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The window sqeege


sideshowbob

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The first (not really) in a series of valiant efforts to keep costs down in auto maintenance. The Cheap [email protected] Presents: The window squeege

One of the most irritating things about an old car is often the hardened, brittle rubber weather-strip. This stuff is absolutely neccessary if you ever drive in the rain and don't like colonies of insects making a home in your beloved old wreck. These pieces are almost always available from the OEM, but at a serious premium. If you add up all of the parts they sell for your car, a 10k 'disposable car' ends up costing six figures or so. Then there's the aftermarket suppliers who sell those foam strips and look alike rubber. The foam is crap, but some of the rubber appearing on the shelves is quite an acceptable substitute for original, especially for those rare old cars whose manufacturer hasn't made replacements for the past twenty years.

Unfortunately, some parts aren't available at all or only at great expense. This was the case with the rubber window 'squeege' on the project 280Z. Yes, 40$ (It is 40$, right? I'm not substituting for some cheap stuff here, am I? ) is a great and unneccessary expense when the cost of the entire job is calculated. After much crinkling of the forehead and skull-scratching it was left to rot further.

While searching the hardware store for some 'take over the world' type equiptment I stumbled across some odd rubber strips used for some sort of flooring. There were several types hanging on a rack with various cross-sections and among them was one with a flat, beveled plane that closely resembled the 'squeegee' on the door windows (the entire cross section resembled a lowercase 'd', with the c part open at the end). 'Eureaka!' I cried, causing some fellow shoppers to eye me with sidelong glances and edge towards the door. The strips weren't perfect, they would definitely require some cutting but they were only four dollars for ten feet! That kind of savings was irresistible. Even a failed attempt would leave some of the material for a future need.

The first order of buisness was to cut the stuff lengthwise to remove the 'C' shaped channel that curled over the flat area. Lacking a long straightedge I used a footlong ruler with the predictable less-than-perfect results. No problem, the cut egde would be below the window trim and invisible to all but the most determined and inexpert of car thieves.

Next came the more difficult part, attaching the rubber to the stainless steel trim. The first attempt, using contact cement, was a dismal failure. It separated easily leaving gooey strands everywhere. Though it may not have been left to dry long enough, this probably wouldn't be the best way to attach it. What can I say? You never know until you try it... Nissan used staples. Not really something possible here, as crimping the ends will probably prove too difficult without damaging the trim in some way. Screws might work if the tips could be trimmed in such a way as to not interfere with the window or prevent the trim from snapping back into place.

So, in went the screws. First, a hole was drilled through the original metal strip, the new rubber and the rail using one of the old perforations from Nissan's super-staple-gun. The self tapping screws held wonderfully but were, of course, too long to allow the door rail to snap back on. Not a problem. Using a screw to tap out the threads and backing it out allowed a 'shortened' screw to be placed. The screws were shortened using a pair of large wire cutters. It took a few tries and seems to be something of a hassle but is a vast improvement over glues and epoxies. It gives you that SOLID feel, that's always so great when you've put together something. After the strip is back on the car it's time to trim it to match the original along the other stainless parts. It doesn't look exactly like the original but it's a far sight better than the crumbling crap that's been sitting on the car for the past thirty years.

You may want, if paranoia strikes, to seal it with silicone or somesuch at the bottom to prevent water from dripping down but if you screwed it in properly without warping the metal excessively this shouldn't be a problem. I can't say what the strips I purchased were made of but they seem to be a flexible pvc type. They were hanging on a rack at the Home Depot right at the end of the flooring isle. I'm sure there's several types that would work at home improvement stores everywhere at a similar savings to the factory replacements.

After performing this minor surgery and looking over the leftover section I cut from the liner I became curious and ran outside with a small section of it. Lo and behold, it was a perfect replacement for the rubber that surrounds the bottom of the rear window louvers, which had also become rotted through the years.

I should check out the hardware store more often........

This piece can be found at your local Hobo Depot

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Hey Sideshow, could you find/supply the Home Depot part or item numbers? Having that number to refer to would eliminate any wierd looks and head scratching from the guy/girl at Home Depot. Also, do you know the screw size you used, like a #4 or #6? I'll second that request on some pictures!

Did you try hot glueing the rubber strip to the metal? I know my wife uses one on just about everything! She could probably hot glue a tree to air with that sucker!!

Thanks for the tip and further help (in advance, of course).

Rob

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This was in the dark, but you get the idea. Oh, and you can use any small self-tapping screw. drive it in first (after drilling hole of course) then remove and cut most of it off. Leave just enough to hold the strip in place and not interfere with replacing the trim on the door. Space these fairly closely and take care not to overtighten because the rubber will warp around it. Also try to get as steep an angle (against the windshield) as you can.

post-8330-14150795792551_thumb.jpeg

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Wow, thanks, I just bought a 75' 280z 2 weeks ago. First wash I noticed water getting through, not good. I honestly was thinking of glueing a new weatherstrip to the old, behind it, making it thicker and tighter to the window but I had no idea how that would look or if it would work. Now I have your instructions to follow, Thanks for your tips.

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I have yet to find a suitable replacement for the door to body seal that isn't around $30. This isn't TOO bad, but I can do better. This kind of rubber is used in a mind boggling number of applications, the trick is finding one you're willing to pay for.

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All cars use a window 'squeege'. Isn't it viable that replacement rubber could be found on another generic vehicle (Ford, GM, etc) at low cost? There are adhesives that would work but they aren't generally accessible. They would far into the catagory of polysufides. I've used them extensively on naval weapon systems joining rubber shields to metal parts. A mechanical clamp would be needed to allow cure time. Once set, these products are a total PITA to remove. If you get it on your clothes it never comes out and the cloth will deterioate before it does. Maybe McMaster/Carr or another industrial supplier would have such an item?

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New squeegees cost you $75. I was also going to try to use the squeegees from a car with long door, like an old Monte Carlo.

So what about the felt channel stuff? They keep the windopws from rattling when you drive. Just gut the OEM type stuff? I don't think those are too rxpensive.

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I just found some on Too Intense restoration. $48 for a pair, which is a good price (Compare to $160 for OEM). These should be the correct ones you'll need.

(SHUDDER). Good price? What, are you made of money? Who in the hell wants to pay 50 Dollars for felt strips??? What, are they the special glowinthedarksuperhorsepowerincreasingwhilewipingyourbuttforyou felt strips? I'm going to tear my door panel out again to have a look at these Super Strips. You might think they would outlast the car at that price. I bet nissan pays less than ten bucks for this junk! Sure.... you have to cut it yourself and then 'attach' it with something. But, unless you're having someone else do all of your work, why??? PLEASE GOD!! TELL ME WHY!!!! Unless you're going to a car show, who the hell will notice?? Even if you DO, what kind of microscope would it take to distinguish the original and replacement fibers?

Seriously, now that I'm done ranting. The leftover 'd' stuff from the last project with a strip of black felt from the fabric store attached would probably improve greatly over the original. If you don't think you can cut it perfectly enough to suit, use a yardstick and an Xacto (I use a surgical scalpel, disposable). Spend the money on something that isn't such a simple swap out, like kick panels. I'll post an update on this later.

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$48 is for the squeegees, not the felt strips.

My apologies. He was, I mean you were, asking about the felt bits and I assumed you were still speaking about those in your next post. I've heard similar prices for them, however. I just pains me that such inconsequential crap can be so expensive merely because of it's application. Welcome to Free Markets.

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