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'53 Super Weatherstripping


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I have removed the seats, carpets, door panels, etc. and repaired front floor pans ('53 Super, 56R). Before I put it all back together, I am chasing and repairing leaks around the doors. It appears that water is getting past the door hinge pillars, and there is a "Front Body Hinge Pillar Sealing Strip" that may be the culprit! These sealing strips are available, and there is a procedure to replace them in the shop manual. I am curious if anyone has changed these in their restorations, and if so does the shop manual leave out any important steps..... such as, "Step 1, Remove front fender"?

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I was able to slow down the leak by about 90%, not enough to keep from wetting my new padding and carpet. My seals are probably OEM, not very flexible, and have taken a "set" over the years. Working from the top I was able to loosen the seal from the cowl and door, and clean the mounting surfaces as far as I could reach. There is a retainer screw on the top next to the hood bumper and a body plug/pin about 8 to 10 inches down the front edge of the seal. According to the shop manual, there is a retainer screw attaching the bottom of the seal to the cowl. There was also a separate small flap of thin rubber (2"X4") located at the top of the seal. Not sure the small flap is original, or an attempt by a previous owner to keep the water out. I reattached the top half of the seal using contact cement and cemented the small flap so that it acts as cap for the seal. 

All of this was done with the hood up, and opening and closing the door as necessary to access the top half of the seal, using wood slats to apply pressure to the glue points. The overlapping Super door/fender doesn't provide easy access, especially to the lower half of the seal! I'll try to post some photos later today.

As a side note, it dawned on me that the small flap had the same thickness and flexibility as an innertube! (Unlimited possibilities for a suitable repair). I'm hoping someone on this site has experience changing these seals on a car that still has the front fenders installed. The shop manual is almost "All ya gotta do is......"

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Hi Guys

To get the bottom part secured, the front fenders needs to come off. There is a L shaped clip at the bottom and an oval metal fastner with 2 phillips head screws.  I tried with the fender on, but could not reach that far down. 

Please see attached photos, let me know if you have any other questions.

Steve

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Great photos Steve. This shows what I was suspecting and dreading!

I did read in the shop manual that "if only the upper end of the sealing strip in the area above the upper hinge is damaged, repairs may be made with a patch strip which is available for service". These photos would explain the reason for that!

I do have an inspection camera so maybe I'll be able to see what condition the lower half of the seal is in.  

It will be interesting to see if the Buick dealer has the "patch strip" in stock!!!!😬. Now I'm glad I kept the inner tubes that were in my old tires.

Updates to follow.

 

 

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This seems to be more of a dust shield than a water seal, the door weather-strip would keep the water out. I have not had my car washed or in the rain to see if these work. The pictures are of my 53 Roadmaster parts car, it is an untouched original so it is very helpful. 

Let me know what you find out. 

 

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Good point, I did test the area with a hose and it did slow down the water a lot. That being said, the door seals are in bad shape. The plan is to start at the top around the vent window and work my way down. I have replaced the vent window frame to windshield pillar seal which also helped. The previous owner used a lot of flexible sealer and over time this stuff has oozed out and created quite a mess. The saga continues!

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On 7/15/2021 at 12:32 PM, SJF1948 said:

Now I'm glad I kept the inner tubes that were in my old tires.

Better to use rubber roofing material. It's flat, smooth, and last forever. Contact a roofer in your area and mooch some cut offs.............Bob

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