Vent Window Rebuild Process

Jake Mayock

Meet Jake

Jake is a founder of 8020 Media and has been creating automotive content online since 2017. He has been the lead writer for Chevy Trucks and has transformed it from the old and outdated site it was into what it is today. Jake creates a ton of GM related content for the 8020 Media YouTube channel and specializes in Duramax and Vortec information but has a wealth of knowledge across all GM cars and engines. Jake believes the L5P is the best diesel on the market today.

Vent Window Rebuild Process

Step 1 – Disassembly

If doing both vent assemblies it is suggested you not
disassemble both at the same time. Do one side first before starting the
other side so you have a go-by for reassembly should you need it.

The first step in rebuilding the vent window assemblies
is the complete dismantling of the various pieces and removal of the old
weather stripping. If you weather stripping is old and hard it may take
some effort to remove it. I had to use a small chisel and hammer on some
of mine. The glass in the vent frame needs to be removed. If you plan on
re-using the glass this may take some effort to keep from breaking the

To remove the glass/frame from the main frame you will
need to carefully grind off the rivet at the top pivot point and then
remove the tensioning nut on the lower pivot stud. Do not lose the three
washers, spring or nut as they are not reproduced to my knowledge. You
might want to make a sketch of how these pieces fit together for further

The old vertical channel felt now needs to be removed.
It is riveted in place. To remove them, grind the heads off carefully and
then punch the remainder out with a drift/punch.

Since I was replacing my glass the removal was done by
breaking the old glass out. Be careful doing this to not bend the frame.

Removal of the old handle is done using a small punch to
drift out the set pin holding it to the frame. There is a wavy washer
behind the handle which you need to remember to replace during
re-assembly. I would suggest buying a new handle and spring. It improves
the look of the finished assembly

Step 2 – Cleaning the Frames

Once the old rubber and glass are removed it is
important to clean the frames. I used a knotted wire wheel on a
4″grinder to remove a majority of the old rust and paint. Wear eye

Once that was done I immersed the pieces in a phosphoric
acid bath for a day or two using a large tub I bought at the store. Wal-mart,
Lowes, Home Depot should all have something you can use for this. The acid
was purchased at Home Depot in the paint department. It comes in 1 gallon
containers. I used two to cover the pieces completely. I flipped the
frames after about 12 hours to ensure good coverage.

Recycle the Acid – once I was done with the acid step I
filtered the acid and put it back in the original containers to use again.
Wear hand and eye protection anytime you are working around this stuff and
make sure it is far away from any painted surface you do not want to paint

Step 3 – Prime and Paint

Once the frames are cleaned it is time to re-paint them.
Before I did any priming I went over the pieces again with the wire wheel
to remove any thing left behind after the acid bath. I then wiped all the
surfaces several times with a degreaser/cleaner (IMPORTANT).

I then taped over the handle stop on the main frame and
gave every surface a couple of coats of black primer. You can probably
powder coat these pieces also but if you do, DO NOT get any powder coat
inside the glass frame channel. Once the primer was dry I shot several
coats of rattle can black satin on the frames followed by a coat of rattle
can clear.

Step 4 – Install New Weather

I recommend letting the paint dry for at least a day
before doing this step.

Installation of the main rubber is fairly simple. The
rubber kit I used came from Classic Parts but they are all the same I
would imagine.

To install, coat it with a light coating of dish soap
and then start twisting it into the channel. There is a tab on the rubber
which fits into a hole in the frame near the top. You need to push the
rubber around until these line up.

Step 5A – Installing Rivets

The vertical rubber strip the new glass will seal
against is installed next. When I purchased my new parts I also purchased
the replacement rivets and the rivet setting tool.

Having a helper for this step will make things easier.

As you can see in Figure 5 I have a piece of 3/8 plate
in the vise to act as a backing drift. I placed some black
weather-stripping adhesive in the top and bottom corners to ensure a good
seal. I then positioned the new rubber strip as shown. Your helper should
hold the frame in place over the back drift while you position the new
rivet in the first hole using some needle nose pliers. Position the rivet
setting tool over the rivet and hit it firmly with a hammer until the
rivet is set. You do not have to hit it with great force to make this
happen. Repeat for the other rivets.

