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  • Body / Glass: Door repair detail questions

    I got my door panels re-done, so I'm rebuilding each door as I replace the panels. That means replacing the "cat's whiskers", weatherstrips and lubricating the window and lock mechanisms. As a result I have a couple questions about the process. First, several screw heads were covered with what I have learned from this forum is called "dum-dum." I don't have any of this stuff on hand (do they even make it anymore?), so I am trying to figure out a substitute. Would plumber's putty work? I assume that the purpose of the "dum-dum" was to prevent the screws from rubbing on the back side of the door panel, so I'm not sure that plumber's putty would be hard enough, at least initially? Would duct tape suffice? Any other CASO-type fixes?
    Second, what is the best lubricant to use on the window regulator? My Studebaker time and step guide indicates that "Lubriplate" should be used for the studs and slots on the window bracket. By the term "Lubriplate" I assume they mean some sort of low-temp grease, althought the Lubriplate company makes a wide variety of lubricants. I haven't found any advice about lubricating the window mechanism itself in that book. A machinist friend says to use spray-on white lithium grease. My parts guy friend says I shouldn't use grease because it attracts dust, and that I should use spray-on graphite lube. Any opinions or other ideas? Thanks for your interest in my trivial problems.
    Last edited by Lothar; 03-13-2015, 09:24 AM. Reason: punctuation
    John
    1950 Champion
    W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
    Holdrege NE

  • #2
    Look for 3M strip calk. Most parts house should be able to get it if they don't stock it. Some old guys behind the counter might know what dum-dum is. It was used quite a lot in the era as a seam sealer and around access covers etc.
    I use a little graphite on the window channels just to keep friction to a minimum. The regulators aren't exactly precision devices. I put a little grease on the teeth and some light oil on the handle bushing. That should last for 20-30 years which should go beyond my needs.
    American iron, real old school
    With two tone paint, it sure is cool

    Its got 8 cylinders and uses them all
    With an overdrive that just won't stall

    With a 4 barrel carb and dual exhausts
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    Its got safety belts and I ain't scared
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    Tried to sell her, but got no taker
    I"ll just keep driving my Studebaker

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    • #3
      You didn't really ask this question, but I have some advice on the cat whiskers. They were stapled on the interior trim frame from the factory. The way I installed the new ones was to drill holes in the trim frame like they did on the door. Put the door type retaining clips in the holes and then crimp the clips to the cat whiskers. I couldn't figure a better way to attach them than that and they can be removed if needed for painting or whatever.

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      • #4
        In addition to the 3M putty in strips, you can buy electricians putty from Menards. It's grey and comes in a small brick shape for only a couple bucks.
        I always use Mystik JT-6 High Temp red grease on all moving metal parts. It's very sticky and doesn't dry out like Lubriplate assembly grease, which I quit using 10 years ago after learning how much better Mystik is. Don't worry about dust inside the door. It doesn't happen, at least not more than a trace.

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        • #5


          3M 08578

          "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

          Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
          '33 Rockne 10,
          '51 Commander Starlight,
          '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice, guys. As to the posting about attaching the cats whiskers to the door trim, in place of the industrial staples used originally, I used stainless steel aircraft wire, drilled holes through the cats whiskers into the window trim frame and threaded the wire through. It was a job, but it should hold tight.
            Any advice about what kind of tape to use in place of the original linen tape over the access holes? I worry that duct tape will get crispy fairly quickly, based on past experience.
            John
            1950 Champion
            W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
            Holdrege NE

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            • #7
              I use the silicone caliper grease on the window channels and moving parts, won't dry out and really works well, you can buy it in a small bottle for about $10.

              Jim
              "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lothar View Post
                Any advice about what kind of tape to use in place of the original linen tape over the access holes? I worry that duct tape will get crispy fairly quickly, based on past experience.
                I have had some old original WWII era duct tape. It was actually pretty darned tough. I believe that tape like product over the access holes behind the door panels was about the same. I'd say get as good a name brand quality, (3M, Tuck, Polyken ?), duct tape you can. Additionally, you could cut pieces of house-wrap material (used as moisture barrier in house construction) and tape it over the holes using duct tape. Once covered by the door panels, I believe it would be as good, if not superior, to the original.
                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                SDC member since 1975

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                • #9
                  Interesting that you should mention Housewrap John. I'm using it as a backing for my door panels.
                  John
                  1950 Champion
                  W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
                  Holdrege NE

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