View original topic: How To - One piece windows back to vent windows Page: 1, 2  Next
Joey Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:32 pm

So I'm finally getting around to getting rid of my one piece windows in my '56 and putting vent windows back in. I picked up a couple of doors a few years ago that were beat up and rusted out on the bottoms. Fist thing I did was strip all the window rubber and stuff off to get at the vent window channels. Mine were all dry rotted and cracked so I'll be order all new stuff. Next I just cut off the section of the door with the channel to make it easier to drill out the spot welds. The doors behind the donor door are '55 doors - I may just rob some or all of the rubber seals of them.

I took a drill with a wire wheel to the channels to reveal the spot welds. I center punched each spot weld and then drilled them out starting with a 1/8" bit then moved up to a 1/4". You have to take your time here as to not bend or deform the channels. The other good thing about cutting off the section of the door is you get to see the spot welds on the bottom of the channel and you get to see exactly how it was all put together. Here's the channels in all their glory...

Here's all the holes from drilling out the spot welds...

Here's the channels after I sand blasted them. I still have to drill out the screws holding the vent window pivot piece on one of them as the heads stripped out when trying to remove them.

Here where the channel support was hacked off for the one piece windows. This support also has a small plate welded to it that the vent window latch screws to.

A piece was also hacked off on the inner part of the door as well and they overlapped each other to make the channel support like so...

Cross section of door metal -

Hopefully this weekend I'll make the support and weld in the channel.

oldmanmark Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:09 pm

great stuff Joey. nice pics and diagram. keep it comeing, best thread ive seen on going back to vents.

Joey Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:17 pm

Part two:

The next step was to trim off a bit of metal where the old support was hacked off so I wouldn't be welding down in the corner of the support. Grinding the welds down there would be a pain...

I cut two pieces of metal, one for each side of the channel support - two 'L' brackets...

I was going to weld each piece to the door first then weld them together like how the factory did it but decided to weld them together first and then to the door. Probably could make this piece out of just one piece of metal...

From the top of the door skin to the channel support is 11mm. Here it is all welded in. If you go real slow and spread the welds apart you can probably do this without burning off any of the paint....

Welds all ground down...

Here's where I kinda screwed up. I was suppose to weld a little plate with two tapped holes for the vent window lock/catch thingy to screw into on the bottom of the channel support. I'll just reach up and hold the plate in place while I get the screws started.

Here's the vent window channel all welded in place with plug welds...

Here's the bar in place...

From the end of the channel to the edge of the door the measurement is 22 5/8".

More useful measurements...

Work time is probably about 6 hours so far. That's including getting the channels out of the donor doors and sand blasting them. The other side should go faster now that I know how to do it. The door is so much more solid now with the support in place - no more bending in in the middle and no more rattly one piece glass.

Also, now I have two spare window regulators for my '65!

oldmanmark Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:32 am

alright,it can be done! Joey the pics,diagrams ,measurements given shown us how. well done.

allsidius Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:30 am

Let this be a warning to anyone contemplating to cut up oval doors to "modernize" the car.

esde Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:52 am

Nice job! This should be a sticky in the 58-67 section. I'll make sure to salvage those channels from any doors I'm ever going to trash!

vwbrewer Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:37 pm

Joey wrote:

Can you buy these somewhere, new? Probably not. It would be cool if some could reproduce these. Everyone I know with one piece windows hates them. If you had a set of these, you'd be half way there.

Joey Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:59 pm

vwbrewer wrote: Joey wrote:

Can you buy these somewhere, new? Probably not. It would be cool if some could reproduce these. Everyone I know with one piece windows hates them. If you had a set of these, you'd be half way there.


A good idea would be if somebody ever gets the bright idea to install one piece windows that they would carefully remove the channel without destroying it and fasten it to the inside of the door somewhere so when the next person buys the car and wants to go back to stock they remove the door card and there it is.... :lol:

63dub Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:12 pm

Great job again Joe

SixVolt Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:29 am

WOW! What a fantastic chronicle of "how to do it and do it right!" Great job. The attention to detail is both impressive and educational. I hope you'll document the installation of the all the window rubber and glass as well. These threads with photos are so helpful to the uneducated like me. And there's not as much out there with this kind of detail covering vent wing windows as one would think. Thanks for sharing your work, and again, great job!

Joey Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:35 pm

Thanks everyone for the complements. Yes I will document the installation of all the window rubber and glass as well - gotta order a door seal kit first. I did installed the old vent window rubber, vent window and divider bar this evening and everything went together easy and lined up nice so I guess I got that channel in the correct spot. With the vent window in it totally changes the look of the car!

