Saturday, February 18, 2017

custom window seals

I needed some new cargo seals for my FJ55 but new ones run around $300 each. I had read about using seals from other cars and just making your own, so I figured it was worth a shot. I ordered the seals from a guy on ebay. Then ordered weatherstripping glue from Canada. It took a while to arrive through customs. I ordered two bottles to be safe but actually only ended up using a small amount. The glue works super fast! Apply to one half of the cut seal and then as soon as you touch the unglued side things bond almost instantly. If you get glue on both halves it doesn't bond when you stick them together. As noted above the lower curved corner is the difficult joint to cut and get right. My second one was much better.

The first seam is the easiest one to do since it's straight.

 The passenger side seal was the second seal that I cut so it turned out the best. The one shown above was the first seal and I wasn't happy with the way I did the lower corner on it. When I got ready to install the drivers side (and first seal I cut) I realized the glass was cut too small for the opening. I wondered why the old seal had gaps. Come to find out it wasn't stock glass with original label and someone did a hack job on it. I was able to get to original cargo windows shipped from TX within a couple days. Regardless of the issue with the glass it gave me the opportunity to possibly do a better job on the handmade seal. This mod saved a lot of money!

Here is the second seal installed on the passenger side. You'll see here that I ended up curving the seal end piece seal around the curve. This ended up working much better than trying to cut the proper angle on the corner since the glass is curved here. You see that I have a little separation here as I need to go back and apply glue. I got in a hurry and ended up getting glue on both halves of the seal as I was putting it together so part of the seam opened up. It's good on the inside though and with a little heat from the blow dryer I should be able to close the gap. As mentioned above the seals are quite flexible and stretchable so if you end up cutting a little short as your trimming things you can usually get the seam to meet. I feel confident that I can fix this little spot with the window installed.

Here are some close up shots on the seams. Again please forgive the last lower corner seam as I need to fix it. Hopefully this gives someone an idea of what it takes to make custom seals if needed. After getting the glue, I have no reservations about making seals like this in the future. The glue works awesome and plenty of glue left over when the two seals are completed. I'm even going to try and do some repair on some of my other seals that have torn in the corners (like my tailgate window outer seal). Maybe this will prolong me having to buy some of the seals that just need a little touch up repair.

By the way I used a hammer to tap the straight razor through the seal to get a straight cut. I uses a rawhide hammer to do this and it worked like a charm. It takes a couple cuts to get the hang of it.

Also, you'll have a few sections of trim left over. Enough to fix the final back piece if you screw things up...

Also info on the ebay seller I got my seals from: 

Link to sellers store: COLUMBIA PARTS COMPANY | eBay Stores

He has seals that are also grooved on the outside face of the seal to accept trim, but you'll want the smooth face. I think he wondered why I ordered two of the same seal from him. He was quick on delivery.


Unknown said...

This is a great job! Very impressed - I am pulling my hair out trying to find the very same seals for the back windows and back doors for the 1979 FJ55. So the link above for seal works ok?

Frankie Flood said...

Yes, this worked well for me. I sold my 55 recently, but when I did this it sealed things up nicely.

Unknown said...

Hey Amigo - I am going to press play on the link above and get the seals via Ebay. Wanted to ask is there a suitable substitute for the glue? Any recs? I am also looking for some other seals for the rear doors but hitting roadblocks. Any leads? Were you able to make any custom rubber for the doors/body?
*Correction: 1971 FJ55

Frankie Flood said...

I don't know of any replacement adhesives for this. My other seals were in o.k condition so I didn't have to replace. I did use the glue I purchased to repair some cracks in a couple of the seals to try and prolong their life.