Leaky door seal fix

Body parts, seats, dash, headlining, windows and stuff!

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KevW
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Leaky door seal fix

Post by KevW »

Leaking door seals

I’m now certain there is a bit of a design problem with the standard door seal arrangement on our cars. In my experience even when a seal is in good condition if a car is left in the rain for an extended period it is possible, although not inevitable, for water get past the door seal and track down the little valley which is formed between the “O” section part of the door seal and the “U” section part which clips onto the bodywork flange. The water then spills over and onto the door sill carpet where it finds its way into the foot wells.

My Excel began leaking for no apparent reason, first on the nearside and then a while later on the offside. My initial attempt to hold back the tide involved an idea which I read about on the forum years ago. It was to slide some clear PVC tubing inside the door seal in an effort to make the seal a bit firmer so that it compressed less when the door closed against it. This was successful on the nearside up to a point. Rain didn’t get in but a hosepipe was able to breach the seal when washing the car. The offside however still allowed the rain in.



My second effort to keep the rain out involved some self-adhesive 14x12mm rubber “D” section seal which I stuck to the underside of the A pillar finisher, continuing right along above the door window frame up to the B pillar. Whilst I think this may have resulted in a slight reduction in wind noise at speed it didn’t stop water getting in. It does however look neat and is a much cheaper way of filling the unsightly, uneven gap between door window frame and bodywork than buying Esprit door window frame seals. This has been on the car for almost 3 months now.

Image






My third attempt was successful and involved more of the same “D” section seal. I’d noticed that all of the modern cars I’ve come across (and even my old Dolomite Sprint) have a seal on the body like the Lotus but unlike the Lotus they have corresponding seal on the door. To replicate this I stuck some more “D” section seal onto the door and door window frame so that it closed onto the O.E. seal making a rubber to rubber contact. Note this goes all the way around the door and not just along the metal window frame. I've had this fitted to my Excel for over a month now and it's still working well.

Image




Result = a totally watertight car at a next to nothing cost


This is the stuff I bought via e bay (although it has gone up a quid in the meantime)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141678806585? ... EBIDX%3AIT
Last edited by KevW on Mon Feb 15, 2016 16:02, edited 1 time in total.
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AndyC
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by AndyC »

It's also worth applying suitable polish to the seal as the natural surface will allow water to creep between surfaces.

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don.hasi
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by don.hasi »

Excellent write up like everytime Kev. Thank you for that. Did have to readjust the doorframe ? I would guess, that closing the door now does need a bit more force?
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CID
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by CID »

Interesting post, thanks.

What I did to improve was applying more pressure to the window section pushing against the body.
You can do this easily by putting some shims to the window fixture inside the door. In this way the window frame is coming out forward towards the body.

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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by CHRISYD »

good ideas chaps. I rub Vaseline on my seals as it soaks into the rubber and swells it.
I REALISED YOU CANT LIVE WITHOUT A LOTUS!!!

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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by Phantasm »

don.hasi wrote:Excellent write up like everytime Kev. Thank you for that. Did have to readjust the doorframe ? I would guess, that closing the door now does need a bit more force?
X2, curious to know if the door needed any adjustment for closure pressure.
-Bill
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by DWH »

I think vaseline isn't good with rubber.........
Like you, I used 4mm thick, 10mm wide closed cell adhesive foam on my passenger side after Lotus Bits replaced the hinge and repaired the frame.
The addition of the foam has stopped all wind noise.
I have used silicone grease which doesn't rot rubber and I use this on my "normal" cars over winter when the temp gets below freezing to stop the door seals freezing shut.
David
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KevW
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by KevW »

No I didn't need to adjust the door frame Don. The doors might need a fraction more force to close but not much.

I tried adjusting the doors by moving the striker plate in and gently bending the window frame before I started mucking about with the seals but that alone didn't cure the leak. I didn't want to start taking the door to bits and moving window frame spacers in case I ended up with a frame where the electric window couldn't move up and down properly.
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by MrCoolA »

I think I have have Sorted mine with the new door seals but I will add these any way as its only a £10ner and I have some flatter seals on the door frame at the present
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don.hasi
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by don.hasi »

This is surprising. When I shut the door on the Éclat, I can see the frame moving even with the old rubbers. And on the Lady it was a big step from old rubbers to new ones...

How have you managed the edge on the b-pillar?


I will give it a try in the order you have done and so with the seal above the frame first.
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by Radar »

Cheers for posting, my car suffers from water in the footwells too, so I will give this a try

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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by KevW »

don.hasi wrote:This is surprising. When I shut the door on the Éclat, I can see the frame moving even with the old rubbers. And on the Lady it was a big step from old rubbers to new ones...

How have you managed the edge on the b-pillar?


I will give it a try in the order you have done and so with the seal above the frame first.

I've not noticed the frame moving on my Excel at all. The new seal causes no problems for me.

As for fitting the "D" seal to the A pillar I just continued along above the door until it reached the B pillar and ended it there. If you look closely at my first photo you can just make it out. I didn't see any real need to continue vertically down the B pillar.

NB. If the original door seal is not fixed to the door aperture properly with some sort of mastic (I used black silicone sealant on my Excel) it will leak. A snug push-fit is not good enough to prevent water getting behind the seal and running down onto the sill carpet.
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KevW
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by KevW »

Just an update. The seals are still working well. They have apparently settled into shape meaning the doors need no more force to close than they did before I fitted the new seals.
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by Johnwindwood »

Just ordered some of that "D" seal. How did you trim the right angle at the rear of the door Kev ?
Kind regards

John

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KevW
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Re: Leaky door seal fix

Post by KevW »

Sorry for the very late reply, I've just spotted John's question. Nothing fancy, I just made a dry butt joint and it seemed to work OK
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