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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I recently purchased the Steele Rubber weather stripping for the rear barn doors on a 2002 Astro Cargo Van. The old seals were dried out and turning to dust, and there was a small puddle that would pool up on the passenger side next to the rear door.

I installed the new weather stripping, which has moulded corners and clips that line up exactly to the holes on the doors themselves. I threw a bead of unbroken silicone all the way around the doors, and I let them dry for over 24 hours with the doors open.

I tried shutting them, and they shut and latch if you slam the hell out of them. The doors aren't sitting perfectly shut, and a water test showed water gushing in the top where the doors latch and meet.

I read that leaving the doors shut for long periods of time may help the stripping form around the metal. I lubricated them with silicone based lube and shut em. Again, I can't shut them perfectly flush as they should.

Has anyone else experienced this? What should I do? Should I take it to a body shop?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the drip grip is perfectly in tact, so I opted not to replace it. It is only leaking through the door. I will post pictures sometime this week, but thanks for viewing and replying
 

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I would check again.. I thought mine was intact (albeit a dutch door) and started a stream of water on top of my van when parked a small hill and instead of the water being diverted to the edges and down the sides of the lift gate, water just poured right through an opening in my drip gutter.

hopefully your photos will help people see where the leak might be but if you had to slam the door real hard to get them to close, It's very possible you created a gap with Silicone. If you didn't press it to shape, so it takes the shape of the mating area, it will create gaps.

good way to get the silicone rubber to take the shape of the metal mating surface is to stick wax paper between the door frame and the rubber seal with the silicone. Since the rubber seal is closed cell foam it will eventually take some of the shape of the mating frame but Silicone that was allowed to cure as a round bead instead of shaped to the mating surface, probably will not compress.

Oops. I should have said put wax paper between seals and door frame after Silicone, then close the doors to let the silicone cure in that shape.
 

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dodin said:
Has anyone else experienced this? What should I do? Should I take it to a body shop?
I am having this exact same problem. Just installed the steele rubber weather-stripping for barn doors on my 2000 cargo van, and the fit is way off, just like you have described. For me, left door closes ok, but that right door is the main issue. On my van, the main point of obstruction is the molded rubber piece on the bottom of the right door, where it meets the left door. I can barely shut it, and can fit my fingers in-between the gap left between the two doors.

I called Steele Rubber the other day and I was routed to the product design guy, Eddie. He checked into it and confirmed that he can see why the issue is occurring for me based on how stiff the rubber is on those molded ends. He is going to have the guys in the tool shop recalibrate those ends to a softer design, but couldn't say when that would be. He also said I was the only one that had this issue, so I suggest you call and let him know about your experience as well to put a little bit of momentum behind this issue. The only real fix he could offer for now was to try and trim the molded end back with a razor.

Also, you mentioned the screw lined up perfectly for those molded ends, like mine did. I haven't checked mine yet, but I was thinking that if it looks like there is any way to remove the screw and adjust the placement of the molded end in a more advantageous position, I would do that and drill a new hole for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey all, life happens so I haven't responded. After a few weeks in very hot weather with the doors shut for most of the time, the seals have pretty much molded to the shape of the door. Someone mentioned shutting the doors while the silicone molds, but Steele Rubber has a million videos telling you not to shut any opening while the sealant cures, because the sheer force will move the unmolded seals out of place.

I can fully shut the doors now, but I have to slam the fuck out of the right door to get it to shut. There's some large gaps in the top where the doors meet as well as the bottom, I'm going to try to remedy that with some EPDM tape I have.

Now I'm worried about breaking the plastic hinge. It is starting to Crack down the middle from how hard I have to slam the door shut.

If anyone knows how to fix a rear right cargo van barn door hinge that's grabbing to early and must be slammed to fully shut the door, please reply to this conversation.

I will post some pics later these evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Some photos and will upload a video of the door shutting with license plate covered tonight:

Shows the door fully shut. Added some EPDM tape in a couple spots and it never leaks.

The problem is that I have to slam it harder than any middle aged dad who hates is wife slams the door of the minivan.

The hinge that shuts the right door is starting to crack.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I tried posting the clip of me shutting the door but I can't, basically it latches but doesn't completely shut, you can fit your fingers in. If you slam it with 100 × your body weight, you can shut it.

As I said, it didn't leak all summer, but it is such a nuisance to us and others slamming the door shut at campgrounds etc.

Please someone help.
 

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01 Astro RWD Cargo, 97 AWD Mark III
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Torx bit in the end like a bolt.
The door slamming is the problem. It has knocked the latch out of adjustment.
The latch assembly could stand to be cleaned and lubed as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Could you provide some detail on how I could adjust it? Also, this issue only presented itself when I changed the seals.
 

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01 Astro RWD Cargo, 97 AWD Mark III
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The door striker pin on the left door just unscrews to loosen. Slide it to the outside of the door and make it finger tight.

The latch assembly in the right door is held by the 4 torx screws. Loosen them and slide the latch assembly it to the inside and tighten all 4 screws.

Close the right door without slamming it. Once latched you can press against the door to position the striker pin.

Open the door and tighten striker pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Awesome thank you for the details, I'll be trying that this weekend and I will post about the results. Thank you very much.

Also, what kind of lubricant, and where do you suggest I put it, for the latch mechanism? It seems the latch itself is plastic. I'm not sure about the components.
 

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The locking arm of the latch is plastic coated to reduce noise. Just spray the assembly with brake cleaner to flush the accumulated crap out. Then soak with PB Blaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Alrighty sounds good, will give it a go. Thank you again for the great feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
So, I tried it. I repositioned exactly as you stated, bring the latch closer towards the inside of the van and the pin further outwards.

Made it much worse and didn't latch at all. So basically, there is very little room for adjustment here. It's not really like a cabinet door hinge. It's also all covered in lock tite and took a lot of force to undo, so it can't be that my slamming "knocked it out of position."

I feel confident saying that because the adjustments I made per your suggestion were less than millimeters of a difference that caused the door not to latch at all. So I don't think my slamming caused any more difference than a thousandth of an inch.

I experimented with different changes, and the conclusion is the original position was best. Now I can barely shut it fully, and it seems the door will break pretty soon.

So now I'm not really sure what's the next step, but I have a question about the latch mechanism. I would post pictures, but I don't want to go through what I just went through trying to slam the door shut again.

The latch has 3 distinct positions,

1. Open. When the door is open and the door handle on the outside is pulled, the latch springs to the open position, releasing the pin on the left door.

2. Closed. When the door latches, it grabs the pin. This is a loose hold, and you can stick your fingers into the space between the left and right door. Water will certainly be pouring in. This requires minimal effort to close. This position can be released by opening the door handle.

3. Actually closed. The door hinge has a final position that pulls the pin even tighter, where the door actually shuts. This position requires a lot of force. This position CANNOT be released by the door handle, it is released by force of pulling the door open, off the pin.

With the right door (that houses the hinge) open, I could push the hinge from the open position to the closed position, and the closed position to the ACTUALLY closed position. I couldn't open the hinge in the ACTUALLY closed position with the door handle. I had to push it open with my finger.

When the door is open, it takes very little force to move the hinge through its positions.

I'm wondering, is the final closed position supposed to be able to open with the door handle? Is one of the rods not attached within the hinge assembly on the right door?

Again, sorry for the technical writing. But I am not willing to take photos after what I went through to get that door shut.

Thank you.
 
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