Trim & Seal Work

After taking a few months off from completing an major projects on the car, I was finally able to complete a few more tasks on the "to do" list. My good friend Ben came down from Omaha to help me with the car today, as I didn't feel I was capable of completing some of the work. He is a professional body/paint guy, so his knowledge and skills were much appreciated.

We started by replacing the rear window molding. The original molding clipped into place, and over time it shrinks and pulls back from the glass. In 1992, the molding was revised to include a channel that went around both sides of the glass to prevent this from happening. In order to change to the later style molding, the rear glass has to come out.

September 6, 2009

The new rear window molding was only available from Ford, and was no longer being produced. I was able to locate a new one that someone had bought and never used. It took a few months before I finally got it, and it had some minor damage from a previous shipment. I was happy to find one, and the fact I got it for free certainly didn't hurt.

After the rear window was removed, we took a look at the roof on the passenger side. The rear quarter panel has been replaced previously and there were signs it has leaking. The headliner was stained in the back, so we pulled the trim to inspect the area. Ben found several cracks in the body sealer, so we scrapped it out and put down some fresh urethane to seal things up. We also pulled the rear seat and rear sail panel to inspect the inside. Other than correcting a few sun roof drainage issues, everything else looked alright.

The rear window was put back in place with the new seal and fresh urethane. Ben also corrected some issues along the trunk opening that were letting water seep in. I am hoping for a dry trunk for the first time since I've owned the car. With the window back in, we installed the roof trim. It was missing a small piece on the end to connect it to the window seal, so Ben made one out of urethane. It ended up matching very well.

After a little temporary touch-up with the Sharpie, it was looking pretty good! I was able to install the trunk carpet and spare tire/jack/cover, and have a trunk that actually looked like it should for the first time in a long while.

In addition to the rear window, trunk, and roof work, we also replaced the sunroof seal, door weather strips, and trunk seal with new Ford parts. I was able to clean up the headliner, and remove the water stains from the rear portion. We also re-installed the factory fender badges, installed the cowl panels and wipers (had been off for 2.5 years), replaced the RH corner lens, and adjust the headlights.

The front fender that I had installed from the parts car had a slight bow to it. While the hood/fender gap was lined up correctly towards the rear of the hood, it widened as it came forward to the front. Ben was able to work his magic with a brick chisel and hammer, and bring the front portion back in straight. After a quick hood latch adjustment, the hood closes perfectly, and the gap is perfect on both sides! Now I just need to do something with the paint on the hood.

Overall, it was a very productive day. Several of the things we accomplished had been needing to be fixed since I bought the car. The wind noise inside the car has been nearly completely eliminated, and I am confident the water leaks will not be there any longer.

In a follow up to my last post, the aluminum drive shaft seems to have taken care of the vibration issue I was having. I can see clearly out of the rear view mirror at speeds of 70mph+ now.

1989 Mercury Cougar XR7

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