Vehicle restorations can take many forms, from minor works such as rust repair or replacing seals to a full strip-down and rebuilds.

For many car enthusiasts restoring a classic car to its former glory can have varying degrees of success. What started as a fun project can quickly turn into months of research, headaches, and costly mistakes. Many enthusiasts turn to specialist companies with years of experience to get their automotive restoration project back on track.

The Opportunity & Challenge: Creating a greater compression seal whilst retaining the classic look

Not long ago, a vehicle restoration company contacted Silicone Engineering to replace seals on classic VW transporters. The iconic VW transporter was first introduced in 1949 and then went into its first production in 1950 and is now in its 71st year.

The seals the company was looking to replace sat in the channel around the door, and tailgate openings on a classic VW split screen transporters. The two profiles acted as compression seals when the doors were closed. The company was looking to replace an existing door and tailgate seal with one that was softer than the original. They thought the seal would benefit from being softer than the original seal.

The material did not require any high technical specifications, but good weathering and Ozone resistance was necessary due to the exposure and general weathering the seal would encounter.

Additionally, the colour of the seal was significant for their customers as the VW transporters needed to have the same aesthetic as when manufactured initially.

The Solution: expanSil™ GP 250 profile, with a grey colour match

The company provided Silicone Engineering with a sample of the current seal. The sample was then passed on to our laboratory team, who were tasked to gauge the seal’s current density and then suggest a softer grade seal with the same properties.

Because the company required the seal to be softer but have excellent Ozone and weathering characteristics, our engineers suggested our expanSil™ GP 250 colour matched to a specific grey.

Following this, our marketing team dispatched a GP 250 sponge extrusion sample for the customer to feel before they committed to the order. The sample was accepted and the order placed with the expanSil™ profile seal operating as a door seal and tailgate seal within the classic VW transporters.

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