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Window weatherstrips...impossible!


TampaRiv
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Hello lads, greetings  from balmy Tampa,

 

   I ordered an 8-piece set of window weatherstrips for my '63 Riv  from our friends in NJ, about 92 bucks.  They look OK, but came with no usable instructions.   But I've done them on my '65 Skylark, so I thought it would be relatively easy and possibly enjoyable.  NOT!

 

   I started with the front RH outer piece, which, is NOT a piece of rubber that would seal against the glass and keep rain out.  No, it's a fuzzy strip, more like what you'd expect to be on the inside of the glass.  Long story short, only 2 of the 3 holes lined up, and only the aft-most screw was possible to attach....the glass was in the way, and it was impossible to insert the supplied screws and drive them with a screwdriver.    AND, it was a bitch to get the old piece of weatherstrip out, as it was stapled to the trim piece.  Maddening.

 

   Next,  I studied the inner front piece (which has rubber weatherstrip, ironically),  and concluded that the only way to  replace this piece was to have the inner door card (panel) removed.  I  think that removing the inner door cars requires removing the outer door skin....am I right?  Plus, the weatherstrip piece is riveted to the door card bolster,  and tucks in under the vent window assembly, so man-o-man,  it just seems impossible short of a full-on dismantling of the doors.

 

   The rear windows seem easier, as the glass gets out of the way.   My question:  suppose you disassemble the doors completely, fit the new weatherstripping, put it all back together, and damn!  the windows aren't lined up correctly to as to make exact contact with the weatherstripping??   Then you are again disassembling the  outer door panel, messing with the window tracks to achieve proper alignment, and re-assembling again to check your work.   It's insane. 

 

   My conclusions are as follows:

      *Buick's weatherstripping engineering from the era was not too good.

      *Aftermarket weatherstripping is currently not that good either.

      *Unless you are doing a full-blown restoration, don't bother  trying to replace the window weatherstripping.....even if you get it installed without hanging yourself in the garage, it isn't               likely to keep water out of the doors.   I have gotten into the habit of blue-taping the window openings before I wash the car to keep excess water out, and so even after I get the new           pieces installed, I will still need to do that. 

 

       Cheers gents,

 

Rich in Tampa

Edited by TampaRiv
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15 hours ago, TampaRiv said:

Wow, thanks for the support Ed.  I was absolutely convinced some joker would chime in and tell me I'm an idiot who doesn't know what I'm doing, and tell me how to do it!

 

Hi Rich,

 

I am not the Joker but, I can give you some insight as to replacing the door felts on your car as I have done them on my car. The first thing I will tell you is that the installation of these is not hard but, time consuming. You will have to do panel removal if you want to do the installation correctly and more easily. Once you have a panel off removal of the old felts is much easier as is the installation.

 

These felts were not intended to keep water out. Water does pass through. This is why it is important to make sure the drain holes beneath the windows at the bottom of the car are open to allow water to drain out. If these are open to allow water to pass through you will not have problems. When these are plugged that is when you have problems possibly resulting in rust as the water is trapped inside the various panels. 

 

In the rear you need to remove the inside rear quarter panel. This is somewhat time consuming as you need too remove the rear seats to remove them. Once this is removed it is much easier to remove the old felts and install the old ones. If I remember correctly the replacements fit exactly like the OEM felts. If not, you may have to drill some new holes to attach the new felts. Now that you have the rear quarter panel removed this is a good time to adjust the rear window and/or do any other maintenance that requires this panel removed such as putting in new rear door windlace.

 

In order to do the installation on the front doors you will need to remove the inside door panels(you do not need to remove the outer door skin to remove the inner door panels)  and the outer door skins. Again, this is not hard but, time consuming. Once these are removed it is much easier to remove the old staples holding the old felts on and install the new ones. If yours have rivets then they have been replaced before. You will have to drill new holes to attach the new felts with the new staples. The new felts have holes pre-drilled. Clamp the new felt in place while drilling the new holes so that it does not move. Put the new staples in as you go to help keep the felt in place as you drill the other holes. The staples will not be be visible as they will sink into felt hiding them when tightened. The outer felt attaches to the door chrome. When drilling the new holes make sure you put something to protect the chrome on the inside. This will keep you from putting dimples in the chrome when the drill bit punches through. As hard as you try to keep the bit from hitting it, it will. Again, with the inner and outer door panels removed is a great time to adjust, clean lubricate or replace other worn items. 

