Kevin Mackay's stunning See-Thru...
Kevin Mackay's stunning See-Thru Corvette creation shows the inner workings of the door-glass mechanism. Two bolts attach the lower side of the window to the horizontal sash.
Glass is often the last thing on a Corvette owner's mind. Unless there's breakage, a crack, or a major chip, even though glass is in sight, it's out of mind. However, wear and tear from the road can deteriorate the surface of automotive glass. This generally happens so slowly, like cataracts, that the diminishing clarity is seldom noticed.
During a strip and paint several years ago, a friend chided me so severely about the condition of my windshield that I replaced it. There were no stone chips or wiper marks, but the surface of the glass had thousands of tiny pits, undoubtedly from the sand blasting endured over thousands of miles of Texas and Florida driving. Facing a low-hanging sun or headlights, it was almost as bad as looking through a soapy shower curtain. After installing the new windshield, I saw how dramatically it improved the driving experience. It was like a new car again.
The sad shape of this glass...
The sad shape of this glass screams for replacement. The vertical scratches were caused by sand caught in the weatherstrip or anti-rattle plates, which can mar the glass when it moves up or down. The circular marks are from a sander that must have slipped during bodywork or a repaint. Raise the window to inspect how it fits to the weatherstrip at front, top, and rear.
Side glass can suffer a similar slow deterioration. Although less prone to sand pitting, it has additional wear problems from sliding over weatherstrip and anti-rattle plates every time it moves up or down. And on earlier Corvettes, chipping at the top corners is a common problem.
Fortunately, a number of options are now available for replacement door glass. The least expensive is replacement glass without any markings. The mid-priced option sports the rather prominent Astro Ventilation logo. For a little more money still, the proper date code can be etched on the lower rear of the glass.
Follow along as we go step-by-step through door-glass replacement. Even if your door glass is still fine, you'll see where adjustments can be made to help the glass seal properly against the weatherstrip. Proper adjustment and cleaning the channels and sliders for smooth, silky operation helps prevent costly window-regulator failure down the road.
||Door glass; with logo, 1973 Convertible, tinted, R (passenger side)
||'68-'82 Door Window Glass Flat Nut
||'69-'96 Door Glass Window Anti-Rattle Bumper
||'69-'77 Window Track & Glass Mount Kit
||'68-'82 Door Glass Front Track Stop
||'68-'82 Window Glass Rubber Washers
||'68-'82 Door Glass Slotted Washer
||'69-'96 Door Glass Anti-Rattle Mount Bolt (Metric)
||'68-'82 Side Window Glass Nut Tool
||'68-'77 Door Panel/T-top Panel Velcro Fastener (Oval)
||'68-'77 Door Panel Mount Kit
||'69-'82 Door Panel Inner Window Seals
||'69-'75 Convertible Door Main Weatherstrip (R)
||'68-'82 RH Door Lock Rod Clip Kit
||'69-'75 Convertible Door Win-dow Outer Seals (Replacement)
Remove the door-panel attachment...
Remove the door-panel attachment screws. The door pull has two hidden machine screws. Use a long No. 2 Phillips with a good tip and hold it squarely to the screw head-you don't want to strip the head on either of these. The remaining four attachment screws are located at the door panel's corners.
Remove the spring clip from...
Remove the spring clip from the door-lock knob. Pry the door panel back for better access and then use a door-handle-removal tool or a small screwdriver to push the clip. Do the same for the window-crank handle, if so equipped. Remove the door handle.
Use a broad, flat tool to...
Use a broad, flat tool to gently pry apart the door panel's five Velcro plastic snaps. Pop the lower metal clips out of the door. Lower the window and remove the door panel. Remove the plastic moisture barrier.
After removing the two small...
After removing the two small screws attaching the outer weatherstrip to the door, gently pry the snaps on the weatherstrip from the door.
Mark the position of the bolts...
Mark the position of the bolts on the upper attachments of the window channels, anti-rattle bumpers, and the other adjustment points for the window mechanism. Then loosen or remove the front and rear window-channel attachment bolts to provide more clearance for window removal.
The window upper stop is attached...
The window upper stop is attached to the top of the front channel by a single bolt. Adjusting the stop determines how high the window will travel. Remove the upper stop and the front anti-rattle bumper.
