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Old 08-21-2020, 09:31 PM   #1
BoxCar Tom
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Default hard rubber

I have some NOS 32 3w window rubber bumpers. I have them for ever. Trouble is they are rock solid. Is there any to revive them? Thanks,
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:45 PM   #2
Will D
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Default Re: hard rubber

Try soaking in "protectant 303" it does wonders for dried out rubber. Not 100% if it would soften them but worth a try.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: hard rubber

I've heard that Lanolin softens rubber, might be worth a try, if the link below don't work
Here's a link of what I found on the Net...

https://sciencing.com/restore-natura...s-7593605.html




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Old 08-22-2020, 07:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: hard rubber

If all else fails, there are exact reproductions of those bumpers available.
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Old 08-22-2020, 10:35 PM   #5
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Bleach will soften rubber also.
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Old 08-24-2020, 05:42 PM   #6
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Dave, I feel like a complete out to lunch sleepy head. I didn't know they are available and I can't find them. Who has them?
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:25 PM   #7
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Tom,
There were two different types, one with a slope to it and the other without a slope. One type fits in the door lip and the in the garnish molding facing the glass. Bob Drake has both in his online catalog and they're in stock; his part numbers are: B-7021444 and B-7021452.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: hard rubber

Will D, Lanny, Pete, Thanks for the suggestions. Ill give it a try see what happens.

Dave, Thanks for the info. Finding them in the Drake online catalog was difficult, when it rains it pours, also found them in Mac's
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: hard rubber

Have to agree with David, They are available reproduction cheap.. We stock them as well..

https://thirdgenauto.com/product/193...mper-set-of-4/

and...

https://thirdgenauto.com/product/193...pers-set-of-4/

the rounded versions are typically used on the door frame and the sloped versions on the Garnish mouldings.
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Old 09-04-2020, 10:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: hard rubber

Went rummaging around for something with lanolin, Found some STP hand cleaner. Soaked the bumpers for a few hrs. Went from rock hard to soft and supple. Again, thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:58 AM   #11
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Default Re: hard rubber

Dot 3 with glycol ether base is good for softening rubber. It's formula helps the rubber piston seals last for a long time in brake systems.

Depending on how much carbon black and sulfur are mixed into the rubber, the rubber products can be from a soft rubber to a very hard rubber that is almost like plastic. Rubber bumpers are likely somewhere in the middle to the hard side.
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Old 09-05-2020, 01:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: hard rubber

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
Dot 3 with glycol ether base is good for softening rubber. It's formula helps the rubber piston seals last for a long time in brake systems.

Depending on how much carbon black and sulfur are mixed into the rubber, the rubber products can be from a soft rubber to a very hard rubber that is almost like plastic. Rubber bumpers are likely somewhere in the middle to the hard side.

The term plastic is ambiguous, the definition taking in a number of very different materials having an initial ability to be malleable. One characteristic of most plastics and rubber products is their vulnerability to oxidation and other chemical attack, and to UV, all of which causes out-gassing. If initially encased in protective coatings, the out-gasing can be prevented or slowed down, however, no process or product can restore chemicals that have been lost to out-gassing unless the manufactured product is able to be re-melted and reformulated with the restorative compound. Failing that ability, what can be done is a softening of the outer surface, while lacking penetration to the interior in proportions of as original. Plastic headlight lenses is another example of possible restoration, which entails the removal of the outgassed surface, followed by an application of a protective coating.
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Old 09-05-2020, 03:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: hard rubber

If you ever had a hard rubber comb, you will know what I meant by that statement about "almost like plastic".

Now days we have so many different elastomer compounds that it's hard to keep up with them all. When I mention rubber it can mean real natural rubber compound or a nitrile or buna N synthetic type rubber compound so I know about ambiguous. The old NOS stuff would not have had a very long shelf life unless it was made with a synthetic elastomer. Natural rubbers tend to deteriorate relatively fast when open to the elements. Just the ozone elements of the air we breath can cause deterioration of natural and some synthetic rubber compounds. Fluorocarbon and fluorosilicone are the longest lasting elastomers that I'm aware of but I doubt if any parts like the ones in question are made from such compounds.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 09-05-2020 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:31 PM   #14
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In the early 50's bleach was found to soften tire rubber. A big problem was the tire surface had to be soaked for almost a week for the bleach to penetrate deep enough to do any good on the track. Even then it was only good for qualifying and the dash before the treated surface was scrubbed off. We had to change tires between the dash and the heat race. It didn't take long for the various racing associations to outlaw the practice. It did gain us 2 tenths on a 1/4 mile track though.
Almost all racing associations have spec tires now and they are checked with a durometer.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: hard rubber

I have to put control arm bushing seals for my old Mercury cars on by soaking them in solvent overnight. The are way too small to fit until setting in solvent for about 12-hours. They swell up quite a bit from the solvent but after they have been installed, they will take a set to the new size without problems as long as I keep them greased. The eventually will go back to their original set but as long as they don't split & fall off, I'm a happy camper.

I does take a while for certain chemicals to permeate the rubber. Don't you just love that foreign made stuff. Harbor freight stores always smell like rubber when you go in there.
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