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1965rivgs

How to use `63 door glass in `64 and `65 models

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Posting this service bulletin because there has been some confusion as to interchangeability of door glass between `63 and later first gen Rivs  and exactly how to accomplish same. Note that the change happened after start of the `64 production so some early `64`s will have the `63 style glass attachment from the factory. Enjoy,

  Tom Mooney

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Edited by 1965rivgs (see edit history)
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Hi Tom,

 

I've been searching the forum for info on swapping out the clear glass for Soft-Ray in my '65 when I came across the info you posted in Aug 2015. 

 

Thanks again for being such a valued resource to the Riviera community!

 

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OK 65 VGS: I did a full tint swap on my green w/white standard interior 65. Lotta work for the first time. Those quarter windows?  I've taken 'em in and out at least  a dozen times and i'm still all thumbs.  The trailing arms on the door glass?  I seem to have acquired a small collection of broken ones.  Mitch

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After all the Riv's iI have taken apart and put back together, the windows are by far the hardest part of the whole car.  I have aligned windows in other GM same era and was typically much easier.  Buick was not kidding when then said these cars were hand fit.  I have worked on low mileage, super original Riv's and from factory a lot of windows were not aligned properly. Close, but not perfect. 

 

BTW:  I highly recommend to anyone replacing glass to NOT put 63 glass in unless they have a 63 and want it super original, or have no choice and can't find glass.  The bolt in glass is way superior, there is no glue to come undone. There is a reason they did a running change with it.  

Edited by DualQuadDave (see edit history)

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On 10/25/2018 at 4:02 PM, lrlforfun said:

OK 65 VGS: I did a full tint swap on my green w/white standard interior 65. Lotta work for the first time. Those quarter windows?  I've taken 'em in and out at least  a dozen times and i'm still all thumbs.  The trailing arms on the door glass?  I seem to have acquired a small collection of broken ones.  Mitch

 

Hi lrlforfun,

 

I too want to swap in the Soft-Ray tinted glass for the plain glass in my '65.  I found a full set for $200, except windshield.  My car has a tinted windshield in decent condition, so I'll leave that in for now. 

 

I'm very curious to learn from your experience, so if you don't mind sharing what you learned, that would be great!

 

It was a fair bit of work to clean up the glass, as they'd been stored in a dusty garage for a long time.  Luckily, the glass is in pretty good shape, except for one rear quarter window which has two 4" scratches - not too noticeable.  Hopefully I can polish the scratches to make them less noticeable.

 

I date coded the tinted glass and the fronts are the bolt-in type, made in Sept and Nov '64 (coded CG and AG).  I understand the front door glass should swap out fairly easily.  Are there any gotchas I should be aware of?

 

I have no idea how to swap out the vent window glass.  I may take it to an auto glass place to have that done.  Any tips there?  How do you get the old ones out?  Short of smashing them out, how is this done?  I hear the risk is breaking the pot-metal pivot post, so I'm hesitant to start banging to smash them out.

 

The rear tinted quarter glass is dated Feb '64 (coded XC).  Are '64 rear quarter windows a direct fit for a '65?   I know they changed the front glass from glued to bolt-in sometime during the '64 production run.  But, did the rear quarters change too?  The glass I got came bonded to the pot metal chromed bottom frames with an 'arm' having 3 rollers each.   The rollers all turn, some kind of roughly.  I'll douse them in white lithium spray can grease, which I've heard is the stuff to use to free them up.  Did that work for you?

 

Any tips you can offer before I start taking my Riv apart are much appreciated.

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OK 65 GS:  The door skins is the first obstacle. Back in the day the screws spun off with ease, Today?  Anything but....so CAREFULLY remove the door shell and before re-installation make sure all the nuts and bolts are free as a bird. Also, make sure the T bolts don't spin. If you're careful you can peen the pockets without denting the outside.  There are probably other methods others have tried successfully. Next?  Make sure your fuzzies are not gonna scratch your glass. Removing that top stainless piece is a very tedious job and replacing it even more so.

