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Window Wipeout

Window adjustments can be challenging--now there's an understatement

Cam Benty Aug 22, 2005
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When you tackle a window adjustment and/or upgrade, take the time toadjust the system several times before final fit is achieved. Do not putyour fingers where they can be cut or pinched during the process. Thechance of severe injury is real.

It might start with a small draft you feel or a whistle you hear whendriving down the road. It might begin when you decide to make somechanges to your car, whether it's new paint or replacing crackedouter-window weatherstripping. But for many Corvette owners, adjustingyour windows to make them weather-tight is challenging.

Just look at the exploded drawing on the accompanying page showing aschematic of the door components. It would seem there are as many partsin your doors as there are in your entire car. Fact is, the doors arenot that complex, but reaching the parts for adjustment can be moreproblematic than just about any part of your car. The mechanisms in yourcar doors will give you some severe pain if you happen to be in thewrong place at the wrong time.

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Our first move was to install the upper kick-out bracket that fits inthe top portion of the door. Somewhere along the line, ours had beenlost.

Our car has recently been painted, job, but when we replaced the outerdoor-edge weatherstripping, the power motors in the doors were incapableof closing the windows because of the increased drag and weak state ofthe motors. In '84-'90 Corvette doors, the window was raised and loweredwith a plastic track that often didn't last beyond the fifth birthday ofthe car. The fix was to either replace the power-window ribbon,available from Mid AmericaMotorworks (PN 603-939), or the entire regulator.

When electric motors fail, the entire window regulator can be changed(PN 604-603, left side and PN 604-604, right side). These types ofregulators were used on the later model ('90-'96) Corvettes, and use amotor and "metal hinge" to raise and lower the window rather than theplastic track. They mount to the inner portion of the door differentlythan the early models (not attached through the bottom of the doorframe) and do not include either the power-window ribbon or plasticwindow attachment unit that often failed in these early cars.

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This bracket bolts in the door at the upper edge and helps align therear portion of the window once the regulator is fully extended. Thebracket can be adjusted once in place, as well as before it's installed.

We had a number of problems with our car. Clearly, someone had attemptedto adjust the windows. Because of this, we were missing the rear-edgewindow "kick-out" bracket that fits in the rear part of the windowmechanism for the upper portion of the door. In addition, thepassenger-side plastic window mount had cracked and was not repairable.We ordered two new regulators (including window motors) from Mid AmericaMotorworks and proceeded to install the newer window mechanism in theolder car.

Andrew at John'sCustoms and Performance in Torrance, California, handled our installand adjustment. He worked several hours on each door to remove the oldsystem and replace it with the new regulator. That was the easy part.The adjustment process involved a fair amount of pushing and pulling toget the window bolted in place without losing a limb.

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The window-mount bolts adjust the window placement (front and back)within the door.

Then came the fun part: replacing the missing bracket from the left sideand the adjustment of the window in the weatherstripping. The key is tohave a battery charger in place to keep the battery full during theexcessive amount of up-and-down window play required to test fit thewindow in the right position. Like the trial and error often required tofit a hood panel or door, the best way is to slightly tighten the bolts,test overall fit, then retighten when the fit is correct.

Follow our steps to attain proper final window fitment. Work slowly toavoid damage and injury--to you, as well as your Corvette.


Mid America Motorworks
Effingham, IL
Johns Customz and Performance
Torrance, CA 90502,



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