New parts useful for door-panel...
New parts useful for door-panel removal or repair include the screw set and lower clips.
The lower clips commonly tear...
The lower clips commonly tear out a portion of the door panel. To fix this, slide a thin strip of metal in behind the torn sides.
After the metal is glued in...
After the metal is glued in place, the clip once again has something to attach to.
The Velcro blocks often separate...
The Velcro blocks often separate from the backing, too. JB Weld will cement them back in place.
Door-panel inner seals eventually...
Door-panel inner seals eventually harden, crack, and fall apart due to UV exposure and age.
The inner seal was originally...
The inner seal was originally stapled to the door panel. A Set of No. 6 screws is an alternative to the staples. A dab of black paint can then hide the screws.
Raise the window to enable...
Raise the window to enable access to the two nuts that attach the sash to the window mechanism. The nut on the rear of the sash is easy to see. The nut on the front is accessed through a hole in the inner door panel.
Raise the window to enable...
Raise the window to enable access to the two nuts that attach the sash to the window mechanism. The nut on the rear of the sash is easy to see. The nut on the front is accessed through a hole in the Gently pry the window away from the sash until its bolts are free of the holes in the sash. Use a helper or a spring clamp to prevent one end of the window from falling while working on the other end.inner door panel.
Slide the window up and out...
Slide the window up and out of the door. Gentle prying may be needed to get the window's fasteners past the outer portion of the door.
Photograph or write down the...
Photograph or write down the location and direction of the components on the window before removing them. Protect the glass by placing it on a soft surface such as a carpet, towel, or the box the window came in.
Fortunately, many replacement...
Fortunately, many replacement parts are available for the windows. Zip Products offers a kit that includes mount bushings, glass bumper and cap, front roller, and roller/slider assembly. Also of interest are the rubber washers (three per window). A special tool is available for the round nut plates that secure the sash bolts to the glass.
Install the parts onto the...
Install the parts onto the new glass, ensuring that they go in the proper direction. Tighten the bolts and nuts snugly but cautiously; don't over-tighten. The sash-attachment bolts can't rattle loose when the nuts are installed on the sash.
While you're at it, consider...
While you're at it, consider removing, cleaning, and lubricating the window channels. The sash is easily removed. The channels require a little more effort, but it's worth it if the windows don't move up and down smoothly. Also, clean the inside of the door, especially the drains.
Another thing to consider...
Another thing to consider replacing now is the main door weatherstrip. The new weatherstrip highlights how much the molded end has deteriorated from UV exposure. The ends on the front and rear have a rough life trying to seal the door against both the window and the body.
Install the new glass by installing...
Install the new glass by installing the slider into the front channel and then guiding the bolts past the upper doorframe. Line up the bolts with the holes on the sash and install the nuts. The upper attachment of the front and rear channels enables the window to be adjusted forward or backward.
Install the outer window seal...
Install the outer window seal into the door. The replacement seal has a wide, soft rubber lip. The original weatherstrip was felt-covered. Apply adhesive to the back of the weatherstrip if the snaps don't hold it securely to the doorframe.
Install the anti-rattle bumper,...
Install the anti-rattle bumper, the window upper stop, and the upper attachment bolts for the window channels. New stops and bumpers are also available from Zip Products. Check to see if the replacement bumpers require metric bolts.
Adjust the window if needed....
Adjust the window if needed. Move the short horizontal channel to position the glass parallel with the windshield post. Move the upper stops until the window seats properly in the roof weatherstrip. Move the front channel to adjust the window forward and aft. Finally, move the window channel upper attachments to adjust the window inboard or outboard.
Install the moisture-barrier...
Install the moisture-barrier film or tape over the holes in the inner door panel. Aluminum duct tape works well. The project is finished with installation of the door panel, which is the reverse of the steps in the removal.
One item to note during installation...
One item to note during installation is that the lock knob only goes on one way: there are no splines on one side. After installing the knob, pull on it to make sure the clip is secure. If the car has manual windows, put the window up or down to install the handle in your preferred position.
The disfigured glass is gone,...
The disfigured glass is gone, and perfect glass is in its place. The window moves up and down smoothly and seals against the weatherstrip. Door-glass replacement was a clear choice to make the visual component of driving more pleasurable for both driver and passenger.