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Anyone want to buy new 320 vent window rubbers?

ol' 320

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As of noon PST today, 19,333 people have viewed this thread! Unbelievable!


If you found this post because you want to buy new 320 vent window gaskets, you can avoid the 490 posts made to date and skip to the end. A reputable company in Thailand has worked with Ratsun members to develop molds, done all the R&D and has begun producing new, high quality gaskets in modern EDPM  material that should be much longer lasting than the OEM gaskets made by Datsun more than 50 years ago!


As I write this, I am expecting one of the very first sets of new gaskets to arrive in California via DHL in four days time. About a month go I met with this manufacturer in Las Vegas during the SEMA/AAPEX show and held in my hands the first prototype set of gaskets. 


If you have ever thought about personally orchestrating the reproduction of obsolete Datsun rubber gaskets, then I suggest you read this whole thread first so you can appreciate what kinds of challenges are ahead of you! YMMV... but if you launch a similar project I wish you well! 



Eric Coyne (ol' 320)




I am trying to gauge the number of folks who would want to buy new vent window rubbers for L320, NL320, or 310 sedans. To my knowledge, these are not available anywhere.


I don't know what a per unit cost would be yet, that's why I'm trying to gauge the number of people SERIOUSLY interested in buying these, if I reproduced these through a contract order.


Are there 20 buyers out there? 50? Only 10? I feel like Wayno, trying to arrange a group buy of new 320 windshields for 15 just so he can get two new windshields for his personal projects... But hey, after two years of trying, this poor dude has pulled this off and I hope to benefit with a new 320 windshield myself;)


PS: If you need a new windshield, you better hop on Wayne's thread ASAP, because no one in his right mind will do this again.


Back to 320 vent window rubbers. No one has any new ones, and everyone I know, with one exception, needs new ones because theirs are old, diseased-looking and crumbling away slowly. I'm looking to have these made in better than O.E.M. modern formula Polypropylyne, which will age much better than the Datsun rubbers. I'm not interested in making these with your parent's old "Fright factory" toy set from the 60s... (if you are old enough to remember Creepy Crawlys, good for you!)


I have contacted folks in the USA, AUS, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia and they are simply not available. I found a Ratsun member who has a perfect, NOS set of vent window rubbers that is willing to loan these for use to make a new set of molds.  After consulting with four very prominent manufacturers (all produce O.E.M. rubber products for currently manufactured autos as well as aftermarket collector autos) I have received interesting feedback. All four can make these, but one won't at any price, one wants $25K, and blah blah blah...


Here are the options:

  • Make a $3,500 set of molds, 3 left and 3 right, and then make onsie-twosies - at additional cost per pair for each gasket made - that are then joined together to make the triangular vent windows. This is a technique that is used for high end custom moldings when nobody else will make something, and the manufacturer has to often make three sets to get two that are of acceptable quality. He makes show car parts, but this method will only produce 30-50 sets at most before new molds are needed. You do the math.... VERY expensive. We would need to have about 15 folks step up who want to pay $250-$350 per pair for vent window rubbers. This guy makes shit for Rolls-Royce, but I don't see this happening for many Ratsun folks.


  • The high dollar way is the have a company make a one-piece injection molded gasket (ala O.E.M. Datsun method), which makes superb quality parts and can produce a couple thousand pairs or so, one at a time, left and right run separately. Next least expensive.
  • Creating these molds a reputable USA firm will run into the thousands, if someone can be persuaded to do this. No company I contacted is willing to do this as an "in-house" project and take the risk of selling these as a vendor item, so the only way this will happen is on a contract basis with a large, up front commitment.
  • I found a couple of companies that are hurting for business (who isn't today???), and now I am down to one vendor I met through SEMA who may be willing to do this at a cost of something less than the price of a new car by the time I had 50-100 pairs of rubbers made.</div><div><br></div><div>I am not interested in becoming a parts vendor for profit, I would just like to have a nice, quiet truck with nice new vent window rubbers.

