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I am about to order new door and A-Pillar seals for our '72 350SL.

Other than the seals, are there any other parts needed to attach the seals? ( I saw something called an install plug on one website)

Any suggestions as to the best source for the rubber parts. Two I have found are Autohouse Arizona and OEMEURODIRECT.COM - I have dealt with Arizona, but not the other one.

Graham
 

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D E A L E R

I am about to order new door and A-Pillar seals for our '72 350SL.

Other than the seals, are there any other parts needed to attach the seals? ( I saw something called an install plug on one website)

Any suggestions as to the best source for the rubber parts. Two I have found are Autohouse Arizona and OEMEURODIRECT.COM - I have dealt with Arizona, but not the other one.

Graham
Dealer parts will actually fit.
 

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I got excellent lower door seals from World Upholstery, I think they were OEM, but the car is about 300 miles away right now, so I can't check:

Mercedes W107 450SL,380SL, 560SL, convertible top:

and they're actually quite simple to replace. You'll need a good weatherstripping sealant and as long as you're careful with the white plastic plugs when you remove them, you should be able to reuse them. The plugs are likely a couple bucks a piece at the dealer.

I have no idea about the A-pillar seal, although I have heard they are extremely challenging to replace. If you tackle this, please consider doing a step-by-step thread on this forum (w/pics).

Good luck!

KTT
 

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I am about to order new door and A-Pillar seals for our '72 350SL.
Get the A pillar seals from the dealer. I've been down this road, and aftermarket seals there will just be a frustration. The original MB seals are very soft, flexible rubber and they're hollow. Aftermarket seals are harder rubber, and most of them are solid. You won't get a proper seal and it can be difficult to close the door with the window rolled all the way up using aftermarket seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have read about the difference in flexibility between the MB seals and the aftermarket seals.

But, there is a BIG difference in cost, so I would like to be sure the aftermarket seals won't work.

For example, from World Upholstery, the door seals cost $100 each and the pillar seals $120 each - Total of $440.00!

Millars have then for $95 and $75 - Total $340.

OEMDirect has seals priced at $40.99 and $34.99 and Autohaus Arizona $41.89 and $38.40. $152 - $161 Total.

So, quite a range of prices.

I hear what you guys are saying about flexibility and fit. But, at $440, I probably won't change the seals. Existing ones are cracked and look unsightly, but otherwise cause no problems. At $161.00, I would change them.

So, Has ANYONE had success using the lower cost aftermarket seals? OR, does anyone have a lower cost source for the real thing?
 

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Get the A pillar seals from the dealer. I've been down this road, and aftermarket seals there will just be a frustration. The original MB seals are very soft, flexible rubber and they're hollow. Aftermarket seals are harder rubber, and most of them are solid. You won't get a proper seal and it can be difficult to close the door with the window rolled all the way up using aftermarket seals.
I second that! I've had problems with aftermarket "A" pillar seals, hard top door glass seals, and soft top rear lid seals. The biggest problem with the aftermarket I've found is that they are not flexible enough, with some parts of a seal being extremely hard and other areas somewhat soft. It looks like when two dissimilar areas or corners need to be joined, they use a hard rubber connection. This does not work well on these cars. The seals on this car need to be soft and plyable all the way around to conform, especially on the glass.

It's a crap shoot if you will get the aftermarket seals to work or not. I have on some and not on others. Save yourself a lot of aggrevation and go for Mercedes-Benz OEM and not the aftermarket. The cheap seals don't save you any money when they don't work and you need to buy OEM anyway. You get what you pay for in this case.

I just don't understand why a company is willing to pay the cost to make tooling to remanufacture a part but they don't make it exactly like the original so that it will actually work as intended.
 

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I recently bought an OEM trunk seal from World Upholstery and compared it to the aftermarket door seals I have (also from World Uph). It's certainly true that the OEM product is softer (to their credit, World Uph is very candid about the difference on the website and over the phone). The OEM color is actually gray, too, not black. I've come to the conclusion that it does make a difference in overall fit -- for example, I think the doors should shut tight with a gentle swing, and sometimes with aftermarket seals, they do not because the seals have too much bounce in them. That's a small thing, I know, but once you add up all the small things, you might start to regret a few. From now on, I think I'm OEM-man (at least for all seals).
 

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About the seals what did you guys remove them with and what kind of glue?? did or should you use???

Any pics of work in progress would be good too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
About the seals what did you guys remove them with and what kind of glue?? did or should you use???

Any pics of work in progress would be good too.
I had a look at the shop manual and it does not provide much help on how to change these seals.

Pictures would be great, but if someone has or could describe the procedure step by step it would be great - likely become a Sticky. Several of seem to be doing this this year.