 

The removal of the door glass is pretty straightforward.  Clean all tracks and rollers. #000 Steel wool with some solvent works great.  Clean and lube the regulators with your favorite product.  Lithium grease is what I used.   Check for bent and worn components  while apart. Re-install the glass and adjust. It's pretty easy.  If your bottom frame has a trailing arm get that going. If not forget about it as they're like wisdom teeth.  The stops and adjustments give wiggle room.  If you have the bottom frame the glass sets in don't mess with it. If you need to, change glass and frame....BE CAREFUL as the glass can shatter with the wrong pressure.  Earlier GM''s had a metal rail that was prone to rust. Not the case with the Riv set-up.  

 

The vent window assembly can be really tough.  Remove and make sure the regulator is free, check to see if the backing plate is secured (that IS peened from the factory) and grease it up.  if the backing plate is wobilly you can drill out the peened part and install sheet metal screws. it works great.  Finally....the vent glass.  The factory provided a thin ribbon around the perimeter of the glass where it goes into the channel. This often expands and the window will bind against the vertical post. Make sure it's closes freely. if the glass has separated from the ribbon and channel ya gotta remove the glass, clean out the chrome channel, get new ribbon and re-glue and install. That part takes skill, as a glass man has years of experience.

 

The back 1/4 windows need to be at a certain height (I think about half mast (but don't really remember) in order to come out and in easily.  I believe the shop manual has some pertinent info on this. The top rail attached to the frame assembly is held in with Phillip screws. Pray they come out  easy or it's a big pain. Not rocket science but ya gotta drill 'em out if they're stripped.  Basically,  just remember how they came out and re-install. There are several adjusting nuts attacked to the rails and they need to be adjusted as needed.  When the assembly is out you can vacuum out and blow out with air all the debris from 50 years and if it's a warm day hitting it with some water pressure is also helpful.

 

As far as the date codes...I never cared about that stuff in my life but if it's important to you...go with it.  It's a job but the results of having full tint are dramatic.  Full tint takes even a 53 Cranbrook up about 100 notches.   Mitch

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Thanks Jan for posting the YouTube video.  Unfortunately the poster only put up Part 1.  There doesn't seem to be a Part 2 up as yet. 

 

Anyhow, it does give a good idea of what's involved in taking out the rear quarter window .  

 

Going to be taking the back seat and panels out this weekend to take a look..

 

Cheers,

 

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On 10/27/2018 at 3:01 PM, lrlforfun said:

OK 65 GS:  The door skins is the first obstacle. Back in the day the screws spun off with ease, Today?  Anything but....so CAREFULLY remove the door shell and before re-installation make sure all the nuts and bolts are free as a bird. Also, make sure the T bolts don't spin. If you're careful you can peen the pockets without denting the outside.  There are probably other methods others have tried successfully. Next?  Make sure your fuzzies are not gonna scratch your glass. Removing that top stainless piece is a very tedious job and replacing it even more so.

 

The removal of the door glass is pretty straightforward.  Clean all tracks and rollers. #000 Steel wool with some solvent works great.  Clean and lube the regulators with your favorite product.  Lithium grease is what I used.   Check for bent and worn components  while apart. Re-install the glass and adjust. It's pretty easy.  If your bottom frame has a trailing arm get that going. If not forget about it as they're like wisdom teeth.  The stops and adjustments give wiggle room.  If you have the bottom frame the glass sets in don't mess with it. If you need to, change glass and frame....BE CAREFUL as the glass can shatter with the wrong pressure.  Earlier GM''s had a metal rail that was prone to rust. Not the case with the Riv set-up.  

