Vent seals

Not much has happened with Dilly this month I’m sad to report. I have a bonnet to rub down and during the intense heat this job didn’t seem very appealing to say the least. There have been some band issues to sort out, I sense that changes are imminent.

I got fed up driving my old faithful Ford Fusion with no air-conditioning, apparently there were two faults with this, and although it went through the MOT reasonably cheaply, there were quite a few advisories for next year, some welding underneath would be called for. It seems daft to make so much or the air-con but it seems to me that modern cars absolutely rely on it to maintain anything close to comfort during exceptional weather that we’ve ‘enjoyed’ of late.

So at the end of July I started looking around and ended up getting a 2011 Volvo S40 1.6 Turbo diesel. The first saloon I’ve owned, it has a large boot so gear will fit in with ease, and remain out-of-sight. It’s a beautiful car to drive, free road tax and has the ‘mod cons’ that until now I’ve not had and I’m very pleased with it. So poor Dilly has taken a temporary back seat as I drive around in comparative luxury.


I have been sorting out the wiring that exits through the nearside bulkhead aperture, although nothing of note to report.


This is now fitted and the seal at the top replaced and the roof bolted down. The mounting bracket for the rear-view mirror was rusty and bent so I made a replacement from a piece of aluminium channel. The mirror itself was cracked but I found a brand new replacement in the shed, probably originally bought for the 109.

Bracket for rear view mirror

Fresh-air vent seals

The antidote to modern vehicle design, as long as you’re mobile I’ve always found the vents provide ample fresh air comfort in the simplest way possible.

The seals seemed to have been fixed originally with some sort of contact-adhesive like Evo-Stik. I figured that it would be almost impossible to use this to fit these heavy, floppy seals this way as there is no chance to reposition once contact is made, I assume that in the factory the seals would have been mounted to a jig.

Reading a couple of forums it seems that roof and gutter sealant is a popular choice so I bought a tube of Unibond ‘roof and gutter’ a black butyl-rubber sealant applied with a mastic gun.

The more recent vehicles use a different kind of seal that is glued to the vents rather than the bulkhead. This seems a better idea to me as there’s less chance of trapped rainwater, but I wasn’t sure whether the recesses of the series 3 are the same profile so I bought the correct series parts.

So I had the freshly-painted vents ready and ran two beads of sealant around the recesses. I then pressed the seals in place and quickly assembled the vents, closing them shut to hold the seals in place. I then cleaned up with a white spirit-soaked rag.

Fitting the vent seals
Vents closed to clamp seals in place

Although disappointed with progress, the nice thing about keeping a blog is that you can see how it was, and looking at the photo below from a few weeks ago has restored some optimism:

Before – how it was

For the vent hinges I used a set of the stainless pins from Ebay. These are well-made and highly recommended but I must get some thread-lock otherwise the dome-headed nuts will be lost.

A couple of days later I opened the vents and they seem to have adhered very well. Time will tell.

That’s it I’m afraid. It seems that the weather has now become more ‘English’ so I hope to have something more interesting to report soon. Thanks for reading.



  1. I always enjoy your posts, thank you. I wish I had your patience and skill to achieve such good results, but I’m firmly in the bodger camp I’m afraid. One day when I have more time – yeah, right.


      • I have my two Big Boy’s Toys, the 1973 S3 88″, The Baby, and my 1984 3,5 V8 CSW 110, The Beast. I’m also working full time running my company, a pr and ad agency operating in the B2B electronics and other high tech sectors despite being well past the official retirement age. I would love to spend more time doing things properly to the two LRs, but there just isn’t enough time. Hey ho, I must be able to jump off the merry go round one day.


  2. Nice Toys! I bet the beast sounds nice. I’m afraid I’m already counting down the days to retirement and I will be doing so at the earliest opportunity and will never be bored 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.