Tag Archives: door refresh vw beetle

Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 5 Final

Door Refresh CompleteDoor Refresh CompleteDoor Refresh CompleteDoor Refresh CompleteSo this evening I had planned on working on the passenger door to get as far along with it as I could. Four and a half hours later, the project is complete. Everything went together so easily on the passenger door that I was able to finish. Didn’t take a lot of pics because everything was pretty much laid out and explained when I did the drivers door, no need to repeat everything. So with this final post on the project, I’ll share some thoughts, tips and other info that may help you if you decide to do this. First and foremost, I have to give props to the kit that Jbugs.com sells. Not everything was perfect, but the important stuff was good quality German parts that fit correctly and made the install so much easier. They also supplied a dvd to provide tips and info. They made good on a mismatched part (window crank handles) and the prices were very competitive. Alright, on to the insight.

Things To Know:
1. Plan your project out! Know what you need for your particular year of Beetle and make a list. Ask others who have already done this project for their input. I didn’t order my kit, my wife bought it for me for Christmas. Jbugs and a couple of friends were very helpful and let her know everything down to the last detail that was needed to rebuild the doors. You can’t always tell by looking what you’ll need to purchase. Some of the original parts may have been eliminated over the years. Don’t forget the little things.
2. Again, spurge and buy the quality parts. Not only do they look better, but they fit better and are easier to install. Truth is, the quality parts aren’t that much more expensive.
3. Know the tools you’ll need in advance and have them on hand when you begin your project. Nothing worse than having to stop to buy or borrow a tool that you don’t have but need. Soapy water and WD40 will be your best friends.
4. Be patient, allocate time to work on the project and don’t be in a rush. Take lots of pics of everything you take apart. Keep everything labeled and organized. That way you won’t be guessing what goes where when it’s time to reassemble.
5. Take this time to clean other parts that you’re not replacing. I was able to fix the interior light switch on the passenger side. The contacts just needed cleaned. It had probably been nonfunctional for many years. I also cleaned up the window regulators and lubed them while I had access. I also replaced the sponge foam and vapor barrier in the doors that was long gone. Be sure to clean and prep all surfaces.
6. I did this entire project by myself but there were a few times that an extra set of hands would’ve been beneficial.
7. Don’t throw anything away until you’re finished with the project. You may end up using parts that you disassembled.

Things That Didn’t Work Out:
1. One of the new retaining clips for the felt channel that came with the kit broke while I was installing it. They’re made out of hardened metal and are brittle. I forced it just a little to much and a little tab that holds it in place broke off. I used one of the original clips in it’s place. (remember, don’t throw anything away until you’re done, some parts can be reused)
2. The lock knobs that I ordered from Jbugs.com didn’t look like the original knobs. They had a much more modern look. No big deal, they were only a few dollars. I did find original replacements at Wagen-Werks.com, again, they were only a few dollars.
3. The mushroom rivets and washers for the vent window that came with the Jbugs kit weren’t made out of aluminum. I think they’re made out of brass. They didn’t flare correctly and they didn’t look right. Luckily, I ordered mushroom rivets for the vent windows from Wagen-Werks as well and they were perfect. An inexpensive part, no big deal.
4. The door seals that came with the kit were great quality, but the drivers side was about 3 inches too long. I had to cut it in the corner and re-glue it with super glue and weather striping adhesive. Again, no big deal. The passenger side seal fit perfectly.
5. The vent window latches that I ordered from Jbugs needed some modification to work. The quality isn’t nearly as good as the original latches. I don’t even know if you can buy the original style latches. I had to be a little creative to make them fit properly, but I’m very pleased with the end result.

Things I’m Glad I Did:
1. Bought the mushroom rivet tool. I didn’t want to use a regular rivet in the vent window hinge, I wanted the original style mushroom rivet. The cheap tool that I bought from Amazon made the task very easy.
2. Bought the German rubber kit.
3. Planned, planned and planned some more. Had everything I needed to complete the project before I even began the project.
4. Didn’t rush. You can’t be in a rush with this type of project. If you are, you’ll end up screwing something up. Know when to walk away and take a break. I did more than just replace the seals, rubber and scrapers. I polished all the metal, cleaned up the inner doors, replaced missing parts, etc. and I have a total of about 12 hours, 6 beers and no band aids in the entire project.
5. Make the project fun. As much as I initially dreaded doing this project, it’s something that needed to be done (all the other window rubber and seals had already been replaced on the car). You always get a certain amount of satisfaction when you do a project like this yourself.

