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

Wayne Waldrep

Active Member
Apr 14, 2003
137
77
38
52
Cuba, AL
#1
Ok guys. Due to lots of reading over the last few years and the fact that I just installed new door to body weatherstripping, I'm going to do something to help all of us out I hope. Ever bought a brand new car and the doors don't close? Didn't think so. I bought my car new. I ordered it as a matter of fact and it was built for me and about 2 months later I had it. The brand new door seals were perfect even though they were only two months old and had only been opened and closed a few times. Think about that the next time someone tells you your door seals need to “loosen up” for six months or a year. Hey, maybe they are right. But I've yet to run across one single new car on a lot that backs that argument up. I certainly never had to slam a door so hard that the door panel push pins let go. I've also never grabbed the handle of a new car door from the outside or inside and was unable to get in or out because of the door seal. My doors are awful now. Well, the driver's door is. The passenger door is still factory and closes beautifully. The driver's door is exactly like what you've all read in every door seal post on here. Bet you can guess what seals I have as well.

Yesterday I spent 8+ hours on the internet and phone speaking with rubber weatherstripping companies. After much talking and consideration, I narrowed it down to four companies. Those companies in no particular order are Fairchild Industries, Metro Moulded Parts, SoffSeal, and Steel Rubber Products. I spoke at length with a representative from each of these companies. I place a certain amount of weight on a company that is friendly on the phone and gives the impression that they are actually interested in customer service.

The plan is to install each of these on my car and evaluate them. Pictures of end profiles of each product and side by side comparison images will be included in what I'm doing. I'm about tired of endless searching and so-called “customer reviews” that we all know are manipulated to maintain whatever rating a company wants.

A bit of background info for your consideration. I've been working on cars my whole life. Other than engine block machining, I pretty much do anything else. No, I've never painted my own car....but I'm thinking about it. The point is I've been taking these cars apart for over 30 years and everyone that knows me knows that I cover the bases. So you don't have to worry about things like are the door bushings ok or is the door striker adjusted properly. For example, you may see images of a striker with the bushing on and another with the bushing off. If something is shown like that it's for a reason. I'm obsessive and I know it but most of the time it's served me well. Sometimes it causes me to delve way into a project and investigate it to an annoying level, such as this one! Either way, I hope to help some people make well-informed decisions about this one part. I've read everything I can find and was still looking so that's why I'm doing this.

All testing will be done thoroughly and honestly. I will not be publishing results based off of anything that any manufacturer told me or suggested. I've been doing this too long. If the product is made well I will make that clear. Likewise, if a product is not satisfactory that will also be stated. Just because a company offers to send you new parts to replace the junk parts they sent you to start with is not actually a good thing. That is if they are just sending you a new set of junk parts you still have junk. This test will hopefully show which seals will go in the car and allow the doors to work properly. Of course, if you are working on a thirty-year-old car with very old or original seals on there then you will probably need to do some minor adjusting on the striker.

The one thing I cannot test on any of these is longevity. That will take years to establish and is outside the scope of what I'm doing. I should have a few inches of product left from each piece. This may allow some sort of test such as rubbing a shoe sole across a couple times just to make sure they don't tear at the slightest touch. We will see.

In closing, I welcome any input you guys have. If you know of a company that should be included in this test please get me some info. If you are a company and are reading this, post me some contact info and I will call you. Any particular measurement you'd like just let me know. My main testing will be opening/closing, water intrusion, and wind noise. This is a big project. I'm getting nothing for doing this other than access to the various seal kits and for that alone I am thankful.

In the end, I hope we can find products that will work well for the cars we love and that are worth the hard earned money we spend on them.

Thanks for reading and following along.
 
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90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
4,104
3,421
183
41
#3
Following. My drivers door seal is not the worse but by no means factory like. The factory seals seem to have vent holes in them to allow air to escape from inside the tube of the seal. Cheaper versions don't have this and cause the seal to balloon when closing the doors. I'll be watching this test.
 

Wayne Waldrep

Active Member
Apr 14, 2003
137
77
38
52
Cuba, AL
#4
I have a couple of updates already. Now keep in mind I'm giving information as I get it so there is a possibility that I'll have to backtrack if someone tells me something and doesn't do it. After speaking with Fairchild Industries they are sending me Door Seal Kit #KF3005 for the review. Thanks to them for doing this. This product can be purchased from several places including RockAuto and Summit.

I also received a call this morning from Steel Rubber Products. We actually had a conference call with me and two people from their company. They were very nice and I'd have to give their customer care an excellent rating. They informed me that they do manufacture a lot of their products but instead of tooling up a run for the Mustang parts they chose to outsource that product and get it from a local supplier. They said this was Dennis Carpenter although after speaking with Dennis Carpenter I believe it's actually his son Daniel Carpenter that is supplying them. I'm awaiting on a call from the Carpenter's hopefully this afternoon. If Ms. Price is watching this thread please feel free to contact me if this is incorrect. Steel Rubber Products really impressed me when they said they are always upfront when someone calls about a product that they don't produce in-house because that person may already have the exact same thing. Man if a couple others would do this we wouldn't be tossing so much of this stuff that doesn't work.

