Corvette Weatherstripping And Mirrors - C5 On A Shoestring, Part 3

Strips And Mirrors

Rob Crum Jul 25, 2007 0 Comment(s)
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This is one of the retainers that keep the trim securely in place. Don't lose or leave out any of these.

Finish extracting the weatherstripping from the seal slot, then clean out any residue or debris that's found its way into the channel. Now is the time to perform that test-fitting. Make sure all the retainers are handy and begin securing the new seal within the channel. You'll need plenty of patience, as this job tends to be more difficult than it first appears.

Make sure the seal seats fully and the outer surface fits flat and smooth along the targa bar. If it doesn't, you'll need to back out the seal to where the lip can be reinstalled correctly. You may have to do this several times, so don't become discouraged. Even the most experienced techs go through this process on a regular basis.

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This fold-over clip, which can be found at most auto-parts stores, is a little extra insurance. It fits over the hole in the body where the two screws that attach the bottom of the seal to the body panel are secured.

(Note: If you don't have the job-specific installation tool, use a body-putty trowel instead. With its tapered surface, the trowel can aid in compressing the seal in such a way as to ease the inner lip into the slot.)

Next, move on to the mirror assemblies. After removing them from their boxes, separate the mirror glass from the housings, and disconnect the electrical leads that actuate the four-way power function. Once they're removed, be sure not to get the two mirrors mixed up. Mask off all the power leads and internal mechanisms. Don't skimp on the tape, as any overspray here could cause the power functions to fail almost immediately. The mirrors are now ready for painting.

Next, begin disassembling the car doors to gain access to the mirrors' mounting points. Power down the windows on both doors. This allows you to remove the window/door trim pieces. With this done, begin removing the interior door panel. There is a small plastic cover just inside the door pull. This piece is easily broken when removed, so be careful when popping it out.

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Once the seal is loosely fitted over the channel, Paul uses a putty trowel to insert the weatherstripping into the inner slot for a perfect fit.

Unscrew the two screws that become visible when the pull is removed. Follow this step by removing the controls for the windows and mirrors and the cover over the interior door-handle assembly. Pull these out slowly, disconnecting the electrical leads before completing removing them.

The door panel is now ready for removal. There are screws at the upper outer edge that run into the rubber door moldings. These must be unscrewed. The door panel itself can then be gently pried out and up, using a specialty tool (available at most auto-parts stores) to pop out the fasteners. Be careful when prying away the panel, as you can break the mounting areas that hold these plastic fasteners into the door panel. Once the panel is free of the door, fish out the electrical harness and place the panel somewhere safe nearby. You'll see two rubber door plugs near the inner-door handles. Remove these for access to the inner-mirror housing nuts.

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Paul is now ready to finish off the installation by inserting the two screws through the weatherstripping and into the fold-over clips we slid into place earlier.

Note: You may want to keep the window controls close at hand, as raising and lowering the door glass can aid you in removing the mirror harness. Once the harness has been freed, unbolt the three nuts holding the mirror in place and pull the mirror off the door, carefully fishing out its harness from within. There are two harness clips that should be removed from these harnesses before pulling them out of the door, as they will not fit through the opening. These need to be reused, so hang on to them. All that's left now is to install the new mirrors and reverse the process of removing the door panels.

Let's follow along as Paul Heavner completes both the weatherstripping and side-mirror replacements on our Shoestring C5.

Check back for the next phase of our project, when we upgrade the brake system to match the C5's newfound performance . . . and the horsepower enhancements to come.

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