Porsche Parts Catalog Porsche Accessories Catalog Porsche Technical Articles Porsche Tech Forums
 
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
The $8 Rear Targa Top Seal Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

The $8 Rear Targa Top Seal Replacement

Demick Boyden

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$8

Talent:

**

Tools:

Permatex super weatherstrip adhesive #82, X-acto knife, Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Porsche 914 (1970-76)

Parts Required:

Rubber garage door bottom seal

Performance Gain:

Your 914 targa top will seal properly and won't leak

Complementary Modification:

Replace your windshield wiper blades
So your rear targa top seal is in bad shape huh? Mine was missing a 6" section out of it ever since I bought the car. However, since the replacement seal costs over $200, buying a new one was never really an option - especially since the seal is not really important for keeping water out.

I looked for generic seal cross sections for one that might work for this application for quite a while, but never found one that I thought would work well (actually, you need 2 different cross sections). So I went to the hardware store and found a cross section that I thought I could make a gasket out of. Here's how:

First, study the old gasket: The targa top seal is a big U shaped gasket (not in cross section, but in overall shape), which attaches to the targa top rear edge and seals the targa top to the roll bar. The long segment goes the WIDTH of the targa top (I will refer to this as the long segment). Two ~6" short segments attach at right angles to the long segment (I will refer to these as the short segments). The cross sections of the two segments are quite different from one another. I looked pretty extensively to try to find a generic rubber seal cross section that I could buy that would be close enough to substitute for the OEM seal, but didn't find anything - so I decided to try to create the cross sections myself.

The materials that I used are (Figure 1): Contact cement, Permatex super weather strip adhesive #82, and a rubber garage door bottom seal (brand name ‘MD' part number 03723). I picked up the garage door seal at the local hardware store for $8 for a 9 foot length. Be sure to get the rubber type (actually foam rubber) because they offer the same product in a plastic style, which is way too stiff. You've probably already got some contact cement around and EVERY 914 owner should already have a tube of weather strip adhesive, so total cost for this seal ends up being only $8.

With the garage door seal, we need to create 2 different cross sections: one cross section for the long segment (Figure 2) and for the short segments (Figure 3). The original cross section of the garage door seal is shown in Figure 4. The new cross sections that you need to create are shown in Figure 5 (cross section of short segments on left, cross section of the long segment on the right). This is done simply by gluing the seal with contact cement. For the short segments, the seal is bent and glued in one direction. For the long segment, the seal is bent and glued in the opposite direction. Cut a couple of 1 foot or so lengths and experiment with creating these cross sections. The 9 feet of garage door seal is almost twice as much as you will actually need, so take advantage and experiment - your final seal will come out much better if you do.

Pictures of gluing up the long and short segments are shown in Figure 6 and Figure 7 respectively. Once these segments have been created, you need to connect them together to make a single seal (original seal corner is shown in Figure 8). Study your original seal to see how it goes together, and then cut the corners of the long and short segments to go together in the same way (Figure 9). Be sure not to glue the two flat surfaces together at the corner because the chrome trim tucks into this slot (Figure 10). At the forward end of the short segments, cut off the seal at an angle like your original seal does. You are left with an exposed foam end, which I sealed up using the black weather strip adhesive (Figure 11). Note: In order to get the overall seal dimensions correct, you should custom fit it to your targa top. For instance, the distance between the corners of the seal is very important for a good fit.

Once this is done, you just have to assemble the new seal with the chrome trim to your targa top and put it on the car. Don't worry about trying to punch holes for mounting ahead of time, the mounting screws will easily penetrate the new seal. Figure 12 shows the new seal attached to the targa top and Figure 13 shows the targa top with the new seal on my ‘I really need a wash' 914. This new seal will be much tighter seal than your old tired one so you may have to press down on the targa top to get the rear clips to engage. My new seal has only been on the car for about a month, so I don't have any idea on how long it will last (loses it's elasticity), but so far it's been great!

Be sure and drop me a note if you used this article and made your own seal (demick@engr.sgi.com).

Materials Required
Figure 1

Materials Required

Long Segment Cross Section
Figure 2

Long Segment Cross Section

Short Segment Cross Section
Figure 3

Short Segment Cross Section

Cross-Section of Garage Door Seal
Figure 4

Cross-Section of Garage Door Seal

New Cross Sections
Figure 5

New Cross Sections

Gluing Short Segment
Figure 6

Gluing Short Segment

Gluing Long Segment
Figure 7

Gluing Long Segment

Original Seal Corner
Figure 8

Original Seal Corner

Cut Corners
Figure 9

Cut Corners

Seal Slot
Figure 10

Seal Slot

Black Weatherstrip Adhesive Seal
Figure 11

Black Weatherstrip Adhesive Seal

Targa Top Seal Installed
Figure 12

Targa Top Seal Installed

Targa Top with New Seal
Figure 13

Targa Top with New Seal

Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
Joe Comments: So how do I go about ordering a 16 ft section of the picture attached.
April 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure what that is a photo of.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jerlle Comments: I found some foam rubber seals on McMaster Carr http://www.mcmaster.com/#rubber-seals/=q5ha9x that look like they can be closely matched. The only thing needed is the original dimensions and gluing the corners together. Should cut out a lot of the cross section fabrication without a price increase.

My seal is either not original or is smashed down so that the driver side rear latch will not stay at all and the passenger rear latch is "iffy" at best. Does anyone know what are the approximate dimensions for each part of the cross section? Using the A and B dimensions in the link above for "Style 2" cross section should avoid any confusion. Thanks!
January 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I do not know the dimensions. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question - Nick at Pelican Parts  
al Comments: Great article. Bought homemade one on ebay. Wrong move!
Will use your instructions today. Only difference is I have a premium camper top gasket with the proper width and should require a minimum of modification. Plan to post the results if sucessful.
August 31, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Project/Wish List]
  [Privacy Statement]  [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc. -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page

Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:16:21 AM