 

On a separate issue somewhat related to this. The original felts on the front doors were both fuzzy. Most of the sets being sold have a rubber V on the inside which is not correct. It is a minor thing and to many this does matter. I am picky as far as being correct so it mattered to me. The other issue with the inside felts being produced is that they have a bend in the chrome where the felt hits the vent window. If I remember correctly you will also have to trim some metal off of the front bottom where the staple holes are under the vent window. Look at your original and you will see what I am talking about.This is not correct as it should be straight. Again, this may not matter to some and the felt can be installed and will work. I bought mine from Repops and they worked with me and made me correct inside felts after I pointed out to them the inside ones were incorrect. If detailed all of this in another thread if you want to see in more detail what I was talking about.

 

 

It is a time consuming job but, is very rewarding when you have finished.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Bill 

 

Edited by Riviera63
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I am a joker, but not the simple jester type, more the cynical humorist that enjoys the knowledgeable audience with an appreciation for irony.

 

The weatherstrip and window trim fit are always a focal point to me. They are the first sign of quality work to me. I like newer cars and the window area fit has formed much of my lack of interest in restored cars.

 

It is fussy, time consuming work.  I wouldn't hesitate to say one would be paying $2500 to $3,000 per door on an average car on a "for pay" restoration. This is done in the final percentage of the job wen scedules, finances, and patience are often strained.

 

When I approach a car for sale I walk up to the side windows first. I look into the channel and rarely see anything as nice as an original scene. Overs pray or incomplete paint is usually first. Then are shiny screw heads on the misaligned fur strips. Sometimes the fur strip screws are crooked. Puckers along lengths of rubber strips are equally common. And then the obligatory smear of weatherstrip ahesive. That first look usually gives me the flavor of the detail of the job. And I keep walking.

 

My grandfather used to detail our used cars with a brush and wore red rubber gloves to keep his hands clean. We had a guy in the shop name Nelson who spent most of his time sitting on an inverted 5 gallon bucket. "Nellie says don't make it look so ospious" my grandfather used to say. It's really hard work to fit that stuff nicely. When I do that work I sometimes smile to myself and think if it's too ospious. A bad job shows up quickly.

 

Bernie

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No mention here on what year 1st Generation Riviera. Original inner "whisker strips" are the same for all 3 years. However these were also on the outer as is the case with my '63. I thought original outer strips on the '65 were the "rubber wiper" similar to other GM's of that year. Correct? 1964 Riviera outer strips?

I recall changing the Outer Strips without having to remove the door skins on my '63 because for that year it is attached to the stainless moulding with staples.

Bernie's comment on quality, I agree and thought my expectations were too high. Or, having flakey fit and function part of hardtop evolution? Shouldn't that whisker strip contact the glass when fully raised and continue that contact as the glass is lowered to the full down (cruising) position? Adjusting the glass would be a lot of trial and error with the door skin off and on multiple times.

Steele Rubber mentions felt strips for the inner panel only.

GM was in transition with it's hardtops during production of the 1st Gen. Rivieras. The '63 Riviera was the 1st pillar-less hardtop with frame-less glass that was flat. 1964 saw the new A-Body hardtops with frame-less curved glass. 1965 this same feature was applied on full-sized hardtops, all with rubber wipers. So I thought '65 Riviera's were updated with the same rubber wiper mounted directly on the door skin without the moulding.

 

John B.

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The door window rubber didn't make sense to me either. I had to drill out the screws that hold the outer quarter window chrome trim. I found brass screws the same size at home depot. I replaced every piece on the sides, it was quite the PIA.

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I have serviced quite a few "restored" cars and replaced shiny hardware store screws in window channels with black oxide finished screws. Shaving back the fur under the black screw head makes a nice job. Found a lot of stainless backed fur strips cut off with lineman's pliers. It's pretty hard to make them nice.

 

Drilling stainless strips takes a little technique. You have to make quite pulls on the drill trigger and sort of "blip" through to make a clean hole.

 

The '64 and '65 A-body cars have curved glass. '63 to '65 Riviera's are the only flat glass hardtops without a window frame. The door panels come off to adjust the seal for wind noise.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Still on this and I can relate to Rich. But, I'm trying to figure out what product to use. I received another online purchase that went awry. Ordered 2 pieces, they sent 2 pairs of 2 kinds, 9/16" fuzzy whisker strips like original and "flocked" J-Channel.

For the outer I know a chrome bead is for cars without beltline molding and black for cars with the molding.

For the inner our Rivs have the chrome flashing as part of the strip that runs along the top edge of the bolster. As incorrect the J-Channel is, this product has the same flashing as on the inner door panel. The J-Channel is recommended for exterior installations.

Back to the outer fuzzy strips, the J-Channel flashing doesn't look too bad although incorrect. Today, manufactures claim the fuzzy strips are for interior applications only. Reverse to what I'm considering!

