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Discussion Starter #1
No matter which direction I park, I have several inches of water in the front of the bed of my 77SS. every time it rains.....Which would not be a problem if the previos owner had not had a spray bedliner installed by ametures. The standing water leaks into the smuggler's box, then soaks the entire carpet. Is my front suspension riding too low? Is the bed supposed to slant forward?

Yank
 

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Mine does the same. In my "68 I have air shocks that I can lower, but I'm not sure if yours has the air. You might have to park with the tail downhill. Could you re-seal the lip around the smugglers box?
 

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box

hey, i was always wondering what the purpose for that panel that unbolts in the truck bed. Is that what you were calling the smugglers box? that was the perfect spot for all my airbag suspension parts like the tank/compressor and all that...so it is all hidden....
 

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Hey if I were you I would get that fixed really quick because I used to own a '70 model el camino and because water got into the smuggler's box and ran down insidside from years of neglect of the previous owners the rear floorpans wer freaking swiss cheese. I hope you get it fixed soon because it will save a bunch of work later. you might want to check if the carpet is still wet way underneath and get it to dry because those carpets tend to dry out really slow and that is just worse for your rear floorpans.
good luck,
-Yoshi
 

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Are you SURE the water is coming in through the smugglers box?
There are factory holes in the floor under that panel that the water should run out...

You might actually have a leak in the rear window seal- Very common to see that happen in the pinch weld at the bottom edge of the glass- would be covered up by the chrome on the outside- but water could just be zooming in- which would in turn drip down right on your rear carpet and get the rear floor boards wet also...

DO a little experiment- have a friend hold a hose over the rear window area for a while- you get inside with a flashlight and watch the rear wall under the shelf and look for water drips.

ALternatly- you can have your friend spray the water in the bed- get a little standing water in there- and watch the inside to see where it leaks in.
 

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I don't know about southern yankees smugglers box, but the 70 that I owned I believe had a plastic insert that provided space for other things inside the cab. Whenever I had unbolted the lid, that plastic box was broken as if someone had accidently stepped on it and every time it would rain there would be a little puddle coming from that area. I stumbled upon it whenever I took that lid off, because from the inside you couldn't tell if that box was broken. but I agree with ahsom 70's advice, that will be the best way to find the problem.
-yoshi
 

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For what it's worth, every 4th gen I have known (7) has the lake-in-bed 'feature'.

I suspect that GM originally designed things so that the bed would be roughly level with no load and minimum pressure in the air shocks. But, put 30 years of wear on the front spings and you end up with a nose down attitude. Since (IMHO) they look better with a few degrees of nose-down, no problem EXCEPT...

On mine, I always park facing uphill if I can't get under a roof. It takes a right smart hill to get the bed to drain properly, like 2 inches per foot. Whether your leak is from the smuggler's box or the rear window, keeping the bed drained out is definitely something you want to do.

If it's not your daily driver, a good car cover also works when parking at home. I have a generic Technalon cover I bought at Pep Boys and a support frame made of PVC pipe with rubber furniture feet I set in the bed to make sure it doesn't pond and pull itself into the bed when it rains. I don't use it often (normally have a roof available), but the times I have the bed stayed bone-dry. Of course, only works at home 'cause it's a pain to haul all that around with you...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the help. Lets see if I can sum this up..........The bed is definatly leaking where the bed meets the wall into the smuggler's box. I saw the water dripping in slowly when there was no rain comming down. Some acceleration reseach got the water out of the bed. (rotten job but someone had to do it! :twisted: )

As for the rear window seal.......I'm going to have to check that out. Thanks for the tip.

My elky is my daily driver. I could drive my wife's P.O.S. Ford, (yes, I did use the "F" word) but........... then.................. she would be driving the elky............... so the car cover idea isn't too practical for me.

For now, I'm going to silicone the line where the two pieces of steel meet, until I can scrape up enough cash to redo the spray-on bedliner........whoever did that piss-poor job should have been castrated with a sandblaster. :x

Keep an eye out for 77elkySS--tell him I'll have his trim/decal photos tomorrow night.

Yank
 

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DON'T USE SILICONE!!! I've been told by a body repair professional that silicone eats metal. I have the proof on my front dash where somebody gooped silicone on to try and stop the leak, but instead created pocks in the dash metal. Instead go to an automotive paint store and ask if they have a polyurethane sealer, a bed sealer, or some other material that will keep out water, but not be silicone.


p.s. I hope I caught you before you use silicone.
 

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Use "Seam Sealer" it can be found at most fair Auto Supply stores. It is made for that and it is paintable. On my 76 El Camino the leak to the floor board was not in the cab it was where the outer quarter skin met the bed/cab inside skin, where the bed chrome is (Top). Around the Cab the outer skin of the elky is spot welded to the opposite inside skin. They cover that up with the large chrome bed rails and back (Top) of cab chrome.

The seam is not sealed from the factory at any point. I figure that they thought that the Chrome would prevent the water from getting in but it doesn't. During washing and driving in the rain water is pushed under the chrome and leaks down into the rear floor board then sits and creates rust eventually.

I bought seam sealer, same stuff that GM uses in the Truck bed seams, it fits into a calking gun, actually looks like calk and probably is. It stays pliable to some degree and is completely paintable. I sealed the seams there and removed the Box lid cleaned the rust there and primed painted and then sealer. Set the lid back down bolted it down and painted the bed. You can add two 1/2" or 1/4" holes at the left and right corners of the bed by the cab for drainage if you like. The box does have drain holes in them. however there could be a fair amount of rust there too. GM Didn't paint that or mine didn't look like it had ever been painted.

Anyway this is what I did and I was successful. The 78 to end didn't have that it has that storage area. If you drill holes in that you let water in the cab. The seam drains into the inside between the skins also but that has holes in the lower inside body to allow the water a place to get out.
 

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Bed/Rear wall rust

ElkyPete, good tip on the pinch seam under the bed rails. I wouldn't have thought to seal that area.

I've used the tube calk auto seam sealer too; it's the correct stuff for the job. My current dilemma is thinking about the current "deal" I found on a '70 El Camino. It has a 454, turbo 400 and 12 bolt in it, and the body is straight with some surface rust. The hesitation is the rear bed wall seam where the bed wall meets the bed floor is gone. I can see daylight from the inside of the cab. There are no repo panels for this lower area under the rear window, just the short piece directly below the glass. This car would make a perfect 454 SS clone, and the price is right. Just don't know if I want to tackle this area in the bed.
 

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Well if you can find a good section from a 68-72 donor car, which should be possible eventually, you could buy the car now and store it. If you can get the car for a song and a dance, this is what I would probably do providing the car is not badly rusted overall. Or maybe you could buy the top section and have a good body shop fabricate the lower section. Keep in mind that 454 alone is worth some money if it's running half way decent. And the 12 bolt rear is also worth some bucks. Maybe you could find a decent shape parts car and make one good one out of two bad ones. When you say a deal what are you talking about $$$$? and what kind of shape is the rest of the Elky? When making a clone, matching numbers is no longer an issue, it will never be worth what a true restored SS is worth but it sure can be just as fun to drive and maybe more because you don't have to feel guilty about driving it as much.

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Well, my elco friends, this '70 Elco is offered at $2500 OBO. I am really thinking it might be a good deal as long as I can figure out how to repair the bed/back wall seam. The body is quite reparible 'cept the bed/back wall seam. That is the only hesatation I have. My Hot Rod friends insist I can offer $2000 for this ride and get it. I'm looking for something to own and fix up for resale, as the market allows.
 
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