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Old 05-03-2009, 11:26 PM
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Fixing a rusted out rear window

I hate doing bodywork..But I traded a guy this lathe for fixing up the rear window in his 67 Firebird...typical neglected car, sat outside for eons, with a bubbled up vinyl roof...It was rotten all the way around...He bought a lower window panel, from goodmark or year one, but nothing else short of buying quarters and a roof was going to get us the sheetmetal for the rest.




So I drilled out a million spotwelds and ground off most of the nasty rust till I got down to something solid..




Yes that is a claw hammer ( I'm a hack Brian, but you knew that )

Before I got too far I made a paper template of the corners of the opening, and traced the outside so I could line up my new stuff after I cut out the old...(disregard the shiny metal...I forgot to take the pic in it's proper sequence)


I also took a bunch of measurements ,and made reference marks on the roof where I knew I could find them again after I cut out the trash...That way I could measure back from the reference marks to the new stuff...

I bent up a "Z" in my brake, to start on the sides..


Laid it on the window opening, and made a few marks of where I wanted to bend the thing around...


I borrowed one of these shrinker/ stretcher setups from a friend..


I cut some slices in the pinch weld flange, and stretched on the outer flange until I got a good radius, that matched the window opening template..(now you can go back and look at the shiny metal under the template)


Once I liked the fit, I put a step in the outer edge, using the flanger I made myself out of a pair of visegrips.


I cut the sail panel back some , so the edge would rest inside my step...


continued below

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Old 05-03-2009, 11:36 PM
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Continued from above...

I kept trial fitting it until I was happy, then tried the lower panel...

Did all that for the other side.


For the top piece I made a wooden form, using the window glass as a guide. A couple of old 2x4 pine screwed together made a nice stepped hammerform..


Again I bent up a "z" in the brake, then clamped it down to the form.




I took my old carpet layer stairtool and beat the corner fold in a little, it didn't take much to lay in the form nice...


While it was still clamped in the form, I took my TIG welder and just dragged it along in the crease, heating it up just enough to barely wet the surface..


When it cooled off, it was formed exactly to the shape of the wooden form..



I did have to do a little stretching on the outside flange, as the widow edge has a compound curve to it...After it fit the window, I hit the edge with my flanger, and the ends as well, so all of the joints will have a step to rest on..

This is as far as I got today..



Tomorrow I'll punch a bunch of holes in the new parts so I can plugweld the pinchweld on, also I need to weld in a bunch of the little pegs for the trim clips...I'm making them out of plain 6 d boxnails, and will weld them in from the backside..

Then I'll tack it all up, and check the window fit.

Then I can weld it all around..17' worth of plug welds and lap welds with the TIG...

So far I have about 12 hours in this, I never did a rear window before, and am making up some of this stuff as I go along..I have no idea if this is the right way to do it, but I am open to criticism..doesn't mean I'll do what anyone says, but I'll listen..
I figure I have about another day to go, I told the guy I'd grind the welds and skim the first coat of bondo on it...No I'm not doing it like I did that hood sectioning, with all that hammer welding ...( I can't do it on this car anyway, the headliner is still in it)

I'm not really sure how to go about the ends of the lower panel, I can only get to a few places with the mig to plug weld the flanges together, The hinge structure is in the way....Maybe I'll braze up the seam from the top...

It'll be fun to weld the new stuff to the leaded seam on the roof, I'm thinking I'll weld as much as I can, then lead the rest..I have some lead somewhere and some Ruby fluid...


Later, mikey
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:05 AM
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I think you got a deal Mike. Nice work too.
I have a Chevelle that has bad rot in the same place & many more, floor, trunk etc...
I Haven't even removed the front trim & glass yet.
BTW Harbor Freight has an air flanger for around $15-$20.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:20 AM
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Man does that bring back memories....er I mean nightmares. Great work Mikey

Vince
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
also I need to weld in a bunch of the little pegs for the trim clips...I'm making them out of plain 6 d boxnails, and will weld them in from the backside..
Wow lots of work mikey.
Is there a reason for not using a stud welder to put in new studs for the reveal molding clips?
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenseth17
Wow lots of work mikey.
Is there a reason for not using a stud welder to put in new studs for the reveal molding clips?
uhhhhh...I didn't know they existed...

(Ok I knew about the studwelder, but didn't know they had those studs for clips...)

Maybe I need to check out one of the local bodyshops and get them to put the studs in before I weld those patch panels in...

( I hate using outside services...it just screws up that whole " I did it all myself" thang. ) It beats the hell out of drilling a bunch of holes and welding nails in from the backside though...