 

The flocked J-Channel is definitely superior to the fuzzy whisker strips. I am inclined to use it on the inner door panels because of the chrome flashing. For correctness, I can continue with the original style fuzzy whisker strips on the outer steel moldings. The flocked J-Channel would work here too but that chrome flashing would sit on top of the chrome molding. I have enough J-Channel to do inner and outer on both doors. The images are of the outer application only and difficult to imagine. I tried to show all 3  at once 1) J-Channel positioned on and away from the outer molding showing that flashing on top, 2) profile of the J-Channel and 3) A new 7/16" original Fuzzy strip w/o the chrome bead.

 

Anyone have some insight on this?

 

John B.

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6 hours ago, XframeFX said:

Still on this and I can relate to Rich. But, I'm trying to figure out what product to use. I received another online purchase that went awry. Ordered 2 pieces, they sent 2 pairs of 2 kinds, 9/16" fuzzy whisker strips like original and "flocked" J-Channel.

For the outer I know a chrome bead is for cars without beltline molding and black for cars with the molding.

For the inner our Rivs have the chrome flashing as part of the strip that runs along the top edge of the bolster. As incorrect the J-Channel is, this product has the same flashing as on the inner door panel. The J-Channel is recommended for exterior installations.

Back to the outer fuzzy strips, the J-Channel flashing doesn't look too bad although incorrect. Today, manufactures claim the fuzzy strips are for interior applications only. Reverse to what I'm considering!

 

The flocked J-Channel is definitely superior to the fuzzy whisker strips. I am inclined to use it on the inner door panels because of the chrome flashing. For correctness, I can continue with the original style fuzzy whisker strips on the outer steel moldings. The flocked J-Channel would work here too but that chrome flashing would sit on top of the chrome molding. I have enough J-Channel to do inner and outer on both doors. The images are of the outer application only and difficult to imagine. I tried to show all 3  at once 1) J-Channel positioned on and away from the outer molding showing that flashing on top, 2) profile of the J-Channel and 3) A new 7/16" original Fuzzy strip w/o the chrome bead.

 

Anyone have some insight on this?

 

John B.

DSC03357.JPG

DSC03358.JPG

 

Hi John,

 

Original fuzzies were flocked on both the inner and outer. The inner has the flat chrome strip and the outer is black with no bead or chrome on top. It is up to you how you do it. The original fuzzies were not intended to keep water out. There are no problems if you keep the drain holes open at the bottom of the door. I replied to Rich earlier in this thread. That may give you some guidance or read this thread I had started earlier detailing what I went through putting my fuzzies in. As I said it is ultimately up to you how you do it. Hope this helps. 

 

Bill

 

 

Edited by Riviera63
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Thanks Bill for steering me to your thread and informing Rich and myself. I'm not often lucky with searches, wrong key words. So I continued with this thread.

I've had several shipments from Steele Rubber and was wary of strip sets from the start. Also, I already had some fuzzy whisker strips. So, just buying more for the exterior as needed.

I am aware of the intention of these strips not keeping water out. But the J-channel has the 1/4" chrome flashing on top like the inner strips and they compress to 1/4", the same as the cross-section of felt strips. I just thought the J-channel would prevent the glass from rattling when in the down "2 door hardtop" position. It appears the J-channel can be stripped to tuck alongside the vent window.

 

How are people attaching these strips? I secured the outer strips with SS Safety Wire through the staple holes like twist-ties.

 

I also purchased Vent window kits from Steele Rubber. I have yet to install. They look good but what I just read in your thread, I'm hoping for zero issues. No more obstacles please!

 

John B.

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6 hours ago, XframeFX said:

 

How are people attaching these strips? I secured the outer strips with SS Safety Wire through the staple holes like twist-ties.

 

John B.

 

John,

 

When you purchase a set of fuzzies you normally get staples that are the same as the original staples. I have never bought bulk fuzzies so I don't know if they come with staples or not. I would contact Steele to see if you can get them. Otherwise, I would imagine you could fashion your own from thick wire stock. They are pretty sturdy.

 

Bill 

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YES, one of my customers bought the whole kit from Repops. The inner fuzzies are bent by the vent window nothing like the originals that we removed.

Tries calling Mark at Repops MANY times, no call back.  Tried e-mailing NO replies. This has been going on now for a few months.  Maybe he's been over whelmed from others also.  It would be nice if we just got a reply.

 

Tom T.

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1 hour ago, telriv said:

YES, one of my customers bought the whole kit from Repops. The inner fuzzies are bent by the vent window nothing like the originals that we removed.

Tries calling Mark at Repops MANY times, no call back.  Tried e-mailing NO replies. This has been going on now for a few months.  Maybe he's been over whelmed from others also.  It would be nice if we just got a reply.

 

Tom T.

