What product for long term windshield rubber seal protection?

Joined
Jun 14, 2011
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Denmark, Europe
Hi,

My vintage vehicle has sunlight exposed windshield rubber seals. This is the type which has used until the end of the 80s. Even though the vehicle is 35 years old, the seal still look OK without cracks but somewhat faded compared to new rubber. I am NOT looking for a solution for the door seals (like many people due to winter problems), only the windshield rubber seal that is exposed to constant sunlight.

I want to treat this windshield seal with a product so that I can get another 35 years out of it. I am NOT looking for a quick fix where I apply some sort of "rubber conditioner" every 3-6-12 months on and on. I want a more permanent fix, an apply and forget product.

Can anyone recommend a suitable product for long term rubber protection? I read that some people in the US are very fond of a rubber protectant called 303 - but I feel (without knowing) that it needs to be applied quite often. In another forum many people suggested a product called Gummi Pflege Stick: I bought that product and tried to apply it but have a hard time understanding how it can protect the rubber for another 35 years unless maybe you apply it every month. Gummi Pflege is a very watery fluid, probably water based, it goes on like water, smells like citrus and evaporates after approx 10 seconds. You can barely see it did anything to the rubber.

I also made a test with silicone grease: It goes on very heavy (I really need to rub it in hard) and stays somewhat greasy and shiny - however I have better feelings towards such a product.

I really need the best product since I cannot find a replacement for that windshield rubber once it fails.

Does anyone have personal long term (several years) experience with rubber protection - maybe from storing vintage tires also?

Lucas
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2002
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NJ
I don't have the answer for this application, but you're correct about the 303. There really is nothing special about 303 and on exterior trim, it washes right off because it is water based. 303 is best suited for interiors. Hopefully someone can chime in and suggest something.
 
Joined
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303 has kept the window trim and scrapers looking new on my 2015 Canyon, which sits outside 24/7. There are products (trim restorers / protectants) that don't wash off as easily, but they're greasy and shiny, and they wash down the side of the car when it rains.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
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If a product existed that protected rubber from sunlight degradation for 35 years, don't you think there would be a big hullabaloo about it in the market place? Much of what protected this rubber in the first place was put in during compounding and slowly migrated to the surface to protect it. Eventually it is depleted and nothing you can put on the surface will have that same long term effect. Get used to doing it every year or two at this point with a good rubber protector that contains UV absorbents and anti-oxidants!
 
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I am NOT looking for a quick fix where I apply some sort of "rubber conditioner" every 3-6-12 months on and on.

A quick fix is exactly what you're looking for, something that "fixes" it quickly instead of the inevitable perpetual maintenance by reapplying a preservative.

This is unrealistic. There is nothing you can put on once and get 35 more years. There is nothing you can put on daily and get 35 more years.

You should not be rubbing anything in hard, as this is extra stress on the now brittle rubber. Use a lower viscosity silicone grease, if not oil, and apply every few months.

windshield rubber seal that is exposed to constant sunlight.

So you refuse to store it properly then want a miracle. I wish there was one but you've already found that there isn't.

The rubber can be replaced, though the replacement may not look stock. Practically any auto glass shop around long enough, had to replace windshields during that era.

Gummi Pflege is a very watery fluid, probably water based, it goes on like water, smells like citrus and evaporates after approx 10 seconds. You can barely see it did anything to the rubber.

Appears to be a silicone emulsion, so a little silicone left behind, not enough to be greasy looking, that is then water repellent. Probably more cost effective and longer lasting to use silicone dielectric grease but the thicker layer will have more of a greasy shine to it, and is more work to apply, and remove where it gets smeared when washing the vehicle.
 

JRed

Site Donor 2021
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What about something like Honda Shin-etsu? Works wonders on pretty much anything rubber.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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Dec 14, 2002
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New Jersey
If a product existed that protected rubber from sunlight degradation for 35 years, don't you think there would be a big hullabaloo about it in the market place? Much of what protected this rubber in the first place was put in during compounding and slowly migrated to the surface to protect it. Eventually it is depleted and nothing you can put on the surface will have that same long term effect. Get used to doing it every year or two at this point with a good rubber protector that contains UV absorbents and anti-oxidants!
Agree with this.

Im sort of in the same boat. Need to get something on my convertible seals, but anything greasy or wet will pick up pollen and dirt.

Im thinking that one of those SiO2 coatings intended for rubber and leather is the best bet... absent of thst, I’d be looking at 303 and some of the equivalents.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
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If it were me, I would put on something like 303, let it dry and then over spray with a good silicone spray. But be careful....test the silicone spray on a styrofoam cup before use. You want one that won'r dissolve the styrofoam which means it uses a non-agressive solvent as a carrier for the silicone polymer.
 
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