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Concours Corner: Rubber Strip Conditioning
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Concours Corner: Rubber Strip Conditioning

Bev Frohm

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)
Second in a Series...

     Last time we talked about washing your car. This month I would like to discuss how to keep your rubber parts looking fresh.

     Every car I have ever owned has needed a little TLC, from time to time, on the rubber stripping both inside and outside. You know the look; light gray, maybe some water spots or a powdery look etc.. The California sun and water can be treacherous for rubber. Washing the car again won't remedy the problem. Recently, purchased a new car and already I have those wonderful little telltale signs on my rubber window stripping.

     There are a few ways to get rid of these and I will tell you some pro's and con's. Now these are products I have tried and either kept or threw away. There may be some of you out there who have had luck with a certain brand or product, write us and let us know what you experience has been. It is all personal preference!

     Vaseline - A BIG No-No! First of all this is a petroleum product and will do the opposite of what you are try to achieve. It dries out the rubber over time! On top of that it is slick looking and gets all over the place.

     Armour All - This product's has had some controversy for a while now. Some people swear by it and others tell tales of woe. Personally, I do not use it. On your rubber it will give a shinny slick look, unless you put it on and then wipe it off. It doesn't last very long either, your first wash you'll see a discoloration on the rubber. Some light gray spots etc., so you have to use the product again to get rid of them - hopefully.

     Black Wax - I do not think this product is available any longer. I used to use this on the bumpers and tires. It was too difficult to use on rubber stripping, as you had to rub it off just like wax. It would just be my luck I would be rubbing off the wax on the stripping and take half the stripping off because I got into my work too much.

     Black Chrome - This is my current product of choice. It gives the rubber a satin look and does not come off with the first washing. It is also a wax base, so it protects the rubber from the elements. I have also used it on the rubber bumpers (the hard rubber on the older 911's) with some success, but I use another product on those now. I have also used it on the gray plastic you find in the older 911 & 912's. It will bring life to the plastic without giving it that slick phony look.

     Pledge - You can close your mouth now. Many of us in the Concours circle use Pledge, but not for rubber stripping. Remember those funky rubber bumpers I mentioned above? Well Pledge does a great job on those, as well as the seats (not leather) in the car.

     Meguiars Rubber Conditioner - I have had some success with this product, but before a show I always go back to the tried and true Black Chrome.

     Now the rubber stripping is not a large area, so apply the product of choice with a Q Tip. You do not have to rub it in hard, just apply the product and then go over it again with a rag or another Q Tip. A word of caution, do not use the Q Tips with the wooden sticks, just one slip and you could tear your rubber and you will be very unhappy if you do that.

     A word of caution for you Targa owners, for the cloth covered side of the Targa there is another product that will do the trick. Do not use any of these on the cloth, it will not look good. Go to a Crafts shop and get a charcoal gray or black fabric paint. I know this sounds crazy, but another Concours person gave me this tip years ago and it works. Mix the fabric paint rather thin and dab it on with a sponge. As with anything, first do a test in a less visible area. The fabric paint work s great! Don't get the metallic black fabric paint though, unless you need a little sparkle in your life.

     How often do you apply the product of choice? This depends on how often your automobile is in the elements. The 911 lives in the garage and I apply the Black Chrome every third show or so. The new car lives outside, so I apply the BC once a month.

Bev Frohm


Bev and Lars Frohm are the owners of 'Bevees, a 1970 911T that has won many concours events in the Southern California regions of PCA.  Their car was chosen by PCNA to represent the 1970 911T at Porsche's 50th Anniversary at Monterey.  Bev is also the web site coordinator for the Orange Coast PCA Region.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Lynlyt Comments: Meguiars ENDURANCE, can't beat this stuff, you can use it on any rubber stripping,tires and last for months.
February 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
cebotech1 Comments: Hi, I thought I should share my secret for keeping the rubber parts looking good. It is a bit retro but works great. I was reading a 356 owner's manual, and in there it mentions that glycerin should be used to maintain the rubber seals. I tried it and it works great and lasts a good time. I apply it liberally with a cotton ball and let it sit over night you can wipe it off immediately if you prefer. Wipe off the excess and it leaves a great looking finish. You can buy glycerin at the pharmacy, walmart, health food store, etc... It only costs about $3 a bottle. Porsche knew what they were doing when they suggested glycerin for the rubber parts.
July 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
backline Comments: Perhaps an other way:
I recently spray painted mine, works for me and they look as new. I did it once before and it will hold for years.
Remove them of the car, have them dust free, clean them with a tinner.
I used Motip black pain.
Satin looks the best, mine are a bit more shiny.
I did it with the bellows also, they look as new.
If you are not sure of the result, try it on the inside first or on the little ones.
April 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jeep Comments: Back to black
March 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the recommendation. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
930 Porsche Comments: The absolute best product for rubber conditioning is 303 Aerospace Protectant. It is available from most RV supply locations. It is the only product that is recommended by any tire manufacturer for use on their tires. It contains no petroleum distillates and actually replaces the lost waxes built into the rubber during manufacture.
October 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jonrok Comments: Surprised I don't see silicone spray on here. Every pro detailer I've known swears by it on exterior rubber/plastic. Lasts for ages, and if you buy it in pure liquid form it's quite economical, though it's difficult to apply to heavy textured parts without thinning and spraying. Wurth makes a silicone spray that's about $12 a can but we call it "make me new spray", cos it's that good. By far the best I've found for any rubber/plastic, especially old grey oxidized rubber that won't turn black no matter what you soak it with. I recently found a local detailer supply shop that formulates their own products: waxes, dressings, soaps, etc. They have something called "magic dressing" that is a white lotion type product, which is petroleum free, safe on leather and everything, and I've found that rubbing in just a little bit by hand will bring some of the oldest oxidized rubber or plastic back to deep black. Seems to work because it's finer viscosity once warmed a bit will absorb into surfaces that nothing else I had would. I work with restoring parts for a living, so I've tried my fair share of products. This is def my favorite. Plus it seems to go a long way if you don't do large surfaces too much. I have the free 2oz sample bottle they gave me still after a month of using it.
I should really get paid for this promotion ;
Anyway the brand on the bottle is "show stopper wax products", 1-866-448-0093; website looks like allcarwax.com it' srubbed off partially. They're in East San Diego. If anyone ends up ordering from them, tell'em Jon G sent you. They don't know me, only been in there once, but if enough people say my name to them, maybe when I go there next I'll say who I am and they'll give me a free bottle of this stuff ;
November 5, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
liv Comments: i use back to black
October 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
79 Euro Comments: I have found Griot's Rubber and Vinyl Dressing to work best for me.
October 15, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ausspeed Comments: For Black Chrome try the site mentioned by BC http://www.turtlewaxuk.com and use the search function to find "Black Chrome"
FG3511 Bottle TB2 300ml
August 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
herbie Comments: tried them all nothing as good as "seal feed" by Swisvax. This leaves a factory style finish, not greasy shiny looking or dull, but as the car left the factory.
www.swissvax.co.uk
February 21, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
BC Comments: http://www.turtlewaxuk.com/results.asp?txttype=Specialist Cleaners# Black Chrome is a turtle wax product
February 17, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Timinoz. Comments: Hi. You definitely need to get hold of a product called Gtechniq C1 or C4. It's a SiO2 Nano product which lasts well over a year with one app. It's UV resistant to boot.
There's nothing better for plastic & rubber trim.
January 15, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
trconway Comments: Black Chrome? I am unable to find any such product. Perhaps the name is different!
July 15, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, I'm not sure. I did a Google search and couldn't find it either. Perhaps it's no longer available? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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