My 404C resto begins!

You seem to taking 1 step forward and 1step backwards at the moment. I want to see this car finished and on the road before this forum closes at the end of the year
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
I took the advantage of the current pause in work to clean the old door seals. The new replicas available these days are too thick and press too hard against the doors when shut and because the rubber of the originals seems to be in decent condition, I thought I'd spend a few hours cleaning one up to see if my plan to reuse them would pay off....

Before:
Dirty-seal.jpg


Before (inside the seal where the metal clips are placed):
Inside-dirty-seal.jpg


After:
Cleaned-door-seal.jpg


After (inside the seal where the metal clips are placed):
Inside-cleaned-seal.jpg


Thanks to Jérôme Roussel in France for giving me 1.5 metres of metal clip strips, to replace the 1.5 metres of my originals that rusted to FeO2 powder in the 5 years these seals from 1975 were on the car, and the car on the road. These will all be de-rusted and electroplated in Cadmium and painted, then reinserted into the seals.
Door-Seal-metal.jpg


As I noted, the seals were bought by the previous owner in 1975 at Jay's British and European Motors - I still have the invoice - and they were on this daily driven car for five years. After that the car was in a garage and so the rubber is truly in excellent condition. Three hours or maybe a bit more with Flitz polish turned them from a rusted, dirty mess into what appears to be nearly new and very soft and supple rubber!

After a good wash with a nail brush, the cleaned seal was treated with this Würth stuff and wow did it make a huge difference!
Rubber-treatment.jpg


The door-mounted striker plates are not as good looking as they should be so they too will be replated when the seal clips are done.

It seems that the spare connecting rod bolts I have are a bit too short so I'll be ordering a couple of sets from Europe shortly.
 

Dano

Member
1000+ Posts
The new replicas available these days are too thick and press too hard against the doors when shut
So true Mike.
Contemplating buying another set of rubbers and trim them down by a few millimetres. How hard is it to replicate a rubber profile? The back right door on Keith is so far out, I constantly get told by people my back door is open.....
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
I wonder about that - maybe there's a maker in Australia? Could be expensive though, without a large production run.

This seal of the 404C is a rather odd moulding with a double open U-channel and a single lip for the door seal rather than a loop. This is the problem with the newer seals too, as you point out: the rear of the door sticks out too far and the door handle button is brutally difficult to depress in some cases....and then if the clip strips are like these, you'd need to find a supplier for them too.
 
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I wonder about that - maybe there's a maker in Australia? Could be expensive though, without a large production run.

This seal of the 404C is a rather odd moulding with a double open U-channel and a single lip for the door seal rather than a loop. This is the problem with the newer seals too, as you point out: the rear of the door sticks out too far and the door handle button is brutally difficult to depress in some cases....and then if the clip strips are like these, you'd need to find a supplier for them too.
I replaced the door seals on my 504 cab with similar ones from a rubber store [clark rubber] and they were ok after the doors were shut with a bit of force. The doors looked ok and didnt stick out when shut. Then i saw on Der Franzose they had original rubbers for 504 cc ,so i ordered some. when i fitted them the result was the same. Still the same force needed to shut the doors.After a few years the force needed is still the same.
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
The one rubber i havnt been able to obtain is the boot [trunk] seal. The lid sits too high with anything i have tried.
I got door seals from Comptoir de la Carrosserie and they were WAY to high for the doors of the 404C. I would not think the trunk (boot) seal would go any better from them, unless someone else with a 504C can confirm success with it.

The trunk seal was another issue with the 404C - years ago I bought a replica seal from Le Club 404 and it was far too stiff a rubber and those who mounted it noted that it made the lid sit too high. I got another given to me some years later by Petter Teuffel in Germany (Loewenland24.de) and it is PERFECT. Peter may also have one for the 504C. Check his site.
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
The metal seal clips and door strikers are at the plating shop as of Wednesday. I also bought a set of eight connecting rod bolts from Joern Haarmann in Germany at 5 Euros a piece. Hope to get the bolts and the plated parts back around the same time, in a couple of weeks. I've lso ordered some more Flitz polishing compound, which is what I used copious amounts of in cleaning the first door seal.
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
Today I got a rebuilt Hydrovac booster from Todd Langton, Le Club 404's USA representative.

Rebuilt Hydrovac.jpeg


I'm the Canadian representative of the club but Todd has more stuff! He bought this apparently unused NOS unit, which nevertheless had surface rust, several years ago, and had it rebuilt by White Post Restorations in Virginia in 2018.

The unit in my car was NOS in 1993 when I bought it, probably made around 1970, never rebuilt, but mounted on the car with brake fluid and all for 20 years. I was pretty silly to think it would work after all these years.

When the engine is out in October I will remove the unit I bought in 1993 and install this one, and (I hope) successfully bleed the system before reinstalling the engine.
 

Dano

Member
1000+ Posts
Mike,

I am sure you will love the feel of the brakes/booster. So glad I spent the time tracking down the all the parts required. Everyone who has driven the car so far, have commented along the lines of “How good are these brakes"

Cheers,

Dan
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
Today I got the door striker plates back from Victoria plating as well as the metal track for the original door seals. Cadmium on steel. My wife's the one who told me the striker plates were not up to the same standard as the rest of the car, so credit to her for this one!
I have 647 cm of the tracking and 698 cm is needed to fill it all. So the shortfall of 51 cm will be dealt with by putting fewer smaller bits of clamping spaced well out under the part of the seal that's clamped into place by the stainless steel trim piece at the lower sill.
plated striker plates and track.jpeg
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
Got one of the two door seals done - replated clips are inserted into the rubber! Original part from 1975 (replaced then) and will be installed to replace the ill-fitting modern replacements shortly.

Now I have to do the other side - clean the rust residue from the rubber then insert the plated clip strips.
Passenger door seal assembled.jpeg
 

Dano

Member
1000+ Posts
Looks good Mike, your attention to detail is certainly top shelf. Your first drive will be a memorable moment for sure.
Cheers
Dan
 

Mike Tippett

Member
1000+ Posts
I thought the new rubber would come with new clips already inserted.
This rubber was new in 1975. It's better quality than the new stuff that's all moulded together and that newer stuff is so thick it prevents the doors from seating properly. The removable steel clip strips rust out over time. This is visible in post #525 if you're interested.
 
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