Friday, October 19, 2012

Rear Window Installation - Dos and Don'ts

This has been an interesting couple of weeks.  I did a lot of research on installing the rear windows, the problem is I started the installation before I fully understood the process.  Follow along as I make a couple mistakes but finally get it right.

First order of business was to locate all the trim clips exactly where they were originally.  Ty and I took precision measurements before the clips were removed but it was easier to just look inside the cab.  These clips have teeth and they leave marks.  The clips were easy to locate.  

The rear windows had been laying around the shop for the last 3 years and they were grungy to say the least.  I used my dual head/dual action Cyclo polisher with a mild abrasive to clean them up.  They turned out nice, but they still show their age.  If you recall this window had sticky letters, Not for Hire.

With Gerri's help I was able to seat the window.  It fit perfect.  I was very pleased.  It was shortly after this picture I realized I had to remove everything.  I found out the window was going to leak and the trim was not going to snap into place.  Let me explain.

Turns out the rubber gasket needs to be sealed and the trim clips need to be placed where the trim tabs are located.  In the picture below I've removed the glass and rubber gasket.  All the trim pieces have been hooked together.  I am dry fitting to make sure the trim clips are aligned with the tabs on the trim.

  Note how the clip on the bottom isn't located under this trim tab.  The clip has to be moved right a good inch.   This clip had no chance of holding the trim.  This clip and 6 others needed adjusting.

I put duct tape on all the trim joints to hold the assembly together.  The trim needs to be installed as a unit.  If you snap it in one piece at a time you're most likely going to bend something.  Original replacement trim for a 63 Corvette coupe is very very expensive.  Check E-bay and be amazed.

Now it's time to lay down a bead of 3M Bedding and Glazing Compound.  A 1/4" bead is all you need.  This will seal the rubber gasket to the body.  Tape is laid down because I know this can get messy.

The gasket was installed on the glass then a length of wire cord was installed in the grove that the body fits into.  While applying pressure from the outside, Gerri pulled the wire allowing the rubber lip to slide over the lip of the body.  It worked great.

The glass and gasket fell right into place.

Check out the glazing compound.  It sealed perfect and didn't leave a big mess.

Glazing compound is also needed between the rubber gasket and glass.  For this I put the compound in a disposable cake frosting piping bag.  You've seen it, the bag filled with frosting that's used to decorate cakes.  I used a plastic spoon to lift the rubber then piped the compound back into the joint.  It was a little messy but not bad.  You can see the extra compound oozing out in places.

The trim was snapped into position then I cleaned up everything.  It looks wonderful!  

I'll start working on the other window next.

Thanks for watching.


  1. 1963 Split Window Corvette Coupe, meet John MacGuyver. :-)


  2. A plastic spoon and a frosting bag? I thought everybody did it that way. I have had other nontraditional methods that did not work as well. But I will take credit for this one. It worked great!

  3. Good show!

    I'd scared to death working with anything metal near that paint job.


  4. I admit my eye brows were a little damp during the whole process. The trim has many sharp areas and I did manage to nick and scratch the paint in a couple spots. Fortunately, I know I can buff and polish those areas. The key to the trim is patience. Lots of patience.

  5. I wish I was there to help....
    Ty T.

  6. Ty! I wish you were here too! You took the trim off. You should be putting it back on. Yes, you should be here!

  7. Looks beter than new!!!! How did you re-condition the trim to look so good???

    Can I come too???


  8. Lester H (Wilson)! Yes, you can come over. You are always welcome to stop by especially when you are in the neighborhood in that million dollar motor home. Stop the next time you are on the west coast. We would love to see you guys. Great hearing from you!

  9. Lester, great question about reconditioning the trim. I will make that the subject of my next post. Thanks.

  10. I always knew those windows were tricky. Most dealers won't touch the old windshields so also be ready for that job.
    jim q.

  11. Jim Q, yes, I have already been made aware the windshield will not install as easy as the rear windows. Hopefully I will be successful knowing what I have learned on the rear windows and trim.

  12. when you put the molding on, how did you remove the tape? After you snapped the molding in, during, before? Did you leave the tape on and then take off only the part you could see? Thanks, Rick