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-   -   535i Trunk leak (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=505052)

TCGSAC 12-11-2010 01:42 PM

535i Trunk leak
 
I have a 1988 535i that gets a lot of moisture and water in the trunk after a hard rain. I have replaced the trunk seal but that did not fix the problem. Any suggestions? Thank you, Tom

boomhuck 12-11-2010 01:45 PM

Is it getting wet around the tail lamp area?

TCGSAC 12-11-2010 03:42 PM

I have found moisture in the tool area, on the trunk lid, on the carpet and in the spare tire area. I was hoping this was a common problem with this model.

drivinfaster 12-11-2010 06:17 PM

is the trunk aligned properly?? what about any moisture on the back panel??
how long have you had the vehicle?? has it been hit in the back??

df

TCGSAC 12-11-2010 07:10 PM

Since I replaced the trunk seal a few years ago the trunk needs to be slammed to close it all the way so it seems to be a tight seal. I have had the car for 15 years and it hasn't been in an accident. I'm not sure if it could be from the rear vents on the c pillar or maybe the sunroof.

catso 12-12-2010 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boomhuck (Post 5689292)
Is it getting wet around the tail lamp area?

This is by far the most common way the water enters the trunk. Remove the rearmost panel and look for evidence of leakage there. Taking the tailights out and resealing them isn't very hard but make sure you find the actual trail of water. the body seam where the rear light panel meets the quarter panel can leak also. You can use some good silicone to seal these areas.

TCGSAC 12-12-2010 10:55 AM

Thank you for the information. I'll check out the tail lights and reseal them. Thanks again for the help. Tom

Hillhippy 06-01-2011 02:31 PM

I have a 87 535is w the same problem. I'm gonna check my tailights as well. I also replaced my trunk seal, you could still almost swim in the trunk at times.

TCGSAC 06-01-2011 03:57 PM

I removed the tail lights and ran some silicone caulking around them. With the heavy rains we had a few months ago it fixed the problem.

Hillhippy 06-02-2011 05:00 PM

cool beans ! i need to get mine to run first

waehrik 11-01-2012 05:54 PM

I know I'm responding to an old thread, but I just fixed a water ingress problem on my 88 535i (no that model matters) and wanted to share my solution.

My old foam tail light gaskets were hopelessly degraded so I replaced them with 3M Strip Calk (yes, I spelled that right) on a recommendation from mye28. It worked perfectly and sealed up great, even under Hurricane Sandy rain. These come in a pack of 60 short strips that can be stacked and twisted together to form a thicker gasket. It's never supposed to harder or dry out, so it should theoretically last forever. Or at least longer than a set of new OEM gaskets, and it's about a quarter the price. Only $16 shipped from Amazon vs $50 for the OEM gaskets.

My trunk seal was leaking too as evidenced by water running down into the tool tray and dripping off the top of the trunk lid. What I didn't realize was that the original seal was supposed to be one piece. You'd never know from looking at my car - it had two perfect cuts on the upper left and right corners along the diagonals, following the seam. I thought there was one piece along the top and another U shaped piece along the bottom and sides. Nope. It was cut for some reason and as it aged and shrunk a little it was enough to let water run in and along the plastic trunk lid liner. This is actually one time I'd recommend something by the manufacturer Uro (gasp, I know.) but I bought one from AutohausAZ for $41. With a valve cover gasket and some crush washers for the oil spray bar I hit $50 for free shipping. The OEM gasket is $75 by comparison. The Uro one came in a nice sealed bag (important to keep plasticizers from evaporating while in storage at a hot warehouse) and is a nice heavy high quality piece. It installed easily and I used an aerospace grade Dow Corning 3145 RTV to glue down to the body. I applied some Molykote 44 grease as a lubricant to keep it from sticking to the lid. That stuff works great on door seals too and keeps them from sticking. I have access to that stuff, but an Autozone RTV and silicone spray should work in their place. Just make sure to use acetone or a strong solvent to clean up the old glue. This is also a good time to take care of any rust you find under the seal. I was fortunate and mine was a Florida car until recently.

Just a heads up in case anyone else found that their trunks were leaking after all the recent rain. For less than $70 you can get it all sealed up again with new parts.

BMWFatherFigure 11-01-2012 08:29 PM

lid alignment very important as a first resort. To help pinpoint any leak: 1) remove all trunk trims. 2) get into trunk with a good torch. 3) starting as LOW as possible with a garden hose wet slowly round the car working your way SLOWLY up. Leak will be obvious when you get to it. Then hope your helper is reliable enough to let you out again.......

Jimmy A 01-11-2013 08:39 AM

535IS trunk leak
 
Does anyone have a recommendation for a sealant to place under newly installed gasket. Gasket was replaced by body shop repair but due to rust underneath gasket can't get a good seal. BMW dealer said it should just lay in place with no glue or sealant but it still leaks. Any ideas or recommendations for a restoration shop in San Fran Bay area would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jim

catso 01-11-2013 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jimmy A (Post 7305651)
Does anyone have a recommendation for a sealant to place under newly installed gasket. Gasket was replaced by body shop repair but due to rust underneath gasket can't get a good seal. BMW dealer said it should just lay in place with no glue or sealant but it still leaks. Any ideas or recommendations for a restoration shop in San Fran Bay area would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jim

You are going to have to fix the rust first in order to get a good seal, otherwise it will continue to aggravate the entire problem; rusty suface doesnt seal well, allows water to enter, creates more rust, etc, etc, etc.

BeaterBimmerGuy 02-02-2013 02:47 AM

9 out of ten times when trunks leak and water gets under the interior carpet its not the trunk seal its the metal that the trunk seal glues onto. I find its best to go deep when cleaning the trunk seal gutter, find all the flaws like rust, well usually its rust. But you have to really scrape away and pick at everything to find the smallest of holes. I sand blast the rusted areas and build it up with putty epoxy then put a couple coats of Rust encapsolator from Eastwood. Glue the seal down with a GOOD rubber cement like Wurth Rubber Cement. Your trunk wil dry up in no time under the carpet takes a LONG long time the carpet padding does not like to give up the water easily.


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