Replacing door seals on an older car?

Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
761
Location
st louis, mo
So our family has a fleet of a few older cars with high miles. Most of them are in pretty good running condition. They ride nicely on refreshed suspension. But one difference between a new car and an older one is the noise level inside, and I think part of that may be down to the exterior rubber seals getting stiffer and letting more sound in.

Have you ever replaced exterior seals on a car to get that "like new" noise level inside? How did it go? I'm guessing parts availability would be a big issue.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
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23,600
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Upper Midwest
I've done it for water leakage but not noise. Depending on the model and age you may find the seals (door and frame) are no longer available or are quite expensive. My old BMW had perhaps four different seals and one was specifically for aerodynamic cleanliness to reduce noise.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
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...
I've done it for water leakage but not noise. Depending on the model and age you may find the seals (door and frame) are no longer available or are quite expensive. My old BMW had perhaps four different seals and one was specifically for aerodynamic cleanliness to reduce noise.


Dittos on this. The ROI just to decrease the noise is not a good investment. If you have water leakage then that’s another issue and that can be remedied by finding the access point along the seal and fixing that.

I would treat those seals with Gummi Pflege or Shin Etsu.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2003
Messages
2,448
Location
Daytona Beach
I've reduced the level of road noise/tire noise in a 2014 MB that I once owned. You'd be surprised at how many different places you can install ADDITIONAL weather stripping or soundproofing that makes an improvement. I took cues from several different cars that I've owned in the past to come up with the various locations. There are also some kits available that are geared to this sort of effort.
Some of the places that additional weather stripping or sound deadening material helped were:

In the front door jambs, by the hinges. Keeps tire noise out from the front fender.
The bottom of the door edge, sealed where it meets the body.
The back edge of the door jams, just inside the door lip.
The door lip itself. This makes the entire door seal flush to the body. It's included on my 2018 Mercedes as part of the quiet package.
Under the rear seat, and along the rear fender wells which are visible when the seat is removed.

I have never had a car old enough to notice a hardening of the original door seals. If your cars M/Y is fairly recent, replacement seals should be available for it, especially if they are damaged.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
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2,573
Location
Tracy, CA
Availability of weatherstrip is sketchy for older vehicles. Reproductions from Soffseal, etc. aren't very good.

A friend's latest project is a 1967 2-door Corona. He eventually had to place a pretty high minimum order for custom made seals for the rear side windows; he was able to sell enough of the production run to break even.

I replaced the door and trunk weatherstrip on my old '63 Bonneville 4-door HT. I was fortunate to able to locate genuine GM seals from a dealership (this was around 1980 or thereabouts).

I found that I had to do some door and window adjusting in order to either improve the sealing or get the door/windows from overly distorting the seals.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
1,307
Location
Colorado
I bought a roll of self adhesive rubber door seal at Ace hardware and lined the whole door side with it.
Works great.
 
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