A Restoration Tip: Keeping the Quarter Panels and Doors Dry.

As I slowly start to bring this  blog back to the core of why I created this blog (Restoration, Modifying, Race..etc) I’ll begin to post some restoration tips.  This will be things I’ve actually done, or friends have done that I know worked.

So here is one:

Most of the old cars with manually roll down windows have felt window seals.  You know,  the two cushions on either side of the door that the window slide up between.  Those are normally rubber with felt covering and over time they get hard and shrink.  The next thing you now you have water in the bottom of your door.  That water will rust your car, even in Tucson, AZ where I live. 

I don’t know if you are like me but I drive my cars, no garage babies or trailer queens and I drive them while they are in the middle of being restored…..erk…as long as they are safe to do so (had to through that in there…just in case!!!).   This means they get wet, although here in AZ, it’s mainly from a weekly washing, it’s still water.  I bring this up because, besides the door felt leaking, other rubber areas can leak as well.  The very thing  that makes AZ so great, the abundance of sunshine, can be harmful to your car.  Sure it’s great for getting a tan and raising cactus… not so great for plastic and rubber parts of your car.  

I know this because I had a problem with my Mustang and a rear window leak.  Water would puddle up (slightly) in the trunk.  If you are familiar with the older cars you’ll know that many of the trunks have a drop off on each side of the trunk floor that leads to the side lamps.  This forms a nice little well in the bottom of the rear quarter panels and water collects there.  Where water collects, water rusts….ya don’t need a degree in chemistry to figure that out.

So now I have water in both my doors and both of my quarter panels.  NOT GOOD!!!!!   Some cars were built with in drains in the quarter panels…my Mustang has them.  However, if you remember back a few post (errkkk….Hey if you are new to my blog…go back and read the older posts..there’s some good stuff there…) I mentioned that my Mustang was rear ended.  During the major reconstruction the body shop left debris in the quarters and it plugged the drain.  Unprofessional, for sure (we’ll talk more about picking the right place to have the work done in another post), and dangerous.

So make sure you check this area out and keep the drains unplugged.

Now I went a step further…I took an 1/8 inch drill bit and added a couple extra holes in the doors and quarter to ensure that air gets in there and the water can get out.

Ok..anyone freaking out yet??  Good!!!  I placed these where they can’t be seen (unless you are laying on your back with the door open in the very bottom of the door between the weather-stripping and the outside of the door, where it meets the rocker panel. And in the quarter panels I just drilled in  the 1/4 space that  is the width of the bottom.

I took a very small round file and smoothed the holes up and then took a little touch up paint to them.

Works like a dream and but you still have to check them and ensure they don’t plug up.

Any other good idea? Drop in a comment.

Thanks for reading.


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