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Truck Restoration Tip-Remove Rubber Seals

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During classic renovations, the simplest looking projects can be the most challenging. Looking at the rear window of your truck with its aging rubber seal, you think, I got this. Two frustrating hours later, you are still struggling to remove the deteriorated mess that has your glass locked in place. First, do not get discouraged. You learn to restore classic vehicles by doing. Second, reach out to a collector truck comrade for help. Asking for help shows you appreciate the vast pool of knowledge that exists in our classic truck community. Accept your mentor’s advice, keep learning and show that window seal who is boss. You most certainly got this.

Project C10 Tech Tip – Removing Rubber Seals on Glass

When restoring a classic truck or car, experts recommend that you remove the existing rubber gaskets, window seals and door bumpers. Keeping everything as original as possible is the goal but do not try to salvage old dried out rubber. Even if it appears in good shape, it can leave your collector vehicle vulnerable to leaks and rust. Retain some of the old seals for reference but dispose of the rest. American Modern’s Rick Drewry explains a quick way to eliminate the dried gaskets around a window in our Project C10 Tech Tip to remove rubber seals around glass. Do you have a great tip for removing old seals? Share your favorite garage tips in our comments.

Protect Your Restoration – Replace all Rubber Seals

The Classic Car Club of America suggests replacing old rubber seals with new ones when doing a restoration. While keeping numbers matching on parts is important, trying to retain or find original rubber seals is not practical. All rubber, natural or synthetic, ages and breaks down. Exposing it to sunlight, temperature fluctuations, ozone and a lack of use contribute to the deterioration. In an attempt to extend its life, scientists are incorporating additives into synthetic rubber. An additive known as carbon black helps to improve rubber’s strength and durability for use on tires. It still does not keep them from drying out, however. Replacing the seals on your classic truck protects your completed restoration work.

Removing an Old Seal Around a Window

The rubber seal around windows (like our C10’s rear glass) becomes a stubborn, hard mess over time. Rick uses a hooked utility knife to remove it. The sharp tool cuts through the rubber, making it easier to pull out. Having someone on the other side of the window helps stabilize the glass. Glass often gets pushed out of the grooves in the frame as the rubber expands and contracts due to extreme temperatures. Removing the rubber causes the glass to slide out. With the old seal gone, you can assess the condition of the metal around the window frame. Damaged rubber makes it easy for rust to form undetected beneath the glass and seal.

Ask a Classic Truck Restoration Mentor

Don’t let simple restoration tasks hang you up. There is nothing that says You must attempt this restoration alone. Before you get frustrated picking chunks of gummy, cracked rubber out from around your truck’s window, remember the Rubik’s cube. As a kid, you could never solve it. Then, seeing your friend master it in seconds, you had to know how. They show you the secret, and soon you become a pro. Classic restoration projects are the Rubik’s cube at this stage in your life. All you have to do is ask a mentor in the classic truck community for the answer. You will wonder why it took you so long.

Join the Project C10 Truck Community

Project C10, powered by American Modern, an original video series from Classic Auto Insurance that chronicles the restoration of a 1965 Chevy C10 truck to a beautiful restomod worthy of car show display. Stay up-to-date with Project C10 by subscribing to Classic Auto’s YouTube Channel, following us on Instagram and visiting our C10 Restoration page on, where you’ll enjoy step-by-step episodes, project-specific Tech Tips and behind-the-scenes articles that give you an inside look into what it takes to restore a classic collectible like a Chevy C10 truck.


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