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Old 07-04-2008, 10:38 AM
ichthos ichthos is offline
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Of Mice and Men

Hello,

I just joined the forum. It is great to have a place to ask for technical help later on, but I need to deal with a big problem first. I have a 65 4 door Falcon. I picked up this car 25 years ago from an owner who was about to tow it to the junk yard. Needless to say it was a mess. It has seved me well as a daily driver over the years, and I have recently begun to collect parts in order to restore it. Before I can get started, I have to deal with a problem: I am being over run by mice! What is left of my car is slowly being destroyed by mice. I put a new seal in the trunk, I plugged an opening in the firewall, and I put in new drain plugs. I just ordered the beltline fuzzies for the windows. Even though the door seals are old, I can not see any breaks for them to get in. Has anyone else had this problem? Any idea what areas I need to still check?

Kevin
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:22 AM
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This may be an old wives tale. Someone once told me that placing an open box of fabric softener dryer sheets will repel mice. Through a box in the trunk and another under one of the seats. Worst case is the car will smell better.

They may be coming in through the cowl. Make sure the fresh air vents are closed and the heater box is sealed.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:24 PM
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I've heard that too. I'm guessing no matter how many holes you patch, if a mouse wants to get in he will. I think they can enter through very small cracks or holes.

I've also heard of a "bag" you can buy for storing cars. You drive on top of a bottom piece, and then throw the cover over the car and zip it closed. That would be a real pain though if it's a daily driver.

Do you live in a very rural area??
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:22 PM
ichthos ichthos is offline
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I do live in the country. I have dogs to protect my property (I have had problems with such as animals going after my wife's Koi.) My two dogs are very friendly toward people, but one of my dogs in particular wil kill any cat on sight or any other animal that crossed our fence line (I live on ten acres.) I'v tried using Irish Spring, and fabric softener, but it hasn't worked for me. I have mouse traps in my car but I am only succesful some of the time. I just rebuilt my heater system - even bead blasting and powdercoating all the metal parts. I put in new seals and had the heater coil boiled out and checked for blockage. I kept the heater fresh air duct closed on the right side, but the mice just got into my fresh air vent somewhere and made a nest above the fresh air grate on the driver side. Of course they urinated all inside my air duct system. It is sort of demoralizing to know I have to tear everything apart again and now have to content with the metal part of my air duct system. Worse still is that it is pointless to try and restore my car if I can't keep them out. They are not able to get in my wife's car, so I know there has to be a way to stop them from getting in.
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:31 PM
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I know you are looking for a hassle free way to seal the car properly. This link may have a temporary solution using metal flashing. The problem, other than your neighbors thinking you have gone nuts, would be moving the car in and out of the corral.

http://www.hastingsreserve.org/Mammals/MiceInCars.html
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2008, 12:15 AM
ichthos ichthos is offline
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Jeff, my neighbors probably think I am nuts anyway, so that part doesn't matter. I did find the article quite interesting. I think it is worth a try. With the money I have lost in mouse damage, it is certainly worth the investment. I have another car in my garage, and I think I will start by building one of the barriers, set traps with peanut butter, and see if I can trap any mice. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again Jeff.
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:16 AM
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There is obviously the grate over the cowl, which you can buy or make a Plexiglas cover for it (most Mustang retailer sell them). Assuming there is no huge hidden rust holes there are drains on the left an right side of the cowl behind/beneath the fenders. These are big enough for a mouse to come in through. These allow the water to drain that comes in through the cowl. The air inlets stand about 1" above the base of the cowl area so water doesn't pour into the car, so you must keep these port and starborard drains clear or water will eventually rise to the level to flow into the car. But you can't really black these with screens either because all the leaves that get in need to be able to wash out these holes too I'm pretty sure these holes are behind the fender splash shields so if these splash shields are rotten, they may hinder the meecies if you redo them. Have a look at these.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:50 AM
ichthos ichthos is offline
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I will take a look at these areas, Roger. If the spash sheilds are not rotted, would a mouse still be able to access these holes? I do not think the mice are getting in through the top of my car through the cowl now. I placed 2 traps with peanut butter on top of the cowl grate, and they didn't touch them. I did trap two mice last night on the inside of my car again. I think I am going to run another test. I am going to tape off all of the doors, place traps with peanut butter inside, and see if they still get in over the next week.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:11 PM
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That's the trouble with mice, they can get into very tiny spaces. So as long as they can climb up something they'll get in those holes. They're about 1" square.

You should also check to see if the rubber plugs are in the big holes behind the kick panels. These holes are about 1-1/2" round and are to allow access to the bolts on the trailing center edge of the front fenders. I found my car was missing both of them. You have to pull the kick panels to see if they are in.
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2008, 03:25 PM
ichthos ichthos is offline
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I have to finish up another project, but I am going to try out the sheet metal flashing idea first in my garage. The only place they can get into is throught the garage door. They chew holes at either side of the weather strip. I am goint to see if a simple barrier across this area with removeable sections to come in and out will stop their movement. This is the most promising solution I have come across in a long time. I'll post later if this works with pictures.
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