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Technical Who makes quality rubber?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jvo, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228


    I've been pissed off about this for a while. I am especially pissed off today.
    I'm going to back up to last summer though, when I took my driver's door apart on my F100. Door is rust free, but needed all the window channel felt and rubber, etc. I asked some friends who have these trucks who makes the best rubber, and I proceeded to buy it. I don't think its right to mention their name, just in case I did something wrong on the installation process. And no, there was no snow last summer when I did this. It was hotter than hell.

    I couldn't get the rubber to sit where it is supposed to be on the top of the door. Something to do with where the rubber sits in the pivot point of the vent window channel. I pissed around with it for a couple days, then threw my hands in the air. Haven't done the other side, as I would like to get some vent rubber that will install like it should be. I tried soap and water to make it slide easier, then tried just dish soap alone. Nothing that I did would make that rubber sit like its supposed to.

    That's one.

    IMG_0249.jpg IMG_0250 (1).jpg
  2. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228


    Now, for round two. I looked at several rubber shift boots when I bought this one. Some were priced at just over ten bucks. I figured that was a waste of time, as it would probably be cheap junk. I bought the one with the big H on it, and paid about 30 bucks for it, figuring of course, that it would be better quality than the cheaper one.

    When I removed it from the package, I decided to drive the truck for the first winter without a shift boot, as it smelled just like walking in the front door of Harbor Freight. No way I could install it in the truck, as I'm sure it would gag me driving around with that cheap rubber stink, quite obviously made somewhere other than North America.

    It sat outside all winter. I installed it in the spring, and the smell was pretty much gone by then. I have had this truck on the road now for 3 years. This shift boot has been in the truck just less than 2 years now. Of course, this is winter again, and it is almost 30 below zero here today. I had the truck plugged in and wanted to see if it would start.

    Pushed the clutch in, grabbed the shift lever to put it in neutral and I hear this cracking noise. Looked down and this is what I saw. IMG_0246.jpg IMG_0247.jpg IMG_0248.jpg

    Now, I have owned a 69 Freightliner, a 75 Freightliner, a 74 Kenworth, a 77 Kenworth and a 78 Mack. Also have had many manual trans vehicles in my lifetime. Never seen this happen with a gear shift boot. I have seen those coiled air lines between a tractor and a trailer break when you step on them at -40 degrees, and a few other brittle items, but I've never seen a gear shift boot break from the cold like this.

    This rubber thing is ongoing it seems. Friends have vehicles with weather stripping so hard, that the doors won't close properly and what not.

    There can't be that many places in the world that make rubber products for our vehicles??? Who makes a decent gear shift boot, and vent window rubbers for a 63 F100?

    I guess I'll try the big truck places to see if they have anything that doesn't stink when new. I think that might be the first clue, but if you're buying mail order, you don't get the chance to do a sniff test.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    Beanscoot likes this.
  3. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 639

    from Motown

    Holy crap! You might have to try to find an old one. Lots of Jeep or early Bronco stuff is reproduced, maybe? One could be sewn together out of leather (real or synthetic), but not same look.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,267


    I've never used them, but have heard good things about Steel Rubber.

  5. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 3,875

    uncleandy 65

    Try Steele, They have the best quality.
    61Cruiser, 65pacecar and Special Ed like this.
  6. lcfman
    Joined: Sep 1, 2009
    Posts: 294

    from tn

    Steel in my experience is just as it says "Steel" to hard. Try Metro Rubber they make good stuff and Precision is another good rubber supplier.
    56premiere likes this.
  7. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,289


    Dennis Carpenter makes good stuff.
  8. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 698

    Bird man
    from Milwaukee

    Yeh, modern rubber sure has gone to crap.
  9. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    My choice for rubber products is Soft Seal. They seem to stay soft longer and their prices are lower then Steele.
    65pacecar and texasred like this.
  10. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,394

    Mike Colemire

  11. Barrelnose pickup
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,349

    Barrelnose pickup

    Durex, never let me down as a young bloke.
    61Cruiser and lothiandon1940 like this.
  12. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228


    One of those three names supplied my vent window rubber. (starts with a p)
  13. I have Steele Rubber vent window seals on the 37 dodge and they look OK open, but kinda shitty closed. When the vent window is latched they buckle and pull up off the door leaving a sizable gap, but not as bad as yours. when the car gets painted I will try a bit of trim adhesive to see if that holds them down.
  14. Carpenter makes a lot of Ford items that have worked okay for me. I used his windshield, door gaskets, vent window rubber, etc on my Ford. I have used some Steele Rubber odds and ends, also good stuff. It seems like the Chinese have not captured the rubber molding process 100%. I have had their ball joint and tie rod boots fail even before I drove the car. Granted -30 is a little extreme for what most of us will ever see for winter. I used a Mr. Gasket boot on my shifter, it was about 1/2 what the Hurst item was.
  15. Wonder if that "H" stands for Hoffman Group!!:eek:;) IMG_0248.jpg
    Truckdoctor Andy and Beanscoot like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    Steele rubber is the only rubber that I will use. Very high quality rubber
    61Cruiser likes this.
  17. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,496

    from Spring tx

    Trojan Magnums seem to be good quality rubber...
  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,867


    Go shopping for shift boot at a place that sells parts for big trucks, since those ones seem to be able to deal with the cold?

