Front Quarter Vents Renovation
I am assuming that the windows are out of the doors. If they are not you can see how its done with my other walk through here. The quarter vents are difficult to open or shut and look very tired. The rubber seals are perished and need replacing. I have purchased the parts from Mustang Maniac as always.
The parts are in kits. There are the window rubbers specific to each side. There is a replacement window stop kit with tools. Finally there is a Vent window divider strip as well. The parts are held in place with tiny little rivets and the tool is supplied to do it.
The windows are grubby and I will clean the frame once the glass is removed.
The removal of the glass is quite straight forward. Undo the nut at the bottom of the vent stem, remove the spring, washer and the plastic washer.
Undo the two screws on the sides of the brackets and pull of the bracket. Remove the plastic washer then the odd shaped washer. Open the vent in the frame and support the frame securely but allow the stem to be clear of any obstruction. Push down from the top into the bottom rubber and the glass top hinge will pop out of the frame at the top. pull the vent glass out through the bottom of the frame and rubber.
That’s the easy bit done. the hard part is the trim removal from the frame without damaging it. I used various techniques and tools and these seemed to be the best. At the top of the frame there is a plastic moulding that is held in by a rivet. This needs to be removed and replaced. You can buy the kit from Mustang Maniac as it’s a Scott Drake Part. I have just cleaned the rivet a little to show the location.
You will need a sharp drill to take of the back of the rivet, with the back drilled off you can use a small punch to knock it out of the fitting and the frame.
After the rivet is removed look down the inside at the top and you will see a screw, this holds the top section together however this does not release it completely. There are two more substantial rivets further down by the cross-bar which it did not remove. With the screw removed at the top you can move away the frame slightly which is just enough to get the rubbers out. The rubbers are held in place by a few sprung clips which will come out with a little tug.
To remove the vent separator rubber this turned out to be a pain to say the least. If you drill the heads of you will be left with the shaft of the rivet left in the hole on the frame. So the rivet has to come out, I tried all sorts of methods, but this is how I done it. I pulled the vertical flap of rubber off to leave the bottom in place with the rivets. The rubber tore easily as it was perished badly all the way along. Take a fine bladed screw driver to the side of the head and lift it up with a few taps from a small hammer. I then worked my way up to a larger screw driver then distorted the head of the rivet. One rivet popped out like this cleanly, the second I hit to hard and left the shaft in place with the head coming of clean, the third and fourth sort of came out but left a little bit in the hole. With the old rubber in place you can try to lever the thin tin rivets out without damaging the stainless frame. To get the other parts out I used a fine drill to remove the majority of the rivet and a small punch to knock the last part out-of-the-way leaving the hole clear.
With all the rubbers removed and the glass out it was time to clean the frame up to get the worst of the grime off as well as the previous over spray from the last paint job. To clean it all up was the usual chrome cleaner and plenty of elbow grease and patience. With the chrome pitted in some places I didn’t want to lift the coating so I was careful on how hard I rubbed and let the cleaners do the work for me.
I intended to do a final polish once it was all back together again so this was just to get the worst of the marks of. Now this next part I may have got a little wrong in the step it should be done. The vent separator I fitted first to the frame. The new frame rubber however looked to have a little cut out for the separator to go. So it looks like you fit the rubbers, then rivet the separator in on top of it. As I done it the other way around I still managed to poke the new rubber under the separator and it fitted fine. So you can do it either way, but I do suspect the rubber first then the separator. I shall try it the other way with the other vent. The rivets are provided with the packs for the separator, there were 5 in my pack so I had a spare, a nice touch. Support the frame securely as you will be using a happy and need two hands for this section. Put the rivet through the hole and line it up with the frame making sure you have the flap on the correct side for the vent to shut. Take a punch the same size as the rivet head and tap the rivet down. The steel under the rivet will splay the end out forcing the rivet to bite into the rubber. Repeat for the remaining three rivets.
I now inserted the rubber (perhaps should have been first), Then I tucked the ends correctly to the separator to make the water tight seal. I was able to move the rubber around as the frame was not secured still. With the rubber in place correctly line up the frame and insert the screw at the top and tighten up. The rubber is new so had plenty of spring in it so the line up of the hole and screw needed a little pressure to force them together.
