My adventure with CF Door Rubber

Apr 30, 2005
SF Bay Area
Well, as many have experienced, the rubber on the CF door on one of my D2H started peeling off the other day. I've read many posts and complaints about this and here is my solution.

To start, the thing is made of some kind of Neoprene. Worse, it has a high oil content making it resistant to adhesives. Add to that that it has a smooth surface on the bonding side and you can pretty well figure out why these things come unstuck.

I removed the old adhesive and tried industrial double-sided tape, then an all purpose adhesive. Neither were satisfactory. I then called Nikon and asked what they used and they said don't try this at home and to send it in for them to fix. I've heard reports of the replacements being no better than the original, so I decided to do some homework and look for a solution.

I figured that since we were talking sticky, I'd check with the experts. I called 3M and chatted with a technical rep. She clued me in on the high oil content and suggested either double-side tape, a type of contact cement or a product designed to hold rubber and plastic to metal, Gasket Cement. She said that products like super glue were not recommended in a case like this due to the oil issue and also that they harden when dry and will not keep the bond when joined to a flexible surface. The cement is 3M Scotch Grip Rubber and Gasket Adhesive #847.

Now, where to find it? Hardware store - no. Auto Supply - never heard of it. Google - yeah, but in case lots. I was going nowhere fast so I called 3M again and they recommended a wholesaler who agreed to sell me a single tube, rather than a case of 36 for 15 bucks. Smallest size, however, is 5 fl oz which is a big tube.

I received the product next day since there is a warehouse not too far from me.

Here's what I did to reattach the rubber/Neoprene cover.

First, I dampened a cloth with Naptha (aka lighter fluid). Applied to the adhesive residue this loosened it enough to scrape it off with a cuticle stick (has a chisel tip). If one is adventurous, acetone or methyl ethyl ketone would be quicker but more hazardous.

When all of the adhesive was removed and surfaces clean, I wire-brushed the inside surface of the neoprene cover. This allows the adhesive to gain some traction. Why Nikon hasn't figured this out is beyond me. I then cleaned both surfaces with Isopropyl Alcohol 91% to remove any oils.

I masked the perimiter with painter's blue tape so as not to slop over. Then I applied a thin coat to both surfaces, joined them and applied some pressure for a few minutes. Woohoo, this puppy's stuck for good!

I'm satisfied that this repair will last as long as I have the camera and I still have 4.9 oz of the adhesive left. It has a 15 month shelf-life once opened.

Now, if anyone wants to try this, let me know and I'll send you the tube for the cost of shipping. I think that there is enough adhesive to attach several hundred door covers, so maybe it can be a traveling tube similar to the traveling cameras.
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