June 10th, 2003 : Door-Window Channels
RE-POPS brand makes the best replacement channels for door windows. I bought mine from LMC Truck ... you get two felt channels for each door -- one is flexible; for the door window, and one is straight; for the side-bar on the vent window -- and an anti-rattle kit : two rubber strips and two felt strips with a chrome bead along the top (one of each for each window). It took me four hours to do this, but I like to go slow when I'm doing something for the first time.
Here's the procedure:
1 - Mark the door frame with a felt-tip marker where the two channels meet - just above the side-bar of the vent window, for reference (see #5 below**).Before I did this, my windows would bind while rolling them down ... I had to push on one side to assist, and wind was blowing in from under the window when it was closed -- due to no rubber strip on the outside, no felt on the inside, and no felt (worn away) in the channels! Now, they roll up and down perfectly and they are air tight, making for a very cool ride when I turn on my new Hurricane air-conditioner!
2 - Remove the entire vent window assembly. Now's a good time to adjust the looseness/tightness of the vent window movement -- see that fat spring with the nut on the end of it? Spray some WD40 on that puppy ... turn clockwise to tighten movement; counter-clockwise to loosen movement.
3 - Raise the door window, tilt it and remove it from the track-wheel of the window regulator.
4 - Remove the old piece of felt channel from the side-bar of the vent window and install the new one - this requires some serious pressing into place. I used a small vise for gentle pursuasion and less effort.
5 - Remove the old piece of felt channel from door (check for screws that may be holding it in place) and install the new one, starting where you made your mark on the frame with the felt-tip marker**. Just press it into place for now ... don't secure it with screws just yet.
6 - Remove the old rubber strip from the outside-bottom of the window-opening in the door -- and good luck! Mine was all dry, hard and broken off, so I had to chisel it out with an ice pick ... took me a good 20 minutes, too! See picture above. Then install the new one -- hold it up to the area it's going into, cut it to length and poke the fatter side in with a screwdriver (flattest side down).
7 - Put the door window back in place, carefully sliding it into the felt channel that's installed, and roll the window down.
8 - Here comes the trickiest part! Put the vent window assembly back in ... doing your best to get the new felt channel to accept the other side of the door window as you go.
9 - Now, making sure the channels butt up against each other tightly, screw the top-side of the window felt channel into place ... I put a small sheet metal screw where the channel starts (by the vent window), another one about midway, and a third just below the bend, making sure it stayed up there -- once the screws are tightened, you'll never know they're there. The screws go through the channel very easily, but if you don't already have screw holes in the door frame, you'll have to drill.
10 - Last is the felt strip with the chrome bead on it that attaches to the bottom of the inside window molding. These press against the window and prevent rattling. My kit came with a carbide drill bit for drilling holes in the molding for the provided staples -- you push the staples through and crimp them on the other side -- but I've heard it's hard to crimp the staples and get a tight fit; that screws are better. So I went to Home Depot and bought some #4 3/8-inch sheet-metal screws (3/16-inch would've been better, but the smallest they had was 3/8). Using the pre-existing holes that were already in the felt strips (and one I drilled myself, at the end of the curved tip), I laid the felt strip in place on the window moulding and drilled holes into the moulding using a 3/32-inch drill bit. When I screwed all down tight, the screw heads got buried in the felt - you can't even tell they're there! Lastly, I cut the ends of the screws off with my dremel -- they looked like they were sticking through the other side too far. Another reason I used screws instead of the staples is, I plan on covering my inside window mouldings with vinyl and will have to remove (and replace) these felt strips when I do that project -- staples would've been a pain in the neck, eh?
Ain't I the coolest for sharing all this stuff? "Hail, Alan!"