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Old 10-24-2019, 08:46 AM   #1
datlas
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Default 1998 SL Water in Trunk

Original owner 1998 SL, 178K miles.

I just noticed that there is some water pooling in the trunk, in the depression behind the rear wheels. There was about 1 inch on the driver's side, and just some moisture on the passenger's side.

I don't know if this is a leak from the trunk, or if it's getting splashed up from the underside, and at this point it's just a nuisance. I let it dry out and will keep an eye on it.

Any "Usual Suspects" to check for the cause?

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Old 10-24-2019, 09:17 AM   #2
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

Unibody seam sealer under the left and right fender panels below the rear window has failed. This is pretty common and the fix requires removing the fender panels and resealing the seams.

You could drill a drain hole to let the water escape but in the long term this is not a good solution.

...
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:24 AM   #3
Waiex191
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

My '98 has 3 drain holes. Excellent short term solution.

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Old 10-24-2019, 09:30 AM   #4
datlas
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Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

I will investigate both options. I really want to keep the car forever (I am original owner!!) but my wife is really on my case to pitch it the next time it needs any repair (or even maintenance) costing over say $500, so my guess is I will only have the car for another year or two.

Given that, drainage hole is likely my best bet. Just drill in the lowest spot in the well?

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Old 10-24-2019, 10:24 AM   #5
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

Fixing it yourself is pretty low cost. Haven't done it on a sedan, but have read that there is a richpin video - just a bunch of 10mm head bolts, mostly. I think you have to remove the tail light cover (2 screws) and slide the bumper off (some pushpins) plus 3 (?) screws holding the splash panel / fender liner

There's another thread somewhere on the best seam sealer to use, think it was around $8~15?

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Old 10-24-2019, 11:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Given that, drainage hole is likely my best bet. Just drill in the lowest spot in the well?
Yep. Don't forget the spare tire well as well.

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Old 10-24-2019, 06:27 PM   #7
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1997 SW2
Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

+1 on the seam sealer failing.

In my SW2, the source of leaks in the cargo area/trunk have been seams leaking:

1) seams behind the rear tail lights -- rain fills up the side pockets on the outside of the rear trunk rails on either side of the mini-spare

2) roof seams near the tailgate hinges

In my case, cleaning the seams and thickly smearing clear silicone over the seams has lasted for 10 years or so.

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Old 10-25-2019, 09:37 AM   #8
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1995 SC2
Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

I drilled holes for drainage, as the seam sealer under my rear quarter panel was cracked and rotted out.

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Old 10-25-2019, 01:15 PM   #9
Claybury
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Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

If the car has a sunroof also check that the drain tube grommets have not come out from the trunk wall leaving the tubes to drain into the trunk.

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Old 10-28-2019, 05:55 PM   #10
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1997 SL
Default Re: 1998 SL Water in Trunk

Not a hard job to fix the unibody seams below rear window, I've done this to my 97SL and my brother in law's 00(?)SC. Just need some patience and a dry day or 2. A hair dryer or heat gun will help dry out, between the sheet metal layers.

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