Window Channel Replacement

By Stephen Kassis

There are several different kinds of door window channels used in Chevrolet cars & trucks. Early (1926-1932) Fisher Body cars used rubber window channel with felt flocking on it. In 1933, GM passenger cars started using flexible and rigid metal window channel with stainless beaded trim. This channel was used into the 1960’s and beyond. Chevrolet & GMC trucks used both rigid and flexible metal window channel that is felt covered but has no stainless trim. Eventually the trucks went back to felt covered rubber window channel. Each of these channels is installed differently, so they will be addressed separately.

1926-1932 WOOD BODY CARS: Window channel replacement on early cars is a simple process. Wood bodied cars with rubber window channel have a metal track (AF-437 or AF-437A) down inside the door to hold the channel in place. Rubber channel (70-1168) was used in passenger cars up until 1938 in some models. Early Fisher Body convertibles use a wider channel (70-1169) because they have a metal frame over the door glass. (All other closed cars use 70-1168). In wood bodied cars, the channel is slid down into the metal retainer then nailed into place at the top of the channel. Screws are used as a retainer on metal posts.

Across the top of the door window of wood bodied cars, Chevrolet originally used a thin piece of felt for a seal. The more expensive GM cars had a rubber channel with felt covering (70-306) across the top of the door windows. This is a much better material for keeping down wind noise and sealing out the elements. As with the side window channel, this channel is nailed into place.

Below the window horizontally is a rubber piece that deflects water away from the regulator mechanism. There were three designs used in 1926-1932 passenger cars. The most common design (70-64) is a strip of rubber nailed below the window opening. It is held in place with a flat metal strip and goes the full width of each window. The small lip of this seal is faced toward the door glass on the outside edge. There was no seal on the inside edge.

The second design (70-79) is held in a crimp channel on the outside edge of each sash channel. The sash channel is the horizontal metal piece that holds the bottom of the door glass and hooks into the window regulator. If this type of rubber is used, the sash channel has an extra metal piece spot welded to the outside face of the sash. The rubber slides into the channel and the metal is crimped down to hold the rubber in place.

The last design (70-75) is the least common of the three and is used on very few vehicles. This is a filler and scraper combination. The filler is placed into the sash channel with the lip facing outward. The door glass is then pressed into the filler. This serves two purposes: to hold the glass in place and also to serve as a scraper which protects the window regulator mechanism from water.

All of the rubber items above are sold by the foot. Measure the required number of inches for each part number and convert the total to the nearest foot.

1933-1957 CARS (Except Hardtop & Convertible): Window channel kits (K-11 & K-12) for these cars consist of flexible metal, beaded channels covered with felt; rigid vent post channels (upper & lower) and beltline felt with stainless beading. Our K-11 kit does two front doors with vents (or 2 rear door with vents). The K-12 kit is for two door or quarter windows without vents.

Each kit has a flexible channel that has stainless steel beading. The flexible channel is used on front windows from the top of the vent window post, across the top and down the back side. USE CAUTION when bending the flexible beaded channel! Bend the channel slowly and watch for the tip of the bead to push out of the ends of the channel. Sometimes the bead will stick and if it is forced, it can kink the bead and ruin the channel. Once the channel has the proper bend, trim it to length and install.

The flexible channel was originally installed with clips that were fastened directly to the channel and snapped into place in the door. Replacement flexible channels can also be installed by gluing in place with 3M Weatherstrip adhesive (08011) and securing with a few flat head sheet metal screws (FS-5654). When using these screws, be sure to get the screw head below the felt so it does not come into contact with the glass.

The back of the vent window post has two different channels – upper (C-347) and lower (C-516). These are part of the K-11 kit. The upper channel is a rigid, shallow channel with stainless beading. The lower channel is deeper but has no stainless beading. The lower channel is designed to hold the glass steady while it is in the lowered position. Both upper and lower vent window post channels were originally riveted to the post channel. The replacement channels can be installed like the flexible channel with weatherstrip adhesive, screws or like original with rivets.

Before installing the upper vent post channel, check the condition of the rubber vertical vent window post seals on the front side. If these need to be replaced, do that prior to installing the channel. The vertical seals have a metal core in them with tabs that must be bent over for installation. This must be accomplished prior to installing the window channel on the other side of the post.

