Author Topic: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?  (Read 768 times)

Squiggle Dog

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I've noticed that the front door seals on my 300SD have been rubbing against the tops of the rear doors each time the doors are shut, and it's rubbed off the paint over the years. It's also made the driver door hard to close, so I ripped off part of the door seal to make closing it easier. I thought this was just because my door hinges are worn out and my door is sagging. But, looking at my 280SE parts car, even with doors that don't sag and new door seals, the seals still rub against the rear doors! Are they supposed to do that? Is it yet another dumb W116 design?
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TJ 450

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #1 on: 04 June 2018, 02:21 AM »
Yes, I think that’s just how they are unless it’s an old perished seal with sections missing. Worn hinges would likely make it worse though.

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Squiggle Dog

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #2 on: 04 June 2018, 09:48 AM »
Yes, I think that’s just how they are unless it’s an old perished seal with sections missing. Worn hinges would likely make it worse though.

Tim

Hmmm... I guess they should probably be lubricated with something, then. Maybe having paint rubbed off in that area is a fact of life? So odd. It does seem that the W116 door seals are much wider toward the top than most cars--maybe they were trying to get more sealing surface but ended up with a monster.
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gf

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #3 on: 05 June 2018, 04:27 AM »
Are these replacement seals? Not sure replacements fit as nice as the originals. Might be an installation issue. Got one replacement seal that bedded in quite nicely. The door closes nicely. The others need a good slam to shut them. The seals don't seem to overhang to the other doors though. Not sure if a solution?

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #4 on: 05 June 2018, 09:08 AM »
Are these replacement seals? Not sure replacements fit as nice as the originals. Might be an installation issue. Got one replacement seal that bedded in quite nicely. The door closes nicely. The others need a good slam to shut them. The seals don't seem to overhang to the other doors though. Not sure if a solution?

I don't see any markings on them other than some numbers and an "M"--maybe that stands for Meyle? The original genuine Mercedes seals on my car had the same problem, though, and the black paint that was on the tops of the rear doors is now worn down to yellow primer and bare steel.
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ptashek

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #5 on: 05 June 2018, 12:46 PM »
SD, this is how it looks on my car. The seals are genuine MB, purchased three or four years ago, and on the car for less than two.

I guess that overlap is indeed by design, and as the seals harden with age it'll result in what you're seeing on your car.

Fresh they're super soft, and I haven't yet noticed any marks on the paint job. My 350 certainly didn't have any damage in that area either, with factory seals at 112k miles when parted out.

The markings on these are a bunch of numbers and an "MD" nearby.

Part number A1167300178 to A1167300478.
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Squiggle Dog

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #6 on: 05 June 2018, 12:59 PM »
That's so goofy. It might be a good idea to install a short section of clear vinyl wrap material on this part of the doors so it won't wear down the paint over time.
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floyd111

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #7 on: 05 June 2018, 04:24 PM »
That's so goofy. It might be a good idea to install a short section of clear vinyl wrap material on this part of the doors so it won't wear down the paint over time.

Indeed, not a bad suggestion. Maybe it allows for some teflon-oil as well, ensuring the rubber does not interact with that strap of vinyl.

3l33ter

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #8 on: 10 June 2018, 02:05 AM »
Both of mine have the same problem, and the 280S has some paint missing due to it (the 6.9's paint job is not original so likely the problem has been hidden). Honestly it bugs me just as much that the door is hard to shut; on my w123 the door opens/shuts like butter.
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Squiggle Dog

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #9 on: 30 October 2018, 09:55 PM »
I now have a better understanding of what happened. The W116 was originally designed to have different door seals than what most of them have. If you look at the profile of a 1960s Mercedes door seal, they look a bit like an "eyelash", which fits flat against the side of the door opening when the door is shut. When they designed the W116, they originally had round, hollow profile door seals which, instead of sealing against a flat surface, were design to seal against the corner of the door opening and crush to conform and seal from two surfaces.