This project is fiscally insane for a hobbyist, and I am not rich. I don't want o make these and have them sit in my garage forever. And because of the cost to run a set of vent windows, in molds that only allow one right or one left to be made at a time, I highly doubt there would ever be a second run.</div><div><br></div><div>So if you own a 320, would you buy a pair? Please indicate your interest. Feel free to PM me with your contact info and if it looks promising, I may be able to get back to you all in a couple weeks with some more details.


How many would be interested in a MOLDED high quality set of 320 vent gaskets? Please indicate your tolerance for pain, and I will tally the interest and see if I could get enough made to absorb the dollar cost average of molds and manufacturing amongst the group:

  • What if they cost $250 per pair, plus shipping?
  • $200 per pair?
  • $150 per pair?
  • Finally, how much would you pay? I might only be able to make 10-15 pairs. (These won't by any means be available for $50 a pair, there aren't that many 320s out there. We would probably have to pre-sell 100 pairs to get them down to $100 a pair....)

If I do this, I would do it on a contract order, with a specified delivery time for the manufacturer. I am not interested in waiting a year for these to be made up. I could not afford to float this kind of cash for that long. No one will make these without at least a 50 percent deposit up front. I am not asking folks to send money, but I am asking you to only respond if you are seriously interested in buying a pair, if they can be priced "affordably," whatever that turns out to be... My personal email is: 2coynes (at) a t t (dot) n e t.


This is a long post, and If this post violates the Ratsun rules, I apologize. I have no idea how many folks REALLY want these, but I bet it is a small number.


I recently bought a 320 pickup and just took delivery from another Ratsun member (Thanks Matt), and I just want to get a pair of new vent rubbers. This means making new molds, and at least two pairs to get one set for my use, as I will owe the lender of the NOS set of gaskets a set.


Finally, if someone has a NOS set of 320 gaskets and will sell them at any price, contact me via PM and I can save myself a lot of trouble! ;)

Or, if you work for an Aerospace contractor and can make injection molds at a Ratsun price, contact me;)



Edited by ol' 320
Update: gaskets reproduced!
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Is there any way they can be stockpiled a little, and sold thru a website as needed for a while until they run out? i.e., like a normal vendor. Maybe something like new-datsun-parts.com ? I know this would require some risky investment, but maybe that risk could be passed off to someone more used to this sort of thing.



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Thanks for all the responses. In no particular order:


No vendor will want to invest their cash in stockpiling these unless they can be assured a good return on their investment. I don't want to speculate yet on what these might cost until I hear back from the two manufacturers I'm trying to work with.


520/521 vent windows, anybody know FOR SURE if they are the same? In any case, the 521 is definitely different from the 320, and as the preferred method is to mold these by injection mold, making 521s would require a different set of molds. If I can get 320 vents made, and not lose my ass on this project, I'll research 521s, but the answers would parallel the 320 estimates unless someone wants to tool up to make 200-plus pairs or so. Then they might be cheap enough to sell really well. If there are 200 buyers at $100 a pair or so.


Making vent rubbers is very expensive because there is no way there will be the volume of say, early VW bugs, where you could make a mold for 6 lefts and six rights, and do mass production. These will have to be made one at a time, a left and then a right. Believe me, I think pretty soon I will be able to write the master's thesis on reproducing old car parts through injection molding...:)


The trick is to know someone who is retired, has all their own equipment, is still energetic enough to make molds and is willing to do so inexpensively because they have no overhead. Those guys who can do these things, the smart ones, are all making one-off stuff for the DOD or folks who want to reproduce mush higher value parts than our old Datsubstuff. Some of these folks have a 2-3 year backlog. I might be dead in 10 years, I want to get these made relatively soon;)


I am talking to a really reputable firm about these right now, but they need a couple weeks to finish their business at the SEMA show, and then we can get some estimates complet. I will let you know as soon as I can if I can pull this off.

