Completing the Vent Window Installation
Ask anyone who’s removed, restored, and reinstalled vent windows and they’ll tell you a tale of woe, intrigue, and goblins. Vent window installation is a huge pain, mostly because it’s not a one-man job. After screwing around for a full week trying to finish up the vent window assemblies, I finally installed one of them last week. It took so long and was such a nightmare I waited until this past weekend to do the other one.
Finishing up the vent assemblies took a lot of time, a lot of patience and a bit of ingenuity, although truthfully nothing was especially difficult. I took the time to polish the vent glass frames separate from the glass, so I had to re-seat and re-seal the glass. Luckily I already had some window seal strip on-hand (you need almost a full roll to do the pair of vent windows, and at least two more rolls, 1 each, to do the front side glass). Getting the glass to seat takes some patience, but soapy water helps everything slide together. I had to polish the division bar, as I’ve mentioned before, and then I had to rivet the polished product onto the frame itself. Then I had to install the weatherstrip in the division bar channel. I’d bought the overpriced special tool that makes quick work of this step, and I’m glad I had it. Removing the old weatherstrip rivets and installing them was a cinch with the tool, and I can’t imagine how much longer it would’ve taken to do it without the tool, so I feel like it was kinda worth it. Was it way too expensive? Yes. Will I ever use it again? Maybe. Installing the vent weatherstrip itself was aided by a small spray of silicone lubricant, which made sliding the corner and the tabs into their respective places a lot smoother. Lastly I riveted on the division bar top seal. It’s supposed to use a special flush-head rivet but I couldn’t get my overpriced tool to mushroom the rivet properly, so I ended up using pop rivets which aren’t as pretty, but you’d have to be more anal-retentive than I am to notice it. All in all, rebuilding the vent assemblies wasn’t too complicated, it was just a little time-consuming.
The process of vent window installation, however, was an exercise in futility and frustration.
For starters, the vent windows and the side glass pretty much need to be installed together around the same time. This is primarily because the vent window assembly holds the front glass run, so you can’t get anything right as far as adjustments are concerned unless the window is in the door. However, it’s pretty difficult to raise and lower the window AND install the vent window at the same time without knocking some paint off the sills if you’re alone. Ask me how I know!
Secondly, once the vent window assembly is partly dropped into the door, you’re saddled with the task of trying to get the adjustment screws into their proper holes. You can’t really thread them in before putting the window in the door since everything has to install from the top, so instead you have to install them once the holes are below the belt-line.
Third, even if you have help, it’s very hard not to tap the window sill while inserting the side glass or the vent assembly. I extensively padded and taped the tops of the doors, and yet I managed to chip the paint on both doors, which I’m still upset about. Oh well, I needed to order some touch-up paint anyway. One tip I learned after the fact was to cut up a milk jug and make little washers for the screws on the latch-side of the doors so that you don’t tear up the paint while you’re adjusting the windows…so there’s that too.