Generic Window Removal (upd 01/21/11)

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Amskeptic
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Generic Window Removal (upd 01/21/11)

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:03 am

Let's say you are passing by your Squareback's rear hatch and you tell yourself that it is time to clean the glass. As you clean the inside, you see your new TMI panel has a trace of water leak trackage from last night's rain.
Your day has just changed, this is THE priority with any old Volkswagen. The cost of water damage is to be found in almost every single interior part + rust of the body shell. You do not want warped rotted mildewed door panels and brittle moldy headliner and crusty flaky seat pads, and droopy visors, the extended high humidity from wet carpeting or underneath rubber floor mats et al, is a contributor to all of the above.

There is no replacement rubber-with-chrome-groove for these Squarebacks yet. Thus, the rules were no tools but my trusty old hard plastic toothbrush handle which I could not find. So I used my trusty touch up paintbrush handle instead. Go around the perimeter of the inside rubber and merely lift it away from the surrounding paint or headliner. This is a wake-up call that things are going to be moved shortly. Now pick up the rubber and push underneath where you can see the pinch weld seam with your toothbrush handle and tuck the rubber edge behind the pinch weld. You'll need the tool in the edge areas, but can do it with your fingers along the broad straight course. Complete any horizontal surface and get around the corners a tad. Go slow and push the glass broadly with an open hand to give you room to tuck the rubber.
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Once you have completed the selected horizontal surface (with any trapezoidal flat glass, this would be the bottom, with curved windshields, you'll want to do the upper surface first), you will find a magical ease in pushing the glass towards the outside while watching the rubber just glide around the pinch weld. With the Squareback, once I was halfway up the sides, I could just pull the glass down a bit and it released from the window frame with no drama due to the trapazoidal shape. Do you have a plan to catch the glass as it releases? Good.
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Free the rubber from the glass with a razor blade if some prior yo-yo has used silicone sealant to stop leaks in the past.
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Gently stretch the rubber to get it free of the glass at the upper corners but do not move it any more than necessary so you don't bend the trim. Once free of the glass, be careful, the trim is at risk.
You can twist the rubber, not the trim, the rubber, to release the trim from its groove. Laid out:
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Now take the seal itself to Z Blair's kitchen sink (she said you all could use it) and scrub the rubber gently in soapy hot water. Bristle brush (she said you could use hers) the glass and trim grooves and especially the grooves that go around the outside of the seal and provide you your watertight seal against the window opening. Wipe dry and let sit in the glorious Austin sunshine. Scrape silicone off and otherwise clean the glass perimeter.
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Now here is the goofy plan for those of you with irreplaceable Squareback rubber-with-trim-grooves or buses with rear window leaks where you know you can just stop the stupid leak without ordering parts and getting all involved. We are going to glue a strip of speaker wire all the way around the edge of the glass. This will make your rubber press against the opening like a younger seal. I used 3M weatherstrip adhesive and that skinny speaker wire. Make the wire fresh and straight before gluing operation.
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Here's the butt-joint.
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Then run a bead of clear silicone rtv around the perimeter of the speakerwireglass and allow to skin (one hour) while you wax the pinchweld and tape the little holes that look like they should be drainage but are not. I also laid a strip of black monkey s**t caulk along the bottom of the window opening and up the sides a bit to repel standing water in the groove during three day rain soak events.
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Here, I have reassembled the trim into the clean clean rubber and am waiting to slip it over the glass-slash-speakerwire.
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The assembled rear window is ready for install. Slather dish soap along the inner perimeter. In the Squareback's case, you close the hatch, press gently and slide assembly up firmly until you see the rubber land where it belongs along the top edge. The sides will be slightly sticking out as you sight to the bottom. When you open the hatch (spot the glass, make sure it stays put), you will see the rubber has indeed made it over the pinch weld at the top and only sort-of along the sides. Use your fingers to help it along or the paintbrush handle. As you slip the rubber over the pinch weld with your fingers + small helper object, the glass sucks on down and installs itself. The bottom corners are the most difficult point, but even that is not too bad. Press the rubber/trim broadly around the edges and just settle the glass back in. Then finish washing your windows like you were originally planning. Entire job took four hours.
Colin
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01/21/11 BobD Bus Got The Speaker Wire Treatment

Ran this procedure on the BobD yesterday after a car wash showed water leaking into the tailgate panel when I opened it.

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I used 22g speaker wire.
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Barely any rust traces, but I ran a brushed bead of rust-catalyzing primer along the pinchweld and waxed the opening:
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Installation was more difficult with the expanded rubber surround, but it seals beautifully now and the trim was completely intact and untouched looking:
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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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