Keeping out the cold!

DECEMBER 30, 2010 – Lori Tackles Bondorella’s Rubber

Let’s talk weatherstripping.

My Bondorella rattled. A lot. With no weatherstripping left on the doors, there was nothing to cushion the metal against metal on the bumps, so the interior of the cab was anything but quiet. When Department of Customz sprayed the clear, they put new felting in the windows, so that helped, but we still had the issue of the doors.

Several months ago, I went through the Truck Store catalogue and found every piece of rubber the truck required and bought it all, but hesitated tackling much of it because NOTHING HAD INSTRUCTIONS!!! That wouldn’t be  an issue for a restoration expert, but for me, I stood there looking all those pieces of rubber trying to figure out A. Where they all would go and B. How to put them in. I did get some things installed. First, the hood bumpers. Logic led me to some holes where I added them, but I still have a couple I can’t figure out. And what the hell is a “Hood to Air Deflector Seal, upper and lower”?? Is that the brace under the hood by the radiator? Ugh. I moved on. I got the lower door/floorboard rubbers in, threading them over the metal track and shredding my fingers. And the fender welting, of course, when we put the fenders back on. But I still had the big pieces of rubber:

The door weatherstripping.

Because of the lack of instruction, I went online in search of tips, advice, and instead got totally spooked by the process. I found forum after forum on how awful installing weatherstripping could be. Some said it was easier to take the doors off, but then you had to realign the doors… Nope. Definitely not the way I wanted to go. Others complained of doors not closing once the weatherstripping was in. Yikes!! That freaked me out. So what did I do? I packed all the rubber into a box and pretended I didn’t really need to do it. The rattles weren’t that bad, right? But then it started to get cold and I began to understand the “weather” part of weatherstripping. The stuff seriously keeps the cold out!!

So I finally tackled the project. And you know what? It wasn’t that bad!! The doors close perfectly, tight, but perfectly. And they no longer rattle!!!! Woo hoo!

My process:

  • Cleaned the surface thoroughly, first with a wire brush, next hitting some spots with a scraper to get old adhesive off, then chasing it with a wipe down of alcohol.
  • Lined up the new rubber and figured out which way was correct! I again trusted logic. Don’t know if it’s in right, but it seems to be working, so…  I’ll go with it.
  • Worked in small sections, starting from the top to go with gravity instead of against it.  I applied the adhesive to the metal and to the rubber, first squeezing it on from the tube, and then spreading it with a small brush. Then let it get tacky before affixing it. When that one foot section was in place, I’d move on the next, until I got all the way around! A little trim, and it was good to go.

And that’s it! No big issues. No scary “doors not aligning” junk. Just nice, quiet, cold-keeping-out doors.

Because of my success with the doors, I figured I’d tackle the rubber for the cowl vent. This was a bit more intimidating because I had to take apart the vent in order to get the old seal out. After I took the top of it off, I realized I didn’t need to completely take the bolts off since they were slotted holes and could have just loosened them and slid the door off.

Now I need to find new bolts because the old ones are so gummed up and nasty they won’t go back in, and of course, they’re an odd sized bolt no one seems to have, just like the bolts for my mechanical fan’s housing (which is still apart on my bench). Ugh. Other than that, I was able to vacuum out all the crap that had accumulated in the vent, chip out the old seal, put the new one in, and screw it back down. Once I get the cover screws, I’ll be able to put her back together.

Oh! And while I was at the hardware store hunting bolts, the ghost of my old kitty Al-the-Catopotamus  came to visit the underside of my vent cover, and left his mark. How cute is that?? (Thanks, Bri!)

We all have lots of projects on our cars right now. Becky Sue is in process of giving Gita a major power overhaul! She already has her new 302 and tranny in. Stay tuned for details on that super cool project. Rosa continues to get Callejera more roadworthy by refining the timing and changing spark plugs. Kristin also needs to do weatherstripping, and guess what? She now has a place with a garage!!!

Until next time…

Later gators and gatorettes!



3 thoughts on “Keeping out the cold!

  1. Hey Lori, I loved that you did that step by step and that you included the picture. You made it look like fixing your own car is fun! Great job!

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