1949-1954 GM Trunk Weatherstrip Installation
By Stephen Kassis
Most of the 1949-1954 GM cars used an unusual weatherstrip layout which can be confusing when installing new trunk weatherstrip. The illustration of the trunk shows that there are two different weatherstrips used—one on the decklid and one on the body, by the back window. Note that neither weatherstrip goes all the way around the trunk opening. Instead, the one on the body (close to the back window) runs just a few feet, turns the corners and stops. From this point, the seal on the decklid takes over and completes the ring around the trunk.
The reason for this is that this design keeps the channel on the body open to allow water to shed out of the channel. If weatherstrip were installed in this channel, water would be held there and eventually rust would form.
When installing a weatherstrip kit on these trunks, start by cleaning all contact surfaces thoroughly in order to get the best results. If there are any rusted surfaces, treat with rust inhibiting paint such as POR-15 or Hirsch’s Miracle Paint. Allow to dry completely before installing weatherstrip.
We offer two different kits. One kit has special molded corners which match up to B-161 weatherstrip. 1951-54 models had these special corners (60-511) originally. If you are doing an original show car, these corners are a must. However, if your car is a driver, you can save $$$ by ordering the kits we offer without molded corners. These kits will still seal the trunk up weather-tight without the higher cost.
Begin with the piece on the body by the rear window. Refer to the illustration of B-161. You will see that the left side has a small lip. This lip should face inward to the inside of the trunk. The “C” shaped opening on the right side faces outward. This allows any water to be caught and directed away from the trunk.
To install seals on the decklid, start the seal so that it overlaps the seal on the body, just slightly, on each side. Be sure to check the fit of the weatherstrip to the groove in the decklid before applying adhesive. In the illustration of 60-411 & 70-871 the picture is actually upside down from the way it should be installed. The shorter width of the seal is glued to the decklid. Again, the “C” shaped opening should be facing outward to shed water away from the trunk.
The glue we recommend is 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive – Black. To install each seal, glue the metal surface as well as the contact surface of the weatherstrip. Wait until the surfaces get a little tacky then press the seal into place.