 

The vent window assembly can be really tough.  Remove and make sure the regulator is free, check to see if the backing plate is secured (that IS peened from the factory) and grease it up.  if the backing plate is wobilly you can drill out the peened part and install sheet metal screws. it works great.  Finally....the vent glass.  The factory provided a thin ribbon around the perimeter of the glass where it goes into the channel. This often expands and the window will bind against the vertical post. Make sure it's closes freely. if the glass has separated from the ribbon and channel ya gotta remove the glass, clean out the chrome channel, get new ribbon and re-glue and install. That part takes skill, as a glass man has years of experience.

 

The back 1/4 windows need to be at a certain height (I think about half mast (but don't really remember) in order to come out and in easily.  I believe the shop manual has some pertinent info on this. The top rail attached to the frame assembly is held in with Phillip screws. Pray they come out  easy or it's a big pain. Not rocket science but ya gotta drill 'em out if they're stripped.  Basically,  just remember how they came out and re-install. There are several adjusting nuts attacked to the rails and they need to be adjusted as needed.  When the assembly is out you can vacuum out and blow out with air all the debris from 50 years and if it's a warm day hitting it with some water pressure is also helpful.

 

As far as the date codes...I never cared about that stuff in my life but if it's important to you...go with it.  It's a job but the results of having full tint are dramatic.  Full tint takes even a 53 Cranbrook up about 100 notches.   Mitch

Hi lrlforfun,

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with swapping out the glass in your Riviera.  I think the swap will enhance my car as it did yours.  The green tint should complement my car's dark green paint rahter well.

 

To your post, I can offer this:

 

1. I had both outer door skins off earlier this summer to adjust the vent windows which were binding on the vertical post.  All the "T" bolts/nuts on my doors are good, so that shouldn't present a problem.  I've figured out how to get the remote mirror off - just unscrew the bracket that holds the chrome diamond-shaped trim piece from behind (2 screws) and the toggle stick will be free to slide through the hole in the inner metal door panel.

 

2. I found a glass guy that works on classic cars who says he can do the window swap.  I'm basically prepping the car by removing the rear seat and inner door panels so he can access the rear quarter windows.  Doing that also saves me money.  The glass dude came recommended to me by the owner of a well-regarded local restoration shop.  This glass guy says he can swap the vent windows, door and rear quarter glass. He'll also be swapping the back window.  He's got an employee who has worked in auto glass for 40 years, so that should be a bonus.  The only gotcha is that there aren't many early Riv's out there so he may not be as familiar with the ins and out of our cars.  So, I want to prepare him as best I can by doing things like giving him a copy of the '65 Body Manual, just in case.

 

My car goes in on Monday.  Wish me luck!

 

PS - I'd be really interested to see photos of your Riv, before and after the glass swap.  Verde green with a white interior sounds striking!  Let me know if you have pics to share.  A recent photo of my Riv is posted here:  http://forums.aaca.org/topic/150093-post-some-pics-of-your-rivieras/?page=44

 

 

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Hi Guys,

 

I took my car in on Monday morning to have the glass swap done.  The shop guy told me the job should take about a full day.  Well, the car has been for 3 days.  This isn't because he's spent 24 hours on it, but because he gets called away to put out fires at his other glass shops.  I had hoped to get the car back today, but the shop said that although all the new glass is now in, the rear quarter windows aren't aligning properly.  No surprise there!  I think this is the first Riv the guy has done, despite having done classic car glass for over 20 years. He asked me a bunch of questions about the car and was impressed and surprised to learn that the outer door skins come off!  All the guys in his shop, and the 20 -something receptionist came out to admire the car and ask questions.  I think they'd never seen anything like it.

 

Anyhow, the guy working on my car said the swap went pretty well, which is a bit of a surprise considering the car is almost 54 years old.  The only problem (other than the rear quarters alignment) was that a bolt broke off when he unbolted the driver's door glass. He heated it up and got the thing apart, got a new bolt, etc.  So back on track there - pardon the pun!  He used a specialized punch of some sort to break out the vent windows so as to minimize stress on the vent window regulator pivot post.  If that sucker breaks then the adventure begins to find a replacement part!

