June 19th, 2004 : New Door Rubber Seals
This is the third time I've installed new door rubber on my truck. The first time I did this, I didn't know about Chevy Duty and ordered new rubber from LMC Truck ... they said it was for a 54 Chevy pickup, but they sure were wrong! The rubber they sent me was 3/4-inch wide and deep! I had to slam my doors so hard to get them to close, it was literally scary!
Next, I decided to let a "pro" do the job and that led to "lesson #2" (if you want something done right, do it yourself). When I got my truck back from the "pro," the doors closed beautifully ... but after a couple of weeks, they were rattling and I was getting wind, big time. Arrghhh!!!
After driving it like that through the Winter months and getting irritated beyond belief, I decided to tackle the situation once again. I went to the newsgroups and started asking questions ... and found out I was not alone. It all seemed to come down to two choices (and LMC Truck was not one of them).
Successful applications came from Steele Rubber Products and from good ol' Chevy Duty -- who, I've come to learn, always does things right. I ordered a sample from Steele and then ordered the kit from Chevy Duty -- it was only $15.00!! Steele would've cost more like $70.00 but they include an entire door kit -- everything but the adhesive -- make sure you buy black adhesive.
The first task was to remove the old rubber and clean the old glue off, to insure a good seal on the new rubber. Removing the old rubber was easy because that "pro" I paid didn't clean the doors when he put his useless rubber on my truck! I wish he would've done things right, but I was glad he didn't when I was pulling his work apart; it went a lot easier for me.
Also, I had purchased some adhesive remover and performed a test-run on the bottom edge of the door -- I would not advise bothering with this approach -- it cleaned things up nicely, but did not remove all the layers of old glue ... and there were small pieces of old rubber, from who knows how many previous jobs, which did not come off at all. So I decided to save myself the aggravation and went with wire brushes and a scraper instead - it worked well!
The wire brush on the drill made quick work of cleaning all the door edges, however, you can't get in the hinge side of the door this way, unless you remove the doors and I sure didn't want to go that route ... so, on the hinge-side of the doors, I used the scraper and the small wire brush -- which took as much time as doing the other three sides (using the drill and wire brush) but did the job well enough.
PS - It's a good idea to cover the door latch with masking tape, to avoid getting a bunch of dirt in there:
On the hinge-side of the door, I placed a strip of masking tape along the edge of the body -- with the door open, there's a tight space between the top and bottom hinges and if you aren't careful, you could easily scratch your paint while cleaning the old glue off ... and while pressing the new rubber into place:
With all the door edges cleaned and prepped, I started applying the black adhesive with a 1/2-inch throw-away brush. I just squeezed a glob onto the tip of the brush and covered a 2- to 3-inch area at a time ... first on the flat, then on the side of the door, getting the corner/crotch at the same time. Then, while that was drying, I draped the length of rubber for that door across the bed of my truck. Taping some poster board over the bed-sides for protection, I applied the adhesive to the two edges of the rubber.
With posterboard over the door, I draped the glued rubber over the door, tucking the starting length behind the hinges. I cut the end at a 45-degree angle, brought it down to the bottom corner of the door (hinge-side) and started pressing into place with a large screwdriver ... press firmly; hold; jiggle; move to the next space ... every inch or so, on the flat and then on the side of the door.
I used one continuous run of rubber around the door ... and when I got to the starting point, I eyed-up the end, cut another 45-degree angle and pressed the rubber in place. Finally, I applied some adhesive to the two butt ends of the rubber, kept them apart and blew on them for a minute (this stuff dries quickly!) and then pinched them together with my thumb and index finger -- nice!!
PS - This took me approximately six hours; two or three hours per door; start to finish ... the doors close beautifully without having to adjust the strikers ... there's no wind whistling around the door seals and, most of all, the doors are not rattling!
If you're planning on doing this job, you can order the black adhesive and Door Rubber Seals from Chevy Duty (now Classic Parts): 1-800-741-1678Door Rubber Seals: Part #03-011
Black Adhesive: Part #03-299