Multiple Options for Restorers with Limited Budgets

Dear Car Talk:

I have a 23-year-old pickup truck that is suffering from rotted-out window gaskets. The dealer tells me that replacements are no longer available.

My question is: Where do the professional restorers find accurately made new gaskets for windshields and rear windows for the older restorations they do?

My repair person says he can fill the gap with silicone caulk for only $500 for my 1999 pickup's rear window. That does not sound like a long-term, economical solution.

What do you suggest? -- Robert

​​How about a 2022 pickup truck?

The restorers can have window gaskets custom-made because cost is no object, Robert. When you're restoring someone's 1938 Type 57 Bugatti with a budget of $750,000, it doesn't matter if you spend $5,000 on a windshield gasket. But you may not be in the professional restorer income bracket, Robert.

If you've already tried the online parts sites and eBay Motors, this is a job for a junkyard. If you can find a junkyard that has your year and model pickup truck in their yard and the windows are still in it, they can remove the windows and sell you the gaskets.

You can start by calling a few local yards. But if your rubber gaskets are rotting, that may be due to your local climate (hot and dry?). And any gaskets that are sitting out in their yard may be in equally bad shape. So, you're probably better off doing a nationwide search for the parts you need.

And thanks to the internet, that's easier than ever. Gone are the days when I had to trudge over to Nissenbaum's Bone Yard in the rain and climb over piles of AMC Gremlin skeletons to find a choke pull off.

If you search "How to find parts at junkyards," you'll discover several online options. And since the gaskets are lightweight, shipping them from anywhere in the country won't be a hindrance.

Give it a try, Robert, before you start messing around -- "messing" being the operative word -- with silicone caulk.

Ready to turn that old car in your driveway into a tax deduction? Donate it to your local NPR station. They’ll use the proceeds to cover the news, and if you itemize, can get a tax break. Here's how.

Todays Car-o-Scope

What the stars say about your car for 5/23/2022
For whom do the blue lights flash? Good guess. Sorry.
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