April 2nd, 2007 : Door Windlace & Retainers
I've read about others installing new rubber windlace and what a struggle this job can be ... but, for me, it went pretty easily! Installing the new rubber took about an hour per side and required some patience and muscle ... and I will say this is not a fun job ... but overall, I was pleased at how it went.
As you can see in the photo above, there's a "T" shaped part on the back side of the windlace that fits into a metal channel that runs around the door. My first step was to grease up the channel -- rubber and metal -- and I decided to use some dish soap. I don't know if GIBBS or WD-40 would've worked better or not, but the soap seemed to perform well enough.
On the driver side, the channel started about four inches up from the floor, so I started feeding the windlace in at that point and just kept working it all the way around. However, on the passenger side, the channel went right to the floor and I couldn't do a single run that way, so on the passenger side, I started at the top front corner (near the top of the windsheild) and worked the windlace in from that point -- there's a two-inch gap between the channel there, making for two entry points; one going from there, down the front, to the floor ... and one going over the top of the door towards the back.
So ... I started feeding the windlace in, going in two directions:
Now the tough part begins. The trick here, I found, is to work the windlace in, about two inches at a time. You carefully push at the entry point, feeding the rubber into the channel and pull at the end of the windlace ... only moving a couple of inches at a time and making sure the rubber isn't steering itself out of the channel as you go.
In the picture below, I've got it worked over the door and into the back corner:
Next, I started working the front side ... pushing and pulling, simultaneously, down to the floor:
Once the front side was secure in the channel all the way down to the floor, plus an inch or more extra to tuck under the Windlace Retainer, I returned to pushing and pulling the windlace over the door until the gap between these two sections was taken up.
Note: During this process, the rubber steered itself out of the channel on the top-side of the door. It was useless trying to stop it from doing so ... so I just made sure it didn't steer out around the top-rear corner, where it would be most difficult to stuff back in, and kept working it around to the finish point. Once it was all the way around and finished, I turned my attention to the top-side of the door, parking the bottom side of the rubber into the channel as I stuffed the top side in with a large screwdriver: Do not use a small screwdriver or you'll just cut up the rubber! The screwdriver I used was like eighteen inches long with a half-inch head on it and it was perfect! The head was big and fat enough to push the rubber in without cutting it, and it was long enough to provide extra leverage and oomph, too!
On the rear side, I cut the extra windlace off directly at floor level ... but on the front side, I pulled some extra to tuck under the Windlace Retainer which I'll be installing next week.
I found the Lower Cab Windlace Retainers I wanted on Page 40 of the Truck Shop Catalog ... I ordered the stainless steel set -- but I'm sending them back:
If you ask me, these look more like "used garbage" than like "polished stainless steel" ... I'm going to have to fabricate my own.