 

Here's what the car looked like when I visited today at noon.

 

Tomorrow he'll work on improving the alignment of the rear quarters.  My fingers are crossed he'll get it close enough, as I know this isn't an easy job.  

 

Car at JF Visions.JPG

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Please take 15 minutes and mask off the leading edges of your fenders , door skin , and quarter panels with a few layers of painters tape to avoid an expensive “oops I gouged your paint”  moment !!! I got the shakes just looking at the picture ....

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On 11/8/2018 at 1:14 PM, pyntre said:

Please take 15 minutes and mask off the leading edges of your fenders , door skin , and quarter panels with a few layers of painters tape to avoid an expensive “oops I gouged your paint”  moment !!! I got the shakes just looking at the picture ....

 

Here's an update on my glass swap project.  I picked the car up from the glass shop at 6:00pm the night before I flew out to Argentina.  I had no time to quibble over details when I picked it up as I was in a hurry.  Suffice to say they got all the windows swapped and it looks great!   Here's a pic taken the night I brought the car home.  Not a great photo,  but you'll see that the tinted glass is now IN:

image.thumb.png.b8deaf78f54adc1253351ed9c66eaf02.png

 

I'll be doing as Pyntre suggests and do some protective masking of the door skin and fender because those door skins are coming off again.  To Telriv's point, yes, I gave the glass guy  a copy of the Body Manual to assist him with the job.  Here's the current state, and what still needs to be done:

  1. The driver's vent window won't close fully.  I didn't notice this until I drove away.  There's a 1/4" gap left after the motor reaches the end of its travel.  This means a nice wind howl sets it on the highway...  Also, there's quite a bit of 'play' in the regulator as the vent window can be moved by hand on its pivot with a travel of about an inch. The motor will move the vent both ways from fully open to almost closed, but not closed tight.  Before the swap this vent worked perfectly.  What would cause the failure to fully close, and the excess 'play' in the regulator?
     
  2. The passenger vent closes all the way but binds against the rubber and unless I close it from about halfway open, the motor can't overcome the resistance to the rubber seal.  So, I have to push the lower front corner of the vent by hand to fully close it.  Both vent windows look to be properly seated in their vent window frames.  Is there an adjustment that can be made to the vertical bar shared with the door glass that would provide more clearance to the vent window frame rubber?
     
  3. The door glass fit is really good, in fact, much better than before.  Those annoying rattles when going over bumps with the door windows down are almost all gone!  I'm really happy about that!
     
  4. The rear quarter windows still need adjusting. One side binds slightly when going up.  With the door glass all up and rear quarters up, the alignment looks good.  But that's only because the door glass pushes the quarter glass in!  Both quarter glass need to come in about 1/4" at the top.  Also, the tracks need more greasing as the windows don't go up and down that smoothly.  Before the swap, they were kind of rough in action too.  Is this 'normal' for these cars - that the rears go up and down roughly?

I'll take the door skins off to attempt to fix the vent windows when I get back from vacation.  In the meantime, if you have any hints or experience to share with adjusting the vents and rear quarter windows then I'll be glad to hear from you!

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Obviously he didn't crack it open. Now you'll be spending MANY DAYS fixing his mistakes/lack of knowledge all for the sake of NOT opening a book..

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On 11/13/2018 at 7:35 PM, telriv said:

Obviously he didn't crack it open. Now you'll be spending MANY DAYS fixing his mistakes/lack of knowledge all for the sake of NOT opening a book..

I agree, unfortunately.  The guy did use the Body Manual but obviously didn’t get everything put back quite right. I’ll have to remove the door skins again to see what can be adjusted. Trouble is there are very few shops willing to take on a job like swapping out the glass on a 53 year old car, so it was going to be a bit of a gamble as to how things would turn out. 

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