Roof Rail Weatherstrips - which one is the best?

BlueCalais79

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jul 3, 2021
22
8
I need to replace the roof rail weatherstrips on my 1979 Cutlass Calais, does anyone know who has the best product out there for fit, correct look, function, etc. I see the Parts Place has some NOS left hand side pieces for $200, and the re-pop sets are about half to 3/4 of that price.

This is one job I've never done and I'd like to do it once. Any tips on that would be greatly appreciated.

thx.
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,901
113
In my experience, NOBODY has been able to beat genuine GM parts when it comes to roof rail/door/trunk seals. They're normally softer and obviously fit the best. As far as the best aftermarket, I can't tell you. I tried soffseal many moons ago and what a PITA. I swapped them out with NOS GM seals and never looked back. Maybe they're better now, but generally speaking, I've found aftermarkets firmer than the originals.

As for tips...

Some people don't use the recommended 3M black w/s adhesive, and if you don't, eventually the sh*t will pop out. All you need is about an 1/8" squiggle line of adhesive to attach. And get some wide popsicle sticks or better yet, those little wooden taste test spoons they use at grocery stores for those little taste test stations. Rounded corners. Works well for pushing the rubber into the channels.

Make SURE to use the push pins on the ends of the strip. If yours don't come with them, use GM p/n 8731909 or aftermarket equivalent.

I'm suspecting no T-tops, so I'd start with the C-pillar top corner and work my way to the front and then down the C-pillar. Test fit first to ensure you got the seal situated where you want it. Once you have it set in where the "final" fit goes, then pull out the C-channel (vertical) rubber to the top 90 degree corner, and apply adhesive (don't put too much on it) and attach the corner permanently. Then pick an end and work your way along the channel keeping the seal from being bunched up, but don't stretch it. Use finesse. Once at the end, put an adhesive strip along the middle of the strip.
 
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BlueCalais79

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 3, 2021
22
8
Thanx, I agree with you 100% that NOS is the way to go, that's my experience as well.
I will probably pick one of the LH side from The Parts Place despite its cost. And I'll need to play the waiting game for when an NOS RH side comes up for sale. The RH side on the blue Calais is making unbearable with noise at highway speeds. I just got back from taking it to Vermont last weekend and if you don't go 75 on the Mass Pike in the Berkshires you get passed by EVERYONE. The wind noise really sucks at that speed. I've got to get this done. That is the main reason I opted to take my white 1996 Cutlass Supreme to this weekend's OCA Eastern Zone meet instead.

As the saying goes, if the wife says something about it, something needs to be done.
 

JAMCAR223

Royal Smart Person
Jun 6, 2014
1,845
113
Houston, TX.
In my experience, NOBODY has been able to beat genuine GM parts when it comes to roof rail/door/trunk seals. They're normally softer and obviously fit the best. As far as the best aftermarket, I can't tell you. I tried soffseal many moons ago and what a PITA. I swapped them out with NOS GM seals and never looked back. Maybe they're better now, but generally speaking, I've found aftermarkets firmer than the originals.

As for tips...

Some people don't use the recommended 3M black w/s adhesive, and if you don't, eventually the sh*t will pop out. All you need is about an 1/8" squiggle line of adhesive to attach. And get some wide popsicle sticks or better yet, those little wooden taste test spoons they use at grocery stores for those little taste test stations. Rounded corners. Works well for pushing the rubber into the channels.

Make SURE to use the push pins on the ends of the strip. If yours don't come with them, use GM p/n 8731909 or aftermarket equivalent.

I'm suspecting no T-tops, so I'd start with the C-pillar top corner and work my way to the front and then down the C-pillar. Test fit first to ensure you got the seal situated where you want it. Once you have it set in where the "final" fit goes, then pull out the C-channel (vertical) rubber to the top 90 degree corner, and apply adhesive (don't put too much on it) and attach the corner permanently. Then pick an end and work your way along the channel keeping the seal from being bunched up, but don't stretch it. Use finesse. Once at the end, put an adhesive strip along the middle of the strip.
Excellent advise
 

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