Thanks Kenseth17

Later, mikey
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:09 AM
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Sheet, if you were closer, you could use mine (assuming it still works, it was sitting downstairs when a pipe burst in the laundry room, ran down the stairs and I came home from work to a basement that was now a pool). I even have a a decent amount of the mold rivits left that came with my unispotter I bought eons ago off the snap on guy. I have used them mostly for replacing the studs where the lower moldings are since they are often rusted out down there around here. and haven't done much in window channels, but believe they should be the proper length and everything for the clips, and plenty of room in the channel to fit the stud welder and zap in a bunch of new studs, and would sure be a heck of a lot less work then spotting in a bunch of nails.
PS,off topic (inside joke), but you don't have any relation around here do ya? Some roofing company last week starting ripping the roof off my moms house while she was at work, they were at the wrong address,
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:48 AM
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Hahahahhahahaha...my brethern are everywhere

The Stromecki motto..."do SOMETHING..even if it's wrong"..
Alot of guys who are roofers in the spring and summer are carpet layers in the winter...

Thanks for the offer of your studgun, I'll come around lunchtime...

I went to the body supply and looked for those molding studs...they had none...(finishmaster )
But you have given me inspiration Ken, I'm going to try something weird.. .if it works I'll post it. If not, I'll be hitting up bodyshops..

While I was at the body supply, they did have a can of SEM 40783 copper paint for spraying the pinchwelds before I weld the patch panels in, Is that stuff any good? This car is a big time rustbucket, and not a restoration by any stretch of the imagination.

Later, mikey
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:20 PM
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Beautiful work there Mikey!

The only question I have is why the knotches on the inside radius up in that corner? Why not use the shrinker? Stretch the outside and shrink the inside.

On the studs, another method is to use screw in clips. I did a LOT of those windows years ago when my shop had a glass shop across the street. I am talking a LOT of them. Yep, that brings back memories.

I used screw in clips all the time. The Chevelle used them on the windshield posts anyway so it isn't like it is foreign to the car.

I think they are better at corrosion resistance anyway.

Brian
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:12 PM
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Thanks Brian..(and you didn't even rip on me for having a claw hammer in my shop ) And yes the wood splitting wedge has a home here too...

The shrinker I borrowed seemed to have issues, the stretcher worked really good, but the shrinker did squat..hence the notches on the inside radius. It's no biggy, I'll weld the notches on the car, and it'll be just another spot weld...(it doesn't show up real well, but I left a gap in each notch for just that purpose)

I'm sure I'll get blamed for the shrinker not working...I didn't break the thing, (honest) but you know how that tool borrowing thing goes....It's ok, I know the rules and will fix it or buy another. It didn't work from the first time I tried to use it.

In looking around for the studs and someone with a studgun with the proper head I'm hitting dead ends, so the screw in clips are looking like the answer..(unless I want to drive to Kennseth's house)

Can the screw in clips go in after the window is installed? Or do I install them before the window?

My experiment in stud welding failed, I devoted about 10 minutes to it so it wasn't a big loss. I'll try something else later, just because...I like doing things...even if they are wrong.

Later, mikey
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
Can the screw in clips go in after the window is installed?

Later, mikey

NO, you must install them and test moulding height BEFORE the window is installed.

So, the gutter has to be epoxy primed and painted PRIOR to drilling holes and mounting the clips. A dab of urethane on the hole is a good idea because paint is being broken as the screw goes in.

Brian
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:57 PM
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Thanks Brian..
Well for 40.00 I got 17 of those studs spotted on, at the body shop down the street.


The shop has a Pro Spot i4 system..While I was there the guy gave me the tour of the machine....I have to tell you...one leg was still stiff when I walked out of there...That machine and all the things it can do is way cool.



I couldn't do all that drilling and messing around with screws and epoxy and all that for 40.00, so the trip was well worth it.

Later, mikey
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:11 PM
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How in the world did they know if they were welded on at the right height?

Brian
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:26 PM
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How in the world did they know if they were welded on at the right height?
Hahahah Brian, you are silly. I took measurements of the old ones (that were still there) before I cut out the rusty crap...(same time I made that funky template of the corners)

I marked the location of the new studs on the parts before I brought them over.

Later, mikey
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
How in the world did they know if they were welded on at the right height?

Brian

If those work anything at all like the studs/clips on the windshield area of my Monte, you could almost eyeball it to get right. The trim on it just snaps over the clips. I suppose it's not the best method (or preferred), but it may work if you do the job like Mikey did (one or two days) vs. how I'll end up doing it (one to 2 decades).


In a while, Chet.
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