A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

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A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Jamie N » Fri 21.03.2014, 23:37

Well I have been on this road before folks and some of you may remember me posting up the discovery of Renault 19 convertible seals a few years back. Well now we have another Elan and as usual it has awful pieces of water retaining sponge purporting to be "seals" :D ,therefore they had to be rectified so I duly removed them, at that point I did not know what I was going to replace them with but I was confident I would find something so out they came, (about half a cup of water was squeezed from them both combined!).

Then I went off round the yards to see what I could glean, I couldn't find anything on a car in any of the yards that looked ideal, however speaking to the owner of one of the yards he points me to one of the containers and says "have a look in there", well this was a bit daunting to say the least, crammed full of plastics and rubber door/boot seals and all manner of dusty stuff (probably Rats as well!) but I gave it a search and finally found these, 5 of them cable tied together, as soon as I checked the section of Elan seal I had with me it was obvious they were pretty close. Now the main problem here is I don't know what they are from and neither does the old guy!, there are no part numbers on them that I can see and nothing in the container to indicate what they might have come from, so does anyone recognise them possibly?, long shot but you never know somebody just might recognise them from a car they have or had.

So I get them back to the garage and cut a section from one and give it a test fit into the seal channel, I could never have imagined the fit would have been this close, it just pushed in there like it had been manufactured specifically for the Elan, However, not quite perfect as the top part had to be modified to fit the ledge where the roof closes down on it and a couple of studs holes made into the rubber (a tap with a piece of sharp 3mm pipe), the bottom part needed very little work, just a bit thinning on the back of the wide part where the studs go.

The glass closes perfectly on to them as does the mirror and the section below, but the best part is the look, its just so much cleaner and tidier, it really lifts the appearance, the pictures really don't do justice to how they look . The other bonus is......totally water sealed!, actually the first time I shut the door and looked at it I knew it was watertight but I tested it with a watering can and then yesterday it sat out in Scottish monsoon conditions and not a drip got past those seals.
They also fit so well in the channel there is no need for sealant, they don't budge at all and need a good pull to release them.

Profile test piece into the channel, note where the arrow points there is a channel there with the lip up inside it.
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The modified part for the ledge.
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Full seal showing the finishing part at the bottom, virtually perfect fit.
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Glass closed onto seal with firm pressure, completely waterproof!.
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2nd set I made with the other 2 seals.
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Seal being push fitted into the channel
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The ultimate aim is make it as waterproof as the wee French beast alongside it, a challenge for sure but think
it can be done, ive already done one side of the hood seals with rubber ones but that's another story for another day. :D
Image

So in summary there is something out there that is a viable alternative to over priced sponges that have a limited life span,
these seals will outlast the car for sure, but what are they and more importantly are they available?.
I will certainly be going back to look for others and will be checking all the cars I can ,
I will know them instantly if and when I find them.

Jamie. :wink:
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby novacaine » Sat 22.03.2014, 07:39

That look preset damn good! Nice find, now to find out what they are from. I need a set of these, dick of getting a wet knee
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Enright » Sat 22.03.2014, 11:04

Wow, this is pretty trailblazing stuff Jamie! :clap:
I knew it was only a matter of time before someone found a viable alternative to the (unavailable and frankly unreliable) OEM solution, and this could be it.
The finished result looks excellent.
Can't wait to see what further investigations turn up. Hope you can find that profile again and work out what vehicle it came off.
Await with baited breath.
Meanwhile I think I'll make this topic a sticky in case anyone else can build upon it.
Striking fear into the hearts of duplicate posts everywhere...! :P

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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Fredjohn » Sat 22.03.2014, 11:11

Great find and they do look good.
Although the A pillar seal is still available, it may be worth trying to find out what your find came from.

Another post recently mentioned a company called Phoenix Trim, who are down in Devon: http://www.phoenixtrim.co.uk
Perhaps they could help identify it.

There is also a trim company in Birmingham called Auto Trim Direct http://www.autotrimdirect.co.uk

I once used a trim supplier in Chelmsley Wood Birmingham but I can't find them at the moment.
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby WienLot » Sat 22.03.2014, 16:51

Very promising Jamie. Congrats!
Would you have some pics of the successive steps you went through to adapt the seals? Did you use some glue to make the top end and which one? Additionally did you use glue to stick your 'new' seal to the windscreen frame?
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Jamie N » Sun 23.03.2014, 21:45

Words cant describe how delighted I am today Guys! :D , I went back up to the Yard yesterday and pulled out a mountain of stuff from the container to search for more seals and lo and behold was it worth it!, I found something else that is twice as good as these :shock: ,they are virtually the exact same profile on the back for fitting in the seal channel but the front part is just phenomenal!, it has a lip which folds over the glass as it is pressed against it which completely and utterly seals it wind and watertight but also on the inside where it touches the inner glass there is another channel which drains any water even if it did get past the fold over outer section, and then right below that part it is sealed again by the window pressure onto the main seal body.