Last thing is that you can still buy OEM weatherstripping from any Ford dealer. Ford Part No.: F3ZZ-6120708-A This is the expensive product on National Parts Depot's website for the full list price of $133.22. This is the last updated version of the seal. Found this same Ford product available on numerous websites including CJ Pony Parts. Most Ford dealers that sell online have this seal for about $90/side. More expensive yes. Mine lasted 30 years so technically not more expensive in the long run IF it's the same. I'm trying to get my hands on one of these to test but that is proving quite difficult. Anyone on here that can help I would be grateful since I cannot afford to buy all these. One word of caution. I have found several websites that come up in a search of that part number that lists their product as such. If you find that part number product for less than $85 it's not real Ford. One place listed their product with that part number and it was $19.00 so don't fall for that guys.
 
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Noobz347

Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor
Admin Dude
Jan 4, 1985
26,000
8,486
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#5
Ok guys. Due to lots of reading over the last few years and the fact that I just installed new door to body weatherstripping, I'm going to do something to help all of us out I hope. Ever bought a brand new car and the doors don't close? Didn't think so. I bought my car new. I ordered it as a matter of fact and it was built for me and about 2 months later I had it. The brand new door seals were perfect even though they were only two months old and had only been opened and closed a few times. Think about that the next time someone tells you your door seals need to “loosen up” for six months or a year. Hey, maybe they are right. But I've yet to run across one single new car on a lot that backs that argument up. I certainly never had to slam a door so hard that the door panel push pins let go. I've also never grabbed the handle of a new car door from the outside or inside and was unable to get in or out because of the door seal. My doors are awful now. Well, the driver's door is. The passenger door is still factory and closes beautifully. The driver's door is exactly like what you've all read in every door seal post on here. Bet you can guess what seals I have as well.

Yesterday I spent 8+ hours on the internet and phone speaking with rubber weatherstripping companies. After much talking and consideration, I narrowed it down to four companies. Those companies in no particular order are Fairchild Industries, Metro Moulded Parts, SoffSeal, and Steel Rubber Products. I spoke at length with a representative from each of these companies. I place a certain amount of weight on a company that is friendly on the phone and gives the impression that they are actually interested in customer service.

The plan is to install each of these on my car and evaluate them. Pictures of end profiles of each product and side by side comparison images will be included in what I'm doing. I'm about tired of endless searching and so-called “customer reviews” that we all know are manipulated to maintain whatever rating a company wants.

A bit of background info for your consideration. I've been working on cars my whole life. Other than engine block machining, I pretty much do anything else. No, I've never painted my own car....but I'm thinking about it. The point is I've been taking these cars apart for over 30 years and everyone that knows me knows that I cover the bases. So you don't have to worry about things like are the door bushings ok or is the door striker adjusted properly. For example, you may see images of a striker with the bushing on and another with the bushing off. If something is shown like that it's for a reason. I'm obsessive and I know it but most of the time it's served me well. Sometimes it causes me to delve way into a project and investigate it to an annoying level, such as this one! Either way, I hope to help some people make well-informed decisions about this one part. I've read everything I can find and was still looking so that's why I'm doing this.

All testing will be done thoroughly and honestly. I will not be publishing results based off of anything that any manufacturer told me or suggested. I've been doing this too long. If the product is made well I will make that clear. Likewise, if a product is not satisfactory that will also be stated. Just because a company offers to send you new parts to replace the junk parts they sent you to start with is not actually a good thing. That is if they are just sending you a new set of junk parts you still have junk. This test will hopefully show which seals will go in the car and allow the doors to work properly. Of course, if you are working on a thirty-year-old car with very old or original seals on there then you will probably need to do some minor adjusting on the striker.

The one thing I cannot test on any of these is longevity. That will take years to establish and is outside the scope of what I'm doing. I should have a few inches of product left from each piece. This may allow some sort of test such as rubbing a shoe sole across a couple times just to make sure they don't tear at the slightest touch. We will see.

In closing, I welcome any input you guys have. If you know of a company that should be included in this test please get me some info. If you are a company and are reading this, post me some contact info and I will call you. Any particular measurement you'd like just let me know. My main testing will be opening/closing, water intrusion, and wind noise. This is a big project. I'm getting nothing for doing this other than access to the various seal kits and for that alone I am thankful.

In the end, I hope we can find products that will work well for the cars we love and that are worth the hard earned money we spend on them.

Thanks for reading and following along.

