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  Chicagoland MG Club:Tech Tips

Side Window Glass Removal

This tech article is contributed by club member Walter Szempruch

Window Removal from the Channel Glazing Rubber

A search of the forums and web yielded no good advice on how to remove the old glass door window from the dried out glazing rubber that is holding the window tight. Breaking the glass didnít make sense. I spent about a day trying all sorts of options. Advice from a friend in the body repair business said to try heating with a propane torch. I thought some heat would be good, but I thought breaking the adhesion between the glass and the rubber might be worth trying first. I used a razor blade and tediously pushed into the space and out again all along the channel on both sides. That didnít work well. Then I thought silicone oil might lubricate the area enough to pound out glass. That didnít seem to work either, although I suspected some movement was happening. Lastly I tried the propane torch. Wearing gloves, I ran the flame up and down the track for about 2-3 minutes. What I noticed is that the rubber seemed softer. Was it the heat or the silicone oil lube? I pounded again using the small rubber mallet until I felt it move on one side. Finally I carefully stuck a small screwdriver down the bottom space between the metal channel and the very bottom of the glass. I used only marginal force as I didnít want to bend the metal or break the glass. The window started to slide out! It was definitely loose. And whatís more, I noticed the rubber stayed with the window as it separated from the metal interface. This was totally contrary to logic I was using. With a day an a half of trial and error, I finally achieved success as the window came free from the channel. OK, so what worked?

Here are the steps with pictures of what I did for the second window. Thinking the first effort may have been a fluke, I thought the second will confirm what happened.

Tools and Set-up of an old Black and Decker Workmate with Wood Block.
    Propane Torch
    Slick 50 silicone oil
    Small rubber mallet
    Thin spatula, razor blade, thin blade putty tool, anything to get between the rubberís interface.

Second Window Steps
    1. I heated up the length of the channel for about 2-3 minutes until the channel became hot enough that I saw a little smoke and smelled a faint whiff of burning rubber.
    2. I squirted some oil on both sides of the window.
    3. I used the blade tool and tried to work in some oil between the metal and rubber, not the glass. I favored the ends. I didnít spend more than 2-3 minutes on this step.
    4. I put the track over the wood and then pounded the edges of the glass firm, but not as hard as I might think the glass would break. I tapped multiple times, tap, tap, and tap on each side, like a jack hammer.
    5. I checked the edges to see if any movement was observed on one side or the other and then repeated Step 4, probably about 3 times.
    6. Once I saw movement, I was able to grab the glass by hand and tilted away from the channel to remove. Hereís where the screwdriver prying worked with the first window. The second window came out a lot easier.

Note in pic #3 that the rubber again stayed with the glass when the window came out. A glistening sheen of oil could be seen 1/2 way down the interface of the rubber to the channel. I suspect it wicked into places that helped.

So how long did the second one take? About 10 minutes. So the average time to remove the glass from both door channels was about 3/4 of a day. I suppose itís kind of like a man drowning in a pool with an average depth of 6 inches, i.e. 6 feet at one end and 1 inch on the other.

I hope this helps someone else do what I did in less than an hour without drowning!

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