Once and For All.....Door to Body Weather Stripping Shootout

Wayne Waldrep

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Apr 14, 2003
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Do you have pictures of the seal end view or profile showing bulb thickness and height and if there is a rib between the bulb and clamp. I'm about to the point of ordering the expensive Ford seals but wanted to look at the shape of the lower cost seals first.
I answered this above to you. There is no rib. I started the text for the results yesterday. I'm shooting for Friday to post it all.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

5 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Cuba, AL
I answered this above to you. There is no rib. I started the text for the results yesterday. I'm shooting for Friday to post it all.
Let me correct this reply. There is a small "rib" in some, a very small rib in some, and zero rib in a couple. However, it had no effect on door closing in the test. You'll see what I mean Friday.
I'm very glad to be done with all this. I have pictures, text, and install tips coming. I will say this, the results kinda surprised me. :nice:
 
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Wayne Waldrep

5 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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All we have results friends.

Finally done with this project. When I started this test, I was very excited to work with the manufacturers and evaluate which of the products were good for us Mustang folks. That part was a pleasure and I appreciate all the people that made this happen. From the start, this was only about finding a set of door weatherstripping seals that work properly. This means that when installed, the doors would close on the first attempt. It also means completely sealing wind and water out. All these were accomplished I'm happy to say.

For the results, let me say that this isn't a first second third place test. This is a test showing success or failure. It will show levels of success or failure. I will tell you my favorite or which one I would pick if I were ordering a set for my car. That's the best kind of results to me. I've replaced my door pins and bushings but just so this test would be as perfect as possible, I pulled the pins and installed new hinge bushings again. Same with the striker bushing.

To install the seal, you need to remove the inside trim around the door opening. A word on the large interior plastic trim piece; You can remove the upper seat belt bolt and all the front screws and pull this trim toward the inside of the car exposing the seal. All the other pieces should be completely removed. Be very careful with the metal trim over the top of the windshield and over the doors. Watch a YouTube vid like I seem to do on virtually everything now. It never hurts to watch someone do exactly what you are about to do. You can change one of these in less than an hour if that's all you have to do. I'd also suggest cleaning the flange that the seal presses on with some alcohol. Down in the channel that fits over the flange, there is a flexible adhesive that holds the seal in place while you are installing it. I found the best method for install is to start beside the seat just a bit toward the rear of the lower seat. This will put you going up the rear of the door opening first and making the rear 90 degree bend first. This area is the most common area to leak partially because it's the weakest part of the door. Take your time and keep the seal oriented correctly and it will go right in. Also, right after you make a bend you should kinda push or stack the next little bit of the seal back toward the bend so if it does move it will have a bit of pressure pushing toward the curve and not pulling the seal away from it. This goes the same for your final cut. You should cut it at least 1” too long and stack it in there so that the cut line will have some pressure on it. See the picture. This will keep you from developing a gap later on. Those are just some tips and by no means an install guide. As I said, watch a YouTube vid for that. If you still have questions or doubts post a question or send me a PM.

One other consideration to make is door bushings. If you have any play in your door you need to go ahead and address that now. The same goes for the striker bushing. You can't adjust something that has worn out or broken parts. And if you go to the trouble of cutting the door pins out, the door is completely loose from the car. I would definitely replace the lower door hinge tension spring and the roller and pin. These are easily accessed with the door moved even a few inches out of the way. See my cheap and easy door cradle I made for doing this project alone, easily, and securely (posted above). Here are some pictures of the tools I used and a couple of install pics.

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Overlap the edges.

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Cut the seal an inch longer than where they meet.

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Place it like this and press the seal down and let it push the extra into place. This will ensure a good fit below.

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The finished seal.

cont.....
 
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Wayne Waldrep

5 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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631114

LMR in house brand.

The first seal tested was the LMR low-end option which is their in house product. This seal was on my car for three months. From day one the door didn't even come close to closing. I don't mean closing nicely. I mean you had to take both hands and slam the door so hard that it made the door panel come loose. Funny thing is that as tight as you would think it is, it also did NOT seal out the wind noise or water. With the interior trim out of the car, it gave me the ability to watch the seal over thirty days or so and see if it moved. This seal did not stay in place. I had to constantly push the seal back into the bends. The adhesive was ineffective on this one. Honestly, this product should not be sold. What did I learn from this seal? Be very careful if you choose to buy a “kit” with multiple products in it. I feel the same for gasket sets for engine building. There are almost always substandard pieces included for your convenience. Over the last few months, I've installed, removed, swapped, etc. more door seals than most people do on their car ever. So I feel 100% confident making this next observation. This particular seal never changed from day one to day ninety. Zero. Absolutely no “break-in” at all. That doesn't happen. Not convinced? How about all the other seals I installed? And not a single one changed after being in the car for on average a month. Again......Zero....None. I've also not one time seen a new car door not shut. So let's put that myth to bed. Believe what you want but you won't convince me.

