Draught Seals for the Austin-Healey 100
by Roger Moment
Originally published in the Austin-Healey Magazine, May 1992
Draught seals are the fuzzy round tubes of material that finish the panel edges along the door openings. On the 100s, these are attached directly to the upholstery panels.
Their installation is quite easy, but there are some details which are frequently done incorrectly. Hopefully, this article will clear up any confusion.
Seals are attached to the rear edge of the front quarter panel (the board that lines the foot well under the dash), and the front and rear edges of the door panel. There is no seal attached to the rear quarter panel, behind the seats. The material from which they are made is called windlace and consists of fuzzy cloth wrapped around a rubber core tube. All pieces need to be cut about one inch longer than the finished size. The core tube is then cut to the proper length, which leaves about 1/2 inch of material to be gathered and sewn to seal each end. The finished appearance of all ends should be like that shown in Figure 11 on page P/4 of the 100 Workshop Manual.
One seal runs the full length of the door panel front edge. The rear edge seal consists of two pieces, a short one above the door latch cut-out and a long one running below it to the bottom. These can be seen in the photo of Casings, Plate U in the Parts Book, which lists their lengths as23 inches for the front, and 4 and 18 inches for the rear. All three pieces can be glued using contact cement to the back side of the panel after it has been covered. Position the seal as snugly as possible against the panel edge, so that it is held fairly firmly when the panel is attached to the door. (Note: The back side of the door panels have a suede-like material covering the part of the panel that extends above the door opening. This can't be seen, but can be felt.)
This is where installations usually encounter problems. The seal material is attached to the rear edge of the panel in the same manner as to the door panels. However, the seal material needs to extend above the top of this panel, all the way to the shroud (again refer to Plate U in the Parts Book; length is listed as 23 inches). It needs to run continuously up from the quarter panel and along the chrome windshield post mounting, as shown in Figure 11 on Page P/4 of the Workshop Manual. To make this installation, cut a slit in the windlace flap at the top of the quarter panel. This will allow the top length of flap to be brought to the outside of the door opening, and held in place by the windshield post mount. These mounts are positioned over the flap and attached with bolts. Be sure to first cut holes in the flap for these bolts. When finished, there should be no visible frayed edges from the windlace flap along the bottom of the windshield post, and it should appear as one continuous seal running from top to bottom of the door opening.
Though not of the windlace material, there is one additional seal located along the bottom edge of the doors. It is listed as part No. 14B 2022. This is made from 1/4 round skinned foam rubber, of 1/2-inch radius. It is glued into the comer, formed by the bottom of the door frame, and the backside of the bottom of the door skin. It will be visible if you are on the ground, looking up at the bottom side of an opened door.
Good additional photos showing these seals are on page 33 of "The Original Austin-Healey," by Anders Clausager.
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