54bug'n Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:13 am

Awesome job as usual Joey nice detail to see whats in there even if you have to repair as opposed to replace. Look forward to the final reinstall pics and in person. It will look very different with the vents back in better for sure.

(Keeping my eyes open for old bugs in Azerbaijan, none yet) see you in 6 weeks.


Joey Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Thanks Mike! Hopefully I'll have them both done by the time you get back.

Here's a pic of the vent window in place...

I started on the other side today. The outer door skin has a crack going down the door. This is probably from flexing from the lack of the vent window channel & support. that will need welding up.

Joey Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:19 pm

Here's pics of the crack in the outer door skin...


Weld grounded smooth...

I got both the vent window channel support and vent window channel in today. I made the support piece out of one piece of metal instead of two pieces this time which ended up being a bit more difficult. Process and end results are the exact same as the drivers side so no need for more pics. Waiting for CIP1 to get in the window channel felt seal so I can order the door seal kits to finish this project...

54bug'n Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:31 pm

Thanks for that Joey, gotta do the crack repair on one of my doors as well. I think its an oval thing. Looks good, do you have any of that red to touch it up? Looks like that's the only spot you would have to touch up despite the welding going on.


Joey Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:05 am

I have some Tremclad that I mixed up that is real close to the color that I'll use to cover the surgery scars. I actually burned off a bit more paint welding in the support on this side. It's a good thing the paint is far from perfect on the rest of the car.

Oh yea... I found a set of ignition points in the bottom of the door while taking it apart.... :lol:

54bug'n Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:55 am

Now that's funny are they any good? :lol:

Does CIP have the felt yet?


Joey Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:24 am

Nah, the points were used and a bit rusty.

They said it should be back in stock on the 14th...

ragged63 Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:55 am

Awesome Joey, I wish I would have had this thread before I bought my ribbed doors(mine were cut for one piece windows), I spend a sh** load of money on the og doors and body work. Live and learn with with this tread I wont shy away from buying a oval with one piece windows again.

Joey Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:06 pm

I finally received my new window rubber to finish this job up. The first thing I noticed when I installed the new vent window rubber was the missing recess for the vent window latch. I used some side cutters to make the recess in the new rubber.

First thing I did was installed the outer scraper/chrome trim. I bought the German made one from CIP. I'm very impressed with the quality and fit.

I then covered the new vent window rubber with talc powder (baby powder) for ease of installation. I start installing the rubber where the vent window pivot goes. I used a large flat head screwdriver (with the sharp edged sanded down) to work the rubber into the vent window rubber channel like shown in this video by I got it fitted into the channel on the bottom and all the way up to the vent window hinge/pivot. I had to use a razor to cut a slit for the latch to come through the rubber. I then started to install the vent window by shoving the bottom pivot through the hole in the rubber and then screw the top hinge/pivot to the door with the two screws. I had to push down pretty hard on the vent window to get the holes to line up with the screw holes. I then installed the rest of the vent window rubber into the channel. Now install the two piece vent window clamp with the two bolts.

(The above pics was the first attempt installing the vent window rubber when I discovered the rubber wasn't fitting good around the vent window latch)

Next I installed the new flimsy inner scraper. I saved the wire clip thingy from the old inner scrapper so I installed it on the new inner scraper and installed it on the door. The wire clip thingy that came on the new inner scraper didn't quite match the shape of the old one so I'm not sure if it would work or not.

The vent window divider bar goes in next. I had to pull the end of the vent window rubber out of it's channel to get the end of the divider bar to come up through the inner & outer scrapers. Put the two screws in at the top of the bar but leave the two bolts out at the bottom.

The window regulator can now go in. I greased it up and put it in place but only used one bolt, the one on top near the winder, to hold it in place. The arm that makes the window go up & down goes behind the vent window divider bar. Grease the roller on the end of the arm and then install the door glass. It takes a bit of wiggling to get it in place and the arm in the channel but it'll go in. Make sure the edge of the glass near the vent window divider bar is in the felt seal. Install the remaining three bolts in the window regular but don't tighten them yet.

Now, carefully install the large window felt seal by first sliding one end down inside the door by the door handle. Fit the felt seal so the end near the vent window is tight against the vent window divider bar and work it in it's channel. Careful not to bend the chrome trim while pressing in the felt seal. Once the felt seal in in place use the small screws to secure it in place. I used five screws.

Now go back and install the two bolts that hold the bottom of the vent window divider bar to the door and tighten the window regular.

Order to install parts:

- Outer window scraper/chrome trim
- vent window rubber & vent window
- inside window scraper
- vent window divider bar with new rubber and felt installed (leave two bottom bolts out)
- window regulator
- door glass
- felt seal

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