Super Project '71: Part 14
Rubber, Doors and Windows
From the March, 2009 issue of VW Trends
All contributors: Ryan Lee Price
We started with a box of rubber...
We started with a box of rubber parts from Wolfsburg West, a complete set of most everything we'll need to protect our Super from the elements, from door seals, window scrapers to running board seals, door stopper seals and bumper guard strips.
Having a painted car back and finished in your garage is a great feeling and it is a turning point in the project, a milestone to signify the peak of the struggle to make this Super Beetle into a beautiful, yet functional, road-worthy Volkswagen. As far as the project is concerned, it is all downhill from here, albeit, not easy, but more rewarding.
We have finished the undercarriage, the running gear, the hidden mechanicals. We've scraped off the ugly undercoating, revamped the brakes and suspension, replaced all of the bushings, the transmission, the brake lines, the axles, the CV boots and a host of other things nobody will ever see.
Now we're ready for the fun stuff, the flashy stuff and the things that really makes building up a car interesting, finally. This month we're doing double duty, as we timed it just right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) to take care of two sections of the project on the same day. On these pages you'll notice that we've taken care of the door and window rubber, along with a couple of the outside seals, but if you skip back to Page 28, you can see that you'll need to tackle the headliner before you consider putting in the rear windows. It is this reason that it worked out well to have both of these stories done on the same day and in the same issue.
For this step of the project we took our Super to Classic VW Specialty's main man Rafael Gutierrez to show us the right way to rebuild the doors, replace the glass and seal it all with Wolfsburg West's rubber. As well, it is a good idea at this time to install the padded dash, as the top screws can be difficult to get in straight with the windshield in place. Also, the rubber from the windshield should butt right up against the pad...at least original dashes do.
There are very few specialty tools you'll need to tackle this step, and if you've got a 5/32 drill bit and a riveter (among the common tools you'd normally have) then you're out of excuses not to proceed on your own. However, if you're hesitant to take care of it yourself (or if there's any other steps you don't think is wise for you to do), contact Classic VW Specialty as they are a do-it-all Volkswagen restoration shop.
Let's get started, but first, since you're working with glass, you'll need to create a safe work environment for your car. Get a flat workspace that's off the ground and cover it with a layer of foam or a couple of thick beach towels. That way, as you're manipulating the rubber over the glass, you won't run the risk of chipping the glass. Remember, chips equal leaks and leaks equal rust, mildew and mold, three things you don't want inside your car.
We started with the trunk...
We started with the trunk seal, the outside rubber that runs the perimeter through this channel. The deck lid seal is installed the same way so we're going to skip it. When installed, crimp just the corners of these channel ends so the rubber stays in place.
There are two ways to do it:...
There are two ways to do it: The wrong way, which is to pry up the whole lip, slide in the seal and pound down the lip again, leaving it crimped and crumpled...and the right way, to feed the seal through the lip while keeping it well lubricated with silicone spray.
Feed in each side of the seal...
Feed in each side of the seal at the top of the trunk until both ends overlap at the bottom. At the top corners you'll have these attachment points that need to be carefully fed into the body holes.
The best way to feed these...
The best way to feed these through the holes is by using silicone and needle-nose pliers. Tug on the thickest part of the rubber as possible, as these small pieces are fragile and tear easily. Squeeze as close to the body as possible and pull. You'll hear and feel a small pop when the rubber seats.
Moving to the windows, now...
Moving to the windows, now is the chance to get them 100 percent clean, and since you'll hopefully never see the edges again, make sure they are very clean and free of any old rubber, dirt or debris. Any gaps will cause a leak.
Marking the center of the...
Marking the center of the glass, the rubber slips over the glass with little effort. Make sure the center of the rubber pieces match with the center you've marked on the glass.
The chrome molding (actually,...
The chrome molding (actually, it's aluminum) is fed into a small channel in the middle of the rubber. It might be a little long at the end, so you'll have to cut off both ends to make sure it meets in the middle of the window.
While all of this is happening,...
While all of this is happening, the dash pad is installed. There are four screws on the bottom, two on the top and two studs that have to be bolted down with those special flanges we showed you in Part Two.
Once the rubber and trim are...
Once the rubber and trim are on the windows, feed a piece of wire or cord into the body groove of the window and give it a healthy dose of silicone. Some suggest soapy water as they feel petroleum products prematurely break down the rubber, but we like using silicone because it isn't as messy as soap and water. Have a friend push on the outside of the glass while you pull the string, in effect, pulling the lip of the rubber over the window lip and into the car.
One specialty tool they have...