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Please keep me informed of any progress on this and similar projects. I don't have any 320's or other applicable vehicles for this, and am presently out of the running for any kind of financial support (under other circumstances I'd buy the uncommitted balance of a 'lot' and hold for eventual resale, but now's not a good time).



That said, I want to stay up to date on all such projects. Either post directly to me (EaryDatsun6@pacbell.net or EarlyDatsun6@Datsun411.org) or to the Early Datsun Club if you're a member.



Thanks, and good luck.


Carl Hockett

The Early Datsun Club


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We may be in luck, i have just contacted a company here in australia called rare spares, they seem to think they can get their hands on them for $136 each side and window squeegees for $25 a side.


Id had lost all hope trying to find these, i was speaking to a guy who told me he wouldnt have a problem deleting the vent with a solid glass piece and a generic gasket, Thats my second option. I am trying to keep this car as original as possible so id simply prefer new seals.



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We may be in luck, i have just contacted a company here in australia called rare spares, they seem to think they can get their hands on them for $136 each side and window squeegees for $25 a side.


Id had lost all hope trying to find these, i was speaking to a guy who told me he wouldnt have a problem deleting the vent with a solid glass piece and a generic gasket, Thats my second option. I am trying to keep this car as original as possible so id simply prefer new seals.





Please keep us informed about this, that is after you get your set of course. :lol: :lol:

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I would be interested in a set for my 320 - if they came in around and under the $150. Keep us posted and also on EarlyDatsun Group Yahoo.


I am looking for back glass rubber for my '62 320 also.


Thanks - Sadie10023

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I would be interested in a set for my 320 - if they came in around and under the $150. Keep us posted and also on EarlyDatsun Group Yahoo.


I am looking for back glass rubber for my '62 320 also.


Thanks - Sadie10023



I copied, and pasted "EarlyDatsun Group Yahoo", it sent me to some yahoo page that said nothing about "Datsuns", everything I searched that said early datsun kept going to that page, that page kept trying to put cookies on my computer that also had nothing to do with datsuns. Do you have a direct link to this group/club? I have a 63 L320 with a 62 grill, I am wondering if you have the same body style, or is early 62 differant than the 63-65 body style? This is my 63 with the 62 grill.


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It's over here: http://groups.yahoo....arlyDatsunClub/


I posted a message there that referred to this page, just in case there are people there that don't get on Ratsun. Looks like there are....



I went there, I see nothing about datsuns, it's the same page that tried dumping loads of cookies on my computer. When I searched ratsun before I joined, it took me to Ratsun. Since I have been to that page, I have had complete new windows popping up all by themselves.:(

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I went there, I see nothing about datsuns, it's the same page that tried dumping loads of cookies on my computer. When I searched ratsun before I joined, it took me to Ratsun. Since I have been to that page, I have had complete new windows popping up all by themselves.:(


Ah crap. Yeah, it's a little old school covered in ads... I've got my computer wrapped up tight, so I don't see much of it. I'm using Firefox with Spybot, Ad-Aware, Malware Bytes, AVG, etc., that keep all the bad stuff out. You might have to run a couple spyware scans to get clean.

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Andrew: Any luck with "Rare Spares" in AUS? I contacted them and tried to order 320 vent rubbers and squeegees and was just told these were unavailable. If you do have a source, please let us know.

Sadie: Scott's Old Rubber in AUS has the rear window gasket listed. I did not order one because mine is fine. I DID order a new windshield gasket from Scott's, but hie is presently out of stock and it is backordered. I am sure he will let me know when it comes in; he says when he does get it I can expect it to arrive in the USA in about a week. I am one of several people who "opted in" to Wayno's new 320 P/U windshield order (see his separate thread) and I did not want to end up sixth or seventh in line for one of these gaskets, so I pre-ordered one from Scott's so I would get his first one in .... if that makes sense.

Kevin Funk: I had no luck with that Yahoo group, either.

