by Jim Thompson
"I've just installed a new engine perimeter seal, the flat kind with
double rubber edges. I'm bugged by the way it bunches up around the curved
parts of the engine apron (or whatever you call the body piece it attaches
to). The bunching up leads to gaps large enough to stick several fingers
through. Not a good situation for sealing. Am I doing something wrong?"
It's possible. Let's see if it was installed correctly:
The Engine Surround Seal on 56-71 Buses is the same as those used on the 45-66 Beetles and K Ghias. Installation on a Bus/Pickup is a little different than on the Type 1 by doing the following:
Notice that the seal is shaped like a "U". Remove the Rear Apron. Slide one side of the "U" into the slot on the body on the LEFT side of the Engine. Be sure that the double flap of the seal has one flap on top of the Engine Tin and one flap below the Engine Tin. At the end of the slot on the body, take a sharp knife or tin snips and cut the seal. Now take the opposite side of what's left of the "U" seal and repeat the process on the right side of the engine.
What's left over now is a "C" shaped piece that installs into the slot on the Rear Apron. When installing this piece, be sure that it is not "bunched" by forcing all of the rubber into the slot. If the seal is completely in the slot and there is "bunching", pull both ends of the exposed seal to reduce or eliminate the bunching. Do not stretch the seal or in time (and heat), the seal will prematurely deteriorate and you'll haveta replace the darn thing again. Trim any excess seal left over on the ends, but leave enough to overlap the two pieces it mates up to on the left and right side of the engine. Be sure that when you re-install the apron the upper flap goes on top of the Engine Tin and the lower flap below it.
If bunching persists, you may have gotten a poorly made Brazilian
Engine Surround Seal and I've never been able to get them to work right. Use a good quality OEM or better yet a USA Made seal like mine or WCM's.