The next part you may need somebody to hold the frame for you unless you have a long enough arms to support the weight and hold the tool for the rivet. Once all the rubbers are secured in place the top fitting will need to be inserted to make the seal at the very top of the glass frame. The pack here contains the pair of fittings that will only fit one side or the other, a special rivet tool and four rivets. You only need two so it looks like a spare was provided again which is a nice touch.
The rivets here are a flat polished head to match the frame on the outside. The tool has a recessed form at the tip which shapes the rivets over to hold the fitting in place on the frame. Insert the river from the outside frame and line up the fitting. It’s important that you now hold the frame flat against the rivet head. If you done the you could end up denting the frame from the outside and spoiling the effect. I used a small hammer in the vice and held the frame rivet to the face of the hammer. With the tool over the rivet you have to firmly strike the more substantial rivet to get it to bend over. I wasn’t getting anywhere with gentle taps so I progressively hit it harder until it started to form over. It’s a fiddly job but you must take time here not to damage the frame and make sure the fitting is held in firmly by the rivet.
That’s the frame done. The next part is to clean up the glass and the spindle at the bottom.
I sprayed the spring with Rust Encapsulator by Eastwood to make it look presentable, but nobody will see it anyway. while the spring was drying I cleaned up all washers, the plastic washers and the bracket ready to fit back to the bottom of the frame. Squirt some white grease into the frame hole at the top where the glass pin will go. Take the glass and thread the spindle through the rubber at the bottom and press it down so the top hinge part will fit back into frame recess that you just squirted a little grease in. Now open & shut the vent a few times to make sure it sits correctly and will seal when shut.
Once it’s shut put the odd washer on the top of the spindle and then a plastic washer, squirt white grease between the touching parts. Fit the bracket next and screw slightly to allow the movement of the window to finalised. Once you are happy with the position of the vent glass and the bracket tighten up the two screws on the bracket. Next add the plastic washer and the normal metal washer and again squirt some white grease into facing parts. Take the spring and slide up to the metal washer and tighten the nut to the spring. The harder the tighten the harder it is to move the vent window. You need to adjust it so that it doesn’t slam shut when driving along and not to difficult to open.
With the frame and everything back together I gave a final polish and clean up to make sure it was as good as I was going to get it. the final result I am well pleased with.
This took me a complete day to finish around seven or eight hours , partly because I was working out what need to be done, the cleaning etc.
Amazing. The window now open and shuts correctly, the rubbers seal and it looks like new apart from small pitting.
This is not a simple strip and paint job. It was delicate work to remove the rivets and put the new ones in. It was a fiddly job and you need patience, and a lot of it. Would I recommend doing it? Not if you don’t have to. But the results will be a window that doesn’t leak and will seal properly to the frame.
9 thoughts on “Front Quarter Vent Renovation”
When you re-installed was there any gasket or felt between the vent window and the window channel in the door? I’m re-installing mine and fighting a large gap between the chrome frame (mentioned above as pitted, but now beautiful) and the door.
There was no gasket. It’s just the rubbers and adjustments. If you can replace the window and door belts while you are at it. That would help with the gaps.
What rubbers? I have all new felts in the door and they stop short of the wing window. The rubbers the window itself sit in are good(ok) its the chrome to door panel seal that is about 3/8″ short of being a seal :-0. I looked for a rubber gasket but i can’t find one.
Good article; got some good information from it, thanks.
My vent window glass and rubber are fine, but the handle bracket is pretty much junk. The piece that’s supposed to stay put on the frame in order to have something for the handle to attach to came, off inside the handle itself when I punched out the roll pin. Probably no easy way….or maybe no way at all….to replace just the bracket, right?
Hi Mark, I’m not aware of a fix to be honest. I suspect the only way to fix it would be a replacement frame. Perhaps somebody with some very good welding skills and patience could possibly repair the cast? I doubt that would even work as there is stress on that point when the window is held shut by the handle.
Yeah, was afraid of that. New brackets show some holes in the bottom where they attach to the frame, but getting to them is more effort than I want to expend. Or, probably more accurately….requires more talent/patience than I have. Looks like a new assembly is on the wishlist.
You can keep the glass and just go for the frame which will keep the costs down a bit for you.
How did you polish out the pits? The fame looks fairly pitted and the bottom pictures it looks great.
Pitted chrome will always be pitted unless rechromed. I made sure all the pits were cleaned out and applied good quality metal polish. If you rub to hard you can lift the chrome up so be careful. So it was try to make it all as smooth as possible in the first place then polish and polish again.