Project F-Word: Our Patina’d Ford Gets Some Pane Management

Back before the OEMs learned about gluing our cars and trucks together, they assembled them using some basic items such as bolts but also used non-conventional items of assembly, such as string. Common, household string was a necessary tool when installing items such as front windshields or rear glass for decades and that holds true for many F-100 pickup trucks, including our own Project F-Word.

Patina is cool, but not when it blurs your vision. Our F-100 has seen many miles and the resultant chips, cracks, and other blemishes needed fixing. Note, our truck has the trim installed, you will need to decide if you’re going to be using this trim again when you order your new weatherstrip.

Swapping glass is one of those chores that ride a fine line between having helping hands on-call, and “too many hands in the pot.” Also, window glass is, well – glass! As such, it can be fragile, if you try and move it in ways differing from its strength axis, but it’s not like trying to install eggshells either. Taking your time is the most important tool when working with glass. F-Word’s front and rear glass had seen better days, and the weatherstripping hadn’t aged gracefully.

Many F-100 windshields exhibit this separation near the edges. It's unsightly, and needs to go! Also, before you remove all the glass from your ride, check the new pane(s) to ensure they've not been damaged in shipping.

Classic Industries offers replacement glass for various 1967 through 1979 Ford F-100 trucks (as well as other vehicles) and they also offer weatherstripping to ensure a tight seal around those vintage body seams. We are re-using the rear glass on F-Word but stepped up with new weatherstripping on both front and rear panes. Check out the pictures to see how the team at Fast Auto Glass in Southaven, Mississippi improved our view both front and rear on Project F-Word. We’ll really appreciate having that new glass and weatherstripping when we drive our Coyote-swapped, hopped-up pick ’em-up truck to Holley’s Intergalactic Ford Festival in about a month.

Since the old weatherstrip isn't going to be reused, you can simplify removal by cutting it. Some folks prefer to cut the small lip off of the weatherstrip on the inside, while others stick the blade up under the weatherstrip and trim from the outside. If you have trim, it will come off as the weatherstrip falls away. Be careful with sharp, pointy objects!

You will have residue and old glue/weatherstrip to remove. Now is a good time to check and repair any rust that may have occurred over the past few decades.

We were swapping weatherstrip on both the front and rear, so we removed both panes of glass and cleaned both sides of the cab up at the same time.

We started with the back glass. This tool from Classic Industries helps wrap the string around the outside of the weatherstrip once it's installed. This is where it pays to have friends help hold the glass on the outside while you work the inner part of the weatherstrip into position.

Begin by pulling the string, which brings the inside edge of the weatherstrip with it. Work your way across the bottom on each side, and then up to the top. You should end in the middle at the top.

We then went to the front glass.

After installing the weatherstrip, the trim is next. A little WD40 helps slide it in place. After that, the string is coiled around the weatherstrip channel and the windshield is ready to go in.

Some folks begin at the bottom, while others prefer to start at the top. The guys at Fast Glass started seating the top first.

Either way, you need to make sure the glass is centered in the opening and that the window is seated all the way on the starting edge. This will help you greatly as you’re trying to squeeze the opposing side’s weatherstrip over the lip.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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