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Stopping The Rattles

Publication Name: 
Classic Trucks
Publication Date: 
June, 2004
Get The Door Please

As much as we love our classic trucks, they simply are not as quiet inside as newer vehicles. Much of the problem stems from worn-out window weather-stripping and seals, which allows air to pass through the door and window edges into the cab while traveling down the highway. Factor in years of use and abuse to the window and latch mechanisms, and it all adds up to a less-than-pleasurable driving experience.

Rubber weather-stripping has a shorter life span than most components, but over the years, both the window regulators and door-latch mechanisms slowly wear out too. Fortunately, just about everything needed to rebuild the doors is available in the aftermarket these days.

We stopped to visit the crew at Early Classic Enterprises recently and followed along as they rebuilt the door assemblies on a '72 Suburban. The steps of the rebuild process are basically the same for all the '60-72 truck doors.

How To Steps and Images: 
These are all of the components that will be replaced on the Suburban's doors. Although ECE offers all the components to rebuild the original vent window assemblies, they have found that, in many cases, it's much easier and less frustrating to replace the whole assembly with these pre-assembles ones. The window regulators are usually found to be worn out and need replacing. Remember that not every truck needs each component replaced. Depending on the mileage and condition, you may only need to replace individual parts in your doors.
To begin the disassembly process, the door panels need to be removed to access inside the door. The window crank and door handle were unclipped using a special tool (available at most local auto parts stores.) These are simply a thin flat plate that slides behind the handle to allow you to pop off the retaining clip. The armrest was unscrewed, and the door panel was removed.
The lower door glass channel was unbolted and removed to allow the window glass to slide to the rear of the door. This will allow enough access to remove the glass and the wing-window assembly.
The inner- and outer-door glass seals were removed next. This provided a larger opening at the top of the door to remove the glass. The door glass channel runs were also removed at this time.
There are three screws in the front of the doorjamb that need to be removed. A stubby screwdriver is needed to remove the lower screw.
The wing window was then removed in one complete assembly. Rebuilding the vent windows required drilling out the rivets for disassembly and working the rubber into the channel, which can be a rather difficult procedure. The new assemblies come complete and made the job much easier.
Once the wing window was removed, the glass was slid forward to separate the track from the regulator roller wheels. This can be a rather tricky maneuver and may require rolling the window up and down to access the removal slot in the track. The regulator was then unbolted and removed through the lower-door opening.
The door-latch assembly and inside door-handle control are also being replaced. They are connected by a solid rod that clips to each end. The door lock rod also attaches to the latch assembly and will need to be transferred to the new latch unit.
The new latch and control relay were laid out, and the hardware was switched over to connect the new parts. A small amount of lithium grease was used to lubricate the pivot points. Early Classic suggests that you make certain the clips are solidly in place. This will prevent you from having to remove the door panel to fix the problem later.
The re-assembly steps must be taken in the reverse order as the disassembly, and failure to do so will cause you to start the process over. The new window regulator can now be installed, followed by the window glass.
Once again, the door glass needed to be slid to the rear of the door in order for the new wing window assembly to fit. Due to the design of the lower mounting bracket, the went window assembly needed to turn sideways to clear the opening. Be careful not to damage the paint.
To install the lower rear window channel, the door glass had to be slid forward into the front channel of the wing window frame. This captured the glass between the front and rear channels and allowed the window to roll up and down properly. The new door glass channel runs simply pop into place in the frame of the door.
The door glass seal kit, also known as the anti-rattle kit, isolated the door glass and kept it from hitting the door shell itself. The inner edge was made using a felt material, and the outer was a rubber wiper edge - similar to a windshield wiper blade.
With all of the internal components in place, the door panel was refitted using new plastic clips from Early Classic. They also carry all of the inside handles and window cranks to complement the finished product.
In less than an afternoon of watching football, the crew at Early Classic has shown us the ins and outs of rebuilding a '72 Chevy door. In a later issue, we'll show you how to rebuild your original worn-out hinges and realign your doors.
Technical Articles


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