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Thread: 1937 running board rubber repair

  1. #1
    Christian
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    1937 running board rubber repair

    Hi there,
    when I look at my 37 Roadmaster convertible, I do appreciate the various witnesses of her age, like a bit dull paint, wear on the leather etc. - as long as the general state is still very good. My running boards however do concern me a little bit. The rubber is cracked, hard like a stone and I am a bit concerned that itīll get worse over time. While I do like that look, I donīt want it do go on like that.

    Do you know any method to repair / restore / soften up the old rubber without replacing it? Is there any "miracle gum" that reverses the process of ageing for a little bit?

    Anyone any idea or experience?

    Thanks and happy Easter break!

    Christian
    _____________________________________
    :) Christian
    1937 Special Coupe
    1937 McLaughlin Roadmaster Convertible

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Meguiars has a product for vinyl and rubber. It won't do any magic overnight, but with a few applications may help out. If you go to Meguiars.com they have links to their products...if I remember it may be #40. If you can't find it, I may be able to dig out a bottle this weekend to verify the name and number.
    Derek Thille
    BCA #39416, CBC, MBCC #1984
    76 Century Free Spirit Pace Car - "Spirit" / 66 Wildcat Custom Coupe - "Ellie" / 62 Special Convertible / 61 Invicta Convertible - "Vicky" / 56 Special 4-door Sedan / 54 Century Estate Wagon / 52 Roadmaster 4-door / 41 Special 41SE Sedan / 29 McLaughlin Buick Model 51

    2006 Buick Rainier - "Ruby" / 2005 GMC Sierra K2500 - "Max" (the hauler)
    Thriller's Buick Page

  3. #3

    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Christian,
    I know an owner of a 1937 Buick Special coupe that repaired his running boards with body filler ("Bondo"). He then carefully block sanded the repaired areas and painted the whole rubber surface with a mix of black paint and gray primer. The result looked very good and original, except that it was rock hard.
    Grandpa

  4. #4

    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    I had the same situation with my 37 a few years ago. I bought a few cans of spray on Black Plasti-Grip. It did a very nice job, filling the minor cracking and sealing the surface with a smooth rubbery finish, while preserving the original appearance.

    Rollie

  5. #5
    Senior Member ewing's Avatar
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    I have the same problem with cracking and spotty rubber loss, with my 38 running board rubber. I am going to try that black rubberized adhesive called GOOP. It seems to cure into a flexible rubbery material. You may want to give that a try in a small spot to see if that gives you the results you are looking for. Added benefit could be bonding to the old remaining rubber and adhesion to the metal base.
    or
    you can wait till I actually try it and report back. I am still waiting for the winter snow to melt away to get to my 38, so it could be a few weeks yet!

    As for the rubber hardness.... no tips to offer.
    John, BCA #1271, ALPCA 688
    38 McLaughlin 4 Dr Special,Iron Man
    47 Roadmaster Conv.
    58 Pontiac Parisienne,Canadian version of the Bonneville
    67 Coronet 500

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Wow, interesting suggestions from Grandpa and tin knocker... I have the same issue as the original poster on my 38, I may have to try these solutions.
    Grant
    1938 Buick Special Model 41
    1961 Solex 2200

  7. #7
    Christian
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Rollie,
    I tried to google black plasti-grip but got nowhere. Could you give me a hint where to get it?
    Thanks,
    Christian
    _____________________________________
    :) Christian
    1937 Special Coupe
    1937 McLaughlin Roadmaster Convertible

  8. #8

    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    I'll check on it and get back to you.

    Rollie

  9. #9

    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Sorry about that Christan. The name of the product is Plasti Dip. You should be able to Google it.

    Rollie

  10. #10
    Christian
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Thanks Rollie, found it.
    Christian
    _____________________________________
    :) Christian
    1937 Special Coupe
    1937 McLaughlin Roadmaster Convertible

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    CENTERVILLE, OHIO NEAR DAYTON
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    I just bought a 38 coupe Running board rubber shot. Where is the best place to buy running boards? thanks
    1936 Chevy Master Sedan
    1938 Buick Coupe
    1990 Buick Reatta Convertible

  12. #12
    Junior Member
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Is there some place you can purchase replacement rubber for the running boards?
    Thanks in advance, Terry Thomas

  13. #13
    Senior Member DavidAU's Avatar
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    Hunley Acuff has a very good reputation for remoulding running boards so it could be worthwhile contacting him.

    David

    Hunley Acuff Runningboards

  14. #14
    Senior Member ewing's Avatar
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    ok, I have experimented and found a repair that I think is quite satisfactory.
    My running board rubber ( on a 38) had minor cracking, some small 'divots' breaking out, and, a couple of areas a few inches in length where pieces were breaking away from the metal 'tray'.
    To start, I used rust check rust converter, to seal rust under the rubber where it was cracked or where I could see I could get the liquid down to the metal 'tray'
    Use this sparingly and only in small areas where you need to stop obvious rust. ( it is very aggressive chemical and I'm not sure about its long term affect on the old rubber.
    After the rust converter was soaked in for about 10 minutes, I flushed the whole area off with lots of clear water and let the boards dry over night.

    I then used a product called Black Knight, all season rubberized premium, 'Roof Repair'
    It comes in a tube for a caulking gun.
    I applied is sparingly, and worked it in to the cracks by 'massaging it in ( with my finger).
    On the larger areas I squeezed out the material and slowly levelled it out and shaped it with a combination of tools ( finger, small trowel, and a knife).
    It is sticky and you have to work it back and forth, take your time and blend it in to the adjacent surfaces.
    The let it dry over night. It will be still pliable in a day and then I did some final shaping by pressing the material to better match the contours of the running board ribs.
    I then sprayed the whole rubber top on the running board with a good layer of 'Dupli Color, bumper coating, CFB105, flex.Bumper coating black' and while still damp, I rubbed the paint in long strokes to blend in the paint and dull it a bit.
    The next day I gave it another coat of the ( bumper black) paint and same wiping technique.
    In a few days the compound applied is quite stiff, like the hard rubber, and the running boards look amazing.
    The cracks are filled and the delam bits and divots are all filled.
    The added bonus is that they are sealed ( for now) for water getting under and continuing to deteriorate the boards.
    The boards look like new . and I'll post a few pictures when I get some.
    Now I wish I had taken before, during and after pictures, but the after pictures I think will show what a great repair this made on my running boards.
    John, BCA #1271, ALPCA 688
    38 McLaughlin 4 Dr Special,Iron Man
    47 Roadmaster Conv.
    58 Pontiac Parisienne,Canadian version of the Bonneville
    67 Coronet 500

  15. #15
    Junior Member
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    First of all, save some time and money, nothing you put on such as Meguires etc. will restore the rubber on your boards.
    I am quite sure that one of my boards on my 38 is a fibreglass cover, the other may be an original that has hardened to the consistancy of plastic or fibreglass.
    My solution? This winter I am going to take them off and have them sprayed with "truck box liner" they can apply it in various thicknesses and various finishes. It stays flexible (rubber consistancy) I have seen samples and it looks like an answer...stay tuned
    1957 Buick Roadmaster 4-door Riviera
    1938 Buick Special, Dual SM

  16. #16
    Senior Member bobj49f2's Avatar
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    Re: 1937 running board rubber repair

    How are you going to achieve the ribs?



    I was thinking the same thing but it would take a lot of taping and masking to have enough build up. I wonder if you could pour the liner material in thin troughs, something like a pipe of small diameter pipe split lengthwise, let them harden. Then spray the boards and while still tacky, carefully apply the ribs made in the troughs, then spray a couple of sealing coats of liner over all the boards.

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