Replacing Window Felts and Smoothing Window Operation

Your Doors, Softer

Mike Petralia Jul 1, 1999 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

Two styles of outer window felts were used on second- generation Camaros. One is secured to the chrome trim piece at the top of the window channel, and the other (pictured) is screwed directly to the door.

Your old window felts may resemble this cracked, broken assembly, allowing the windows to rattle when rolled down, and water and wind to leak in when rolled up. Replacement window-felt kits are available from several sources; ours came from Classic Industries.

This inexpensive tool slips behind the window crank handle, pushing the retaining clip out just far enough to allow removal of the handle without removing the spring clip. This tool is available from Classic Industries (PN T16000) or National Parts Depot (PN C-T2).

You'll have to remove the lower window stop in order to unscrew the outer felt piece. Mark the stop bolt's location on the door to properly reposition it later. Be careful not to roll the window down too far once you've removed the stop or the rollers could fall out of the guide tracks.

Use side-cutters and a screwdriver to pry the factory staples out of the door panel.

New holes may need to be drilled in the felt and the door panel. The replacement felt kit (PN CA164A) from Classic Industries comes with a carbide drill bit for this purpose. We used a spring clamp to hold the felt in place while drilling.

The replacement kit also included new staples, which are inserted in the holes and pinched closed using large pliers.

After installing the rubber, you can use a hair dryer on low-heat to smooth out any wrinkles left in it from packaging.

The original felt-lined window guides were either damaged or missing from this Camaro, so we ordered four replacements from Classic Industries (PN K760). The replacement window-felt kit also included self-stick felt pads for relining the original window outer guide plates.

We removed the guides from the doors to lubricate the track and rollers with white grease. Don't use oil or a spray lubricant, as these will drip off and evaporate quickly.

It's very common on older cars for someone to replace a broken window crank with a pair of Vise-Grips, but this destroys the serrated edges of the drive pinion on the window regulator, and a completely new regulator assembly must be installed if you want to roll up your windows. New regulators are available for about $90 per side; these regulators from Year One are for an early Camaro.

The strips that seal your windows from the outside elements suffer much abuse. Opening and closing the windows thousands of times a year is hard on those soft felt and rubber pieces. Too many owners of older cars don't care much about the those thin strips or how the rest of the window operates and will usually just attribute the creaking, leaking, and malfunctioning to old age. However, life with your classic Chevy doesn't have to be drafty and difficult to manage.

Replacing your Chevy's window felts and creating smooth window operation is very easy. While replacing the rubber weatherstripping in this '70 Camaro, we decided to tackle some other aging car-door parts as well. The outer window felts were cracked in some spots and completely missing in others. The inner felts fared no better, and the windows rattled shamelessly whenever they were rolled down. In fact, rolling the windows down had become difficult because the front guide roller had slipped out of its track. All of these parts are easy to replace or repair and won't break the bank.

Replacing Window Felt

Window felts serve two functions: They keep water and dirt out, and, more importantly, they prevent the windows from rattling. The long felt strips visible on the outside of the door work with felt-lined guides, which are concealed under the top of the door panel to keep the windows in check. GM engineered several pieces to keep the windows quiet, and you can replace all the felt pieces using new self-stick adhesive felt or OEM-quality replacement parts. Combine the replacement pieces with a thorough cleaning and lubrication of all moving window mechanism parts and guide channels inside the door and your windows will stay quiet and work flawlessly. You'll experience a quiet and dry ride with window operation rivaling that of a new car. Rebuilding the doors may seem like an unnecessary task (and we're sure you could think of something better to spend your money on), but after you've done it, the renewed satisfaction you'll get from owning and driving your classic will be well worth the effort. CHP

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