August 30, 2018

Auto Weatherstrip Installation Tips

We make thousands of rubber parts at Steele Rubber Products but we rarely get to see them after they leave the shop. We visited with the guys at Quarter Mile Muscle in Mooresville, NC to watch them install our new brass-core door seals on a 1969 Camaro.

They did the doors and the trunk seals and addressed some important steps in applying weatherstrip. We outlined a few with photos for you to use when applying Steele Rubber Products Weatherstripping on your own restoration project.


Tip #1  —  Align first, then pin, clip or glue

We recommend laying the rubber in place without glues, pins or clips first.  If the part is incorrect or if you aren’t sure where to start, this test run will highlight any problems beforehand and save you the trouble of removing the weatherstrip. We’ve even used masking tape to help with this step.

Trunk weatherstrip install
Lay the weatherstrip loosely in place without glue before staring the installation.


Tip #2  —  Less glue is easier to clean-up and dries faster

Glue application is where most restorers make mistakes and it’s always messy. Weatherstrip adhesive is strong and thick, it only takes a little to get the job done. Apply your weatherstrip adhesive in thin beads and let it dry for a few seconds before setting the weatherstrip. We recommend working in 2-3 feet sections on one part of the vehicle to prevent an area from becoming too dry. For detailed instructions check out our post How to Glue Automotive Weatherstrip the Right Way.


How -to install trunk seal
Install the seal in 2-3 feet sections, applying glue as you go along.


Tip #3  —  Start in the lowest section

Start the application in the center of the lowest section  where water will most likely gather before exiting the vehicle.  This is the striker for the trunk or bottom-center for the inner door or windshield. Closing the seam in this area means any water in the seals or the vehicle will drain away and prevent rusting.


Trunk Seal
Start installation at the lowest point where water will most likely leave the vehicle

Molded ends are the exception to this rule. If the part has a molded end, start the installation by fitting the molded ends, after completing tip # 1.

Door Seal Tips
If the part has molded ends it is easier to start the installation in that area.

Tip #4 — Leave an excess 1/2 or 1/4 inch seal

Weatherstrip will shrink and flatten after setting. At the end of the installation trim the excess leaving an extra 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch overlap that will ensure that you have a perfect seal as the rubber flattens  into place.

Trunk Weatherstrip Installation
Cut the excess weatherstrip with a 1/2 inch seal


Tip #5  —  Close the door and test the seal

Close the door or trunk to test the seal. Closing the door will require some pressure in the beginning while the rubber is new, but for most parts you will be able to check for alignment and other issues. Remember that if you used glue on the part, let it dry before closing the door completely.

Door weatherstrip installation
Close the door and check for alignment in front and rear.
Door Weatherstrip
Close the door and check for alignment in front and rear.
















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 or Hot Rod feel free to reach out to us! You can call us at 800-447-0849, contact us through our website at 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 American made 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.

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