberglass, not steel, just STAINED with rust, not rusty. Then, with the car parked in front of the house with the trunk open to thoroughly dry, I went about my business until I decided to water the tomatoes. By then the trunk was dry, so I closed the trunk lid and showered the Avanti with water. Guess what? The weather strip leaked and there was water in the trunk, which would damage the new trunk liner when it is ready.

    I have read (on this forum) that the trunk on 64-66 Larks also leak, and some of this could be from the rear window seals. I just had a new headliner installed on both of my 64 and 64 Cruisers. This requires removing the front and rear windows, and they replaced with new windshield and rear glass seals from S.I. I suppose the rear window will also leak, or the trunk seal will leak, even with new rubber all around.

    Conclusion: Studebakers not only leak oil, but they also leak water. Maybe they should be called "Leakobakers". In any case, I guess I will continue to keep all of them in the garage and only take them out on dry sunny days. Thus they couldn't really be considered "drivers" [Studebaker DRIVERS Club] as one can't consider them to be "all weather cars". Maybe they should be called "Rustobakers",.....which I'm sure is not my original idea.

    Please visit my Photobucket site by clicking on thumbnails. Comments invited. Thanks.

    Jack, in Montana

  • #2
    I glue mine to the flat not t the raised inside edge, with the open facing outward (I believe...but I will check) Also, do not glue the sides flush against the rail, it needs to be about 3/16 away from it. It can be flush on the back.
    Bez Auto Alchemy

    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


    • #3
      Howdy Jack, After receiving and driving my 1963 Avanti, I was nearly overcome by exhaust fumes. So, during the day I poked my head into the closed trunk using the access hatch behind the rear seat and noted that the entire bottom seal was not touching the trunk lip leaving a 1/4 inch gap (hence the fumes). I wedged & glued another piece of weather stripping UNDER the Avanti seal so that it is not visible and the problem was solved. From your pics it looks as if the W.S. on the trunk left side (where it bends to go down to the lower lip) appears to be pulled out of the corner. If you can see any light while viewing the trunk through the access hatch, you have probably found your trunk leak(s).

      Due to the variances in hand-laying fibreglass, I have found the Avanti to be very - how shall I say this - porous. (But they are so heart-breakingly beautiful, that they MUST be forgiven) And as you noted, the body CANNOT rust. Now if I can stop the water leak thrpough the top of the quarter windows, I will be a happy man...Bob (R1 - 3062)
      Last edited by AnAvanti4Bob; 08-23-2012, 07:42 PM. Reason: added text


      • #4
        Water leaks are one of the special, no additional charge standard features that Studebaker provided with the Avanti. High cabin temperatures is another.
        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.


        • #5
          You can make Avantis water tight, but it requires a fair amount of attention to detail. If the trunk rubber contacts the opening fence when closed, then it should not leak. Some bodies have poor fit across the back of the trunk opening, such that the seal doesn't contact the body. Essentially the trunk lid is too long for the body. To correct this requires major surgery of the fibreglass at the back of the body. This fault causes exhaust gas leaks rather than water leaks. The best approach is to stuff a strip of foam backer rod into the seal slit across the back or adding a rubber strip under the seal at that location to fatten the seal.
          The most common trunk leaks occur at the window seal. A good idea is to put a drain hole or two at the base of the jack well.
          The problem with the quarter window seals is that when the frame attaching screws are tightened, they distort the frame, causing leaks. When fitting these windows, with the latch closed and firmly sealed, the body opening must match that curvature perfectly. This requires packing and support pieces under the vinyl trim to allow the assembly to be fastened without any frame distortion. This is a trial and error process to get it right.
          Coming back to the trunk seal, the original seal was a square C cross-section, rather than a V. A reasonable facsimile can be found in the trunk seal for a 60 -62 Ford Falcon or Galaxy from vendors like Carpenter, length being the difference. This will give a better seal on the trunk fence. As Bezhawk states, position the seal to positively contact the fence and may require gapping it from the raised part of the trunk lid to do so.
          Additionally, auxiliary seals can be added to the body at the door fronts, to significantly reduce or eliminate leakage at that location. Test all your seal contacts with talcum powder sparingly rubbed on the seal to leave an impression on the body. Work at it until you have full contact of all the seals, and the car will be leak-proof (and air-tight).


          • #6
            Avanti trunk leaks

            Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
            Water leaks are one of the special, no additional charge standard features that Studebaker provided with the Avanti. High cabin temperatures is another.
            Lots of good suggestions. Thanks to all. Will work on it today. Also took it for its first 80 mph ride in a long time. Whole lot of shaking going on in the in the front end above 60. Not much of a surprise. Tires must be over 20 years old, and Crager aluminum wheels are probably older. Have heard [here] that they are prone to cracks, just like some aluminum airframes on 737's! Also engine runs rough, both at high speed and idle. Not smooth like my Cruisers. Will check timing, plugs. So much to do for a basically lazy guy! Some good news: Air conditioning still blows cold, after who knows how long it has been sitting idle?
            Jack, in Montana


            • #7
              Years ago when I worked at an auto center we sold Cragars as well as other brand sport wheels. The Cragar S/S never impressed me as their quality control wasn't the greatest...the chrome was prone to peeling and they tended to rust where the aluminum center met the steel rim. That's not to say I didn't see other brand wheels do the same but since Cragars were so popular it seemed more common. I would hope all the sport wheel manufacturers have improved their quality control since.

              Twenty year old tires should not be considered safe and should be replaced at the earliest opportunity. Even if the tires aren't visibly dry rotted or have sidewall cracks they probably have deteriorated internally. Rubber composition changes with age and will get hard. You'll notice poor ride and even poorer adhesion to the road.
              Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.


              • #8
                RE: Cruiser leaks. IF they leak, the good news is it sounds like you paid someone to do the work. They should be obligated to come back and make correct. Leaking is not built in to these. They should have the proper autoglass sealer to take care of this.
                (read it backwards)

                Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln


                • #9
                  One last point that no one has mentioned is that the judicious application of blue painters tape, prior to installation, makes clean up of the dreaded black adhesive a simple process by just pulling off the tape.

                  , ,


                  • #10
                    This thread should be moved to the Technical segment of the forum.