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Rear Window Molding and Removal


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The Reatta front and rear glass is installed in the same manner.

Generally, when removing glass, the glass is not going to be reused, so the black plastic glass molding is cut open on the outside with a sheetrock knive and the glass falls out. The black molding is then peeled out and disguarded.

It is very difficult to save the glass <span style="font-style: italic">and</span> the molding, but it can be done. The trim is removed from the inside of the car and using an electric knive and/or sheetrock knive, the black goop is sliced through. It takes about half an hour. The rear glass will not break since it is tempered and very strong. But the chances of not slicing through the black molding are 50/50.

Cost me $75 to have the rear window and molding removed from my parts Reatta; the guy worked his a-- off. And the glass people won't guarantee they can save both the glass and molding. And you can't buy the molding separately.

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  • 7 years later...

Disappointing news for me, as I am having the entire left side of my car re-painted, and they need to remove the rear glass.. I am very concern about this because of the risks of ruining that rubber surround. Anyone else know tips to removing it all intact?

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Fox,

If the rubber is in good condition, they may be able to do a "rope lift" which entails placing a bead of small diameter rope or heavy twine under the rubber, elevating it enough to get the paint in underneath it. This is not ideal, but may work and save removal of the rear window.

If your molding is in fair to poor condition (no longer glossy, and is dry rotted) this is not recommended as it will probably break off part of the rubber strip. I wish there was a better solution.

I bought a NOS rear window that I had installed after I did my repaint, they saved the old window less the molding. I could see using it without the molding, as the gap between the glass and the sheetmetal is not very wide (a bit more than 1/8" maybe) and could be filled with a UV resistant black caulk, or even a thin black rubber strip giving the window a flush look common on newer cars. Yes, it is not stock, so if it is a show car then it would be an issue.

Keep in mind that the molding is not part of the adhesion surface on the rear window, it is strictly for looks and to provide a drip edge along the bottom. The urethane adhesive is bedded to the glass itself, so loosing the molding will not affect the ability to mount the window and have it stay in place; the difference would be strictly aesthetic.

Whether or not such a change is acceptable to you is a judgment call only you can make. FWIW, there is aftermarket low profile half round rubber stripping available from a couple of auto rubber suppliers (Steele Rubber Products probably, among others). I suppose this could be adapted if it were bedded in adhesive when the window was set, but I'm not sure how well it would lay down around the curves at the top corners. The bottom corners would have to be mitered in some way to provide a 90 degree angle. This would not be perfect either, but may be an option if no other means is available to try and maintain a stock appearance.

KDirk

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Steve,

Wow, I consider that a true compliment. I'm not sure I'm near ready for the position, as I may not be a wealth of true to spec technical knowledge, I'm just capable of thinking out workable solutions to difficult problems (within my areas of interest anyway; I have a lot of focus and determination when the subject appeals to me).

I guess I'm the kind of guy who looks at a situation where a part isn't available or something cannot be returned to true original condition for lack of the original process and tries to come up with the next best thing that doesn't look like a ****-poor substitute. I am a detail oriented person, and I try (without often achieving I'm afraid) for perfection.

So, I guess maybe one day I might consider a run at it. Biggest problem for me is lack of time. I am already stretched thin with a class I'm taking 2 nights a week (1 more year of that) lots of projects I'm committed to do, my regular job, my hobbies which include not only Reatta's, but repair/restoration of vintage Hi-Fi, music - I am a semi-professional organist (weddings, funerals, etc.), and electronics. I am also president of the Condo Association for the complex I live in (for 11 years and counting) so I don't know that I would be able to do a respectable job of answering peoples questions in a timely manner at this point.

In any case, I do appreciate the vote of confidence!

KDirk

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  • 2 months later...

Looks like I'm in the same boat here but instead because it looks as though my rear window is leaking in several places. I was trying to fix the leak in the lower drivers corner and when I went to remove the trim around from the inside to get a better look, I discovered another leak futher up leaking into the car. I found another post with someone who had the same issue but it was from year 2000 I think.

Does anyone think I can get away with just re-applying urethane to the inside with the glass in place? I would think you would try to stop it from the outside rather than once the water makes it to the inside and sits. Maybe I'll do my homework on a really really good glass shop.

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  • 8 months later...

I second what Steve said btw, I've been impressed with Kevin's posts every time.

I finally did it and brought the car in to a body shop for a full restoration/paint job.. It won't be cheap, but I am excited to see the results. They are going to consider the options on the glass and avoid removing it. They said with their grade of paints/clear coat that it should still not peel for 20 years (as opposed to far longer) even if they cannot paint all the way over the lip. We shall see.

Thanks for all the help, I mentioned your idea of a 'rope lift.'

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I paid to have a windshield removed by a glass company, they used a heat gun that had a very high temp but kept it localized and only melted the goop. It did not bother the paint or rubber. I think it was sonic but not sure. The seal came out whole and was reusable. The cost was only $65.00 and worth every penny of it.

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