How To: Replace cracked window felt strips

Basic Repairs and Fixes.

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Brian Mc
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How To: Replace cracked window felt strips

Post by Brian Mc » Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:37 pm

This is my writeup on how to replace the felt strips on the outside of the front 2 windows on a 2 door 85-91 H car. AFAIK I am the first to do this. I can't be responsible for any cuts, injuries, or incorrect results, this is how I did my driver's side door. Company names used without permission. I hope this is useful.

First check and see if you have enough tools:

Phillips and flathead screwdrivers #2 is good
Pliers
Diagonal cutters(sharp ones)
A workbench mounted vise(not necessary, but helps a TON
Tunes(optional)
About 8 hours to spare(+ or -)
A drill and bits (1/16 to 3/16)
3M weatherstrip adhesive or equivalent
some 10/24 machine screws 1/2 inch long with nuts
Utility knife
Carb cleaner, brake cleaner, alcohol, or adhesive remover
A pick
a round file, countersink bit or bench grinder.
Precise ruler

Think about your skill level. On a scale of 1 to 5 i'd put this at a 4, and dissasembling the doors is half the battle. I've been restoring, fabricating, and wrenching for a long time, so I kind of flew through it. It was challenging though.

You can order the DEAD ON CORRECT window felts from this company:
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Part number YMR260X, was about ~$30-35 bucks
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When ordering, the felt comes in a 96" strip, have them cut it in half for shipping because the pieces you need are less than half anyway. This is what you get:
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As you can see it's not drilled or trimmed to fit your car so you must do this.
Continued>>>>
Last edited by Brian Mc on Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Brian Mc
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Posts: 317
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car:: 88 Lesabre T-type
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Post by Brian Mc » Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:10 pm

So now you must remove the old outer window trim. I apologize for not having a dissasembly laid out on removing the glass or mirrors, but it was already apart when I began this. Some tips:

After removing the door panel and inner felt, take out the front window track, and as you have a friend help, you can tilt the window forward, roll it up slowly, and find the right spot to slide the oval nylon piece out of the track riveted to the galss, and pull the glass out.

The mirrors are basic (3 nuts), and the mirror trim is held in by one screw and glued in, but the glue doesn't dry so it can be removed easily and reinstalled. Before removing this trim piece drill or cut the 2 rivet heads hidden behind the mirror off which hold the front of the run channel in.

The felt and molding is held in place by 6 screws inaccesible without removing all of this glass and mirrors.

Here's the first issue, the old felts are machine stamped onto the belt moulding, and must be removed.
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Gather flathead screwdriver and pry the 2 pieces apart being careful not to bend it much. They separate easily.
A vise can be used to flatten out the raised stampings left by the machinery on the assy line
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Noiw take the old molding, hold it up to the new one and make a straight cut just a tad long(1/16-1/8 inch)
Start at the front of the molding and line up the first hole with the old one and mark it (i held it up to the old felt and pressed a dimple in the rubber with a pick). Check your mark and if satisfied then centerpunch, drill a 1/16 hole as a starter hole and then a 3/16 hole as the final. Smooth out rough edges with a file, bench grinder, or countersink bit. Start your first 10/24 screw and nut.
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Take a measurement with the ruler (flash hid the measurement, sorry but it is case specific) of the distance from the molding edge to the felt edge and carry over to mark and drill the rest of the holes.
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Next you need to cut out this gap where the track sits when the molding is installed, use Diag cutters, and you can eyeball this:
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So then there's the long cut that must be made. use a utility knife to score the metal along the same line as the old molding.
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Use pliers to start bending it, you're going to bend back and forth, maybe score some more to get the piece to break.
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At this point I moved to the vise, wiggling until breakage:
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Almost there:
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Continued>>>>>>
Last edited by Brian Mc on Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Brian Mc
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Posts: 317
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car:: 88 Lesabre T-type
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Post by Brian Mc » Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:26 pm

Voila! I was suprised how well this came out:
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Use your diags to trim the front edge like the old one(Note I do not trim the upper edge, just the lower:
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On the rear, for cutting it, you can see the indent left by the molding on the old one, this helped.
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So now we're ready to glue. Clean both surfaces with solvent of your choice. The top lip of the piece wants to hold the pieces apart, so find something to help clamp it. I used a childs toy telescope.
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Insert all screws in all holes, and check the alignment(the screws won't just slip in the holes you drilled, you'll have to spin them in)
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I glued this together, which may not be necessary, but helps in installation. I recommend gluing it. Apply glue to both surfaces, starting at the center.
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put the screws in the holes and bolt the 2 center ones down, then clamp together.
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Wait about 10 mins before unclamping, then move on, aplying the glue inbetween the pieces. It dries fast, so don't glue the whole thing at once.
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Reclamp, and continue this working outward, using extra clamps if desired.
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As you can see, this one came out straight as an arrow, but you are limited by the straightness of your molding, the felt, and hole accuracy. It's really not a big deal though.
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Last edited by Brian Mc on Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brian Mc
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Posts: 317
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car:: 88 Lesabre T-type
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Post by Brian Mc » Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:30 pm

You can test fit on the car now, and trim the felt to clear the glass channel by eyeballing this and using a utility knife.
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Bolt down, repeat. Reassemble glass, mirrors and door panels. Please don't bust me about the burgundy Oldsmobile seat, it's only temporary.
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This one took me about 3 hrs including taking the pics myself during the procedure. Thanks For looking.

steveX

Post by steveX » Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:05 pm

brian, i need to buy the left/right side. how much?

Rocketman69
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Post by Rocketman69 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:48 pm

Excellent Write-Up Brian! I have to ask though....did you replace the inner felts as well? If so, did you use the same part number to make those or did you get something different?

Thanks for taking the time to make a worthwhile contribution to the community. :)
-Gib

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Brian Mc
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Post by Brian Mc » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:08 pm

I didn't replace the inners, they are a different style that press over the door frame. They weren't in bad condition either, I guess since they don't get weathered as much.
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Alibi
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Post by Alibi » Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:46 pm

Wow.... very much appreciated. My outer strips are really cracked and let water into the base of my door every time it rains. I have been wondering where I could get some of this material for a long time and its nice to know that someone makes the right stuff :)

Looks like when I plan on doing this (probably next summer with the way classes are going now) I might as well just overhaul the entire door and replace the lock cylinder, window motor, and lock actuators (all planned anyway).
-Eric
"Energy and Persistence Conquer all Things" -Benjamin Franklin
-'12 Honda Civic
-'89 BLT

Lo Type
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Post by Lo Type » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:57 pm

Very nice write up, and thanks for listing part #'s too.
You are yourself when no-one is looking.
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AlaskaBLT
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Re: How To: Replace cracked window felt strips

Post by AlaskaBLT » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:02 am

Wow, what an awesome write-up! I am deep into my driver's door right now and doing everything I can (glass is also out due to broken "ball bearing guide") to get everything right before I close it all up. I have ordered the bottom outside felts from this company's '09 catalog since they are in the worst shape but I really need to replace the side and upper ones too. My window got wedged and stuck outside the channels due to the front AND rear window clips breaking and now I have the time and money to fix this annoyance. Has anyone else done these yet?

-Justin

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