As you will note, I protected the fresh paint with some
blue tape during this step.

Step 5B – Installing Rivets

Some people suggested using the vise to
set the rivets but the throat on my vise was not long enough to do this
without cutting down the rivet setting tool which would not have been a
problem. I choose not to.

If you think you can use another type of
rivet to do this step I will add that I did also but the regular pop
rivets will leave too much of a tail which will interfere with the
operation of the vent. It is the crush rivets or nothing I am afraid.

Step 6A – Glass Installation

Now comes the fun part. Installing the
new glass into the glass frame is the most difficult step but by no means
impossible. The setting tape I used was obtained from a local auto glass
place. It is not the thick cloth backed stuff you see in the various parts
catalogs so do not bother buying any. This tape is about 1/16 to
1/32″ thick and feels just like buta rubber. Since it will take some
force to set the glass in the frame I covered the fresh paint with tape as

Step 6B – Glass Installation

To facilitate the installation of the
tape into the corner of the frame it needs to be notched as shown below.
This will help minimize any binding. One other precaution that will make
the glass go in easier to spread open the vent handle tabs on the bottom
portion of the glass frame to give it a bit more room.

Position the tape on the edge of the
glass that will go into the frame and coat it with a thin coat of ATF
(transmission fluid) to help it slide into the channel. Having your helper
at this stage to help keep the tape on the glass would save some
frustration but not all.

Step 6C – Glass Installation

With the glass frame taped to protect the
paint, place the glass on edge on a cushioned (towel) surface, place the
setting tape along the edge and position the frame over the tape and press

As the frame slides on it will try to
move the tape out of place. You may need to remove the frame and
reposition it a couple of times. If you do it right the first time then
you did better than I and you should be writing this.

Once the frame is aligned correctly and
is pressed down as far as you can get it you will need to knock the frame
on the rest of the way using a rubber mallet.

Watch to ensure you do it evenly so as to
not cock the glass in the frame. If you do this then start over. Do not be
afraid to land some good blows. Once I had it most of the way in I had to
hit the edge of the glass fairly hard with the mallet to seat the glass
all the way. Take your time. It will work. Set the glass so the trailing
edge is almost but not quite flush with the frame ends. Examine the other
vent assembly you have to see how far that glass is sticking out from the
end of the frame as a go-by.

I would also suggest setting the new
glass/frame into the main frame to see how well it will seal against the
vertical rubber strip you installed earlier. You can err on the plus side
a bit but if you get the glass too far in it will not seal correctly and
you will have to pull the glass back out a bit which will be more fun.

Once you have the glass in place you can
trim the excess tape off with a razor blade.

Good job – you have finished the hard

Step 7 – Install Handle

When I ordered my new glass and rubber I
also ordered new handles and the wavy spring that installs behind it.
There are also new setting pins you can order to secure the handle.

Place the wavy spring over the stud on
the glass frame, position the new handle over the stud and install the set
pin. Very easy.

Next position the new glass into the main
frame. Note you will need to place one of the washers for the pivot
tensioner inside the main frame such that it will be “captured when
the pivot stud goes through it. Do not install the spring and other
hardware at this time.

If your helper has gone off to do other
things, get them back now. You will need to install a crush rivet in the
top pivot joint and having them available to hold the assembly while you
set the rivet against a hard surface is helpful. To install this rivet it
needs to be crushed from the bottom so set the top of the rivet against
the 3/8 thick plate and swing that hammer for the last time.

Once that is done you can install the
remaining washers and spring to the lower pivot stud and secure with the
nut. You can let your helper go at this time.

The final step is to install new glass
channel felt into the vertical channel of the vent assembly. To do this I
used 3M weather-stripping adhesive inside the metal channel. It has held
up with no problems to date.

Finished with the First one

Now that you have finished the first vent
assembly you can do the second one in less than half the time. I hope you
have found this write up useful.

Here is what the finished product will
look like. You can install it now but you will have to pull it out when
you install the door glass but that is another story.

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