Home replacement of a neck dry suit seal is easy if you have the right tools. Follow these directions for a no fuss installation.
What do You Need?
- A new replacement neck seal
- Sharp scissors
- Wax paper
- Masking tape
- Plastic putty spatula
- Latex gloves (optional)
- Cotol 240 cleaner & accelerant (optional)
- Aquaseal adhesive
- Sandpaper (approximately 80 grit)
- Neck Seal Replacement Kit consisting of:
- Large cup
- 6 x spring clamps
- Base circle form
- 2 x half-moon forms
- Double sided stick tape
Find a large flat work surface and spread newspaper down. Read through these instructions and our tips at the end, and then you are ready to begin.
Part One: Removing The Old Seal
- Remove the old neck gasket from the dry suit using sharp scissors. You will cut along the edge of the suit
- material leaving the ½-3/4” of original seal that is glued to the suit in place.
NOTE: If any part of the original seal remaining is not still securely glued to the suit or the seal material is deteriorated or gummy and not a suitable surface to glue a new seal to, you will need to completely remove it. See instructions on how to do this in the Tips below.
Part Two: Prep the Suit & Seal
- Seals at the factory can be glued to either the inside or outside of the suit. Turn your suit either right side out or inside out such that the remaining seal is facing outwards and is visible.
- Cover the circle and two half circle forms with wax paper to keep the Aquaseal from adhering to them. Use masking tape on the back side of the forms to hold the wax paper in place.
- Cut eight pieces of double sided stick tape and attach them evenly around the outside perimeter of the circle form on the smooth wax paper work side (not the side with masking tape).
- Put the circle form inside the opening of the dry suit neck opening.
- Remove the remaining covering on the eight pieces of double sided stick tape and flatten the suit outward and down onto the tape. This will leave the neck opening flat on the form, and provide a good working surface.
- Wipe the remaining seal material on the suit with Cotal 240 (isopropyl alcohol or acetone can also be sued) to clean away any contaminants that could prevent a good adhesive bond.
- Using the sandpaper, scuff the remaining seal material on the suit until it begins to have a white mat finish. It only takes a few scuffs for any one area to achieve this.
- If your suit is inside out, turn the replacement neck seal inside out (white sizing stamp facing out) If your suit is right side out, keep the replacement neck seal right side out (white sizing stamp facing in).
Part Three: Adhere new Seal
- Wipe the mating surface of the new seal with Cotal 240 (isopropyl alcohol or acetone can also be sued) to clean away any contaminants that could prevent a good adhesive bond.
- Scuff the surface of the new seal at its mating edge. Scuff a width all the way around only as wide as the remaining seal on the suit (approximately ½-3/4” wide).
- Now put on your latex gloves (optional) to keep any Aquaseal from getting on your skin.
- In a plastic up mix three parts of Aquaseal (1/2 tube) to one part of Cotol 240, and mix thoroughly with a plastic putty spatula.
- Use your plastic putty spatula to spread the mixture onto the old seal only. If you have had to remove the old seal completely, you will want to apply the mixture to the fabric where the old seal had been glued and to the new seal.
- With the cup form upside down, slide it up and into the opening of the replacement neck seal. Pull the seal down the cup until the bottom (matting surface to the dry suit) sits flat on a countertop.
- Now carefully place the cup with the seal on it into the middle of the circle form while aligning the mating surface of the seal to the surface with the Aquaseal on it.
- Once old and new neck seal surfaces are mated and aligned at their edges, place the half-moon forms on to and on either side.
- Now place three clamps evenly around each of the half-moon forms. This will sandwich the glued surfaces between under pressure while the Aquaseal dries.
Step Four: Final Steps
- Allow the Aquaseal to dry for 2 hours (or 24 if you did not use Cotol 240)
- Then remove the forms and the repair is finished.
- Make sure you order a new neck seal to match the size of your suit – a large neck seal for a size large dry suit, and so on.
- You can use a make shift home-made repair kit at home using a cut out cardboard for the forms and many books, both covered with wax paper. However this can sometimes leave areas of the seal unpressed and unadhered to the suit where the books cannot completely cover, and the cardboard not being ridged.
- If you need to completely remove the old seal because it is not a viable surface to glue a new seal to, follow these directions carefully:
Note: Pulling at a gasket that is well glued can rip the fabric of the suit. When pulling at the seal in different directions, go slowly. The fabric may be strong in one direction, but weaker in another and rip when you removal efforts change direction. If the gasket has been stitched on (in addition to having been glued), use a seam ripper to break the treads prior to removing the seal.
For more details:
For dry suits made of Gore-Tex:
For dry suits made of Gore-Tex (or similar three-layer laminates) use a home clothes iron set a medium heat. Heat either the fabric (inside or out) or the latex seal directly until hot to the touch. Carefully pull the seal off. If it remains stuck or does not come off fairly easily, heat the area with the iron further. Because the latex and glue will remain hot, wearing gloves to remove the seal is recommended. Do not use a heat gun or hair dryer – stick with a clothes iron to concentrate the correct amount of heat to the seal mating area only.
For dry suits made of coated nylon:
For dry suits made of coated nylon (two layer waterproof with a white urethane coating on the inside), you will need to be very careful not to melt away the coating. If you do the fabric will leak in that area. Apply heat only to the latex seal. Do not apply heat directly to the fabric of the suit – do not allow the iron to touch the fabric at any time. Use a home clothes iron set a medium heat. Heat only the latex seal directly until hot to the touch. Carefully pull the seal off.
If it remains stuck or does not come off fairly easily, heat the area with the iron further. Because the latex and glue will remain hot, wearing gloves to remove the seal is recommended. Do not use a heat gun or hair dryer – stick with a clothes iron to concentrate the correct amount of heat to the seal mating area only.