View original topic: Welding & Bending Seal Channel/2 Questions
brookmp Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:32 pm

Restoring my '74 Standard Beetle. My front hood and rear engine seal channels are shot. We've removed them and purchased new seal channels from Wolfsburg West and hope to weld them in soon.

Question: what is the BEST way to bend these straight pieces of channel into position for welding?

Question: what is the BEST method for welding them in?

I appreciate any and all advice and experience anyone's had with these.

beetlenut Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:14 pm

The original ones were spot welded on about every 3-4 inches. I went with the Mexi seals once I removed the old seal channels, and repaired the rust under them, but I did have to replace the top hood seal channel by the wipers. The replacement metal bends fairly easily. I ended up using panel adhesive with some pop rivets to hold it in place while the adhesive set up. My reasoning was that the panel adhesive would seal that area under the channel and not let corrosion form again.

If you're going to weld them on, get the basic shape bent into them, and then as you weld each plug weld, you can further bend/shape the seal as you go.

bomberbob Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:42 am

I did the same exact thing. Cut out all the rusty channel and cleaned it up, and fixed the rust holes that were hiding behind it. Bought mexi seals, and panel glued in the seal on that edge by the wipers. I just used C clamps to hold it where I wanted it till the glue dried. I used 3M 08115. I have actually taken a liking to this glue, and use it whenever possible as an alternative to welding (non-structural items).

Q-Dog Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:04 am

Find a curved object with a similar or slightly smaller curve than what you are fitting to. Slowly bend the channel around that object so you don't kink it. Ideally you would bend it around something that has the same profile as what you are bending so you don't smash the channel, but if you go slow you should be OK.

Don't start welding until you have the fit really close or you will put a kink in it somewhere.

RLFD213 Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:22 pm

I did mine this summer and instead of welding it I used panel adhesive and a lot of vise grips to keep it in place. Just another way of doing things.

vwsplitman Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:35 am

The best way to bend these pieces to the correct contour without kinking them is with a shrinker/stretcher. Have done many this way. Just have to find someone that will let you borrow one.

marklee Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:37 am

RLFD213 wrote: I did mine this summer and instead of welding it I used panel adhesive and a lot of vise grips to keep it in place. Just another way of doing things.
excellent advice, the panel bond will help stop water getting between them and the body of the car too, preventing corrosion

brookmp Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:30 pm

Thanks for the replies....

What we ended up doing worked pretty good for our situation. We have a donor bug and were able to use its rear apron to form the seal channel into the right position. We used a high heat torch and gently heated up the metal and slowly bent it into place. It's in the correct shape to be welded onto my Bug now.

New question:

We are already planning to use seam sealer in addition to welding the piece to the car body. Would there be any advantage to using a panel adhesive instead or in addition?



baz76 Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:15 am

Panel adhesive cures the rust trap problem as it fills the seam and won't allow water between the two parts.

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