The lower beltline (horizontal) felts have a single stainless bead. These were originally stapled in place on the lower window openings. The best way to install the new beltline felts is to use (FS-5654) flathead screws. Poke a hole through the beltline felt. Drill a small hole into the mounting surface with a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws you will be using. Four to six of these holes will be required for each strip. The beltline felts are slightly flexible and can be formed for the small curve on some vehicles. One method is to cut a piece of hardwood to the same curvature as the felt strip. Clamp or screw the wood piece to a work table and bend the beltline felt to match the original curve. Install with flathead screws being sure to get the head below the felt surface to avoid contact with the glass.

1950-1957 Hardtop & Convertible Only: The vent window post channels (C-516-Lower & C-347-Upper) are the same pieces used on closed cars. Refer to 1933-1957 cars (above) for installation instructions for the vent post channels on these cars. On the back side of the door is a wide channel to accommodate the chrome door window frame. We offer a felt to reline these channels. FS-92 is 1-5/8” wide and FS-92W is 2-5/8” wide. This felt is installed with contact cement on the back side of the felt liner and in the channel. Find a board that is the proper width and height to fit snugly in the channel. Wrap the pre-glued felt over the board and press into the channel. Let this set overnight to dry. Trim off the excess and remove the board. The channel is now ready for glass installation.

1927-1987 CHEVY & GMC TRUCKS: Window channels for these trucks are installed similarly to the 1933-1957 passenger car window channels. Below is a breakdown of individual channel group instructions:

1927-1935 trucks use rigid channels (CV-73) on each side of the door windows. These channels are nailed or screwed into place once the glass is in the channel. Across the bottom there is a rubber seal like used on 1926-1932 cars. See the section above (70-6470-7570-79) for 1926-1932 passenger cars.

1939-1950 trucks use a flexible non-beaded channel (CV-69 or CV-129) that runs from down in the door on one side, up and over the top, then down in the door on the other side. This channel can be installed with 3M Weatherstrip adhesive (08011). Secure with a few flathead sheet metal screws (FS-5654).

Vertically, down inside the door, there is a crimp channel that holds a rubber seal (60-566CV-214CV-278) on the inside and outside edge of the door. Clean out the old rubber and slide the new part in place and crimp to secure. 1947-50 trucks have beltline felt strips (C-555-3) on the inside lower edge of the window trim. Install with flathead sheet metal screws (FS-5654).

1951-55(1st Series) trucks use a flexible non-beaded channel (CV-69A) from the top of the vent window post, across the door and down on the back side. The back of the vent window post uses rigid channels (CV-73). Check the vertical vent window post seal before installing CV-73 channels. Replace the vent post seals, if needed, before installing the vent post channels. Both of the flexible and rigid channels can be installed with 3M Weatherstrip adhesive (08011) and a few flathead sheet metal screws (FS-5654).

The beltline felt strips (C-555) were installed originally on the inner window frame with staples. These can be installed with flathead sheet metal screws (FS-5654). Down inside the door there is a crimp channel on the outside edge that holds a rubber scraper (CV-278A). Remove the old rubber from the channel and install the new rubber, then crimp in place.

1955 (2nd Series)-1963(early) trucks have a metal frame on the edge of the window glass. This frame requires a wider, non-beaded window channel (CV-375). On the back of the vent window post a new felt strip (FS-92) must be glued into place. This felt is sold by the foot and should take about 7 ft. to do both sides. Installation is easiest to do with contact cement spread over the back of the felt and the inside of the channel.

Find a board that is the same width as the metal window glass frame. Wrap the felt around the board and push into the groove of the channel. Let this set overnight and trim off the excess the next day. Beltline felts for these trucks (FS-287 & FS-69) come with installation clips already installed. These can be simply snapped into place after the door glass is in place.

1963(late)-1987 trucks have no metal frame on the edge of the window glass. These trucks have a newly designed rubber window channel (FS-154) that snaps into the channel above the glass and down into the back side. 1963-72 vent window post channel is replaced by scraping out the original vent window post until it is clean down to metal. Glue the back side of the new vent post liner (CV-69A) and the channel with contact cement, press into the channel and let set overnight. 1973-1987 vent window post seals are rubber and snap in place (CV-708).

Beltline felts for these trucks (FS-287AFS-69ACV-710 & CV-709) come with installation clips already installed. These can be simply snapped into place after the door glass is in place.