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Fairchild Industries

Next up was the Fairchild weatherstripping. I will admit to something on this one. When I installed it and closed the door, I was so used to slamming the door for so long that I was honestly jumping for joy when the door closed the first time. After so much door pain, I almost didn't want to take it out of the car. This seal is on the lower end of the price range. On RockAuto you can get the pair for $25. That's even less than the low-end LMR ones. My thoughts on this one is that they will work for most cars and do a decent job. I didn't totally like the flexibility in the corners with this seal. It did have a small crease in the upper rear corner that bugged me. It didn't seem to cause a problem and I might have been able to manipulate it around some to eliminate the crease but I'd rather it not happen in the first place. I could not feel the crease while in the car with the door closed. The seal pressed smoothly in the corner. This seal passed the door closing test as mentioned. It also passed the wind and water test. It will work and it's cheap. If you are squeezing every penny, then this brand is hard to pass up.

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Daniel Carpenter

Now we come to the Daniel Carpenter (DC) piece. I had a lot of expectations on this one given that DC is known for using Ford tooling when possible and their apparent commitment to quality. There isn't a lot of difference in the way all these looks. So you could be holding a perfect seal or a junk one and not really know it. This seal went in the car quite well. At this point, though I wasn't sure if it was the seal or the fact that I can remove and replace one basically blindfolded now. After the install though I feel sure it was the seal. The quality of the DC seal was as expected. It's very flexible and easy to put in place. This seal definitely has better adhesion than most of the others. There is more glue in the channel by far. I never once had to mash it back in place after the install. Lastly on the adhesive, when I pulled this seal out, it looked like those pizza commercials where you have stringy cheese stretching out from the piece to the rest of the pizza. I literally had to take my hand and separate the strings of adhesive as I went. There was that much in there. No other seal had a single bit when removing them. You can tell a good seal because you don't have to fight it to put it in. This seal passed with flying colors. The door closed perfectly. The seal stayed in my car for the second longest time. I figured if it was good I should give it a little extra time to fail. This particular seal was in the car for a lot of the enormous amount of rain we had. It never leaked a single drop and believe me, I watched it like a hawk. It also passed the wind test. The good thing is that this seal is still not very expensive. One last thing on this one. Not one single time did I have to close the door with the hip close or open and close again. It honestly felt like the 30 year old seal that came out of the car. I didn't have to think about it and that's the point. I don't want closing a car door to be something I have to think about and check. Mission accomplished.

cont....
 
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Wayne Waldrep

5 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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631118

Metro Moulded Parts

The next seal is the Metro seal. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this seal hands down was the best packaged and presented product out of all of them. Unfortunately, I had problems with this seal. I installed it and got to the rear 90 degree bend. This is the money bend if you ask me because it's got to be good here or you will get leaks and wind noise. Look at the pics. I could not get this one to make the curve without a crease or two. It was installed once and tested. It failed the door close test. So I did the wind noise and water test. The seal just wouldn't work in the corner and I got both wind and water in the car. I decided to do something I hadn't done with any of the other seals. I removed the whole thing and reinstalled it rotated around a bit so I could have a fresh section in the corner. It made no difference. See the second try pic. It's a completely different section with the exact same result. One other thing that I could not get pictures of is the corner while sitting in the car. You can put your finger on the seal and move your finger all the way around that corner with the door completely closed. You could actually feel the crease in the seal that way so there's no way that piece was going to be air or watertight. I didn't like the fact that the door didn't close correctly. When I got out of the car I'd have to leg or hip close the door the rest of the way or just open it and close it again. I don't want to do that. At this point, that's as far as I can go on this one.

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First install try. See corner creases.

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Second try was no better.