Who is this masked man? :O_o:



CompleteVainAvians-max-1mb.gif



Subscribing
 
Feb 18, 2001
29,785
6,342
224
Massachusetts
#6
I actually have no complaints about the seals I received from LRS which were Daniel Carpenter branded.

I made no adjustments to my door when I installed them. I did notice they were tight when I closed the door and I needed to give a little extra push, but i still made no adjustments. I didn't return to the car for 2-3 weeks so the doors stayed shut that entire time. At that point, they were opening and closing normally.

Who knows how stiff the seals are on a new car on a day #1 build unless you can pick it up for delivery that day (or work on the line and can answer directly) By the time the car reaches the dealer, it's say out on the manufacturers lot for some time, before being loaded on a trailer and driven out to a dealer and delivered. This could take weeks, or even months if its a car shipped from overseas. That could be all the time the new seals need to relax. Or it could all be hogwash. Who knows.

Still...very interested to see the results
 
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Noobz347

Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor
Admin Dude
Jan 4, 1985
26,000
8,486
224
Box behind Walmart
www.stangnet.com
#7
I would also like to mention door hinges and door hinge bushings while we talk about things that can effect door closing with new seals.

Sometimes all it takes is a fat seal to reveal a worn bushing that's been that way for years.
 
Jul 27, 2018
15
14
13
Summerville, SC
#8
I can tell you from personal observation that Daniel Carpenter does indeed manufacture many (all?) of their seals in house. I took a tour of their facility located a few miles away from Charlotte Motor Speedway when I was there for the 50th anniversary. It was an awesome tour of the Carpenters' fox body collection upstairs from their offices, the production facility, shipping and warehouse areas and the Carpenter museum in the rear of the complex.

One of the key things they showed us in the production facility was the machinery in operation which was producing seals (IIRC they were door seals). While not all of their products are produced there, many are done right there. They were expanding with a new building which was under construction when I was there. If you ever get the rare opportunity to get a tour, take it! The last one I know of that was held was during last year's Foxtoberfest.
 
Feb 18, 2001
29,785
6,342
224
Massachusetts
#9
One of the key things they showed us in the production facility was the machinery in operation which was producing seals (IIRC they were door seals). While not all of their products are produced there, many are done right there. They were expanding with a new building which was under construction when I was there. If you ever get the rare opportunity to get a tour, take it! The last one I know of that was held was during last year's Foxtoberfest.
I installed their hatch and door seals, and like I said, I really didn't have any complaints. At some point i'll pick up new sunroof seals and such from them as well. My glass felt needs a refresh although it's still in pretty darn good shape.

I'm a sucker for NOS parts, but i'm not paying $100 each for door seals given how well the DCMR ones seem to be.

Now, run channel moldings are a different story. Not thrilled about those from DCMR. They just don't have the OEM fit and finish, despite working fine from day 1. If I could find some NOS new units, I would consider buying that and swapping them out.
 
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a91what

SendMeUrDataLog
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
7,684
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#10
My largest complaint about seals are for the convertible, I bought an entire kit from LMR and ended up going to the JY and pulling the good sets i could find from multiple cars to get a decent seal.
 

Davedacarpainter

I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
10,852
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Discordia
#11
I would also like to mention door hinges and door hinge bushings while we talk about things that can effect door closing with new seals.

Sometimes all it takes is a fat seal to reveal a worn bushing that's been that way for years.
12C4F258-FC36-447A-B2AD-862318F788CC.jpeg
 

Wayne Waldrep

Active Member
Apr 14, 2003
137
77
38
52
Cuba, AL
#14
I actually have no complaints about the seals I received from LRS which were Daniel Carpenter branded.

I made no adjustments to my door when I installed them. I did notice they were tight when I closed the door and I needed to give a little extra push, but i still made no adjustments. I didn't return to the car for 2-3 weeks so the doors stayed shut that entire time. At that point, they were opening and closing normally.

Who knows how stiff the seals are on a new car on a day #1 build unless you can pick it up for delivery that day (or work on the line and can answer directly) By the time the car reaches the dealer, it's say out on the manufacturers lot for some time, before being loaded on a trailer and driven out to a dealer and delivered. This could take weeks, or even months if its a car shipped from overseas. That could be all the time the new seals need to relax. Or it could all be hogwash. Who knows.

Still...very interested to see the results
Sorry I don't have internet at home (one of proly 3 people in the whole country!!!) and didn't get to reply yesterday evening but from here forward I'll be getting to replies the next day. I have an update that will address the Daniel Carpenter products and a few other things. Making my way down the list as we speak. BTW....you sir give great advice on here and when I see you've replied to a post I always see what you have to say, so thanks!
 

Wayne Waldrep

Active Member
Apr 14, 2003
137
77
38
52
Cuba, AL
#15
I would also like to mention door hinges and door hinge bushings while we talk about things that can effect door closing with new seals.