Now that the project is finished, I’m 100% pleased with the outcome. Would I do it again if given the opportunity? Absolutely. Would I recommend anybody to do this project for themselves? Yes and no. You have to be somewhat mechanically inclined to do this, not that I’m yanking my own chain. You can’t be intimidated with something like this. If you have doubt, ask others who’ve already done it. Research, read articles, watch videos, etc. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask.

Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 1
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 2
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 3
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 4

Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 4

Check Rod BumperRubber Grommet For Door PanelFoam For Door PanelDoor Panel FoamWeather Cord For Vapor BarrierWeather Cord For Vapor BarrierWeather Cord For Vapor BarrierNew Vapor BarrierFinished Drivers DoorFinished Drivers DoorFinished Drivers DoorThe drivers door is complete! Installed the vapor barrier, door panel and hardware and now it’s on to the passenger side door. I think it’s important that if you’re going to do a project like this, go ahead and replace the parts that are often overlooked. The check rod bumper being one of those. The one on my drivers door was no existent, it had broken apart long ago. I went ahead and took the one out of the passenger door so you can see what it is. Pic #1. The bumper was still there, but it was chewed up and compressed. Really didn’t serve much of a purpose. I think both new ones was a couple of dollars. I installed new rubber grommets for the door panel clips, pic #2. The existing ones were hardened and basically fell apart. I also replaced the compression foam around the door latch and on the inside of the door panel, another step that is often overlooked. Pics #3 and #4. I bought the cord weather seal (pic #5) to install the new vapor barrier. When doing my research, seems like a lot of people were using this. It’s cheap and easy to work with. This particular box was enough to do the whole door and still have a bit left over. I wiped down the entire inner door with alcohol to make sure it was clean and free of any oils, then proceed to apply the weather seal. It was a bit cool in the garage, so I took the heat gun and heated it up a bit so it would compress easier. Pics #6 and #7. Then a cut the vapor barrier to approximately the right size, stuck it to the weather cord, then trimmed. Very easy process. Pic #8. I had to cut the vapor barrier for the door latch mechanism and the slot for the arm rest rod. Before you apply the vapor barrier, be sure to clean out the bottom of door, make sure the drain holes are clear and that nothing is left in there to clog them up. I also cleaned and re-lubed the window regulator. When the vapor barrier was trimmed, it was just a matter of re-installing the door panel, door latch dressing and new window crank handle, buffer and spring that goes between the door skin and door panel. Window Crank and Trimmings Another step that a lot of people ignore and leave out. So, with the drivers side door finished, I couldn’t be more happy with the results. Buying quality parts, this wasn’t a cheap project, but well worth it. It looks so much better, it’s functional and it’s a very satisfying project. I cheated a little and started on the passenger door. Wanted to start on it while everything was fresh in my mind. It’s much easier second time around, you already know what to look for. I got the passenger side door striped down, vent window taken apart and fixed the interior light switch on the passenger side, it just needed the contact cleaned up. Hard telling how long it’s been since it last worked. Tomorrow night, I plan to clean the door and start installing the new rubber. I’m hoping that I have the same luck as I did on the drivers door. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 1
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 2
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 3
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 5 Final

Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 3

Vent Window PinVent Window PinVent Window PinLock KnobsNot a lot happening this evening to this project, but I did get the last order to complete this project. I had originally ordered the vent window pins from Jbugs.com but I wasn’t really happy with them. They didn’t feel like aluminum, more like brass, they even have a brass hue to them. Pic #1. I installed one yesterday on the drivers side vent window, but wasn’t happy with it, it looked tacky. I had also ordered 2 vent window pins from wagen-werks.com along with original looking lock knobs. In pic #4 above, the knob on the left is what I ordered from Jbugs.com, the one on the right is the one I ordered from wagen-werks.com. The one from wagen-werks.com looks much better, just like the original on the 1968. Anyhow, I drilled out the vent window pin that I installed yesterday and installed the new. Not only did it install much easier, it looks so much better and it “mushroomed” perfectly using the tool that I bought. Pics #2 and #3. That’s it for tonight. I still need to make a trip to Lowes to get everything I need for the vapor barrier on the drivers door, then it’s time to start on the passenger door.

Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 1
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 2
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 4
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 5 Final

Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 2

Door Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh Continues
Door Refresh Continues
Door Refresh ContinuesDoor Refresh ContinuesOne thing I forgot to mention in the first post was removing the door check rod (the rod that’s anchored to the body pillar with a pin and keeps the door from opening too far. Refer to pic #1) and replacing the rubber bumper. Refer to pic #1. Again, this differs from year to year. You have to remove the pin that connects the rod to the body pillar anyhow to replace the rubber door seal. Once you remove the pin that’s held in with a C clip, you can slide the rod out through the door towards the inside. Tonight I got the rivets installed to secure the new vent latch to the vent window frame. Pic #2. Then I reinstalled the vent window into the frame. I used some WD40 on the shaft that runs through the rubber and vent window frame to make it easier to install. WD40 and soapy water will be your best friend during this project. I also removed the retaining plate that secures the rod of the vent window to the frame, it’s held in place with a 10mm bolt. Makes reinstalling the window into the frame much easier. It’s also a good time to apply some grease to the rod of the vent window so it’ll spin easily. Once the vent window is installed you’ll have to replace the mushroom rivet that connects the top of the vent window to the vent window frame. Pic #4. Whether you use a rivet or a bolt, don’t forget the washer that separates these two pieces. The rivets I ordered came with the washers. I bought a tool that’s used to compress the mushroom rivets. Rivet Tool For Vent WindowIt did an ok job, but I think it would’ve worked better if the rivet was aluminum. The rivet that I ordered was much harder than aluminum (or at least it seems to be) and it was much harder to compress and flare. The tool helped get it started, then I reverted to a hammer and vice to finish the job. It wasn’t terribly hard, but you’ll have to be a little creative to see what’s best for you. Of course the easiest thing to do is to use a little bolt and nut. It’s up to you. Now it was time to reinstall the vent window assembly. I’ll be honest with you, a little cussing was involved. You’ll have to be careful not to slide it around too much, you’ll scratch your paint and new aluminum on the outside scrapers. That’s why it’s important to remember how you got it out. What I did was to lube up the rubber on the end of the scrapers where the vent window frame has to slide down through the door. On the inner scraper, I pulled the rubber flap back and out of the way so the frame would slide down through the door without pinching the rubber. Then it’s just a matter of pushing the vent window assembly towards the front of the door. It’ll be tight with the new rubber, but not hard at all. If everything is lined up properly, the screw hole at the top of the vent window frame should line up with the threads in the top of the door. Don’t forget to reinstall the screw that secures it. Gasket and Seal Upgrade Then reinstall the bolt the secures the pillar of the vent window to the door. Refer to pic #3, #4, #5 and #6. Now you can take the piece of rubber that you folded back on the inner scraper and slide it back down between the vent window pillar and the door skin. At this point, I reinstalled the door check rod with the new bumper and secured it with the pin and C clip. Only thing left tonight was to reinstall the window. With the vent window back in place, I secured the heavy felt channel from the top of the vent window pillar, along the top and side of the door, down to the last clip in inside of the door. I used new clips that came with the door kit, some people reuse the ones that they removed. Either way, with the help of a rubber mallet, it installed without issue, you don’t have to hit it hard. Once I slid the glass behind the regulator, it was just a matter of pushing it up through the new scrapers then securing it to the regulator. You’ll appreciate an extra set of hands for this step. Make sure all of your bolts are buttoned up, throw the window crank handle on and give it a try. It will be tight! I sprayed everything down with glass cleaner before attempting to row up the window, you’ll want it lubricated well or you risk damaging your window regulator. The only thing I have left to do on this door is to reinstall a vapor barrier. I need to make a trip to Lowes or Home Depot tomorrow to get supplies. Once the vapor barrier is in place, I’ll replace the door panel and install he new hardware for the window crank handle, then off to start on the passenger side door. So far, this project hasn’t been terribly hard. It’s not something you want to be in a rush with, use the right tools for the job and just about anybody can do it. More to follow! Just remember, everything is going to be tight until your new seals compress and conform. Nothing a few warm days in the sun won’t take care of.

Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 1
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 3
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 4
Door and Window Gasket and Seal Replacement Part 5 Final

More Bits and Before Pics

More BitsBefore Door Seal ReplacementBefore Door Seal ReplacementBefore Door Seal ReplacementBefore Door Seal ReplacementBefore Door Seal ReplacementBefore Door Seal ReplacementBefore Door Seal ReplacementBefore Door Seal ReplacementReceived some more bits for the door refresh project. New lock knobs and gasket along with the two mushroom rivets for the vent windows. I also took some before pics, but plan to take more when I start the project. I really wanted to get started on it tonight, but it’s just too cold in the garage. We have some warm days coming up, so maybe I can get started on it soon.