One specialty tool they have is this pointed screwdriver that pulls out the rest of the rubber over the car. Any curved piece of metal or a screwdriver will work, but be careful that you don't scratch any metal that will show.
Now that the windows are in,...
Now that the windows are in, our attention goes to the doors, and the outer scrapper goes in first (113 853 321). We've over exposed this picture to show you the clips that need to be lined up with the holes in the door frame. They simply snap into place.
There are six of these clips...
There are six of these clips for each door (111 837 361), three on top, two on the side and one inside the door. They help retain the felt channel the window rides in.
Up into the door goes the...
Up into the door goes the lower window channel. The channel screws into the door at the bottom but it snaps into place at the top of the door.
Here's the pile of rusted...
Here's the pile of rusted and corroded screws and rubber pieces that we don't plan to use. Instead we've elicited the help of Doc and the good people at Totally Stainless in Gettysburg, Penn., to help us with the new fasteners.
Next, slide the glass into...
Next, slide the glass into the door and put it in the back to make room for the regulator. We took a little time to clean off the dirt and gunk and give it a coat of black paint. Sure, nobody will see it, but we'll know it's there.
With a 5/32 drill bit, drill...
With a 5/32 drill bit, drill out the rivet that attaches the wing window to the frame. Take your time and don't drill away any of the frame around the rivet, otherwise your window will be forever loose.
After unbolting the adjustment...
After unbolting the adjustment bolt at the bottom, the window comes out, scrape away the felt channel and the rubber molding. Make sure to clean the glass well and remove all of the glue from the channel.
The new rubber is fed through...
The new rubber is fed through the channel and pushed into place with a screwdriver.
A new rivet is put into place...
A new rivet is put into place and cinched down with a special tool that Rafael made himself from a pair of vice grips. Of course, a rivet gun will work all the same.
Add glue to the felt and the...
Add glue to the felt and the channel. Make sure to seat it properly in the channel so there are no tight spots or crimped areas.
The wing window assembly is...
The wing window assembly is fed into the door frame at a slight angle, then pushed into place. The top is held by a screw and make sure that the outside rubber is folded over the door. If not, slide something flat in there and pull out any stuck rubber.
Next the main felt channel...
Next the main felt channel is squeezed into place by feeding it into the door. Start in the upper corner and feed the felt into the channel going both ways. Remember the six clips? They each have two spikes that hold this felt piece in place. Cut to fit on either side.
The inner scraper comes to...
The inner scraper comes to us a little on the long side so the metal rail is cut along with a quarter inch of the rubber. Since every car is different, put yours in place before doing any cutting. Yours might just fit.
Where the scraper meets the...
Where the scraper meets the wing window frame, you must lift up the wing window rubber and push the scraper end rubber into the door. This will lock the two pieces together.
At this time, the window goes...
At this time, the window goes into place and gets attached to the regulator. Keep everything loose until you make the final adjustments.
Roll the window up and down...
Roll the window up and down several times, making adjustments on the regulator until you're comfortable with its action. With the window up, Volkswagen was good enough to add these holes into later years of Beetles to finally tighten the window to the regulator.
Next is the door rubber. With...
Next is the door rubber. With German rubber, you need no glue, as it fits tight enough, but Brazilian rubber requires glue because it is harder and prone to slipping out. Start in the upper outside corner and work around the door.
To complete the door rubber,...
To complete the door rubber, the door stopper needs to be removed by knocking out this pin and freeing the stopper through the door. For correctness, the check rod shouldn't have any paint on it, so we wire wheeled ours down to bare metal (zinc coating would be appropriate). Don't forget the check rod seal on the door jamb.
Since we had already installed...
Since we had already installed the door mechanisms and the striker plate (they both simply screw into place), the new door handles from BFY Obsolete Parts merely slide into place. It is a good idea to scrape away the paint on the holes before fitting the handles, as it is a tight fit. One screw for the door handle (the lower screw is for the mechanism) and you're set.
There you have it. The doors...
There you have it. The doors and the windows are all put back into place and they are in perfect working order. However, now that the doors are rebuilt, we've noticed that the door hangs improperly, so we'll have to again visit the body shop to have it fitted.
263 Shoemaker Road
Top Line Parts
2910-A Miraloma Ave
12520 Magnolia Ave., Unit L
1055 Ortega Way, Unit D
12520 Magnolia Ave., Unit K
2850 Palisades Dr.
The Real Source
P.O. Box 1248
Silver Wheel Paint, Super Beetle Tow bar
Classic VW Specialty
13187 Chestnut Street
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