seal

  • The outer window scrapers on Type 34s are (of course) unique to the model and have been obsolete for many years. With minor alterations Beetle Cabriolet window scrapers (1965–79) are a perfect replacement. They are about 1 inch longer than Type 34 scrapers and just need to be shortened at the forward edge. Installation of these seals requires removal of the vent frame and door windows to gain access to the five screws used to hold the scraper in place.

    Most VW parts suppliers carry (or can order) these window scrapers. The part numbers are 151 837 475D (left) and 151 837 476D (right).

  • If you can't find gaskets to seal your Type 34's headlights to the body (VW Part number 341 941 191 A, part 49 in the diagram above) you can make your own.

     

    This circular seal prevents water from getting into the headlight bucket, which can lead to serious rust. The gasket is the same for both sealed beam and non-sealed beam headlights.

    While the diagram above specifies a 4mm thickness, the original gasket is actually only measures 4mm at its thickest point and tapers to 1mm at the outer edge. If all you can find is flat sheet rubber for your gaskets there may be some trial and error involved in finding the right thickness to achieve a good seal.

     

    When you place your gasket on the car you will notice that it will cover some screw holes and alignment holes. Carefully notch the inner edge of the gasket to clear these holes. Try to remove as little rubber as possible (see below).


     

     

    A good source for sheet rubber is McMaster-Carr Supply Company.

  • Do yourself a favor: after installation of any rubber seal that's going to be exposed to the atmosphere, go to a drug store/pharmacy and purchase a bottle of gylcerine. Use a cotton swab and smear the gylcerine over the rubber, then use a clean soft linen cloth to rub into the surface, and remove the excess. Rub it into the rubber surface well, and do it twice if you have to. Glycerine is very viscous and will attract dust if not carefully rubbed into the rubber surface. Try not to get it on any glass; if you do, use a window cleaner to remove the residue.

    Reproduction rubber can crack in less than one month—particularly where it's under a stress, like at the window corners—especially if you live in an area with high ozone content, such as Los Angeles.

    If you notice a white chalky material on the surface of your rubber products, particularly when first purchased, it's supposed to be there. It's an antioxidant that's placed in the rubber when it's mixed and is doing just what it's supposed to do: bleed to the surface to protect it from ozone contamination. It's easily removed with dishwashing soap. When you remove it, apply glycerine. Do yourself another favor and don't use commercial silicone-based protectants. Silicone is not the answer ton rubber/leather/vinyl surfaces. Most of these products are petroleum based and aren't compatible with silicone. In fact, they will harm rubber over a period of time. Do the gylcerine routine at least once a year, It's no different than protecting your paint by waxing it.

    Zymol Seal is a glycerin-based protectant that, while expensive, is recommended by many detailers. It will not heal cracks, but does seem to give the seals more body and suppleness. Use it sparingly—a little goes a long way! Clean the seals first with a very mild and weak solution of detergent. Remove all the dead rubber and solution. Let it dry thoroughly. Apply the Zymol by working it in with a foam-tipped swab. If you seals are very dry, try leaving Zymol on the surface and let it soak in for 2-3 days before wiping it off.

  • Assemble the windshield off of the car—windshield, then rubber, then trim. Leave off the corner pieces.

    When installing the rubber, stretch the rubber in the center of the window to relieve any tension on the corners. This is important. Do not pull the corners on last, do the top center last, stretching the rubber in the center, only enough to "roll" it into place.

    If you have aftermarket rubber with glued corners, before putting the trim in place, cut any excess glue out of the trim slots. Make certain that the trim slot corner is completely clear, smooth, and unobstructed. Do the same for the body slot. If the glue job has the corner misaligned, you can try to help.

    Another comment about the after market rubber: Cutting the rubber extrusion to make the corner is not a straightforward process. Looking at the extrusion from the side, the cut for the windshield is about 60 degrees. Looking down at the window slot, the cut is NOT 90 degrees. It needs to be less than 90, so that there is more rubber on the outside, or else the corners will tend to come unglued on the outside.

    Put the cord in the body slot of the rubber, ends at the bottom, overlap 3 or 4 inches, then lubricate the cord and the rubber flap of the body slot. Mild dishwashing liquid will do, but there are other things that work. Thick cord is better than thin, for if the cord is like string, it may tend to cut the rubber. I have heard of 12 ga. Insulated wire used for this.

    Lay the assembled glass against the opening, centered. Take your time and be sure it is centered.

    Now you must have a way to keep it centered. It takes THREE people one on each corner to keep the assembly centered and pressed against the opening, and a third inside to pull the rope. If you want to do it with only one person, you need to hold the windshield in place. I use a three inch ratcheting tie down strap, wrapped around the glass and door posts. I hold the strap in place on the glass with some duct tape, so it won"t slide as I tighten it up.

    Pull the rope across the bottom of the windshield, pulling the rubber flap to the inside of the car. Take your time. Pull evenly, so both sides install at the same time. As you reach the corners, you may want something like a cotter key tool to help draw the rubber flap inside. Before continuing to pull the rope up the door posts, get outside and use your hands to "slap" the windshield down and seat it in the opening. Don"t be timid, the glass is stronger than you think. This step is important.

    The rest is easy. Pull the chord up the door posts. Go outside occasionally and "slap" the glass to seat it. Pull the chord across the top. Install the corner trim pieces, and wash off the excess soap.

    I have probably done as much windshield and backglass work on Type 34s as anybody. Troubles come from not keeping the assembly centered when installing. Only two people with a new seal and no other help will have trouble. It takes three people, or some other method to keep the glass in place.

    As you pull the cord, it is important to seat the assembly against the body, by pushing in and down. The VW shop manual recommends the "slapping" method, and it works.

    Dry installation can be trouble. Lubrication helps to assure that the cord will not cut the rubber. It also helps the rubber fully seat on the body.

    If you have the time, let the assembly sit in the sun for a while, even a week. It will help to mold the rubber to the glass. Some people think this helps a lot. It is probably better that the rubber be warmer than colder, but I have put them straight in on a cool day.

    Tim Dapper