by Curt Hoffman
Originally printed 8/88
For those of you installing a new rear window, particularly if you are installing a glass rear window, you may have wondered ? do I put the rubber molding on the glass and then fit to the top or put the molding on the top and fit in the glass? The answer is to put the rubber on the glass first.
A slick trick to then get the rubber all the way around the top is as follows:
- Install the rubber molding on the glass with the thick part to the inside. The flatter side goes to the outside and will accept the chrome trim as a last step.
- Take a long loop of insulated 14 gauge multi-strand wire (it probably does not have to be exactly 14 gauge, but that is what I had and it was a good thickness to use), and slip it into the slit that the top flange will ultimately go into. The wire should be long enough so that it goes all the way around the glass. The two ends should meet and come out at the bottom of the glass with enough to spare so that you can grab onto each end.
- Spray some silicone lubricant into the slit over the wire to make the wire slide easier and protect the rubber from tearing.
- Place your hardtop on your living room rug, with the top up and the front edge down on the carpet. This allows you to crawl under the back edge on your back and look up through the rear hole soon to be filled with glass.
- Have your next-door neighbor pick up the glass – with rubber molding installed and wire in the slot – and place it in the hole as evenly as possible. The rubber molding will be sitting on top of the flange that will need to enter the slit currently being occupied by the wire.
- Have your neighbor press down on the glass with enough force to be serious but not enough to break the glass and crush your face.
- With the pressure coming down on the glass, you should begin to slowly pull the wires out of the slot. As you pull the wires out, the rubber molding lip will be forced up and over the flange on the hardtop. Once you are all the way around the glass, the rubber will be completely seated on the flange.
- Install the chrome trim on the outside and you are done.
I tried, initially, to use a small screwdriver to work the rubber over the flange. That way did not work at all. The above trick took only about 10 minutes total, and I had a completed window. With the proper cut Plexiglass it would probably be even easier.
The Nova windshield I used had just enough difference in curvature that the last foot of wire pull was a little tough. The window seated suddenly, though, and poof I was done. I used the same technique to get the rubber molding on the front of the hardtop, which also would have been a little tricky without the wire.