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Discussion Starter #1
I discovered a hole in the bed of my 81 the hard way - it rained like hell here last week and I discovered that the back floorliner (behind the passenger seat) was flooded - 2 inches of standing water. I plugged and caulked the hole in the bed. After scooping out as much as I could, and sopping up the rest with towels, I thought I could dry the carpet with a leaf blower (hey whatever works right?) but soon realized that the padding underneath was completely soaked. So after pulling up the carpet, I ripped out all the wet padding I could get to. I thought that was it. However, today when I drove it, I could hear water sloshing around somewhere - but where? It's not in the bed, and it's not in the passenger compartment that I can see or feel. I noticed that it seemed to drain a little when I parked on a slight incline.

I don't want to leave it as this might rust out the body, floorpan, wherever it is. Any suggestions?
 

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The best test I know of for finding water leaks is to empty out the compartment, get in the car with a flashlight and have somebody spray the car with a hose, shooting it into all the cracks and body lines, and all window edges. With the inside dry you can usually see where the trickle is coming from. Leaks can come from a completely different area than you might be thinking, like from the rear glass and down the bed wall. If it appears to be coming from behind any interior trim, remove that trim and start the process over to narrow down the area.

Pull up as much of the carpet as possible to find the leak with the hose. I fixed a car once that kept filling up the rear floor - it was leaking from the front firewall at the top of the air conditioning box, down under the carpet and running to the lowest point, which was in the rear. The carpet had a rubber membrane so the front floor never got wet - only the rear floor did after a puddle formed.

Hopefully yours is a much simpler fix . . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. I know where the leak came from, the bed filled up with water after a very heavy downpour last week. One of the hole plugs in the bed, worked loose and came out and it just poured through the storage compartment over the spare and into the back. I don't think it's in the doors, but I'm concerned it could be in between the double walls of the bed, because I can hear it sloshing around (sounds like its right behind me) when the I move the truck.
 

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Scully,

If you think the water might be between the inner and outer bed panels, take the little black plastic flow through vent grille off thats on the door jam.
Get a good flashlight and shine it down into the quarter panel. If its holding water there, at least in the front part of the quarter panel, you should be able to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks - tried taking the black plastic grill off, but because of the curve of the rear quarter panel, couldn't see anything. Tried sliding a stick down there, couldn't see any water. Thanks again for the suggestion.
 

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Two possibilities come to mind. It could be that once you removed the carpet and other material from the compartment your now getting noise from the gas sloshing around in the tank. Its directly behind the storage compartment.

Also my 80 had holes on the side of the bed, they were pretty high about 1/4 of the way up, that drained into the fender wells. Those have a small cap over a access hole just under the truck behind the doors and before the wheel wells, If I remember correctly. Remove it or just look for more small drain holes see if they are plugged. There should be some on that portion of the fender.

Its been a while since I was under mine, while the body was off, cleaning it up. The side panels, on either side of the storage have some small recesses that could have hidden water.

On the carpet I would have gone to a Car Was and used their Vacuums to suck it up. They are the Wet/Dry type..

Anyway its just a though.

Edit I just looked at the bottom (Pictures) and I didn't see any drain holes. I seem to remember some but I didn't see any in the photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Elky Pete - I thought about the gas tank too, but I only took out the padding on one side (passenger rear) and it sounds as if it is sloshing around on both sides. I've checked the drain holes, nothing comes out, so maybe it is the gas tank... That would be a relief, considering I've been worried about water collecting and rusting out the interior of my pride & joy! Will keep you all posted, once I get a chance to really spend some time underneath my truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I found where that "sloshing" sound was coming from - the rear quarter panels. It's been raining like hell here the past couple of days, and I swear it sounded like I was lugging around a kiddie pool inthe bed of my Elky. Previously I had checked back there, thinking it might be collecting between the double wall panels but could find no drain holes. This time, I took an old engine dipstick and looked carefully underneath the Elky, poking around at what could possible be drain holes. When I poked what looked like a piece of tar on the rear quarter panel about two inches behind the wheel well, the dipstick shot up through it and water immediately began pouring out! It filled two 24 ozs. jars before draining out completely! Realizing this was the drain hole, I went over to the other side, but couldn't find it at all - Finally, I realized at some point it had been painted over, and noticed a spot that was in about the same place as the other side that seemed to be an imperfection in the paint. I worked the dipstick up and into it with the same results: water began pouring out. A previous owner must have plugged them and actually painted over them!

Either way, I am NOT hearing things or imagining it (My wife thinks I've got Elky on the brain) after a test drive around the block - the sloshing sound is gone. Now I need to figure out where the leak is coming from - my guess is the trim around the rear window.

Although I'm pretty embarassed to admit this to all of you, I'm also glad I finally found it and hope that somebody else can benefit from my "Red Face" and avoid this problem in the future...
 

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Scully,
If you get up underneath and look at the inside of each rear quarter, there is a factory metal "plug" in a hole there. These may be missing or rusted out. I had a similar problem due to my rear quarter filling up with sand from when I had the body sandblasted. The sand filled up the drain slots, and then water ran in while I was wet sanding around the marker light holes.Drain slots plugged up, and water would continue to drip for hours. Finally got them dry enough to blow all the sand out and get it to start draining from the slots again after taking these plugs out. These plugs look almost to be "tarred" in from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
YON: Thanks for the tip. I will get the truck up on jackstands and look around for these plugs. When you say inside the rear quarters, I assume you mean on the interior of the body ie; underneath the rear quarter looking up and back 'inside' of the quarter panels from underneath, right?
 

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Scully,
Yes, can only be seen from under the truck looking toward the outside. One of mine had a hole rusted in it where the tar missed. If they are stuck in place well I would not mess with them. They have some kind of "one time only" bent metal ears holding them in, would have to be siliconed back in place or replaced with rubber ones if removed. (Rubber is how I intend to go as soon as I can find the right size.)
 
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