In the late '30s, wing or vent windows appeared as both a convenience item and a means of providing varied levels of cross-ventilation into the interior. This replaced the former method, a windshield with a hinged opening. Even when new, wing windows were prone to air leaks and eventually wind whistling, an extreme annoyance in the '60s musclecars as hardtop styling came into vogue. Some of us may remember making trips to the dealership for new-car warranty work while these poorly designed sound generators would attempt to drown out the high-dollar, rear-speaker-enhanced AM multiplex radio. Adding 40-plus years of wear and tear to these sealing nightmares has only accentuated their engineering shortcomings.
Besides the annoying and incessant noise that cracked and weathered wing window seals make, they just plain look bad. Fortunately, many companies have a complete parts list of the sealing components you need to bring your musclecar's wings to better-than-new specs. Rebuilding your wings takes no special tools and next to no time.
The entire job took just under three hours per side, and we not only greatly improved the trimwork on this Chevelle, but now we've got whistle-free, weathertight cruising for years to come.
Replacing wing window seals
You only need basic handtools to get the job done.
The years haven't been kind...
The years haven't been kind to this set of seals. Running down the road any faster than 30 mph produced enough wind leakage to whistle Dixie--and drive us crazy. In rain we'd have to keep a rag handy for the occasional wipe. To disassemble the wing window, you'll need to remove the door's interior panel, window crank, armrest, and door handle. From there, it's a simple matter of removing a bolt at the leading edge of the chrome frame, another bolt at the bottom of the door, and a long Phillips sheetmetal screw. A slight twist frees the assembly from the door.
We began by bending the locking...
We began by bending the locking tab back from the nut just far enough to get a wrench onto the nut. We carefully removed the nut. Watch to make sure only the nut is turning. Rust and debris buildup may require a bit of penetrating oil to free things up.
Two Phillips screws at the...
Two Phillips screws at the base of the frame hold the large chrome window frame to the smaller stamped steel channel.
The window glass and frame...
The window glass and frame could then be removed from the main frame by releasing the pivot point and sliding the threaded end out of the frame.
As the chrome frame and stamped...
As the chrome frame and stamped steel frames were pulled apart, the large seal broke away from its sealing channel.