Installing Window Weather Stripping

Keeping the wet out and the dry in takes adequate preparation and patience

Feeling wet and drafty these days for the morning commute or weekend getaway? Maybe it’s your door seals, window channels, and weather stripping that need replacement. Weather stripping is engineered to seal out weather and road noise, deaden body boom, and eliminate rattles. How it is applied to automobiles has changed dramatically in more than 100 years of automobile production. Weather stripping is mostly spongy extruded rubber, dense rubber, extruded plastic or vinyl, bonded rubber, hard rubber, different forms of EPDM, neoprene, and rubber to metal vulcanizing.

Weather stripping suffers from the effects of the environment making it hard and brittle or overwhelmed by road film to where it cannot do its job effectively anymore. If you live in the desert or an urban environment, ozone from air pollution takes a toll on soft parts making it necessary to replace these parts more often. Windows and doors begin to rattle, windows don’t roll up and down as easily, water finds its way inside, and rubber becomes unsightly.

Seals And Applications

Older vehicles, such as this 1969 Mustang Sports Roof, have glue-on weather stripping. They also have pop-in, screw-in, or riveted seals and slide-in channels depending upon make and model. Replacement involves carefully removing the old weather stripping and adhesive without damaging paint. Lacquer thinner or brake cleaner is good for breaking down old sealer and weather stripping. You must have hospital clean contact surfaces for proper weather strip adhesion. New weather stripping must be free of the powder factory release agent, which is a white film that can be removed with detergent. Once completely dry, rubber must be free of all release agent and other contaminants. Otherwise it will not adhere to the surface. The only adhesive to use is 3M’s Super Weather strip Adhesive, which must also be used per the instructions or it will not adhere.

Some applications have stainless steel guides, which hold weather stripping. Weather stripping just pops in much as it did on the assembly line years ago. Reproduction weather stripping isn’t always of the same caliber as original equipment weather stripping, which means you may have to use weather strip adhesive to keep it secure. Reproduction weather stripping also requires the use of a thin film of petroleum jelly or silicone lubricant to prevent tearing and chaffing. Be very conservative with silicone lubricants. A little goes a long way.

Automakers have gotten away from glue-in weather stripping in recent years. Weather stripping employs plastic press-in rivets or slide-in installation to minimize environmental impact and reduce assembly time. Manufacturers have also gone to glue-in windows in the interest of safety and improved assembly time.


Mustangs Etc. - (818) 787-7639 -
Simi Automotive Paint & Supplies - (805) 526-3882

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