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How Hard To Replace Chrome Trim In Window Seals?
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jyl
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:46 pm    Post subject: How Hard To Replace Chrome Trim In Window Seals? Reply with quote

My new-to-me Westy has what apparently used to be a chrome-like trim bead down the center of the rubber seals of the windshield, rear hatch window, and side windows between B and C pillars and betweend C and D pillars.

I say "used to be" because now this bead is badly deteriorated and not at all silver-looking, it is sort of a mottled gray.

A cosmetic freshening is in order, I think. I see that this chrome bead stuff is old by the foot at GoWesty and elsewhere. But . . .

- Is it hard to remove and replace?

- Will I have to remove the rubber seals and glass, or can they be left in place? (If I have to remove the seals and glass, I might simply replace with the non-bead seals and get fresh rubber.)

- Should I acquire any special tools?

- Anyone sell black bead material, in case I prefer the black-out look?

Thanks.
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catmanaz
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can take out the old bead pretty easy. A screwcriver will do the trick. You have to be carefull if you want to save it because it will break easy if it is old. you can spray them black and put them back in or just leave them out. You dont need to have them in. I took mine out because they were shot. The window seal closes up and looks fine with them out imo. You dont have to take out the window or the seal.
have fun!
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wbx
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very easy to remove, but kind of a PIA to replace. The problem is that the "chrome" comes all coiled up and is twisty, so while you are trying to feed it into the slot in the rubber following the shape of the window, it is constantly trying to twist and roll on you. I bet someone smarter than me has a good suggestion on how to deal with that. You do not have to remove the rubber or glass, although some say that makes installation of the trim easier.

And you absolutely need the proper tool for the job. Fortunately, it is cheap.

It is not a hard job, it just requires a lot of patience and strong hands.

Good luck,
-Damon
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9 out of 10 Vanagon drivers just rip out the old chrome stuff and go without. It took me maybe 20 minutes one day to pull all of mine out, it will keep breaking and snapping because it is so brittle. Then I cleaned up the rubber with a rubber-cleaner, and the then washed the entire van to get all of the little pices of gunk that are going to come out of the channel off the van.

Looks good, I prefer the blacked out look, chrome is sooo 80s!

The chrome channel has absolutely no mechanical or sealing function for the window seal. It is 100% cosmetic.
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VW12Step
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just lightly sanded mine down and carefully brush painted it semi-gloss black. Looks cool and no headaches with ripping it out.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to most any beter local FLAPS, and order a KD windsheild moulding bead tool.
It'll cost you about 8 bucks.

It looks like a small spade,with a hole in the center of it and the new chrome moulding rides in that hole, and as you push the tool down the rubber channel slot it will open it up and feed the new chrome moulding into place.

Pretty simple

Use plenty of WD-40 to lube up the rubber, and it'll almost jump in there by itself.

And I must say will make the top half of the Van look like new.

That chrome bead in my opinion locks the moulding onto the glass.

THat's why it's description in the VW parts book is a bead lock.

Have Fun,
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bucko
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option (in the future perhaps) is to order the window rubbers without the chrome center groove option. West Coast Metric sells both.

In the Beetles I restored in years past, I always tossed that plastic chrome trim, and opted for the "black seal" look. I also am a firm believer in replacing all the window rubber, as after 20 plus years of service, most of it is cracked, chipping, and leaking.

Replacing the rubber is also not that hard. Some larger pieces such as the windshield require two people. Most glass shops will even do this in your driveway. You buy the rubber, they will come and replace.
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Gruppe B
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Terry, the trim serves a purpose.

I am presently restoring a 1980 westy and have just removed all the windows. Without the trim in place the glass is nowhere near as tight.

The Vanagon rubber window seals have multiple contact ribs all round the outer lip of the moulding. These rubber ribs contact the body metal for sealing, without the trim in place these ribs won't have as much pressure on the metal.

All the glass is out of my westy since its getting a full repaint. I'm going with the CIP all black seals since the stuff on the van now is ready for replacement after 26 years of service.
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RCB
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I attempted to replace all the trim on my Westy about 11/2 years ago. I bought everything from Go-Westy including the "special" tool. Guys at Go-Westy said if I took my time and was careful I could handle the job in about 6 hours. Removing the trim was easy replacing it was a chore.

To make a long story short, its a pain in the buttox.
The tool was $14.00 thrown down the drain.
The trim did come flying out of the groove, I started one window at a time.
Installing the trim is another story. A horrible story, a real nightmare of a story, the kind of story that sticks with you a lifetime.....Its an evil story.

