Door windlace, etc

Painting the area that will be under the new door seal. The blue plastic tape is good for getting a nice clean line.

The old windlace has a wider and stiffer attaching band.

To make up for the floppy attaching band I’m using the old windlace rubber as a filler. I have cut off the old windlace at the door top and will leave it in place. To do a proper job and replace that part of the windlace the headliner has to be removed and that means a new headliner. That may happen, but down the road and I’ll buy all new windlace at that time.

The choice of windlace colours is limited. I chose the light blue. I should have bought a darker tone. But it is a whole lot nicer than the old stuff. And as I said I’ll buy new stuff when I replace the headliner. Also, not only do you need to replace the headliner to do a proper job on the windlace, you also have to remove the dash to get at the hidden windlace clips!!! I have managed to get the windlace to stay behind the dash, but it would have been nice to have it attached in that location.

My test paint. I wanted to use a primer that can go over rust, but I wasn’t sure that it could stand the harsh solvents used in spray bombs. I put down a coat of Rustoleum filler primer. The label didn’t say not to use cover paint with strong solvents ( Tremclad paint, also made by Rustoleum, does warn against using cover paints with strong solvents). I left it for a day and then gave it a coat of Richelieu blue automotive acrylic enamel. After a day it still hadn’t acted upon the primer so it’s a go 🙂

Next: painting the door edges.

’66 Stude door work

While I’m waiting for the used engine to rebuild for the Chevy I’m going to get some work done on the ’66 Studebaker Commander.

I need to go over all the doors eventually, but for now just the drivers door. I’ll be removing the ’66 lower door trim in favour of the wider ’63 trim that goes along the upper side lining up with the door handles.

Door off and the vent and door window removed.

I scraped away the sound deadner, cleaned and sanded around the five lower trim holes. I then applied a fibreglass patch with two coats of fibreglass resin. I will cover them with black automotive coating later. On the outside I’ll fill the holes with two part body filler with short tiger hair. I’ll then skim that with regular body filler for the final treatment.

There was no way I could get the attaching clips fitted into the new cat wiskers for the outside of the door. I did find a way to pop rivet the old clips to the strip.

I broke off the mounting tabs and drilled them for a 1/8″ pop rivet. I then drilled the cat wisker in the proper locations and attached each clip. Worked a charm 🙂

Next I removed the old door seal. I wanted to remove all the old glue so that the new adhesive would have bare paint to stick to. The best solution after trying some other stuff was plain house paint thinner and small chunks of course scrubbing pads. I will also clean and sand all the exposed metal for a later coat of new paint.

Next : painting and re-assembly.


The nice new speakers refused to fit in the dash opening on the passenger side. The magnet is so big that it hits the bracket for the glove compartment lock. Bummer!

I bought them from Corvette Depot. So I went online and filled out the return form. I then was able to print off a return UPS label. Once I got the return approval email I boxed them up, ready for shipping. The company make it really easy to make returns.

I was going to buy another set of speakers from Corvette Depot, but the only other set that was supposed to fit the ’79 models was out of stock until maybe sometime in May. I was at Canadian Tire picking up some specials and I found a set of 4X6 Pioneer speakers. They looked like they might fit so I picked them up.

They fit just fine on the passenger side.

The speakers came with leads. Here I have soldered them to the original socket from the old speaker on the driver’s side. The leads are marked as + and – using different blade connectors. The Chevy service manual shows the tan lead as being the + side so I made sure the + lead wire was connected to the correct side of the plug.

The old speaker on the passenger side was a replacement and was hard wired in. The + side on the passenger side is the dark blue wire. Using bullet connectors I soldered ends on the leads and the original speaker wires – they are shown on the photo of the glove box opening above.

The installation bracket with the speakers fit the dash openings OK so easy to get the screws in – it was harder with the forward screws as there wasn’t enough room under the windshield to use a 1/4″ ratchet. I started them with fingers and tightened with a 9/32″ box end from a mini wrench set.

