Door glass weatherstrips

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The door glass weatherstrips are found at the bottom of the side windows. They prevent water entering the door innards.

The factory-fitted weatherstrips are rubber with metal lining and fixings. However by now, the original weatherstrip rubber has rotted and the metal lining is rusty.

The original Lotus part is not fit for purpose, prone to rusting and expensive (about £90 per side) to replace.

Replacing a weatherstrip involves stripping the door and removing the door glass.

Gordon Twist's Replacement Weatherstrips

Door glass weatherstrips for M100 Elans are expensive – and not that good anyway – they rust and split. I started this project as I didn’t want to spend (price Jan 2007) £70.52 +VAT each side, for a seal that probably wasn’t fit for purpose in the first place!

There are two types of seal – early (G100B0773F/G100B0772F) and late (H100B0773F/H100B0772F) – these differ only really in length – this solution caters for either, as the seal is trimmed to fit your car anyway.

I started with the door fully stripped – including the foam door/body seal. At the time of writing, I’ve not refitted that seal so further trimming may be needed.

Original door strips

As I was fitting a new door at the same time, I have one early and one late seal. The doors are identical.

Details of end differences:

Rear end differences

Front end differences

I purchased two strips of ‘generic’ weatherstrip – profile 685. Available from any vintage / classic car supplier:

685 profile weatherstrip

This isn’t deep enough to reach the screw fixings on the Elan, and is reinforced with hard plastic instead of metal (which I think is better). After several experiments with material to make tabs with, and how to fix the tabs, the best solution I came up with is polycarbonate plastic (1mm thick), bonded with activated cynoacrylate glue (Superglue).Note: some DIY market superglues, although cynoacrylate based, have a “water solubility” built into them, to make them a bit safer for domestic use – obviously no use for this application!. The polycarb is strong, but flexible (not brittle) and won’t rust. It bonds using activated cyno VERY well to rubber/plastic. Test samples:

Test Samples

685 profile is usually sold in 1 meter lengths, a good 50mm longer than we need even for late style seals.

Trim the overall length to match the existing old seal, and cut some polycarb tabs out: each strip will need eight 25mm x 30mm, one 25mm x 40mm and one 25mm x 50mm. Use a good solvent wipe cleaner to clean the outer edge of the mounting rail on the new seal – the non-flocked side. Use the same cleaner to clean all the tabs you have made. Lay the new and old strips beside each other, and glue the tabs on! – apply the cyno glue to the rubber of the weatherstrip, and apply activator to the tab before bringing the two together. Make sure you leave about 3mm gap at the top of each tab. This is so the tabs don’t foul the edge of the door skin when you offer the new strip up. The new strip must hook over the outer door skin – you don’t want the tabs to get in the way, as they are glued on the outside of the strip.

With any luck you will end up with something like this:

Strips with tabs

Before you can do the first fit to the door, the rear end of each strip will require trimming like this:

Trimming the strips

Try a fit on the car, and trim the front end if needed, so the seal will sit nicely in place.

Test fitting

Once you’re happy with a first fit, use a permanent ink felt marker to mark your original screw holes on the tabs (through the holes in the door skin). Keep the seal held in place while you do this, as there is a slight curve upwards at the rear of the seal. A slim permanent felt pen – like a CD-Writer pen is ideal for this

Remove from the car, and drill the holes – make them oversize to allow for a bit of error/adjustment. Should look something like this:

Drilled tabs


Pair of drilled strips

Refit to the car, and secure with new screws; washers if you like. Seal may require trimming further at the rear end:

Seal needing trimming at rear end

Might also need a bit of fettling at the door mirror end.

End Result:

End result

When refitting the door to body foam seal, it will need gluing in place with silkoflex or similar (black silicone) and will probably cover the rear end of the new weatherstrip.

Hope this helps.

Depending on your own findings, you may want to pack an extra thin washer behind the foremost 2 or 3 tabs, to increase the pressure of the strip on the glass at the door- mirror end. I didn’t bother, but it may help the fit in some cases – never forget, Elan’s are hand built!!

If anyone needs 25mm wide polycarbonate strip, or a source of 685 profile weatherstrips, please get in touch.

I can supply a bag of polycarbonate tabs to do both sides for £5 (including UK postage),

Or if anyone wants me to make a pair up for them, I will for £50 + P&P. They will be supplied un-drilled, and oversize (as the late style), for you to trim to your particular car.

Gordon Twist