I have mentioned on several threads, over a long period of time, that I was chasing a persistent water leak which presented itself at either side of the rear trunk door frame. I had systematically sealed everything from the rearmost main body bow, back. In other words the entire rear clam shell.
I had come to the point where I resigned myself to the fact that the lower molding and rear bumper would have to come off. I was not looking forward to that repair as it is very time consuming and costly in parts replacement.
Today I decided to perform surgery from the inside instead. I removed everything in the trunk including the dividers for the streetside storage cubby and the panels on the back of the lower wardrobe assemblies. I trimmed the mouse fur up above the c channel height so I could see most of the clamshell c channel. This allowed me to see water stains.
I then removed the white aluminum piece which runs on the interior skin, below the door. This piece covers the c channel and retains a strip of insulation in the wall cavity. That insulation was so wet that, when pulled out, left a puddle on the trunk floor! And yet the insulation left and right of the door was dry as far as my fingers would reach. Then I saw this:
I was immediately suspicious of those dark streaks and recognized them as very old water traces.
Now mind you, I had previously sealed the door piano hinge rivets with Captain Tolleys, and was confident that they were watertight.
OK, door has to come off....Holy Cow.... there were twice as many holes in the lower door frame as there were holes in the hinge half and their corresponding rivets.....AND there was no sealer between the hinge half and the frame!!!!! There were water witness marks which indicated water had been wicking up under the piano hinge for a long time. Someone apparently had replaced the door at some time, either warranty, or damage repair. I performed a water test on the lower half of the door, and water poured into the c channel, running down the black traces in the pics, prior to removing the door.
Whoever did the repair smeared a bit of sealer around on the "roof" of that interior cavity, but ineffectively. I am not a fan of trying to seal from the inside. It is a short lived, amateur effort.
I sealed between the piano hinge and the door frame with a follow-up of Tolleys on the pop rivets.
Someone else on here found similar leaks a couple weeks ago, so....if you have rear compartment leaks, drill out the hinge rivets and have a look!