I have been driving and enjoying my 320, and working on fixing a bunch of little things. Sourcing another bulb holder to illuminate my new dual SMiths oil pressure/Water temp gauge, repairing the old, folded paper glovebox insert (Wrapped backside with fiberglass to reinforce it) and little crap like this.

Now I'm in the process of ordering and assembling a new garden shed so I can get all the lawnmower, bikes, and other stuff out of the third garage bay so the little 320 can pack inside at night. THis led to a project to repair the side fence, and then to pour a pad to set the shed on, and so I've already planned out my next weekend or two:)

I haven't got much new to report on these vent window rubbers yet. Hopefully the manufacturer reps will be back from their big trade show soon and we can get back on this project. Eric

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So.... I've got some bad news....


We'd been counting on using the vent window seals that I received in my spare parts bin to make the molds. I didn't know the history of them, but they looked brand new and looked like they'd fit perfectly. The shape looks right, the hinges sit in the right location, etc. I was digging thru the NICO forum, and managed to find an e-mail address for the guy that actually did much of the work on my truck (and amassed the parts stash), before selling it to a different guy, and then selling it to me.

I went ahead and e-mailed him so I could find out any further history on the truck, and to find out whether he knew of a secret source for the vent window rubbers...


Well, he said that the vent window seals in my stash aren't actually for an L320, but they are for a Mazda truck (REPU I think). He had heard on a forum that they would work, but with the help of his body shop guy, he could not get them to fit. It must be an issue with the way they press into the metal door, because they look pretty damn close. I haven't tried removing my crusty vent window seals to test-fit, though.

I bet its possible to modify them to work somehow, since they do look so close.

But, whether Mazda REPU vent window seals are widely available is another issue. It seems that they might be the same as the Ford Courier, but those aren't easy to find either. It seems that lots of Mazda REPU guys have had success with just using the vent window seals from a ~1980 Mazda B2000, which must not be too hard to find. Soooo... I'm wondering if we could figure out a way of using the vent window seals from 1980 Mazda B2000s (non-sundowner style cab I think).

The Mazda B2000 should have the same shape and the same hinge locations as the Mazda REPU, which appear to be the same as those from my '65 L320. The trouble might be in making them press into the metal correctly, or just using some 3M adhesive of some sort.


For reference, here are the pics of my NOS vent window seals, which appear to be actually Mazda REPU NOS....including some pics of them held up next my vent windows.


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I had also heard from a not-too-terribly-reputable source that early Ford Ranger II vent window seals will work with a slight trimming / reattaching at the top.

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Does anyone have any fairly decent, or at least intact, loose 320 vent window rubbers they are willing to give up for the cause? I'm looking for a loose set of 320 vent window rubbers, left and right, that I can send off to a manufacturer for evaluation. I have a friend who works for one of the largest computer disc drive companies in the world, and his firm does a lot of precision manufacturing in the far east, including injection moulding and so on. I would like to send a set of 320 vent rubbers overseas with him so he can talk to some of his contacts.


I fear that making these new rubbers here in the USA will cost at least four times more than it would offshore, and I just can't afford to tie up $10,000 in a project to reproduce such a limited demand product - even for nice guys like Wayno;) If something cost $10K here, it is entirely possible I can get the product, or at least the injection moulds, made overseas for roughly a third of that amount, without compromising quality in any way.


I will not reproduce these if they cannot be made in modern ozone-resistant rubber or Polypropylene. In other words, I want modern OEM quality.


So, I'm looking to buy an inexpensive set of 320 vent rubbers, or someone who is willing to long term loan these to me. I don't want to remove mine from my driver L320 because I want to keep the truck weathertight. Since they would be going overseas, or still possibly of to an east coast manufacturer (still talking pricing) I don't want to disable someone else's project truck, so I am looking for "Spare" vent rubbers to use. But they must be OEM, we don't want to reproduce something that is not absolutely known to fit a 320.


It would be great to source these and have them before the end of the year so my engineering friend can hand carry them to Asia with him. Thank you, Eric

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