Chevrolet Corvette Window Restoration

Project Shark Attack Gets Window Regulators

Chris Petris Oct 29, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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This plate with four 71/416-inch hex-head screws connects the front window vertical-guide track to the door. All four 71/416-inch screws and the plate must be completely out to remove the front roller with the window glass. The outer screws holding the plate allow movement of the glass inward and outward at the top. Inner screws move the window glass front and back. The anti-rattle stop to the left of the photo must be removed also.

Sooner or later you'll need to repair or adjust the side windows in your Corvette. Nagging concerns can arise after the repair, such as, "Will the window work as well as it did before the repair?" Maybe you're doing a restoration and gutted the doors. Now the pieces of the puzzle must be put back together. Once reassembled, the windows must be adjusted, which can be frustrating.

Project Shark Attack was the perfect candidate for a mechanism overhaul, as neither window would go up. Pulling the window up with a pair of vise grips to hold them in place is a bad idea. With windows in this condition, a complete overhaul is best. When the window regulator and motor gear-teeth are worn out, it's likely the hardware is in similar shape.

A total window restoration is almost always necessary with a 25-year-old-plus vehicle. We've taken heat in the past because we rarely replace just the broken part. My father, Chris Sr., taught me a job worth doing is worth doing to the best of your ability.

Parts are available for our Shark's window mechanisms allowing like-new results. The window mechanisms should be evaluated carefully and the necessary pieces ordered before gutting the doors. Take as many photos as possible.

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Window evaluation starts with trying to rock the window fore, aft, inward, and outward. There are window rollers (bearings) bolted to the glass that guide the window's vertical and inward/outward movement. If the window flops around fore and aft and drops easily when pulled outward, the rollers are worn.

The front roller guides and pivots the window against the anti-rattle stops and outer seal strips on the top of the door. The outer seal strips are important for window fit and adjustment. Early reproduction outer seal strips were constructed of rubber. Later seal strips are similar to the originals and have a flocked cover. The original style costs more but is worth it for the correct look and proper window adjustment.

The rear roller is also a rolling pivot point for the rear of the glass. It's common to find the front roller worn badly and the rear roller in good shape. Worn rollers make the window appear properly adjusted, but when closed, it's out of position again.

The window regulator has rollers at the end of the lift arms to ride in the tracks. The roller regulates the angle-control track roller. When this roller wears, the window lifts at different angles each time making adjustment difficult. While lift-arm rollers can wear, they usually don't affect adjustment.

For our project, we decided to show both options-installing new stainless steel window regulators as well as rebuilding originals. Rebuilding the original regulators took time, but with Corvette America's components, they were brought back to life. Corvette America has all the pieces necessary to replace worn components, providing like-new quality. Whichever you chose, examine the regulators for worn components and replace or repair them while apart and accessible.

Project Shark Attack had worn regulator gear teeth and power window motor gear teeth causing zero window movement. We found a new driver-side window motor and a previously rebuilt passenger-side window motor to replace the originals.

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