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SoffSeal

Now we have the product from SoffSeal. This seal is marked as a GM certified restoration part. I did not get a clarification on this because I didn't ask but I would think it's along the lines of a DC product that is Ford approved. After the complete review, this seal is the only seal that feels different from the others. It has more of a rubber feel as opposed to foam. It's also the only seal with three molded in lines the full length of the bulb. The only reason I point this out is to say that it is for sure not a repackage of some other seal because none look like it. One other thing that looked promising to me is the fact that this seal is the only one that has the bulb molded directly to the mounting channel. There is no so-called “rib” in between. This may or may not make a difference. It didn't for me and you'll see why later. So I installed this seal and it went in good. No creases in the corners and no issues. The first thing up was the door close test. It passed. After a few days though I still had occasions when I closed the door of it not closing all the way. Like I mentioned above, I do not like this. The difference in this one is that if you close it just a very small amount harder it seems to close most of the time. This by no means is anything like the in house LMR seal that required two-handed slamming. Still, though, there has to be accurate evaluation made. Next up were the wind and water test. This seal passed both. It was also perfectly smooth to the touch in the corner when checked from inside the car with the door closed. Bottom line, this one works. This seal passed the test in all categories. I don't think you'd go wrong running them. It would be nice if they didn't have the GM text on the package....lol.

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Left to right SoffSeal, Daniel Carpenter, Fairchild Industries, Metro Moulded Parts

Here is a picture of all the seals together with the exception of the LMR seal. They are from left to right SoffSeal, Daniel Carpenter, Fairchild Industries, Metro Moulded Parts. You can see the three little lines on the left side of the first seal's bulb (SoffSeal). You can also see on this seal there is no “rib” connecting the bulb to the mounting channel. Another thing you notice in the pic is the variation in height. Now this wasn't the point of the pic and they aren't pressed to the surface and exact, but you can tell a difference. The DC seal is the most compact. The Fairchild piece does have the longest rib. You can also get a good look at the mounting channel and all the various parts of it. All mounting channels have metal on the inside with a rubber coating. They all cut about the same. I used the large metal shears in the pic above and did it with a single cut all at once. The rubber mallet wasn't used to hammer them in but more of a push tool for the corners. You can tap on the mounting channel lightly just to make sure they are seated if you want. I just mainly pushed with the rubber head because it didn't mess up the finish. Lot's to look at and at some point, I have to stop talking. So let's finish this.

And the best seal is? Daniel Carpenter. I can't overlook the fact that you can put these in the car and forget about them. They are also very little more than the lowest priced ones. And I hate to beat a dead horse but dangit, they went in easier than any other one. The icing on the cake was when I, unfortunately, had to remove the seal and saw all the stringy adhesive hanging on. With that said, the SoffSeal weatherstripping is currently in my car. Why you ask? I'm tired of changing them. If I had a pair of DC seals sitting here to go in with all the glue still in them I'd surely install those. That should tell you something right there. But then again, these SoffSeal pieces are doing fine.

So like I said above, the results aren't a first second third deal. I can recommend the DC, SoffSeal, and Fairchild seals. All three worked for me. I would never take someone's word as to which manufacturer's product they are selling. If they don't have the decency to put that visibly on their ad then find someone that does. It's kinda like price matching. I'd rather buy from the first person that gave me that honest price to start with, not the one that had to lower their price to match. I have a problem with some of the things LMR does sometimes. And sometimes I've publicly said it on here. I do like them though and I like ordering from them. They have a lot of excellent qualities. And I appreciate them supporting this hobby we have. So if they have the seals you want, get them. I've never ordered from Blue Oval Industries but they have a whole page of nothing but DC weatherstripping. I don't like the fact that they have zero option for calling them on the phone. But you could buy from them and know exactly what you are getting. Don't discount Rockauto either. I've never had a problem ordering from them. Same with Summit Racing. They have most of these seals all at one place. Keep in mind that things change in this business. If a company sells one manufacturer's product this week it may not be there next week. Prices change, etc. None of these seals are overly expensive. Make a wise informed purchase.

I am very relieved that this is over. It wasn't supposed to take nearly this long as it did but some things were out of my control. Thanks again for everyone's interest and comments. I hope this helps someone out and more importantly, our hobby in general. Spend the money and put quality seals in to protect your car from water and future rust.

On to my next project......hmmm
 

Olivethefet

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Excellent evaluation! You put a lot of work into this and I think a lot of people will benefit from it. I would have if it had been here a year ago when I bought my weather striping for my doors. I ended up with these.


