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Some additional Tech Tips from Bartamos:
Save those old slider pieces from your project. List them in the Swap Meet section.
Looking for some for more tips on windows:
Be sure to check out our extensive Forums discussions -- from General Truck talk, Electrical Bay, Big Bolts, Panels and Burbs, Engine and Driveline, Paint and Body, Interiors, Tool Chest -- The Stovebolt Collective can help in your quest and walk you through the mire and magic of working with old iron!
Some "Suburbanites" like the look of solid side windows instead of sliders (better known as stationary windows), or maybe their original sliders are just too far gone. Either way, if strict originality isn't important, here's a way to put solid side windows in your 'Burb. Ken Law answered a request for help in the Panels and 'Burbs forum and after he had gone that far, he wrote up this Tech Tip with some additional details and (our favorite) ... photos!
It all started with a question in the Panels & Burb forum ~
A Little History
Some Task Force (1955 through 1959) and V8 -era 'Burbs had two sliders and two stationary side windows, although it's pretty rare to find a TF that way. Most Task Force 'Burbs have four sliders. I find that most side window channels are rusted out and are hard to find and / or rebuild. (I have done that also.) I did stationary windows on my 1956 GMC, made my own templates (two sizes) and got the rubber for stationary windows at $28 each. (Note: I believe rubber for '55-'59 is same as '60-'66.) I had tinted glass cut to my templates at $350. Total price about $475 -- which is roughly equal to the amount you'll invest in restoring the original frames and installing the slider kits -- but with a lot more work! Plus -- you'll probably have to buy some slider glass. I have never found anyone selling slider or stationary glass as repop. Any good glass shop can cut either for you.
Converting to Stationary Windows
If strict originality isn't a factor, here's my suggestion on how to do stationary "solid" windows in a 1955-1959 Suburban:
First remove the locks, frames, then the channel with glass and all rubber, or what's left, of all those parts. Deburr and straighten the pinch welded rim all the way around. This picture shows a die grinder being used.
Get the rubber first, install it into the window openings for a week, hopefully in the heat. Leave ends a little long. Tape it tight in place and check it every day. It will, in time, have "memory" as rubber has the tendency to conform to a shape and stay that way after it is "trained" by being held tightly around the window opening.
After being held by tape for a week or so, the rubber should be conformed. Establishing this "memory" to the shape of your opening is very important to a tight fit and makes working with, and installation of the rubber much easier.
IMPORTANT: Make sure the rubber is held tightly in the corners with tape and that the pinch weld rim is touching the bottom of the rubber groove all around.
After a week or so, measure / mark the rubber while on the vehicle and then cut in a home made "miter box" jig. This image shows the rubber seal ends being held while curing after being cut. Notice the slit in the wooden jig to accept the knife. Use a super sharp knife.
Bond ends together with 3M black weather-strip adhesive. Maintain continuity of the glass groove and the pinch weld groove in the rubber while curing. Get some kind of ridged board (from Home Depot or the like) that is .25 thick, (the glass is about .23 thick). Use this particle type material as a template for the glass and to practice the installation. This will also confirm that the rubber is correct. See template picture.
To get the template to the correct size (remember this is an exact pattern for the glass to be cut at your expense!) Cut out the board in a shape similar to the window opening, but larger. It needs to fit up against the window area, either inside or outside, so you can do the initial marking.
Mark a line all the way around the installed rubber opening, using the rubber edge as a guide for this first magic marker line.
Measure the depth of the groove in the rubber (the groove for the glass), subtract about 1/16 (this 1/16 lets the glass be a little loose but still seal) and make another larger perimeter line at that distance all the way around again. You will now have a board with two lines all the way around.
Cut it out to the outside most line and this will be the glass size. You will do this for the large and small window. Just two patterns are necessary.
Install it just like it was glass using the string pull method (see column to the right) and the finger holes to hold it. It should be a little loose, not much. Install all four rubbers using the templates to be sure the window openings on your particular Suburban are close to the same size on both sides.
Take the pattern to a glass shop. Explain what you are doing and get their automotive safety glass in any tint you want. You will need .25 thickness.
Be sure to put your name and phone number on the patterns and write on them NOT to drill the finger holes.
Buy a good suction handle and install the glass same way, no adhesive or RTV, just plenty of soap!
Replace the frames with no locks necessary.
To recap: The trick is to make sure the rubber is tight to the truck when taped for a week -- especially in the corners and ... when you butt seal the rubber, build a jig to hold the butt ends together tight and keep the grooves in line. It will cure fast so get it all ready and dry practice it.
The rubber has two different grooves -- the groove for the pinch weld and the groove for the glass. There are no leak problems with stationary windows and it looks real nice. The rubber "seam" created by the bonded butt joint can be at the top middle or the bottom middle -- anywhere you think looks best.
You can now buy that Suburban and not worry about rotten channels. Don't forget! Your channels, slider window glass, handles and locks are worth a fair amount of money and will help you recoup the solid window cost. So post them in the Swap Meet so you can pass them along!
I think the stationary windows are very nice looking albeit not stock.
My old truck lets the heads do the spinning while the rims stand still.