It really has to be seen to appreciate just how well they work, these really are as close as you will get to the holy grail of A pillar sealage :-D
The quality of the rubber is fantastic and you can tell straight away these will outlast the car no problem.
They do need modded though but only by fitting a "top" on them for the upper windscreen ledge but I have managed to develop a technique which yields a good finish albeit a bit dangerous and not good for your health for sure! :shock: , other than that they are a straight fit on just requiring 2 stud holes made in the proper locations down at the door hinge area.
Neither I or the old guy are any the wiser as to their definite origin but he did say they used to put mainly Fiat stuff in that one, he is a complete hoarder and just keeps the most useless rubbish but im happy with that :wink: , I managed to get enough to make probably 3 maybe 4 sets anyway and the great thing is the offcuts can be made into hood seals with the exact same lapping over the glass effect, ive made both upper hood seals so far today and if I can develop a way to curve it I can do the falling seal as well, if not im sure I will find something else for that one as im determined to replace them all with proper good looking waterproof seals.

Right here is a video I made showing firstly a section of the seal and how it fits/operates followed by a full seal in the channel but not completely finished top and bottom as I still need to do other stuff before the final finishing off, again not the greatest quality film but good enough to get an idea.

Jamie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU2ne ... detailpage
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby novacaine » Sun 23.03.2014, 21:49

you are a god! lol we must find out what these are from somehow. If you start selling, pop me on the list :P
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby wayne » Sun 23.03.2014, 22:15

Great find Dromong. They look fantastic :) Well done :clap:

You may be correct with them coming from a Fiat.
I used to own a Fiat Barchetta and the seals look to be a very similar rubber extruded profiles to your pictures.
Seals seem much better than the Lotus parts but Unfortunately the seals were not bullet proof and were known to fail. (especially in the heat).
Bad bit is that new they are more expensive than the Lotus parts....

I have no idea what car your seals are from. Just giving my opinion of the Barchetta roof / a pillar seals.

I think that we all really hope that you can come up with a low cost replacement.

Well done :cheers:
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby GeoffSmith » Sun 23.03.2014, 22:39

:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Jamie N » Sun 23.03.2014, 23:01

Wayne I would very much doubt they were from a Barchetta mate, as whatever car it is they must have had at least 4 or 5 and its the sort of yard unlikely to ever had one of those never mind a few, very uncommon cars up here in Scotland as well, although he said mainly Fiat there was bits of 205 arch mouldings and Ford wheeltrims in there that I saw as well ,so really they could be from anything at this stage, my own instincts are thinking along the lines of something French from around late 90,s early 2k's but rest assured im well on the case and I'm in Vehicle breaker yards most weeks at some point and I will be looking at everything, will keep you posted. :wink:

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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Rusty Wishbone » Mon 24.03.2014, 00:41

Please would you post a picture of the profile of the newest rubber extrusion, and I'll try to match it up with a cataloge that I have found. The first profile isn't in the catalogue.
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby theelanman » Mon 24.03.2014, 10:08

great work..... :smt023
Id love to get a set when you find out what they are... :-D
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Gazza » Mon 24.03.2014, 14:42

Excellent news!
It says video is not available to watch in your country. Have we already split from Scotland without me knowing :D
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Jamie N » Mon 24.03.2014, 21:47

Here is a pic of the hood seal, same effect, lip curls over the glass when closed, I have done both top seals, the front one took a bit of working out the best way to make it an accurate fit but I got there in the end, I backed the seals with 4mm carbon fibre strips but great accuracy is needed in making the screw holes that attach them to the hood frame as it is critical that the seal that folds over the glass is sitting just level or 1mm above the glass as the door closes. The carbon fibre takes a stainless self tapper through the 2 holes in the hood frame and tightens up rock solid so no more rusted nuts that just spin and need drilled out!.

So that's the 3 seals done on the drivers side and it looks pretty incredible when you watch the door shut and simultaneously all the lips curl over and seal it at once, it really makes you wonder why the hell this idea was not made at production!. Now that I have worked out the technique for these ones I can make the others pretty quickly as ive made templates for all the add on parts. I will make as many sets as is possible with what I have here and will do them straight after these whilst the knowledge is fresh in my head, if I leave them a couple of weeks I will forget how I done certain bits and have to start from scratch again :D

Next step is to devise the falling pillar seal which I have an idea for already so hopefully should be straightforward enough, will keep ya posted :wink:

Jamie.

Not so easy to make out but the glass is tucked right under the seal lip making water ingress virtually impossible, its also sealed by pressure against the inner part.
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Seal profile.
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This may look a bit like a factory sponge but this is one I made from an offcut, backed with carbon fibre its the one on the car.
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This seal has still to finished on the end but shows clearly how the window tucks under.
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby novacaine » Mon 24.03.2014, 22:40

Looks like the makings of an elan submarine! Your making me rather jealous lol
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby novacaine » Mon 24.03.2014, 22:44

Also dibs on a set :p
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby WienLot » Mon 24.03.2014, 23:52

Jamie,

What an amazing find and smart job. So impressive.
I would love to be in for a set if you start a list ! :bowdown:

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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Rice crispy » Tue 25.03.2014, 00:15

Likewise I'm interested in a set, I have also spoken to a company that car copy the profile and produce lengths of it. Not sure of cost and need to give dimensions to them. Jamie have you a small offcut that I could share with them? Happy to pay the postage costs ?
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Rusty Wishbone » Tue 25.03.2014, 00:37

Nope. That profile isn't in my catalogue either.
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Re: A Pillar seals, Rubber alternative found!.

Postby Gazza » Tue 25.03.2014, 22:12

I would be interested in a set, please as well
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