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Land Rover Dust & Water Seals
Simple things you can do to identify and fix faults

Land Rover may be credited for a most effective and sustained design innovation of letting dust and water in and oil out. It takes real skill to sustain this over so many years and models. Short of throwing away the vehicle and buying something made in Japan, there are limits to successful fixes, but here are some suggestions that can improve matters without requiring a new overdraft .

Range Rover & Discovery Tailgate seals

On Range Rovers with the horizontal split tailgates, rust will destroy one or both of the frame sections within a few years. In the meantime, dust ingress will enhance the driving pleasure. For the early DISCO models, adoption of vertical-opening tailgates was reluctantly approved by the cost-accountant only when it was found there were no surplus Range Rover tailgates in stock. This modification did reduce the dust ingress, much to the dismay of marketing department executives who recognised that “macho” appeal was a unique selling proposition for the brand.

Land Rover window seals

Older 2-door Range Rovers had excellent sliding side windows designed to allow a flat-blade screwdriver to prize up the window to gain access to the door lock and steal the contents of the vehicle. Auditory accompaniment was also provided to the locking system in the form of constant rattles. Land Rover Defender models continued this tradition with sliding windows

Land Rover doorframe seals

For the first 25 years of Land Rover history, it was assumed that because road dust was rarely a problem in Toorak or Double Bay, it was unnecessary to provide for such uncouth conditions.

To be fair, later models starting with the P38 had much improved seals that actually worked. Regrettably, it does not seem possible to retrofit P38 door seals to earlier models..

Rang Rover Load Space drain and Sunroof seals

The location of the spare wheel under the load space floor in the P38 achieved the release of much needed space in the load compartment, vesrsu Classicmodels wher the spare wheel occupied a significant portion of the total space. This innovation also required the removal of everything in that compartment should the spare wheel be needed. The drain in the tyre well may cause water to enter should the vehicle be waded through deep streams. However, plugging the drain is not recommended because it will prevent the exit of any water entering the space through defective tailgate seals.

Land Rover owners may take comfort in the knowledge that sunroof problems are not confined to them, all being sourced from after-,arket suppliers. Most of the problems of water ingress via a sunroof may be attributed to blocked drains. After opening the roof slide, this condition is fairly east to rectify by locating the bottom end of each drainpipe adjacent to the side pillars. A good squirt of compressed air up each pipe will frequently clear the rubbish. Incidentally, before attacking the sunroof as the cause of water all through the carpets, it is wise to check that it is not the heater core or air-conditioning pipes causing the problem.

Land Rover seals - supply issues

Graeme Cooper Automotive have extensive practical experience of Land Rover servicing and can source parts not otherwise generally available, through numerous Australian and International suppliers.

Spectrum Rubber, for example, supply GCA with many seals for early Range Rover, as follows:

RANGE ROVER 1972-1995


Door seal (on body) - PVC finish black - 2 dr


Door seal (on body) - PVC finish black - 4 dr front


Door seal (on body) - PVC finish black - 4 dr rear


Door seal (on body) - velour finish black - 2 dr


Door seal (on body) - velour finish black - 4 dr front


Door seal (on body) - velour finish black - 4 dr rear


Tailgate seal - upper



Rear quarter window seal - rear door - main


Rear quarter window seal - rear door - base

For these models, also DISCOVERY and DEFENDER please contact Craig Flood at Graeme Cooper Automotive + 02 9550 2689 or

This article is one of many written by ASPAC Consulting,in collaboration with the technical experts at Graeme Cooper Automotive.
To download it in PDF format, click DUST & WATER SEALS

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