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Rubber Seals

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The last few months I needed to finish up the car and get it watertight to ship off to the shop for the engine install. I had ordered BMW OEM seals from Steve at Blunt a while ago, and was dreading the various jobs after reading and re-reading all the Tech articles. I decided to put myself in a corner and asked my 30 year old son to help me with the windshields since he had done both of his on his 911 with my daughter. We decided to do it over Christmas while he was here for a few days.


I bought the nylon rope and washed the seals in my slop sink, cleaning them with my go-to Dawn liquid to get all the while stuff off. The windshields had been stored in my garage for over two years, so I was anxious to get them on the car and finally out of the way.


We started with the front. We laid a moving blanket on the hood, sprayed the seal with soapy water and put the rope around it twice after fitting it on the glass. We also sprayed the car frame to help set the glass. Lifting it into place, my job was to push as he pulled the rope from the inside of the car, slightly behind as he went. This is a simple job, but not easy. With him occasionally telling me to do this or that (in a somewhat firm (LOL!) manner), it took us three tries to get it in. Long story short, it took us three tries on the rear as well. All in all, I'd say it took us 3 hours for both. Job done! Have someone with experience to help.


I tackled the lock strip myself later in the week. I bought the stupid tool and gouged, scraped and blundered my way around the front windshield after silcone-ing underneath. The trick here is to use a LOT of soapy water and to get the angle of the tool just right. The corners are the tricky part and a second set of hands would help, as I found out later.


Learning that, I enlisted a Porsche buddy for the rear. While he kept the strip aligned and facing down properly, I could concentrate on the right tool angle. We had it done in 15-20 minutes. MUCH easier with 2 people!


The trunk seal was pretty easy. My upholsterer had given me a jar of heat activated glue that you brush on and let dry. I then attached the seal, after undoing the hinges one at a time to get it underneath (careful, they're spring loaded) and locked it down with some clothes pins. A heat gun warmed the seal and activated the glue. Easy! I have to SLAM the trunk now but I've got a really nice seal back there.


The front hood seal is easy. You just have to decide which way to lay it on the hood. I was surprised to hear form Steve at Blunt that there is some controversy on this point, but I took his advice and laid it on the way he suggested. A little glue and bingo.


Next up: doors.


I already had that pushing tool that's made of plastic, and tackled the doors. I had stripped the car to get it painted, and didn't realize I needed to put the upper chrome piece on the latch side of the door back on the car first until after I had glued the seals in place. Don't make my mistake! The seal tucks into that piece as well. My biggest problem was the seals were too long...that is, they extended past my rocker panels plastic cover. I didn't stretch them or pull on them, they were just a few inches too long. This is a fiddly job and you need good glue. I eventually trimmed them, even though they have a specific profile at their ends to fit into the rocker panel trim. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. This job was tough. Even after adjusting the striker, the doors aren't flush. I hear this is pretty common, but it drives me crazy.


Next was the rear windows. This was the toughest of them all. My buddy was already here helping me with the rear lock strip and he pushed me to do the rear window seals. Thank God he did. Being a bit younger than me, he did all the pushing and tucking while I did the guiding but still, took us maybe 2 hours and a lot of (his) strength. Very difficult but they're in, and in correctly. Two man job.


After all this I got to install the rear windows and their new seals. Pretty easy and straight forward. I kept one window assembled while I worked on the other one, for reference. They went in fairly easily...wife helped hold them in place while I screwed them into place.


All in all, pretty satisfying. I don't want to do them again but if I have to, now I know how!

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