Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Look before you leap

My mother and step-father have been out the past week from Ohio and in the interest of keeping Larry busy, I've given him a few things to do on the Le Mans. The very first thing I wanted to get started on was to install the replacement quarter-window on the driver's side. I had scoured eBay and other vendors and finally found a replacement at Chicago Muscle Cars, an eBay vendor. It cost $75 for the replacement glass and $40 for the sash and weatherstripping -- all used, from original GM A-Body convertible. This window was missing when I purchased the car and is a top priority to fix and I was very excited to find a replacement!

The window came in great shape the past week and I've been waiting to get the opportunity to install it. We removed the backseat and pulled the back interior armrest panels. Behind the armrest panel, is a regulator access panel which lets you reach into the body and position and adjust the quarter window as shown in the picture below.

At any rate, when we pulled the access panel, surprise! The original quarter window was actually between the regulator and body panel inside the quarter panel. Holy smokes! I can't believe a window that size could hide down in there. Any rate, after cleaning up the rollers, we removed the top two and the bottom regular bolts, removed the top window stop, and loosened the bolts surrounding the crank. We were able to hit the 3 rollers on the regular slides and get the 'regular lift arm roller" into "sash channel cam" as seen in this diagram. It was helpful to have two sets of hands for this operation, but probably could be done with someone alone with more patience than I. In order to see how the stop was properly positioned, we wound up having to pull the interior and access panel off of the passenger side as well. As it turns out the window stop was improperly installed on the passenger side, and we addressed this before buttoning it back up.

In the diagram, (looking down on the window) you can see the top two adjustment bolts clearly in the cut outs and you can actually make out the bottom bolt as viewed through the access area.

After lubing the rollers and regulator slides, the quarter glass was moving up and down freely. We had to adjust the window at the top two bolts and bottom bolt on the regulator to get the window at the right angle to be flush along the side of the driver's side window as well as the stop to ensure proper height. Before we buttoned up the interior, we backed the car out of the garage and put the top up. My top doesn't seal on either side of the quarter glass and it appears the weatherstripping is either improperly installed or is for the wrong GM-A body style car.

Larry has been busily working on other things that I will post a little later. I guess the morale of this story is, look before you leap. I had assumed I would need a quarter glass replacement when the car actually was hiding the original. Until you actually tear into the car, you never actually know what you're dealing with. I could have saved some money by having torn apart the interior and access panel prior to ordering the replacement parts.

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