I just purchased new headlight reflectors from Snyders for my '26 Coupe. Beautiful! I also bought new cord gaskets and circular rim springs. I am in the process of installing the reflectors. I have not done this job in 45 years so I'm a little rusty. What do you use to seal the cord gaskets with? I know there should be a gap at the bottom. The lens is crimped in the rim so I don't want to use something that secures the cord to the reflector and the lens to the cord so tightly that removing it will be a pain whenever I have to do it again in another 45 years.
Back in the day, was anything used on the cord? With the lens crimped to the rim, it seems that if the lens was sealed to the cord with say, GE 100% Silicone sealant, it would be difficult to remove the lens to change the bulb without the whole assembly coming with it which can't be done, as it is held in place by the bulb, which can only be removed with the lens off. Jim Patrick
The lens holds the seal in place in the groove in the reflector. The springs behind the reflector pushes it out to press against the lens. You only need a few dabs of some type of glue (rubber cement should work) to hold the seal in the groove till you get the lens in place. The pressure from the spring and lens keep the rope seal in place.
Just a dab of stuff like Mark posted.
Originals seem to have a tar like adhesive holding the cord gasket to the reflector groove.
Note the black tar like stuff on the reflector groove on the left. That reflector on the right has original cord gasket. Seems the repro cords are a bit on the small diameter than originals.
Old time clothesline cord would work too
I used black weather strip adhesive applied very sparingly.
I used the cloths line chord and clear silicone. Worked great and comes off with chord if you need to remove it later.
I roll the cords in Vaseline and then they just stay in place when mounted, and seal good once compressed.
Thank you. All good advice. Since I have a tube of GE clear 100% silicone sealant, I will use that to hold the cord in the groove and place the reflectors upside down on a flat surface until dry, then apply a thin layer between the lens and cord before securing the lens and rim in place. Jim Patrick
Do not glue the cord to the lens. If you do, you will never take it apart.
I just used a few dabs of my daughter's craft making stick paste. Just needed it to hold the cord seal in place on the reflector when i put the lens and door back on the bucket. Worked great.
How about if I apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the lens and clear silicone to the cord and then install the rim and lens assembly to the bucket. This will cause the silicone rubber to cure and conform to the lens to form a tight gasket, but won't stick because of the Vaseline. Jim Patrick
Why? The cord is is there to cushion more then seal between the reflector and lens. All the adhesive has to do is hold in place while the lens/rim is installed. If it makes you happy to do it as you suggested, go for it. In my OP you are trying to over do it.
I can tell you guys never taught vacation bible school or ran a cub scout pack.
Hot glue is your friend. Fire up the old glue gun, pop in a glue stick and a few dabs on the reflector and then lay your cord in place. If you ever need to remove it, the hot glue sets up but never realllys gets totally hard and it will release the cord.
Grease or vasaline on the cord is an interesting notion. I have wondered what happends to my little slit in the bottom of the cording when I put my rings on give tham that little turn. Has everything inside turned as well?
JIm P's Idea probably isn't any good, as Jim S pointed out, BUT you probably wouldn't drop a lens on the street with that system!
1/4" cotton sash cord
Typically readily available at your local hardware store, drapery and blind store, Menards, etc.