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Sealing Rear Window Reveal Molding Clip Screws

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Hi All:

 

I'm getting water in the trunk of my '64 Skylark. Fortunately this hasn't been happening very much over the life of the car because the trunk is in near perfect condition. However, I want to fix this ASAP to keep from having to limit my drives to dry weather days, and more importantly to keep from rotting out the trunk and the metal under the package tray.

 

I purposely left the car out in the rain today while I was at work to give it a good soaking, and the water is getting in through the screws that hold the reveal molding clips. Whatever sealant they used at the factory is essentially gone, and I need to reseal the screws. I'd appreciate suggestions on how best to reseal them, keeping in mind that whatever I use has to be somewhat pliable since there will be some lateral movement of the screws when I reinstall the molding.

 

Two candidate sealers I'm considering are dum dum and Permatex flowable silicone windshield sealer. Any ideas would be appreciated.

 

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I would use permatex.  I did with my daily driver when the rubber windshield seal started coming off the window.   

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Of course, you'll need to thoroughly clean and treat and paint the affected areas.  3M came out with AlumaLead for the '71+ model year GM cars which collected water in the lower rear corners of the back glass.  That might make a good "resurface" treatment.

 

I don't recall any sealer for the screws per se.  The metal they went into was painted and they probably just screwed-in and that was that.  Possibly, as some smaller trim screws, a blob of a gummy substance on the tip of the treads?

 

Rather than the Permatex, I'd recommend the same sealer that goes around current model (used for many decades prior) windshield sealer.  You can get it in a roll, or possibly a shorter length from an automotive glass shop.  Or you can get the urethane windshield sealer in a caulking gun tube.  With either one, you can put some on the tip of the threads before putting the screws into the metal to hold the clips (or any adjacent areas).

 

The "dum-dum" will eventually dry out as the oils in it evaporate.  It can work for a while, though.  I don't see PermaTex being very pliable and sealing, in the long run.

 

Please keep us posted on your progress.

NTX5467

 

 

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Since I made my original post I discovered that the clips that held the molding onto the car are not originals, and the replacement clips are somewhat of a hack job. I discovered this when I searched for replacement clips, because one is missing and the molding didn't sit flush with the body. The replacement clips that showed up on the web are nothing at all like the ones on the car, and upon closer inspection I determined that the original clips must have broken off and were replaced with the ones shown here. Only the screws into the body remain where the original clips were. The only original clips that remain are the ones along the bottom of the channel near then trunk lid. When you see how the replacement clips were installed it's pretty obvious why there's water getting into the car.

 

So now I have a new problem: getting the original screws out and then screwing in the new clips. Easier said than done because the windshield is in the way of where a screwdriver needs to go. Obviously the clips were installed at the factory before the windshield was. I considered playing around with it, but on second thought I will be better off taking the car to a glass shop where they can remove and replace the windshield. I'm sure that if I muck with the screws with the windshield in place I'll end up chipping the windshield. Once I get everything done I plan give the channel a coat of POR-15 before sealing it up and reinstalling the molding. 

 

Wish me luck. It'll be a PITA to deal with, but much better than having the windshield channel and trunk rot out over time. Thanx for your suggestions, but I'll be taking a different route. I'll post updates.

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Actually, chances are it's the window seal that is leaking.  Worse, where it's been leaking it will be rusted.  It won't be fast, but here is my recommendation:

 

Have the glass shop pull the rear glass.  Take the car home and then treat the entire seal surface (pinch weld) .  Treatment includes any and or all the following: Sand, shot blast: wire brush with "New Metal",  till no trace of rust can be seen, then coat with the primer for the pinch weld area.

 

New Metal is a mild acid product which is used for etching. When this is used it leaves a phosphate coating to prevent flash rusting of the bare metal. There are various products for this depending on where you get your automotive paint products. Check with the glass and paint shop on the pinch weld primer.  As far as I understand it, this is different formula than regular primer.  It has to stand up to the chemicals in the windshield glue, used to hold your window.  Last thing you want is for the pinch weld area to be ill prepared before reinstalling the rear glass.  It will cause the glue to lift and leak again.

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)

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I'm one ahead of you, John. I already dropped by my local body shop this morning to discuss doing just as you have suggested. I didn't bring the car because the weather here isn't great, but I'll bring it over on Friday so the guy can take a good look at it. In any event, it'll probably be a few weeks until it's all done. Once I get the word that the shop will definitely do the work I'll order a set of clips and then make an appointment. Summer is fast approaching and I don't want any down time with the car.

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(Not knowing any better about that car . . .) I'd suspect the clips are somewhat common and possibly available from Auveco or restoration sources for Chevelles and such.   also seem to recall that there are many "will fit" "universal" GM molding clips which have been around for many years.  Getting the correct ones would work best, I suspect.

 

"New Metal" sounds like an interesting product.  I'll have to investigate it!

 

GOOD CALL on the body shop/glass shop doing the work!

 

NTX5467I

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It's all done. A few weeks ago my local body shop removed the rear window and I drove the car home to install new reveal molding clips that mount to the car body. Cleaned up the channel and brought it back to the shop last week for reinstallation of the rear window. I practically ran my well dry hosing down the window to check for leaks, and it's dry as a bone. Money well spent on the body shop labor!

 

I had no choice at the moment but to do an inelegant work-around for the unobtainium reveal molding clips that I asked about in another thread. I had nine clips left that I distributed between the upper and lower molding strips, about half of what came on the car. The molding is back on the car and seems to be quite secure as-is. I'll still be on the lookout for molding clips, but for now it's all good.

 

Thanx to all who offered suggestions.

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I worked as a Production Supervisor in a GM assembly plant from 1968 to 1976.  The reveal mold clips were snapped onto a small stud that was welded to the inside of the window opening.  They were not screwed on.  The studs were welded in place while the body was being built. It was then painted.  The process of snapping the clips in place prior to the glass being installed undoubtedly scratched the paint and made it easier for rust to start forming.  I'm sure that water also puddled in the bottom of the rear window opening helping the rust to grow.  If you have ever removed side trim from a car body of 60's vintage and seen he little mushroom shaped studs that hold the plastic clips on, you have seen the same type of studs used on the reveal molding clips.    We did have a repair screw that was a tiny self cutter that was coated with a sealer for use to replace a missing stud.  They may still be available.   I'd use a top quality sealant or even JB Weld.   Just make sure you pick away any flaking paint or rust.  Paint on a rust preventive primer before sealing.  Jim

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Interesting information, Jim. I didn't find any evidence of welded studs on my car, or where such studs may have been removed and replaced with something else. The screws that you can see along the top portion of the window opening are identical to the ones I found along the sides and bottom of the opening, except that the ones along the bottom still had the body-mounted clips attached. The screws I removed along the top had evidence of sealer on them, so perhaps they had already been replaced once. Regardless, I'm rustproofed, all back together, and dry inside. Thanx for the insight on how things were done at the factory. - Jim

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