It says they are from 5.0 Resto. Are they just a repackaged product from someone else? I dont get any wind or water in my car, but the doors are hard to shut.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

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Excellent evaluation! You put a lot of work into this and I think a lot of people will benefit from it. I would have if it had been here a year ago when I bought my weather striping for my doors. I ended up with these.


It says they are from 5.0 Resto. Are they just a repackaged product from someone else? I dont get any wind or water in my car, but the doors are hard to shut.
Thanks bud. The ones from LMR that say "exact Ford reproduction" are the Daniel Carpenter seals. So you did good. Too bad they don't just put that on their site.......HINT HINT!!!!!!
 
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Davedacarpainter

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Excellent review Wayne!

I think I have to buy a new set now, lol. I bought mine in one of my mass buying binges from LMR. T-tops can be a little of a pita.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

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Excellent review Wayne!

I think I have to buy a new set now, lol. I bought mine in one of my mass buying binges from LMR. T-tops can be a little of a pita.
I made the comment that it wasn't worth it because it was a ton of work. BUT....the comments and likes from my fellow Stangnet guys are what actually makes it worth it. So thanks, Dave!
 

90sickfox

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Now I finally can order new seals for my car. Been waiting for the outcome for a long time. Thanks man. Greatly appreciate the time it took
 
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trebor3170

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Not a Fox owner, (SN95), but have been following this for a while. If there was a Stangnet medal of honor, you have earned it. You have invested your own time, money, sweat and blood into this project, for the benefit of Fox owners every where. I don't know if the information you have compiled will translate over to the SN 95 platform, but at least, it will give use a baseline as to what mfgs follow OEM practice.
Thank you for your time and efforts.:)
 
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Wayne Waldrep

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Not a Fox owner, (SN95), but have been following this for a while. If there was a Stangnet medal of honor, you have earned it. You have invested your own time, money, sweat and blood into this project, for the benefit of Fox owners every where. I don't know if the information you have compiled will translate over to the SN 95 platform, but at least, it will give use a baseline as to what mfgs follow OEM practice.
Thank you for your time and efforts.:)
Well thanks for that response. I feel sure the weatherstripping for your car will follow the same quality by the manufacturers that I found for Foxes. Thanks for following along!
 

Ford82MustangGT

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Jun 9, 2019
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So grateful for your time and effort in evaluating door seals. I will now order a set of Daniel Carpenter seals. For my own purpose, I summarized your findings into a table that I attached. Thanks again!

Comments: 1. It would have been interesting to see a cut-away profile of an original Ford door seal. 2. The Fairchild brand of door seal I installed resulted in poor door closing. I even cut the seal up into 9 inch pieces and placed randomly around the opening and the door still had difficulty closing. 3. Did all the seals have the vent holes?
 

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Wayne Waldrep

5 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Cuba, AL
So grateful for your time and effort in evaluating door seals. I will now order a set of Daniel Carpenter seals. For my own purpose, I summarized your findings into a table that I attached. Thanks again!

Comments: 1. It would have been interesting to see a cut-away profile of an original Ford door seal. 2. The Fairchild brand of door seal I installed resulted in poor door closing. I even cut the seal up into 9 inch pieces and placed randomly around the opening and the door still had difficulty closing. 3. Did all the seals have the vent holes?
Thanks for the comment and the chart. I checked all of it and I'm fine with what you show. In response to your comments....1) yes, I tried to get one for the test but it just wouldn't happen 2) can't respond to this one because I know nothing about your door but there will be a few different experiences each way but I'm pretty sure my results will apply to most...I hope so anyway. 3) I have notes on this and think I put this in an earlier post when they all came in. Check up there and I will too. If not I'll have to get my notes out.
Thanks again!
 

Ford82MustangGT

New Member
Jun 9, 2019
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I'm having trouble finding where to purchase the Carpenter seals. I tried Summit Racing, Jegs, and even tried Carpenter website. Any suggestions? I can call them Monday I guess.
 

Wayne Waldrep

5 Year Member
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Look at Blue Oval Industries. The only door seals they sell is the DC ones. It's listed as such on the site.
Also, the LMR ones that say "exact Ford reproductions" are the DC seals. I'd call for that order and make sure though just in case you get them and they aren't. When they list DC as the manufacturer on their site we won't have to do that any more.