However, for whatever reason, only the very early W116s had these door seals and they were abandoned and replaced with the old style "eyelash" seals that are designed to rest against one flat surface of the door opening. However, the door opening doesn't really have enough flat surface area for these to work, so they had to make the seals oversized and stick out past the edges of the doors just so they would seal at all. However, this had the consequence of the front door seals rubbing on the rear doors when opening and closing.

This is a true oversight/mistake by Mercedes engineers. They designed the body to work with a different door seal than what they ended up using after a few cars were made. The body would need to be redesigned so the door seals most of our cars have (and the only ones currently on the market) would work without rubbing on the rear doors, and it would have cost too much money.

Even though the W116 is largely sorted out in terms of engineering, there were a few instances where it was awkward and failed. This is one of them.
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3l33ter

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #10 on: 02 November 2018, 06:43 PM »
Very interesting! How do you know this?

So, can I put a SWB rear door on my LWB car to give the seal some more room? :D
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Squiggle Dog

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #11 on: 02 November 2018, 10:20 PM »
Very interesting! How do you know this?

So, can I put a SWB rear door on my LWB car to give the seal some more room? :D

I've noticed that on 1973 model year W116s (not sure when they changed the door seal style) they have the hollow door seals and you can see how they crush at the edges of the door opening. They must have found that these seals didn't work so well and had to go back to the style as the W108 and W110/W111 had, but with the door openings being so large compared to the size of the doors (because the original design for the W116 was to have the the edges of the door openings fit against the seals, not the side of the door openings), they had to make the updated lip-style door seals larger than the door frames, but this came at the cost of the front door seals rubbing on the rear doors when opening and closing.

The W116 door openings should be smaller than they are in order for the lip-style seals that are on most of our cars to work properly, without them having to be oversized. What's annoying is the extra friction involved when closing the front doors because the front door seal strikes the rear doors and then has to squeeze into place. My front door hinges are worn out and my front door sags a bit. The front door seal hitting the rear door made it almost impossible to close the door on the first try and required slamming, sometimes bouncing back open. I ended up cutting off a large part of the seal just so it would be tolerable.
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gf

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #12 on: 12 February 2019, 06:38 PM »
Squiggle dog, did chopping down the seal help much? Any resultant water ingress issues? I've noticed the originals have some kind of fabric on the corners. Not sure what it's purpose was?

Diesel 617

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #13 on: 12 February 2019, 07:59 PM »
I've noticed what squiggle dog said about the hinges. On my 290k mi 300SD The drivers door closes like a dream. The check strap is beat to hell, but the hinges are rock solid, and there are no shims added behind the part where the door latches into (i forget it the name of the part) on the door frame. Now on the 280se with 79k, it has about 3-5 shims, but what I noticed was the bottom door hinge has shifted away from the interior of the car, I can tell because there is some surface rust in the perfect outline of the door hinge. This is the first w116 I've had where there has been an issue closing the door. I can close the door on my 300SD with less than 6 inches/ 15cm and it closes flush. on the 280se I have to slam the door and you can just hear it is off.

To answer the main question of this thread, yes the sears do rub against the rear door.
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Squiggle Dog

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Re: Are Front Door Seals Supposed To Rub Against Rear Doors?
« Reply #14 on: 13 February 2019, 10:35 AM »
Squiggle dog, did chopping down the seal help much? Any resultant water ingress issues? I've noticed the originals have some kind of fabric on the corners. Not sure what it's purpose was?

Chopping down the seal completely solved the problem, but it made the seal leakier and noisier. All my door seals are trashed anyway, though. The passenger front door seal actually has part of a seal from another type of car spliced into it, and they are all rotten and the metal lip on the doors that hold in the seals are rusted out as well.

I saved the front hinges from a 280SE I parted out, so I'll try replacing the hinges to see if it helps with the sag, or will have to use a shim. I'll also see if I have enough decent spare door seal fragments I can glue together to come up with decent door seals, or I'll have to buy new ones.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles