Installing Window Weather StrippingSealing out Mother Nature
Weather stripping is what keeps you warm, cool and quiet while cruisin' in your ride. On the assembly line, the factory sealed the side windows of most vehicles with two types of insulation. The outside is usually sealed with rubber against the glass, and the inside is sealed with what's commonly called "fuzzies." These pieces are similar to short hairbrushes that also rub against the glass as it goes up and down. The fuzzies mainly function as dust insulation and a support for the glass to keep it from rubbing on the metal door. Here's a quick overview of how to install these critical pieces on a 1964-72 GM A-body.
Each piece of front and rear side-window glass receives the same insulation. The process is basically identical for each area and no adhesive is required. Reproduction weather stripping is available from most GM A-body restoration suppliers, and kits normally come with enough original-style screws to do the whole installation. In this case, we had to drill new holes in the door to mount the insulation. This might not be necessary for your application, but be prepared to drill if necessary. Also realize that the door panels must be removed. To further facilitate the install, loosen the window stops at the bottom of the doors so that the glass can drop down far enough for you to fit the pieces and drill with them in position.
Use this door-handle/window-crank removal tool, which is available at any auto parts store, to remove the handle C-clips. This will prevent damaging your door panel with a screwdriver or other improper tool. Unscrew all the retainers holding the armrest and door panel in order to remove the panel. To access the rear windows, the back seat will have to be removed from the vehicle. Basic tools required are small and large Phillips-head screwdrivers, a ratchet with a 7/16-inch socket and a drill with bit assortment. Basic mechanical skills are a prerequisite too.
If your vehicle has a manual-remote rearview mirror, here's the key to removing the finger control from the decorative mount. After removing the retaining screws, pull out the assembly from the panel and check the backside where the control passes through the mounting plate. Usually, the control is secured to the plate with a metal clip, which needs to be removed. In this case, GM in their infinite wisdom fabricated the clip in plastic, so caution is required. (These clips are most likely no longer available.) We carefully removed the clip with two fingers-not a tool-so we wouldn't demolish this '69 Buick GS's 30-plus-year-old clip.
This vehicle doesn't have lower window stops in the doors, so we removed the window snubbers from each end of the top of the door to provide additional movement of the glass. Most A-bodies have lower stops that can be removed to allow the glass to drop below the top edges of the door, which makes removing and installing fuzzies a snap. This critical space is needed for drilling (if necessary) and makes inserting the new screws much easier. The snubbers are retained by a single 7/16-inch bolt, and the snubber can be easily removed through the various access holes in the interior doorskin.
With the window glass pulled back from the exterior door edge, the original window rubber insulator can be removed. On this vehicle, replacement rubber had been installed (probably during an earlier repaint). The rubber strip was secured with three wrong-sized screws and was loose along most of the door. A body-shop quick install! The factory installed seven screws along the length of the rubber weather strip, and we'll do the same.
After fitting the reproduction rubber strip along the door edge, we realized that the factory mounting holes wouldn't line up with the holes in the replacement piece. We positioned the weather strip on the door and drilled a hole slightly smaller than the screw through the pre-made holes in the new piece. Having a helper to hold the weather strip in position makes this chore a lot easier. We started drilling in the middle, installed a screw, then moved outward to each end, installing screws as we went. The end result was perfect and the rubber rides snugly on the glass.
The same process holds true for adding the fuzzy strip to the edge of the door panel itself. We used the fuzzy as a pattern for drilling the new holes in the metal top of the door panel. Again, having a helper makes things a lot easier. The same drill bit was used, as were the supplied screws. Important: Make sure that the metal strip at the top of the piece rides on the edge of the door panel. It must remain straight for the entire length of the panel or it'll appear wavy when installed. Start at the middle, install a screw, and work your way out to each end.
The weather strip pieces are shaped to fit the area to which they are to be installed. Prior to drilling any holes, test-fit each piece in position to ensure that it's the correct one. Label the pieces with masking tape so you won't install a strip backwards or on the wrong door.