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      Oh, this looks like a lot of work getting the rubber AND the stainless steel trim in there. But Jim has a solution that may help. It gives you some ideas of things to look out for when ...

Installing rear and front window rubber and stainless steel trim

(July 16, 2008)

By Jim Slootmaker  
Bolter # 15456
1952 Chevy 3100 5-window

New rubber for a 5-window
That's a LOT of windows!

      My wife and I teamed-up to install the glazing in my 1952 Chevy 3100 5-window.

      This operation was a new venture for us. So we eased ourselves into the project by starting small. The proper gaskets were purchased from a well known after market distributor. The packaging was void of any literature or instructions.

      The plan was to use rubber locking seals in the rear windows and our re-useable stainless steel trim on the front.

      The rear cabin windows installed quite smoothly and as we progressed, we developed a few tricks and confidence.

No curling!

      The new corner window gaskets had a relentless desire to curl and take on the shape that they developed during shipping. This was controlled by using a long ty-wrap that went around the door post and through the window opening and thus held the gasket in place. I used two on the first window (hi / lo), and then found that a thin copper wire worked equally well on the other window.


      The center rear window seemed to just fall in place rather quickly. All installation was assisted by using liquid dish detergent - brushed as needed into the glass retaining bead.

      The rear rubber locking strips were installed using the same lubricant and two readily available tools -- popsicle sticks and a paint can opener. You can find them at any Home Depot paint counter. You want the one that has the bottle opener on one end. We butted the end of the locking strips on the vertical finished by the smallest dab of the 3M Mastic. Image: butt ends of the rubber


      During a lunch pause, we discussed the sequence to be utilized to install the two-piece windshield. I read and re-read the original shop manual looking for some insight. I used various search engines and really gained the most insight with options that were offered by the experiences of the Stovebolt editors (ahh shucks! - Ed.)  

      We opted to assemble the gasket and glass on the work bench and then transfer everything to the vehicle. This was done quickly. We first elevated the glass on a piece of 2 X 6 wrapped in old towels. This left free space for gasket and fingers. At this point, the gasket can be a little supple and slip off. So a previously mentioned light copper wire was wrapped around the north / south axis of the assembly in a few places.

      The next step was to install a 4-5mm woven nylon cord into the pinch channel and lubricate the inner surfaces. The assembly was placed onto the vehicle and after getting a starting edge over the window frame, we proceeded to pull the nylon cord. The gasket zipped onto place. We snipped the wire as we went along.


      My sealing / setting / caulking plans were to utilize 3M’s job specific product for windshield installation. Upon recommendation of the NAPA man, we opted to do this after setting the glass. (His reasoning was that the gasket was easily manipulated and caulking would be neater and cleaner than first setting a large bead around the windshield perimeter and then installing the glass.) So it was caulked before the steel trim insertion.


      I assumed that the front stainless steel trim bead would  follow the same sequence as the rear locking strips and install just as fast. Copious amounts of lubricant and tools of every shape were used -- to no avail. The only areas where the steel bead seemed to engage were on the upper and lower horizontals. It was impossible to seat the trim in any corner.

      Realizing we needed an experienced shove in the right direction, we made a call to the help line at Jim Carter Sales. We were advised that the trim should have been installed while the unit was on the workbench. So, the unit was removed to the workbench.

      When 3M warns that the mastic sets-up fast, believe them! The mastic that hadn’t set-up was soon coating everything we touched. We were changing throw away gloves every minute and eventually abandoned them. There was mastic virtually everywhere. Tempers and frustrations were peaking.

      After a thorough clean-up, the trim was inserted while the unit was on the bench and the previously outlined procedures were repeated. Image of the front window, with the stainless steel trim.

      When the unit was installed on our first attempt, we were amazed as to how snug and tight it fit. With the stainless steel trim in place, this exact fit did not duplicate itself -- especially in the lower corners. No amount of cajoling would seat them totally and they have a slightly elevated appearance. I’m assuming that there’s a little too much material being placed in just not enough space.

      We brought the installation to a point that we are comfortable with the results and considered it completed. Here's an image of the completed side and rear windows. I won’t tell how long it took. The memory still pains me. Now, my wife’s manicure -- that’s another subject.

      There seems to be little in print that outlines many of the procedures we Stovebolters become engaged in. It would seem that for the amount of money that is expended to after market dealers, the inclusion of a help sheet along with the purchase would be a good place to start!

      Thought I’d share this with you and possibly save someone some grief.

Jim Slootmaker
Wilmington, North Carolina

      Eventually, if we can catch someone in the process and get some "action shots" it would be nice, but this Tip is very informative as is. Thanks! ~ Grigg Mullen, Technical Editor

      I got the bead installation tool form Jim Carter and am doing it (on the '49 1.5-ton) with the rubber and the glass installed.  It's tedious, but doable. ~ John Milliman, Editor


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