I boke down and brought it to a glass shop and they had the whole job done in a few hours.
I offered them the tool from Go Westy for free and they laughed at me and said all they would do with it would be to "throw it away"

All in all, Madam Helga looks real nice with the "California" look and if I had to do it over again, Id take it to a glass shop. Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation
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BrickFan
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just replaced the (not so chrome anymore) trim in my windshield. I used the tool from "Go Westy" and I have to say it is truly awesome. I tried to replace the trim without it and spent an hour only getting about 4" of it in before I gave up and bought the tool.
After that attempt I thought what a mistake I made removing that trim and I thought I would have to live without it. I tried the tool when it came in and it woprked better than I hoped.
Seriously, I highly recomend the tool. If used properly, using dish soap for lube and the correct size end for the tool (it has 4 different choices for different size trim. For the van, the smallest size works best), it only took me 5 minutes to get the trim in.

If you want to replace the chrome trim, get this tool!
http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=3369&search_phrase=trim%20tool&start=30
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izzydog
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its been 10 years since I yanked that trim. Still have all my windows.


Jeff
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="izzydog"]Its been 10 years since I yanked that trim. Still have all my windows.


It's been more than 10 years since I took all my trim off my four vanagons and the windows/seals are still there and not leaking. The chrome plastic trim is purely cosmetic. If you look at that part of the trim that actually comes in contact with the rubber, it's paper thin. No way does it 'lock' the rubber.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just pulled mine out yesterday in 15 min. while holding my 1 year old. its easy as pie and looks better now as well. I do believe it would look even better with new trim.
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Andrew A. Libby
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The windows are removed from the inside to the outside, no? That's the way I've always done it. The trim can only press on the outside rubber. I don't see how that will have any bearing on the rubber on the inside of the window which is what is holding the window in. When I yanked mine several years ago, I noticed that with the trim removed the window rubber was slightly more relaxed especially around the corners of the windows. That being said, I have three vanagons that have not had trim in years and have experienced no leaks or window catastrophes.

Andrew
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BrickFan
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read in the bently that starting in '86, the factory also put the black sealant around the frame before installing the seal. When I removed a piece of glass in my '86, low and behold the sealant is there. I seriously doubt that the chrome bead has any sealing qualities after '86. It's just for decoration.
Like it, keep it. Don't like it, pull it off.
Personally I like it but found the bead very hard if not impossible to replace once removed without the tool and if anyone has to replace their trim, I highly recomend that tool.
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always heard that you can remove the chrome trim with no affect to the window seal at all but that is not my experience. I removed the chrome trim on two of my windows and it made the rubber pull away from the frame and leak. I ended up having to put some shims in the rubber groove in the corners to keep the windows from leaking. I'm eventually going to just replace all the rubber with non-trim rubber.
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coolwind57
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seems like I ran across a post from a guy that used something other than the VW official chrome locking bead with success. It was some plastic or rubber channel or something...
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1621
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevinbassplayer wrote:
I've always heard that you can remove the chrome trim with no affect to the window seal at all but that is not my experience. I removed the chrome trim on two of my windows and it made the rubber pull away from the frame and leak. I ended up having to put some shims in the rubber groove in the corners to keep the windows from leaking. I'm eventually going to just replace all the rubber with non-trim rubber.


I have an '85 Westy that I pulled the trim from. Shortly after pulling the trim I began getting a couple small leaks where there had been nothing before. The primary leak came from the front edge of the sliding door window, just above the lock mechanism. It would leak consistently with any rain. The other location was on the front edge of the passenger door window. The leaks weren't huge, but I don't like the idea of water infiltration when these things begin rusting if you so much as sneeze on them.

I replaced the window rubber with the non-channel rubber from a later model and have had no issues since. I'm not saying this will be the case for all, but this was certainly my situation. Perhaps it has something to do with a difference between pre and post '86 Vanagons, or maybe it was unique to my van, but I wouldn't recommend pulling the window trim to everyone. You could be opening a can of worms.
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Johnnymoped
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: trim Reply with quote

can the front and rear windows also have the trim removed without any detriment to the seal or loosening of the glass ? i have removed the yellowed horrible looking trim fron the sides and like the way i looks much better, but am a little apprehensive on the front and back - is it cool to remove also ?
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NavyVW
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if the trim is original then its past time to replace all the seals regardless, so you arent gonna make anything any worse than it probably already is with the rust that must be hiding under there. just pull the molding stuff out and be done with it. then when you are ready some day, i'd pull all the glass and replace the seals.
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