They sound great – especially using the cassette tapes. So now I’m really ready for cruising in the Chevy 🙂

Next: I’ll be working on Studebaker doors until I get the used replacement engine for the Chevy.

Tidying up

Just a few things to get done and the Chevy will be ready for spring.

Earlier in the winter I overhauled the power steering which meant I fiddled with the left and right tie rods. The caster and camber should be OK, but the toe needs to be checked.

The rear wheels are about 3/8″ wider than the front. So I made up a small block of wood 3/16″ thick and tucked it behind the string on the front of the tire on the high spot – missing the raised lettering. By rights the string should be 3/16″ away from the back of the front tire with the wheels in the straight-ahead position. As it turns out the right front string was just touching the tire so I has at least 3/16″ toe in on that side. The left string was about 2/16″ away from the tire so I had about 1/16″ toe. I adjusted the left tire tie rod until I got the same 2/16″ on the right tire. I ended up with a total of approximately 2\16″ toe in. The manual calls for 2 to7/16″ toe in so all should be good. Some time ago I mechanics teacher told me that the new tires tend to run straight so little if any toe is needed.

Time for a grease job. I didn’t do the greasing when I overhauled the power steering. There are a number of grease fittings on the linkage and PS control valve. Unfortunately the car has its original u-joints and so no fittings to add grease. After 45 years the grease must be quite dried out so I expect that will be a job to be done in the near future.

I picked up a set of anti-theft wheel studs for aluminum wheels from Zip Corvette. Should give some peace of mind if I have to leave it parked overnight.

Wheels back on and nuts torqued to 90 ft lbs with anti-theft nuts. All ready for the road 🙂

I’ll leave it on the Quick Jack to keep the car off the wheels for the next two months. Also it will make it easier to work on the dash.

Couple of arrivals from Corvette Depot. Some hood bumpers and a set of replacement front speakers. I’ll have to time to get them in before spring,

Next: getting the speakers in and taking a door off the Studebaker.

Escutcheon install

The door panel is pre-cut to take the remote adjuster for the sport mirror. The backing cloth and sponge needed to be removed before the inside vinyl is cut.

I then placed a piece of wood under the vinyl to keep it up against the hole and made the two diagonal cuts.

I pushed the escutcheon through from the inside (it has two prongs which just fit in the panel hole. The backing plate is then installed with two screw to secure the escutcheon to the door panel

The remote toggle switch mechanism is held in the escutcheon with an allen screw. Should be fun getting that together when fitting the door panel to the door!

Hard to see, but the remote mirror mechanism was damaged when last installed or removed. The threaded hole for the set screw is broken out on the front side.

The set screw will still fit and hold some, but it needs extra support. So I drilled and tapped another hole to add a second set screw. This one will just push against the remote mechanism and help keep it in place.

Remote mirror escutcheon in place and the door panel also.

Doors done 🙂

The engine in the Chevy is worn out. There are two cylinders with low compression and the timing chain is stretched. So it will need to be overhauled. I’d rather have an engine ready to install than take the time to remove and rebuild the existing engine. A Studebaker friend who also likes other brands has an engine from a late ’80s Chev truck that may be available to me. It is a black replacement engine. He has removed a head and the upper block looks good – clean and no sludge buildup. Also the cylinder wear appears minimal – in fact some the original cross hatching can still be seen. Next will be a check of the bottom end. If it looks OK as is or is rebuildable it will be a go for the Chevy.

Next, just some finishing touches and the Chevy will be ready for the driving season. With the engine as it is I’ll be keeping close to home – at least close enough for my CAA plan to get the car flatbedded home should the motor give out.

Odds ‘n’ ends

I’ve sanded down the paint around the passenger door lock with 2000 grit wet sandpaper. Only as much as I had to – I didn’t want to go past the paint into the primer. So far so good.

A careful buffing with Turtle rubbing compound using a drill and sponge wheel, and a coat of Mothers cleaner wax and it is quite presentable on a quick look. The Tremclad gloss black didn’t buff up a well as the surrounding enamel so on some angles the edge can be seen. It will be OK until it is time to paint the whole car then the lock hole can be properly repaired. Another option would be to buy a used door and have it painted. Engine work needs to be done before that happens.

