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Reconditioning 1968-1970 Riviera "Lacing Assemblies" (including mounting brackets)


NC1968Riviera
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Those of us with 1968-70 Rivieras are probably suffering with the deterioration or loss of the left and right foal rubber cowl panel seals, called "Lacing Assemblies" by GM.

Reference the 1969 Riviera Assembly Manual, partial pg. 1-9.2 below:

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These seals are on each end of the cowl panel weather stripping. I believe these parts were made by placing the metal hold down bracket inside a mold then injecting expanding foam rubber to encapsulate the main part of the brackets. I discovered that the original brackets had holes along the length of them to allow the foam rubber to form a sealing bond around the bracket.

 

On The Aqua Zephyr, my 1968 Riviera, I still had the foam rubber seals but the molded-in metal brackets were almost completely rotted away to dust.

After removing the seals from the car, I used very narrow needle nosed tweezers to dig out the remaining rusted mounting bracket bits.

I took extra care to use an extra sharp box knife blade to cut the foam where it passed through the bracket pieces that were still imbedded in the foam.

Care must also be taken not to break the seals while trying to pry the slits open to dig out the rusty bits!

The seals kind of have silhouettes of birds, don't they? 

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After removing all of the bits of metal, I thoroughly washed the seals in warm soapy water with an old toothbrush, again taking care when prying open the slits.


Below are the remnants of the original lacing assembly metal bracket cores. Note the holes in the upper left remnant. These holes allowed the foam rubber to form a sealing bond around the bracket.

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If your foam rubber seals are missing, you might have to find some from a donor car. 68-70 Rivs share the same seals. The GM Part numbers are  1385226(R)/1385227(L) if you happen to get lucky and find any for sale.

 

Recently Ken Lawrence, @kblawrence67, in Charleston, SC, shared with me that he had an autobody mechanic friend of his, (Jeremy Wemark, Wemark's Body Shop & Detailing, LLC in Calmar IA) create a new set of metal brackets out of 20-gauge sheet metal for his 1968 Riviera lacing assemblies. Ken sent Jeremy his old foam seals, bits of the brackets, some photographs and measurements. Jeremy also created a template with which he can use to create additional sets of these brackets. 

 

I contacted Jeremy and asked him if he could cut out a set for me also. Within a week, and for $60 (postage included), I had my new set of flat black painted lacing assembly mounting brackets, as shown below. I asked Jeremy to not drill any holes in the mounting tabs so that I could line up the tabs with existing holes in the cowl panel.

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Ken recommends letting the seals soak in a bath of Armor All for a couple of days to restore some of the foam's suppleness, reducing the possibility of cracking or breaking then while restoring them.

 

I used 3M Weatherstrip adhesive to glue the brackets inside the foam seals. I use some small clothes line clamps to hold everything together while the glue dried. Be aware to avoid getting any adhesive on the clamps as you could tear the foam when removing them.

 

Be cognizant that the seal with the big "dip" in it goes on the passenger side, the one without the "dip" goes on the driver's side. 

 

I got mine reversed so I had to cut out the brackets and mount them in the correct seals. (oh joy!)

 

I primarily wanted to let everyone know that replacement "lacing assembly" mounting brackets are available for the asking.

 

Contact Jeremy Wemark @ his shop: (563) 203-7547

or by email: WemarkRestoration@gmail.com.

He also has a Facebook webpage: Wemarks Body Shop & Detailing llc.

I have received Jeremy's permission to post his contact information for these brackets.

 

(FYI, Jeremy's shop also makes various years Riviera fender and other body patch panels.) 

 

 

Edited by NC1968Riviera (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I finally got my foam rubber lacing seals glued correctly onto my new assembly brackets. 

 

I used black 3M weatherstrip adhesive to attach the seals to the brackets. I then used a bunch of wooden clothes line clips to hold everything together while the adhesive dried. 

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The seals and brackets are reinstalled on the cowl panel and will, hopefully, last for dozens of years yet! These seals are not Concours condition but I am glad that I was able to continue to use them with the newly manufactured brackets. 

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Edited by NC1968Riviera (see edit history)
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  • NC1968Riviera changed the title to Reconditioning 1968-1970 Riviera "Lacing Assemblies" (including mounting brackets)

If you need a good pair to model the foam off of for 3d print let me know. Willing to pull mine off and ship them to someone as long as I can get them back and a pair of the new parts when they are ready. Mine seem to be in very good shape. 

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