1955 Hardtop weather stripping installation

zeroroadkill

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
Trying to install new hardtop rear weather stripping 50336 to stainless. Very hard, can't seem to slide it in stanless channel. Tryed soapy water. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
Trying to install new hardtop rear weather stripping 50336 to stainless. Very hard, can't seem to slide it in stanless channel. Tryed soapy water. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Had the same problem with my 57 ....called the restoration department at Casco...was told that it could not be slid into place and must be installed by pushing it into the channel with a small screwdriver...tried to do that without success...if any one has a better idea ...would love to know.
 

Dale Leonard

Blown Valkyrie Rider
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
Thunderbird Year
1955
The slickest stuff that I had used to reduce friction is the silicone spray lubricant found at walmart or other stores. When I do my 55 I am going to spray the rubber with this and also spray the grove with it also. Allow to dry to a slick film and see if it will allow it to be inserted. I may have to spray some on as it is inserted but won't know till I try it. If you try this please let me know how it works for you. It will not harm the rubber and I have used it to insert rubber in other applications.
 

woodeye

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1956
I just did it on my 56. I used both a medium sized straight blade screwdriver in the turns and a 1" stiff putty knife on the straighter section. Be care full that the tools are not sharpened. They may cut the rubber. Helps if the rubber is warm. I didn't use any lube. It might help if you had someone help to keep rubber aligned with the grove ahead of you. I DIDN'T have help and it wasn't too bad. Don't pull rubber or it may recede over time and be too short later on.

My question is where to trim the excess off on the ends?
 

zeroroadkill

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
Well, I tried the silicone spray and got about 12” to slide in then hard stop! So I tried a dull rounded putty knife and a small screwdriver. With a lot of force it took me 30 minutes to get 16” in, then I came up to the curve and another hard stop! I did notice the grove around the curve was tighter. I also noticed that the screwdriver was roughing up the rubber. Silicone didn’t seem to help. This is going to be a real chore!
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
Well, I tried the silicone spray and got about 12” to slide in then hard stop! So I tried a dull rounded putty knife and a small screwdriver. With a lot of force it took me 30 minutes to get 16” in, then I came up to the curve and another hard stop! I did notice the grove around the curve was tighter. I also noticed that the screwdriver was roughing up the rubber. Silicone didn’t seem to help. This is going to be a real chore!
Yes...I know precisely what you are saying...I had the exactly same problem...my weather strip is now resting comfortably on a storage shelf!!!
Sure wish we could find a solution.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Time and patience is your friend. How they did this on an industrial scale is beyond me but there MUST be a way. Anything slippery would help. Mineral oil has many uses and even treats wood cutting boards and is very safe. You will find it in the laxative area of a grocery store as that was one of the original uses.
 

zeroroadkill

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
Ok, I figured it out! I was trying to put the outside in first and then to shove the square end of the rubber on the backside too hard! So what I did is I put the inside square part of the rubber in the channel then took a plastic spudger tool sometimes known as a interior tool but a half inch wide,rounded on the ends,not sharp, then wiped down the channel and the rubber with silicone and with the back part in the channel you go from the outside and push the slightly tapered part end of the rubber into the channel. Took about an hour. Since you’re working on the outside do not use metal tools because you’ll scratch the stainless if you slip!
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Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1956
Ok, I figured it out! I was trying to put the outside in first and then to shove the square end of the rubber on the backside too hard! So what I did is I put the inside square part of the rubber in the channel then took a plastic spudger tool sometimes known as a interior tool but a half inch wide,rounded on the ends,not sharp, then wiped down the channel and the rubber with silicone and with the back part in the channel you go from the outside and push the slightly tapered part end of the rubber into the channel. Took about an hour. Since you’re working on the outside do not use metal tools because you’ll scratch the stainless if you slip!
So did you not slide it through the channel? You pushed it in? What do you mean by “inside square part” of the rubber?
 

zeroroadkill

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
You can’t slide it in all the way around!
If you examine the rubber weatherstripping you will notice (end view) one side has a flat square shape and the other side doesn’t. The square flat side goes to the inside of the slot. Spray with silicone and insert (push) the flat portion into the grove. Now the outer portion is hanging outside of the channel. With a PLASTIC tool ilke in my picture, CAREFULLY push the outer edge of the rubber into the channel. 1/2” at a time, this is not a fast or ez job! Reapply silicone every couple of inches until you reach the end. Do not cut off excess yet! Work the weatherstripping back anf forth with your fingers (pushing) in both directions, back and forth then let sit for a while before trimming ant excess. You dont want ti to shrink past the ends. It takes patience! Took me about an hour, but turned out perfect! Good luck.
 

zeroroadkill

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
Inside means closest to the inside (headliner side) outside means outside the top like where you are standing. I assume you have the top upside down? Look at my picture the plastic tool is on the outside so the inside of that channel would be towards the large rubber gasket around the bottom of the top if that makes sense. Lay the weather stripping around the bottom of the hardtop along the big rubber weatherstripping then take the square and or square side of the small weatherstripping and push it into the channel closest to the big weatherstripping then take the tool and push the outside of the weatherstripping down into the channel my picture shows the tool on the outside of the channel. Hope that helps.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1956
Inside means closest to the inside (headliner side) outside means outside the top like where you are standing. I assume you have the top upside down? Look at my picture the plastic tool is on the outside so the inside of that channel would be towards the large rubber gasket around the bottom of the top if that makes sense. Lay the weather stripping around the bottom of the hardtop along the big rubber weatherstripping then take the square and or square side of the small weatherstripping and push it into the channel closest to the big weatherstripping then take the tool and push the outside of the weatherstripping down into the channel my picture shows the tool on the outside of the channel. Hope that helps.
Got it. Thanks. It went in that way easy until I got to a curve. I think I will need to do this is spurts.
 

zeroroadkill

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1955
LOL YUP! Patience is key. Not a fast job. Keep the silicone on it. Do not use a flat blade screwdriver, it will cut the rubber and if you slip you will scratch the stainless. Keep going!
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Great tips that helped me in one way or another.
I used a small flathead screwdriver and applied pressure to the inside rim- 1/8" at a time until I reached side to side. To ensure it won't pop out, I used a spot of glue every few inches. It's holding very nicely. Thanks for the tips.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
HELP !!! Installed weatherstrip on hardtop no problem. That job was EASY ......Then took out the rear strip. Mistake of Biblical proportions......

Cannot find a way to install the most rear one.
Has aluminum metal trench about 1/4" wide . Noted that replacement has a flared side. Tried pushing it in with screwdriver head. I get about
a foot of progress then it starts piling up and no more progress.

Is there a trick to doing this job ? If there is one, I would sure like to know what it is. I am getting nowhere and have spent a few hours getting nowhere.
 
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