This fantastic tech tip style article comes to us from Ron Waller, a loyal reader and part of the ’67 Beetle community. Jay and I appreciate everyone that contributes. Without YOU, there would be no 1967beetle.com. Lastly, let’s pause for a moment to thank Ron for his service to our country. Semper Fi.
I have replaced the window felts and scrapers a couple of times now. There are some excellent sources out there on how to do this. However, I found most of them do not provide enough information it get it back together – right. Make note of how you take the door apart. Pictures are a great backup. When you put it all back together some of the reconstruction is counter intuitive. Those notes and pictures will help. My objective is to help you complete the process with as little aggravation as possible.
After the spilling of considerable blood and using language I haven’t used since my time in the Marines. Jay Salser encouraged me to make notes of what I did hopefully help others who decide to go thru the process.
My outline is only meant to help you get it all back together. You may like their ideas better. Do read them, as they definitely help you especially with the removal.
The scrapers are fragile and sharp. There are also sharp edges on the inner door – be careful. Before you start keep this in mind. From inside out, you’ll have the inner door panel, regulator, vent window upright, then outer door panel.
The scrapers. One of the hardest and most frustrating parts of this process is getting those little clips which hold the scraper in place into the rectangular holes in the door. It is hard to line them up both vertically and horizontally.
Be generous with the use of painters tape. I put it on all “exposed” surfaces to help prevent an accidental scrape.
Before I even try, I mark the position of the holes with a non-permanent felt pen. Trust me, this will save you a lot of frustration. If you “miss” the clips may be ruined and the parts will need to be replaced.
Next, place just a little bit of candle wax on the end of the clips. Don’t overdo it. I have tried other lubricants, but this was by far the best (thanks Jay!).
Install the outer scraper. Hold it in place with painters tape. It is very thin aluminum and tends to “flap” around. That little bit of tape helps keep it out if the way.
Install the felt clips which help secure the outside scraper.
Some aftermarket scrapers have a screw hole at the top front. The one from WW does not. You probably had to remove a small sheet metal screw during the removal. Before you go to the next step, you will need to drill a hole to help secure the outer scraper. It’s not a big deal, but it definitely helps in lining up the scrapers, vent window, etc. (photo 3)
Install the regulator. Make sure it goes under the top part if the inner door. I missed and had it installed incorrectly. It must go under this lip. This is when you need a third hand as you position the scraper! Do not ask your wife! Look down through the window opening, you should not be able to see it. If you do, you missed. I missed, and what is not an easy job become impossible. You can then install the bolts around the crank and the one needed at the top “left” corner. Install them loosely. Just enough to hold the regulator in position.
When I removed my regulator I thoroughly cleaned it with brake fluid cleaner. Fifty years of grime adds up!
I then placed axle grease in the channels to lubricate the “spring.” When you have the regulator off you will see what I mean.
You have to work the front of the scraper rubber into the vertical vent window rubber. I use a bicycle tire tool and dish soap. You need to get the aluminum on the outside of the rubber.
Install the glass.
Put some tape over areas that the glass might rub.
Pull the regulator towards you.
Now rotate the vent window back into position. You should be able to squeeze your hand or fingers up there to hold the regulator tight against the inner panel as you rotate the vent window back in place. REMEMBER – From inside out, you’ll have the inner door panel, regulator, vent window upright, then outer door panel.
Install inside window scraper. Remember to wax the tips. You may have a little excess rubber near the front. This is designed to go around the vent window. It takes a little time and I use dish soap to help get the rubber in place. I had just a little extra rubber and trimmed it off. Both types of felt are reinforced by aluminum strips. You may have to snip some of this off to get it in place.
Install the window felt.
Slide it into the door. I rotated it just enough to clear the rubber on both scrapers.
Start by placing the top/front portion of the felt as close to the top of the vent window as you can.
I use a little dish soap to help. Do not secure it tight. In fact, leave it loose at the top rear corner of the door.
When you roll the window up it will secure it.
Give the vent window a good shove toward the front of the door and bolt it in. One Phillips screw at the top and one bolt on the inner door panel. Check all the rubber and felt around the window channels and make sure all is still in the correct position.
Wrap a rag or paper towel around the bottom of the regulator to protect the glass.
Pull the bottom of the regulator away from the door and slide the glass up. Be very careful, don’t let it snap back onto the glass.
Once you get the glass in, slide it up into window felts. Before you attach the window to the regulator, slide it up and down a few times to make sure it moves freely.
The window channel has a fore and aft retainer. The forward one goes behind the regulator, the rear one goes on top. My description is not great, but when you are putting the glass back in you will understand.
Lower the glass by hand so that its top edge is a few inches above the door frame. Crank the regulator up until the holes on the window lift line up with the window tray, then loosely install the four bolts.
Remove the rag/paper towels from the bottom of the regulator.
Check that the window does not bind.
Tighten the four bolts on the window lift.
You can now secure the regulator, there are six bolts.
One for the Vent window.
Five for regulator.
Hopefully all works as it should!
I have completed a couple of labor intensive jobs on my 1967. I wish someone had a video of how these cars were built on an assembly line! Even if you did these same repetitive jobs every day, it would still take considerable time to do the job. These cars were simple to work on, but labor intensive!
Refreshing your window glass
When I purchased my car the window rubbers had been changed to the “Cal look.” I disliked it from day one. There are several articles about how to do this. Chris Vallone has an excellent video. This is a tough job and you will need some good friends to help. But I thought the result was well worth it.
Frenchy Dehoux has been a great friend and help during this process. First, clean it thoroughly. When I had the glass out, go over it with “0000 steel wool” the finest type. I was skeptical, and tried it on an old piece of glass. It worked. Just be careful and don’t overdo it. In addition, do it DRY, do not use any cleaners or water. I hosed it off to remove any residue and then thoroughly cleaned it.