    I don't know how the vent window rubber is attached on those trucks. On several that I've worked on, you have to take the rivets out that hold the vent assembly together, then the new rubber piece is mostly held in place by the assembly being riveted back together. Is that the case here?
    uncleandy 65 likes this.
  19. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228


    Nope. The rubber just sits in the bottom channel of the vent window. Where the pivot pin is, I "assume" from the shape of the window channel, that the rubber needs to be a little smaller in size. It is only in that one place that the rubber "pulls". I was going to cut it down slightly with a sharp knife, but figured I'd just get something else that might actually fit properly. I'm going to try Carpenter or Steele for the next go round, probably in the spring.

    As far as the gearshift boot goes, I laughed at the big H comment, being Hoffman. Probably true, but I took it as something else. Do brand names even matter nowadays? We, as consumers, have grown to trust a brand name over the past century, and now that's all out the window it seems, as the greedy principals have taken all their manufacturing offshore. I'd better quit, cause that is beginning to be political.

    I will try a gearshift boot from a large truck. I know my 74 Kenworth had a small boot on the auxiliary transmission, as the main transmission boot was about 8 inches or so in diameter. Auxiliary transmission boot was smaller. That will be next.
    If I remember, when I go to make the changes, I will post them again hopefully with better results.
    KevKo likes this.
  20. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228


    One more thing. I'm still wondering if these people make their own rubber, or is it one or two places in the world that make the rubber stuff for everyone, i.e., I had an OT Jag for a year or so ( yeah, I had a weak moment). Needed windshield rubber, dealer in Calgary wanted over 400 bucks just for windshield rubber. Called a place in Florida from the Jag interchange site, and got the 3 piece rubber for about 42 bucks. In conversation with him, he says the real funny part is that he gets his rubber from the same place that Jag gets their rubber from. That's my point.
    Anybody know where this stuff is manufactured? All from the same place? Do they each have their own plants to make this stuff? I doubt it, and I could be wrong, but its never happened before.
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,867


    I think there are a lot of places making rubber parts, all over the world. They smell different, they feel different, they fit different. I've had decent success with Steele parts, although they don't make everything, and their stuff is expensive, and the rubber is generally a lot harder than other brands. But since your problem now is that the vent rubber moves around, that might be what you need to fix it?
  22. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    Member Emeritus
    from Iowa

    For the rubber specific to the slick (61-66 Ford truck) contact Tom at Flashback F100's. He field tests and only sells what works the best and lasts the longest. He's a small operation but gives the best service. Dennis Carpenter is what he sells.

    For rubber products, do NOT buy anything from LMC. Worst fit, shortest life and their door seals are junk.

  23. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228


    Thanks for the replies. Perhaps Squirrel's suggestion is correct. Stiffer rubber might keep it from falling into the inside of the door.
    I'll definitely make the contact with Tom. Never heard of Flashback F100's, but I'll find it. Sounds like a good place to start.
    I'm gonna go out to the shop, turn up the heat, and pound the hell out of some metal for a while. Thanks to everyone. I'll update this in a few months to let everyone know what transpired.
  24. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,356


    I feel your pain, I installed new vent window rubber in the Studebaker and I can't get the vent to close. I wondered if there was a problem with my install (lots of my problems are self induced:( I am on the Studebaker Drivers Club forum and someone on there said that the repro rubber being made is all to big so none of it fits properly. In my case I think there is only one manufacturer of reproduction rubber seals for the Stude.
    Regarding the gear shift boot. I moved the shifter around in the old Chevy (to make a little more ergonomic for the driver) and the boot I used wouldn't work. I sewed one up just to prove I could do it. Looks OK.
  25. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228


    One more time now. I just called Tom at Flashback 100's. He said it was okay to quote him. He states he only uses Carpenter vent window seals for F100's. Claims they are made to exact specifications with Ford part numbers on them. He claims they fit properly, and knew exactly what I was talking about with the rubber falling inside the door. I'll be ordering a set from Carpenter in the spring. Not gonna do that job when its -30 outside. Shop has two projects in it already that aren't easily moved. I will update everyone once I do it, but will likely be several months from now. Thanks to all who replied. If this works out, the h.a.m.b. solved this problem for me.
    squirrel likes this.
  26. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,109


    I have used rubber from Steele in the past, and always had trouble with the vent window rubber where the pivot goes. Chopped vent windows are even worse. Does anyone know of any real good glue for this? Gorilla snot doesn't quite cut it.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. Hey man,
    i don't know for the shift boot.. but for you vent window you can contact them they are in Alberta so not that far from you and they do ship for cheap....
    I remember having hard time changing them on my F1 but never had any issue with them! But you really need the one that fit there and yes they are expensive but it was worth it!
    I assume you already know but maybe just a mistake and you installed the wrong side? Cuz there is a left and right in a set.
  28. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,119


    Looking at the bright side, half of us wouldn't be here except for failed rubber products.
    RMR&C and lothiandon1940 like this.
  29. Be careful of Steele, they have good quality rubber but everything isn't made by them. It says somewhere on their website that they will outsource sometimes but you'll never know what until you get the package.

    I bought the windshield gasket for my '41 truck from Steele and when I got it the package was from Dennis Carpenter. Steeles price was $132 and DC was $ went back at my cost to ship (still cheaper). If your going to re sell another repo places product then make it the same price or close like everyone else does (or in this case tell me it's not made by Steele).
  30. donno
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 425


    When I built my 46 Ford coupe, all the rubber came from Bob Drake. That was back in '87-88. Sold it about 2 months ago, rubber was still semi- soft, NO cracks, been in temps from -30 to 122 degrees, seldom inside. I think he makes his own rubber goods. ( trojans worked for me for years)

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