Back to the doors. I had the window adjusted pretty well before I started the windshield. So I more or less just had to replace the door panel including a new door handle escutcheon which I picked up from Moland’s Corvettes and painted a light fawn colour.

The drivers door was a bit of a bear to adjust. It ended up at the max height at the rear before it would fit properly. Not a lot of adjustment front and back, tilt and up and down. In this case it was maxed out at the back and pretty well on the tilt.

I have installed sport mirrors and the left is adjustable. This is the escutcheon for the door panel.

Next: installing the remote escutcheon on the door panel and then the panel on the door.

Windshield done

These seals go on either side of the windshield on the lower corner edges. They direct rain drain down the front door post or the front of the cowl.

I”m using a strip of buytl windshield seal to hold the flap close to the body. This shot is taken on the left side between the bottom of the windshield and the fender.

The water deflector inside lip slips under the windshield on the drivers side OK.

The fitment on the left side is not so good. The windshield is a little high and the water diverter inside lip won’t fit under the glass. So I’ll bond the rubber to the windshield using clear silicone.

Wiper arm rest back in place.

Wipers and windshield washer tubing back in place.

Rear view mirror re- attached and that about does it for the windshield repairs.

Next: time to finish up the painting in front of the cowl before final sealing. Then it will be time to get the doors finished.

Snow week delay.

We had a 3′ dump of snow in our area. That put everything on hold in the hobby department. for a whole week.

Finally got back to the windshield work. Here I have run a strip of the buytl seal all around the windshield. I went over it to press it onto the frame using a strip of the backing tape. Goes on easy and sticks to anything it touches!

If things can go wrong they will! I made marks on the windshield and the body (circle) to allow me to get the windshield back in the same place. Unfortunately the windshield caught the buytl seal just as we were aligning the marks and it moved to the left by about 1/16″. On top of that it seems that the glass was misaligned at the windshield shop also in the same direction. So in the end the glass is about 1/8″ over to the right side. This won’t be a big problem unless the side trim won’t rest over the glass.

Happily the right side trim did just fit over the glass so all is good.

While I had the windshield out I removed and replaced the two speakers so that I could get them out more easily later on. I wish now I had picked up a couple of speakers as it would have been so easy to install them with the windshield out.

Next: finishing up the windshield install and then it’s back to the doors.

Windshield and trim

Last task before replacing the windshield is installing the trim clips across the top. I’ve added four extra clips in the centre section. There was only two clips at each end for some reason.

Ready to remove the old sealant from the windshield. I used a razor blade tool and it came off quite easily.

There are a few spots where the black paint came off as well. This will be painted back with semi-gloss paint.

Once the paint is dry I can do the install. The silver marks on the lower section will be used to line up the windshield before setting it down on the buytl sealant.

Meanwhile more work to get old sealant off the windshield trim and then put it through the buffer for a nice shine 🙂

Next: Windshield install – finally!

I decided to remove the header strip so that it would be easier to clean and to apply the sealant along the inside of the front edge where it slips over the windshield frame.

Unfortunately the rivet holes in the fibreglass got enlarged when I drilled out the rivet. Fortunately there is a metal strip under the fibreglass that I could use to install machine screws. I did have to make up a die to dimple the header strip so that the machine screw wouldn’t be too raised for the roof panel seal. I cut the bolts just long enough to fit. The inside panel under the header does not have much room to squeeze in a machine nut. However it turned out to be OK.

Hard to see, but I ran the header panel over my buffing wheel with green stainless grit. It came up quite nice. After this I applied black automotive sealant to the roof at the back where the header panel will be bolted and along the underside of the front lip of the panel.

I fit the header panel to the back and snugged the two machine screws. I then snapped the panel over the front lip of the windshield frame and over the two corner mouldings that I had installed earlier. The mid and two back interior covers are in place. I will now put back the front windshield inner covers.

Next: time to put the windshield back on the car.