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What product do you recommend for softening up old rubber seals such as those used in the vent window frames?  

 

Is there a product that would help bring back the suppleness of the rubber.  I realize there's a limit to what can be done on 54 year old rubber, but what have you found that works best?

 

The vent window seals in my '65 are intact, no chunks missing or big cracks, etc.  But, they are getting hard with age, so wonder if there's something I can use to extend their life a little longer...

 

Thanks, 

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Posted (edited)

I've never tried it but a friend swears by it.  Brake fluid.  It keeps the seals soft in the wheel cylinders so it seems reasonable.  

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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I use udder balm from Walgreens . 

KReed

ROA. 14549 

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49 minutes ago, RivNut said:

I've never tried it but a friend swears by it.  Brake fluid.  It keeps the seals soft in the wheel cylinders so it seems reasonable. 

I've used brake fluid for decades on under-the-car rubber such as shock bushings, but it's a superb paint remover, so I won't use it on window seals, which adjoin painted surfaces.  Just a cautionary word for those who might be tempted to use it for window seals or door rubber....

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2 hours ago, RivNut said:

I've never tried it but a friend swears by it.  Brake fluid.  It keeps the seals soft in the wheel cylinders so it seems reasonable.  

Also eats paint, so be careful if you try this.

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My dad swears by Vaseline for old seals (foam and hard rubber) and vinyl. It does an amazing job on old vinyl. It's my understanding that Vaseline (or any petroleum based anything) will break down modern seals because they're made from radically different materials. 

 

I've found 303 UV Marine Protectant spray (30305) for protecting newer style foam. Great reviews on amazon. I believe someone else here recommended it too.

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I learned that old stuff rubber that doesn’t want go back on the fittings can be made supple. Boil some water and let stiff rubber soak in the hot water until it is pliable.

Turbinator

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45 minutes ago, Turbinator said:

I learned that old stuff rubber that doesn’t want go back on the fittings can be made supple. Boil some water and let stiff rubber soak in the hot water until it is pliable.

 

If you’re going to go to the trouble to take it off the car, you might as well put new stuff on. ;) 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/8/2019 at 11:53 PM, KongaMan said:

 

If you’re going to go to the trouble to take it off the car, you might as well put new stuff on. ;) 

Second thoughts on reusing rubber parts. If the part is still good but needs to be supple why replace when you can use

the part? No sense in throwing something away still useable.

 

Mr KongaMan I agree one hundred 100%. When I wrote this I was thinking about my 60+ year old Gravely tractor that does not have the rubber hose I need available. The particular hose has to be taken off the carb when condensation builds up and the thing won't start. Keep the Gravelys high and dry ( garaged) and they will start. use only ethanol free gasoline and drain the system completely and they start most every time.

 

On the topic of hoses. I ran in to an interesting hose on the evaporator box for the AC on my 63 Riviera. The hose I'm referring has a larger inside diameter where it fits on a a nipple outside the evaporator box to drain the condensation. The remaining portion of the hose has a smaller outside diameter that feeds through the firewall. I've never seen a hose like that. I'm reinstalling all the components of the AC system. Starting from scratch with new components, except the vacuum modulator and STV. Ive decided to go to the STV bypass/eliminator this time. After 2 failed attempts with newly rebuilt STV's getting stuck I'm finished with that part. Now, I'm sure the system was not clean and that is what caused the STV to jam. Im making certain the system is flushed and new O rings and lubrication for R12 gas are installed properly. I'll pull a vacuum and if it holds I'll have the system recharged with R12. If the vacuum fails I have dry nitrogen supply with gauges to check for leaks. I''ll use soapy water to run the leaks. I'm hopeful I have the system going in an operational direction. New, condenser, new evaporator, new A6 compressor, new HOSES with triple barrier rubber made up, new thermal expansion valve, new drier, new vacuum hose rubber, supposedly new #1 vacuum switch... that's about it.

This effort to bring the AC has been costly due to my education/training OJT needs. I will say the mystery of heat exchange in the AC process is becoming clear. The science part of is no interest to me, but what happens where and why is of interest. Again, Thank you for your support in the past and the future. Happy New Year with good Health and Prosperity.

Turbinator ( Formerly Red Riviera Bob )

Edited by Turbinator (see edit history)

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Heard WD40 works well, bought some to try but haven't yet, anybody?

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You can soak it in Transmission fluid.  Non Corrosive so it won't affect your paint later.  Has worked excellent on some rubber for me that was hard as a rock, then soft as new a month later and hasn't touched others,  so it's a matter of the make up of the rubber. 

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Posted (edited)

I have a can of D&L hand cleaner that dip into and massage into the rubber parts when I do a thorough cleaning job. It is loaded with lanolin and works on rubber, leather, and all kinds of stuff. That makes it look nice, but if it is old, dry, and cracked or scaley it needs to be replaced.

 

Edit: I have also slipped a piece of cotton rope, like clothesline, behind side window seals to move them out ans stop wind noise. That works pretty good.

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

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like all natural rubber alcohol attacks it, to the point of destruction. I have successfully used alcohol for a controlled soak of hard crusted rubber pieces. The trick is to closely monitor the piece to moderate the process. The alcohol usually begins to turn black, immediately, as the top crust comes off, then it begins to soften and swell the rubber. leave it in solution too long and the rubber will disintegrate. A quick brushing with a toothbrush or Scotch-Brite  pad will remove the top crusty layer.

 

It works kind of like the old transmission additives, that are alcohol based. They soften and swell the internal rubber seals, which temporally reseals the leaks, but leave it in too long and your problems really begin, as the seals begin to leak more then they had previously. It might be interesting to to use that transmission additive to see how it reacts on old external seals. 

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On 1/7/2019 at 9:34 PM, kreed said:

I use udder balm from Walgreens . 

KReed

ROA. 14549 

KReed, good idea.

Thank you

Turbinator

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