Sometimes all it takes is a fat seal to reveal a worn bushing that's been that way for years.
Yes. There always can be various factors in any situation. Mine have all be addressed. I'm making sure this test is only about the seals with no other factors swaying that. Thanks for the reply!
 

Wayne Waldrep

Active Member
Apr 14, 2003
137
77
38
52
Cuba, AL
#16
Update from yesterday.

I got a call from SoffSeal late yesterday. The nice person I spoke with told me they wanted to participate in the review/test and were sending me a pair of their door seals part number SS-FD3000. I was glad to hear this because I've seen a few people post positive results with these.

After speaking with several more people I decided that for this test to be complete, I'd need to include Daniel Carpenter's door seals. I actually called Dennis Carpenter first and spoke with them several times. They are the ones that initially told me that they deal with the older stuff and the son's company did the newer cars. The person I talked to at Dennis Carpenter told me they actually made parts for each other at times even though the two companies are totally separate. So I gave Daniel Carpenter a call and spoke with them. After a lengthy conversation, they went to do some checking into all this. Early this morning I got an email and I will paraphrase what they said. As has been posted above, Daniel Carpenter makes some of their products in-house (probably a lot of them). These fox body door seals are NOT one of them. These are made overseas. This was actually surprising to me given the fact that several people have had good luck with them. They went on to say that while they are made overseas they are actually produced using Daniel's own dies. I was told these are not the Ford dies like some of their products use but they are their dies and they have extensive interaction in-house with the people that are doing the actual production. That sounds like a positive to me. I'd love everything to be made here in the USA but I know everything isn't. Kudos to them for being upfront about all this. After one more phone call this morning, my contact there (who has been super friendly and courteous) let me know they wanted to participate and are shipping me a set of their door seal. Their part number is just basically the factory part number. They do not sell to the public as you all know but there are several places to choose from.

Now for some extra info.

I spoke with LMR yesterday as well just for some info. As Mustang5L5 mentioned, his LMR seals (Item #LRS-20708AE-PR) are the Daniel Carpenter seals and my contact at LMR confirmed it as well. The lower priced ones at LMR are overseas no name was given. It is a very common practice for these cheaper types of seals to go to the lowest bidder and most companies that offer a product like this have multiple sources to use depending on demand. If you order door seals from LMR get the item number above! I will go ahead and tell you I have the low-end product they sell on hand and it will be in the test.

I also spoke with National Parts Depot. The expensive product is addressed in my last post and is just bought straight from Ford. I was told the other door seal that they sell for $13.95 each is the Daniel Carpenter seal. I cannot confirm this though but the person I was speaking with looked both up for me and told me where both were purchased. “Expensive one from Village Ford in Dearborn, MI and the other from Daniel Carpenter.” Keep in mind as mentioned already this could change at any time with zero notice.

I did speak with CJ Pony Parts. The $29.99 product they sell is not Daniel Carpenter. Just my guess but it's probably overseas since she told me it was none of the companies I mentioned and I named every single one I've talked to. They are supposed to get back with me today about that product. I'm not going to hold it against them if they don't want to send me that particular set though since I'm mainly dealing with manufacturers and not retailers. They can decide on that. If they send them I will test them. It would be a shame though if that product was a perfect fit and we didn't know.

So to recap, I have Fairchild Industries, SoffSeal, and Daniel Carpenter seals on the way. I'm waiting to hear from Metro Moulded Parts on their model number: LM 110-M. My contact there was a nice fellow that sounded like he wanted to participate.

We are now waiting on the mail.....lol.

Thanks again for reading along!
 
Feb 18, 2001
29,785
6,342
224
Massachusetts
#17
Interesting legwork done so far. I'm definitely getting my popcorn ready. Do you have a Test Method identified?
 

Wayne Waldrep

Active Member
Apr 14, 2003
137
77
38
52
Cuba, AL
#18
Interesting legwork done so far. I'm definitely getting my popcorn ready. Do you have a Test Method identified?
Thanks. I've been on the phone for three days almost solid...lol. I'm going to try and include everything I can through here to everyone. My plan is to show how they arrive then label and get pictures of each product. I'll do some measuring and some side by side pictures. I have one door with the factory OEM seal. It still closes perfectly and has no water intrusion and no discernable air noise although it is on the passenger side. This side of the car over the years obviously wasn't opened and closed nearly as much as the drivers. After that, I'll install and do a basic door close test and go from there. I'm thinking about how I want to do that part and the rest. At some point, I'll put some dollar bills in there and see how they pull. Of course, there will be water on the roof for a water seal test.
Post up any idea's you guys have.
 
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Feb 18, 2001
29,785
6,342
224
Massachusetts
#20
I'd probably cut a small 1" section off (usually there's excess) and try to figure out if there's a way to measure the softness of the seal area. Which seals are soft and easy to compress and which are thick and firm