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This might be a laboratory example of a Who Cares? fix, but, for what it's worth...

The story so far is fully detailed in this thread: http://taurusclub.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=68764

Summary:
I'm finding water in the saddlebag area of the trunk. I've narrowed it down to leakage of the cabin air vents, the result of water and grunge thrown up by the rear tires. The problem is a gap that is right in line with the tire, and that reaches right up to the exterior side of the vents, the gap seen in this picture:

[attachment=29050:TheGapLabeledSm.jpg]

So I made some plastic gap covers. I haven't fully tested them yet with either water or 70+ mph driving. The latter is to discover whether I've designed two loud whistled when the car is at speed, but there's no discernible noise at 50.

The parts... The thin one is designed to run between the bumper cover and the trunk wall sheetmetal. The bulkier one goes between the plastic fender liner-ette (the factory liner bit that only about 18" high) and the forward edge of the trunk sheetmetal.

[attachment=29051:GapFillers.jpg]

Here is one side installed, about the same view as the gap pic, above. The long thin piece is simply held in place by the two trim fasteners holding the bumper cover + a couple of paper clamps with their chrome handles removed :
[attachment=29052:InstalledUnder.jpg]

Here is an exterior view of the baffle between the liner and the sheetmetal. The baffle is the lighter gray bit showing beneath the darker gray fender liner. It's held in place with 2 trim fasteners, just pushing against the inner curve of the bumper cover:
[attachment=29053:InstalledWheelside.jpg]
 

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I cleaned out that area of my trunk a year ago, the saddlebag area as you call it. I was hooking up my new CD changer a month ago, and already it's pretty dirty in there. Sounds like I need to find some of those Ford trim plugs (no one seems to sell them) and some plastic to cut up.
 

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Must be an G4 thing, You could eat out of that area in my 98 and it has never been cleaned since I've gotten the car.
 

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QUOTE (dark_fire @ Apr 6 2009, 01:31 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=715599
Must be an G4 thing, You could eat out of that area in my 98 and it has never been cleaned since I've gotten the car.[/b]
My 98 service manual shows the same rounded rectangular cutout in the trunk sidewall. Possibly the Gen3 bumper cover does a better job of keeping upflow under control? Or maybe the G3 vent is different?

EDIT: Now that the sun is up -- confirmed! The G3 bumper cover complete encloses the gap. The G3 also has 3 trim fasteners where the G4 has 2.

For the G4, Ford probably saved ~$1 in reaction resins per car by trimming the part down in size, maybe more. Saved a fraction of cent by eliminating a fastener and probably another fraction of a penny in labor. In a town where people would kill to cut 5 cents from vehicle costs, these changes probably earned the design team an attaboy and a free donut in the company cafeteria...

/end EDIT

[attachment=29073:98Hole.jpg]
 

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Well, the home-made baffles seem to work. After a day of driving through flooding rains, not a drop of water in either of the saddlebag areas of the trunk. ;)
 

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QUOTE (OldWagon @ Apr 5 2009, 11:39 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=715612
For the G4, Ford probably saved ~$1 in reaction resins per car by trimming the part down in size, maybe more. Saved a fraction of cent by eliminating a fastener and probably another fraction of a penny in labor. In a town where people would kill to cut 5 cents from vehicle costs, these changes probably earned the design team an attaboy and a free donut in the company cafeteria...[/b]
Actually the bottom of my '03's rear bumper is flush with the mounting point so it's a much smaller gap.
 

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I saw somewhere that the 04 bumper shape changed, so Ford must have trimmed the 04 cover, exposing the gap...
 

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Anyone who wants, an approximate drawing of the home-made covers, as a PDF. NOTE: the pic is just a preview, don't use that -- download the PDF.

Dimensions are approximate, especially the radius of the curve on the stubby cover.

The drawing is done at 50%. Either print at 200% with a tiling option and do a bit of crafts time with glue and scissors. Or print on a big printer.

Or take it to a copy shop. For a copy shop original, print the PDF at 100% or 'full size.' The page dimensions are undersize to allow this.

The notches in the long thin cover that you see in the photo in post #1 in this thread are not needed and are in fact undesirable. Simply drill and mount the handmade cover as the filling of a sandwich between the bumper cover and the sheetmetal.

[attachment=29104:GapCoverDwg.jpg]

[attachment=29105:Gap_Cover_Drawing.pdf]
 

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