Author Topic: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip  (Read 214 times)

Offline Angela

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Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« on: January 01, 2018, 09:08:04 AM »
This post refers to my '67 front glass (windshield) molding, yet may be applicable to all years using the spring metal clips to attach the stainless steel trim.

I personally removed the SS trim from the front and rear glass on my fastback. It's been many years since I did so, yet I can still recall the nightmare to remove these pieces. Anyway, I restored and polished all of these pieces by hand and have reinstalled them using a collection of both original and NOS molding clips.

The rear molding installed as well as I could hope for.... fits and looks excellent.

The front windshield molding, however, doesn't fit so well. Actually, the problem is the LOWER front molding. While all of the clips "clicked" as I installed the trim (giving me the false belief that all was well), this lower piece of molding doesn't fit tight against the rubber weatherstrip that holds the windshield in place. The molding IS tight and appropriately placed at the body, yet there is a 1/8" gap between the molding and the rubber. No amount of persuasion can move the molding any closer to the rubber, because the molding is actually hitting the little "pins" which are welded to the body. While I know someone may suggest the molding is incorrect, this isn't my first rodeo and I believe it's a genuine ford part and I believe it is original to this car.

I'll take a picture and post it here. However, I'm wondering if others have seen this type of poor fit between the molding and rubber. As far as I can tell, there is nothing I can do about it. Removing the trim is nearly guaranteed to damage it (and/or the paint) and even if I tried, it's not clear to me what I would / could do differently.

Note: I installed ALL of the glass molding pieces before noticing the undesirable gap. I don't believe it would be possible to remove just the lower molding in question without also removing all other pieces.
 

Offline 67gtasanjose

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 10:16:34 AM »
2 things come to mind. Is the rubber W/S OE Ford? Is the glass OE Ford? Replacement Glass is thinner than original so that is the most likely situation you have. I am not sure the later replacement Carlite glass is as thick as the earlier..
Richard Urch

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2005 (04/05) GT Premium Convertible, Windveil Blue, Parchment Top w/Med. Parchment interior,  Roush Body Appointments

Offline ruppstang

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 10:41:03 AM »
I agree with Richards possibility's and will add often when the lower molding has been man handled several times it opens up producing the unwanted gap. You are correct in that all of the molding must come off to remove the bottom one. One thing I do when I am tearing down a car. I use a razor knife against the glass and cut the seal in half letting me remove the glass with the molding still on. Then with the glass and seal gone I can carefully remove the moldings with no damage.   

Offline midlife

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 05:52:12 PM »
I agree with Richards possibility's and will add often when the lower molding has been man handled several times it opens up producing the unwanted gap. You are correct in that all of the molding must come off to remove the bottom one. One thing I do when I am tearing down a car. I use a razor knife against the glass and cut the seal in half letting me remove the glass with the molding still on. Then with the glass and seal gone I can carefully remove the moldings with no damage.   
I'm confused.  The moldings clip onto rivets on the metal frame; there's no way you can remove the windshield and the moldings as one piece off the car.

Offline J_Speegle

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 06:01:04 PM »
2 things come to mind. Is the rubber W/S OE Ford? Is the glass OE Ford? Replacement Glass is thinner than original so that is the most likely situation you have. I am not sure the later replacement Carlite glass is as thick as the earlier..

+1   Allot of possible causes or added all together they can produce some very unwelcomed results in the final product and fit.
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Offline ruppstang

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 07:08:10 PM »
I'm confused.  The moldings clip onto rivets on the metal frame; there's no way you can remove the windshield and the moldings as one piece off the car.

By removing the windshield and seal you then can easily remove the moldings without damage

Offline Angela

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 10:51:14 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I agree that there are at least a couple variables that perhaps added up to create the undesirable air-gap I mentioned:
 (a) The windshield is an "NOS" Carlite/Ford piece which IIRC was manufactured sometime around 1980. I had the dates from my original glass etched into this NOS piece. It's possible that the ~1980 NOS glass is slightly thinner than the original
 (b) The rubber windshield weatherstrip is a USA-made piece I purchased from Bill @ Mansfield Mustang about 15yrs ago. I suppose it's possible that this rubber is not quite as thick as the original.

Attached below are images depicting the fitment which I'm unhappy with. It's upsetting merely because one spends 150hrs removing dents and polishing molding, test fitting parts and then finally installing them -only to realize a result that makes it appear that I "threw it together" hastily.

If anyone has suggestions concerning ways I could try and hide/mask/minimize this air-gap.... please don't hesitate to share. :-)   After 15yrs of working on this project, I'm just not willing to tear all the molding back off of the car.

One obviously non-concours "trick" I suppose I could try, is to lay a thin bead of RTV into this gap, to minimize the attention the gap otherwise draws. A product such as Permatex "Right Stuff" dries in more of a flat black sheen than does RTV, which would look more like the factory sealant. Note I'm just brainstorming options and am not saying I would actually do this just yet...

Offline caspian65

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 12:07:48 PM »
I'd suggest the gasket may be part of the issue, especially if you can see that much of the clip.  I know with the correct clips installed and an OEM gasket, the clips should be barely visible from the edge of the rubber gasket.

As others have mentioned, it's not unusual for the lower molding to get bent/tweaked.  You might consider locating another one, but I think at least part of your issue is the gasket.
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Offline Angela

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 02:27:16 PM »
Thanks Charles. Agreed, I compared four (4) lower windshield moldings (the one original to this car and three more originals I found at swap meets over the years).  The molding original to this car fit best (by far) and is the one installed now. I strongly suspect the issue is a combination of slightly thinner glass and gasket.

At this point, I've decided I don't want to risk damage to the molding and car by trying to remove the molding (I've never been able to remove these pieces without substantial dents and dings). I hate this gap, yet I believe I'll think of a way to "mask" it or make it look less obvious (such as my comment about filling the gap with a black sealant).

Any / all suggestions would be appreciated.

Offline caspian65

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 03:13:37 PM »
If you don't want to take it back apart, then your only choice is to go with a setting urethane.  Don't ever plan on taking it back apart if using that stuff though.  A local glass shop should be able to give some direction on what product or handle the work for you.

If it was my car, I would replace the gasket with an NOS one, make sure all the clips are correct and tight fitting.  I would then test fit the stainless before installing the glass back on the car.

FYI, black cloth tape works well at protecting paint when working with moldings.
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Offline Angela

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Re: Windshield molding (SS trim): air-gap to glass weatherstrip
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 08:23:58 AM »
Thanks Charles.  This is a tough decision for sure. It sounds like an easy thing to do.... but there are so many things that have to be removed to get the glass out at this point..... so many things which could go wrong and/or be affected (headliner, dash, trim, paint, etc).

I agree completely with your comment about the use of urethane.... if I go the route of some type of sealant, I'll consider something other than urethane so that it would be more easily removed someday if necessary.

It's so frustrating to know that I DID test fit everything and it appeared the molding would fit perfectly. What I believe I failed to recoqnize is that the molding can bottom out at the pins which are welded to the body. May this be a warning to others

At this point I think I have nothing to lose by trying a sealer and see how it looks. I actually had purchased an NOS windshield gasket but chose not to use it based on advice from several people (the rubber wasn't very pliable after all these years)

I'll report back with updates. Thanks again