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Rubber Rejuvination/Restoration


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  • 8 months later...
Vaseline, works................

True. A buddy of mine told me how it's done: First, wash away topsoil with warm water and dishwashing detergent. Use a cloth and an old toothbrush to get into the hard to reach places. Rinse generously with a spray bottle and dry with a clean cloth.

Next, use a clean cloth and apply rubbing alcohol (90%+ is best) to the rubber. This will remove any lingering residue.

Finally, coat all sides/parts of the rubber with petroleum jelly. Let it sit for a day or two and wipe off any excess. If the rubber is as soft and pliable as you want it to be, you're finished. If not, apply a second coat of the petroleum jelly. The nice thing is that thin coats can be repeated as many times as you like until you get the consistency you desire.

I have used this method for the windwings on my '71 Dart Custom, and the whistle from the windows is completely gone.

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It's funny that someone would dig up this old thread. Just about a month ago I salvaged a tire to use as a spare that looked like a goner. It had been pinched under an engine for decades unmounted and hard as a rock. I brushed on several coats of Lestoil and let them soak in for about 2 weeks setting it in the sun every day. I finally got it somewhat back in shape and put spacers to expand the bead. Then mounted it on the rim after a few more days. It actually is fairly round and doesn't look too bad. It will never hit the road and matches the size and brand of the other four tires. I guess I could use Burt Munroe's trick of using shoe polish to fill the cracks.

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It's funny that someone would dig up this old thread. Just about a month ago I salvaged a tire to use as a spare that looked like a goner. It had been pinched under an engine for decades unmounted and hard as a rock. I brushed on several coats of Lestoil and let them soak in for about 2 weeks setting it in the sun every day. I finally got it somewhat back in shape and put spacers to expand the bead. Then mounted it on the rim after a few more days. It actually is fairly round and doesn't look too bad. It will never hit the road and matches the size and brand of the other four tires. I guess I could use Burt Munroe's trick of using shoe polish to fill the cracks.

Glad Lestoil worked for you. It's great for stuff like that. I prefer the petroleum gel method if the rubber is still on the car, though. It's slower than Lestoil, but easier to control and can't harm any of the surfaces.

My car is a '71 Dart Custom sedan/4-door survivor, and parts for the trim/body are very hard to find. I can find weatherstripping for the 2-door and even the convertible models all day long, but for the sedan they are few and far between. If you have a source, I'd love to hear about it.

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I intend to try Vaseline on some weatherstrip. I doubt Lestoil would work on the foam type rubber used on them. I like these type products to fix stuff. I tried ketchup to clean a carb last week, it did a lousy job. I was looking for a NON glass beaded look, which looks fake. The ketchup cleaned the brass parts but not the body very well.

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If Vaseline is petroleum jelly, it attacks latex. If your "rubber" contains latex, you are softening it because the jelly is attacking the surface.

There is a product I found at Amazon a while ago called Rubber Rejuvenator. Maybe that is what you need?

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Lestoil no longer appears on the Clorox company website, so suspect they have sold it to another company. However, Lowe's does stock it in their cleaning supplies section. Go to your local Lowe's if you can't find it at your grocery.

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