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paint job/rear window question


KDirk

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Ok, I have a question about doing a repaint and how to handle the rear window. I am concerned about doing a repaint on my 91 without removal of the rear window.

It seems to me that masking against the rubber reveal molding will not get the cleanest paint line and may be a place where peeling or deterioration will start. As well, since my rubber reveal trim on the rear window is getting a bit rough where it meets the roof, I have two questions:

1. If I remove the rear window, has anyone here had first hand experience in having an auto glass installer replace the rubber edge molding. Yes, I know the original is not available as it came on the glass. However, there has got to be some comparable half round low profile rubber trim that could be used. If anyone has done this successfully, how did it turn out?

2. What are the odds of breaking the glass during removal assuming proper removal technique? If they are exceedingly high, I am reluctant to touch it. On the other hand, if the back glass is removable with a high success rate (meaning no breakage) then maybe it's worth doing.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

KDirk

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Kevin,

you have several choices here.

I would first suggest you contact the guys at Pilkington Classics at (800) 848-1351 to see if they have an NOS rear glass in stock. they had a few still available last year. they are in Columbus, Ohio.

the rear glass is somewhat year-specific; the 1988 models don't have an antenna built into the rear glass, as they did not have keyless entry. the 1989-1990 models have a large retangular keyless antenna in the top of the rear glass. the 1991 models have just a short stub (about 4 inches) embedded in the top of the glass for a receiver. in a pinch, the 1989-1990 glass can be substituted, as the antenna connection is in exactly the same place in the center.

there are several issues with replacing the rubber gasket. first, look at the lower corner in the front. there is essentially a 90 degree angle there that the molding won't be able to go around.

the biggest issue will be when you open the trunk, and look at how big the molding is below the rear window. I don't think this could be duplicated with any stock molding.

having someone pull the glass can be scary. the problem with most glass technicians is that they are trained to pull broken glass, and have no knowledge of pulling glass in one (unbroken) piece.

the company we use spends about three hours pulling a windshield, and it's very slow going. they use a piece of piano wire, with one person inside, and one outside. they go around the entire perimeter of the glass, a half-inch at a time. this is also how the rear window would come out. the encapsulation cannot be damaged.

removal of the rear glass is even harder. the windshield is relatively flat; the rear window is more like a bubble. if you decide to go this route, I would suggest removing all the interior trim in the back, as well as the headliner, to avoid any trim damage.

Mike

buickreattaparts.com

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Mike,

I appreciate the reply. As it happens, I have a 1991 NOS rear window in storage, in an LOF factory carton, was very lucky to find it about 8 months ago. I was hoping not to use it unless the existing one was ever broken. I hate to use it now just for the rubber trim, as the window is in great shape otherwise (no nicks, scratches, etc.) It also has tint, which the NOS glass does not have. Thus, I'd have to have the new window tinted as well.

I also know what you are referring to as far as the hard 90 at the bottom corners, and the bottom edge of the reveal also being a water deflector of sorts where it underlaps the trunk lid.

I suppose with enough skill and patience, a reasonable "miter" could be done with replacement molding at these corners, using one long piece around the top and sides, and a second piece along the bottom assuming material of suitable width could be sourced. My concern here is that it would probably be noticeable, and thus detract from the appearance.

As for the removal, I pretty well figured on the piano wire approach. Like you have stated, the problem is the shape of the window which makes it difficult to safely remove without the likelihood of damage.

So, I'm not sure how I want to handle this. I really dislike the idea of painting up to the rubber trim, but that may be my overall best option unless I want to "waste" a new rear window just for the reveal.

Thank you again for your input.

KDirk

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Here is how to get a better than professional perfectly masked result. On a hot day take 12 or 14 gauge wine and push it under the black trim. This will lift the black trim up off the sheet metal. Mask the black trim and when you paint the spray will go under the black trim. Remove the masking tape and then the wire and you can not tell the window was not removed before painting.

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Guest Greg Ross

Kevin,

I would say just go with the new LOF rear glass if your existing encapsulation is that tired. When I had my '88 re-painted about 6 years ago I had both the front and rear glass replaced. The encapsulations on both were starting to peel.

Only other thought, if you're going to go with EBDSOs' Body Shop trick, it's copper wire you should use!

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