Is the outer edge ofthe rubber gasket between the headlight bucket and the body suposed to be painted? My car has had several coats of paint over the years, including the gasket. Since I have it down to shell now I am wondering if that is correct or does it remain black?
They are a rubber gasket and as per the tail light, front indicator and windscreen to body gaskets they should remain their natural black. If they have been painted someone has just been lazy when painting and not taken the rims off. As a side note the original rootes gaskets were muich thinner than the repros we have now, they allowed the headlight rims to mount closer to the body and gave less of a gap line.
i think you’ll find the thickness of the repros to be real close although there were two different gaskets used over the years. never did know the difference. i think you will find that rootes riveted the gaskets and headlamp bucket to the fender. doing this will pull the bucket in tight and crush the gasket and distort the bucket. sunbeam restoration shops like the one i use install the buckets using flat headed bolts and flange nuts. as a result of this the full thickness of the gasket is seen. he also matches the headlamp rim to the fender. this means you don’t switch rims from one side to the other. that gives you a very smooth transition from fender to rim with the gasket being level with the fender and rim. doing this takes many hours of work to get it right which was not something rootes did on the production line.