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Old 03-17-2008, 03:09 PM   #1
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Post DIY: Door Rubber Weatherstrip Gasket - Torn tear rip ripped slice

alright... so I have a '01 BMW 330 with a huge tear in the rubber weather stripping on the door frame.

I thought I was screwed because I had let my issue grow from a 3 inch tear to a 2.5 foot tear running up the entire piece of rubber because of all the door action/wear/rub everytime I get in and out. at least $200 to replace at dealership, right?

anyways, I tried contact cement (two different kinds) and epoxy. Both failed. I was about to try silicone (which would have been extremely cumbersome because of drying/positioning), when I read the following article by MythBusters on popular mechanics .com about glues:

I was able to fix the tear PERFECTLY... and the tear had missing pieces and gaps, etc.

so I first started by using super glue in the 'flush' areas of the tear.. so it was kind of sporatic contact/gluing because of all the wear... then I used the MythBuster technique of BAKING SODA.

after letting all the main glue sections (that were clean tears) dry, I then took baking soda and filled in all the gaps (loosely). I then took the super glue and re applied it over the baking soda sections. What happens is the baking soda soaks up the super glue and INSTANTANEOUSLY 'kicks' or solidifies.. filling in the gap(s). For some gaps I had to reapply some more baking soda because the first time was only partially filled (hard to keep it in place when there is a hole and baking soda is a powder). You have a split second to press any baking soda areas down to make better contact but hopefully you are only filling in gaps where the rubber is missing at this point. I even sprinkled a little baking soda over the flush contact joints just to be sure...Overall, it took me about 30minutes total, and it is completely sealed/cured and there are no gaps, tears, holes, etc. I will post pictures later

if you are wondering... cracks filled with baking soda and super glue are not WHITE... but are almost translucent grey. The next step is to blend in the major crack repairs with the flush areas. I haven't actually done the whole tear yet because I didn't have time, but I am using a product called PLASTIDIP (black) to touch up the repaired areas and it matches the rubber weatherstripping perfectly, because it is rubber itself (already tried a test area). I was thinking about silicone instead... but I thought that may end up more shiny then the actual weather stripping

ps. be sure to wear powder coated gloves. They don't stick much with the super glue, and the powder helps prevent the super glue from looking glossy if you make any mistakes... just wipe the excess a couple times with a non-used finger of your glove.

If you have just flush cuts or slices I would recommend applying just superglue to your slice and do it very carefully without excess dripping when you push together. it will work much better than silicone (which doesn't hold as well)... and if you need to, apply a little baking soda so it instantly cures. Because sometime superglue just sits there and never bonds because it doesn't like the two materials... looks like baking soda forces it to do its job

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Old 03-17-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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Awesome!! I've had a damn tear on my drivers side for years!!! I'm gonna try this now!
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:03 AM   #3
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05 ZHP w/Epic tuned s54, Euro headers&Sect.1, Dinan 3.91 and a lot of other things built by Road Race Technologies
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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Wow, learn something new every day! Awesome for the trim fix but invaluable for the glue inside info. I can see myself using this 'know-how' for the rest of my life. Good stuff.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:05 PM   #5
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Wow good to know...just had mine replaced at the dealer free of charge
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:47 PM   #6
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PS you ultimately need to understand the cause of the wear on the rubber before you actually repair or else your weatherstripping with probably repair/tear again. I forgot to mention this when I originally posted.

There are two things you need to do to make it so the contact no longer happens between the door and the trim when opening and closing the door

1) The inside of my door was what was rubbing the weatherstipping. After I looked at it closely I noticed exactly what was rubbing. There is a section of door siding that sticks out a little bit from the door such that the inside of the door panel is not flush and actually grips the trim when opening the door. I have attached a diagram of what section I am talking about. Literally... all I did was used my fingers and pushed in that paneling (with a lot of force) so that it no longer stuck out anymore. It may not feel like it, but I think it is metal wrapped in leather, so after I pushed in the entire area it was completely flush and did not stick back out anymore (since I originally posted). reference the first diagram

2) Next, you will need to actually pull back the weather stripping and re -glue it back to the frame post. Every time the inner door grips/rubs the weatherstripping it tends to pull it away from the door frame, and you'll notice that you can push the weatherstripping back onto the post, but it doesn't really stay. I initially made the mistake of trying to use 2 variety of weatherstripping glues which don't do a good job of holding the rubber in place, especially on the metal frame. So, I resorted back to superglue Since all the weatherstrip glue was still there and flexible... I just reapplied super glue on top of it, and it seemed to stiffen up the previous beads of glue and harden the whole section perfectly. I don't know if I will ever be able to get the weatherstip off... but I don't think I will need to now that there is no more wear.

My door opens and closes perfectly and the original repair jobs is practically un-noticeable
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:54 PM   #7
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just an update that the 'hack' DIY on the trim is still in great condition. no signs of falling apart.
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