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Old 08-06-2005, 09:31 AM
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Fiberglass door / window mounting & hanging

While there is certainly a wealth of information on this board, one of the subjects that seems to not have as much in the way of tutorials or how-to's is mounting fiberglass doors, particularly window and regulator installation. At least, the searches that I've done seem to have less info on this topic than most other topics on this board.

While I've been working on this topic lately, I'm confident that there are many tricks to this that I'm not aware of, and that it could be done much better.

Anyone know of any project journals that cover this topic?

Any of the pros out there (like Shawn or Halloweenking, among others) have any advice, suggestions, or comments?

Finally, anyone know of any good sites out on the web that pertain to this topic?

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Old 08-06-2005, 10:31 AM
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Excellent question and I don't recall anyone discussing it here. I have never done 'glas per se but have added windows to empty steel doors before. For example, on my '53 Chevy pickup king cab project I had to add complete window riser mechanisms to the newly created rear cab windows. Process should be identical for a plastic car. First thing I always do is make 1/4" thick Masonite templates of the exact window shape I need. This serves to aid installation of the mechanism in the door and afterward, take it to the glas shop as a pattern for then to make your new glass.

Put the wood window pane in the opening and slide it up and down (closed cars make this a no-brainer) to see where the window guides should go. You need a couple of sheet metal channel guides to hold the felt. I got a couple of old pickup doors for my project had took the guides from it. I welded them into the body cavities so they followed the path that the wood window showed. Takes a couple of tack and retacks but pretty easy to get right. You would simply 'glas in the brackets with some mat and resin. That is the really hared part. Once those guides are in your options for window risers are wide open. A mechanical one from some old donor car, an electrical motor adapted to one of those or a one of the aftermarket rod electric conversions all can be used.

See here for a trick I used to easily add power windows to an early mechanical window riser.
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:26 AM
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Thank you for your comments, Willys.

Another issue that I'm fighting is space, or lack thereof. I'd bought a cable-driven regulator out of a late model Ford and modified it to take some of the "bow" out of it, but it looks like its going to be really close whether it can be made to fit it in the relatively shallow door cavity.

Anyone found any donor vehicles that have cable-style regulators that fit in particularly shallow cavities, especially ones made for relatively flat glass? The trouble with looking in salvage yards for these, in my experience, is one can spend time getting to the window regulator, only to discover that they're not well suited for what I need. By the way, my preference is for a manual crank rather than power, in keeping with the "gasser" theme of the car.
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:03 PM
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Would help to know what kind of car you are working with.

jaj
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:24 PM
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I would probably want to try an earlier style regulator like the ones found in Ford trucks up to the mid 90's or so. They had flat glass, and if I recall, a relatively slim profile.
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:02 PM
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AD trucks have nice heavy duty compact systems too.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:01 AM
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How about a VW bug window mechanism, you can't get any flatter glass and thinner door than that.

What kind of car are we working on? I did a fiberglass Model A coupe body once, PITA. I had to do all kinds of modifications to the door to make the repro regs work.

Brian
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:40 PM
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Thanks for the comments, guys.

The car type that I'm working on is a fiberglass '34 Ford coupe. (Laminated at home.) It looks like I have about 2.5" of working depth in the door near the bottom of the window, tapering to about 1.5" half-way down the door, then at the bottom there is less than an inch of depth. Part of the reason that I have been leaning toward a cable-driven regulator is that I thought it might place more of the workings higher up in the door where there is more room, but maybe that's a bad assumption on my part.

I've made a framework out of 1.5" x 1/8" flat hot rolled that attaches to the interior of the inner door panel, then the hinges mount to this framework. The bearclaw latch is also supported by this framework. My intention is also to mount the regulator to this framework, either directly or via add-on extensions.

With your comments in mind, I'll go looking in some salvage yards for VW bugs, and earlier trucks, and see how those work for my application. The trucks I'm sure I can find, but the bugs might require more of a search around here.

Brian, on the 'glass Model A that you mentioned, did you rely solely on adhesives to put the inner and outer door skins together, or did you laminate them together with some glass mat? In the interest of strength and security, I think I'd like to laminate the two parts together from the inside of the door cavity, but the downside of this approach is that I'd have to cut some fairly large access holes around the perimeter of the inner panel in order to do it.

A part of me would just like to install the window glass fixed in place for now, then re-do them to roll down at a later date after this project has been on the road. Unfortunately, it seems like it would be much harder to do after the door shells are glued or laminated together, so I guess I need to spend the time now rather than later.

Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions and comments.
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:23 PM
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VW is a good choice. There are a lot of VW parts that work well on rods since they are similar in size and built for economy and reliability. I have never used one in a rod but that would be my first choice to dig up at Pick-A-Part.
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:22 PM
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Bill, the body I did was actually a factory body, God, don't test my memory, that was about twenty five years ago! I don't even remember the name of the company who made it, Gibbins,Polyform??

On the regs, heck, do a quick Google search and you will find a ZILLION sources here on the net. They are cheap,have one sent to your home and give it a try.

Here is one I found in about a minute... http://www.autohausaz.com/catalog/lo...Token=72548612

Brian
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:19 PM
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Thanks for the advice, Willys and Brian. That site that was sent does have some excellent prices on regulators...makes me less inclined to spend hours searching through a salvage yard, thats for sure.
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