Building a car is full of moments: Dropping in the engine, laying down gallons of paint, installing the interior, etc. But there are a host of other tasks, while not as exciting, that can make or break a build. One of these is the process of assembling the doors and side glass. Bad glass can drag down even an otherwise nice ride and windows that don’t raise and lower smoothly not only decrease the fun factor of cruising around, but make your friends think your car is not quite as good as it looks.
Our project Track Rat Camaro was your typical “old car.” The door parts worked, but they were sticky and not aligned properly with the door seals. The glass kept most of the weather out, but over the years worn guides had etched in scratches.
The fix for this was as easy as clicking through Ground Up Restoration Supply’s website, where just about every part is available in reproduction form. It also had a sweet glass kit with a light tint built in. So follow along as we get our ’68 project one step closer to hitting the street.
01. The door guts and glass on project Track Rat were beat down by time and use. As such, the mechanisms barely functioned and the glass was festooned with scratches. The first step was to remove all the old parts and glass. Here’s a hot tip. Photograph everything before pulling it apart and take note of how the parts fit together. This will make the reassembly much easier.
02. With the old stuff out we could start putting it all back together again. First up was the new door latch mechanism (PN RDL-68FK, $100 pair). We first attached the old door lock rod (with the blue tip) and then the rod, and cover, that extends to the inside door handle mechanism.
03. We then installed the exterior door handle and lock cylinder along with the appropriate gaskets. The handles are new billet pieces from Eddie Motorsports. They are similar to stock, but with a slightly tweaked and modernized design. For an even more factory look we had ours dipped in chrome. Fit and function were excellent.
04. This is the new standard door latch mechanism from Ground Up (PN IDH-901, $37 pair). Track Rat will be getting standard door panels, so we swapped to the standard piece instead of the deluxe version that came in the car.
05. We then slid the door latch into place, attached the various rods, and secured it with three new fasteners.
06. These guide plates help keep the door glass moving properly in its journey from closed to open and back again. Over the years they became pretty worn down, but the fix was cheap and easy. We bought a pack of industrial strength Velcro and re-covered the plates with the fuzzy side.
07. The other guides were worn a bit so we re-covered them using a kit from Ground Up. It was as easy as snip and stick.
08. Here’s our old deluxe window regulator next to our new piece (PN REG-68FK, $100 pair) from Ground Up.
09. The new regulator was slid into the door and secured using the existing fasteners.
10. Two pieces that we decided to reuse were the window guide channels. Before installing we cleaned ’em up and gave them a nice coat of lithium grease.
11. The longer, rear track was slid up into the door through the large access hole.
12. It was secured as shown using the original bolts and a flat, slotted plate. This plate often becomes bent over time, so we used a hammer to flatten it out. Everything was left a bit loose for now.
13. The shorter, front track was put into the door and secured as shown.
14. Next to go was this replacement inner sash channel (PN RSC-072, $15). Adjustment of this piece is critical for getting the door glass to function smoothly.
15. It attached with two fasteners as shown. You can also see the slots in the door fame that allows movement of the sash.
16. We then replaced the bent upper sash channel with this new piece (PN RSC-603, $16). This houses the window rollers and allows the glass to lower and rise so it’s fairly important.
17. All four windows have stops, which limits the travel of the glass. They don’t really wear out or break, so if you still have them, like we did, then reuse ’em. If lost, Ground Up does sell replacements.
18. We opted for factory tinted glass and we were very happy with what arrived. Not too dark, not too light. The glass kit came with door, quarter, front, and rear glass in one handy kit. The tinted kit isn’t listed on their website, so you have to call.
19. We also picked up the door glass installation kit (PN RW-050, $200). This included all the hardware and parts including the plates, rollers, gaskets, and guides. We also had this handy wrench designed specifically to tighten the “twin hole” flat washers.
20. After installing the front we secured the rear plate and guides. We also made sure to use the rubber gasket between the plate and the glass.
21. After putting some tape on the door to protect the paint, Eric Frazier slid the new glass into place. If you don’t regularly install glass all the time it might be a good idea to get someone to help guide the rollers into place.
22. Here you can see how the front roller fit into the channel. The slots allowed us to adjust the glass, which can be a somewhat tedious process of getting everything just right.
23. Before we could adjust the glass we needed to install the upper roof rail weatherstrip. Our original stainless channels were in good shape, and we only needed to polish the outer edge (since you can’t see the ugly inside). The corner connectors, that bridge the rail from the roof to the A-pillar, were broken so we picked up a replacement set.
24. We also decided to rivet in new blow-out clips (PN KBC-731, $19 set).
25. With the door glass installed we moved to the left rear quarter-glass. The original track was gunked up, so we sandblasted it and gave it a coat of lube.
26. Like the front, we replaced the rear regulator (PN REG-67-FRL, $60) with a part from Ground Up.
27. The rear quarter-windows typically get far less use than the fronts, so often the parts are in decent shape. Ours were good, albeit a bit dirty, so we installed the original bits onto our new tinted quarter-glass.
28. The quarter-glass can be a bit tricky to get installed. The regulator and track were put in place, but not bolted down, and the glass was then “rolled” into the slot. Also, to give us some extra space we did this before installing the roof rail weatherstrip.
29. With the glass in place we then bolted the mechanism to the Camaro.
30. Before installing the roof rail weatherstrip we notched it where the blow-out clip rivets would touch. Doing this kept the material from bulging in those spots.
31. We then carefully inserted the upper weatherstrip into the channel. This piece came from our deluxe weatherstrip and felt replacement kit (PN JDX-68FK8DS, $211).
32. It took awhile, but eventually we had the glass adjusted “just right” and functioning properly. We then snapped our outer window felts into place.
33. Next up we installed a stainless striker and billet aluminum doorjamb vent, sourced from Eddie Motorsports, and doorjamb U-rubber (PN JSS-302U, $17).
34. The last step was sliding on the new quarter-glass chrome molding (PN KOW-996, $80 pr) and rubber seal (PN JSS-3022, $19 pr). And with that we were done and ready to move to the passenger side of the Camaro.