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  View original topic: Seam Sealer & Welding vs Adhesive for Seal Channels on Beetle
brookmp Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:31 pm

Hello,

1974 Beetle. Seal channels on front trunk and rear engine compartment were rusted and shot. We've already removed the old channel pieces and cleaned up the areas with a sandblaster. We've applied primer and paint to the body of the car and on the undersides of the seal channels as well.

We're ready to attach the new seal channels we bought from Wolfsburg West. They come from WW as straight pieces and we successfully bent the one for the engine compartment by using a donor Bug as a guide, using heat and slow, careful bending.

What is the best method using today's technologies to attach these pieces to the car? Seam sealer and welding? Or, instead of welding, using a strong panel adhesive?

If we weld, we're planning to drill small holes and weld into them. We haven't used panel adhesives before, so if this is the recommended route to take, advice is appreciated.

(Looking for a stock look, so please no "Mexi-seals" recommendations).

Thanks

baz76 Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:16 am

Adhesive makes more sense than welding to me. Lots of folk will say get mexi style seals but they look like shit.

RLFD213 Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:15 am

If you have already painted the area welding the channel in is going to discolor the paint from the heat using a panel adhesive and a lot of clamps and Vice grips to keep the channel in place isnít wrong. The only part of the car you really canít use panel adhesive is for the heater channels because of their part in the cars structure, although Iím sure if done right it would be ok. The ďmodernĒpanel adhesives are just as strong or stronger then welding.

bomberbob Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:04 am

If you removed the old pieces, then you are aware of the rust that was behind. Its a trap for dirt to collect, which holds moisture and will rust again. I and some others used panel adhesive, you can apply it on the car, then press the seal channel in and clamp it with C clamps or whatever you want to use. Pot life is 90 minutes I think, so you have time to get it just how you want it. Overnight cure. I am going with the mexi seals, but you don't need to. I used the 3M adhesive, bought the caulking gun and some extra mixing tips. I used it to glue door skins on, I have used it anywhere that is not a structural bond. Heater channels I would not use.

brookmp Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:09 am

RLFD213 wrote: If you have already painted the area welding the channel in is going to discolor the paint from the heat using a panel adhesive and a lot of clamps and Vice grips to keep the channel in place isnít wrong. The only part of the car you really canít use panel adhesive is for the heater channels because of their part in the cars structure, although Iím sure if done right it would be ok. The ďmodernĒpanel adhesives are just as strong or stronger then welding.

We painted the area in order to get paint in between the channel and the car body for protection. It's not final paint, so discoloring is not a problem.

Still trying to decide between welding with seam sealer vs adhesive.

brookmp Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:19 am

bomberbob wrote: If you removed the old pieces, then you are aware of the rust that was behind. Its a trap for dirt to collect, which holds moisture and will rust again. I and some others used panel adhesive, you can apply it on the car, then press the seal channel in and clamp it with C clamps or whatever you want to use. Pot life is 90 minutes I think, so you have time to get it just how you want it. Overnight cure. I am going with the mexi seals, but you don't need to. I used the 3M adhesive, bought the caulking gun and some extra mixing tips. I used it to glue door skins on, I have used it anywhere that is not a structural bond. Heater channels I would not use.

Our hopes with welding and using seam sealer is to keep the dust, dirt, and moisture out of the area between the seal channel and the car body. We're still trying to decide between this route and using adhesive.

brookmp Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:20 am

baz76 wrote: Adhesive makes more sense than welding to me. Lots of folk will say get mexi style seals but they look like shit.

Can the adhesive be used when there is already paint down or does it need to be bare metal?

baz76 Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:13 am

Needs to be bare metal, I'd paint everything apart from the seating surfaces then glue it on. All bare metal is sealed with the glue unlike with welding.

Dan the workingstiff Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:17 pm

I believe some folks are using hood seals from Mexican beetles. No channel seals required. Maybe Aircooled.net? Its a very clean application

brookmp Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:30 pm

Dan the workingstiff wrote: I believe some folks are using hood seals from Mexican beetles. No channel seals required. Maybe Aircooled.net? Its a very clean application

As I mentioned in my post, I'm after a stock look, but thanks for the suggestion.

We already got one channel welded on with seam sealer in between, and after some cleanup, it came out really good.



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