Graham
 

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Pictures would be great, but if someone has or could describe the procedure step by step it would be great
There's not that much to it.

Pull the window seal out of the channel and leave it hanging. Get something soft enough to not scratch the trim pieces, yet strong enough to peel back the rubber and hold it. I used a teflon spatula - be prepared to replace it with groveling and abject apologies when the voice comes yelling out from the kitchen demanding to know where the hell the good spatula went. On the trim coming down the front of the A pillar, pull back the rubber and remove the four phillips head screws holding it in place. Keep careful track of these, they're stainless steel and it's a bear to find new ones. Pull the trim and old rubber piece off.

There are two approaches you can take to put the new seal on. Install the outside windshield side first, or install the inside window seal side first. I tried both and had by far the fewest problems installing the window seal side first, so that's how I'll write this.

Look at the new A pillar seal. Depending on the type, it may or may not have a little plastic button at the bottom of the window seal piece. If it does, line it up with the hole on your car, press it into place, then start working the seal so the back of the seal is pressed into the channel. Be very careful lining up the top of the seal to match the top of the A pillar. Then use your teflon spatula to slowly work from the bottom up, pressing the front side of the window seal into place in the channel. You're 1/8 done.

Now it gets fiddly, so take a deep breath, think zen thoughts and become one with your car. That will make it easier to resist the temptation to scream and drop something heavy through the windshield when you get frustrated.

Look at the thin flap hanging down the front of the car and compare it to the aluminum channel. See the little pocket the channel has to slide into? Did you get the good quality seals that have the screw holes already cut out? If not, you'll regret it. See the little raised rib of rubber? That has to be pressed into the tiny channel on the aluminum trim. If it isn't done properly, the side view on your A pillar won't look right and you'll have to redo it. So, open up that rubber sleeve and do your best to slide the aluminum trim piece into it. Take your time. Line up the screw holes in the seal with the screw holes in the metal. Put the screws in place to kind of hold things together and start at the top of the metal channel and start screwing in the first screw. Don't tighten it. If things are still holding together, start the second screw. Don't tighten that one, either. Use your teflon spatula to position the seal between the aluminum trim and the A pillar on your car. Line that rubber ridge up so it's set to go into the channel. Tighten the screws a little bit and readjust the seal with your spatula. Keep doing this, slowly working the trim piece tighter to the car and keeping the seal in place. Once you have both top screws reasonably snug (not all the way tightened), work your way down and start on the next screw, using the same process. Keep going until you've got all the screws in, the seal held in place and things are looking good. Start back at the top and give the screws the final twist to really seat them.

Another deep breath, more zen thoughts, maybe a shot of whiskey and then your mind is ready to cope with the thought of tackling the other side of the car.
 

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"Another deep breath, more zen thoughts, maybe a shot of whiskey and then your mind is ready to cope with the thought of tackling the other side of the car."

That's why I've only done one side - its been about a year now! Maybe this spring I'll do the other one. Thanks for the write up Scott.

Recent post on same subject: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1368957-weather-stripping.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There's not that much to it.
.
Now that I look at the seals and the car at same time, I see how it is supposed to work.

I could be tempted into cutting the new seals and just installing the rear side in the channel with a little sealant to hold it in place and join the top.. Why wouldn't this work?

But, I will probably do the whole thing - I see a small slit on the windshield side.

Did you do anything to soften up the seals before installation? Such as soak in warm water? Or use any lubricant like, say, soapy water to help get the seal in the channel?

Graham
 

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I could be tempted into cutting the new seals and just installing the rear side in the channel with a little sealant to hold it in place and join the top.. Why wouldn't this work?
I'd worry about leaks when the soft top is up, but it's your car.

Did you do anything to soften up the seals before installation? Such as soak in warm water? Or use any lubricant like, say, soapy water to help get the seal in the channel?
No need. The seals are very soft (at least they should be) and they slip right into the channel without a hitch. The part that's difficult is that front trim piece and a softer seal would make that worse, not better.
 

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I'd worry about leaks when the soft top is up, but it's your car.
Not going that way, because seals are cracked on windshield side anyway.

No need. The seals are very soft (at least they should be) and they slip right into the channel without a hitch. The part that's difficult is that front trim piece and a softer seal would make that worse, not better.
I was thinking about soaking then in warm water overnight - just to get the rubber to "relax" and get rid of the kinks after being scrunched in packages for too long.

Re lubing - I pulled old seals out and then put them back - They didn't exactly "slip" in. If the new ones are tight, I might try some soapy water. If not, so much the better :thumbsup:

I was going to do them tonight, but have to do my taxes :help:

Maybe tomorrow when light will be better anyway. Might try and take some pictures. :)
 
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