How to Install a Locking Strip Type Gasket
For years replacing your windshield or back window meant using the rope-in method. Many a windshield has been broken this way and most consider it a difficult pain in the you-know-what process.
In the 70’s locking strip type gaskets quickly became a popular choice. They have an easier installation but still great function and appearance. We offer a lot of different locking strip type gaskets- both direct fit and universal sealing solutions- and we also have the experience necessary to help you plan your project and guide you through the installation step by step.
Installing a locking strip type gasket:
Remove the old glass and gasket, clean the metal pinchweld well, and test fit the new gasket on the body of the vehicle. (With locking strip type gaskets, the gasket is installed onto the body first, then the glass is installed into the gasket.) During the test fit, make sure everything looks nice, even, and that the gasket is fully pushed into the corners. With this type of gasket, when you fit it onto the body, it may look somewhat loose. This excess material will fill out when the glass is installed and will seal up tight when the locking strip is pushed in- thus the reason for the locking strip.
If your test fit went well, take the gasket back off and now’s the time to apply bedding and glazing compound. It comes in a tube so it's easily applied all the way around the window opening. It will seal out water and keep everything nice and flexible between the body and the gasket. For more on this read our article The Secret to a Leak Free Windshield on Your Classic.
Re-install the gasket onto the body. Since you already did the test fit you know it’ll fit just fine so put it back on so it’s ready to receive the glass.
Install the glass into the lower portion of the gasket. Use plastic tools and gravity to help you seat the bottom of the glass into the gasket first.
Pull the sides of the gasket up around the glass. Starting from the bottom corners, use plastic tools and soapy water as a lubricant to work your way around the rest of the windshield seating the glass into the groove of the gasket and pulling the edge of the gasket over the glass. A small metal hook tool may also CAREFULLY be used to aid in this process (be careful to not puncture or rip the rubber). It really helps to have an extra set of hands to help with this process. They can help put pressure on the gasket from the inside or on the glass from the outside to make this process easier.
Install the locking strip. We sell locking strip installation tools that make this process much easier. This tool will help spread the gap in the gasket while it threads the locking strip into place. Start in the center on the bottom, use soapy water for lubrication, and work your way all the way around the gasket. For more on locking strips check out our article The Secret to Installing a Locking Strip.
Once you get back to the center where you started, cut the locking strip just a little bit long and feed the end into the gasket. Then work the excess back into the gasket. That extra bit will keep the locking strip from separating and leaving a gap in the center.
And now you’re done! Take a step back and admire your handy work. New weatherstripping not only seals and protects the interior and body of your ride but it gives it that fresh, new look, too!
Steele not only has all the products you need but all the knowledge you need to get the job done right, too. If you have questions about Rubber Parts or Weatherstripping on your Classic Car, Truck, Hot Rod or even your boat, trailer or RV, feel free to reach out to us! You can call us at 800-650-4482, contact us through our website or comment on this post and we’ll get you answers as quickly as possible. Check out our YouTube channel for our full library of how-to/installation videos.
Steele Rubber Products, located in Denver, NC, is a manufacturer and seller of high-quality rubber parts and weatherstripping products for classic and vintage automobiles, hot rods, RVs and Boats. Steele offers more than 12,000 parts for cars and trucks as well as a large line of universal weatherstripping and rubber parts to be used on any project. Established in 1958, Steele is a trusted name in the automotive restoration industry.