 

I had good luck with Mark in getting the correct inner front fuzzy. I sent him my original so that they could copy to make the correct one. According to him they were going to start marketing the kit with the correct inner. Obviously, they have not. However, when I dealt with him he was very adamant that their inner was the "correct" one and had been copied from an original taken off of a 65 Riviera. He tried to convince me that mine must have been a replacement from years ago. If anyone has changed out fuzzies it is not too hard to tell if they are original or not. Here is what he said in an e-mail to me:

 

Bill your parts are made and on the way back to you this was an easy one. Bill I have been in the window weather-strip business for 25 years and I will be willing to bet my reputation that the part you sent me is not original to the car they are replacements made by us many years ago but that said here are your replacements and we are sorry for any delay we may have caused.

 

As I said he was very accomodating but, maybe he figured he humor me as I was a one time aberration and then go back to business as usual. Here is the e-mail I had for him: markc@repops.com

 

I will start e-mailing him as well. Maybe he will answer one of us eventually.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

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For what it may be worth, I have also had success using aerospace grade tie wire in lieu of staples. Super tight and no one could tell the difference. Don’t use just any wire. The good stuff won’t corrode and can handle the twists.

 

 

Edited by PWB (see edit history)
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I've got a whole spool of Maryland Specialty Wire (MSW) It's very fine (.020") 301 grade SS Safety Lock-wire. Tensile strength is way beyond what's needed, works great! An enemy of any solid core wire is high-cycle fatigue like bending a paper clip over and over again. No cycling on this install. Turbinator, it's from Cockeysville MD!

Back to Steele Rubber's J-Channel strip with the 1/4" chrome sash on top I had planned for the inner door panel. It's too short, only 36"! Need 48" like the fuzzies I have used.

Still looking for a product. Another possibility for the inner, there's 6' of this stuff:

image.png.d18aaad6fa0458b205cfe9c4ea13a468.png

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16 hours ago, telriv said:

YES, one of my customers bought the whole kit from Repops. The inner fuzzies are bent by the vent window nothing like the originals that we removed.

Tries calling Mark at Repops MANY times, no call back.  Tried e-mailing NO replies. This has been going on now for a few months.  Maybe he's been over whelmed from others also.  It would be nice if we just got a reply.

 

Tom T.

I tried emailing Mark at Repops as recommended by Bill in the other thread and he never got back to me either.

Nick

15937

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6 hours ago, DrownedRiv said:

I tried emailing Mark at Repops as recommended by Bill in the other thread and he never got back to me either.

Nick

15937

 

Nick,

 

I e-mailed Mark at Repops right after I posted on this thread. He did get back to me to clarify what the configuration of the strip was as it had been 3 years since he had worked with me. I will keep everyone posted on my contact with him. Are there others out there besides Tom's friend that is looking for the original style inner fuzzy? Let me know if you are. I can relay this to Mark. It would be great if we could come up with several people with the same need. Maybe Repops will see the wisdom of making the correct inner weatherstrip fuzzy for our 1st generation cars. 

 

Bill

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Yes Bill, I too am in limbo with having removed the inner fuzzy strips.

I was going to contact Steel Rubber as I have some of their product to exchange for something suitable.

Since you have  Mark up-to-speed, I'll go that route.

Thank-you!

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10 minutes ago, XframeFX said:

Yes Bill, I too am in limbo with having removed the inner fuzzy strips.

I was going to contact Steel Rubber as I have some of their product to exchange for something suitable.

Since you have  Mark up-to-speed, I'll go that route.

Thank-you!

 

John,

 

As far as I know all of the other sellers of weatherstrip kits all include the wrong channel as well. Maybe they all get their kits from Repops as well. When I went through this in 2017 I contacted Glenn Cecchine at CARS, Inc. He indicated that he was going to look into this and get the correct inner strip for their sets. As far as I know he did not follow through with this. Thanks.

 

Bill

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The Top Cat Whiskers window felts I replaced on my Pontiac last year were dead-on perfect. Even the pre-drilled holes matched.

Those guys make them right. I recommend they be commissioned to produce them. I dont know who the parent company is.

Possibly Quirey Quality Design Co. 

 

Cat.thumb.jpg.6f868f5d6ae853d7234b89ee228ebfbd.jpg

IMG_1214.JPG

Edited by PWB (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, PWB said:

The Top Cat Whiskers window felts I replaced on my Pontiac last year were dead-on perfect. Even the pre-drilled holes matched.

Those guys make them right. I recommend they be commissioned to produce them. I dont know who the parent company is.

Possibly Quirey Quality Design Co. 

 

Cat.thumb.jpg.6f868f5d6ae853d7234b89ee228ebfbd.jpg

IMG_1214.JPG

Very sharp Paul...

Tom Mooney

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