Friday, 18 May 2012

Refurbishing the cab door

One of the problems with a 36 year vehicle is that anything made of rubber has gone brittle, split or perished by now.  Many of these rubber bits are involved with keeping water out, and so I'm gradually making my way around the van replacing bits as I go making it water tight again.

One of the worst offenders for letting in water was the passengers door.  The weather seals around the window were completely perished allowing water to drip down inside the door, and as the doors plastic liner had long since disappeared much of this water leaking in to the door ended up inside the van.

So, two days ago, with a bit a dry weather, I finally felt brave enough to completely strip the passenger door down in order to renew all the window seal and hopefully cure it's leaking. This was a job I'd been waiting to do for weeks but because of our wonderful British weather and the really wet April I'd not had the chance.

Luckily I found a really good guide online that went through in detail exactly how to strip the door and window down, and before long the the window guide channels, the inner and outer scrapers, and finally the opening quarter light were all out.

If only putting it back together were as easy a job as stripping it all apart...

The company who I got the new seals from hadn't been able to supply me with a window surround that matched the existing one (theirs was shiny chrome, whereas the original was matt aluminium and I'm trying to keep it original!) and so the first problem was removing the outer window scrapers from both the old and new window surrounds so that I could then attach the new scraper to the old surround.  The scrapers are held on with rivets and so getting them off was just a question of drilling, however being that the surround is made of very thing aluminium this had to be a painfully careful job so as not to bend it - which of course I did a couple of times, but managed to bend it back without any lasting damage. Phew!

The next hard part was getting the new seal on to the opening quarter light.

The opening part of the window was again held in place buy a pivoting rivet and so more drilling was needed. Didn't take too long to get this one out.
Once the opening part of the window was removed it should have simply been a case of pulling the old seal off and putting the seal around the window frame.  However getting the new one on was a pig of a job. You'd get one bit fitted and then another would pop off - it took ages.  Did eventually manage it though.

With the opening window seal done it was time to put it all back together again.  Wasn't too hard, but took quite a bit of time.

Would say the whole job took me about 4 hours, but the depressing thing was, just looking at the van you can see no difference for those hard 4 hours as unless you look really closely it looks just the same.  Hopefully though when it rains next the door won't leak meaning less water getting in to the van.

The even more depressing thing is the thought that I have to do exactly the same thing again on the drivers door :o(

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