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  • Body / Glass: rainwater coming in from doors

    My 1960 Hawk has a problem with rain coming into the car past the door windows then into the door and coming into the car through the large rectangle hole on inside of door panel. Passengers floor is rusted away. I have installed new "cat wiskers" both sides of windows and cleared drain holes on bottom of door. Has anyone had similar problems, and what to do about it? Interior all removed and rusted floor replaced but cant install new rug until I stop the leaking...Thanks Rob

  • #2
    Welcome to the SDC Forum!

    Are you sure that is where the water is coming in? If the door seals are not good or the door fit is not good, you often get water leakage there (around the door frame). Try the "dollar bill test" at various points around the door.

    Of course, a garage is the biggest help. It keeps the rain out when the car is not being driven and gives it a chance to dry out from water getting in when it is being driven.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      If the doors are filling up with water, re-check the weep holes on the bottom of the doors. There is no way to keep water from filtering past the cat whiskers along the top of the doors where the windows go down. Hence the weep holes, however, if the doors are filling up with water after clearing the weep holes then something is keeping the water from draining. Get in there with a flashlight for a thorough inspection. If all else fails you can take the car to a good auto body repair shop and have them check it.
      Ed Sallia
      Dundee, OR

      Sol Lucet Omnibus

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      • #4
        Study some newer cars with door panels removed (wrecking yard or body shop maybe) to see how this is dealt with. Make a similar vapor barrier with flaps to hang inside the large openings.
        You may need to clean out the bottom of the doors from inside to keep the drains from plugging up again.
        AL SORAN RACING

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        • #5
          On most of them, the weep holes mush up against the seal and it just stops, or limits the flow that usually runs inside. A common problem. Look at the seal- it will have a depression in it from the weep hole. Just cut the seal about in half and the water will go outside.....

          Depending on the condition of the car, you can put a large screw driver in each of the 4 holes and pry outward if you don't wish to cut the seal. The object is to bend the edge of the door skin outward. The factory directed it inward, a poor design.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by (S) View Post
            On most of them, the weep holes mush up against the seal and it just stops, or limits the flow that usually runs inside. A common problem. Look at the seal- it will have a depression in it from the weep hole. Just cut the seal about in half and the water will go outside.....

            Depending on the condition of the car, you can put a large screw driver in each of the 4 holes and pry outward if you don't wish to cut the seal. The object is to bend the edge of the door skin outward. The factory directed it inward, a poor design.
            I agree. And check the gaskets under your wiper arms, that's another common area for water entry that is easy to miss.
            Ron Dame
            '63 Champ

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            • #7
              rain water

              Originally posted by Dwain G. View Post
              Study some newer cars with door panels removed (wrecking yard or body shop maybe) to see how this is dealt with. Make a similar vapor barrier with flaps to hang inside the large openings.
              You may need to clean out the bottom of the doors from inside to keep the drains from plugging up again.
              I just finished putting flaps over the large rectang. hole in door panel. I think this should do it thanks...Rob

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              • #8
                I typically glue a sheet of Visqueen to the door to seal it before installing the door card/panel.

                The door drains on my Hawk were modified so they will drain regardless of the seal assuming you don't dump an entire bucket of dirt in the door. This was done sometime before the guy I got it from bought it 1980, probably when it was painted , yes, the paint is 40 years old. It looks like you'd notice it right away, but I've only had one guy ever notice and comment, in fact I hadn't noticed it untill he pointed it out, that guy was Bob Petersen. Here's the pics. There are two such drains in each door.
                Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                  I typically glue a sheet of Visqueen to the door to seal it before installing the door card/panel.

                  The door drains on my Hawk were modified so they will drain regardless of the seal assuming you don't dump an entire bucket of dirt in the door. This was done sometime before the guy I got it from bought it 1980, probably when it was painted , yes, the paint is 40 years old. It looks like you'd notice it right away, but I've only had one guy ever notice and comment, in fact I hadn't noticed it untill he pointed it out, that guy was Bob Petersen. Here's the pics. There are two such drains in each door.
                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]80941[/ATTACH]
                  It's a bit of a trick, but if you can work the visqueen to the inside of the door at the bottom, then the outside at the top, it seals better. I use dum dum, so I can peel it back occasionally and clean inside the doors, then stick the plastic back in place.
                  Ron Dame
                  '63 Champ

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                  • #10
                    As mentioned, there are drains in the bottoms of the doors. They are not very large and they can easily become clogged with dirt, rust and ass't crud. They obviously became clogged and the door filled with water up to "the large rectangular hole." You can probably find a replacement door. I like to coat the inside with POR-15 as there is always some rust. Be sure the drain holes are open. Fix the floor with steel. I use heavy plastic sheeting to cover the access hole and tuck the bottom inside. T-rex tape or tarptape makes a good way to hold it in place as well as cover all the smaller holes. Had a 70 Buick convertible years ago and had it Z-bart-ed to protect it from Ohio. They plugged the drain hole in the L rear quarter and it rusted thru requiring a costly repair. People never lay down on the ground and probe these holes with an old hacksaw blade. The "cat whiskers" are not weather stripping

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                    • #11
                      Just be sure the holes are open. The best trick I ever saw was to remove the door glass, tape plastic onto the outside, bottom edge of it so it hangs down just a bit. It Acts like a shower curtain, protecting the regulator, and everything else. The vapor barriers are all good, but NOT if the water can't drain.

                      Lube the regulator, and POR 15 the inside of the door shell while the door is apart....

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